Words by Vlad Tichen
When building your perfect wardrobe, it’s smart to invest in high-quality staples that aren’t only versatile, but also ‘of the season’. Trends in formal tailoring don’t change very often, but there are a few noticeable styles that tend to take the forefront each quarter.
To help you keep up with what’s new, we are pleased to introduce another sartorial update with trends gathered from across the globe.
The Double-Breasted Jacket
Only a few years ago wearing a double-breasted jacket would have been regarded as quite formal and too traditional. These days, it doesn't seem overly extravagant anymore as the garment still makes a great style statement today. The revival of the double-breasted jacket has begun and we’re embracing the look at Nicholas Jermyn.
It all started in the military. The humble naval reefer jacket had proven itself warm and comfortable to wear when it was adopted by more fashionable gentlemen in the late nineteenth century. They wore their new double-breasted coats mainly for casual occasions, as the style was considered too informal for business. The situation changed when Edward the Prince of Wales, (a prominent trendsetter at the time), started to wear double-breasted suits during the 1920’s and continued doing so, turning the military-influenced garment into proper formal attire, making it a part of every gentleman’s wardrobe.
Nicholas Jermyn Styling Tips
Your height does not matter
You don’t have to be two meters tall in order to look good in a double-breasted jacket. It’s all about the balance, so keep it short to create an illusion of height and keep it proportionate to your body.
The buttons to count
There are a few options of button number and configuration on a double-breasted jacket. The most common is called the 6x2. It shows six buttons, of which the bottom right two may be buttoned, and the topmost two are for display only.
To make this style work for you, make sure the lower four buttons are arranged in a square, about 11 cm apart. This would work best on a tall, athletic figure. For those who are a bit wider at the waist and shorter, shifting the bottom two buttons down slightly (no more than 2.5 cm) will elongate this square, and create the illusion of height. For those who are very slim, widening the stance of the buttons will provide the illusion of width. Don’t overdo this aspect — move the buttons no more than 3.5 cm further than they were originally set, and keep the balance right.
The Formal Denim Shirt
Arguably, the formal denim shirt can be added to the list of essentials in a gentleman’s wardrobe. It is a style that has become quite popular, even outside sartorial menswear circles. And here, at Nicholas Jermyn, we understand why - because of its simple, versatile and slightly rugged appearance and its unusual yet oddly classic look when paired with formal tailoring.
The formal denim shirt projects an effortlessly cool image. And the comfort and ease-of-wear makes it a firm favourite this season.
A sceptic might say, there’s no bigger difference than the one between denim and tailoring. And they’re partly right. Formal menswear has always been the prerogative of white-collar society. Denim, on the other hand, was widely accepted as the prime workwear material for blue collar workers due to its toughness and durability.
But keep in mind that these dress-code rules were originally set more than a hundred years ago and would today, feel quite outdated. There is now a tendency for a fusion in pretty much every aspect of our life – in design, art, culture, and in fashion. And in turn, it comes as no surprise that dressing for work, or dressing for anything in fact, is open, and entirely up to personal preference and taste.
Nicholas Jermyn Styling Tips
Have an open mind
Once you have your denim shirt on, you’re in that interesting territory where it’s acceptable to put a twist on the tried and true. So if you want to mix up a perfectly well tailored denim shirt with your favourite navy blazer or a light cotton brown summer suit, we have no objections.
Make it office-appropriate
Turn your denim shirt into a staple you could wear to the office every day. Go for a thin denim in a light shade of blue - a fresh update on the classic blue dress shirt that works equally well with a blazer or tweed jacket.
Create a contemporary classic look by combining your denim shirt with a simple navy suit. In order to allow the natural texture of your shirt to come through, stick with a plain suit fabric. Add a pair of good quality brogues; and admire the perfect juxtaposition between dressy wool and slightly informal denim.