Just because men are dressing more casually doesn’t mean there’s less need for impeccably tailored clothing, according to Luke Sweeney, who with partner Thom Whiddett established the London tailoring house Thom Sweeney (thomsweeney.co.uk) a decade ago.
“One of our biggest clients orders multiple blazers and trousers every year; I don’t even remember the last time he ordered a suit,” says Sweeney. The Savile Row–trained 37-year-old was in New York last fall for the launch of the brand’s ready-to-wear collection at the Bergdorf Goodman men’s store, where he offered advice on how to portray a more relaxed look with suiting elements: “If you are breaking up suits, you should have a double-breasted, soft-shouldered blazer that lends itself to a more casual look.” He also suggests looking for suits and separates in textured fabrics, like flannel or linen, that look smart when layered with knitwear or a turtleneck. Though Sweeney represents a new generation of tailors offering new ways to wear handmade clothing, he understands that the traditional suit remains standard attire for some. For that reason, he says, he and Whiddett travel to New York every 6 weeks to meet with clients and help them select fabrics and silhouettes for bespoke or made-to-measure garments.