A good magician never reveals his tricks, how about a good tailor?
Well you're in luck.
As a tailor it's a little odd to speak of "irregular" body shapes as a deviation from the norm. Tailors know that nearly all men and women have some peculiarities. In fact the perfectly proportioned symmetrical person that off-the-peg clothing is designed for, are a tiny minority.
As the lockdown continues here in Delhi I felt this was the perfect opportunity to delve deep into some of the smoke and mirrors that can be created with the right choices.
Today I'll be looking at men with long torso's & short legs followed by men with short torso's and long legs. Not to be confused with tall or short people, this is a difference in balance between top and bottom half that can apply people of all heights.
I will share some of things I do in cutting & styling advice offered for these body types. Along with additional pieces to compliment your Vanguard Bespoke wardrobe.
These tricks are as applicable to women as they are for men.
Any tailor worth his salt will assess torso balance first and foremost. Take a look at the red dotted line, this is the base of the crotch on an average man. It is around half way between the shoulders & the floor.
In the left illustration the torso is shorter and legs are longer. In the right the torso is longer and legs are shorter.
I'm going to look at the Longer Torso with Shorter Legs first.
This is quite common for people with stocky builds, guys who have prominent tummies and some are just born that way.
If you find shirts can be too short to stay tucked in, along with trousers you buy in stores being too long, you may well fall into this category.
Below are some top tips & cutting secrets for balancing this body figuration.
Things to avoid:
Shorter Torso, longer legs
Men and women alike prefer longer legs. Studies have shown that both sexes find longer legs more appealing than shorter legged counterparts. Not just on women but also on men.
In fashion magazines and adverts (men's included) it is normal for editors to lengthen the models legs in photoshop by 10-15%.
So if you fall into this category congratulations, you may be secretly envied by your colleagues and more desired!
That said, here we are talking about tailoring tricks to create balance, so I'm going to give you tips on making the torso appear longer and legs shorter.
If you think you fall into this category you should find that off-the-peg shirts & tops are too long AND trousers you buy in stores are too short in the inseam.
I hope you found these tips informative. As mentioned at the start of the article having a regular body shape is irregular. 90% of men have some oddities and knowing your own body type can help you dress better.
For women readers you can apply the same logic to feminine dress. For example the advice on waistcoat openings can equally apply to dress or blouse necklines.
Come back in the following days, I will be sharing more cutting secrets & tips for the whole gambit of different shapes. From apples to pears & triangles to squares!
As the world takes a breath and stays home, this may become the biggest "netflix and chill" season ever.
Here at Vanguard Bespoke we will be staying home, using the time to finely tune what we do & eagerly await the storm to pass to resume operations.
We would like to highlight some of our top stylish movies for men in cinema through the ages. A source of dressing inspiration even if you're mainly dressed in your pajamas right now. By no means a definite list, just some that we love!
The Thomas Crown Affair 1968 & 1999
The first making of this film is THE film that made Steve McQueen a style icon of the time. Interestingly it is said that Sean Connery turned down this movie and it is one of his biggest regrets. The 1999 version sees another Mr Bond, Pierce Brosnan take the lead role.
Both movies feature the stars as rich playboys attempting to pull of a robbery/heist and allow the viewer to revel in their exuberant and stylish luxury.
The costume designers of both films show how to make timeless looks through the main characters, turning to veteran tailors of the time that created quite similar silhouettes for both films. The tailor for the original film was a stalwart from Savile Row and the remake a Milan based tailor very popular with the Hollywood A-list.
Both movies are great inspirations for classic 3-piece suits & we find the casual wear from the film equally classy and inspiring.
Interesting suit fact about the 1999 version, Pierce Brosnan, who was still Bond at the time, had a clause in his Bond contract that he could not be a film attending a black tie event wearing a black tuxedo. To work around this they put him a midnight blue tuxedo, which was later made hugely popular by Daniel Craig playing Bond in Skyfall.
The Great Gatsby 1974 & 2013
Movies which we featured in our new year post about suits from the 1920's. Little did we know then that the parallels of the 1920's and 2020's would be mirrored by epidemics rather than beautiful tailoring! You can read that post here.
Both movie's are a treasure trove of inspiration for tailoring fans, set in the roaring 20's at the height of inter war excess. Stylistically 2 quite different films but both featuring an enormous variety amount of sharply tailored & interesting suits.
Our favourite's are Robert Redford's light coloured suits, the baby pink 3-piece above in particular. Also in the remake Tobey Maguire's trim cut 3 piece tweed with a contrasting waistcoat is an amazing look.
Both films could be accused of style over substance but who cares, they are a visual treat!
Set at the opening of what is supposed to be the most glamorous and opulent building of the time in San Fransisco at the peak of the disco era. Tuxedo's with overly wide lapels, frilly shirts, oversized bow ties, flared trousers, aviator glasses & safari jackets.
If you haven't seen it yet, we're sure you can guess from the name that there is a fire and this epic (nearly 3 hours) features the all star cast fighting through a night as the fire engulfs the building. Special mention to Faye Donaway's iconic dress from the film, a gorgeous sheer beautifully cut gown that somehow makes it through to the end of the film.
The interesting choice's made in A Single Man is the colour palette of suits, brown features heavily. It is sound advice to stick with a palette of very adaptable Navy's and Grey's. The brown suits that are featured cross a fine line of being dark enough to look distinguished in the winter, yet light enough to wear throughout the summer. A brown suit offers the wearer something of an old world academia charm, exceedingly dignified and effortlessly relaxed.
Casino - 1995
Martin Scorsese's 3 hour long epic of the underbelly of Las Vegas has such attention to detail in the costume department. Sharon Stone shines bright in beaded gowns and furs but it's Robert De Niro's incredibly varied wardrobe of suits that we love.
He does not shy away from colour and occassionally mixes it up sprezzatura style, bringing out the rakish personality of the character perfectly.
The Talented Mr Ripley - 1999
Clothing features heavily in the narrative of this film, a 1999 remake of a classic from the 60's starring Jude Law & Matt Damon.
Ultimately about Matt Damon's character Tom Ripley who emulates Jude Law's Dickie who is a perfect example of the jet-setting bourgeois of the late 50's. The opening scene for example sees Mr Ripley donning 3 different jackets as he takes on different characters, something that runs throughout the movie.
But what we love most about this film is seeing the 1950's American Ivy League tailoring in all it's glory on the colourful Italian Riviera. Also the sharp contrast between Italian and American tailoring of the time is very evident to see.
That's all from us for now, maybe you think some are missing from this list? Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.
Note - We have purposefully left off all of James Bond movies, though many deserve to be here. As we continue to self isolate we are planning to re-watch them all in order so tune in next week for our round up of James Bond's suits through the ages from a tailors perspective.
Following on from our pockets post last week, we would like to look at another option that "maketh the suit", vents.
When talking about jackets, a vent is a vertical opening at the base of the jacket normally to just above the seat area. Originally created for horseback riding their purpose remaining largely unchanged, to give ease of movement and retain the lines of jacket when sitting and moving.
With a little less variety than pockets there are 3 options to choose from, none, one & two, each with some benefits. We will start with Vanguard's favourite, two vents.
Two vents - AKA side vents/double vents
This style is also suitable for nearly all body shapes. Men who have a slightly stooped posture, a curved lower back or a prominent seat will find jackets with one vent do not hang so well.
One vent - AKA single/centre vent
This option is traditionally part of the American cut. It’s somewhat of a compromise between two vents and none, offering some freedom of movement when sitting. As mentioned above it’s not suitable for all body shapes.
Traditionally this was the Italian cut. For everyday work suits we do not advise this option as the wearer can find movement restrictive. Also when sitting unless you completely take off your jacket you will find the back seat area can become crushed. That said there are a few occasions when no vents are advisable.
When creating a bespoke jacket there are near countless options & combinations of these options to choose from. One of the most important ones to completing the look is choosing the right pocket style. A few things need to be taken into consideration such as fabric, the cut, the lapel design, end use of the suit, the wearer's body shape & personal style can all factor. To an untrained eye it can be simple to go for the safest option, in the hands of one of our experts we can guide you through this process seamlessly.
Here will run through 6 main pocket styles and give some insight into what they can offer your look.
1. Patch pockets
Vanguard offers a few different styles with patch pockets, from the clean plain patch to the box pleated and flapped.
Patch pockets give a more casual feel to a jacket and thus they work particularly well on a casual/weekend piece in tweed, linen, cotton & seersucker. They look really great on bold over-check jacketing fabrics but will take the overall look into the casual realm.
2. Slanted pockets
These used to sit in the more casual styling of a lounge suit but times have changed!
We like a slanted pocket in combination with a peaked lapel &/or a 1 button jacket as it creates flattering lines on the body. On stripes these look great but we normally advise against them on check fabrics as it goes against the square pattern of the cloth. We also make an extreme slant on the pocket for the more adventurous patron!
3. Straight flapped pockets
This is the traditional business suit pocket, it looks clean, totally functional, you can’t really go wrong. Along with all styles of flapped pockets the flaps can be tucked in to look like a flapless jetted pocket for a cleaner look. We prefer these on checked cloths as it follows the lines of the fabric & double breasted to follow the alignment of the buttons.
4. Jetted pockets
These are essentially the same as the flapped pocket just minus the flaps. As a flapped pocket gives you the option to tuck in or tuck out your flap (thus creating 2 different looks) we prefer to always go with flaps except in a few circumstances.
It is still uncouth to have a flapped pocket on dressier jackets such as tuxedos and morning jackets. When choosing a more modern style with piped edges and contrast detailing (such as our patron in the photo above) this cleaner pocket can emphasize those details.
5. Ticket pockets
We love ticket pockets. Do read our separate blog all about the humble ticket pocket and it’s history. We feel this gives a jacket a slight dandy & bespoke touch. Originally for tickets (hence the name) we find it very handy for business cards.
This works well on larger frames who chose plain fabrics, as it helps to break up a large expanse of one colour. A ticket pocket can (and we feel should!) be added to patch, slanted, flapped and jetted pockets.
Wishing all here in India a Happy Republic Day!
We hope you enjoy this sartorial post on “buttoning etiquette”.
Interestingly and lesser known, the "sometimes, always, never" rule for jackets also dates back to King Edward VII.
It was during his time that the modern day lounge suit started to appear, originally as a 3 button single breasted jacket as a more comfortable dress for riding. As it was a riding jacket the bottom button had to be undone as it fell below the waistline. This new style of jacket became hugely popular during Edward’s reign and he decided that it “looked common” to wear with the top button fastened, thus leaving just the middle button to fasten his coat.
And so began another trend that goes on to this day.
For more fun facts, suiting advice & impeccable tailoring book an appointment with one of our tailoring experts today!
Through the ages storytelling has taken many forms; including the written word, song, dance, painting, couture looks and designer collections. Every human culture has a method of storytelling, each is uniquely special and beautiful in a myriad of ways. Nearly all share a common theme, passing on the history of a culture to the next generation.
To share a couple of interesting examples:
Native Hawaiians passed their values, traditions, history and cultural practices through chants, song, hula and verse. ‘Mele Hula’ meaning song and dance are chants performed with dance and/or musical instruments. What is really interesting here, is that the Hula dancers don’t dance to the beats of music but to the words of tales of mythology and creation. Without the words the dance means nothing.
The Bayeux Tapestry in all it’s beauty captures a historical event that changed a country, the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Interestingly it is neither tapestry nor was it made in Bayeux.
It is eight strips of linen with embroidery work in different coloured woolen threads (to be a tapestry it would need to be woven not embroidered). The tapestry depicts a military invasion from the perspective of the victors, (history is always written by the winners!) It is a spirited telling of the story featuring nude figures & corpses, blood & gore, birds & beasts as well as scenes from fables, agriculture and hunting. No wonder it has been imitated by cartoonists in recent history, especially by political satirists.
After relocating Vanguard Bespoke’s HQ to Delhi, Mighel has been fascinated with the rich Indian culture that uses textiles and surface ornamentation to tell stories; from everyday scenes to epic tales. The techniques used themselves are as diverse as they are marvelous.
Supporting local craftspeople Vanguard Bespoke are now creating unique and modern scenes to adorn our suits and Bangladhalas. Rich in colour and decoration these fabrics create special pieces for special days, that will be cherished for a lifetime.
The pictures below will end up making a wedding tuxedo jacket. In midnight blue velvet, (made ever popular for tuxedo's today by Daniel Craig's James Bond) the jacket will feature an intricate scene in black and black metallic embroidery. This colour combination is a classy option for someone who wants to show an appreciation for this fine art form but still abide by some suiting norms; such as colour codes in tuxedo's.
In work with Vanguard Bespoke's craftspeople is another piece which has a little more pazazz. Based on an Indian safari theme it features lions, tigers, peacocks and cheetahs in a rich colour palette. Individually designed for one of our patrons this cloth is heavy with Zari-Zardosi hand embroidery, a single jacket can take up to three months to create. Once finished our talented tailors will sculpt the fabric into a perfectly fitted Wedding Bandhgala.
Should you wish to create such a special bespoke piece get in touch with our tailoring experts. As with every Vanguard Bespoke piece we will create something truly unique for you, just leave plenty of time for our the craftspeople to create their magic!
As we move into 2020 let's look back at 1920’s, the fashions and more importantly the suits that defined the era.
The roaring twenties, as they are known, had a lot going on; economic growth, jazz, art deco, androgyny and women's rights movements. A period of decadence between two world changing wars, the 1920's were one of the most influential in changing the fashion scene. Men and women started abandoning century old norms and embraced more comfortable styles.
A classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that was turned into a film, first in 1974 the again in 2013; an epic movie by Baz Luhrmann. The movie particularly exhibited the best of both casual and more formal twentie's styles. The formal diversity of men’s twenties style DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby showcased the best of neutral tailoring. Joel Edgerton’s (as Tom Buchanan) style displayed the sporty influence of the twenties and Toby Maguire’s (as Nick Carraway) hinged on a more playful aesthetic.
It was in 1923 that was the launch of the first ladies suit by designer Coco Chanel. The Chanel Suit was a collarless, boxy jacket and a straight or A-line skirt; the suits would often be decorated with braid trim or metallic buttons in jersey or a tweed made of boucle yarn which has a distinctive nubby appearance. Coco herself started sporting trouser suits in the 1920's but it took two more decades for trousers to become everyday acceptable wear for women.
One century on we find ourselves at a turning point in suiting norms not dissimilar to what we saw in the 1920’s. The 2020 modern man continues to embrace this formality but with playfulness of textures and colours and always keeping comfort in mind.
In 2020 Women’s equality and parity in the workplace is still not where it should be. Yet as more women break through the glass ceiling, the Women’s Power Suit is still a wardrobe staple, continuing the legacy started a century ago by the suffragettes & Coco Chanel.
So in 2020, what roaring bespoke pieces will you be adding to your wardrobe?
Discuss it with our tailoring expert today
A form of wild silk, these mostly come from the Tussah or Tassar silk moth. The thread of the Tussahide spinner is coarser and uneven, giving our cloths a gorgeous slub effect similar to linen cloths. in comparison of the mulberry silk moth. Woven with a white weft and naturally dyed warp threads gives this fabric a denim outlook.
All the above processes gives peace silk a lightweight, soft, sumptuous and effortlessly elegant look which makes it a fantastic luxury fabric for the Asian subcontinent weather and occasions.
A blazer or bandhgala in these fabric is 20k INR,/24k BDT & a 2 piece suit for 30k INR/36k BDT. Featured here a skirt suit this fabric would tailor well for men and women alike. The denim feel and look of this fabric combined with the soft and sumptuous feel of the cloth will hit the smart/casual tailored look on the head.
Speak to your tailoring expert today to take a look at these limited edition and exclusive Vanguard Bespoke fabrics.
We all have friends that we 'benefit’ and enrich our lives from. You would ask a friend to help you pick out an outfit for an important day or if you had to pick a restaurant, wouldn’t you go by the recommendation of a friend rather than a flashy advertisement? The reason we do this is the trust we hold in our friends and loved ones.
So if you love our impeccable tailoring and trust us, you can help us get the ‘Vanguard Bespoke’ word out. As a special thank you, for every recommendation passed on (and we receive an order for a bespoke suit) you will receive a bespoke chino or a bespoke shirt from our luxury range, absolutely free!
We have been running this promotion for the past three months and have given away over 50 rewards to date. To show our ongoing appreciation for you; our valued patrons, we are extending this promotion until the end of November.
Everyone ‘benefits’, hence the title! :-)
There is no better advertisement than a recommendation & our happy patrons wearing more Vanguard Bespoke creations than before.
In our ongoing ending quest to curate and bring the best tailoring fabric library to our customers, we are very excited to start carrying some books from another UK mill, Bateman & Ogden.
Nowadays, for the traditional gentleman these make great blazers for sporting events such as regattas and cricket matches. For the more fashion-savvy, these would make statements pieces that can easily be teamed up with chinos or jeans.
For women especially these would make excellent business and semi-formal dress. These striking stripes would make a bold statement and the stripes would add an elongating appearance.
Blazers in these luxurious British fabrics are available from:
25k INR, 30k BDT, 350 GBP
Book an appointment today to see these beautiful fabrics in a diverse range of modern stripes
Welcome to the Vanguard journal. Here you can find some great suit tips & learn about our products.