Monday, 30 May 2011
Prince of Wales at Henry Poole: Part 9
The final part this, in the series on having a Prince of Wales suit made at Henry Poole. In the end we went with a 4x4 finish on the front, with grey buttons instead of brown. I decided 2x2 would be a little too flashy, but am experimenting with the 4x4 as two display buttons can always be added later. So far, I’m pleased with the effect. It has much the same effect as a 6x4, but gives a cleaner look to the chest.
[For the reader who asked for details on how to refer to buttons on a DB, check out the second post in this series.]
I used to go for brown buttons on most suits, particularly navy ones, as it suited brown leather shoes and gave the suit a touch of personality. I’m changing my mind on grey suits, particularly as I’m wearing more non-brown shoes than previously.
I was pleased with the shape of the chest and lapels. It is typical of what should be thought of as distinctive of Henry Poole: a balance, an average; in a way nothing distinctive at all, merely what they consider the poise of understated elegance. My Anderson & Sheppard DBs are more distinctive, for example, with greater belly to the lapel and a thicker collar. This is accentuated by drape in the chest and a slightly more nipped waist. But I like this Poole shape – in a more conservative cloth, it would make a great business suit.
I didn’t realise until now that Poole usually has just one buttonhole in the lapels of a DB suit. They are happy to add another, and I may do that later on, but it is interesting that one more oft-mentioned marker of a bespoke suit is nothing of the sort (compare with working buttons on the cuffs at Anderson & Sheppard). Bespoke is all about the fit, of course, rather than these extraneous details, but the coincidence is nice – just as some ready-to-wear DBs are adding another lapel buttonhole to make them look expensive, you discover the founder of Savile Row doesn’t do it anyway.
I’ve had the suit for a couple of weeks now and it’s still settling down. But I will probably be taking the waist on the trousers in a little and lowering the fork. These small adjustments are inevitable with a first suit, if only because you are measured and fitted while static, in an alien environment. The adjustments will be made and my pattern changed accordingly, ready for the next suit.