Every man should own at least one suit. It never hurts to throw on a suit at work, or for attending banquets and parties. Suits are constantly evolving regarding materials, cutting and colour matching to perfectly suit the taste of gentlemen.
今天的薩維爾街和幾百年前比幾乎沒太大變化，這條街的定製歷史要追溯到英國攝政時期（1811-1820）。當時英國上流社會吹起了一股衣著考究的風氣，常穿著西服三件套出席社交場合的Beau Brummell成了男裝的風向標，西服變成了時髦物，薩維爾街上的西服定製生意就這樣開始蓬勃發展起來。對個人形象一絲不苟的溫莎公爵更是只穿薩維爾街的手工定製西服，他還熱衷向歐洲王室、好萊塢明星和美國富商推薦這條街，使得薩維爾街客似雲來。在2015年，英國將薩維爾街的中文譯名更改為“ 高富帥街”，希望能吸引更多中國遊客前來。
The Origin of Taste: Savile Row London
Savile Row is a street in Mayfair, London, renowned principally for its traditional bespoke tailoring for men suits which successfully attract customers including Winston Churchill, Horatio Nelson and Napoléon III. The street runs parallel to Regent Street between Conduit Street at the northern end and Vigo Street at the southern, linking places like Burlington Arcade and Burlington Gardens. Whether it was the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, or the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011, both grooms wore the finest bespoke suits created on Savile Row.
Today’s Savile Row is almost unchanged from hundreds of years ago. The history of this street goes back to the Regency period (1811-1820), when wearing decent and attractive clothes became trendy in circles of Britain’s high society. Suits became fashionable as the Englishman of Fashion Beau Brummell always wore a three-piece suit, who set new standards of correct dress for gentlemen. Edward VIII only used the same tailor of Savile Row, who tailored his outfits to his flawless and extravagant tastes. He was also keen to recommend this street to the European royal families, Hollywood stars and wealthy Americans. Consequently, the bespoke tailors of Savile Row made brisk business.To attract more Chinese customers, the Chinese translation of Savile Row was changed to “Gaofushuai Jie” in 2015, meaning “Tall, Rich, Handsome Street”.
There does not seem to be an answer to the recurring question of whether the Brits or the Italians are better suit makers. It is akin to asking whether Shaolin Kungfu or boxing are more effective at knocking out an opponent. Certainly, the design concept and cutting of the two suit styles do show differentiations.
The Battle of Suits
For the Brits, suits are class symbols. A wearer’s social background is often revealed by various details. For example, the colours of a school uniform’s tie reflect the coat of arm. In their culture, suits are like uniforms, signifying a person’s affiliation and heritage. In comparison the Italian style is more casual and individualistic, bred by the country’s sunny weather and beach culture. Somewhat ironically, however, is that the “casual” style is also the result of careful design.
In terms of cutting, British suits feature wider shoulders and slimmer waistlines, forming an inverted triangle. From the days of Savile Row, British suits have always emphasised a good fit, level shoulders and a firm form. They often have thick chest pads, making the wearer’s figure look more imposing. In contrast, Italian suits use softer fabrics. Pads, if used at all, are often thinner. There is usually no pocket cover, resulting in a cleaner design. In general, Italian suits are lighter and snugger. They suit people of a smaller built and hence most Chinese wear Italian suits well.
With some creativity, suits can be fashionable and less formal too.
看似前衛、不與俗世妥協的造型，山本耀司（Yohji Yamamoto)讓單調的黑西裝和白襯衫變得詩意盎然。每一季看似所用的概念是一樣的，但其剪裁、顏色和材質的分別卻又體現出深思熟慮的過程。山本耀司的設計風格簡潔而富有韻味，線條流暢，反時尚，不分性別地帶出雌雄同體的美學概念。整齊而細緻的剪裁、洗水布料和黑色都是他的長青項目。山本分別於1972年及1979年創立了Y’s for women 及Y’s for men，Y’s 系列貫徹他的設計理念，但就較為實用及easy to carry，是新一代的潮流指標根據。
The grey suit of Thom Browne is an example. The label, founded by and named after United State’s most influential designer of men’s fashion, began a revolution by creating suits of a shrunken silhouette. Featuring the brand’s signature blue-white-red tri-stripe, the shrunken suit reappraises the proportion of traditional suits. Some think his suits look a size smaller with shorter and narrower trousers, but all these are deliberate. These avant-garde and dramatic designs have earned the brand much discussion in every fashion show. Every time, the concepts and presentation give the audience a visual surprise.
Another label producing avant-garde suits with a unique design is Yohji Yamamoto. The brand has transformed the dull black suit with white shirt into something idyllic. The design concept of each season seems similar but there are subtle but well-considered differences in cutting, colours and materials. The style of Yohji Yamamoto is clean but elegant with smooth lines. It follows the concept of androgynous asexual aesthetic. The label’s neat and delicate cutting, washed fabric and the black colour form its signature. Yamamoto launched Y’s for women and Y’s for men in 1972 and 1979 respectively. These extensions follow the original label’s design concept through but are more functional and easier to carry. They have since become icons of youth’s fashion.
西服配飾突顯個人品味 Accessories of Suits
The devil is in the detail. Never underestimate the power of accessories to show off personal taste.
領結 Bow Tie
Bow tie is more playful and casual than tie, which is not exclusive for formal occasions and great for parties or even work. You can instantly boost your attention by wearing a shirt with a suitable bow tie.
The type of watch to wear with suits is a matter of personality. Some prefer mechanical watches with steel straps for their weight, while others like the elegant feel of watches with rose gold shells and leather straps. Almost all watches, with the exception of childish cartoon ones, go well with suits.
手提包 Clutch Bag
Do not confuse a clutch bag with a briefcase. Briefcase is now largely out of fashion. Many labels have produced high-quality clutch bags of unique designs. They are not only nice to look at, but are also practical.
紳士帽 Gentleman Hat
紳士帽種類包羅萬有，從帽冠到帽沿的差別，決定了頭上那頂紳士帽的正確類別。其中，Fedora大概是大家印象中最接近“ 紳士帽”概念的款式。從帽冠部分而言，帽冠高度介於10 至16 厘米不等。相比Fedora，Trilby的帽沿比較窄，介於2至5厘米之間。整體而言，Trilby會比Fedora來的休閒，正裝或休閒風都適合搭配。
There are many types of gentleman hats and they can be told apart from the sizes of the crown and brim. Fedora is probably the most typical gentleman hat, with a crown of 10-16cm tall. Trilby is another common option with a narrower brim, measuring around 2-5 cm. In general, Trilby has a more casual feel than Fedora and can be worn in both formal and leisure occasions.
One of the most overlooked details in a formal suit is that the length of the jacket’s sleeves should be shorter than the shirt’s by around half an inch. The cufflinks can then be shown. They signify a person’s status and a pair of cufflinks decorated with semiprecious gems or mother of pearl would make you stand out in a social event.
皮鞋/運動鞋 Leather Shoes/ Sneakers
It was once believed that a pair of leather shoes was all one needed. Indeed, a pair of black leather shoes cannot go wrong with suits. However, as time goes by, more colourful leather shoes are now also common. Some would even wear sneakers with suits to show their energetic side.