Text, Vivian Kelly
All three designers point to the proper fit as an absolute essential, whether you’re choosing to wear a pair of Duckie Brown’s Harris Tweed wide pleated trousers or a pair of G-STAR3301 Loose Brooklyn Jeans available from scotts for £80.00.
They’re both baggy – true- but if you look closely, they are fitted in the right places. Note, the waist fits, it does not drag down past your boxers and neither should they be overly long. The key to achieving the made-to-measure fit, explains NY designer, John Bartlett, and to looking amazing in your clothes -is take all of your clothes to a tailor. In our pre-show interview, John told us about his 19-year-old nephew who shops the same brands as his friends – many of the brands available on scottsmenswear.com, such as G-Star, Original Penguin, Lacoste, etc. His nephew reported that his friends ask him [a lot] where he’s gotten his clothes, not realizing that they are not hideously pricey high-end designer wear. Depending on where you live, it can cost you a little as $12US to tailor a pair of slacks if you’re only changing the length. *
Below, NY Designer John Bartlett, backstage at Milk Studios.
Tailoring extends to whether you’re wearing Fred Perry’s Stewart Shirt Jacket or Voi Jeans’ Glance Heaven padded shirt or one of John Bartlett’s eco friendly navy/blue tartan plaid shirts. These pieces are fitted, not droopy and shapeless. Unless you’re buying made to measure, it’s highly unlikely that the fit will be perfect. You may not have been aware that “perfectly proportioned” runway models have to have fittings and a good tailor and or seamstress are a key part of a fashion designer’s team.
The Duckies go one further in our backstage interview. Says Steven, “Get your clothes fitted so that they’re snug”. Adds Daniel, “two sizes smaller than you think you are” [whether you’re buying a piece or having an existing piece tailored]. A proper fit, says Daniel can actually make you look younger. The pair goes on to add that being in shape will make your clothes look better as well.
Steven highlights one key basic guys should have, the plaid shirt, which is present in Duckie Brown’s fall 2012 collection. The small “fashion” difference is a pocket to be able to slip your hands into, but as he says “nothing revolutionary”; it’s still a plaid shirt.
So, when you’re shopping for clothes, think about dialing your personal style up a notch or two and remember what our designer friends advice.
#1 Work on being in shape to do justice to your clothes
#2 Find and befriend a good tailor and bring everything to him or her. As Steven says, no item is too inconsequential, even the lowly white shirt and jeans qualify!
#3 Try on clothes that are one, even two, sizes smaller than your “normal” one for a sleeker fit.
These are not radical suggestions or involve your taking extreme measures, but incorporating these handy tips WILL result in your looking “yourself” only better!
Before I go, I can’t fail to mention the importance of hair. If after reading this and watching the videos, you decide that you’re a conservative dresser, you can still show your unique flair via your hairstyle, which will pop all the more while wearing a Lacoste polo and Original Penguin Rogue Jeans £70.00 than it would if you were wearing head to toe Duckie Brown, like the models in the show.
*Average prices in US$ for men’s tailoring
Pants [shortening, lengthening, taking in/out, crotch, taper between $12-15 per item
Blazer alterations - $28 – 50
Shirt alterations – $ 12-15 per change