Tuesday 12 November 2019

Three men and a suit

 

Adam, left, wears: Double-breasted wool coat, €249; wool blazer, €229; waistcoat, €95; shirt, €79.95; chinos, €89.95; silk tie, €34.95, all Herbie Frogg. Scott, middle, wears: Wool coat, €299; three-piece suit, €399; shirt, €79.95; silk tie, €34.95, all Herbie Frogg Max, right wears: Contrasting three-piece suit, €399; shirt, €69.96; silk tie, €34.95, all Herbie Frogg
Adam, left, wears: Double-breasted wool coat, €249; wool blazer, €229; waistcoat, €95; shirt, €79.95; chinos, €89.95; silk tie, €34.95, all Herbie Frogg. Scott, middle, wears: Wool coat, €299; three-piece suit, €399; shirt, €79.95; silk tie, €34.95, all Herbie Frogg Max, right wears: Contrasting three-piece suit, €399; shirt, €69.96; silk tie, €34.95, all Herbie Frogg
Blazer, €229; waistcoat, €95; shirt, €79.95; silk tie, €34.95, all Herbie Frogg
Three-piece suit, €399; shirt, €69.95; silk tie, €34.95, all Herbie Frogg
Three-piece suit, €399; shirt, €79.95; silk tie, €34.95, all Herbie Frogg

Men like a uniform. There's no getting around it. Men's fashion might be moving in a different direction, towards a more blended 'work meets downtime meets athleisure' approach to one's wardrobe, but the typical male likes to figure out what works for him, and, generally, he is happy to stick to that.

Mixing things up on the daily? Who has the energy? For the anthithesis of this kind of thinking, see Barack Obama and his wardrobe of grey and blue suits, the object of which during his presidency was to pare down unnecessary decision-making from his day. It's the same kind of tunnel-vision focus demanded of the professional sportsmen featured on our pages today.

That's not to suggest that men have a total lack of interest in clothes, or don't want to look good, it's simply that clothes are not something most men tend to want to spend that much time on.

Our editorial today stars Leinster Rugby players: former LIFE magazine cover man Scott Fardy, who, along with Adam Byrne and Max Deegan, is showcasing Savile Row brand Herbie Frogg. It's a label that's known for creating classic tailoring with a young slant, and is stocked at Best Menswear, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

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Adam Byrne, a winger, who during a recent period of injury, spent time working on mindfulness in order to further his own personal development, describes his style as "Relaxed; I always wear something comfortable.

"I think style is important," he adds. "With social media, you're influenced, whether you know it or not." Style can actually influence his ability on the pitch, he reflects. "Look good, feel good, play good." His top three rules of style are that clothes must be comfortable, chilled, and involve no clashing colours.

His teammate, Max Deegan, admits that he has no style rules, adding that while attitudes to grooming and style have changed in the dressing room, "A few lads push the boundaries a bit too much and still get the piss taken out of them."

John Smith, managing director of Best Menswear, highlights the casualisation of workplace dress codes. He adds: "If there are two words to strike fear into any man, they are 'smart casual'."

Business suits have taken something of a back step, he acknowledges, but in their stead, suiting for big occasions has come to the fore. So if you're a man, and you're panicking about how you're going to seamlessly introduce the jogger-inspired tailored-trouser trend into your work wardrobe, or wondering how to pull off trainers with tailoring, keep calm. Streetwear isn't for everyone.

As in women's fashion, the 1970s has been an influence on men's trends this season. In men's suiting, this can be seen in the wider silhouettes and looser fits; in double-breasted blazers; and the comeback of the three-piece suit.

As you can see in this shoot, Best Menswear, Ireland's largest independent menswear retailer, is interpreting the trend with waistcoats in contrasting shades, and the earthy, autumnal tones that are so often associated with that decade.

Best Menswear has, of course, been clothing sponsor to the Leinster Rugby team for 25 years.

Best has also reintroduced made-to-measure tailoring in all its stores after an absence of 20 years, to help ensure that when a man does purchase a suit, he gets one that is just right.

This gives a one-of-a-kind aspect to a suit, which is a nod to the fact that while men do still like a uniform, they're also increasingly interested in individuality. Even if you're keeping it classic, clothes are no longer simply about blending in. An attitude these sportsmen showcase perfectly.

In 2018, Best Menswear opened a new contemporary 4,000 square feet flagship store in the centre of Dublin on the first floor of Jervis Street Shopping Centre, renewing a relationship that had existed with Dublin city centre since 1948, when they were known as Bests by the Pillar. Today, it is Ireland's largest independent menswear retailer, stocking some of the world's leading premium menswear brands, including Herbie Frogg, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. See bestmenswear.ie

Words by Liadan Hynes

Photography by Emily Quinn

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