Chapter Five: The Elements
Here we will present the complete Fit Kit elements. We will unveil a new item each week or so over the Spring 2017 Season.
I. The Classic Navy Blazer
The classic navy blazer is part of the foundation of your Fit Kit wardrobe.
It is most versatile. Wear with a dark gray trouser and it becomes almost as formal as suit. Pair it with khakis and a colored Tee and it is ready for any smart-casual occasion.
Ours, by Southwick, is a superior quality light Doeskin Wool that is both durable and comfortable, and can essentially be worn in most any season (except for those really hot days).
II. Wool Dress Trouser
The line between dress and casual trousers is not as clear as it used to be. BUT so much the better, because now many can go either way, adding versatility (versatility is one of the key elements of the Fit Kit).
Our favorite in terms of versatility is our all wool twill. It’s characteristic diagonal ribbed pattern gives it a robust and more casual look and feel. It holds it’s shape and drapes well. We carry three colors in order of wardrobe building priority: middle gray, oxford brown and suede green.
Next in formality is our worsted wool plain weave in two shades of grey: middle grey and charcoal. A flatter surface gives it a more formal look and touch.
Third is our all wool, tan color gabardines. Think of them as a dressy pair of khakis.
The proper fit of a trouser seems to be elusive to a lot of men. Simply stated, clothing construction is mostly about turning two dimensions (the fabric) into three (the finished garment). A better make will fit better because more handwork and pressing operations during the construction give more shape to the finished trouser.
A few tips for getting a proper fit:
1. The trouser must fit the seat comfortably and has a lot more to do with the correct size than the stated 'waist size'. Try on a few sizes up and down from your waist size of 'record' and choose the one that feels right in the seat (not tight and not baggy).
2. The rise (distance from top of waistband to lowest point of the crotch of the trouser) is very important. There is a place on your body (somewhere between your navel and top of hips) where the waist of the trouser rides comfortably and feels natural. Now think about where the crotch of the pant is. Too close (to your anatomy) is very uncomfortable and too far away restricts mobility. If the rise does not fit correctly, don’t buy the pants. A difference of even a half inch can be the difference between a right fit and a wrong fit.
3. Once you have the correct seat and rise combination, the waist can easily be adjusted in or out for comfort. Snug up your belt (always try on trousers with a belt) and make sure the waist band does not buckle.
4. The correct length is either just touching the shoe or a very slight break. Cuffs preferred as it is a visual punctuation too a long expanse of leg.
A couple tips on care of your trousers:
1. Hold the trouser by the hem until the back and front creases line up. Drape over a pant hanger or a jacket hanger with a bar.
2. Allow the trouser to hang for a day or two, and most of the wrinkles will hang out of a high quality wool trouser. Use a steamer or steam setting on an iron to address any remaining wrinkles (usually behind the knees if any). Never touch the iron to the surface of the trouser. Frequent dry cleaning is NOT recommended, or necessary, as frequent dry cleaning can shorten the lifespan of a wool garment. Instead, simply air out the trouser on a clothes line in fresh air on a sunny day, which does wonders to any wool garment.
III. The Suit
Every man needs at least one good suit.
And it should be clean, pressed and ready to go. Suit appropriate occasions can often pop up unexpectedly.
And if you only need one suit, be sure1) it fits, 2) it is clean and pressed, 3) it is dark in color, and 4) it is classic in style. A darker color like navy or charcoal will be appropriate for any occasion. An argument for a solid navy as an only suit in your wardrobe is versatility; occasionally wear the jacket as a blazer.
We recommend a solid pattern since it is the most formal in a dark color AND can easily be tipped towards less formal with patterned shirts (plaids and checks) and sporty ties.
Our classic style is a natural shoulder (soft and rounded), two button, side vents and two lower flap pockets. The very short and very trim styles have a place in the fashion world but not in the professional world. Our position is slightly shorter and slightly trimmer.
If your needs are for more than one or two suits, here is what we recommend in order of priority:
1. A plaid or textured weave (tic weave or nailhead) in an earth tone (brown or olive) for less formal occasions. If chosen carefully, you could have a suit that could be worn as a separate coat or trouser.
2. A middle gray, either plaid or stripe.
3. A solid tan is great as an early spring through September seasonal look.
Feel free to call us or stop by if you would like more specifics regarding colors/patterns mentioned above.
As far as fabric, our vote is for wool or a wool/elastane blend. The new suiting fabrics are even better than they were even a year ago. They drape nicely, pass the body's heat and moisture in warm weather, insulate in cold weather, and resist wrinkles. One customer remarked after traveling all day in his new suit, “my suit looked better than I did".
Stay tuned. We will be adding the remaining 9 essential Fit Kit elements over the next several weeks.
Feel free to call us- we're in the store: 207.773.3906