On the Cutting Table: the Shooting Gilet

With the Glorious Twelfth fast approaching, our bespoke commissions of late have mainly been aimed at the shooting season ahead. Reflecting the mood of our shop, where the joyous colours of linen and cotton summer tailoring are being slowly replaced by earthy, sombre tones of autumn attire, so too have the shelves of the cutting room become laden with tweeds, moleskins, and corduroy. There is, however, one cloth which stands out as one which we have never seen in the shop before. Although there are certainly favourites amongst our customers (fuelled, not least, by the fact that commissions in progress hang temptingly behind the cutting table causing some clients to ask for the same cloth), it is rare to find a material with which we have never worked. The gilet pictured above does not particularly stand out as far as the cutting and styling are concerned. When finished, it will have the same attributes as our classic ready-to-wear gilets: a five-button closure, Nehru collar, three ample welt pockets for cartridges, and a full lining. Our client sourced the cloth for his commission himself from a small mill in Burma. It’s made from the Lotus flower which is dried and spun into cloth. The cloth is made on a hand-operated loom which produces a more narrow bolt than we are used to using, so the cutting has had to be cleverly done in order to match up to the pattern desired. This is a good lesson in bespoke tailoring. If one wishes to make a statement with the styling of a garment, choose a plain cloth. In other words, let the details that only a bespoke garment can have speak for themselves. However, if one wishes to have a bold cloth, keep the details simple. This cloth will certainly draw the eye—we only advise that when in the field, keep the grouse in one’s sights, not the sartoria gloriosum! To book your own bespoke appointment with our in-house, third generation master tailor, please email [email protected] or telephone +44 (0)20 7259 9494.