Today’s post is one that has been a long time coming but, with my wedding just under four months away, I thought this was the perfect time to write it. Like every wedding, a lot of focus is given to the Bride. Rightly so I think, but I also find little thought is cast to the man she is marrying. He is expected to just put on a suit and scrub up for the big day. Being a male fashion blogger, I have found that there has been that added pressure, especially when you hear “I can’t wait to see the suit” on a regular basis. If the girls can say “yes to the dress” why can’t the guys say “si to the suit” Let me tell you the story of my search for my wedding suit.
The journey began back in January 2015, First stop was the Bride of the Year Show in the RDS in Dublin. To be honest, I didn’t know what would be on offer to me aside from maybe the odd suit and a lot of cake.I went in with an open mind as I had no idea in my head what I was looking for, I just needed some inspiration. To my surprise, there was a huge selection of suits on display, I had plenty of inspiration, with many well known Dublin-based suit providers at the show. The one that stood out was Louis Copeland, even with the small selection that was available at his stand, the quality stood out. Aston Formal wear based in Temple Bar also had a great selection and a Magee 3 piece number really caught my eye as did a grey and blue check waistcoat that would have coordinated well with the suit I liked. I ended up choosing what colour I wanted at the end of the day. I knew I wanted Navy or blue, but could I be swayed to change again?
Now was the time to search the shops and surf the net. I knew the colour I wanted, but did I want it plain? with pinstripes? or with a check pattern? So much choice and I had initially set my budget to be quite generous. I found some great suits online as inspiration and possible suits to wear on the day. I wanted something that was right for me! The more I looked, the more I wanted a check suit. I have always been a fan of the check pattern. It just oozes class, it has a real gentleman vibe. It also really went with the vintage theme of our wedding.
I found a lot of inspiration from Darren Kennedy’s collection with Louis Copeland. The pieces from each season’s collection are all classic pieces that are made of top quality materials that will last you a lifetime. There was one suit in particular that caught my eye was the Ernest.
This particular suit is from Darren’s AW14 collection and is called after Irish explorer Ernest Shakleton. This deep navy flannel suit comes in a boxcheck pattern with a peak lapel. It really stood out, so striking! I knew that if I didn’t have this suit, I had to have one just as striking.
One of my own mottos when it comes to style is, it doesn’t matter how much it costs as long as you look and feel good, that is what matters. So I knew that even if my suit came from the high street, I knew once I felt good in it, that is all that mattered. I have always been impressed with Spanish brands Zara and Mango, as they provide quality tailoring at very affordable prices. I was more impressed with Mango as they had a wider range of styles and patterns. They also have an outlet website www.mangooutlet.com where you can buy styles from past seasons for a fraction of their price. I fell in love with this prince of wales check suit on the site.
It ticked all the boxes, blue/navy (tick), check pattern (tick) and for a bargain price. I knew I was onto a winner.
Unfortunately, despite it being a nice process ( like I needed an excuse to drool over suits!) there was some disappointments along the way. I mentioned earlier how I fell for the two beautiful suits in this post well my disappointment involves both of them. Back in August, Louis Copeland had his summer sale and to my luck the Ernest suit was reduced from €850 to €250! I mean where could I go wrong and it was also in my size! So I set out, got my funds together and a few days later went to purchase the suit only to find that the sale had ended! I was so deflated, I had left such a bargain slip through my fingers! I was kicking myself for a long time afterwards! Surely lightning wouldn’t strike twice? could it?
A few months later, I found the suit on the Mango outlet site. I kept an eye on it for a long time. Each time I checked it there was plenty of sizes available, everytime though, I fobbed it off thinking “something else will come along”. Months passed and still nothing came to change my mind. So, I then decided that I would buy the suit so that at least I had one just in case nothing else came along. Surprise, surprise! my size wasn’t there! Again my laissez-faire attitude towards it was my downfall. Panic, started to set it in!
With just four months to go and no suit bought, I started to wonder had I left it too late? Was I too late for a made to measure? I had heard that it could take up to four months meaning if it was ready I was really cutting it fine!
I came across Saville Menswear‘ facebook page not long after the panic had set it and I noticed they offered a made to measure service. I enquired and to my delight Ruairi from Saville told me that it took 4-5 weeks to have a made to measure suit made with them. I was delighted to hear that. So, I went online and booked an appointment for a made to measure suit. I knew with it being Easter week that my chances of getting an appointment was posssibly slim, but I still held out hope. As the hours dragged on knowing that closing time was looming, I figured that I wasn’t going to get an appointment even though I was heading home to Cork that weekend. At exactly 17:50 my prayers were answered! I received a phone call from Damien from the made to measure service at Saville Menswear. He told me he had an appointment free at 2:30pm the next day. Delighted with myself, I knew that tomorrow could be the day that the search will end.
I felt like a child at christmas knowing I get to design my own suit! We went through the fabrics, what style I wanted, button colour, lapel size, lining colour, you name it, we definitely discussed it! Despite looking through a lot of different fabrics, I told Damien that I knew what I was looking for. He showed me a jacket with the same fabric that he had picked for his upcoming wedding, because I told him that I wanted a colour that I could wear all year round. I knew from the minute I looked in the mirror that was the colour and fabric for me.
Despite different patterns being draped over the jacket, I knew what I wanted and that was it! I knew that going for a made to measure suit was going to be expensive and not in my usual budget, but I knew that it is for a special day and I deserved a special suit! I just can’t wait to collect it in a few weeks time! I think I am probably going to cry or have a grin like the chesire cat!
What did I learn from this experience? I learned that if you find something that you like, act fast and don’t let it slip through your fingers like I did. I also learned to ask more questions like, “do you take deposits?” That was one question I never thought of asking when looking at suits from Louis Copeland. I only found this out lately and it possibly could have ended my search a lot quicker!
Well, I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my journey as much as I enjoyed going through it. Have you or anyone you know gone through a similar experience? let me know in the comments below.