Style Guide – Combining Tailored Separates
Here at Cad & The Dandy we are seeing an increasing number of our customers investing in tailored separates. By far the most popular of these are jackets and trousers, as contemporary style evolves to determine that the regular business suit is not always the dominant uniform of the workplace. Seasonally, summer also brings a wealth of occasions for which a less formal look is favourable – al fresco drinks parties, garden gatherings and events of a sporting nature.
Where the choices of cloth for a suit can be relatively straightforward, with tailored separates a greater degree of consideration is required. The wealth of weights, patterns and colours available brings many more options into the equation.
For us, the key to selecting successful tailored separates is contrast. Both the trousers and jacket should be in a different cloth from each other, making a clear, visible distinction between the two. As a general rule we would suggest choosing your colours first, then deciding on patterns as a secondary consideration.
For example, neutral coloured trousers in shades of beige, pale blue, light grey and cream can be successfully paired with darker jackets in browns and navy blues. Prince of Wales checks, herringbones and window pane checks work well as contrasting cloths, adding more depth to the overall look. Equally, reversing this with a dark trouser and lighter coloured jacket will work just as well.
It’s worth remembering that less formal cloths, such as cottons, gaberdines and linens are best paired together. The same rule applies with more formal cloths such as flannels, worsteds and cashmeres. To mix between these two can result in a slightly chaotic look. Conversely, cloth choices that are too similar may result in a look that is overly matchy-matchy and definitely something to be avoided.
The introduction of some well considered style elements to your jacket can also give it a stronger identity as a tailored separate in its own right, rather than looking like a suit jacket. This might include the addition of a belted cuff, some button hole detailing or pleated patch pockets.
Posted by Ian Meiers, Director (Savile Row/City)