For this episode of A Gentleman’s Essentials, we turn to ready to wear for a change, and suggest that you take a look at Suit Supply, a Dutch chain with a beautiful store in Ion Singapore. The range carried is well designed, and well made, most of their coats are canvassed and not fused. And they offer a bewildering range, from formal wear (With Christmas coming, we will be featuring a Black Tie recommendation soon) to casual. Today we look at a decidedly casual outfit suitable for a day at the yacht, or just relaxing at the club.
The store is tucked in one corner at level 3 of Ion, and is rather large. As mentioned, they carry the entire needs for the gentleman, from head to toe: hats, shirts, suits, socks, shoes and accessories like pocket squares, belts, bags.
When it comes to suits, nothing beats bespoke, as the tailor and cutter can observe your body, and make the suit fit accordingly. Good ready to wear have to approximate, and is based on a system of measurements and an “ideal” body for each size. Small alterations to the fit of the torso, the length of the sleeves, and trouser waist and legs can be done, and this service is offered by Suit Supply.
The range they carry is bewildering. And the best thing that ready to wear beats bespoke is that the suit can be worn immediately, or within a few days if alterations are needed, whereas bespoke is a process which sometimes take weeks from draft to forward fitting to final fitting.
Linen half-lined jacket, linen white shirt, red striped seersucker trousers with braided belt, Double Monk calf shoes with a rubber sole with cotton socks, and the HYT H1 watch. A straw boater and a red/blue wool pocket square completes the look.
The coat, shirt, trousers and pocket square
For this ensemble, a blue half lined jacket in pure Ormezzano linen is selected. The hand feel of linen is rather dry and the weave of this particular fabric is quite open, allowing the breeze through making it excellent for the hot weather. Suit Suply calls the model Washington, and features a sleek peak lapel and patch pockets, though the breast pocket is welted. Note the wood buttons on the jacket, and working button holes. As discussed in our first article, though the button holes work and can be opened, our recommendation is for our readers to keep them closed, lest one be mistaken for being crass and a show-off. Suffice is it to know that it does work. Not unlike a watch which is finished even in areas where the owner cannot see.
The jacket (coat) is constructed in a half lined fashion.
This is a deconstructed method which requires detailing like piping to trim the edges and a light lining which only covers the back of the shoulders. This minimal lining is required so that the jacket slips over the shirt easily, and is kept as small as possible so as to allow the breathable linen to do its job keeping one cool.
The pocket square is in wool, and the orange with blue motif picks up on the jacket’s hue. The pure white linen shirt is always a good match in any ensemble. This one is lightweight and made from pure breathable linen by Soktas and feature a single cuff and cutaway collar.
Trousers are again light, and seersucker is a traditional summer fabric. Made of very light pure Subalpino cotton, it features a thin stripe pattern which provides a visual break to the solids of the shirt and jacket.
Shoes and socks
For the shoes, we also selected the Suit Supply house branded shoes. Made in Italy, these are Blake stitched. Though we prefer a Goodyear or hand welted shoe for its superior construction, comfort and ease of rebuilding, a Blake shoe has its place in a gentleman’s wardrobe. It is often lighter, as the welt is dispensed with. The uppers are stitched directly to the sole, making the construction lighter, and often wears comfortable with a minimal break in.
The shoe model is Double Monk, a style first introduced by John Lobb in a style called William, after William Lobb. The style is decidedly stylish, and suitable to dress up or to dress down, being equally comfortable with a city suit for business or a casual ensemble like this. We selected this shoe in Italian calf in a textured finish. The upper is supple with a soft hand feel, but is stoutly constructed with a Vibram (rubber) sole.
Cotton socks round off the ensemble.
The watch: HYT H1
And the watch…this is one of the early watches introduced by the young upstart company HYT. We selected the H1 as it is an easy going, relaxed, somewhat playful watch, but remains serious in its construction and special method to display time. We covered details of a similar HYT H1 piece here.
Using their patented liquid technology, it combines the high tech display method with traditional watchmaking. The movement is made for them by Jean-François Mojon and is quite nicely laid out, and finely executed. The two large bellows like device act as the pump and reservoir for the fluid used to display the hours.
An ensemble like this is meant for the summer, and as its summer all year long in Singapore, is suitable for as a casual outfit. All the pieces are selected not only to portray a relaxed, sprezzatura style, but also to cope with the hot weather. This is seen in selection of linen with a light open weave, and the cotton seersucker trousers. This is also emphasized in the half lined jacket to allow the air to circulate. And perhaps even the straw boater to shield the sun. The watch, the HYT H1 meets the style demands, fitting in well with the attitude conveyed by the outfit, and yet boasts of significant horological feats like the unique mechanical liquid display and the traditionally designed and finished movement.
Jacket from Suit Supply: S$619
Shirt from Suit Supply: S$159
Pocket Square from Suit Supply: S$65
Trousers from Suit Supply: S$299
Belt from Suit Supply: S$79
Socks from Suit Supply: S$29
Shoes from Suit Supply: S$469
Hat from Suit Supply: S$129
Watch from HYT S$75,000