How to choose your suits for every occasion.
Conversation with Sonny Grant, Director at Grant & O'Sullivan Tailoring
With wedding invites starting to come through your letterbox, the frenzy to find the right suit begins.
What is the latest style this season? How do I care for my suit to ensure its longevity? What are the top dos and don’ts when styling my suit?
This guide will provide all you need to know on entering events with style to stand out, stand confident, and stand suited. From seasonal fabrics and suit aftercare to style etiquette, here are the tips and tricks from a professional tailor.
Grant & O’Sullivan, a British sartorial heritage story.
Sonny Grant, founder of Grant & O’ Sullivan, has made it his mission to create bespoke suits that do not disappoint. Fed up with fast fashion in our contemporary world, they provide affordable, high-quality garments that contrast the poorly made garments on high-street racks today. Their ethos of slow and design-orientated fashion is very close to URBAG’s heart.
In other words, Sonny and his talented tailors find the perfect balance between style and sophistication. A legacy of bespoke and made-to-measure suits, Grant & O’Sullivan offers exceptionally well-made suits, handmade in the heart of London.
When buying a ready-made suit, how do you know it fits you well?
Buying a ready-made suit is never the answer if you want a truly excellent fit, says Grant.
'However, I am aware that not everyone has the time, inclination, or financial freedom to visit a tailor for a bespoke suit.
So, when buying a ready-made or "off the rack" suit, some key things to pay attention to are the chest, shoulders, and sleeve length of the jacket - if you get these 3 nailed down, you will have a suit that fits comfortably!
What suit styles are 'in fashion' now?
As we head into the Spring/Summer '23 season, we are seeing a huge increase in vibrant colours and lighter fabrics.
On the horizon this year are bold reds, pinks, purples, blues, and beautiful linens and silks. Some timeless classics that are popular all year round are the pinstripe double-breasted or the classic navy 2 piece suit.
Sleeve cuffs, is there an etiquette to their visibility under a suit?
Traditional fashion rules dictate at least an inch, up to 1 inch and a half of shirt cuff to be visible, however, it is a personal preference.
How long should your suit jacket be for a formal look?
You never want your suit jacket to be longer than the middle of your trouser pocket. Anything longer and it looks like you're wearing a blanket!
What is best, in your opinion, a two or three-button jacket? And why?
The 2-button single-breasted is a classic and versatile garment. It is the most popular (and therefore most widely available) option and is a staple of the modern gentleman's wardrobe.
For ladies, I would suggest either a button single-breasted or a 4-button double-breasted as the jackets are typically shorter and fewer buttons complement a shorter jacket.
What are the top three signs of an ill-fitting suit?
Too much space in the chest, sleeves that are too long and the dreaded "baggy trousers" look! A tailor can spot this a mile away, and I'm often on the tube mentally altering the suits of fellow passengers in my head!
In your opinion, what is the best suit fabric for the winter? And what is best for the summer? And for weddings?
Winter, you can not go wrong with a nice heavy wool. It is versatile enough to be accepted in any environment, but it has unique warming properties and is naturally water-repellent.
For the summer, it must be linen, a classic summer fabric that is breathable and light - just be weary. Linen tends to wrinkle FAST!
What actions can you take to make your suit last longer?
Don't dry-clean it! It sounds counterintuitive, but suits are not made to be run through the extreme temperatures and harsh chemicals of dry cleaners.
Hang your suit in a well-ventilated room. Invest in a good quality clothes brush and brush it down to keep it clean, but absolutely do not dry clean it unless you've soiled it. I dry clean my suits a maximum of 3/4 times a year, and I still worry about them when I put them in.
How should you wash your suit to ensure it doesn't harm the fabric or the environment?
Don't wash your suit at all if you can help it. A good quality suit will be made of natural fibers that are inherently antimicrobial. You can also give it a light steam.
How often should you clean a suit?
Dry cleaning, a maximum of 4 times a year, says Sonny. You should brush your suit and hang it on a good quality hanger every time you wear it.
What would be your best tip to ensure someone felt confident wearing a suit?
Make it your own.
There are too many dark blue suits out there. Visit a good tailor, sit down with him for a couple of hours, and really design your suit from the ground up. I have over 6000 fabrics at my disposal, and I've designed some truly exceptional and unique suits for myself and my clients.
So, what have we learned for your next suit?
Be bold, be unique, and be careful. A suit should not last a season but a lifetime.
For more information about how to take care of your clothes, read our article Is the Care Label a Lie or A Lifeline?
URBAG is also delighted to announce that we are partnering with Grant & O'Sullivan and you will now be able to shop URBAG with Grant & O'Sullivan when you treat yourself to an exceptional suit. Visit their website here.
About Grant & O’Sullivan
Formerly founded as Grant & Co, this tailoring brand brings exceptional garments and accessories to the UK market, intending to resurrect the sartorial scene—a luxurious legacy created by the talented Sonny Grant.