Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Smart Dressed Man

So, you may be a dapper chap with a wardrobe full of fine tailoring, or you may have a partner who fits that description. I, however, don't. My fabulous fiance is actually really stylish in his own way, but suits are not his thing. Recently, he bought a rather lovely suit in the Moss Bros sale for around £200 - but I shouldn't imagine he'll be repeating that experience very soon.

However, it won't do for my sister's wedding next month, because that's black tie. So we assumed he'd hire a dinner suit - maybe from the hire section of the very retailer who sold him the other one. But then my sister discovered that Marks and Sparks are doing dinner jackets and matching trousers for just £49.50 for the set! We're waiting for the suit to come, and of course - for that price you have low expectations in terms of cut, fit and fabric. But how low? This is still Marks and Spencers, after all: sensible quality is practically their brand identity, and while this suit may be the sartorial equivalent to a supermarket's no frills brand of beans - it's still going to be better than if, say, it had been bought from Primark. We shall see. Certainly I expect the cut and fit to be no worse than one would reasonably expect when hiring a suit.

Also available is a dress shirt for £15 (polycotton, but with those all-important swoonsome french cuffs), and a silk bow tie for £9.50. Incidentally, M&S have 14 different bow ties or bow tie and cummerbund sets, but only one of them is 'self tie'. Now quite apart from bow ties not being much harder to tie than your own shoelaces, if you get a ready made one, what are you going to do after dinner when you open your top buttons (always two, lads - one button looks like you've burst out). If you have a proper bow tie you can undo it for that dishevelled James Bond look. Yum.

Assuming you'd have bought the shirt and tie anyway, the suit costs around the same as hiring would do - so if he wears it once more, it's completely paid for itself. And this way, if he tears it or some other mishap befalls the thing, there's no deposit to lose either.

If I were a bloke I'd be tempted to get one anyway, just for a rainy day. But maybe that's the kind of attitude that's left me up to my eyeballs in clothes...


  1. Hi Fa

    Interesting comment about the M&S suit and low expectations vs the likes of Primark, etc.

    Having bought the said M&S suit for Tom& also a suit from Matalan for James... I have to say that the Matalan suit wins hands-down in every category! It feels very (sw)elegant compared to the M&S suit and the stitching in the Matalan jacket is very reminiscent of a tailored item. All in all, whilst the M&S suit is a very good suit for the money, the Matalan one looks like it costs 4 times more!



Thanks for commenting - always nice to know I'm not talking to myself...