@MusingMutley: Three easy ways to wear a suit all day, every day
I know this is going to come off as sexist, but hear me out: One of the benefits of being a man is being able to throw on a well-cut suit — any day and at any time — and be transformed. Downright dapper. Just like that. It's like putting on armour: It emboldens, tightens, makes you stand up straight, and gives you the extra chutzpah to tackle the world head on. (Let's be honest, it's half the reason why the TV show Suits was such a hit; the other half, Gabriel Macht. That know-it-all Patrick J Adams? Not so much.)
Yes, I know the ladies can also pull off a good suit — sometimes better than the blokes; I'm looking at you Janie Cai, Esther Quek and Sarah Ann Murray — but as a general statement (not intended to separate or denigrate), the suit, with its origins rooted in military garb, is very much in the daily style lexicon of gents. But just because guys get to wear suits everyday to work, doesn't mean we always get it right. Why? Because, unlike women's fashion which is more about the entire look (often punctuated with 'It' bags and accessories), the #menswear world is won and lost on the battlefield of subtle details and archaic heuristics.
The first suit that I bought (when entering the work force many moons ago as a bright-eyed lawyer) was a Hugo Boss suit. Like anything off-the rack, it needed a few adjustments: I brought in the waist, shortened the trousers, and cut a few centimetres off the suit sleeves to let my shirt cuffs peek through. All in all, it was a smart suit, and I liked it so much that I bought two more in different fabrics: Blue, grey and black (and in that order). So when Hugo Boss invited me to experience their BOSS Made to Measure service, I dove right in. A suit tailored to my exact specifications? Heck. Yes.
What did I order?
A broken two-piece suit: Check linen and wool blazer (two buttons, notch lapel and double-vented) paired with a light grey flat-front trouser (cuffed for that rakish flair).
How was the experience?
Relatively seamless. Expect a meticulous two-hour first fitting where every curve and bump is measured and recorded, followed by a second fitting for minor tweaks and adjustments. At my second fitting, everything felt a bit too tight (I bet it was all that dark chocolate) so I had to get it all loosened up a tad (not great on the ego). Otherwise, every detail was considered, from button selection to having your signature (it could also be a drawing or phrase) embroidered into the interior of the jacket and the inner waistband of the trouser.
Eight weeks after my first fitting, and wham-bam-thank-you-m'am, I had a two-piecer cut to a hair's width of my body. Tight. Made in Metzingen from 180 individual pieces, that famous German precision came through in a razor-sharp full canvas suit balanced with camel and horsehair interlining for suppleness and structure. Functioning button cuffs? Naturally. Hand-stitched undercollar? Of course, and crafted from Irish linen and cashmere for great shape and comfort.
How many ways can you wear a suit?
I'm glad you asked. Now that I'm armed with a BOSS Made to Measure suit, I want to wear it all day, every day, Hyundai. So here, my dear friends, are three easy ways — recommendations to rev you up, faster than you can say 'Ferrari' — to wear your suit any day of the week.
1. A SHARP 'BROKEN' SUIT FOR THE OFFICE
You want to stand out from the homogenous drones hunching around in their sloppy suits, but on the same token, you also don't want to be balling it to work in a blindingly bright suit with your pinky finger to the moon (whatcha trying do?). The solution? A deliberately mismatched or 'broken' suit. Try a patterned blazer paired with a plain trouser (or vice versa) to pique interest, and invite convivial water cooler compliments, withough breaking the corporate dress code.
2. MIX IT UP WITH WEEKEND SEPARATES
When the weekend swings around, ditch the blazer, shirt and tie in favour of a graphic tee tucked into your flat-front trousers. (You did order flat-front trousers, right?) On the topic of trousers, make sure you ask for an extended tab closure at the waist — let's you wear your trousers without a belt, which is infinitely more modern and chic. Feel me? Just say you feel the way that I feel.
3. NAILING 'SMART CASUAL'
Has this ever happened to you?
Friend: Great, I'll see you at the party on Saturday.
You: What's the dress code again?
Friend: Smart casual.
You: Actually, I just remembered that I need to do laundry that day. And sort out my spice rack. It's all over the shop.
Don't let the fear of 'Smart Casual' kill your social life again. All you have to do is dress down your broken suit with a classic crew-neck tee, anchor the whole look with white kicks, and your're laughing. Shades? Recommended. Beanie? For quick coffee runs. Or for the great indoors (Ha!) in Singapore when the AC is fully locked and loaded. (But when is it not? Am I right or am I right?)
BOSS MADE TO MEASURE SERVICE
After a superior suit cut to your exacting proportions? Make an appointment to experience the BOSS Made to Measure service at the BOSS boutique in Ngee Ann City, #01-14 (tel: 67350233).
Christmas shopping at Hugo Boss with Velda Tan and Frederick Yap
Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. For more columns from @MusingMutley, click here.
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