New Spring Suiting With Charlie Teasdale

New Spring Suiting With Charlie Teasdale

The former Style Director at UK Esquire magazine, and now Editor-at-Large, Charlie Teasdale knows a thing or two about looking good. Charlie has a wealth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to modern menswear and styling, so it was a pleasure to have him in store recently, offering advice on how to style our suit collection this season.

So how are you approaching tailoring in 2024 Charlie?

"Well we're in a really interesting place right now with regards to suits. The classic shape, especially with a straight narrow leg, has taken a bit of a back seat to a much more relaxed idea of the suit that's worn more like an extension of your casual wardrobe. Trouser styles have become a lot more loose-fitting, or they're coming with more of a cropped shape which is really cool. That old idea of the suit as strictly uniform or smart business attire has gone, and in its place is a more expressive and relaxed notion of the suit, which is great when it comes to styling because you have so many more options at your disposal." 

 
 
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The New Navy

The vast majority of guys have a navy suit of some description in their wardrobes, but it's typically going to be a worsted wool style that can sometimes look a little too business-like for spring and summer. That's where lightweight fabrics such as cotton and linen really come into their own.

"A great example is Oli's Sampson suit, which is kind of like a seersucker and cut from a beautiful organic cotton, says Charlie. "It's got a really nice silky feel, and is completely unstructured, which gives it a natural drape. The fabric is so soft that I wouldn't style it with a crisp cotton poplin shirt, but rather something with an equally soft texture, maybe a heavy cotton tee or a knitted polo with a soft roll in the collar, something like that. As for shoes, I'm really into the English loafer which has a bit more of a chunkier sole than European styles, while the Derby is just a great multi-season shoe. The smooth black leather Solovair shape would work really well in elevating the navy Sampson suit that little bit, whereas I really like the idea of the dark green suede Derbies for a pop of understated colour. I probably would have shied away from something like this a few years ago, but now I'm much more drawn to it. We're at this point where trainers and smart shoes have become sort of interchangeable, so you can totally switch up your looks." 

 
 
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From Navy To Neutrals

If the navy suit is the ever-dependable workhorse of the menswear wardrobe, then where on the colour palette do you venture to if you want to make more of a statement? 

"I mean there was lots of discussion last year about neutral tones such as beige being the de facto palette of luxury," explains Charlie. "From a practical point of view, these kinds of colours are a really nice canvas. One fabric that is great with neutral tones is linen. Yes, it can wrinkle a bit, but that's part of the charm. Oli's Mansfield linen suit is a case in point - the peak lapel gives it a smart finish and the double vent makes for a nice natural drape. You can play about with other neutral tones or pastels if you want a pop of colour. I like the idea of keeping it neutral with a tonal short-sleeve shirt or a knitted polo, and then opting for brown derbies or loafers for example.

"I would probably be more likely to pair the Mansfield jacket with a tie than the Solms jacket because it has that slightly more structured lapel, so it's a great option for summer weddings. One week you could wear it with a white shirt and a beautiful blue knitted tie for a bit of a statement. The next, you could wear it with a textured short-sleeve shirt or a camp collar style and look like our man in Havana. But I think the idea that ties are the thing that makes you look smart is just not the case anymore. It's about fit, it's about the kind of combination of colours that you're choosing, it's about how you carry it all off."

 
 
 


The Pseudo Suit

If someone is really averse the classic suit jacket but still wants something elevated, then Oli's Bradwell jacket with matching trousers is a great way to dress up without dressing up. "It's like the least amount suit you can do that still feels tailored," says Charlie. "It's completely unstructured, and looks and feels essentially like a boxy shirt with a sort of camp collar. The fabric is just great, super lightweight, with a crinkled handle, while the silhouette references classic boxy utilitarian jackets, so it's extremely comfortable and easy to move around in. The matching element is what makes it smart."

 

A Spot of Crochet?

Knitted polos are a modern addition to a suit, perfect for adding a really nice textural element to your look. In the summer, a knitted polo could even replace the suit jacket altogether. Here's Charlie's take:

"I really like pairing a knitted or crochet polo with trousers that have a higher rise. When you tuck the top in, and have the trousers sitting quite high, you get a '50s, Talented Mr Ripley, Italian resort kind of vibe. I'm not going to lie, pulling off this look does require a certain type of physique - tall, slim, broad shoulders. Accessorise it with a lovely belt and some smart leather loafers. The smartness comes from showing people that you've thought it, that what you're wearing is considered. what you're wearing, that it's considered."

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