Of all the tailoring we have looked at it in this Tailor Styles series, this suit has to be the most dramatic and stylised.

The lapels are big. Not just wide but rounded, ending with peaks high up the shoulder.

The jacket is long, something accentuated by the single waist button and by its high placement.

And the style details, though more subtle, are still unusual. A Milanese buttonhole on the lapel; long pocket flaps; lapped seams on the centre back, sleeves and trousers.

It’s a navy suit, but not as you know it.

 


House
: Chittleborough & Morgan

Address: 12 Savile Row, London

Site: www.chittleboroughandmorgan.co.uk

Cutter: Joe Morgan

Price of suit (at time of writing): £5000 (incl VAT)

The suit was cut for me by Joe Morgan of Chittleborough & Morgan in 2013. We covered the process in five posts, which you can see here.

Joe was a cutter under Edward Sexton with Tommy Nutter back in the 1960s and 1970s, and the style points largely derive from that period.

Certainly the length of the jacket and lapels are similar, though the trousers would have been rather different, with rather more flare and without the turn-ups. And the styling additions such as the Milanese buttonhole are more recent additions.

(Some credit for those should go to Michael Browne, who was also involved with this suit at Chittleborough & Morgan but has now set up on his own on Berkeley Square, cutting a very similar style.)


One aspect of the suit that is not immediately obvious from the images is the padding and structure.

The jacket has the most shoulder padding of any in this series, with only Edward Sexton coming close out of all the 30+ others. It is quite thin at the neck, but gets thicker towards the sleeve, and there is strong rolling at the top of the sleevehead.

That squares up my shoulders, giving perhaps a stronger overall impression, and adds to its overall drama.

Interestingly, however, the shoulders are cut quite narrow.

This is one aspect of the style I might change, perhaps. The width is 5½ inches, compared to 6½ from Huntsman and 7 from Anderson & Sheppard.

This reduces the effect of that padding and, I think, probably exaggerates the lapels still more, as they are larger proportionately without bigger shoulders and chest behind them.


The jacket is actually not as long as some others from the English tailors, at 32 inches compared to between 31½ and 33 inches among those.

But Joe does like a long skirt on a jacket, and cuts the waist quite high.

So although the buttoning point is 19 inches from the neck point (higher than Anderson & Sheppard but lower than Huntsman) the suppression of the waist is just above it, right under the ribs.

This high waist has a few advantages, particularly when it comes to my hollow back and prominent seat: by placing that waist quite high, there is lots of material below it get out and over my bottom, creating a particularly clean finish.

On the front of the jacket, though, it might be more flattering to have the buttoning point a tad lower – and it would be interesting to see how that looked within the same overall cut.


Another reason for the clean look, by the way, is the cloth, which is a 13oz navy twill from Dugdale’s.

Thirteen ounces is relatively heavy anyway, but in a twill it has particularly great body, and drapes really well.

It’s also been popular since I had the suit made: even five years later, both Joe and Michael had suits from customers hanging up in the same material when I visited them recently.


Elsewhere, the jacket fits close through the chest and the waist, and the quarters run dead straight down from the waist button, just curving away subtly at the end.  

The sleeve is relatively slim, the vents very high (12½ inches), and the lines accentuated by those lapped seams. 

It is referred to as quite a sexy cut – which normally means a little dramatic and close fitting.  

The turn-ups, by the way, are also large: 2½ inches compared to 2 inches on most of my trousers. And that is reflected in the pocket flaps. 


The shoes are black whole-cuts from Edward Green. The Newbury in black calf.

The style of this suit and its deep navy mean that it is one of the few pieces I have black buttons on rather than dark brown – because I only wear it with black shoes really.

Indeed, I think that shows something about the kind of suit this is. Something formal, something dramatic, for special occasions and making a statement.

It would be an interesting option for black tie.


The accessories are from Anderson & Sheppard: t
he tie is a linen glen-check, on plain-blue poplin shirt, with white-linen handkerchief.

The trousers are high waisted and worn with braces. They have quite a slim cut, particularly in the thigh, but without much of a taper.

The suit was also made with a waistcoat, which is not pictured.


Style breakdown

  • Shoulder width: 5½ inches
  • Shoulder padding: Large
  • Sleevehead: Strong roping
  • Sleeve: Slim
  • Lapel: 4½ inches, very rounded
  • Gorge height: 1½ inches (from top of peak)
  • Drape: Small
  • Outbreast pocket height: 11 inches
  • Buttoning point: 19 inches 
  • Waist suppression: Slim
  • Quarters: Closed
  • Length: 32  inches
  • Back seam: Suppressed
  • Vent height: 12½ inches
  • Trouser circumference at knee: 21½ inches
  • Trouser circumference at cuff: 15½  inches

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man