I recently began a suit project with Joe Morgan, one of the most supremely talented cutters on the Row.
Joe is both technically exacting and stylistically innovative. Not only does he make best use of the Tommy Nutter inheritance, updating those big lapels and nipped waist for a modern audience, but he continues to come up with new designs. Descending the stairs to the basement of 12 Savile Row will always reveal some new model, often inspired by one of the highly creative apprentices and tailors he works with, such as Michael Browne.
(Look out for a few of Michael’s outfits in the current issue of The Rake. He features in both the Pocket Guide and the blue-themed photo shoot. And Sarah Murray has a beautiful jacket to be featured in the magazine soon.)
My suit will be a navy three-piece, cut in a heavy twill from Dugdales with high-waisted trousers and a one-button jacket. We will incorporate many of the Nutters of Savile Row style points, but also some modern twists, such as lapped seams on the trousers. All grounded in that honest Huddersfield cloth.
As a precursor to the series, I include a few shots here of the trouser pattern Joe has made for me. It demonstrates a few of the technical points that translate into that particularly sharp cut that Joe is known for.
The first point to highlight is the left-hand side of the pattern above, which translates to the inside seam of the trouser. The fact that the gap between it and the pencil line is smaller at the top than the bottom shows that Joe cuts a relatively closed trouser, that is to hang perfectly when a man has his legs slightly closer together. Joe believes most tailors cut a trouser that is too open.
Second, the curve at the top of the other part of the trouser pattern shows what is called a ‘crooked seat’ – the angle required to get up and over my bum, and into the small of my back. Again, Joe thinks not enough tailors put that amount of slope into the pattern.
And the third point is a construction one. Joe does many things to shape the suit, relying less on the tailor to do so. The darting in the chest canvas, for example, is quite extreme, and in the image at the top of this post you can see how the waistband lining on the trousers is slit to allow it to curve.
There are plenty of others, such as making the top sleeve a lot bigger than the bottom sleeve, so the seam rotates inside the arm and can’t be seen from the front. But there’ll be plenty of time for those over the course of the series.