British brand Sunspel has specialized in finely made basics for over 160 years. It’s a reliable resource for top-notch tees and workhorse sweaters—even Daniel Craig’s James Bond sported the brand’s airy Riviera polo in Casino Royale. While Sunspel typically deals in the supporting players of one’s wardrobe, the brand recently tapped Casely-Hayford—the bespoke house founded by one of Savile Row’s pioneering Black tailors—to apply its casualwear expertise to suiting. The result is a quartet of jackets and trousers with all the easy comfort of sweats—consider it tailoring for our time.
Charlie Casely-Hayford and his late father, Joe, established their brand in 2009, becoming known for marrying traditional English construction with a decidedly modern sensibility. It’s that combo that made Casely-Hayford particularly well-suited to giving Sunspel’s signature cotton jersey a smartening up. The collection’s two jackets, single- and double-breasted, are almost entirely unconstructed in the shoulders and chest and cut with a loose, boxy fit. They look like a classic blue blazer but, when worn, feel more like a cardigan. And thanks to the relaxed cut, even the DB—typically tailoring’s most formal silhouette—can easily be tossed atop casual jeans and T-shirts.
But it’s the trousers that really won me over, particularly the roomy, single-pleated pair. The cut is wide but thoughtfully tapered to avoid looking blowzy; the look is tailored but cool enough to wear on weekends. And the fabric—a subtly textured, breathable open weave jersey that nods to the mesh used in Sunspel’s best-selling Riviera polos—is closer to something typically seen in track pants. That means that even with a proper tab waistband (a flat-front variation is equipped with an elasticated waist), these trousers are as accommodating as PJ bottoms. More sophisticated than jeans and more interesting than chinos, they’ve filled a gap in my pants arsenal.
As a dog owner and mohair enthusiast, I should mention that the fabric’s lovely open weave texture is a magnet for stray hairs. But, then again, if you’re like me, you probably always keep a lint roller in arm’s reach. The occasional tidying up isn’t a big price to pay for what may be the most discreetly chic sweat-suit on the market today.