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Drool over wool

Our sartorial expert navigates the minefield that is choosing the right fabric for a bespoke tailored suit

To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – there are hints about who you are in what you wear. ~ Marc Jacobs

Wool is a natural fiber that has withstood the sands of time and adopted by tailors worldwide for handcrafting clothes since the early ages. A staple ingredient for a bespoke suit fabric, it is as important as a pair of shears and a needle to a tailor.

Australia and New Zealand are worldwide leading producers of the finest quality of wool, also known as Merino Wool. The Fabrics used for bespoke suits could be pure 100 per cent wool or wool blended with silk, cotton or cashmere.

The two things to consider when choosing the quality of you suit fabric is the fineness of the yarn and the weight of the fabric. 

The fineness of the yarn is measured in counts ranging from 80s to 220s, with the higher counts being finer variants of wool. As is the nature of all finer things in the world, fabrics of finer count are more delicate and need to be cared for by not wearing it very often. It is therefore suggested that a daily wear suit be of a thread count no more than 160s.

Fabrics for suits to be worn in Middle-eastern environs should typically have 220 to 300 grams woolen weight, as they are lighter and more breathable, making it suitable for extreme summers. You could typically be on a 12-hour flight in your woolen suit and it would still be crisp to head to an important business meet, thanks to its natural wrinkle-free nature.

The staple colours for suits in any wardrobe should include greys, blues and blacks.

These can be plain, self-textured or pinstriped. When going for a black, try going for a subtle self stripe or a herringbone design for your suit to stand out slightly rather than a completely plain black one. Once you have the basics sorted, you can venture into other colors such as lighter hues of blue, earthy tones of beige brown and olive. When the opportunity presents itself, do go for a light Grey Prince of Wales checkered suit with a Peak lapel as it is considered to be a highly powerful daytime business suit, specially meant for important meetings and conferences. Its subtle checkered pattern makes one notice you and concentrate on its finely woven design, making you the focus in a group and giving you the attention you require.

For smart-casual and informal events, a bight colored linen coat can be worn as a blazer with a pair of cotton chinos. The only downside is that a pure linen fabric wrinkles very easily, making it look quite shabby if worn for long hours. To avoid this, try looking for linen fabrics blended with at least 30% wool, which should easily be available at a Bespoke Tailoring house. It is the perfect solution to having a casual look with the wool content making it fairly wrinkle-free. In recent times bright blue with large window pane checks have been quite popular as blazers as it can be worn to any casual day-time event with a pair of dark blue jeans or navy blue cotton chinos. Whenever you have accomplished a milestone in your life, reward yourself with a woolen suit blended with cashmere. Its fine smooth texture will make you drool over wool making you look forward to your next achievement in life. 

Ashish.B is a Savile Row-trained bespoke tailor and shoemaker. His tailoring house, Knights & Lords, is headquartered in London and has a flagship store in JBR, Dubai. Knights & Lords is known to be one of the few tailoring houses to have mastered the famous “drape cut” and continue to provide bespoke services to corporate and royal clients. 

To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – there are hints about who you are in what you wear. ~ Marc Jacobs

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