‘Suits you, sir’
In our first monthly staff spotlight we sit down with one of Jules B’s tailoring experts, Alex Butler, to discuss why he thinks tailoring is more important now than ever.
Tucked away in the idyllic surroundings of Newcastle’s Jesmond, the Jules B tailoring department is once again in full-swing. Alex, one of our resident Made To Measure experts, has just finished the second fitting for a client: a beautiful two-piece suit made from the finest Italian wool, complete with peak lapels and pleated trousers. It’s something really special. Sporting a rather exquisite moustache, Alex embodies the quintessential image of the modern dandy: rakish, sophisticated and with an eye for detail that gives his suiting an air of consummate elegance.
When not caught up within an appointment, Alex avidly pursues his own suiting ventures. “I was thinking of a blue Corduroy two piece” he says to me, to which I confidently reply “Yes, a blue corduroy suit most certainly suits you, sir.”
He conducts all of his appointments with a care deserving of his craft. Alongside the rest of the tailoring team, he oversees every Made To Measure process from start to finish. I manage to sit down with him in-between his busy schedule to discuss why he believes that good tailoring is still essential today.
You obviously have a very unique style. Who/what influenced you in developing your look?
My look and general philosophy surrounding fashion stems from my love of 1960’s mod and soul music. In my view, fashion and music are integrally tied. The 60’s mod scene gave birth to the sleek and slim silhouettes that influence my tailoring heavily. I’ve always greatly admired the ‘dandy’ look from this era… it’s a style that perfectly blends sartorial elegance and bohemian flare.
In your honest opinion, why choose a Made to Measure suit over, say, a ready to wear option?
At Jules B we have an unrivalled selection of off the peg options… However, I firmly believe nothing feels as good as wearing a suit that has been made specifically for you. Once you’ve experienced the superiority of the fit and the thrill of stamping your own personality on a suit, it’s very hard to settle for anything less.
I see, so what does a typical Made to Measure experience look like?
Myself and the team on the formal wear department are extremely passionate about tailoring. We warmly welcome anyone who wishes to come in and have a chat about the current trends or simply to cast their eyes over our extensive range of luxury fabrics. A first fitting consists of a series of precise measurements in order to achieve the perfect fit. After the fitting, we talk the client through the design options. Four to five weeks after the initial appointment, the finished article will arrive in-store and the client is invited in for the final fitting. Every detail is custom made, from the fabric right down to the choice of button…we are here to make your sartorial dreams come true, and going made to measure really is the ultimate way to express your individuality. Of course, if you need guidance or inspiration, I’ll help you along the way.
Sounds impressive, but why do you think that tailoring is still important?
Every man should own a good suit… it’s that simple. You often hear people talk about how casual and street wear is dominating the fashion world – I don’t buy into this. A suit is the ultimate symbol of power and confidence, which is something I simply don’t believe can be achieved in a pair of trainers and a hoodie. It’s good to see that there are a series of important celebrities such as Conor McGregor spearheading a sartorial revival, though. He helped to introduce a whole new, younger audience to the excitement of making a bold statement through tailoring.
Finally, if you could pick an outfit from Jules B that really fits with your lifestyle, what would it be?
If I could pick an outfit that speaks to me and my lifestyle, it would be something that goes to the heart of what I want my tailoring to be: bold styles keeping in with that 60’s influence. The Luigi Bianchi Mantova double breasted suit paired with a roll neck and camel overcoat would really do it for me.
I’d like to thank Alex for finding the time to sit down and chat about himself, and his tailoring experience at Jules B.
For those interested in booking an appointment with Alex for your own Made to Measure experience, call 0191 281 7855 ext: 1 or drop in to our Jesmond store to arrange a consultation 9:30am-5:30pm Monday to Saturday.