J. Kent Ltd.

Blog

Odd Vests

There’s nothing odd about odd vests! The phrase simply refers to wearing a vest outside of a three-piece-suit ensemble—a great strategy for adding visual appeal and stretching your clothing budget by increasing the number of mix-and-match options in your wardrobe. Light-colored vests, such as sand or dove gray, look fantastic under a suit. You may choose to build your vest of the same material as your trousers or sport jacket, or instead select a coordinating fabric. The back of the vest is often constructed of thin lining fabrics to avoid adding bulk and heat. Wearing matching trousers and vest with a contrasting coat makes a striking ensemble. The vest should be long enough to cover your waistband. Braces are a good choice with a vest, as a belt will push the vest fabric away from your waist, creating the appearance of thickness. The armholes of your vest should be large, to allow...

Read More

Buying Cheap = Buying Twice

We have all found ourselves tempted to purchase something because of a low price. However, if you buy something you don’t really need because it’s “a deal” or “on sale,” you may find that your impetuous purchase isn’t a good fit for you. Perhaps it’s a color you don’t really care for, or a seasonal fabric that you can’t wear often. It may end up being used only once or twice (or never), and then taking up space unnecessarily. Later on, when you replace that item with something more useful that actually contributes to your wardrobe options, you’ll find that having to make two purchases cancelled out the savings of buying something inexpensive. Instead of saving money, you’ll have bought twice. When buying clothing, you may also find that low prices can often mean low quality, including cheaper fabrics that wear out sooner, sloppy detailing, buttons that are not securely fastened, or...

Read More

What’s So “Super” About Super Wools?

An age-old grading system is used to ensure that the quality of wool fabric is accurately categorized—and valued. The finest worsted wools are called “super wools” or “choice wool.” Carded wools are called “woolens.” When the grading system for worsted wool began in England, it applied only to 100% pure raw wool, but now covers wool blends that incorporate other natural fibers, such as cashmere, mohair, or alpaca.  While the USDA monitors wool grading in the U.S., The British Wool Textile Export Corporation introduced a code of practice concerning the description of wool quality in the 1990s to clear up confusion in the marketplace caused by companies describing the same qualities of wool in different ways. The main benefit to consumers is consistent rating of the quality of wool fiber contained in cloths woven in the United Kingdom.  For more than a century cloth woven in the United Kingdom has been...

Read More

Raising the Bar: The Collar Pin

You already know that paying attention to your accessories sets you apart from the crowd. One accoutrement that quickly gives an air of elegance to an ensemble is a collar pin. This refined tool gives the knot in your tie more visual importance and stability. It’s perfect for days when you want to look your best—and want the confidence that comes from stylish dressing. Many notable gentlemen of style have been known to sport a collar pin, from Fred Astaire and Steve McQueen to Tom Ford and Daniel Craig. Its rarity is part of its appeal, as its use shows considerable sartorial savvy. If you enjoy the collar pin but prefer a less noticeable approach, put aside the more common safety pin style and try the barbell style. Whichever collar pin you prefer, make sure to pair it with a substantial tie knot for best effect....

Read More

Escaping the Tyranny of the Store Buyer

Ready-to-wear clothing sellers must concentrate on the merchandise they think they can sell in a short period of time. By economic necessity, their wares must appeal to the most customers possible. Each season they buy far in advance, based on forecasts of trends and fads—and they must move that merchandise quickly to have room for the next season’s fads. Stores may stock only thin lapels one year, and only wide lapels the next. Only flat-front trousers or only pleated ones. Only summer suits or only winter wear. As your custom clothier, we believe in a wholly different approach to developing style and image. When you choose custom clothing instead of limiting your choices to those selected by store buyers, you’ll find you have a myriad of choices for styling, fabric, color, and fit. You can build a wardrobe that bucks the current trends—or anticipates the next ones. We’ll create a look...

Read More

Creative Coat Linings vs. Traditional Coat Linings

I received this question from a reader: Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of a coat lining that’s bright and flashy instead of the traditional solid gray, brown, navy, etc. What do you recommend I line my next coat with? This is what I shared with them: Your coat’s lining doesn’t show often, but it does make an appearance now and then. That gives you a wonderful opportunity for an expression of your own personal style. You can certainly go with a traditional lining fabric—but if you prefer something bold (or even outrageous), we’re here to help! Our extensive fabric supply gives you access to lining fabrics that create a bold statement with a contrasting color, or add elegance with coordinating stripes or prints. The myriad possibilities include novelty prints, hobby- or sports-based prints, paisleys, jacquard weaves, and more....

Read More

Mastering Cocktail Attire

You’ve been invited to a wedding, and the invitation says “cocktail attire.” Unfortunately for your tan, the wedding isn’t on a beach in Florida or California. It’s an evening event held indoors, and you’ve decided to create a fantastic ensemble that perfectly epitomizes cocktail attire. Where to start? You’re not going to start by wearing a tuxedo. Unless the invitation says “black tie optional,” your tux will be too much—and choosing to wear it means you risk outshining the couple on their special day. Go with a dark, solid-colored suit and crisp white shirt. (A wedding is the perfect opportunity to get your next custom shirt made, so it’ll be sparkling white.) Choose a bowtie if it won’t overshadow the wedding party, or turn to a traditional tie. A solid-colored silk tie will look both festive and elegant. If you prefer, wear a tie with some texture for visual interest. Your pocket square will...

Read More

Creating the Perfect Break

You know trousers should have a single break at the ankle for best effect, and that having the hems either too long or too short changes how the fabric breaks. Did you know that the width of your trousers plays a part as well? When we design your custom-fitted trousers, we don’t simply take measurements and start cutting your chosen fabric. Before we ever apply shears to cloth, a sophisticated pattern process is used to ensure all aspects of the trousers are proportioned correctly. Our goal is to craft clothing that looks fantastic, hangs beautifully, and moves like a second skin....

Read More

Easy Trick to Discover How Frequently You Wear EVERYTHING

Clothing you don’t wear frequently can fill up your closet while giving you the unpleasant feeling that you don’t have anything to wear. This leads to overbuying, which leads to a cluttered closet. The solution is to figure out how frequently you wear each item, but trying to remember what you wore weeks ago—or even writing down your daily wardrobe selection—is a huge time waster. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. Instead of arranging your clothing by type or by color, for the duration of this test, you’ll arrange it by date of wearing. When you rehang an item of clothing, put it on the most accessible end of the closet rod. The next item worn goes next to it, and so on. Soon you’ll see what you wear frequently, and what is simply taking up space and collecting dust in your closet. You can also use this trick to avoid over-wearing an...

Read More

Plastic Collar Stays vs. Metal Collar Stays

I received this question from a reader: Which are better, plastic or metal collar stays? This is what I shared with them: Collar stays are inserted into the points of your collar to strengthen the fabric. Over time, even if you remove the plastic stays before they go through the rigors of being laundered, they may bend enough that they no longer have the stiffness necessary to maintain the collar’s strong V shape. Metal stays are less flexible than plastic ones, so do not bend as easily. If you’re trying out metal stays, consider magnetic ones. They’re a great option for collars that don’t have stay pockets (such as polo shirts) and occasions when you want to precisely control the collar presentation....

Read More