Tailoring where you don’t expect it – Chef Whites

When we think of tailored clothing, our minds tend to go straight to business or wedding suits. If you’re lucky to have a job where putting on a made to measure suit is part of your day to day routine then you might consider tailoring to be part of your ‘work wear’. If not tailoring is irrelevant to our work uniforms, right?

Well in one profession, the classic appearance of the work uniforms involved, means that looking at a tailored fit is essential to create the right impression. For chefs and kitchen staff, getting the classic chef white look is so important that manufacturers and suppliers provide garments with panelled constructions, like a tailored suit jacket, to make sure that the fabric shapes the body in the right way.

With customers making judgements on the quality of an establishment based on the appearance of staff, finding uniforms that are a great fit makes a real difference. The sartorial detail often goes as far as replicating the mandarin collar look, which has been the standard finish to chefs jackets since the emergence of what is now the commonplace chef outfit which arrived in the nineteenth century.

As well as more recent practical development to the tailored construction of kitchen clothing, such as the addition of mesh panelled backs for temperature management in recent years, we’ve also seen the emergence of chef whites which are specifically tailored to be more flattering to the female figure. With women’s chef jackets having a panelled construction for a fit which hugs the best and waist more, for a more feminine silhouette, the world of tailoring has certainly started to make a telling difference to work wear well beyond the confines of business suits.

Whilst not made exactly to measure for each individual, the greater thought that is put into manipulating the shape of a garment through the construction and cutting of fabric is a replication of the principles of tailoring as a discipline. The use of chest darts to shape the fabric around the shape of the body rather than simply having excess fabric billowing out is characteristic of this change and just one way in which the methodology of tailoring has been applied to more practical work wear, when it needs that stylistic flourish.

Similarly, for many women’s chef jackets, we’ve seen greater consideration given to the width of the ‘scye’ (the whole of fabric through which the arm passes into the sleeve) in order to give the arm a more fitted look. This is another approach which comes from the world of more traditional tailoring, and reflects the way that suit cuts have developed in more recent years, with closer fits all round, including around the sleeve.

So there you have it, tailoring in functional work wear for the heat of the kitchen, not exactly where you’d expect it!

What to consider when buying a suit

A guest blog from Norton & Townsend

The purchase of a suit for any occasion can be an expensive and time consuming process. Whether for a wedding, a job interview, an evening suit or just a casual spezzato style suit having a list of considerations in your mind can help make sure you end up with the right suit at the end.

Suitability

It sounds like an obvious one, but it is often overlooked by those buying new suits. What is the suit for? Does it have a particular purpose or is it for a certain occasion? For formal occasions, the dinner jacket might be required. Consider the colour and fabric of the jacket, as well as the type of lapel. For a formal jacket for example in this case, typically a shawl collar will be required. Making sure the suit you buy matches the stylistic requirements of the occasion isn’t the only aspect of suitability however. The material of the suit also plays a part.

Material

Not only does the material of the suit affect its style, but also importantly it can have practical implications as well. Take into account the time of year you’ll be wearing the suit. Heavier jackets (this information will typically be available in grams per square metre) will keep you warmer during the winter months, particularly those with a high wool content. High quality tailors will often work with a local supplier for fabrics particularly wool, in the Yorkshire region for example Moon & Sons are well known as a supplier of wool products. Lighter fabrics are naturally more suited to warmer months.

Your Body

Everyone has a different shape and it only makes sense that one size doesn’t fit all. This is one of many ways in which bespoke tailored suits have a real edge on off the peg options. Whilst you may be able to buy suits which in theory come on different sizes, these are scaled up in particular proportions. So if you need a longer leg, you’ll also need to go for a wider fit around the leg, if you need a longer arm, you’ll need to longer fit around the body. This ‘Mr. Average’ fir doesn’t really suit anyone.

For tall or slender gentlemen, often going with a slimmer fit of trouser and arm can be a great look, avoiding excess fabric and that ‘drowning in material’ look. But you’ll also need longer arm and leg measurements for example.
Short gentlemen might need a shorter jacket skirt, muscular men a wider cut around the shoulder, a wider cut of the arm Scye and so on. These aren’t factors that are taken into account with off the peg suits. Your body is unique, so why shouldn’t your suit also be? Considering the shape of your body ought to be one of the main consideration when buying a suit.

Cost

Everyone likes value, but learning to spot it takes time. The cheapest price isn’t always the best value. Buying a suit is one such example. The comparatively poor quality of suits that are bought off the rack, mean that although they might be cheaper at face value, the fact that they’ll only last a few wears mean that this can be a bit of a false economy. Buying a bespoke suit, which is well constructed with high quality durable materials which will last you longer than an off the peg suit might well offer better value for money.

Hunting for stylish, comfortable shoes? Softwaves has the solution!

softwaves shoesWhether you’ve suffered from problem feet for many years or have recently been diagnosed with a foot problem, the chances are that you’re all too aware just how difficult it can be to find comfortable shoes that are stylish too. The search for fashionable comfortable footwear can be incredibly frustrating and is likely to be hampered by the fact that the majority of shoe manufacturers seem to go for the lowest common denominator: shoes designed with the latest trends in mind but made from cheap materials and with little thought for comfort.

All’s not lost though and thanks to something of a minor revolution in the world of shoe design, a number of shoe manufacturers are now making gorgeous footwear designed to appeal to our sense of style but without the need to compromise on comfort and fit. Softwaves is one such shoe brand and although they are a relatively new arrival on the comfort shoe scene (they were established back in 2013) they’re already creating waves (pardon the pun) with discerning shoe shoppers.

Softwaves equals style and comfort combined

So what is it about Softwaves shoes that are helping to make them so popular? Well first things first and it’s got to be style! Style, or lack of it, is the main bugbear of most comfort shoe shoppers and I know I speak for the majority of you when I say that most comfortable shoes are pretty hideous. Not so Softwaves and their latest range include some of the most stylish, elegant shoes I’ve come across. All tastes and occasions are covered: from beautiful heels, smart enough to wear to a wedding for formal event, through to stylish trainers, delicate summer sandals and on-trend winter boots.

Before I pick out a few of my personal favourites, I’ll give you a brief outline of the ingenious comfort features Softwaves use. First and foremost is their super soft, super flexible sole; in fact the Softwaves sole is so flexible it’s possible to bend and twist their shoes in much the same way that you’d wring out a wet cloth! What difference does this make to comfort? The answer is simple: flexibility and because these shoes move with your feet, rather than fighting against every step, you’ll feel like you’re walking on air. In addition, Softwaves make maximum use of superb quality, soft leather in every style and because all their shoes are leather-lined, there are no internal seams to rub against your feet. Perfect for wearing all day long, Softwaves shoes also have removable insoles, making them the ideal solution for anyone who has to wear their own orthotic insoles.

Stylish bliss for your feet

It really is difficult to pick my favourite Software shoes so to keep things simple I’ll stick to two! First are Softwaves’ heeled pumps and when you see these shoes for the first time I promise you you’ll really struggle to believe that these are actually comfort shoes! Elegant and sophisticated, these beautiful pumps are designed with a gorgeous wooden heel and pretty strap detail across the front. Definitely smart enough to wear to the office and easily smart enough to wear for an evening out, these must-have shoes are destined to become firm favourites.

My second choice is Softwaves’ wedge heeled sneakers. It’s the wedge heel and metallic finished leather that takes these fabulous sneakers to the next level and although they’d look great with jeans, they’d be equally fantastic when teamed up with smarter trousers or crops. Perfect!

Although Softwaves is a Portuguese shoe brand it is possible to buy them online here in the UK. I’ve found that the online shoe site Cheerful Soles has one of the best selections available and because they offer free delivery on all UK orders, buying Softwaves from the comfort of your own home is easy!

Wolky put the comfort back into walking

wolky_rio_in_off_whiteIf you suffer from problems with your feet you’ll know only too well how difficult it can be to find shoes that look good but are comfortable too. Wolky is a shoe brand with a difference and if you’ve been searching for stylish footwear that’s designed with comfort in mind, I think they’re pretty hard to beat.

Wolky is a Dutch company which was founded over thirty years ago and since that time the brand has gone from strength to strength, forging a reputation for creating fun loving footwear which is designed to provide day-long comfort. Appreciated and enjoyed by shoe lovers around the world, Wolky is worn by young and old alike.

The Wolky secret

The secret to Wolky’s great fit and superb comfort is in their careful design and use of high quality materials. Wolky shoes and sandals incorporate a unique anatomically shaped foot bed which is designed to absorb impact and can be removed to accommodate orthotic insoles. Featuring an additional layer of memory foam, Wolky insoles will mould themselves to the unique shape of the sole of your foot, providing support and comfort where you need it most, even if you are on your feet for long periods.

Quirky, fun-loving style

The phrase ‘comfortable shoes’ unfortunately often brings to mind unfashionable, dowdy shoes in dull colours. Wolky shoes and sandals couldn’t be more different and their collection includes a huge range of eye-catching designs, available in a collection of fabulous colours and on-trend styles. From fashionable trainers, through to elegant heels and pretty sandals, Wolky have the perfect comfort shoe for all occasions.

My personal favourites include Wolky’s range of ‘Kick’ trainers which are available in a range of super stylish metallic finishes and look fantastic when teamed up with skinny fit jeans, whilst Wolky’s ‘Joy’ sandals could be the perfect holiday sandal: comfortable enough to wear all day, pretty enough to wear in the evening with a summer dress or floaty skirt.

Men will be delighted to hear that Wolky have introduced a new men’s range for 2016. Designed with the very same care and attention to style which goes into their lady’s range, Wolky shoes and sandals for men are available in a range of smart and casual styles. From brogues and ankle boots which are smart enough to wear to the office, through to stylish trekking sandals and desert boots, now men can enjoy the unbeatable comfort of a pair of Wolkys too!

Problem feet are no longer a problem!

So if you’re fed up with trying to find stylish footwear to fit your problem feet, can I suggest you try Wolky for size? Wolky shoes can be difficult to find in the shops but I’ve found a number of online shoe shops based in the UK now stock them – one of my particular favourites is Cheerful Soles who offer a great selection plus free delivery and hassle free returns on all orders.

Fit v Size

a.k.a – Plus Size v Fat? The Great Debate

We take a look at the latest trend in male models, the “Brawn model”, and why it’s relevant to the future of men’s clothing.

If you’ve ever tried on an XL T-shirt and found it’s so tight it comes up like a cropped top, or attempted to pull on a pair of jeans that you couldn’t get past your calves then it turns out you’re not alone.  But are you “fat”? Surprisingly,  according to the rules recently set out in an article published by a leading men’s magazine which thousands of men including myself read and have come to respect, then if you can’t squeeze into certain brands’ size ranges, then “fat” is exactly you are.

But is this the truth of it?  I’ve been in that changing room, but I don’t consider myself fat. I’m 6 foot 2 tall, weigh 215 pounds and have a relatively healthy body fat percentage of just under 22 per cent.  Being labelled as “fat” doesn’t somehow seem fair considering that I spend most of my weekday evenings squatting in a gym, and not scoffing burgers.

But none of this matters as I try to squeeze into that restrictively tight XL shirt in such a way that it doesn’t strain like a sports bra! Getting the picture here!

Of course, I’m not alone in my trials with fit. According to a recent YouGov survey, 34 per cent of men in the UK struggle to find clothes to suit their body shape, whether because they’re too big, small, round, narrow, whatever.

But why is this surprising?  When you consider biological diversity is it so unexpected that as a species we should come in all shapes and sizes?

Have you heard of Zach Miko for example – labelled as the first ‘Brawn’ model he’s the first ‘plus’ size male model to be signed to a major US model agency and is the man who has sparked much of the debate around male size diversity as well as being the subject of the article mentioned previously.

At 6 foot 6 inches and 240 pounds, Miko’s definitely both ‘big and tall’. And whilst you could argue that he could shave an inch or two off his 40-inch waist, you can’t argue with the fact that he’s over 8 inches taller than the average US male, and no amount of sweating it out on a treadmill is going to make him any shorter.  (and therefore make it any easier for him to find jeans that won’t look like three-quarter lengths).

Mass production of clothing means that manufacturers cannot afford to approach size diversity if they want to make a profit.

The average menswear brand start out by designing a garment, let’s say a Medium (typically a 38-40-inch chest), based on the measurements of their fit model. This is their real-life mannequin whose dimensions are as close to what the brand believes is its “real” customer.  Then, to design bigger and smaller sizes to complete a size range, most manufacturers will simply add or subtract inches while maintaining the ratio.  However, this rudimentary approach fails to consider the fact that that’s not really how our bodies work and certainly cannot account for the subtle differences in overall body shape as you get larger.

It seems therefore that Size and Fit are two very different things. So the idea that because an off-the-peg garment doesn’t fit well is because they are too fat simply misses the point.  The whole debate comes close on the heels of a UK survey which estimates 40 per cent of men in the UK now say they’re dissatisfied with their body shape, and a worryingly 1 in 4 eating disorders are now occurring in males.

But the future is not completely black!  Most of us can’t afford to have our entire wardrobe made for us bespoke, but it seems that some manufacturers have seen the light and are now intending to use several different fit models to ensure that fit is optimised across the range of larger sizes.

Best of British

steve knightThe last few months have seen a host of British male celebs taking to the red carpets.  But let’s face it even without the awards ceremonies and film premieres,  every week the world’s best-dressed men get photographed looking polished and sleek while going about their daily lives.

We all know that every red carpet appearance is accompanied by a plethora of styling professionals but it’s amazing how those guys with true personal style still manage to stand out, even in every day get-up

So is there anything we mere mortals can learn about style from their well-executed wardrobe choices?

Tight fit….

Sharp cuts and tight fits are still a shortcut to style. But we’re not talking blood-stopping skinny jeans here.  Take “fitted” into suit jackets, shirts and trousers. They just make everything look better.  Think  Eddie Redmayne. The 34 year old is well versed in pulling off a very specific look.  His potential was spotted early on when he starred in Burberry campaigns and his impeccable style has been described as “ boarding-school pupil interning at a private equity firm goes to wedding” .  But even in dress down mode he teams chinos with fitted shirts and jumpers to keep it casual but sleek.

Whatever the weather…

If youre making an appearance in the UK your look needs to reconcile the brutal and often unseasonable British climate with razor-sharp style?  Ditch the tie and wrap on a scarf whilst keeping your look dark and monochrome to reflect the weather, and you’ll be able to combine functionality with celeb approved style.

Check it out …..

A three-piece suit isn’t always an easy look to pull off, but Gary Barlow was spotted recently smashing it.  The muted charcoal tones of his three piece with a discrete subtle toned check introduced both pattern and colour .

Broadly speaking…..

Every appearance Idris Elba makes these days appears to be a screen test to be the next 007.  His physique and potential for the role was shown off to its best with a tight fitted broad shouldered jacket with a fitted waist.  Definitely shaken not stirred!

Make mine a double …..

Well built, stylish men will know that double-breasted jackets are always their friend. Put them in a traditional single breasted jacket and their broader upper bodies tend to look box-like.  But a well fitted DB jacket makes a feature of a V-shaped torso and add peak lapels and you get the ultimate in streamlined outline.

Ditch the shirt…..

Recently seen on screen in everything from swashbuckling Russian army uniform to dog-collar, James Norton proves that down-dressing is never a bad thing. Ditching  the shirt for a T-shirt with suit can be a hard look to pull off (never go for a V or scoop neck) but the War and Peace actor nails it, keeping under layers lighter to separate mismatched trouser and jacket combo while ultimately pulling together the whole look.
So take a style note from the Best of British to update your look as we head into Spring!

What makes the perfect wedding shoes?

think-imma-cross-over-tailoringSo you’ve chosen your dream wedding dress and it’s time to start looking for that perfect pair of shoes. However, choosing wedding shoes is never very easy and with such a huge selection of styles and shapes to choose from and finding a colour that will complement and match your dress, buying wedding shoes can start to become very daunting indeed.

With so much to think about it’s a good idea to have a few ideas of what makes the perfect wedding shoe, so hopefully this article will make you feel more confident that the shoes you choose will be just right!

Comfort is crucial

First things first and it’s very important that you choose shoes which are comfortable to wear. Don’t forget that you’ll be wearing your wedding shoes for a long time; from when you set off to the venue until last thing at night.

With this in mind you’ll find that shoes which are specially designed as wedding shoes are designed to be comfortable and will have extra padding that you won’t find inside other shoes. It can be very tempting to start looking at evening shoes but the extra support that comes with wedding shoes can make all the difference between day-long comfort and painful feet on your big day. If you shop online, you’ll find that there are some shoe shops such as www.cheerfulsoles.co.uk which specialise in stylish shoes which have been specially designed with comfort in mind.

Cheap does not equal cheerful

There’s no denying that weddings are expensive and you’re likely to have a very tight budget for your outfit. However, whilst we all like to find a bargain, it’s not a good idea to compromise on the cost of your wedding shoes. As a general rule of thumb you should be prepared to spend around 10% of the cost of your dress on your shoes, so if the gorgeous dress you have chosen has cost £800, you need to set aside around £80 for bridal shoes.

Fabric or leather?

When it comes to choosing the fabric of your wedding shoes the choice is, of course, entirely up to you but the most popular wedding shoe designs are made from silk or satin. The style of shoes you chose will come down to the style of your dress and your own sense of style. Remember that if you’ve chosen a non-traditional dress, the choice is unlimited as you can go for any style of shoe you like.

The perfect colour

Colour is important and although you might think that all bridal shoes are ivory, white or cream, there are huge variations within these colour shades. Your wedding shoes should be a good match for your dress, but that doesn’t have to limit the colour you choose and you’ll also need to take into account the style, location and setting of your wedding.

Brides who want a traditional look are likely to look for shoes which are an exact colour match to their dress, but if your style is funkier, why not go for completely contrasting shoes instead? Don’t forget that style embellishments can help to add a very personal touch and there are huge ranges of jewelled bridal shoe accessories available. Whichever shoes you choose, don’t forget to take them with you every time you go for a dress fitting to ensure your dress is the perfect length.

High heels or pretty pumps?

The best advice when it comes to heel height is to go with what you used to.  If you’re happy in a pair of killer heels then you’ll feel comfy on your wedding day, but if you normally wear flats, your wedding is not the time to experiment with four inch heels!

There’s a huge selection of gorgeous ballet pump and low-heeled wedding shoes available but if you would like to add a little height to your overall height, platform or kitten heels are a good compromise.

How to choose the perfect shoes for day-long comfort

cheerful-soles-semla-shoeStylish shoes designed with comfort in mind

Whether your job requires you to stand for long periods or you simply have a very busy lifestyle, having the right footwear can make all the difference! Choosing shoes which are comfortable is one thing but what’s the best way to find shoes that will appeal to your sense of style whilst providing day-long comfort?

Stay on the flat

If you’re a fan of killer heels you’ve probably already realised that unfortunately height doesn’t usually equal comfort! High heels have a terrible reputation for causing a whole host of health problems including back pain, bunions, corns and callouses to name but a few. However, although we know that heels are bad for our health and comfort, it is hard to ditch them if you’re a die-hard fan.

If you’re going to buy heels it goes without saying that they must fit properly. If they feel tight or rub, even if it’s only a little bit, steer clear as once you’ve been wearing them for around an hour, that little bit of rubbing will turn into crippling pain. The best fit should feel snug but with enough room for you to wiggle your toes without them feeling squashed. Heels with pointed toes should be avoided altogether as a toe that is slightly rounded will always feel more comfortable, regardless of the height of the heel.

When it comes to high heels, they’re unlikely to offer you day-long comfort and if you’re in a job that means that you need to be on your feet for long periods, it’s probably best to choose a style with a mid-height or flat heel and to save the heels for nights out and weekends!

Look for foot-friendly design features

Although wearing heels all day is a bad idea, very flat shoes can prove to be equally uncomfortable. Avoid ballerina-style pumps which have thin, completely flat soles as these offer little support and by the end of the day you’ll be able to feel every pebble or crack on the pavement! Instead it’s best to look for foot-friendly features such as cushioned soles and lower, chunky heels which are designed to give the impression of height, whilst spreading out the impact of your feet through the cushioning. Wearing this style of shoe will make you feel stylish whilst causing less pain.

Look inside and out

When choosing shoes make sure you look inside the shoe as it when it comes to comfort, the shoe’s interior is more important than the style. The important thing is to avoid flat shoes which have a narrow toe box, or that lack arch support, or have seams inside that could rub your feet and cause painful blisters.

Buy shoes online

The choice of comfortable shoes available to buy online is almost endless and has opened up new worlds in terms of the range of styles. Many online shoe shops such as Cheerful Soles allow customers to review styles – this can be very helpful when it comes to finding out how other buyers have found the shoes in terms of comfort and fit.

Another major advantage of buying online is that you can buy as many pairs as you want, before trying them on in the comfort of your own home. You’ll have the freedom to try them on with different outfits and all without a pushy sales person breathing down your neck! The best time to try on shoes is at the end of the day when your feet will be at their most swollen.

So next time you decide to buy some new shoes, rather than looking upon your shopping trip with dread, why not look on the positive side instead? Remember that comfort doesn’t have to equal frumpy and as long as you take into consideration heel height and look for foot-friendly design features, you’re likely to find that there’s a huge choice of stylish, comfortable shoes out there!

Choosing Travel Luggage Made Easy!

credit jenny w freeimages.com

credit jenny w
freeimages.com

Choosing luggage, especially if you travel a lot, could be one of the most important choices you will ever make. You need to transport all the possessions and kit you need for your trip, however long, safely and securely without damage. These days, most of us get to carry our own luggage, so the last thing we want is bulky, difficult to handle items. What we want instead is the least weight with the most structural integrity and ease of handling. However, well-designed luggage costs money. But it’s a trade-off which you have to weigh up. There are many old adages which cover it; buy cheap buy twice is the obvious one and indeed the investment in quality travel luggage is well worth it and will yield real dividends in terms of hassle-free travel and longevity for many years to come. After all, aren’t there enough difficulties in travel these days; your luggage does not need to be one of them.

In our opinion, there is no substitute for quality, which is why if you travel a lot money spent on well-constructed and properly engineered pieces is money well spent. This investment will keep failures to a minimum and avoid travel hassles, which in turn will help to maintain your sanity and keep you organised. It’s a fact, higher quality luggage last longer, wears and looks better after airline abuse, and will not add to travel problems.

And of course don’t forget that the new generation of luggage is also lighter, which could save you on excess baggage fees but more importantly if you have to lift your bags either into a rack or just to carry it. It’s another fact that older style luggage, regardless of construction and materials, is significantly heavier than the new plastic-based materials.

Despite lengthy research, we could find no manufacturer who have complied a good checklist for customers to review and decide what’s important to them and their style of travel before buying new luggage. There’s also all the additional options to select from; materials, number of wheels (if any), internal space configurations ….. and so the list goes on!

Checklist for choosing travel luggage.

  • How often do you travel;
  • How long are your trips;
  • How much do you need to carry, in terms of weight and volume;
  • What is the volume in litres of the luggage you are selecting, and will it hold everything you need to carry;
  • Do you carry or check your luggage;
  • How do you normally carry your luggage? Do you pull it, drag it, push it, or roll it in a vertical case mode;
  • Does the carry-on luggage comply with all airline overhead compartment rules for size, weight, and volume;
  • How many suits or clothes on hangers do you have to pack;
  • Do you live out of your suitcase, or empty the contents into shelves or drawers;
  • How do you unpack your luggage when you arrive at your destination? Do you like to remove the contents, or hang your luggage in the closet;
  • Will you have difficulty lifting or moving the luggage when fully packed;
  • What is the warranty for the luggage and reputation of the manufacturer? Is the warranty for the life of the luggage;
  • How sturdy is the wheel-case interface
  • Is the outer material durable and impact resistant?

The skill of bespoke pattern cutting

nortonandtownsend.co.uk

Image credit Dora Mitsonia freeimages.com

A suit that has been hand made to fit you perfectly has the potential to make you look and feel great and by choosing a bespoke tailor made suit is a worthwhile investment for a special occasion. Behind every stylish suit lies a great pattern so when it comes to creating a bespoke garment, what exactly is involved?

A skilled tailor will begin by taking many detailed measurements whilst taking into account your body shape, your stance and your gait before creating a hand-crafted pattern. This is where choosing a bespoke suit really comes into its own and because all tailor made suits are cut from a hand-drafted pattern, they offer unparalleled fit.

Bespoke pattern manipulation

Savile Row is famous for being the home of bespoke tailoring and three main pattern drafting methods are used by tailors working in this prestigious London street. Pattern manipulation is the pattern cutting system which is used most frequently. A basic block pattern which has been created in a pre-existing size is used as a template and as the starting point to create an individual pattern, before it is improved to fit your unique size and shape. A block pattern will match the dimensions of the wearer but will also incorporate accurate details of your figure, such as your gait or how you stand.

There are pros and cons to this method of pattern cutting: an experienced Savile Row pattern cutter will use their skills to adjust the pre-existing template to produce a brand-new template that is designed to fit your figure perfectly. Although this method of pattern cutting is looked down upon by some tailors, it offers the advantage of providing the cutter with a tried and tested starting point and saves a great deal of time in comparison to creating a pattern from scratch.

Bespoke pattern drafting

This method of pattern cutting begins with your individual measurements which are then used to draft a pattern from scratch and relies on a high level of skill on the part of your tailor. Bespoke pattern drafting is extremely technical – in fact it could almost be likened to the creating of an engineering drawing! A ruler, drafting square and a scale formula are the tools of the trade for the bespoke pattern drafter and once the highly complicated process has been completed, the finished pattern is checked, double-checked and then checked again.

Different tailors have their own preferred system for bespoke pattern drafting and although this method of pattern cutting is very time consuming, when carried out by an experienced tailor, is guaranteed to result in a superb cut and fit.

Freehand pattern cutting

Freehand pattern cutting is something of a hybrid version of the previous two methods: pattern cutters who favour this method will calculate a drafting formula using their skills and experience before cutting the pattern freehand, using only their tape measure and tailor’s chalk to guide them. If you’re thinking that this method of pattern cutting sounds a little vague that’s because it is! Experienced tailors such as the renowned “No 1 Travelling Tailors” www.nortonandtownsend.co.uk will know if a pattern works or not and if they don’t like the way it looks, or if they think it won’t suit you, then they’ll change it. So although freehand pattern cutting isn’t exactly scientific, it has the potential to allow your tailor to create an incredibly stylish suit that fits you like a glove.