If you’re like me, you probably look at the industry standard 3.5 inches for tie and lapel and think, “That looks wide.” And if you don’t, you may be part of a shrinking minority.
The slim look is growing, not fading away, so get used to it.
Take Ben Silver, for example. The Charleston-based torch-carrier of sartorial conservatism (albeit brightly colored conservatism) is standing firmly behind the trim lapel in its new spring offerings. Will J. Press, O’Connell’s and Cable Car Clothiers take notice?
Ivy-Style.com recently spoke with Ben Silver vice president Jim Prenner about the company’s current jacket cut, upcoming slim-fit shirt offerings, and whether slim cuts are just for the young. — CC
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IS: Tell us about the current cut to your sportcoats, blazers and suit jackets.
JP: We have been making a slimmer, three-inch-lapel model since 2008, and it is the model that all of our current jackets are based on. The slimmer silhouette is very flattering. It’s not just the lapel, which must be balanced against the point to point in the shoulders, and the half-girth of the waist. In addition the notch is cut higher, and the gorge to the first button is longer. All this gives a slimming and appealing look. With a natural shoulder, especially with lighter canvas lining and shoulder pads, our jackets have a softer look than most makers, but continue to maintain their heritage as balanced, proportional, classic clothing.
IS: Is this to attract a younger customer?
JP: I think younger people, frankly somewhat slimmer in their early years, find it easier to wear this silhouette than the larger point to point and wider girth models that other makers show. However, with respect to our customer base, we have cut a pattern of classic proportions suited to a gentleman in a broad age spectrum. We can’t compromise on our classic proportions, just fine-tune the execution to befit the highest level of taste.
IS: What about slim-fitting shirts?
JP: We will soon be carrying a separate pattern of slimmer shirtings for those who really need a narrower silhouette. As you know, our shirts are always cut in a true gentleman’s cut with generous proportions. The new slim shirts will be narrower, and designed with the potential for wearing out as well as in, with or without a necktie. This model will be introduced as a secondary option for fall.
IS: And finally, what about tie widths?
JP: All our neckwear is at 3.25 inches or less.