Friday, 18 March 2011

Designing suits with A Suit That Fits

So I've been out playing - my regular suit makers, A Suit That Fits (sponsored link, I get loyalty points for click-throughs but they cost the clicker nothing), had a few journalists and bloggers in, playing with suit design. None of your computerised stuff this time around - we had pencils, we had paper.

There were some good ideas on display by the time we'd finished. Mine were on the conservative (small "c") side. This blog is for males who don't want to look like a walking mid-life crisis and who've reached the age at which "young' is a memory rather than a reality. So I stuck with the classic suit outline, notched collar, dark blue birdeye material for a bit of texture and because it folds well when you move about. I put a velvet collar on for a bit of fun - this is a "going out" suit rather than something for business, a touch of John Steed for us mid-lifers. One of the staff knew what I was talking about when I said that; the other one, when I said it was supposed to be a bit Avengers, probably assumed I was going to dress up as Captain America.

I included silver striped lining so there's something good to notice when you whip the jacket off - if you're designing a suit never forget the lining. Two vents in the back because a single vent or no vent isn't very flattering on a larger bloke (euphemism alert there). Trousers with belt hoops rather than attachments for braces, a back pocket and definitely no turnups on the leg (my instinct is that these are going to take a long time to recover from their moment in the sun during the 1980s). I put in working butons on the cuff as another little detail people will notice if they're checking your style out.

I call it the "LifeOver35 suit", imaginatively, and if you're inspired to buy it made to measure you can - here's the link, all you have to do is add measurements. That's not a sponsored link, I get nothing whether you buy or not - working on the principal that nobody will.

As you'll gather, I have all the visual imagination of a myopic hamster. One of the staff said she liked my design and it "looked like a Suit that Fits suit", which tells you a lot! The guy from Men's Health was suitably ripped and designed a suit to emphasise the upper body, he called it the "muscle suit". I'd rather have something I can still wear in a few year's time and, how can I put this tactfully, those muscles don't last without a very large amount of work. A couple of other bloggers had more extreme ideas; narrow leg, a border around the lapel, shortened jacket and very slim fits on everything. Colour was a vital part of what they were about - the brighter the better in some cases. OK, but if you're being practical...

Maybe the idea wasn't necessarily to be practical the whole time. Speaking of unusual suits I saw something else while I was there; the company will next week launch suit designer Mighel's cotton suit. He developed it whilst coming into work sweltering last summer. It's an unstructured suit with less lining than you'd normally get, so it falls around your body shape - do not buy it if you look like me (my unstructured jacket I bought last year is a sight...) but if you're slim and reasonably well-exercised it could be a blessing if we get another heatwave.

Meanwhile there are still a couple of weeks to have a go at suits yourself and enter the Suit that Fits design competition, which you can enter by clicking here. The winner (again, that's not a sponsored link) gets their suit hand made to measure and it'll go into the A Suit That Fits online shop so other people can buy it, and you get a cut of the takings.

I might enter my own design. You never know, the judges might like myopic hamsters.

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