YOUR questions, MY answers

Questions-and-Answers_C0077_032_c01_l

I wanted to take a moment to answer some of your questions. Keep them coming! (james@jamesfield.com)

Q:      Can you talk me through what kind of jacket a man should opt for according to his body shape?

A:        There is one thing that is vital – that the jacket fits – whatever body size you are.  With bespoke even those with a bigger frame can have good shape to their jackets, and there lies the talent of a good cutter. There is nothing worse than a suit that is too small. Some men feel that by having clothes tighter they are more streamline. This is rarely the case. By wearing something that is too small the wearer will in fact look bigger in it. For those who are taller and thinner a 2 button is better than a three button as this gives the wearer a better line into the waist. A three button can lead to looking a bit tubular which isn’t a good look. If you are buying ready to wear, while it might be more difficult to tick all the boxes, try to bear in mind as much as possible when buying.

Q:        Are there any tricks to the details of a jacket – the lapel, the pockets, and the vents – that can add the illusion of height or slimness?

A:        A jacket with a slim lapel won’t do any favours for a guy who is bigger. The art of a well fitted suit is the idea of proportion. Lapels should complement the width of shoulder. The jacket should be at the correct length – to cover your seat. Too long and you shorten your legs, too short and again it throws the proportion and balance. Having two vents is advisable for two reasons: Firstly it is practical and gives you good access to your trouser pockets. But most importantly it helps give the back of the jacket a good shape. From the shoulders the shapes comes into the waist and then out again. Naturally this emphasises a smaller waist. A single vent was often employed for hunting wear and would be on clothes worn on horseback. These days, worn on every day garments it can flair open so is not as flattering.

Q:        Are there any tips for patterns that complement a silhouette?

A:        What should men look out for or be wary of? If you are a smaller frame avoid wider stripes and big checks. Additionally the opposite can be said too. If you are of a bigger frame, avoid smaller stripes and checks. By having a pattern that is too small it just makes you seem bigger – not helping to insure a good sense of proportion again. The stripes can certainly make their wearer appear taller for the simple reason that they draw attention up and down – emphasising the length of your silhouette.

Q:        What advice would you give on cuff and trouser length with regard to complementing a man’s shape?

 A:        If you are shorter then consider not having turn ups as this draws a line at the shoe, emphasising the end of the line and a shorter leg. Also keeping a trouser higher on the waist as opposed to a low rise will give length to it. It is also key to make sure both elements (jacket and trouser) start and finish at the right point. Again, yes, the secret lies with a good sense of proportion.

Do you have any tips on accessories that can work to your advantage? For example, tie width, texture, placement of a pocket square etc.? 

A:        Pocket squares have seen a good resurgence over the last 5/6 years. How you place it, either ‘peaked’, ‘flat’ or as the ‘puff’ (my favourite) is up to you. Your tie width should be complimentary to the width of your lapel, which is turn should be complementary to the width of your shoulders. These are 3 key elements to achieving a good sense of proportion. Also adding a pinch to your tie and wearing a good set of cufflinks will demonstrate you have a solid awareness of style. Just remember: Style isn’t about standing out, it‘s about looking outstanding without trying to be.

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