Richard To The Rescue
Our customer Michael Bradford catches Richard in the Savile Row store and presents him with a teaser about trousers:
“I’m keen on having turn-ups on my trousers. I’ve seen a few different heights on them. Some look like they’re almost 2 inches. The trousers I want are quite narrow and tapered. What do you recommend?”
“Turn-ups, or cuffs as they are known in the United States, have seen a bit of a revival recently.
“Classically, the height of turn-ups is 1 1/2 inches, but people are now going up to 2 inches. Such a turn-up will work nicely on trousers like Oxford bags, for instance, with a high waist and a bigger, more balancing waistband. Generally speaking and for your purposes, however, I prefer a height of 1 3/4 inches, which is neither too big or too small.
“The other important thing to consider when you’re thinking about turn-ups is the length of your trousers. With a turn-up finish you can’t slant the hem of your trousers to make the back a little longer, so if you’re wearing narrower trousers with turn-ups, I suggest you wear them a touch shorter in length than you normally would. This will ensure that there is no heavy break to obscure and bunch your turn-ups.
“And do remember that one very good thing about turn-ups is that if you decide you don’t like them, you can very easily have them removed and a plain hem reinstated.
“So you’ve got nothing to lose by giving them a go, really.”
In a tizzy about your own trousers? Got a clobber query? Why not let Richard know about it and see if he can ride to your rescue?
Bespoke customer and aficionado Michael Burt is in touch to alert Richard to his qualms about outshining his less immaculately dressed superiors in the workplace:
“I have just started a new job in media. Everyone is really casual, but I like to dress smartly, in a suit. Is it bad that I look smarter than my boss? I don’t want to be the guy who everyone thinks is a bit of a dress snob and a knob.”
Over, without further ado, to Richard:
“You can see in this lovely sketch that Irene did of me pondering your question in the bespoke store that I am wearing a t-shirt. And were you able to see my feet, you would also see that I am wearing a pair of our new, nicely understated deerskin Paragon sneakers. With a smart grey flannel suit, Michael. With a suit.
Smart doesn’t mean stiff, so my advice is that you continue to turn out as you like to in a suit and so remain true to your sensibilities, but effortlessly ease into your new environment by dressing it down a bit with sneakers or a polo shirt or a t-shirt or light Merino crew neck, for example.
And, finally, don’t forget the magic powers of suede shoes, which automatically soften any look. As do suede sneakers, doubly so.”
Got a clobber conundrum of your own? Why not let Richard know about it and see if he can ride to your rescue?
A question for a whiskery Richard from our soon-to-be client George Healing, who is in a muddle about made-to-measure:
Mr Healing: “I’m about to have my first made-to-measure suit done. I’m unsure about what cloth and what colour to choose. It’s not for work, just something to wear to weddings, functions, parties and dinners. Can you help? I just don’t want to look like a banker.”
Straight to Richard: “I believe that grey and blue suits are the most versatile. Blue has a zing to it, while grey is subtle and elegant. Of course, there are many shades of blue. I’m wearing a dark grey and blue blend today, a mixture of the two colours, which is also perfectly modest and adaptable.
“But, that said, I’ve always said that when you’re buying a suit, you should always ask yourself what you’re going to be wearing it for, exactly. There are suits and there are suits and what works for a wedding, which you mention, might not work for a party, which you also mention. And what works for a winter wedding, might not work for a summer wedding… So bear in mind the weight of the cloth and how the suit is cut as well as the cloth and colour.
“And don’t worry too much about looking like a banker, by the way. We know some that dress very well indeed…”
Why not send us your clothing conundrums and see if Richard can come to your rescue?
A question comes from Mr Elliot Cosgrove.
“Any tips for Christmas present shopping, Richard? I find it a terrible bind and I tend to get it horribly wrong.”
Straight to Richard, who we found busy at work in the Savile Row store (right):
“I can’t think of many worse things than putting people through the awful act of thanking you, quite possibly in front of an audience, for something they neither like or need. And then, if the present isn’t right, you’re obliged to put yourself through the very boring process of returning it and getting something else. Or, worse still, they, the recipient, offers to return the present, so you have to give them the receipt, which – if you haven’t already lost it… – means you end up revealing how much you’ve spent on them…
“So, for that reason, I tend to play it safe when it comes to Christmas present giving. I think of classic, non size-specific – returning something that doesn’t fit is another bore for everyone concerned – practical items. Not what you might expect from me, I know, but there you go… Think scarves, beanies, wallets, card holders or, indeed, cufflinks. Or, of course, if you’re pushing the boat out, you could – to mix and match my euphemisms – take a slightly different tack and buy someone a bespoke suit. We can cut a suit to fit anyone and in my mind there’s nothing quite a as special and wholly personal as a Richard James Bespoke suit.
“I mentioned cufflinks, because I’m giving these here (right) from the Bespoke store to a very good friend this Christmas. They’re made of solid silver and pearls, so are as simple and understated as they are special. Button cuffs are far more popular these days, but you still need a pair of cufflinks to wear with evening wear to add that extra little bit of polish. They meet the criteria of being classic, non size-specific and practical. There will be trouble if he doesn’t like them.”
Our customer Stephen McCarthy is in a quandary about jackets for slightly more casual wear.
“I want to get a new jacket to wear with jeans. However, some jackets seem bum freezer short. Is this just a current trend? And if I buy such a jacket, will I look out of date in two years time?”
Over to who else but Richard: “Ultimately, these things always come down to personal taste and, importantly, what suits your height and build. But if you’re talking about something really short and boxy I fear you might look a little out of date on putting it on for the first time, never mind in a couple of years. Better a bomber jacket if you want to freeze your bum.
“I’ve been wearing a beautiful, timeless rust Harris tweed jacket (pictured) with Richard James jeans recently. It’s cut from what has become known as our modern classic Hyde block, which means it’s quite slim and waisted. And – and this might interest you – it’s also the easiest of our jackets to alter. We can expertly and invisibly alter pretty much any part of a jacket from chipping in the shoulders to nipping in the waist and, of course, making it shorter in the sleeves or body. So my answer is to not be dictated to by the dictums of current trends and choose a jacket that you feel good in and, if you want, make some minor tweaks and changes to it to really make it your own ”
Scratching your head about matters sartorial? Why not let us know about it and see if Richard can come to your rescue?
Michael Monk recently put the following to Richard in the Savile Row store: “I saw these cravats in your AW14 London Collections: Men show. When and where should I be wearing one? I feel there’s a lot of scope to get it wrong.”
Richard replied thus: “They’ve had a bad press for a while, haven’t they? They’re seen as being a bit what everyone now calls ‘Gin ‘n’ Jag’, a bit Home Counties golf club, a bit brass-buttoned blazer and Panama hat. I don’t have anything against brass-buttoned blazers, Panama hats or, as you can see, cravats. But on their own. All at once and you’re conforming to dangerous stereotype.
“Just think of a cravat as a more casual alternative to a tie. Or consider one when you’re thinking of not wearing a tie. Cravats are another way of adding a bit of colour and contrast. And one thing that no one seems to mention about them, particularly silk cravats, is what an absolute pleasure they are to wear. There are few better sensations than having a nice bit of loosely knitted silk around the neck.”
If you ever find yourself wondering about what you are or are considering wearing and would like Richard to ride to your rescue with some sound advice, please contact us via Twitter.
On the runway at our AW14 London Collections: Men show. Grey flannel dinner suit, tan chambray shirt and a brown and turquoise Arabesque silk cravat.
Backstage at our AW14 London Collections: Men show. Brown and pink quad windowpane suit with a purple and pink Arabesque silk cravat.
Backstage at our AW14 London Collections: Men show. Aubergine corduroy suit with a burgundy and red leaves silk cravat.
Richard James Spring/Summer ’13 Cornflower suede jacket, white long sleeved linen polo shirt and white cotton shorts.
An important question for Richard about shirts from Tony Derham:
“What are the rules regarding shirts being in or out?”
Straight to Richard:
“Generally, shirts worn with a suit should be tucked in. Without a suit, it’s down to you. Though, that said, more casual shirts – especially tees – are always better out. Unless you’re Marlon Brando, of course.”
Why not let us know about your style quandaries and see if Richard can come to your rescue?
Gingham, a Prince of Wales check and polka dots at Richard James Savile Row
A question, via Twitter, from Jamie Royston-Smith of Berkshire: “What about men wearing prints? Camo, paisley, polka dots…?”
Over to Richard:
“I’m assuming that you mean mixing different prints and patterns. Basically, I’m in favour. But be careful. Don’t try to be too clever – this is a look that should appear to have been thrown together and not thought about too much. And think about colour as much as pattern. The colours above work beautifully and rather meld the whole look together. And you can see that to add more pattern with the tie would overcomplicate things and render the whole look a complete disaster. You’ve got to know when to put the brakes on.”
In the dark about how to dress? Why not let us know about it and see if Richard can ride to your rescue?
Above: Grey and dark red two-button Prince of Wales suit, red and black gingham check contemporary fit shirt, bottle green knitted silk tie and a chocolate cotton pocket square. All available from the Savile Row shop.
Richard James waxed canvas olive Stortford desert boots and narrow trousers in the Savile Row storeroom
“Narrow trousers… De rigueur at the moment, but what do I do if I’ve got big feet?” A question that was recently put to us by a customer (name withheld) in the Savile Row shop.
Over to Richard: “I’ve got big feet, size 11. 12 is the biggest shoe size we stock. Now, I like slim trousers, but I like them to touch, or rather kiss, my shoes. Wear your trousers too short and a slim ankle like mine can rather amplify the size of your feet. That said, there really are no rules and it all depends on how conscious you are of your feet. If you’re happy looking like a 5-iron, then wear your trousers as slim as you like.”
In a tizz about your trousers or suchlike? Why not let us know about it and see if Richard can come to your rescue?
PS – The Stortford desert boots are also available in navy and sand.
Richard James woven leather belts
A question for Richard to ponder from our long time customer Mr Dennis Bond:
“If, as I often hear, the colour of my belt should match the colour of my shoes, should it also match the colour of my glasses? Or maybe the colour of my glasses should match the colour of my shoes? I ask because you too wear glasses and because I have my eye on one of those nice new green woven leather belts that you have in the Savile Row shop.”
Straight to the man himself: “I used to have one pair of my glasses in brown and one pair in black. Brown for brown shoes and black for black shoes. And I like to wear a brown watch strap with brown shoes and a black strap with black shoes. But you don’t want to be too pernickity and co-ordinated. You don’t want to look like you’ve just come off a production line. Basically, your glasses needn’t match your belt or shoes. So if you’re going to wear a green belt you don’t need to rush out and buy a pair of green glasses.”
A familiar face in glasses