Archives: Suits

Scottsdale style: The T-shirt and sportcoat combo

custom suits phoenix

The T-shirt and sportcoat pairing is one of those sartorial risks that few take and even fewer can pull off. And that’s too bad because it can really be a cool look.

From my personal experience, it’s clear that a lot of men feel that the T-shirt combo is a “young man’s game.” While most of these “young men” think that it’s too fashion forward for them. Indeed, I’d agree that it’s a relatively high-style look, but only when done properly. And doing it properly is very important.

So, with this blog post, I want to take a close look at Brett’s outfit in the above picture and explain his styling.

But first, let’s explain the background. Brett was on a recent business trip to Scottsdale. If you’ve been following us on social media you’ll know that we are in the midst of expanding our business into the Scottsdale area. Although the temperature is starting to cool down in Denver, it’s still very warm in Scottsdale. This was the driving factor behind Brett reaching for a T-shirt that day.

Now, wearing short sleeves under a jacket is a great way to stay cool when the temperature rises. There’s no need to frown upon it as a style no-no, so long as it really is a warm day. Long sleeves will have a tendency to trap heat around your arms, even when you unbutton the cuffs. This is why when it gets really warm, you may want to consider ditching the sleeves altogether. If we were to go a step farther, we could apply this thinking to the neckline because a typical cotton shirt collar will also have a tendency to trap heat. However, I admit that this may have a rather trivial impact for most men. Nevertheless, removing that extra fabric from your shirt by wearing a T-shirt instead is one more thing you can do to help stay cool.

Let’s talk about the T-shirt.

Brett is wearing a black striped white shirt. The white background is appropriate for a daytime appointment and the monochromatic nature of the shirt is classically stylish.

And the jacket?

Believe it or not, Brett’s really proving the versatility of his wardrobe here. This jacket is one of BE’s finest fabrics and has carried Brett through some elegant events. It’s a wool fabric, which you may be thinking would be too warm for Scottsdale, but as one of our better fabrics, it’s actually very breathable. The herringbone pattern is both textural and dressy. The blue lapel button hole is a nod to his pants.

scottsdale mens clothing herringbone jacket

The pants are dark in color and provide lengthening to the overall look. Anchored by the neutral hue of his sportcoat, our attention is directed to his shirt. Like all suit jackets, the V-shape of the lapels direct our eye up to the face.

Finally, the casual cotton pocket square is a floral pattern that nicely refers to his shirt and the warm weather.

scottsdale mens clothing pocket square

And of course, all of his clothes fit they way that they should.

Wrap up

The T-shirt and sportcoat look may be tough to pull off, but don’t let that stop you from trying. Keep your T-shirt simple. Nothing too distracting. Nothing with logos or anything that’s too bright.

As for the jacket, keep the tones lighter during the day and darker at night.

And remember, just because no one else is doing it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t or couldn’t. If anything, it’s an opportunity for this Scottsdale style to set you apart from the pack.

By Ryan Wagner

scottsdale style mens custom clothing

Unique suit linings from Bespoke Edge

suit linings from bespoke edge

For some time now, Ron has been searching high and low for some unique suit linings. A task that when you start looking, you begin to realize is not easy.

Fortunately, we made some new contacts during our trip to the Custom Tailors & Designers event in New York last month. And this past week, we received some really amazing jacket lining books.

unique suit linings

Nothing in these books is ordinary. Complex patterns and graphic prints are the norm. Lots of color too.

And remember that with the lining you don’t really have to match it to the jacket. It’s truly your opportunity to exercise your creativity. For instance, if you have a need to build a relatively conservative suit – say, one without accent button holes or fashion forward peak lapels – try choosing a lining that really speaks to your soul!

Personally, I usually go with something with blue as the secondary color since I have an affinity for blue pocket squares. This is my way of subtly referring to my jacket.

But I have been known to throw caution to the wind…

unique suit linings

I’d recommend forgetting all about matching and instead, going for the lining that in a split second makes you say “Wow!”

That’s your lining.

You didn’t choose it, it chose you :).

unique suit linings and unique sportcoat linings

The fabric

The bottom line is that our selection of jacket linings has significantly improved this month. In all, we have over 100 swatches in two books. Many of these lining fabrics are made of the superb Cupro Bemberg material.

Bemberg is a type of rayon that is commonly found inside most high-end bespoke suits. It’s Japanese made and feels a bit like silk, but it’s more breathable and durable than somewhat tear-prone silk. Interestingly, it’s actually made of cotton, but the makeup of the fiber has been changed to give it the unique properties.

Wrap up

Bottom line: If you’re bored of the same old suit linings give us a call today and take a look at some unique suit linings you won’t find anywhere else.

By Ryan Wagner

 

BE is proud to offer men’s clothing in Scottsdale

We have a big announcement for you…Beginning in September, we will be regularly offering our men’s clothing in Scottsdale. That’s right, the full Bespoke Edge experience is coming to Arizona. And for the area in general, we are pleased to be another option for custom suits in Phoenix.

First, some background: Part of the extended BE family resides in Scottsdale and has quite a long heritage in the area. As you can imagine, Ron and Brett and I have all been spending more time in Arizona lately.

Brett and Ron have found their favorite watering hole and I have found my hands-down favorite coffee shop. But most importantly, we have discovered a wonderful city. One with great food, beautiful golf courses, and great people that are looking for authentic bespoke suits.

How will we do it?

Beginning on September 17th, we will begin regular trips to the Scottsdale area. You can learn about these trips in two ways.

  1. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.
  2. Send us a direct email at questions@bespokeedge.com and let us know you’re interested. We won’t put you on our newsletter list, but we will send you a direct email when we have an event coming up.

Regardless of how you learn about our fitting events, just send us an email, click “make an appointment“, or give us a call at 970-231-4588.

At some point, we’ll have a quick conversation on the phone to not only learn more about what you’re looking for, but also to tell you more about our process and offerings.

men's clothing in scottsdale

Our events will be held at one of Scottsdale’s most prestigious hotels. We’ll take you through the entire Bespoke Edge process. In other words, you’ll have access to all the same fabrics and options that our Denver clients do. It’s very important to us that we bring you the true bespoke experience. There are already some options for men’s clothing in Scottsdale, but we are confident that our process will set us apart, just as it did in Colorado.

At your appointment, you’ll have an opportunity to look over all of our fabrics, choose your customizations, select buttons, etc. Long story short, you can have a lot of control on the design, including custom monogramming or finding a personal suit lining. We’ll guide you through the process and let you decide as much or as little as you like.
Then, we’ll take upwards of 20 measurements and have a conversation with you about how you want your suit to fit. Much of what we do is an art form, it’s why no one else can do what we do. And based on the look and feel that you’re going for, we’ll make sure that we provide the appropriate allowances and get you that perfect fit. You’ll want to budget around 2 hours for your fitting.
Around 6 weeks later, the suit will be ready. We’ll deliver it to you at our next Scottsdale event and ensure the fit. In the rare case that we need to make some adjustments, we’ll work with our local tailor and have everything ready for you in about a week.

And remember, should you decide to come visit us, you are by no means under any obligation to purchase. And it’s perfectly OK to just drop by and say hello.

Our promise

We want to make it very clear that what’s most important to us, is building positive, lasting relationships with our clients.

We believe that it shouldn’t be difficult for you to look your best, that your personal style is a reflection of who you are as a man. And your bespoke clothes are in some ways the modern day equivalent of your suit of armor. The way that you dress is an important part of your personal brand – and that’s what we want to help you find.

We realize that custom clothing may be a big step for you. If you put your trust in us, we will do whatever it takes to ensure that you’re happy with your purchase. Your clothing isn’t right until you say it is.

It’s not only our pleasure, but our privilege to be expanding into Arizona. We are very excited to offer the best custom suits in Scottsdale and Phoenix.

We look forward to meeting you!

By Ryan Wagner 

 

Your guide to the summer suit

summer-pocketsquare

Summer presents a unique sartorial opportunity when it comes to suits. It’s easier than ever to stand apart from the crowd and look sharp in a summer suit. Why? Because most men either ditch the suit altogether or sweat up a storm.

Fortunately, summer suits can be a lot of fun. They tend to look a bit more casual, but they don’t have to. The fabric can be made of cotton, but it can also be linen, or a blend of the two. Even the right wool can be breathable and ventilated. But even with all these benefits, very few men have a “summer suit.” And I think that a big part of the problem is that most men don’t know how to go about building one.

So, I’m going to lead by example.

I just built what I think is an excellent specimen of a summer suit. The fabric, the hue, the details – everything just makes me think of summer.

I’m going to take you through my design process. I’m going to example what I did and why so when it comes time for you to build a suit, or shop for one, you’ll have a better idea of what you want.

Step 1 – Fabric Selection

First and foremost, you need to select a fabric that will breath.

For summer, you are going to want either linen, cotton, or some wool blend. Otherwise, you will invariably end up with a heavier coat. That won’t necessarily be a bad thing, because it will still be a great pick for the fall, you’ll just be sweating bullets for all the wrong reasons and find yourself waiting for the cooler weather to return.

Briefly, here’s what you need to know about summer suit fabrics:

Cotton: A cotton jacket, or a cotton suit for that matter, is a great pick for summer. As you are probably well aware, cotton breathes like a pro and is easy to clean. It will be a little thicker than a linen or wool blend (maybe), but it’s a solid pick.

Linen: I know what you’re thinking – “But linen wrinkles!” Yes, it does wrinkle, get over it. It won’t be that bad. After all, you can always steam it real quick before you put it on and you’ll look and feel like a million bucks because linen breathes better than any other fabric, in my opinion. You will definitely stay well ventilated in a linen jacket so it should come as no surprise that it’s a summer staple for most men.

Blends: Some fabrics will be a blend of linen and wool. This will cut down on the wrinkle factor and give the jacket a more “suit-like” look. This will make your jacket a little more versatile for say, evening events or cooler weather.

Ryan’s pick: I chose something in a “coastal grey” so that I could wear it with virtually anything. Regarding fabric, I went with a linen/wool blend. I got the versatility of a wool blend and the great textured look of a linen jacket. This was a good pick for me because I wanted a jacket that I could wear into the cooler months. Yes, it may be a little warmer in the summer than a pure linen would have been, but I had a plan for that…

summer-suit-pants

 

Step 2 – Construction

Something that not everyone knows is that suits have varying levels of construction. And by that I don’t mean quality (although indeed they do!), but that the canvas and lining can vary in their coverage of the jacket fabric.

Regarding summer jackets, you’re going to want to go with something that is “unconstructed.” What this means is that the canvas that usually covers much of a suit is now gone; you’re going to stay a lot cooler, after all, it’s one less layer that you’re wearing.

However, this doesn’t mean that the shoulder is completely unpadded. There will still be padding there, but it will be noticeably thinner than what you may be used to wearing. Again, this reduction in material will help to keep you cool.

Which brings us to the lining.

With most unconstructed jackets, the lining goes away entirely. However, here at BE, we use what’s called a “1/8 lining” or “butterfly” lining. This means that the lining is only around the upper back and around the arm hole because we want our jackets to still have a little protection from sweat, and also for aesthetic reasons. The resulting shape resembles a butterfly, hence the name.

 

 

Ryan’s pick: Unconstructed and with a butterfly lining (matched to the suit fabric, of course). I wanted to eliminate as much fabric as possible so that I would be comfortable sitting on a coffee shop patio in 80 degrees.

lining

Step 3 – Style

Here’s the key thing to remember about the style of any summer suit – it’s going to be inherently casual. For instance, with a fabric like linen or cotton, that means silk ties are out because the fabrics will clash in texture. Consequently, you’re going to want to carefully choose your style details. You’ll need to be mindful that the jacket is somewhat casual by default, but also realize that you can bend the rules a little.

Notched lapel versus peaked lapel

If you need a refresher on the differences between notched lapels and peaked lapels, take a look at one of my older articles on the topic, here. In summation of that article, notched lapels were versatile and commonplace, whereas peaked lapels were reserved for formal and/or bold occasions.

So what should you choose for your summer jacket? Well, a notched lapel is the obvious choice. It’s going to be casual and versatile. But what about peaked lapels? Is that to say that you can never wear a peaked lapel in a summer coat? No, of course not. But you just need to be mindful that it’s going to look a little flashier and be more challenging to pull off.

Ryan’s pick: Notched lapel. A peaked lapel was just too formal for me. If I had a cocktail perpetually in my hand, OK, peaked lapel it is. But for the occasions that I saw myself wearing this jacket in, a notched lapel just made much more sense.

summer-suit-jacket-full

 

2 button versus 1

Similar to the lapel choice you need to make, the number of buttons on your jacket will reflect its level of formality.

1 button: A single button jacket is more or less a cocktail jacket. It’s cool and sophisticated in all the right ways. And because of this, it’s also less versatile. Many of my meetings are at coffee shops and folks’ places of business and so I think a single button jacket may look a little out of place.

2 button: Your more versatile pick.

Ryan’s pick: 2 button for its versatility. And remember, never button the bottom button!

Vents

I suppose there is some truth behind having better ventilation with 2 side vents versus 1 center vent. But I usually err on the Italian side, and so I opted for the single center vent on this jacket. Just go with what feels comfortable to you.

How many cuff buttons?

Admittedly, this is a minor thought for some people. But for those of you that really want to take advantage of the power of bespoke, I encourage you to give some thought to how many buttons you have on your cuff. Four is standard, whereas anything less shows that you put some thought into your clothes. 

I opted for 3.

buttons

Step 4 – Details

Now is the time to have some fun. In my opinion, the best way to bring out a coastal, or pool-side style, is to use some blues and whites. And one of the best ways to do that is with the button holes.

Button hole accents

You’ll notice that I opted for a light blue accent on both the lapel button hole and the cuff button holes.

Regarding the cuff button holes, I was originally kicking around the idea of making each button hole a different color. If memory serves, I was going to go with one blue and the other in a sort of cream shade. But after thinking about it more, I couldn’t help but think that the multiple colors would end up being distracting, so I settled on just the coastal blue.

And on the topic of button hole accents in general – when building a jacket, be sure that the jacket can stand alone without any of the colorful accents. In other words, a great looking jacket should look awesome without anything else and it should look even better with the accents. It’s sometimes easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you “need a pop of color,” and then you end up with something that is downright distracting.

Also, bear in mind that colored accents should always refer to your wardrobe. What this means with the subject summer suit, is that I choose a light blue color to refer to the likely shade of shirt fabric that I would wear under the suit. And also knowing that I was likely going to wear a blue pocket square with this jacket more than any other color. Therefore, the accent stitching helps to integrate the whole look.

Flap pockets

I chose flap pockets for their slightly casual look. As opposed to besom pockets which have a very sophisticated presence. However, I still wanted my pockets made at an angle – a hallmark of a fine suit (it’s less expensive to manufacture pockets straight across than it is at an angle). I should note that you could still insert the flap into the pocket itself if you wanted to “fake a besom pocket” for an evening.

And remember, you have tons of pockets on the inside of your jacket. With the obvious exception of your chest pocket (hello, pocket squares!), your inside pockets are where you should be storing your things.

Wrap up

So, that’s what you need to know about choosing a summer sport coat. As you can see, there are some smart things you can do to ensure that your coat becomes your seasonal favorite. Just so long as you stick with a breathable fabric and you request the unconstructed option, you’ll stay nice and cool.

One note on how you wear these suits: Because it’s summertime and it’s hot outside, don’t forget that you wear your clothes, not the other way around. For instance, it’s perfectly acceptable these days to scrunch up your jacket sleeves for a short time. And when the thermometer climbs into the red, loosen up the buttons on your cuff to promote ventilation.

I hope this article helps to shed some light on how you can create your own summer suit. And if you’re still wearing the same suit year round and sweating your way through the summer, then hopefully now you are enlightened!

By Ryan Wagner

cool-breeze

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