Edward Sexton is famous for bringing sexy, dramatic tailoring to Savile Row in the 1960s and 1970s, as head cutter for Tommy Nutter. Mick and Bianca Jagger in white suits, The Beatles crossing Abbey Road: these are the looks we know. 

And today Edward still likes a padded shoulder, perhaps upturned at the end, together with a longer jacket with a little flare in the skirt. 

But interestingly, a double-breasted suit from Edward is not all that dramatic. Single-breasted pieces often have a lapel that is wider and more curved, setting Sexton apart. But as a DB already has much of that, the difference is smaller.  

 

 

House: Edward Sexton

Address: 26 Beauchamp Place, London

Site: www.edwardsexton.co.uk

Cutter: Edward Sexton

Price (at time of writing): £5200 (incl VAT)

 

Edward cut this flannel suit for me in 2014, and it’s become one of my favourite things to wear to lunches or events.

I find the structure of the shoulder and the sweep of the lapel distinctive, but the grey-flannel cloth subtle enough to make them things people only notice after a few minutes. 

I’m not sure the style flatters me quite as much as a drapier cut like Anderson & Sheppard, but it has real style and I hugely enjoy wearing it. Particularly with a scarf or roll neck. 

 

 

As you can see from the image above, the lapels are wide (3¼ inches) and sweeping. But as mentioned at the start, this feels less dramatic than on a single-breasted jacket. 

I should also say that the front edge of the suit is not slanted upwards or left in reality; that’s something odd with the photography. 

Compared to fellow Nutter-alumnus Joe Morgan, Edward also uses fewer flourishes or finishing details, such as lapped seams or Milanese buttonholes. 

Instead, the finishing is just very good. The suit and coat he has made for me have some of the best English finishing I’ve ever seen: extremely fine, precise buttonholes, but in a regular structure rather than Milanese. It’s a subtler overall look than many might expect from the name Edward Sexton. 

 

 

There is a little more drama elsewhere – specifically the shaping of the jacket through the waist and the small of the back, and the width of that roped sleevehead. 

Edward also likes a trouser that is fairly straight – a little narrow in the thigh and then straight to the shoe. (The effect of that can be seen in the close-up of the shoes, lower down this article.)

When that leg shape is combined with a jacket that fully covers the seat, and so the legs finish with a touch of white space between them (below), the effect is again quite striking.

(The trousers are a touch big in the waist now, and are sitting a little low – there wouldn’t normally be quite as large a break.)

 

 

Looking at the measurements (listed in full below), the suit is not that wide in the shoulder (5½ inches) but is extended by fairly high and thick roping in the sleevehead. 

The buttoning point isn’t that high (19¼ inches) but looks it due to the fairly long back length of the jacket (33 inches).

The vents are cut quite high (11½ inches), adding to that impression of flare in the skirt. And the sleeves taper rather from the wide starting point at the top. 

The shoulders are strongly padded, but no more than other English structured tailors like Huntsman, Dege & Skinner or Kathryn Sargent. They are, however, slightly more built up at the ends. 

 

 

In terms of the rest of the clothes, I’ve always liked a pink shirt with grey flannel, even if it does feel a little corporate. And the mid-brown is nice against pink too. 

In retrospect I shouldn’t have picked a handkerchief that was the same pattern as the tie though. Oh well. 

The shoes, from Edward Green, are the Selwyn model on the 82 last. The slightly purplish shade is called Nightshade. 

You can compare this cut to those of 25 other bespoke tailors that have made pieces for Simon, in the Guide to Tailor Styles here. There is also a book version, called Bespoke Style.

 

 

Style breakdown

  • Shoulder width: 5½ inches
  • Shoulder padding: Strong, particularly on back
  • Sleevehead: Roped, domette and canvas
  • Sleeve: Generous, tapering to a 10¾ inch cuff
  • Lapel: 4½ inches, slight round
  • Gorge height: 3 inches
  • Drape: Moderate
  • Outbreast pocket height: 10 inches
  • Buttoning point: Low, 19¼ inches
  • Waist suppression: Moderate, low
  • Quarters: Straight
  • Length: 33 inches
  • Back seam: Suppressed
  • Vent height: High, 11 inches
  • Trouser width at knee: 19½ inches
  • Trouser width at cuff: 16¾ inches

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
87 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Emerging Genius

An elegant piece of clothing.

Dan James

Gorgeous suit. The third photo really shows how well it fits in the back and over your rear as well as the overall balance between the trousers and the jacket.

I thought it was the same one as in the last photo and even the usual photo shoot makes it seem rather stiff the last photo just shows how well it is cut and moves with you. Grey and pink is a great combination and do that myself but with a plain black tie.

One last question-what colour are the buttons? They look grey in the bottom photo but a mix of grey and brown in the second one.

Dan James

Thank you, Simon.
After re-reading my original post, it should have been “even though the usual photo shoot…” Apologies.

Peter Smith Wright

My favourite of all your suits. The shaping of the shoulders compensates for the very sloping stature, whereas all other I have seen on you tend to highlight it. Equally, the fit across your lower back compensates your hollow back and manages to mask your protruding rear. A really clever piece of bespoke work.

limekiln

“The shaping of the shoulders compensates for the very sloping stature, whereas all other I have seen on you tend to highlight it.” That was exactly my reaction too.
I don’t especially like double-breasted suits and the roped shoulders seem anachronistic (photo 2). But by the time I got to the bottom it became clear that this suit suits your form really very well. The last photo shows this perfectly – a completely natural look.

Michael

Geez, why don’t you tell the man what you really think of his physique…

Kenneth

Excellent suit by one of the best of the best..peace….

RT

“I’m not sure the style flatters me quite as much as a drapier cut like Anderson & Sheppard”
Interesting, I’d have said the opposite. For me, at least, this is a far more flattering cut. One of your best suits, I think.

Ian F

It might already have been pointed out but the “a drapier cut like Anderson and Sheppard” link seems to lead to an article that only mentions Anderson and Sheppard in relation to trousers and pocket square.

Lovely suit.

 

Nico

Hi Simon,

Amazing suit.

Please, let me ask you a couple of questions:

  1. Any tips to wear the jacket as a separate? Perhaps with a very dark grey trousers?
  2. Considering the colour (mid grey), would you wear this suit in the evening?

Thank you and best regards,

Jonathan

Excellent suit, Simon, one of my favourites of the series. Bespoke Style is en route to me and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it in print. Just a question regarding the measurements – do you document anywhere how these are taken? i.e. from where to where the lapel width, gorge etc. are measured, or are we expected to know these?

Oggi

It’s a nice suit Simon but I dislike the heavey roping on the sleeve head…..just too formal looking.

Chris

Hey Simon,
My untrained eye finds the skirt quite billowy. I think that’s partly the photo but I wondered if this was something you notice and if so why that may be?
Otherwise as far as a classic suit goes, this is pretty perfect for me.

Lausa

Hi!

I really enjoy these posts and they give a lot of insight on what to look for in a suit.

I would really like to see also how the trousers look without the jacket especially on the side and back as it’s quite rare to see them in suit photos. It would help with identifying a good fit on trousers and make it easier to show someone. 🙂

Chris Jones

Where is the fabric from? I think I have exactly the same suit (other than I went for their House Drape Cut trouser shape – but the jacket is identical in detail). My cloth is an 11 (possibly 12) oz from Huddersfield Fine Worsteds although it was made for them by Vitale Barberis Canonico in Italy. The bunches (HFW/VBC) are both exactly the same. I think the cut looks great on you although being tall, I think you could carry off a wider, more fluid, drape cut but you pays your money…..

Robin

A little surprised that this appears so normal coming from someone with a reputation like Edward Sexton.
The trouser I would want with a taper as that adds a little shape and makes the leg appear taller.
Also would it help to have the pockets slanted to make the jacket ‘appear’ less wider at the hips ?

On double breasted jackets generally sometimes they appear to have a great shape else they appear rather bland or boxy .

Such a tricky jacket to get ‘right’ especially as with double breasted there is some much going on
i.e. wide lapels , lots of buttons , pockets , the double breasted lapel .

Real food for thought this article and double breasted jackets really require much more writing on, Simon .

David Glickman

I can quite understand why this garment brings you so much pleasure. My daughter got married on the 18th and I walked her down the aisle wearing my dark blue flannel Edward Sexton double breasted suit which I commissioned this year for the big day. It is my first bespoke suit and I really enjoyed the whole process, and the care taken by Peter and Edward. It is just an extremely beautiful item of clothing which really added to the pleasure of a wonderful day.

Stephen Dolman

Hi David,
Firstly, congratulations on your daughters wedding.
Edward made me a bespoke Navy suit
for my younger daughters wedding a couple of years and as you rightly say, it added something to a special day.
Indeed, I had at least 4 or 5 flattering comments on it
As I commented on this site before, I still have a couple of suits Edward made me some 40 years ago, still worn
pretty regularly and still look great, the ageing , in my opinion adds to them.

There is nothing better than wearing a great suit.
Peter and Edward couldn’t have been more helpful
Regards
Stephen Dolman

David Glickman

Many thanks for your kind wishes Stephen. I too had many flattering comments on the day, and am looking forward to having a jacket made this year. Will enjoy watching them age, but most likely it will be my son, rather than myself who will be wearing them in forty years time!

Gio

Hello Simon,

Thank you for this article.

You mention you like to wear this suit with a roll neck. Which colours do you recommend? Which are your preferences?

Do you think this suit is acceptable for a dinner (not a formal one)?

Thank you for your help,

Gio

Thank you for your reply, Simon

Yes, if it’s acceptable for a dinner depends on place and people but my question was referring to the mid grey color. Is it too light for a dinner/evening event or it could work (depending on the place, of course)?

As other readers commented, this suit is probably one of the first suits a sartorial aficionado should commit. And yours from Edward Sexton is very nice.

Thank you for your help and have a nice day,

Gio

Norman Hindley

Not for me, Fred Astaire did it much better.

zo

I think the ‘draper cut like Anderson & Sheppard’ hyperlink may be erroneous…takes me to “Cover Story in Plaza Uomo”.

Stephan

Hi, Simon! To join the others, what a wonderful suit! The proper classic timeless flannel that can pass muster in any corporate/business/official setting as well as in relaxed or festive situations.
May I notice that in the studio photos the point where shoulders meet the sleeves (sleeve-head?) and then the top of the sleeves themselves appear to be a bit narrower on you than they are in the bottom photo, where the fit appears to be immaculate? Did you build muscles in your arms, or back? What is the reason that there is this ‘indent’ on the top of the sleeve / end of shoulder? Would it be rectified in the suit was let out a bit on the centre-back seam? Thanks!

Ravi

Hi Simon,

This is a beautiful suit; effortlessly elegant, but not corporate.

I am about to commission some mid-grey flannel trousers, but on seeing this article I’m now very tempted to upgrade that to a suit. My only hesitation is I don’t know when I’d wear the full suit (I’m in business suits during the week and either smart casual or evening wear the rest of the time).

With that in mind, do you think a single breasted jacket would be able to be worn as a separate, perhaps with black or indigo jeans or even chinos or khaki cavalry twill trousers?

Many thanks.

Ben

Flair and drama are what I want in a bespoke suit, and it’s hard to beat Sexton along these lines. Wonderful piece.

Thomas

Beautiful suit Simon. I like that you also enjoy wearing it with a roll neck. Like you have mentioned previously a suit without a tie isn’t a great look. When I look at my suits I think that perhaps the best way to fully enjoy them in a world were ties are sadly increasingly rare would be to wear roll necks more frequently. Using different roll neck fabric weights depending on the season. Perhaps a future article topic to get your views on different ways to combine suits and roll necks !! Have a very Happy New Year Simon.

Aaron

Is it me or do the shoulders look… divot-y? Is it something else?

Per

Once again an interesting and useful article, Simon. Considering it being flannel, how would you say the fabric has lasted, especially in the seat of the trousers? How much wear have you given the suit? I have commissioned flannel suits and separate trousers, but I constantly find the cloth tearing a little too quick, and I now hesitate further commissions. Maybe it’s mainly a matter of choosing a better fabric:)

George

Simon hi and i wish you all the best to you and your family for the new year. The suit is really a piece that stands out and i can imagine many situations to wear it. But what is with your hair ? You always are very good groomed and here you have some longer hair left. Have you ever considered to shave your head ? I have a very similar head shape and im shaving the head for like 2 years. If never tried its worth it for sure.

George

Ah ok, i thought you had a problem with the clippers causw it happened to me once 5 years ago and i didnt notice at all. I find the shorter hair make you look a lot younger so it was a good choice to do so 🙂

Eugene

I imagine that Mr. Sexton and Mr. Morgan are both getting on in age considering how long they’ve been cutting. When they eventually retire, is there a younger tailor who cuts with the same style of lapel and shoulder?

Stephen Dolman

Hi Eugene,
Although I haven’t any personal experience of him, an extremely well dressed friend of mine had a suit made by Francis Paley who trained with Joe Morgan
I have yet to see it, but he’s very pleased with it
Regards
Stephen Dolman

Jay W

Hi Simon- I hope you and yours have a blessed New Year! Thank you for sharing the suit. Can you comment on the button choice you made (color, tone, horn, etc)- I have always found that helpful in choosing buttons myself. Thanks in advance for anything you share.

Brendel

A an absolute knock out – doesn’t need any other descriptive

Brett

Love it. My favorite of all your suits. This is a perfect example of when people say that a suit is one of the only garments that can truly change the shape of your body. I mean this in the best, most flattering way. It looks elegant, refined and finished. Not to say that your other suits don’t, but not to this effect and appeal.

William Kazak

As a photographer, your’s,as pictured here, needs a lesson or two in how to dress for an event.

Manolo

I like the trousers (despite the length here) more than the coat. Over all, though, the look is less crisp than I’d prefer for that amount of money spent. Somewhat sloppy. The roping is quite excessive.

Neil Kirby

I think if you’re going to wear a double-breasted suit it should make no apologies, and have ‘statement’ lapels like this one; it looks elegant, but I’ve lost count of the number of times the DB suit was announced to be ‘making a comeback’, I think the last time I wore them was in the mid-1980s when I bought several Hugo Boss versions, a time when Boss were at their peak using high quality Italian cloths, and when they outnumbered SB suits 3-1.

I would prefer a wider trouser, which could take a turn-up, I don’t think it suits the slimmer trouser, or particularly needs it.

Misbah

Simon

I have a pair of shoes in nightshade, much as I like them, i struggle to pair them with many outfits. Your pair look more muted than mine, I’m thinking of using black polish to subdue the colour and make them more versatile. Any suggestions?

David Starzyk

VERY NICE and a piece of history, really; I was lucky enough to by a vintage Tommy Nutter on eBay…three-piece that I am sure was cut by the venerable Mr. Sexton. Simon, might I ask a question? (this is probably not the place, but I don’t know where else to pose this query!) Recently I found a BEAUTIFUL black vintage YSL DB, 6 on 3, made in France, probably blessed by The Master himself; must be at least 40-50 years old. The fabric is great, the cut magnificent, and it fits me like a glove. HOWEVER, (and it’s a BIG however!) it has NOTCHED LAPELS! I love it but it looks…wrong? I see in some films from the 60’s and 70’s, that once in a while a DB with notched lapels shows up, so I know it was a “thing”. Any thoughts? Any help? Anything at all? Happy New Year to you and your family, and anyone reading this!!!! Enjoy and stay safe!!!!!

R

Hi Simon,

For a jacket with such built up shoulders, do you find yourself having to wear a different style of shirt (perhaps one with longer points or a taller collar) in order to harmonize the overall look?

Also, I know that you already done separate break downs on your C&M, Edward Sexton, and G&H (cut by Davide Taub) suits, but it would be nice to have an article that did a side-by-side comparison of the shoulders of all three. There seems to be so much variation to the heavily built-up shoulder style of English tailoring (how padded, some appear to be more square, others appear to have a concave/pagoda shape etc), so it would be nice to have an article which runs through all of the small details. Perhaps you could even also include military tailors like Huntsman or Dege…

Regards

Otávio Silva

I don’t know if it is the photography, but judging by the symmetry of the lapels, it looks like the anchor button is not being used. Am I correct?

Aabraham

Simon

Fit overall looks good. I am personally a fan of the British style shoulder, with roping. The longer vent gives an elegant look.
I do have a couple fit concerns as an expert working in the industry. For the amount of money paid and time spent talking about shoulder fit, the back and sides of jacket are negatively impacted by not accounting for your exact shoulder slope. This causes the jacket to collapse in the back creating the diagonal creases above armpits, and the rippling below armpits on the side of rib cage. If the shoulders are already extensively padded, adding a little more to clean up the look won’t hurt at this point. I would recommend addressing with them. I can also say they should’ve acknowledged it in the multiple rounds of fittings you had. They knew you’d be photographed and could’ve done a better job accounting for your shoulder slope. It’s a little unprofessional.

82399FE3-CA5E-4081-8C86-5102667BEC48.jpeg
Ollie E

Hey Simon,

This suit is beautiful!

I recently had delivery of a black velvet SB from Sexton & we’re doing a few tweaks to it. Being used to the closeness of C&M, I was surprised to see how relaxed Sexton’s waists are (you may remember me asking about it a while back on your offshore article with the linen DB).

Upon delivery, I was unsure whether I’d like that fuller cut, but over time, the comfort & appearance has really grown on me. There’s something very ‘Art Deco’ about it & I find myself thinking up different fabrics & designs for the next order (which I’m sure you can resonate with!).

A question for you… The backseam refers to the curvature of the seam & how close it’s cut to the back. Is waist suppression related to the sides? & if so, what terminology would you use for the area around the buttoning point (& how close it sits to the body).

Ollie E

Got it, Thank you Simon

OP

Can the shape of these side seams be altered by after the jacket is completed? What’s the limit to wait suppression? How much freedom does one have to change this aspect of a jacket later on?

OP

Thank you, Simon.

Peter

I wonder if you might consider doing a piece on ‘posing in tailoring for photographs’ ? I don’t mean that to come across as vain – it’s just that there are circumstances in most peoples’ lives (weddings, work/corporate pictures, etc) where such photos will be taken and I for one feel like I could use some advice on avoiding stiffness! Given your by this point ample experience Simon I think you’d be well placed to provide it. Best wishes, Peter

Peter Hall

Building photography is how I earn my crust, but

d43eb5_50b8169f08e246fa8883263846a845d1~mv2.jpg
Carl

Hi Simon,

I am thinking about buying my first DB suit and are thinking about different cloth. I want some texture but think that woolen flannel could make the suit difficult to wear in more corporate/professional settings. But I dont really want a plain worsted. Is worsted flannel a good compromise. I have also been looking at the Harrisons Frontier cloth.

Carl

Thanks! I will try to find a worsted with a bit of texture/structure.