Kathryn Sargent, perhaps unexpectedly, is one of the most structured and square-shouldered of the suit styles in this series.

The make is most similar to Huntsman, which we featured here as a hunting jacket in their house tweed, while Chittleborough & Morgan has a similar amount of padding (even if the shoulder line is different).

All are more padded than traditional British tailors analysed such as Henry Poole, Dege & Skinner or Richard Anderson.

Kathryn’s British cut is also evident in the length of the jacket, sloping gorge and subtly bellied lapel.

 

 

House: Kathryn Sargent

Address: 6 Brook Street, London

Site: www.kathrynsargent.com

Cutter: Kathryn Sargent

Price (at time of writing): £4,995 (incl VAT)

Suit starting price: £4,900 (incl VAT)

 

Kathryn made this suit for me as part of our Media Symposium event in Florence in June 2018.

Fox Brothers sponsored the talk, and they supplied cloth for four tailors to make up, showing off four different cutting styles (French/Cifonelli, Florentine/Vestrucci and Neapolitan/Ciardi, alongside Kathryn).

I very rarely have suits in pin- or chalk-stripes, largely because I find the look both too formal and a little anachronistic. I have had one other made ever, by Graham Browne in 2010.

But I rather liked the non-formal feeling of this one, from Fox’s high-twist summer range: Fox Air.

The blue is not navy, but a touch lighter. And the stripe is not white or cream, but almost beige. The overall effect is of something vintage, or at least rather softer than a typical business chalkstripe.

The cut, of course, still makes it rather formal, and that is what we’ll get into now.

 

 

The padding in this Kathryn Sargent suit may be substantial, but the other shoulder proportions are fairly moderate.

The width (the length of the shoulder seam, from collar to shoulder) is 6¼ inches: a quarter inch smaller than Huntsman, a quarter inch bigger than Richard Anderson.

The sleevehead is narrow, and slightly raised. But it’s hardly dramatic roping – merely a solid stop to the shoulder line.

 

 

More distinctive is the height of the buttoning point, which is low at 20¼ inches. Indeed, it’s the lowest of the tailors featured here, and just doesn’t appear so because the jacket itself is long (32⅛ inches).

By comparison, the previous lowest buttoning point was Anderson & Sheppard at 20 inches, but it was almost a whole inch shorter, at 31¼.

The lapel line on the Kathryn Sargent is long, therefore, and this effect is increased by the slimness of the lapel (3¼ inches at the lapel’s point) as well as the angle of the gorge.

 

 

The gorge line follows the seam between the lapel and the collar.

On most English suits, this line slopes downwards, and is straight. On most Italians, it is a little flatter and curves a little upwards along its length.

Some might think the downwards slope of the line is less flattering, dragging the eye downwards. Personally I find it makes a bigger difference how high the gorge is on the body.

Either way, it’s interesting to consider the effect created by the relative narrowness, lower height (4¼ inches from the shoulder seam) and angle of the gorge on this suit.

 

 

The trousers will please those who favour a more generous, and perhaps in some views more traditional cut.

We don’t normally cover trousers in these Style Breakdown pieces, but given they are also an outlier it’s worth detailing that they have a 16¾ inch circumference at the bottom, and measure 19¾ inches at the knee.

Elsewhere, this jacket has little to no drape, slightly open quarters and a slightly shaped back seam. All pretty moderate, in other words, particularly for an English suit.

The waist suppression is not large, but it is high, which is interesting.

The point at which a tailor decides to suppress (narrow) the waist, and the position of the waist button are not necessarily the same. On a ready-to-wear suit they would be, but with bespoke you have the ability to fit the waist to the customer, and to play around with the buttoning point to change the visual effect.

Here, Kathryn cut that waist fairly close under my ribs, lengthening the impression of the bottom half of the jacket. But as noted, the buttoning point is fairly low.

(That long lower half might be even more noticeable were it not for the inclusion of a ticket pocket, which breaks up the lower half a little more.)

 

 

The suit is worn with a pink spread-collar shirt and black knitted tie (from Anderson & Sheppard, as is the handkerchief).

A writer once said that no elegant man thinks a black tie is just for funerals, and I’m inclined to agree. Certainly it often makes a nice partner to a pink shirt.

The jade-green ikat-print handkerchief is quite bright and strong, but stands out less when there’s such a high contrast shirt/tie combination going on.

The shoes are a very dark-brown (Edward Green calls it ‘bronze’) but could easily have been black. That might even have worked better. The model is the Oundle, a monk strap.

 

 

Style breakdown

  • Shoulder width: 6¼ inches
  • Shoulder padding: Strong
  • Sleevehead: Slightly raised, narrow
  • Sleeve: Slim upper arm, then straight to 11¼ inch cuff
  • Lapel: 3¼ inches, slight belly
  • Gorge height: 4¼ inches
  • Drape: Small
  • Outbreast pocket height: 10 inches
  • Buttoning point: Low, 20¼ inches
  • Waist suppression: Moderate
  • Quarters: Relatively open, straight
  • Length: 32⅛ inches
  • Back seam: Quite shaped
  • Vent height: High, 10½ inches
  • Trouser width at knee: 19¾ inches
  • Trouser width at cuff: 16¾ inches

 

 

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

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