Savile Row tailor Paul Jheeta, who has dressed the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Abhishek Bachchan, tells you how to have the perfect suit stitched.
What should you look out for when selecting a tailor?
When it comes to suit makers on Savile Row, everyone has their own unique cut and style. It also largely works on a system of recommendations and referrals. Men who take pride in dressing do their research on styles they like and then choose accordingly. Not everyone likes a closely fitted suit. Some want more comfort, softness etc, so which house does what is the key. What you can be assured of is top class service and fabrics, which you may not be able to acquire when you buy certain made to measure or ready to wear garments.
Could you share a checklist to picking the right kind of suit collar/lapel?
While fashion keeps changing, I believe that there are some basic standards that stay the same, bearing in mind classic styles. These styles are all about staying proportional to your figuration. If you are of a small build, the size reduces from the basic measure. But if you have a narrow collar or lapel on a big guy, that’s a disaster. So there isn’t a set measurement — it must just be proportionate to one’s body.
Would you say fabrics are occasion specific? How do you select them?
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to black tie and ceremonial wear. When it comes to dinner suits and tuxedos, we do have some limitations — they must be in black and the cloth we use is called barathea — if you want them to be genuine and authentic. Where I’m based, things are very much classic. Fabrics could cost as much as 4,000-5,000 Pounds per metre. Those who like to experiment often opt for colour. A lot depends on the occasion and what your personality is; not just what looks good.
Run us through the various pointers to keep in mind regarding cuts for formal suits and informal jackets.
For me, personally, there is nothing like informal wear. You have blazers and then sports jackets, which are casual. The construction is the same; the only difference is in the fabrics. If you want a soft look, you could opt for a sports jacket, depending on the climate and where you’re going to wear it. But in terms of the craft, nothing changes. Everything will be crisp and well made.
How do you accessorise suits and jackets for various occasions?
I don’t go by trends; I stand by my classic look. You have limited accessories, but at the same time you can play with them. If you aren’t wearing a tie, a silk pocket square will look nice in your breast pocket. By all means, you can have both as well. Apart from those, I usually offer a side strap and a buckle so you don’t have to wear a belt as an accessory. You can also use them to adjust the waistline should your trousers feel a little loose. When you take your jacket off, it’s also a nice little accessory on your trousers. We don’t go for gimmicks.
Share some guidelines for the correct trouser length.
Wearing trousers that end above the ankle is not my style at all. For me, it must be very proportional to your figuration. Certain Italian brands are known to do narrow styles that end above the ankle, giving a very straight look. My look is very classic and slick. According to me, the back length should be slightly above the heel and the front quite angled and short, so you get one break in the crease line when you are standing straight.
Which are the suits every man must own? How would you describe the perfect suit?
If you are someone who wants to look good and dress well, you need to have a wardrobe with some solid colours — dark grey and navy suits, and maybe a black suit or a black tie-style dinner suit. Also invest in a couple of sports jackets and blazers to go with your casual trousers. The perfect suit, I would say, just has to be an extension of you and enhance your personality. It must be something you can carry off and at the same time, make you feel comfortable.