Sunday, 23 May 2010

A Double-Breasted Chalkstripe

I had another particularly excellent charity shop find last week. As with the Hackett suit I posted about a while back, I'm sometimes amazed at the kind of things that occasionally end up in charity shops being sold for 1/50th or even 1/100th of their original price. Anyway, last week I stumbled across a particularly good find - a Savile Row bespoke double-breasted suit in charcoal grey with a chalkstripe. The label says it was made in 1996, so it's a good 13-14 years old but, as you would hope with a Savile Row suit, is still in outstanding condition.

It's made of a lovely soft worsted wool which is nicer than on any other suit I own. More importantly, the jacket fitted me almost perfectly, while the trousers were just slightly too small. After a number of people had recommended them to me, I decided to go to Graham Browne in the City to get the adjustments made. As I'd been told, they are very good value and did an excellent job.

The name on the suit label happens to be that of a multi-millionaire businessman and d-list celebrity much loved by Tatler and the like. I can't be certain that my suit actually belonged to this gentleman, and not to someone else of the same name, however I have a feeling it did. The suit has a relatively unusual feature which I have seen on other suits owned by this gentleman in photos, so it does seem likely it was once his. The feature is a turned-back cuff on the sleeve, something I have only seen a few times before, and generally only on bespoke suits although, as with almost anything, I don't doubt there are some off-the-peg manufacturers who offer it.

I don't know that I'd have chosen this myself, if I were commissioning the suit, but it's an interesting feature that I've come to quite like having on just one of my suits. I don't quite know where this style derives from, or why it is so uncommon now. I think it adds a touch of informality which helps soften the rather traditional lines of a double breasted pin-stripe or chalk-stripe. At any rate, it's something a bit new and unusual, which is always good.


  1. Good find!

    Glad you were able to use the service of Graham Browne. They are certainly good value for money.

  2. Great the width of the stripes and the double breasted cut.

  3. Thanks - I'm very pleased with it. It's got that nice tailored, slightly hour-glass, shape that you really need with a DB suit. Not very obvious from the photos, but I'm planning to wear it tomorrow so maybe I'll get a photo of me in it.

    Hestor - yeah, Graham Browne were great. Many thanks for pointing me in their direction.

  4. Looks good Jake, very bold! Can I ask where you picked it up, or do you want to keep it to yourself?

  5. Thank you very much. No, I don't mind sharing - it was one of the charity shops in Putney. I think Cancer Research, but I could be wrong. They generally have a handful of reasonable suits, but this is far and away the nicest thing I've seen in there. I just check whenever I get the opportunity, and every so often find something really worthwhile.

  6. I do miss the Charity Shops ... I found some great stuff in one that I used to visit in Kensington (I think that it was an Oxfam) and if you got out of Central Oxford, the selection got better (esp. the Mind Shop in Jericho).

    Oh well, I guess that my local thrifts will have to do now!



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