In the world of bespoke tailoring, it just doesn’t do to be shallow. Any garment can be made to look incredible on face value. Whether it’s photoshopped to within an inch of its life amongst the pages of a magazine, or decadently draped over a mannequin with the subtle use of a pin or ten. The fact is, any real artisan will be able to spot where corners have been cut when it comes to sartorial style.
That’s why Redwood and Feller are so meticulous about the detailing that goes into each and every piece. It’s almost like an iceberg effect. 90% of a R&F suit’s true beauty lies just beneath the surface. Of course, any garment that exits the doors of 89 Rochester Row will look fantastic on the outside. But head cutter Elliott Rowland is meticulous when it comes to the finer, inner workings that truly make a beautifully bespoke item of clothing. From cloth, to cut and fit, to button hole detailing, pocket flaps and, of course, the true hidden superstar of bespoke tailoring – the lining.
The great thing about bespoke tailoring is the fact that it’s the customer’s choice from fit to finish. Unlike off the peg, or even made to measure where personal preference is either halved or removed altogether, a bespoke service includes expert advice from a tailor, and a selection of luxury cloths from which to choose from. This results in the wearer walking away with not only an incredibly stunning garment, but also, due to their own choices, something that is unique to them in all the world in both fit, look and feel.
Sure, the outside of a suit may be what catches people’s attention - the colour and weight of the fabric, the cut, the buttons, the lapels, and the pockets generally receive all of the initial acclaim. But it’s not uncommon for the lining to provide the real wow factor. A great choice of lining really shows off the pairing of your personality and your tailor’s skill set.
First and foremost, beyond any kind of flash, the lining is there to serve a purpose. It adds structure and weight to your suit. A fully-lined suit jacket is heavier, warmer and has a thicker look to it. As a result, the suit jacket lays nicely over the contours of your body with a little more structure, unlike half lined or unlined suit jackets, typically worn in the summer months. Lined suit jackets are ideal for cooler climates because the extra fabric acts as an additional insulating layer that helps to maintain your body’s heat.
When selecting a lining there are generally two groups – natural and synthetic. The former comprises mostly of silk and is typically the only option available when choosing bespoke due the luxurious look and feel, as well as the fact that it’s more durable, longer lasting, and breaths better.
Usually, off the peg suit-makers will use lower-end synthetic materials due to the low cost. With bespoke services, you are in control.
Choosing your preferred lining is one of the most exciting parts of the bespoke process. This is where you can really personalise your suit, differentiating it from any other. Of course the safest option is to match the lining to the exterior fabric. Why? Your suit will be more versatile if the lining matches the outside. For example wearing a black suit with a bright red lining may be too distracting from everything else should anyone catch a glimpse as you move. But if that’s your intention, then why not? It’s your prerogative. Going bespoke means going for exactly for what you want and when it comes to Redwood and Feller – you can have a lot of fun choosing from a myriad of colours and patterns.
At the end of the day, the lining of your suit is like the engine of a mustang. On first glance, no one even knows what it looks like. What’s important is that YOU know it’s there. And once you pop the hood? That’s when everyone else sees the amount of skill and craftsmanship that goes into true beauty. And after all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.