How we’re wearing suits this season

Here in the UK, we often associate the suit with ‘uniform’, which is of course quite a logical association given that a majority of the male population will spend most of their working lives wearing one. Hence, it has become something we ‘must’ wear, which takes away some of the creativity and subjectivity from what is actually a very versatile and diverse corner of menswear. That said, we feel that we are living through a moment when men’s tailoring is flourishing. There are pockets of guys, at Pitti Uomo for example, who have reimagined classic tailoring in modern ways, adopting vintage suiting styles with modern twists. At Oliver Spencer, we’ve taken a different approach. We’ve always seen the suit as an extension of a man’s casual wardrobe, as something that can be dressed up for smarter occasions, but that fundamentally exists because it’s comfortable and it flatters. Those two tenets are at the core of everything we produce at Oliver Spencer - who doesn’t want to look good and feel good while they’re at it?!

Our tailoring then is the epitome of this, and if you read on, you’ll find out exactly how we go about achieving a relaxed approach to suiting and learn how we’re going to be styling it out this spring.

Finsbury Jacket
Morva Navy

Fishtail Trousers
Morva Navy

Paraboot Micka
Chocolate Brown Suede

What influences our tailoring?

Our tailoring takes its cues from a number of different menswear traditions and different periods of time. While the silhouette is typically English, we’ve adapted it to incorporate certain workwear elements such as patch pockets, slim lapels, and the hybrid collar on our iconic Solms jacket. We use a diverse range of fabrics too, rather than sticking with the classic merino supers that you’ll find in most other good quality suits. We’re unequivocal about the structure of the suit - having no structure at all. This is borrowed from the typical Italian suit style. The lack of canvassing or padding creates soft, rounded contours at the shoulders and lapels, a relaxed drape, contributing to a more casual look overall. 

Our Spring '22 suiting fabrics

The spring months call for lightweight fabrics for comfort and breathability. Hence, we use a variety of different cotton fabrics, including a double-faced cotton, organic cotton drill, cotton seersucker, and more. While wool has a unique tactility, cotton offers a more textural handle that naturally boasts a more casual look for the spring. 

Solms Jacket Mylor Sand

Solms Jacket
Mylor Sand

Fishtail Trousers Mylor Sand

Fishtail Trousers
Mylor Sand

Edwin Loafer Tobacco Brown Suede

Edwin Loafer Tobacco
Brown Suede

Linen is another of our favourite seasonal suiting fabrics, not least because of its lightweight, moisture-wicking properties, but also because of its sustainability credentials (linen is the most ecological of all the natural fibres). That natural crumple you get from linen, together with the slubby details in the cloth and the breezy drape (that gets even better with age) makes it the perfect high summer fabric.

The two types of Oliver Spencer suit

Solms

Our three-button Solms jacket is a perennial favourite, originally designed for one of Oli’s friends who wanted a jacket with a hybrid lapel that he could flip up to keep warm. When turned down, the lapels function like a typically notch lapel, but flipped up the jacket changes to much more of a workwear silhouette, almost chore jacket-like. This casual versatility is just one of the reasons why it has remained so popular season after season. The Solms options for spring see a variety of different cotton cloths expressed in a muted palette of black, navy, green and charcoal. We have also created a linen Solms suit in a soft sand tone that is perfect for smart casual styling with a polo or short-sleeved shirt.

Solms Jacket Ellbridge Green

Solms Jacket
Ellbridge Green

Fishtail Trousers Ellbridge Green

Fishtail Trousers
Ellbridge Green

Tabley Polo Shirt Morval Cream

Tabley Polo Shirt
Morval Cream

Finsbury

The Finsbury suit is our two-button peak lapel style, featuring two patch pockets and a chest pocket, and comes unstructured as always, giving the jacket a lightweight composition and soft natural drape. The lapel is a good width to balance out most faces, while the peak itself is a subtle detail, unlike say, southern Italian styles which have a much more pronounced peak. Like the Solms, we’ve constructed it in a variety of different cotton cloths to offer a range of textural finishes, and have kept the colour palette understated with sand, navy, charcoal and indigo tones.

Finsbury Jacket Ives Indigo

Finsbury Jacket
Ives Indigo

Drawstring Trousers Ives Indigo

Drawstring Trousers
Ives Indigo

New York Special Shirt Pool Blue

New York Special
Shirt Pool Blue

How our different trouser styles change the dynamic of the suit

Unlike most brands who only offer a single style of trousers to pair up with their suit jackets, at Oliver Spencer we understand that versatility is a key element of the modern wardrobe, hence why we create different trouser styles that can change the look and feel of the suit entirely. Our judo trousers for example, are our most casual style, being cropped and with a utility patch pocket on one leg. With obvious workwear references, this style really dressed down the overall aesthetic of the suit. Our fishtail trousers on the other hand are a smarter option, featuring a gradual taper from the mid-thigh. Our drawstring trousers are the equilibrium - a flat-front style with a wider leg that works really well with a turn-up. 

Fishtail Trousers Ellbridge Navy

Fishtail Trousers
Ellbridge Navy

Drawstring Trousers Cobham Charcoal

Drawstring Trousers
Cobham Charcoal

Judo Trousers Ellbridge Green

Judo Trousers
Ellbridge Green

How we’re styling our suits this season

How you style out our suits this season will largely depend on the situation, but for an everyday look we’re definitely leaning on a more casual aesthetic. In short, that means a polo shirt, short-sleeved shirt or t-shirt. The classic cotton polo shirt can be a bit flat texturally speaking, especially when worn with a cotton suit, so we would recommend opting for a polo with a more interesting construction, such as our waffle knit Tabley styles. The seersucker-style waffle knit instantly adds a textural juxtaposition and brings the suit to life. The same goes with the short-sleeve shirt. If you prefer a smoother finish, then look for different collar details instead, such as a Cuban camp collar, which is the very embodiment of summer tailoring. Failing that, adding patterns or prints is another easy way to bring energy to the suit.

Hawthorn Polo Shirt Duport Navy/Cream

Hawthorn Polo Shirt
Duport Navy/Cream

Tabley Polo Shirt
Morval Sky Blue

Grandad Shirt Longstone Navy/Red

Grandad Shirt Longstone
Navy/Red

You can’t go far wrong with a white tee if you want to keep things clean and simple. Oli’s heavyweight tee is an excellent option given its quality of drape, and it works especially well contrasted against navy and charcoal suit tones. A workwear-inspired look would swap out a traditional turned-down collar with a grandpa collar. The omission of any collar structure gives the suit a much more utilitarian look that would pair well with a pair of suede chukkas or a summer shoe with a rugged appeal.

Go the separates way

Also, don’t forget that Oliver Spencer tailoring is perfect to be worn as separates too, giving you myriad styling options with what you already have in your wardrobe. Our navy Solms and Finsbury jackets will pair really well with white, off-white or beige chinos for example, while our linen Solms jacket in Mylor sand looks great with a pair or white, navy or pastel tailored shorts.  If you keep your tailoring palette understated and add pops of colour and/or pattern in your shirts and accessories, then you’ll be well on your way to creating a slick look.

Shop Summer Tailoring

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