So it’s been a while since I’ve personally written a lengthy piece for the website. For those that have been following the site from the early days you’d have probably witnessed many changes. There have been some amazing memories created here at Individualism (or Indiv as we’ve all personally been called it for some time). Many have come, and many have gone, we’ve gone through a few creative directions and tried reaching our readers through numerous editorial angles. However the essence of what we’ve strived to do here has always stayed the same, and that was to provide honest timeless style advice that also celebrated diversity and individuality.
So although I haven’t been actively involved in Indiv as much, it’s always been by my side throughout every stage of my career; I owe a lot of my success to it. So it was only fitting to use the platform I co -created ten years ago to hopefully help my fellow readers as I take another huge step in my personal life.
In December I made the decision to propose to my girlfriend. I won’t bore you with the details (though the proposal did have more than it’s fair share drama). Now most guys won’t think about what they are going to wear straight away. That’s something that usually comes later in their list of priorities, but I’m not most guys 😃
Of course it wasn’t the first thing I was thinking about, but it did manage to bulldozer it’s way to the top of the cue a lot sooner. Once I had come back to London from proposing abroad I started to think about what I might like to wear.
Many of my peers are beginning to tie the knot, and don’t really have an idea of where to start. However having worked in menswear for over ten years and having a bride to be that works in the same industry, I knew that finding the perfect suit wasn’t just something that would be an after thought. Despite that I never saw it as a chore, in fact I’ve really embraced the process. Now, I’m only in the early stages of the wedding process (and I already am beginning to feel the financial pressure) there are so many costs to cover and so understandably you’ll always have to find something that fit’s within your budget. But I’m going to try to explain why I felt choosing a made to measure suit (despite the all the costs) was still the right choice of me.
Initially I was thinking of picking up an off the rack (a suit you can grab from the shop floor) standard suit. Working in menswear it was a no brainer to rack my contacts to see if I could get a great designer piece for a discount (gotta keep things within budget right) however the more I thought about it the more I felt a Hardy Aimes ‘made to measure’ was the right choice.
I began to view my wedding suit as an investment. It helped that I already knew I wanted – a tuxedo. A tuxedo is a staple that every stylish man needs in his wardrobe, but if I’m honest it’s usually one of the last items on the list of staple priorities. Yet being a film director (I hope to one day attend a few red carpets) I knew that it would really provide extra value and gave me another reason to make the investment. Unlike our female counterparts we can actually use our wedding suit after the wedding. So I knew I was going to get added value from it.
Secondly knowing that the suit was going to be made to my specific measurements made me feel it’ll really feel like a special piece. My father had one for his wedding (though a brown tweed in the heat of Malaysia probably isn’t the choice I would have opted for lol) And that was something I wanted to continue, that tradition.
I’ve always valued how you appear, the power of your appearance is very important to me. A wedding is one of those things you want to look back on and feel that you’ve really made an effort; not just for yourself but for your partner and those around you. Throw in the history of Savile Row and sprinkle in the fact that Nigel, one of my oldest friends and first members of Indiv was going to be guiding me through the process, simply added that final personal touch and made me feel it was destined to me (the things we tell ourselves when we really want something right hahah)
Anyway that was my process, everyone will have their own, but I really do believe investing in a good suit is a must this just happened to be during a wedding.
A simple conversation
Now it does help when you’re speaking to one of your oldest friends, colleagues and style inspirations. However the initial conversation I had with Nigel was great. This is all about discussing what your initial thoughts are about your suit. Nigel or another member of the team will then guide you through what choices the think would work best based on your preferences, opinions and budget. Me being me, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted and so I came with some references (Pinterest really helps) which provides Nigel with a clearer idea of I wanted.
The choices that Hardy Aimes provide are great. You can select a number of fabrics, suit styles (Single, double breasted, Peak or notch lapel) Every choice has a specific price point which will then be totalled up in the end. The whole point of this process is to really dig deep and create something that not only will compliment your look and personal style but create a wedding suit that makes you feel comfortable too. So what part of the world you’ll be getting hitched in mattered (As I wanted to choose a lighter fabric due to the warm weather). You’ll also want to have a quick conversation with the other half so you know the colour you’re going with is going to compliment what they’ll be wearing too.
The second stage is pretty straight forward too. Nigel uses a master garment which he then uses to take your measurements. This is what really make this approach stand out from picking an off the rack suit. Every body shape is unique and so tweaking a piece so that it compliments your physique really does make it stand out and feel like a custom piece. It also helps to keep things in balance and brings out the best in each man.
For example, I’m often complimented for having broad shoulders (this is my other half so probably doesn’t count) but at the same time have arm’s that rival that of an organutans. Plus my chest is fairly flat in comparison to the width of my shoulders. So for an off the rack jacket I’d take a 38. Now this fits my shoulders but not my chest and as for my arm length well, there’s a reason why you always see me rolling up my sleeves.
So for this measurement process Nigel will take all these small things into consideration and really balance things out, explaining each measurement as he goes so you have a great understanding of what he’s doing and why he’s doing it.
Once my details were in the book, we were good to process the order. And that’s it. A very simple, stress free, pleasant process.
I’ll be covering the next stage in a second post. However I’ll definitely advise you to pop over to the Hardy Aimes site and have a butchers at what’s new just for inspiration, even if you’re far off from your big day. It’ll really start helping you vision what you’ll look like and that’s a powerful thing. You can do that here.
Finally a big shout out to Justin Akomiah for creatively directing and producing the shoot.
So stayed tuned to see how the decoding fitting works out.
Learn, laugh and look good