Standing there taking in the fellow gazing back at me from an old antique mirror, I felt a strange sense of unfamiliarity. He had my face but everything else felt almost unrecognizable. I seemed to be somehow taller and thinner. My waist had shrunk yet my shoulders seemed broader and set back. In fact, my whole posture was different - no longer slumped and sagging but upright and proud. I stood in disbelief at the transformation that had taken place. Although the latest incarnation of my bespoke suit was still being held together by a multitude of white stitches, I could see as clear as day how it was taking shape. The seemingly trivial little considerations made to the cut by Elliott not two weeks before now shone through as a beacon of expert craftsmanship manifesting themselves as a beautiful garment that draped effortlessly over the contours of my body. The jacket of my wedding suit was by far an away the most comfortable item of formal clothing I had ever worn and looked absolutely incredible (if I do say so myself!)
The shoulders were square, roped and masculine, neatly dropping at a 90-degree angle over the curvature of my actual shoulder. The armholes were higher than any jacket I’d worn before, giving me cause to stand upright with my shoulders back which inadvertently raised my chin from my chest. The trousers were stunning too. They had so many little features that I can only imagine took absolutely hours hunched over a machine, meticulously sewing, pressing and re-sewing. Hidden cash pockets, inner brace buttons, double clasp fastenings, side buckles and a robust, golden fly zip. They were high wasted with an intricate front pleat detailing. The turn-up hems neatly skirted my ankles showing off my new shiny leather penny loafers and ribbed black socks.
From head to toe I was perfectly symmetrical; my body was one svelte line due to the precise measurements of the jacket, waistcoat and trousers - each garment complementing the other.
Now Elliott could see how all the garments fit, he could get back to the lab and put on the finishing touches. I must confess to pausing just one moment longer before handing the pieces back to him. This was the moment that something finally dawned on me for the first time. I guess you could call it a eureka moment. This is the power of bespoke tailoring!
My expectations, high as they were, were blown out of the water. Sure I knew I’d more than likely look the part, but what they don’t tell you is how a bespoke suite makes you feel. In truth, I was altogether beaming. That kind of pride and confidence you feel when trying on your first ever fully bespoke garment – that’s what it’s all about.
It’s the same feeling that stays with you every time you reach for it out of the wardrobe. You feel that same sense of nostalgia. You recall back to where you were when you first wore it and how great it made you feel. You even remember what you were thinking.
You see, I’d been relatively cool about the whole wedding situation coming my way on the 7th Oct.
After all the (Claire’s) hard work, it was all coming to a head. The home made invitations, the venue and food consultations, the table plans, the order of the day, the band, the DJ, the playlist, arranging the photographer, videographer etc, etc, etc. It always felt so far away and unachievable, like it wasn’t even all for us but for someone else (especially after all the weddings we had enjoyed over the past year)
What made it real was the fact that I finally had a solid picture in my head. This is what I would look like.
As I stood and looked in the antique mirror, this was the first time that the realization washed over me. I would soon be getting married. And thanks to my new Redwood and Feller bespoke wedding suit - I was going to look damn good doing it too.