Once you have navy and charcoal basics in your wardrobe, or simply crave a more unique look, you can investigate more exotic fabrics to make up a suit or a sports coat.
The Gentleman’s Gazette bespoke consultant Herbert Stricker recently stumbled upon a vintage length of sky blue Irish Linen cloth at one of his tailors. While most people might find the idea of a sky blue suit ‘out there’, Herbert feels otherwise; his choice of fabric ranges beyond the basic due to an extensive collection of classically patterned bespoke suits already in his possession. Inspired by an outfit from Andrea Sperelli, he decided to have his own suit made up in this color extraordinaire.
Irish Linen fabric, per se, designates that it is woven in Ireland from 100% linen yarns, according to Irish design and weaving tradition. The Irish Linen yarns are spun from 100% flax. Although flax has been grown in Ireland for centuries, most of the flax for Irish Linen fabric today is imported from the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Due to rising labor costs, there are only a few Irish Linen producers left in Ireland, however these few create only top notch quality. Irish Linen apparel fabric usually has an open weave, wrinkles in a sophisticated way, and is very resistant to bagging. Altogether, these features make it eminently desirable for a summer suit.
In this ensemble, Mr. Stricker wears glasses with a custom made horn frame, a pink and white striped cotton shirt, a white linen pocket square with pink edges, a wrist watch with a green leather band, pink & violette striped over-the-calf socks in fil d’ecosse, and last, but not least, cognac box calf bespoke shoes.
When ordering suits in unusual colors, chances are your tailor does not have the matching buttons. In Herbert Stricker’s case, you can see ivory nut buttons (also known as Corozo). Ivory nut is derived from a palm tree and has a very nice, subtle marbling to it. Unlike horn, it can be dyed in any possible color. As such, you will always be able to get matching buttons.
Moreover, your tailor will probably not stock various shades of sky blue buttonhole silk thread. At W. Wächtershäuser, you can buy threads by the meter and pick the right color out of the entire selection of Gütermann threads! This is really great because otherwise you would have to buy a complete spool – or even package – of thread although you just need a couple yards. The same is true for the thread required for pick stitching. If you closely observe the pictures, you will notice that the suit has pick stitching on every seam and edge!
Also note that the coat’s buttonhole is rather large, which makes it easy to wear a boutonniere.
It was a very warm summer day when these pictures were taken, and so Herbert Stricker wore his shirts cuffs, as well as his coat cuffs, unbuttoned in order to stay cool. This way, however, you can more clearly see the green leather watch band that so nicely contrasts the rest of the outfit.
So, if you should ever be so lucky as to come across an equally spectacular length of Irish Linen fabric, think about making it into a suit even if the color might seem rather unusual. The results could be as splendid as this outfit. For more of Herbert Stricker’s equally exciting outfits, revisit the Gentleman’s Gazette frequently and visit Herbert’s personal blog at legrimod.blogspot.com.