The suits of the month: January

March is the first but, alas, not the last of those oh so unpredictable months. At least, I hear the optimist sigh wistfully, one can hope to wake up to blue skies and sun. As this article will surely show, we are realists here at Mogg Towers. As such, we have put together some suggestions to keep you in a hopeful mood even after you’ve thrown open the curtains to reveal the inevitable murk of March in the Western Hemisphere.

Norfolk jacket cut from a rust-coloured herringbone Tweed by Fox Brothers (480g/m)

Red/Brown Autumn Tweed by Fox Brothers 100% Wool (480g/m)

 

We have a piece so beautiful that you won’t even mind when, after turning away from the biblical storm outside your window, you find that your partner isn’t in bed. They must have run off in the night with your best friend Dave. Damn you, March, you got me again. Dear reader, I know what you’re thinking. Your heart is broken and it’s rainy and cold outside: you’re going to need a Norfolk jacket. It can take its rightful place as your new best friend. Your old best friend was always a bit fussy anyway; admit it. Your new best friend is much more accommodating and can be combined with practically anything. From knitwear and jeans to grey or brown flannel trousers, a light-blue oxford-cloth shirt, and a dark red knitted tie, you’ll always look your best. Dave always wore the same jeans and even owned a ‘Federal Boob Inspector’ t-shirt. As we all know, style is key in best friends. Starting with the fabric, this is an upgrade. This rust-coloured herringbone is just beautiful and will keep you warm during even the loneliest nights. In terms of styling, we’re staying conservative: three buttons, three bellow pockets, one sleeve button, and a single vent. Our only alteration from the classic formula would be to eschew the traditional full-length belt and replace it with a simple back belt.

The jacket described above will cost around €1500. Our oxford-cloth shirts start at around €200€.

DB lounge suit in a mid-grey, brown, and beige multi-stripe Escorial wool (295g/m)

Grey-brown multistripe Escorial wool by Standeven (295g/m)

Now that you’ve cheered yourself up thinking about the Norfolk jacket you’re going to commission as soon as it stops raining, you decide to go make your breakfast. As you’re tucking in to your eggs, you realise that the cat isn’t begging for scraps. The cat always begs for scraps. Dave must have taken your partner AND your cat. The ides of March indeed. As you whisper to yourself ‘et tu, Kitty?’, you suddenly come to a realisation. You are going to make some serious savings on cat food and veterinarian bills. Being a committed sartorialist, your first thought is Escorial. In this case, a mid-grey, brown, and beige multi-stripe that you touched once years ago. The sensation never truly leaves you. You decide your life is going to be different from now on. You’re going to be unpredictable, mysterious, difficult to categorise. All of these are characteristics you share with this particular fabric. Is it formal? Is it casual? Who knows? Who cares? You’re in love. Your mind begins to wander… You see a vision of a double-breasted lounge suit with a slightly higher button stance, two flap pockets, (‘In fact’, you cry out turning to me as I type this up [editor’s note: You can stop screaming. I’m sitting right next to you.], ‘add a ticket pocket. New me will also have a ticket pocket’) the aforementioned ticket pocket, and slightly narrower lapels, each featuring a hand-sewn Milanese buttonhole. The trousers are cut high and wide and feature turn-ups and two forward pleats. You look down at your feet and you see them. They’re perfect. New bespoke black quarter brogues.

The suit that you just experienced (you’ve almost certainly lost your mind) will cost around €2550. The shoes are, of course, from Mr Leonard Kahlcke.

SB three-piece dinner suit in a black barathea from Dugdale Bros (400g/m)

Black barathea by Dugdale (400g/m)

Finally, some good news. As you begin to do the dishes, you realise the TV isn’t on and you don’t hear the sound of Peppa Pig (you’ve become a bit of an expert on the subject) for the millionth time this month. They’ve taken the kids! The March giveth and the March taketh away. You recall how you used to go to cocktail parties all the time. But now, you’re too exhausted from taking care of the kids and babysitters are expensive. You need a new dinner suit. Perhaps in that heavy barathea you’ve been flirting with for the last few months. Barathea is just fantastic. Its dense weave means that it drapes beautifully and will keep you warm in the colder months that you will undoubtedly spend outside celebrating your new-found freedom. To allow you to wear it in summer, you will need a new white shirt cut from light-weight voile. Even though your life is unravelling and you are clearly having a psychotic break, you’re not going to do anything crazy when it comes to your dinner suit. Peak lapels covered with grosgrain silk, one closing button, two straight jetted pockets, and no vents. New you will need a lapel buttonhole because new you wears boutonnières. You limit yourself to only one inside pocket and will carry any spare change in the fob pocket of your trousers. With regards to the waistcoat, you are undecided. Either the black barathea or a white, usually associated with white tie ensemble. Either one will be low-slung with three closing buttons, and will end at the hips to perfectly maintain the clean lines that are so essential to a proper dinner suit. If you go for the white tie option, a wing collar might be a fun choice. Whatever your collar of choice, we’d recommend opting for a marcella front and studs for your shirt.

Just as you start googling witticisms to regale your audience with at yet another splendid cocktail party, you hear a dreadfully familiar sound. It’s Dave’s car. You walk to the front door, your body slowly filling with a nameless dread. As you swing it open, your children run in past you towards the TV room (Peppa awaits) and you stand face-to-face with Dave. ‘There was an emergency. We thought you deserved a sleep-in, so we dealt with it. I hope you weren’t too worried.’ You hear a car door slam. Your partner is coming towards you with a smile on their face. ‘Oh, honey, there’s no need to worry; the cat’s going to be just fine. The surgery will be quite expensive, though. I’ll leave the invoice on your desk.’ They kiss you on the cheek as they sweep by you, sweeping away all your sartorial dreams. Oh, March, you really need to stop doing this.

The three-piece dream described above will cost you around €2450. The evening shirt described above will cost around €320. A single end bow tie will cost around €89. TG/DC/MM

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