King & Allen co-founder Adam King on how to dress
Whilst the world of men’s suiting is richly diverse, and the possibilities for new styles, designs and cuts are endless, there are some fundamental combinations that should be the basis for every gentleman’s wardrobe. Of course it is the decision of the individual as to which of the following bear the most significance, and the readers of LondonLovesBusiness are a wonderfully diverse bunch: the City banker will have different needs to the West End hedge fund manager to the Tech Entrepreneur, but there are certain assumptions that bind us all; we have both work commitments and life events (weddings, funerals, christenings, interviews etc) that would almost certainly benefit from the addition of a well fitted, slick looking suit.
The following list should act as a guideline, to help you ascertain what may or may not be missing from your wardrobe. These are the blank canvasses, onto which you are free to stamp your own requirements and personality.
1. Grey charcoal. 11-12oz.
The classic ‘workaday’ suit: practical, smart, slimming and distinguished, it is the perfect unassuming businesswear. Even if you don’t work in an office it’s worth owning one: the jacket or trousers make great smart casual and charcoal is perfectly acceptable at a funeral. If you wear suits every day you’ll need two: for the second try going for something double breasted, or opt for an atypical cloth such as flannel, self-stripe or Prince of Wales check.
2. Navy blue. 10-12oz.
Navy blue is a warmer, more open colour than charcoal grey, so is more suited to someone who works in sales or is customer facing in any way. Navy blue is charcoal grey’s more artistic, less conservative younger brother. If you wear suits every day you’ll need two: for the second try opting for something a shade lighter or a shade darker – in a lighter (9-10oz) cloth.
3. Prince of Wales check. 9-11oz.
A check suit can be as subtle or as bold as your mood takes you. Whatever your choice, the suit will have a design element to it that sets it apart from ‘solid’ cloths. Often there’s a chance to add another colour which can match your lining, your pocket square or your cuff buttholes. It’s perfect for wedding s and other events, or at work if you want to stand out.
4. Dinner Suit. 11-13oz.
Since dinner suits are only ever worn for important occasions, and they never go out of style, it’s worth buying a good one and keeping it for life. If your body shape changes you can have it altered so you’ll save money on rentals or replacements in the long term. And you’ll look like a million dollars at every black tie event you’ll ever attend.
5. Something special.
You’ve got 2-4 suits for everyday workwear and 2 for weddings and other special events. You are now developing a reputation for yourself as a consistently smart dresser and your previous 4-6 experiences of choosing colours, cloths and style choices have made you a true suit aficionado. To quote Rudyard Kipling:
“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”
It’s time to embrace your growing reputation and utilise your new expertise by making a real statement.
Adam King is the co-founder of King & Allen – who offer high end bespoke tailoring at affordable prices. Their London fitting locations are: Liverpool St, Savile Row, Charing Cross, Surbiton and Amersham