TEAM TALK – ALEX MCKIE
Savile Row Manager, Alex, takes the spotlight in this latest addition to our Team Talk series, with a focus on his most recent bespoke commission, a chocolate brown Solbiati linen suit.
B: That’s a gorgeous linen suit, Alex. Tell me about it.
A: Thanks. It’s cut from a chocolate Solbiati linen cloth, made with yarn that is 50% finer than standard linen. It’s something of a current favourite at Cad, with a few of the team having had suits made up……we’re basically one member away from a barbershop quartet.
B: Nice! So, besides the colour, what’s so special about it?
A: Solbiati has extensive experience creating pure linen cloths and this 14 oz linen is truly exceptional; the three ply twisted yarn makes for a robust, compact cloth which is soft and tactile on the right side while being springy and textured on the reverse. The result is a rarity – a breathable summer cloth with impeccable drape.
B: It’s a very sharp look, with an almost waxy finish to the cloth, giving a lot less crease than I’d expect from linen. Talk me through the design details – I see you’ve gone for a three piece.
A: I’ve always been a fan of a three piece, especially during the warmer months. When you want to look smart but find yourself too warm in a jacket, a waistcoat is the perfect rescue garment – elegant but not stifling. A tip for anyone who plans on dancing at any weddings this summer!
I’ve kept it classic with a single breasted, single button jacket with a bold 4.5 inch notched lapel. The addition of patch pockets give a more casual feel than traditional flap or jetted options. The double breasted waistcoat also has a bolder than average lapel at 3.75 inches. The trousers have pleated fronts, chosen as much for comfort as style, with turn ups.
B: It’s obvious that you’re well versed in the art of creating bespoke suits. How long have you been in the tailoring world?
A: I started out on Jermyn street at the tender age of 20. Having grown up with a father who had a strong appreciation for well crafted garments, inheriting the fascination was pretty much inevitable. I moved around a couple of the houses from there, with Savile Row being the natural progression.
B: Final question – with almost a decade of experience in tailoring behind you, what’s the one bespoke summer staple every man should have in his wardrobe?
A: I’d say an unstructured lightweight hopsack navy jacket. I’d go for single breasted, but a double breasted would be equally as easy to dress up or down. There are some great examples from Dugdale Bros. I’d pair that with my casual Journey Denim Shirt which goes perfectly with everything from plain cotton trousers, to light summer tweeds and wax jackets (for those seasonal showers). Crafted in a luxurious 2 ply denim, the shirt improves with age, fading in colour but retaining its character through its slim fit, modern cut-away collar and mother of pearl buttons.
B: Once a shirt aficionado, always a shirt aficionado! Thanks for your time, and the top summer styling tips.
Book a consultation with Alex, via our online booking service.