Final August I started this venture with Davide Taub, head cutter at Gieves & Hawkes, to create a bespoke gilet that could possibly be buttoned into a wide range of jackets.
I believe it’s honest to say the venture has been largely, however not completely profitable.
Davide reduce an attractive piece, with a terrific match via the chest and abdomen. It sat elegantly and cleanly on the physique and loads higher than something ready-made.
It additionally sat properly underneath the jacket, with the elongated entrance that means it took up an excellent quantity of size down the entrance of the jacket, however the cutaway on the backside stopping there being an excessive amount of bulk across the hips.
We had really softened the make from Davide’s authentic design – a gilet that buttoned right into a driving jacket as a part of the Bentley’s bespoke venture final yr. The cotton we picked was lighter in weight, as was the canvas inside.
Besides, two layers of that cotton, plus the canvas and quilting down the entrance, triggered refined issues with the match of the primary jacket we tried – my first fee from Elia within the Everlasting Type tweed.
The entrance of the jacket was clearly a little bit tighter with the gilet beneath, however not an excessive amount of. The larger difficulty was that the gilet’s collar, and its general bulk, pushed the jacket off the again of the neck.
We tried shifting the place of the buttons that fasten the gilet inside, and having fewer buttoning factors, however the outcome was the identical.
Happily, the impact was minimal on my heaviest piece from Elia – the attractive Harris tweed pictured right here. It was a little bit stiff across the zip at first, and wouldn’t roll properly out across the lapel. But it surely steadily softened and now has a fairly good form.
We didn’t even attempt to button it into the third Elia jacket I had deliberate, a mid-weight fawn cashmere. However I’ll take a look at placing the required loops into a few of my different heavier jackets.
In the long run, the issue was that the gilet I had in thoughts to repeat is definitely very unstructured. While you see such strips up the entrance of Corneliani jackets or some overcoats, it has no construction in any respect. It’s merely two layers of material, which rolls fortunately outwards except zipped up.
Once I wrote about the bespoke leather-based jacket Davide made me again in 2013, I commented that we in all probability bought 8 issues out of 10 proper with that one. This gilet was in all probability a 7.
However in lots of ways in which’s the great thing about bespoke. I don’t dislike the leather-based jacket any extra for the truth that it didn’t end up as I had pictured it in my head. Such are the dangers of beginning with a clean web page (with out the lots of of iterations of high fashion).
The gilet is an attractive, helpful and authentic addition to this tweed jacket, and will show helpful on others. The truth that it isn’t fairly as versatile as I had supposed doesn’t undermine that.
Additionally worn right here:
Images: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man