Photos by Celton Agpoon
We’re right in the middle of the trickiest #menswear season of them all.
Summer wedding season.
Not only are you expected to look your seasonally appropriate best, you have to do so without sweating your ass off. And as temperatures and humidity rise to unreasonable levels of grossness I have three weddings to go to in the next two months. I needed a new suit.
You may luck out with a casual beach wedding, in which case, do as the groom does, but all of my impending “dressed up in the heat” occasions require a suit. Usually weddings aren’t a problem, but the humidity, involvement, and frequency of my celebrations this Summer pushed me to invest in a permanent solution. I began looking for some inspiration but it was right in front of me.
I met Natty Adams earlier this year by chance at our mutual tailor in the Lower East Side. After chatting a little about his newly finished book, I picked up a copy and I had all the inspiration I needed.
Later I learned Natty is also the co-director of Secret Empire, a boutique custom menswear label out of London that specializes in finely crafted made-to-measure garments. I needed a new Summer suit and just like that, the universe sent me a haberdasher.
A few weeks ago, I met him at his home studio to begin the made-to-measure process. After a brief discussion he had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted and needed. I was looking for cotton, linen, silk, or a combination, something with enough texture to be interesting but still very versatile, and above all, light weight.
He pulled books of fabric for me to look through but began by showing me beautiful tropical wools and wool blends. He explained wool would hold it’s shape better than linen, thus being more formal while also giving the fabric the needed texture for visual depth. I trusted his expertise and fell in love with a tropical weight, 80/20 wool mohair blend in blue. Mohair adds a subtle sheen and airy-ness to the garment since it’s lighter and more lustrous than wool.
Next came the measurements, an entire sheet of them. My entire body was put to the tape measure. Shoulders, arms, legs, inseam and outseam, three separate measurements for torso width, and another for back length. After, I tried on a sample suit and had additional garment measurements taken with the jacket and pants on. After that I selected every detail, every facet of the suit was customizable, down to the inside lining. I didn’t think I’d get that excited about lining options, but predictably, I did.
Once it’s finished I’ll share it with you. Naturally, the hardest part of all of this is waiting.
If you’re in London and would like to check out more of Secret Empire’s exceptionally crafted menswear, they’re having their very first semi-annual sale going on now. Email HQ@adamsandball.com for details.
Don’t forget to check out my review of I Am Dandy here. It’s got all of the inspiration you need.