Very happy with the cloth selection and it should handle just about everything the Australian and European Summer’s can throw at it (whenever a suit is required), weighing only 9 ounces and being light in colour. The subtle addition of a bit of black mixed in through the weave gives the suit a slight mottled effect which you won’t immediately notice, but it helps to subconsciously remove some of the formality which would otherwise exist if it were pure grey. Being sharkskin it has an inherently dry and crisp texture which I personally like the look and feel of (others don’t).
Starting with the trousers, the height is good, sitting at my natural waist, in a similar position to my Ambrosi’s, which I love and still wear all the time. The construction is simple and generally pretty clean. We’re going to increase the taper towards the cuffs, going from 19cm to 17.5cm which is more in line with the Italian aesthetic and my preference of a narrow leg opening with the cuffs resting just above the shoes.
They’ll also take some cloth through the length of the legs to make them a bit slimmer overall.
The main area for attention is the waist. There’s a lot of room here and it needs to be taken in by several centimetres. A couple or a few centimetres is to be expected, particularly on a first fitting for a new client (better to be a little loose and to pin exactly how much to take in, than too tight and unable to tell how much to let out) but once you start to get beyond a few centimetres, there’s a chance that no amount of alterations can save a piece of clothing, because the fundamentals (i.e. the cut) will be too far off. For example, you can only take out so much from the waistband before that tension then pulls on the front pockets and causes them to bag out (press outwards, creating the appearance of wider hips/thighs and ruining a clean line down the sides), so then you have to open up the hip seam to remove some cloth from there, but how much do you take? If you’re forced to take a lot in at the waist but then don’t take in enough through the seat, there’s the risk of excess cloth in the seat. To fix that, you then have to take it in at the seat (the centre seam below your spine). Take that in too much at the centre seam and the rear pockets are pulled too far inwards which looks odd. And on and on.
That’s not to say that I think it will necessarily happen to these trousers, if Matt can manage the adjustments carefully then they might still be fine, but it will take some skill to manage all the potential pitfalls that can be created by the adjustments.
The other point which I didn’t notice at first but I’ve seen since looking at the photo’s is that the fly doesn’t sit cleanly. Meaning that the fastening button on the waistband hasn’t been sewn quite far enough away from the fly to pull the fly shut cleanly. I don’t think any of us picked that up so it might need to be fixed after the trousers are finished.
The jacket sits fairly well across the shoulders and nicely against the neck. Sleeve length is good and the overall balance is good, too. I’d also prefer a straighter lapel line, compared to the accentuated outward curve of this jacket.
There’s some extra room in a few places, namely the back and waist, so between Porter and Matt they pinned these areas to sit more closely against the body. At the buttoning position the jacket tended to sit away from the body a bit, so bringing in the waist and back should help to pull the front of the jacket closer in.
Button position is a bit high, though, and should probably have been a couple of centimetres lower but there’s nothing to be done about that as once the button hole is cut it can’t be moved. Whilst on the topic of buttons, the Milanese buttonhole on the lapel has been done very well and the handwork here is impressive for a jacket in this price range. I’ll include a better image of it in the final article.
I also suggested slimming down the back of the sleeve. For me there was too much excess cloth there. Porter was pretty keen to have it left as is, in order to give me plenty of room when reaching forwards, so I agreed to leave it untouched. We’ll see how that works out after a few weeks of wear but in hindsight I think I should have requested that they be further slimmed down. We’ll see how that goes.
Next article up in a few weeks once the suit’s ready and I’ve had time to wear it in.