Because of where October House is located, I spend most of my days working with a fine view of central London. You don't need me to tell you that whatever your profession, you're always looking out for what you know and in my case, that is suits and the tailored men's look. I can't help but spot things on my journey into work, or when I pop out for lunch during the day. I've seen everything and the idea of this blog is to give you some infrequent ramblings about things that catch my eye.
It has to be said there are a lot of dapper chaps out there in London Town, but there are no excuses for some of the fashion nightmares that I see on a daily basis.
I was reminded of this on my way into London only today as I walked behind a gentleman in a really great suit. The only problem was he had still managed to commit cardinal sin number one - ankle-skimming trousers! Maybe it's a personal pet hate but it's a big no-no in my fashion book of dos and don'ts. A simple alteration goes a long way and gives that classic look rather than the preppy style that some people are favouring at the minute. Each to their own!
The same definitely applies to ill-fitting sleeves. This is equally as simple to rectify and there aren't enough blokes out there taking a couple of minutes out of their day to smarten their suits up. The smaller details make the bigger picture.
I do have other bugbears (I'm not always moaning, I promise) and those are mismatched suits. Come on guys! This is an easy one to get right. I think the big no-nos are the very bold patterns and prints which aren't hard to miss. The cleaner the suit, the better, gents! When people wear heavy checks or stripes with overly-complicated shirt and tie combos, it just plain wrong. You never want too much going on because you end up not knowing where to look.
Part of my job at October House is to advise customers against these kinds of combos and to suggest more dapper alternatives. We offer bespoke suits and believe we have something for everyone. My top tip is keep it simple. Don't try too hard. If your tie is heavily printed, keep the shirt crisp and plain. If the shirt is checked, do not go for a striped tie. Instead, opt for block colour. If you're a fan of patterns, choose some jazzy socks to avoid clashing your shirt and tie.
Some gents also seem to have a habit of making a beautiful fabric look awful with an ill-fitted suit and vice versa, in that a beautifully-crafted suit can be made to look awful with a poor choice of fabric. This is so easily avoidable and nothing looks better than a sharp suit in a fine fabric. It's frustrating working in this industry and seeing a gent heading to work in a great suit which has been totally ruined by a garish or totally unflattering fabric. This is where your tailor needs to step in. Don't be afraid to ask about which fabrics work with which cuts - we're experts in our field and are more than happy to offer out advice.
It's almost every day that I spot a chap living by the old adage 'a watch and shoes make the man'. I can vouch that this is categorically not true from my hours spent people-watching on the Tube. It's one thing having an expensive watch and a cool pair of shoes, so I'm always taken aback when despite this, guys still manage to get the outfit so very wrong! Get the suit nailed first, then add the flash accessories.
What I'd really love to see more of is individuality and dressing for what actually suits you. Far too many people are following the crowd. We don't want to see every single male commuter in a classic cut navy suit, as much of a safe option as that may be. Sadly for followers of fashion, we're all built differently so styles that look great on George Clooney types may look dreadful on your average bloke. Your tailor can help you find the perfect style for your shape. This depends on all sorts of factors including your height, build and even your personality.