September 09th, 2020
It has been a while since we updated the progress of our campaign. Things got really SO SO busy at Vanguard HQ, we have been working round the clock to keep up with demand for our #dashingmasks4india.
To date we have sold over 6000 masks (!) and donated over 32,000 meals from the proceeds of dashing masks.
Throughout the summer as countries have opened up we have been shipping our masks all over the world. From New Zealand to Botswana, Trinadad & Tobago to the Philippines our campaign has really gone global and we are humbled by the response to our small idea which grew into something much bigger than we initially conceived.
As with anything that scales rapidly there were some hurdles to overcome...
Scaling up the meal donations in the way were doing them at the start of the campaign - volunteers visiting poor areas & busy transport hubs around the city, became impossible to manage on scale. So we enlisted the help of a network of local NGO's that shared our vision. Our #dashingmasks4india campaign is now funding a number of projects providing meals to those in need. At the moment this includes lunches for children in slums in Mumbai, soup kitchens outside hospitals in Delhi & a meals on wheels van that visits slum areas in and around Delhi.
While we couldn't find a way to continue to support street food vendors, this change came at a time when Delhi was opening up and moving again so our support was less critical. As the NGO's we work with were better organized in this sector our average meal donation per mask has now gone up to just over 6 meals per mask - which is pretty awesome!
We also had to double the size of our factory. Mighel (Vanguard founder) quite literally got moved into the broom cupboard to make way for more craftspeople to have space in our workshop to make our dashing masks. He did manage to turn this into a compact & cozy office!
Along with more tailors we have taken on 2 apprentice women, one in tailoring and another in admin which are doing brilliantly. Working with another partner NGO Vanguard is aiming to provide training to women from our local community to help them gain skills & financial independence.
Our distribution in the UK got a little more organized last month. While we were (and are) eternally grateful to the volunteers who helped us overcome direct distribution hurdles by packing envelopes, the time came where the amount of orders were too much for 3 volunteers to handle. So we have now switched to a packing and distribution warehouse, enabling us to ship even more masks in a quicker time!
A designer collaboration with long time friend and very talented designer Manish Bansal was launched exclusively on Etsy last week.
We have updated our standard design to include a bendable nose bridge and internal filter pocket as standard. Many new colours and designs have been added to our ranges.
The disco ball mask
Some limited edition exclusive prints on silky bembergs & linens
Ikat cotton 3 packs
Pastel linen 3 packs
Madras check 3 packs
A blue camo vote mask - Trump leave the veterans alone!
And as of today you can customize any of our masks with an initial, a heart or 5-6 letter word. Using studs, springs, chains, sequins (& anything shiny!) this new addition adds a personal unique touch to our masks which we love.
Head over to our Etsy store to see all the fun stuff!
July 05th, 2021
We have just crossed 1000 masks & 6000 meals donated!
Through our 6 feeding points across the city of Delhi our group of volunteers have given out over 6000 meals, 6000! This has all happened in just 1 month since we launched #dashingmasks4india on 3rd June. To these kind volunteers - who are not just giving up time but taking the risk to step out of home and help the vulnerable, while the pandemic continues, we salute you!
We are adding some new designs & colourways to our collection, coming this week visit our Etsy store to purchase!
June 17th, 2020
Our designer made this simply illustration to show how the wearing of face masks helps everyone right now.
Our dashing masks are available online for just $4.99.
A non-profit, 1 mask = meals for 5.
June 10th, 2020
Things got a little busy here at Vanguard HQ after our #dashingmasks4india launch last week. The feedback on our superb masks & non-profit campaign has been incredible.
There were a few hiccups in the first few days! Face mask promotions are currently banned online worldwide (grrr FB & google!) & a never ending stream of paperwork needed to currently export masks out of India. It seemed like an uphill struggle but we got there!
Today we are sending a large batch to London. Giving us 2 distribution centres (India & UK), deliveries of #dashingmasks4india will be even quicker & more cost effective, no matter where you are.
So far this week we have received orders & meal donations equaling 826 meals! We will be distributing them at multiple locations in Delhi over the coming week.
A superb number for our first full week of sales!
With the whole weekend still to go we would love to reach 1000 meals in our first week - it's just such a nice number!
That's only 35 masks we need to sell to reach this awesome milestone.
So if you have been planning to get dashing and order some #dashingmasks4india visit our website or Etsy store & order your masks now - the sale of just 1 mask feeds 5 people!
Next week we will be hiring 1 new tailor so we can keep up with making #dashingmasks4india.
The benefits of our masks are really 4 fold:
1. You look dashing & stay safe.
2. Made in India at our socially responsible (and rather lovely) workshop we are creating jobs when they are direly needed.
3. All profits provide meals for people in India who are suffering from the fallout of Covid-19. Just 1 mask feeds 5!
4. By only using street food vendors to provide our free meals we are giving these micro business owners a much needed boost.
It's not just a win win - it's a win, win, win, win!
Stay Safe - Be Stylish - Do Good
June 01st, 2020
Launching today - #dashingmasks4india
Today we are excited to launch our #dashingmasks4india campaign.
We have created a uniquely well fitted & fashionable mask in over 40 unisex designs. Hand crafted in our own tailoring workshop & using only the finest materials that offer different levels of filtration.
Choose from seersuckers, printed linens, check cottons, luxury jacquard weave shirtings, sequins & velvets!
From only $4.99 (USD) / ₹349 (INR).
All profits from #dashingmasks4india will be used to provide meals for people in India who desperately need them.
Just one mask will provide five meals.
A set of five masks - to see you through Monday-Friday - will feed twenty five people!
Shipping internationally (and pan India)
Regular (adult) & small (teenager) sizes available in all designs
Visit our Etsy Store to snap up your today!
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.
Vanguard's guide to jacket vents
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!
Welcome to the Vanguard journal. Here you can find some great suit tips & learn about our products.