Straight from No. 1 Savile Row in London, Gieves & Hawkes private tailoring consultant Tim Ardron talks from the brand’s new shop located at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. Ardron gives us his tips, tricks and everything else one needs to know about the luxurious private tailoring service he and his team offer. Measure us up.
I think we offer something different, especially in the Asian market. I was walking around this morning and noticed a lot of the guys here wear softer tailoring. We offer something different, that British cut, which has a slightly harder shoulder, is a little bit more masculine in its shape and has a slightly slimmer body. I think that will appeal to customers out here. We’ve been tailoring for 250 years; all that knowledge goes into our tailoring – it’s extensive and it’s about quality.
I think colour choice depends on what stage you come to us. If you come to us and it’s your initial introduction to tailoring – to have a suit that’s actually made up as a one-off for you – then play it kind of safe: so charcoal or navy. I’ve never met a single person who doesn’t look good in a plain navy suit. So if you keep to plain navy for the first one, maybe make it a three-piece so it’s interesting and play around with the lapel, possibly. As long as you don’t complicate that [first] suit, I think that you’ll always end up happier.
In terms of fabric – always wool. Wool is the best fibre known to man. I think if there were three types of suit or tailored garment that I would recommend for the wardrobe, it would be a mid-weight navy three-piece suit, a what we call “tropical-weight” blazer and then a flannel suit. A nice charcoal flannel suit in a double-breasted cut – which has a little bit more of a charm to it – it’s a very English sort of suit. Then you are quite well-covered in your wardrobe, you can cater to a lot of needs, it’s quite flexible.
Single-breasted vs double-breasted suit
I wear both. The only rule I have with double-breasted is that I think you need to be cautious. If a man’s quite wide – a double-breasted can look quite heavy on him. So if he wanted to go for a double-breasted cut then maybe he should pay a bit more attention to detail of what cloth to choose. Single-breasted: everyone looks good in that.
A great way to personalise your suit is with a nice solid colour pocket square. Bow ties are great to wear. They are a trend, they seem to come in for a couple of years and go back out. Ties are a great way to sharpen up your look, as long as you have the right sort of knot. Other little details that are unique to our private tailoring service, is that we can make the last buttonhole on your cuff a certain colour. Lining, as well, is quite a cool way to do something different. We have all these cloth and lining choices – different colours to make something truly unique.