Posts Tagged ‘history’

What is a suit…Art or Fashion?

March 21st, 2012 No comments


What is the meaning behind the word ‘Fashion’.

What does it make you think of?

Capture1 What is a suit…Art or Fashion?


I know for me, personally, its high street stores, the cat-walk, what’s popular, what’s ‘now in’. It also reminds me of the younger generation. The early 20’s or teens. Those who the trend is generally aimed at.

Every now and again there is a new flash of fashion through stores; I mean not that long ago there were multi-coloured jeans everywhere. Knitwear takes its turn in being worn throughout the years and of course at one point it was the ‘must’ to own a pair of those leggings.

Now of course ‘fashion’ can be classy and stylish, but it’s not long before this type is forgotten and the new fashion trend has begun.

What about ‘Art’…


Traditionally art seems to be more classical, especially when associated with paintings. More now with sculptures and buildings, art can be seen everywhere. Even artistic trends do pass but they are not forgotten.

Art is generally remembered and visited more frequently than the long-lost forgotten fashion statements, for example ‘dungarees’. I can’t remember how longs it’s been since I’ve seen a pair of these that wasn’t on a builder or a workman, but at one point they were all anyone could wear.


However…there are some types of ‘fashion’ that seems more like ‘art’. A classic dinner suit. The style of the suit has stayed the same. The colours haven’t really changed. The traditional meaning is there still, even amongst the slight tailoring that has taken place.

Even with the fashion worlds attempts to make the ‘suit’ a more stylish icon, to blend in with the current trends the suit has managed to keep its sophistication and classical feel through all of the alterations. It hasn’t really changed.




It could be argued that ‘fashion’ isn’t made; it’s all about the style of the individual who chooses to wear the items.

But in reality we are all pushed to what the ‘fashion businesses’ believe to be great for the year.

Whether it be a brand new item of reinvented clothing, or an item we are brought round to again…I’m sure it was in the last couple of years the 60’s style dresses were brought back…


But we are never brought round to wearing suits; they are never a ‘fashion statement’.

I suppose what I’m really pointing out is that unlike a fashion style, a suit doesn’t fade away. They are always in fashion, always in style even though they haven’t changed to keep up with the times.


Like art, they don’t have to be remembered and reinvented as they are never forgotten.


Like art, a suit will be a piece that never goes out of date.


A piece that doesn’t follow the fashion crowd.


That’s why, here at suitsmen, we pride ourselves in the suits we sell. Knowing we will find you your perfect suit, without having to worry about whether it will fit in with the current trend.


Suits, to me are Art.


Do you agree??


Let us know, comment on our Facebook page, email or call 01335 361287. Even if its just to ask a few questions about our products. We are here to help!

Ever wondered where Tuxedo’s and Dinner Suits came from? Read on to find out…

December 8th, 2011 No comments


The dinner suits and ‘black tie’ events that we know now are our smartest and most formal way of dressing and celebrating in style. Whether it be a work’s party, presentation evening, wedding or the most prestigious event you have ever been to.

Or is it?

The ‘black tie’ consists of the traditional black jacket, trousers with or without a satin stripe, black waistcoat, wing collar shirt, black bow tie and patent shoes.

This however is the ‘informal’ version of ‘White Tie’.


White Tie

White Tie was and still is used for those events that were not to be topped by anything else. There is a strict dress code that cannot be undermined. It is not to be worn before 6.00pm; however sometimes if it went dark first there could be a slight change on the time.

Men were to wear black or midnight blue dress coats, or more commonly known as tail coats. With trousers of matching fabric with one wide stipe or two narrow stripes of satin. A white and plain stiff fronted shirt and a white wing collar (preferably detachable) however most now are just attached and are a whole shirt. A white bow-tie is worn, with a white waistcoat, black silk socks or stockings and black court shoes.

The ‘Black Tie’ and its black waistcoats, bow ties and the choice of trousers with or without satin stripes were joined by the more casual ‘Dinner Jacket’. No top and tails now…


SB1T004 200x300 Ever wondered where Tuxedo’s and Dinner Suits came from? Read on to find out…   Tux DUO monaco 200x300 Ever wondered where Tuxedo’s and Dinner Suits came from? Read on to find out…


Where did the Satin and Top and Tails come from?

The Tailcoat was designed with a cutaway at the front to only leave the long back hanging down, giving the ‘tails’.

The dress coat and the morning coat are the two surviving tail coats, both used throughout history for prestigious occasions and to emphasise the fashion and importance of an event.

The dress coat was generally worn to these events, and only worn in the evening. The morning coat was a principal item with morning dress. It was regarded as formal half dress and received its name through the 19th century horseback riding exercise for gentlemen. The jacket was regularly worn on horseback, with the detailing of the buttons on the back being used to hold the tails up out of the way whilst riding. (There are practical uses for the little details we see now)


Changes to Black Tie

There have been some slight changes to the way that black tie can be worn.

The waistcoat and jacket sometimes omitted and a red cummerbund and trousers with red piping are worn in replacement. This is called the Red Sea Rig and is general worn in tropical areas, primarily in Western diplomatic and expatriate communities.

Also for formal dining, armed forces officers and non-commissioned officers normally wear mess uniform with is equivalent to civilian black tie. The mess uniforms may vary according to the wearers’ respective branches of the armed forces.

There is also the changes with the Scottish Highland Dress, for more information on this dress code please look at our other blog, Scottish Highland Dress


dinner suit main 200x300 Ever wondered where Tuxedo’s and Dinner Suits came from? Read on to find out…  SB1T004 200x300 Ever wondered where Tuxedo’s and Dinner Suits came from? Read on to find out…


And Finally…

So black tie, white tie, and Scottish highland dress are all traditional and run along the same lines, being worn for formal occasions and all being similar throughout history!!

Giving the occasions an edge that informal dress couldn’t bring. These outfits and rules of what to wear not only make the formal occasion that much better but they also make everyone look fantastic and feel important, especially when matched with the female partner in their full length dress.


Please use the links below for more information on any of the pictured suits.

Prince Charlie

Douglas and Grahame Dinner Suit

Torre Dinner Suit

Skopes Tuxedo


Don’t forget to visit for more tuxedo’s and our facebook site for more info, blogs, advice and competitions.


Categories: friends, Suits Tags: , , ,

The History Of Wolsey…

October 31st, 2011 No comments

The earliest records of the Wolsey Business relate to a Henry Wood who was trading as a hosier in 1744.

In 1748 Henry went into partnership with a man called Job Middleton and in 1750 with a man called John Wrightman.

However Henry dissolved the partnership around 1755 as he wished to carry on with a business of his own.

He died in 1768 and the business was taken over by his widow, and then later his sons and grandsons. The company was renamed Ann Wood & Sons.

In 1842 Robert Walker became a partner in the business, and after the retirement of the last Wood family member (Richard Wood), Walker changed the name of the company to R. Walker & Sons.

The company took on the trading name of Wolsey in 1897, when its headquarters were situated near to Leicester Abby; the burial place of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, and to honour the connection the trading name of the company was changed.

It wasn’t until 1920 when the company changed its name completely to Wolsey, when R. Walker & Sons merged with W. Tyler & Sons. It was through this change that the company then started to deal directly with retailers.

The company started to quickly expand and they began to employ traveling salesmen to advertise their products around the world.

As a result of their success, Wolsey and its sister trading name of Cardinal became household names and in 1935 the company was awarded its first Royal Warrant.

Little Known Facts

• In the Mid-nineteenth century Wolsey embraced the developments of the industrial revolution and put its knitting machines        in a steam-powered factory.
• New technologies led to the manufacture of ‘unshrinkable woollens’.
• The range soon extended to outer garments too. Producing the knitwear range.
• Also, when Captain Scott and his team embarked on a journey to the South Pole. Wolsey dressed them!


• Wolsey has also decided to rebrand themselves. Whilst still selling the same stock, at the same quality, with the same materials, the branding name has changed to Morley.


(For our Wolsey products visit,, in the accessories page.)