Base Returns to Tailoring


Unsurped by sportswear, the suit was firmly put to the back of the wardrobe, both physically and metaphorically, a couple of years ago. Remember when the skinny suit reigned supreme, the waistcoat was at its peak – sorry, Gareth! – and the word ‘dapper’ was being annoyingly overused to mean anything involving a fade haircut and a floppy pocket square.



Well, tailoring has taken a break and, thankfully, it’s back on the up. At the recent menswear shows in Paris, previewing the Spring/Summer 2019 collections, two of the biggest new signings to the fashion calendar – Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton and Kim Jones at Dior Homme – showed a return to a more grown up and relaxed form of suiting. Albeit in a palette that you can’t eat your dinner in.

This is suiting and tailoring which is fuller, longer and more grown up. The short bum-grazing jackets of the skinny suit, now, look immature and, unless you’re very young, quite hard to pull off. Our suit options have expanded as we try to suss out the fresh, new direction tailoring is going in. From Balenciaga’s powered shoulders to Tom Ford’s slick lounge-lizard, this is about the suit as personality and not uniform.


Anthony Cuthbertson, Global Design Director, TOPSHOP/TOPMAN, says “Fashion exists in cycles and we see the return to tailoring as a refreshing alternative to the recent streetwear explosion. Also, the change in seasons and move towards winter, naturally brings with it a shift towards more formal dressing.”

Once the home of the skinny suit, TOPMAN has identified the shift and is offering newer shapes to reflect this exciting move.

“It’s important for us to innovate and offer our customers a wide choice of tailoring, so for the coming season we will be exploring new looser fits, including pleat front trousers and turn-up hems.” says Cuthbertson.



The new suit is built around the ‘occasion’ not the office. Be that a wedding, party or taking part in the social season.

Eric Musgrave, menswear writer and author of Sharp Suits, a photographic history on men’s tailoring, says, “It is about ‘special occasion’ dressing and having a suit that makes a strong statement, that is not just a plain grey 2-button business suit. I suspect strong sales are coming from men who WANT to wear a suit, rather than HAVE to wear a suit for work. Even banks (if you can locate a branch that is still open) have dressed down.

Days at the races are also good excuses for dressing up in tailoring.”

It’s undeniable that men enjoy that feeling of being ‘dressed’ that only a suit can offer. But it’s not just the simple single-breasted styles which are returning.

“There’s only so much ‘athleisure’ wear society can stomach.” says Simon Carter, Founder, Simon Carter. “Set to return is the blazer, in all its forms. It can be the ironic gilt button golf club blazer, or a pagoda shouldered double breasted linen piece.” he says.



For guys who still want their suiting fitted, all is not lost. While the super-skinny, spray-on styles are to be avoided, go for something with a slightly tapered straight leg and cinched in jacket.

“While the runways may be showing exaggerated unfitted silhouettes, that isn’t filtering through to commercial fashion yet. If the trend for slimmer shapes in tailoring has taught men anything, it is that a well cut and well fitted suit is essentially more flattering to the male body than large boxy shapes. While that ‘painted on’ effect was never a good look, a well cut suit with a tailored appearance is still what men want to wear.” says Martin Byrne, Head of Marketing, Remus Uomo.

So, where should be look for our inspiration?

“Instagram provides instant access to the global fashion scene and is a constant form of inspiration for our customers.” says Cuthbertson. “Celebrities like Harry Styles and Jared Leto have become the poster boys for the statement suit and have influenced our customer to be a bit braver in their choices!” he says.

If Harry Styles’ Gucci maximalist is a little OTT for you, then maybe something a little more conservative?



“See the effect of Gareth Southgate wearing a waistcoat during the World Cup. And he wore it so badly too! Trousers not high enough. Vest not long enough. And wearing a belt! Or dear. Odd people do pop up that seem to enjoy wearing a suit, notably Conor McGregor, the Irish fighter.” says Musgrave.


What these famous figures show is men playing with wearing a suit and the desire to wear one. This about not having to wear a suit, but wanting to. It’s about getting excited about putting a suit on outside of the typical times and looking for any reason to wear your new suit.

Here are your new suiting scenarios and the perfect pairs of Base London to accompany them:

Base London For All The New Tailoring Scenarios

‘The Occasion’

Take your cue from David Beckham in Dior Homme at Prince Harry’s wedding. While a tailcoat could be pushing it outside of a formal wedding, it’s the elegance we can aspire to. Wear the ‘Viola’ Oxford in brown for that classic British footwear choice.


‘The Out-Out’

For a big night out, you can team a louder shirt with a more sober suit, see the Flintstone tiger styles at Bottega Veneta for this season’s inspiration. Add something different such as the monk strap ‘Kook’ with a chunky sole.



‘The New Dressy’

Go for full colour. Look to Paul Smith and Tom Ford for a total look in a bold colour. Team the hi shine ‘Draco’ to amp up the dressy feel and confident look of you and your suit.

‘The Everyday’

The loafer has returned to add a retro touch to tailoring. From classic Gucci snaffle styling to 1990s Patrick Cox Wannabe nostalgia, opt for the ‘Breach Waxy’ for something as relaxed as your smile.

Founder & Creative Director,
Twitter – @thechicgeekcouk
Instagram – @thechicgeekcouk