Tied and Tested
These are our tips & tricks to help you have the know-how to be a sartorialist and truly understand the garments you wear.
Dry Cleaning the Truth
Between solvents, mechanical agitation and high drying temperatures a good suit in the wrong hands can quickly become little more than expensive bin lines. To protect your investment choose your dry cleaner wisely.
Clean your suits as infrequently as possible and you’ll lengthen their life. A combination of airing, steaming and alight pressing will suffice, but use common sense: everyday build up from dirt, sweat and after shave can discolour and deteriorate garments and pressing these into a garment will make the grime permanent.
If you witness these signs it’s time to find a new drycleaner.
Puckering or bubbling:
Threads and fibres in garments cleaned at the wrong temperature can shrink, warping the fit.
Hard and over hot pressing can crush fabric fibres and cause a glossy appearance.
Improper pressing can also leave imprints around pockets and buttons.
Care & Maintenance
A good hanger is imperative to ensure the shoulders are supported.
Hang trousers from the cuff, this will keep them pulled into shape by their own weight.
After a day’s work a suit requires a day’s rest.
Before putting away your suit, brush it down with an appropriate clothes brush, adhesive rolls leave traces of glue.
Moisture is good for a woollen suit, give it a steam and an airing before it is returned to your wardrobe. Easily done by putting the shower on hot and hanging your suit in the bathroom for a brief steam then hang it by a window or on a balcony, weather permitting.
Dry cleaning, there are many that say adequate airing, brushing and steaming is enough, stains are treated individually.
Most damage to suits is done in the ironing not the dry cleaning.
The After Party
Blot with club soda. The salt helps prevent permanent staining while the carbonation lifts the stain out.
Scrape off excess, then apply a mixture of cool water and liquid dish soap. Blot stubborn stains with white vinegar.
Grease, Fat and Oil:
Blot excess oil with a napkin. Work baking soda or cornstarch into stain to draw it out. Launder with a heavy-duty detergent. Pray.
Douse with aerosol hairspray or rubbing alcohol and blot. Sponge detergent on the stain before washing.
Remove as much as possible with a blunt knife. Dab with baby wipes and then rinse with hot water to dissolve the oils.
Rinse with peroxide, white vinegar, or club soda.
Rub fabric against itself under cold water. Avoid hot water; it will set the stain.
Almost always blot rather than rub. Rubbing damages the fibres, removes less and can spread or set the stain. Act quickly. The less time the stain sits, the better your chances of removing it. Know your limits. You may do more harm than good with oil based stains. Find a good drycleaner.
The Long & Short of it
The Morning Coat
The Morning coat or tailcoat of daytime began life in the 1890’s as a frock coat that had its front corners cut away, hence it is also known as a “cut-away coat”. It was initially considered business attire but went on to replace the frock coat with the advent of the Great War. The all grey suit, that was once a feature at Royal Ascot, is still used by some, but it must be said that the black coat cuts a far more distinguished line and, unlike the grey, is accepted internationally.
Shirts & Neckwear
The shirt is the foundation on which a fine outfit is built. On that note, we have designed shirts for specific needs; our frill shirt adds a flourish to all occasions, and the “1850” has a cutaway collar and shaved back to create the perfect platform with which to wear a cravat.
The cravat, whose debut in England came under the reign of Charles II, is just a part of our extensive range of neckwear and our knowledge of knots crosses the board. All our ties are cut on the bias, which gives them the strength and ensures a fine knot… if it’s the “Gordion” or the Full Windsor we are only too happy to impart our knowledge on you.
The waistcoat or vest, as we would recognise it, first made its appearance in England on October 7th 1666, by royal proclamation, no less. It was Charles II who modelled his vest, which was inspired by the Court of Shah Abbas in Persia.
The “bottom button debate” will be concluded forthwith, Edward VIII one day left his bottom button undone, which was then copied as a fashion statement and waistcoats were hence cut to leave the aforementioned button open. Out of respect for our tailors please comply.
The Dinner Jacket
The “Dinner jacket” or the “Tuxedo”. The first appearance of an evening wear jacket without tails is claimed by America. Tobacco heir Griswold Lorillard entered the Tuxedo Club on Tuxedo Park NY wearing an eveningwear jacket without tails on the 10th of October 1886. The discreet reply from Savile Row on this matter was that the Prince of Wales had received his first truncated Tux in 1865. The debate continues but the name has stuck
The cummerbund was adapted from the silk sash worn in India, the “Kamarband”. Traditionally the sash had a pocket which evolved into the 16 fold that face upwards.