You Look Best in a Jacket — But Here's How to Stay Sharp in a Shirt

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Dear friends, welcome to the first of my new weekly newsletters. Let’s kick things off talking about suits and shirts, shall we?

It’s a fact: A man looks his best in a jacket. In the two centuries since Beau Brummell innovated the modern suit, tailors have pretty much perfected this garment, creating an item of clothing that hides a man’s imperfections and emphasises his better attributes, widening his shoulders and flattening his belly — making the short man stand tall and the average guy stand out. They say a suited gentleman has the same effect on women as a lady in lingerie has on males. Most of that’s down to the jacket — it’s magic.

Still, despite the fact that here at the Kevin Seah atelier, we make suit jackets, blazers and sports coats that are breezy, breathable and light as a feather, a lot of our clients prefer just to wear a nice tailored shirt. Okay, lah. If that’s what you’re after, we’ll craft you a beautiful made-to-measure or bespoke shirt from your choice of our incredible range of cloth.

We’ve just received the latest collection of fine cottons from Switzerland’s Alumo, which our friend Simon Crompton of Permanent Style says is “the best-known shirting name outside Italy. It is both a mill and a merchant, weaving everything itself … Alumo produces some very fine shirtings, but tends to be more classic in its collections”. Alumo turns out around a million yards of cloth per year — we’ll use a little less than two metres of that to make you a lovely shirt. (Prices for made-to-measure in Alumo cotton start around SG$400, bespoke from SG$650.)

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We also suggest you take a look at cloth from Italy’s Grandi & Rubinelli. “With a core team of just 35 people, all of its fabrics are produced on fewer than 15 looms,” Sonia Glyn Nicholson wrote on Parisian Gentleman (another sartorial-focused website we highly recommend). “Yet, even with its modest size, the Grandi & Rubinelli name has become known for design acumen and textile mastery. On the outskirts of Milan, high grade American Supima and West Indies Sea Island and Egyptian cotton are woven to produce very select shirting. Natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, cashmere, and silk are sourced with two-ply yarn to ensure strength properties. Thread counts (number of threads per square inch) can reach as high as the 200s.”

You know we’ve just opened our new atelier on Jalan Kilang, right? Come visit, sit down, relax, have a whisky — and get your shirt together. Ha!

Until next week,

—Kevin

PS: Have you seen the movie Borg vs. McEnroe? Amazing seventies tennis style. I’m getting inspired for some new polo shirts. Let us know what you’d like to see in our range, email me at kevin@kevinseah.com