Langa bespoke suit linen

 
Tobacco brown’s a nice colour, isn’t it? Definitely informal – due to its lightness and saturation – yet with a quiet sophistication. Colonial, particularly in linen, but without the baggage of cream or tan.

This is 8-ounce from Scabal (801490). Ideally it would be heavier, closer to 13 ounces, but I’m willing to trade a little weight for great colour.

The suit was made by Sastreria Langa, one of the tailors in Madrid I commissioned from back in July. Joaquin Fernandez is the cutter: a relatively young guy but with a lot of experience (having started at the age of 16). He is also one of the few Spanish tailors that speaks any English (the Calvo de Mora sons being the others).

Joaquin is deliberately creative and broad in his technique, making both normal and shirt-shoulder jackets, and with a penchant for bright or strongly patterned linings. I avoided those with this suit – it’s not my style, and anyway the cloth has enough character on its own.
 

Langa bespoke suit linen close

 
Initially, Joaquin was impressive. I flew into Madrid one evening with the arrangement to be measured and fitted on several things the next day. The tailors all knew the cloth in advance, so the idea was they would measure me in the morning and cut a rough, first fitting for the afternoon.

Joaquin did this flawlessly. The fundamentals of the fit were great – balance, neck, pitch etc were all spot on. We slimmed the trousers down a little and narrowed the waist on the jacket, but that was it.

The second time I went to Madrid, the idea was to have a forward fitting in the morning, another in the afternoon if the tailor wanted it, and then to have the jacket sent went finished. Joaquin misunderstood, and when I arrived in the morning the whole suit was finished.

That wasn’t a problem in terms of fit, as the first fitting had been so good, but there were a couple of style issues – particularly the shoulder, which was a normal rather than shirt-shoulder. (I wasn’t a fan of Joaquin’s regular shoulder style, which is a little extended and almost kicks up at the end.)

To wrap up a rather long story, changing the shoulder took much longer than a day, so it wasn’t until the suit arrived in London that I saw it completed. Perhaps inevitably, the execution wasn’t ideal: the excess at the top of one sleeve was greater than the other, making the shoulder appear wider.
 

linen suit brown

 
The difference is barely noticeable now. Linen is a very forgiving material, and as soon as the jacket had been worn a couple of times the sleeve wrinkled up and the discrepancy was gone. Still, that wouldn’t have happened on a worsted, and there are a couple of signs of similar lapses elsewhere. The side-straps on the trousers don’t function perfectly, and some of the finishing inside is a little rough.

I love this suit, primarily for the colour. But it’s also well fitted, and given that Langa only charges €1800 (plus VAT, in Spain), with as much hand work as anything on Savile Row (though not always in the same places), it’s also extremely good value. I would just suggest a slightly less rushed fitting process, and careful attention to the details.

More details later in the week.

Shoes: Edward Green Top Drawer oundles in bronze; shirt also from Langa; navy 9cm grenadine tie from Drake’s.
 

Langa bespoke suit linen back

 
Photography: Luke Carby

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James Marwood

That’s a lovely colour. I have some tobacco brown Fresco on the way later this year – hopefully it will look as warm and rich.

I do like the full lapels on that suit as well.

Guillaume

Hi Simon,
I think the suit looks superb on you, far more flattering than many of your other commissions (I know that isn’t the primary concern of yours when buying suits).

I wondered, despite this particular tailor being good value, do you feel it’s really worth going bespoke on a linen suit? As you say, it is a forgiving material so perhaps just a good quality MTM or even off the peg would suffice? I’m thinking that the accuracy of fit that you pay for with bespoke may be lost using this material.

Dan

I am curious, this is the second time that you are wearing to what the lay person looks like a poorly tied tie. I assume that as per the wedding photo is an intentional act but curious as to why you are adopting this?

I guess there is an argument with this outfit that its part of the casual look but I am not convinced it really achieves this and not so sure the rest of your wedding outfit really was casual

rabster

Certainly a colour I would consider for a jacket.
On the subject of colour does skin tone play a factor ?
Just thinking of the recent incident were President Obama wore a taupe coloured suit at a press conference.

Néstor

Very stylish colour, not often seen even in the south of Spain, whose terrain colours would match the cloth more than in northern countries.

I also like the fit a lot.

J

Lovely colour suit. I can’t see the issue on the shoulder myself.

I like the idea of linen suit, but I think for myself I’d always be more tempted to go with some sort of mix so you don’t get the inevitable ‘sag’ which happens with linen. The creasing I don’t mind so much, just the saggy / baggyness that can happen after a few wears.

I didn’t notice the tie knot until the comments. Doesn’t look particularly “noteworthy” to me (for good or bad) but I have to say I am not a fan of the idea of enforced sprezzatura. Anything which looks deliberately done can often look pretentious and statement seeking… Ok if you’re 20 maybe.

A lot of these guys claiming they are sprezzatura personified just look clownish anywhere outside if the pitti uomo bubble (And arguably inside). Fun? Maybe. Stylish? Not so sure. Just my 2c .

Robert

I love the depth of the color – and am fascinated by the texture especially in the shot of the back of the jacket (both micro – at the scale of the fabric weave scale and macro texture the wrinkles provide).

Jerrell

Hello Simon,

Can you recall the weight of your cream linen suit? 8 oz sounds like it would be very delicate and prone to excessive wrinkling.

Dry

Keep up the good work Simon, you are one of the best blogger out there.

Matt

Hi Simon

I must have read pretty much every one of your posts over the last two years, and many dating back prior to that.

This is my first comment:

I love the suit!

Okay. You may have some issues with fit. But it, the outfit as a whole, looks fantastic.

Manuel

Hi Simon, it’s nice to speak to you again after our meeting at El Aristocrata in Madrid.
I really like the suit despite the minor issues you were mentioning, the colour and design are fantastic. I have commissioned a number of suits and jackets from Joaquin in the recent years and even though I had the same issue with the shape of the shoulders with my first suit, this was corrected and the next ones were all perfect. As you say it is good value for money and I do really hope that Spanish tailors become a bit more international and the industry develops a bit in Spain. Regards. Manuel

Gerald

The back is a monstruosity, is all completely wrinkled and the fit is simply poor. Is expensive for the poor fitting.

Steve

Hi Simon,

How much does Langa charge for such a suit? Also, any plans to commission and write about NYC-tailored suits?

S

I think it looks great. I don’t really see what some commentators mean by complaining about the fit across the back (I sometimes wonder if some of the guys commenting on here has ever had anything made bespoke). Perhaps you could provide a photo or description of what an “ideal” jacket back should look like, for example using your favorite jacket?

Thanks,
S

S

Thanks Simon. I would generally be happy with the back looking more or less like in your photo, wouldn’t you?

S

Frederick von West

If one of the Beaks up at Eton had discovered me with a tie knotted as poorly as shown here, I would have been on the bill immediately. No doubt a sound thrashing with a firm rod made of finest beech. Ah, the good old days…

John

Hi Simon,
This is definitely a lovely outfit!!!
It looks really great!

Scott

Hi Simon,
I really like that color and love the idea of a linen suit. I notice that the lapel is fairly wide and I’m curious if that was by design? Personally I prefer my lapel to be in the 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 inch range at the widest point. Would you please address the issue of appropriate lapel width?

satanama

Simon

Isn’t that tie the unlined six fold in grenadine (grossa) one you had from drake’s?

Fred

Any thoughts on using a lining versus self lining?

Anonymous

Hey simon,

I have been a fan of how your shirts fit, but havent been able to find a photo of you wearing your shirt without an outer layer. Pardon if i havent searched enough, but would you mind posting pictures of you wearing just your shirt both tucked and untucked? I think readers, myself included, could benefit from such a post. Thanks tremendously!

Tommy Cheese

Looks better than any of the A & S dross you’ve posted.

Tommy Cheese
Hard to please

Alfonso

Hi Simon,
do you think a blue irish linen suit is a good choice for summer evenings?

Alfonso

I live in Salerno (near Naples, Italy), the context is often “out to dinner” and yes my friends wear jeans 😀

Hazwan

Hello Simon,

Seems to me like there’s quite a lot of shirt collar appearing above the jacket collar. I recall that Flusser stated that the visibility should roughly be the same as the amount of shirt cuff shown. What do you think of this?

gary

simon can you direct me to the very lightest linen shirt fabric company as i want some really light linen for italian summers

Albannach

Simon,

Do you think a similarly styled suit in navy fresco would work for summer, or do you think there would be a mismatch of sorts between the formality of the colour and the casualness of the jacket (three roll two, patch pockets) that would limit its wearability?

gary

I would never wear Linen in an office unless I was the boss, too crinkly and easily loses its shape
I have a tailor in Italy who can do anything you want for 250 pounds if you bring the cloth with you. He has a huge turnover of clients but as good as anything around that said if its just a really good fit you want then look no further than saville Row range at M and S

JJ

Great suit! I am about to commission a tobacco brown suit in H&S 7.5 ounce mohair 286019. The color is absolutely to die for and is in my opinion, the PERFECT summer brown. I am trying to decide if I should get a casual unstructured and unlined suit in this fabric or something more formal with tons of hand work. The later being more than twice the price from my tailor. What are your thoughts on getting the most out of a tobacco brown summer fabric? I know mohair with it’s iridescent quality is quite a bit more formal than linen, but I think it could work casually as well.

George Hadjia

Hi Simon,
Were there any regrets with getting this commissioned in a relatively lighter linen vs some of the Irish linens? What would you say are the main advantages and drawbacks of choosing a lighter linen such as this? The colour is superb and I’m thinking of getting a suit commissioned in this fabric (if Scabal still makes it).
Thanks,
George

Banibrata Chowdhury

Was the suit jacket completely unlined?