How a tailor can make your dreams come true

No matter how conservative a bespoke suit's basic design, there are still countless options available that allow a client to make it his own and express his tastes. 

No matter how conservative a bespoke suit's basic design, there are still countless options available that allow a client to make it his own and express his tastes. 

Hello friends. An interviewer recently asked me what the most interesting bespoke commission I’ve ever had was. It was a tough question to answer, because the fact is, every bespoke commission is interesting. They’re all different.

Even if it’s something more straightforward, like a navy or grey suit, or a wedding tuxedo, there are always quirky elements that reflect the client’s individual tastes, personality or lifestyle. Or cool ideas I’ve had, which the customer often becomes open to after their second or third whisky! Making one-off garments that express who the client really is… That’s among the greatest joys of being a bespoke tailor — and from the client’s perspective, it’s possibly the best thing about being a bespoke tailoring patron.

You can walk into a designer boutique and buy something that reflects a brand (and that probably won’t fit you so well). Or you can go to a bespoke tailor and collaborate on creating clothes that speak of who YOU are (which also happen to fit like a dream).

Within the basic bounds of a traditional suit and shirt, it’s possible to be endlessly creative. A velvet double-breasted smoking jacket lined with a vintage Hermes scarf… A sportscoat in camouflage flannel… A shantung silk, mandarin-collar dinner suit… A blazer in vicuna! Can make. (And have made.)

Our brand director Christian Barker's despot-inspired suit. 

Our brand director Christian Barker's despot-inspired suit. 

But what the hell, man, bespoke isn’t just about suits. You wanna be the coolest dude on the golfcourse? How about some tailored check trousers with bad-ass pleats and a totally unique pique cotton polo shirt? A seersucker Harrington for the 19th hole. Or Loro Piana jeans and a matching denim jacket (the so-called ‘Texas Tux’) that fit you exquisitely? A Liberty-lined, linen safari jacket? A Cubano guayabera or a camp-collar Hawaiian shirt? Also can! Challenge yourself, challenge us — we’re raring to go. One of our clients just commissioned some bespoke floral cargo pants, they’re going to look brilliant. One of our team just made up a mandarin-collar glenplaid suit inspired by Bond villains and certain dictators’ style. (It’s Kim Jong ILL!)

Let’s go, guys. Ladies, too — don’t forget, we can make for you. Luxury brands are about buying into some designer’s “vision”. Bespoke is all about making YOUR dreams reality. The only boundaries are the breadth of your imagination.

Until next week,

Kevin

PS: If you must buy into a designer’s vision, try mine ;) Next week, we’ll be revealing imagery from the KEVIN SEAH BLACK lookbook shoot, showcasing our new, more youthful ready-to-wear range influenced by military garments, colonial style, angular Japanese fashion and the worlds of modern art, graffiti, skateboarding and surf culture. Like the Beastie Boys said, “It’s the new style” — “ch-ch-check it out!”

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How to buy a suit that will NEVER go out of style

Kevin Seah bespoke suits

Hello friends. As many of you will know from experience, here at Kevin Seah Bespoke, we favour a slightly wider lapel, like the four-inch example in the image at right. However it’s really down to proportions — a four-inch lapel will look skinny on a man of Schwarzenegger’s size, while on a slight guy, it might seem positively disco. 

The trick to buying a suit that will never fall out of fashion is ensuring the proportions are not only in key with your body size, but immune to trend. One of the most classically stylish men ever, Cary Grant put it well when he suggested that a gentleman should buy clothing “in the middle of fashion.”
 
He explained, “By that I mean they’re not self-consciously fashionable or far out, nor are they overly conservative or dated. In other words, the lapels are neither too wide nor too narrow, the trousers neither too tight nor too loose, the coats neither too short nor too long… simplicity, to me, has always been the essence of good taste.”

Writing for American magazine The Week in the early 1960s, Grant advised, “men’s clothes — like women’s — should attract attention to the best lines of a man’s figure and distract from the worst. In all cases, the most reliable style is in the middle of the road — a thoughtful sensible position in any human behavior. Except perhaps on the freeway — but, even then, the middle lane, providing of course, it’s on your side of the road, usually gets you where you’re going more easily, comfortably, and less disturbingly. And so it should be with clothes. They should be undisturbing, easy and comfortable.”

That’s one of the reasons why, at Kevin Seah Bespoke, we don’t have a strict ‘house style’ — instead, we cut suits to complement and flatter the individual client’s form. The athletic, broad-shouldered, wide-chested man will look better in an unstructured jacket with no roping at the shoulder, while the skinnier man will benefit from a bit of built-up shoulder padding. We’re happy to make either style, or something in between, with the lapel shape and width that suits you best.

Cary Grant NXNW.jpg

Get the proportions perfect for you, right down the middle of the road (as Mr Grant did with his famous grey suit from 1959’s North by Northwest, pictured here, a timeless sartorial classic that could easily be worn today), and you’ll have a suit that looks as sharp in 2018 as it will decades from now. 

Unless you’re an ideal 5’11” size 38 Regular, that might be difficult to purchase off the rack, so we suggest making an appointment with a good bespoke tailor. You won’t often find fashion-proof tailored perfection sold cash’n’Cary!
 
Until next week,
Kevin

PS: Did you know that Cary Grant used to have his jacket shoulders cut broader than usual to make his abnormally large head look smaller? Next week we’ll provide advice on how the height-challenged man can appear taller through the magic of tailoring. Let us know what else you’d like to see covered in future — email me: kevin@kevinseah.com

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