My Chittleborough & Morgan navy suit was finally ready last month, and here are the pictures.
I use the shot of the back at top because it is the only one that demonstrates the superb fit Joe and his team have achieved. It is a consistent struggle for tailors to get the fit right through my hollow lower back and fairly prominent seat. The only other tailor that I think achieved such a good fit here was Liverano & Liverano.
My favourite style aspect of the suit is the waistcoat – a new design that Joe was trying out. It has a cloth back and a proper collar, so it can be popped up if the air turns chilly. And it is cut so that the lapels fasten together, using the usually decorative lapel buttonhole. For someone who still likes the Logical Waistcoat Theory he penned 5 years ago, it is an extremely functional piece.
[Click on the images at the bottom of this post for detailed shots]
The make, as you should expect by now from Chittleborough, is superb. The best by an English tailor and approaching the French masters at Cifonelli and Camps de Luca (more on a comparable Cifonelli suit next week).
I mentioned the way the C&M pockets are tacked to the inside of the jacket in a recent post on The Rake website – as well as the hand stitching of the two side panels of the lining.
Chittleborough also overlocks the inside-leg seam of the trousers by hand. This may seem point
less – it is a long, straight edge after all, and therefore a classic candidate for machine stitching. But Joe finds that the speed of machine overlocking can lead to the line of the trouser being ever-so-slightly kinked, as the perfect line is lost in the speed of the action. The inside-leg seam is easier to distort in this way.
Extra work also goes into the gorge stitching (where the collar joins the lapel), with the two being stitched flat and folded over, rather than the two sides simply being pulled together. And of course the decorative details on this suit, such as the raised seam in the back of the jacket and lapped seams down the trousers, involve a lot more handwork.
For a price to US customers (so ex-VAT) of £3333 for a two-piece suit, it’s very good value. And yes, they can do more conservative styling.
The only thing I’m not entirely sure about is the position of the high-waisted trousers. They have to be high to wear with a waistcoat (otherwise the waistcoat is too long or you end up showing shirt between the two), but it still feels odd to have so many layers of cloth at my navel. I think I may end up lowering the waistband by about an inch – to the lowest it can go and still be adequately covered by the waistcoat.
More from the C&M team soon.
[Click on the images below to enlarge]
Top photograph: Luke Carby