Drape and extended shoulders: The Disguisery

Wednesday, June 21st 2017
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Last year I got to know a group called The Disguisery, based in Fitzrovia. (‘Disguisery’ is a collective noun for tailors.)

A trouser workshop for many houses on Savile Row, they have been branching out into jackets and suiting, and creating their own brand.

We made the navy-tweed jacket and grey trousers shown here, experimenting in the process with a jacket that is particularly strong in the upper body - with extended shoulders and generous drape in the chest.

An extended shoulder uses a pad that is slightly longer than the person’s shoulder underneath.

It creates an impression of breadth in the upper body, but without the padding of traditional military tailoring.

Anderson & Sheppard and Florentine tailors like Liverano are the biggest proponents of the extended shoulder. It is the antithesis of the Neapolitan cut, which often has the upper arm pushing out into the top of the sleeve.

Drape, meanwhile, throws excess fabric across the chest and top of the back, to add to that impression of a large upper body.

It also has the advantage of being more comfortable than a closely fitting chest.

If you look carefully, you can see the chest of the jacket swelling outwards (trust me, my chest can’t do that on its own): either just next to the sleeve, in the front-on images, or in the profile of the chest in the three-quarters shots.

Indeed, such is the shape of the chest and breadth of the shoulders, that you could argue I need a tie with a larger knot. This slim knit from Shibumi is a little out of proportion. (Although a lovely coppery colour.)

It’s also interesting to note how sloped my shoulders are without any padding (which I don’t mind) but how they still give an impression of size because of the extended shoulder line.

These effects are accentuated, of course, by the two-button style and peak lapels, both of which create a stronger diagonal from shoulder to waist.

The Disguisery are Giles, Rebecca and Edita, plus the makers they manage in their workshop.

Giles’s aesthetic, and that of the house as a whole, is American modernism, with plenty of Ivy style, penny loafers and high-buttoned jackets.

But this is merely a personal tendency - they are open to any style, which is what led to our experimentation with shoulder and drape.

We had a couple of issues with the jacket, around the balance and proportions of the drape, but got to a strong result in the end.

I’m not sure I can unreservedly recommend it to readers, but at their price point (£1800 inc. VAT for a jacket, £2500 for a suit), it may well be worth a try for someone that is keen to try a particular style.

The trousers, on the other hand, were faultless, and again at the price point (£700) they are a good option for anyone wanting a Savile Row trouser at a lower price.

The finishing on both jackets and trousers was also good: fine, Savile Row-quality stitching and workmanship, without ascending to the levels of a Cifonelli or Chittleborough & Morgan.

I should also add that I have found the jacket (in W Bill tweed, WB12124 12/13oz from the Classic Shetland bunch) extremely useful.

It’s not quite navy in colour, but it’s dark enough to have the versatility of a navy blazer, with the tweed drastically reducing its formality.

For a guy that wants something to wear with casual trousers and light-coloured jeans, but also grey flannels, it’s a great option.

The trousers we made, by the way, were Holland & Sherry Crispaire, 9/10oz number 337052 CP.  

  • Copper-coloured zig-zag knit tie from Shibumi.
  • Striped bespoke shirt from Charvet.
  • Brown alligator shoes from Gaziano & Girling.

 

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man