Detail overload



For a few years, mass manufacturers have had a clear tendency to “hunt” on the turf of traditional sartorial culture by decking their down-market suits with so called “Tailoring details”

It is not up to us to judge the relevance of this trend, nor its (probably positive) impact on the reputation of those whose keen business sense sends them surfing the wave.

Yet, the phenomenon tends to amplify considerably. Indeed, after active jacket cuff buttons (formerly exclusive to bespoke and now found even at Zara’s), visible lapel topstitching that is much too flashy to be honest, traditional V pleats on trousers (which is destined to come apart in no time without sturdy hand stitched arrowheads), the new “trend” is currently that of contrasting lapel buttonholes.

While they are sold as an elegant detail added to beautifully finish a suit and, and I quote “let gentlemen express their personality”, we consider that such addition have the very opposite effect of that sought…

When a detail (in essence discreet or at least ancillary) garners enough attention to become the centerpiece of an outfit, the least that can be said is that it has defeated its own initial purpose.

Indeed, as much as a beautifully worked buttonhole (preferably a milanese), in a slightly contrasted color  can add a barely perceived and refined oomph, these gaudy highly contrasting buttonholes seen blossoming all round, especially on low end jackets, reek of “look at my beautiful and original suit” or even “look at how modern, elegant, stylish, refined and bold I am”.

Here are a few examples:

We are thrilled to see some very fine and accessible brands, like Boggi, be very open and specific on the quality of their work. Indeed, in the display of its Saint-Germain shop in Paris, Boggi specifies that some suits are half lined, which was not a selling argument just a few years ago. However, we cannot endorse this possibly — and hopefully — temporary trend of overstated and flashy sartorial details, which, in the end, are often useless and vulgar.

When one drives a Smart car (as yours truly), it is rather treacherous to borrow some details of the Aston Martin, except, and we would advise against it, the key chain…

Cheers, HUGO