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The ABC of a formal outfit

Holidays are not only a time for careless laziness, but also the frequent special events, where the dress code dictates following the limits of the formal style.

In the outfit classification hotchpotch, you should keep a reasonable moderation. I’d like to mention the two terms that are extremely important, and not following the rules connected with them, may have a detrimental effect. The two main concepts are being underdressed and overdressed.

Underdressed means an inappropriate outfit that is insufficiently elegant and not matching the occasion. Overdressed – the other way round – an over-the-top outfit, too smart and classy. I myself approach the mentioned concept very rigidly when preparing an outfit that is strictly matching a given occasion.

Reading the above paragraph, your face probably fell on the mere though that elegance is no doddle after all. The customer expects products that live up to the highest norms. A men’s suit isn’t a deviation from a rule in this case. In the presented men’s suit, the outer fabric is wool – a fibre that is very desirable due to its properties. It is characterised by a very good insulation of warmth. It is owing to the fact that the structure of woollen fabric keeps a lot of air inside. Speaking cautiously, we feel warm in woollen clothes, even if the fabric is thin.

strój formalny

Sheep wool is wonderful for wicking the moisture outside. Wool can boast the strongest hygroscopic properties among all of the available fibre types. It is able to absorb moisture even up to 50%. In regular conditions, the fibre has 17% of moisture. Even at high humidity, our garment won’t be wet. The wool will separate this moisture from our skin. Hygiene-wise, that is a great advantage. Another important aesthetic asset of wool is the fact that it doesn’t crease thanks to being a very bouncy fibre. I think that this advantage of having a natural fibre suit will live up to pragmatists’ expectations. In contrast to synthetic fibres, wool is resistant to dirt and splotching. This key feature is worth noting.

Please, allow me to elaborate on the specific parts of my outfit. The passage of time is merciless, and the interest in the double-breasted men’s suits exceeded my wildest expectations. Unfortunately, we often forget about their classic descent, being inspired by examples from Pitti Uomo in Florence. Double-breasted men’s suits are naturally assigned to formal style. The coattail became the precursor of double-breasted suits that we know today. The coattail alone was used for horse-riding in the 18th century. Who doesn’t remember such elegance icons as Cary Grant, Prince of Windsor, or Oscar Wilde who were particularly fond of these type of suit jacket?

The model that I went for is the most classic 6×2 (the first number is the number of all buttons in the jacket, and the second is the number of buttons that can be fastened). The jacket features closed, coattail, or peak lapels, originally found in coattails. The colour of the set is a deep navy blue. The colour palette gives us limitless possibilities in terms of suit application.

In the presented jacket, the gorge, which is the stitch connecting the lapels with the collar, is located high. I think that such a manoeuvre optically broadens the chest, which is very showy. In stores, we often come across suit jackets with gorges located low. In my opinion, you should avoid such models! A flap pocket is an appropriate choice that won’t disrupt the balance of the outfit and will nicely correspond with each of the remaining jacket details. Another practical solution is providing comfort in the form of two vents.  When we reach inside the pocket, the back of the jacket won’t crease and the buttocks will remain covered. Two vents are of vital importance: the jacket looks considerably better when you want to sit down. In accordance with the principles of classic elegance, two vents are less formal.

Another element is a pin collar shirt. The most important discriminant of the pin collar shirt is cotton that has an impeccable grip and finish, which for me, as a user, is connected with an exemplary comfort. At first glance, it is possible to notice that the shirt was made with great devotion. The density of stitching indicates the quality. Top-quality shirts have from 6 to 9 stitches in every centimetre of the seam. Remember to pay attention to the stitching density in the area of the backstitch.

The shirt is finished with a French seam, owing to which the skin won’t feel the discomfort of being touched by the edges of the fabric. The French seam requires to fully enclose the edges for a neat finish with two seams, with the second enclosing the raw edges of the original seam.

Unusually today, I’m finishing with shoes that have dropped into my lap lately.  In my case, I used Oxford shoes that are made with the Blake construction method. On the substantive side, the method itself involves the stretching and forming the upper with a cobbler’s last and fixing it with metal nails or glue to the insole.  Once the outsole, filler, and lining are applied, the cobbler’s last is taken out and the upper is stitched to the sole. The described method of sewing shoes didn’t enjoy great popularity in the most buoyant epoch of handicraft as it was immensely difficulty to get to the shoe tip to apply the stitching.