The weather gave me a serious head fake on the morning of the day I was planning to take pictures of the sapphire blue suit I took for alterations and adjustments about 3 weeks ago. The day started off overcast with a slight chill in the air. The perfect weather to counter with a trevira wool suit. My glee, however, would be shortlived if not fleeting because as the morning wore on it started getting warmer and warmer, and by midday I was somewhat discouraged to continue with the 'photoshoot' because a spring sunset isn't easy on the body either. Now imagine me in a trevira wool suit taking pictures and sweating profusely. By late afternoon, around four o'clock the weather had reverted to the slight chill. I seized the opportunity. I proceeded to bust out a few shirts, ties, socks and accessories to complement the suit. As the rest of the pictures will evince, sapphire blue is an incredibly amiable colour that allows for endless combinations.
A caveat: if I cut a gaunt figure it's because of weight loss underpinned by a semblance of a salubrious lifestyle. I started this year on an unhealthy, overweight 94kg. My best, slimmest pair of jeans were strangling the life out of my waist and thighs, I needed a self imposed intervention. So, what did I do? I hit the road; jogging almost everyday a distance of about 10 - 11km. In July, I went back to the gym and when I weighed myself I was at the lowest I can ever remember; I was at a very light 85kg. How did I lose that much weight? It has been a combination of jogging, playing basketball twice a week, and somewhat watching what I eat. I've just recently gone back to the gym, just to build on my light, slim frame and push my weight back to the ideal, 88 - 90kg.
Now to the suit. I've got to hand it to the gentlemen at Soli Omar Tailors, they know their stuff. Yunus is always helpful, patient and engaging. Whenever I visit, I always ask for him because he and I have a wonderful rapport. Another helpful individual is Mohamed, the owner's son. He is always on hand to lend some advice and also school me on aspects of tailoring and his family's business. I really appreciate how they allow me to stretch their service to me and indulgences, even though some of them are whimsical or wishful thinking.
This was a total surprise to me. When I explained my wish for double vents to be inserted in this ventless jacket, the answer was an immutable "no". One vent was possible, but two? I was pretty much reaching. Imagine my surprise when they unfolded the jacket and two vents had been inserted. I was over the moon. Once more Soli Omar Tailors proved to me that 'there aint no problem that they can't fix'.
Apart from having the jacket taken in on the sides, I also had the sleeves shortened. The trousers came out perfectly as well. The length was reduced which resulted in one break. The bottom was also reduced. I'm sure the above image shows all this.
A closer look at the jacket evinces tightly pressed lapels. The top button was removed to effect a two button stance. No time for a boxy, stuffy 3-roll-2. The top button hole was stitched shut with a thread of the same hue. God bless them. Now how did they go the extra mile? Both lapels were stitched on the underside against the jacket just to keep the lapels in place and the 2 button stance constant and totally negate the semblance of a 3-roll-2. I also appluad them for doing this without me having thought of it. I surmise the reason being a story I once relayed to them about another jacket which was pared down to two buttons, after a visit to a dry cleaners, and after firm instructions not to roll the lapel back to a 3 button stance because the top button had been removed; when I received the suit back from the dry cleaners it had been rolled and pressed back to a 3 button stance even though the top button was missing. Even after strict instructions not to do so. I had even showed them what I was talking about. What followed was a vituperative jab at their customer service and how unhappy I was. Their attempts at redoing the jacket and remedying the situation did nothing to mollify me. I've never been back.
I like this button stance because it aggrandizes a deep V in the jacket, the lapels are wider and, it is a throwback to the 80s when the top button hit right at the navel.
I think the best complementary footwear in this context, especially taking into consideration the accessories; a green tie, green checked pocket square, would be ox-blood or chestnut brown shoes. I guess I can start preparing for next winter now and get a pair.
This was a first in many things. First time I'm wearing this embroidered check shirt with a tie. I also had it taken in on the sides and sleeves. A genuine silk pocket handkerchief pilfered from my father's wardrobe. I was instantly drawn to the quality, texture and feel of this handkerchief. When I popped into my breast pocket it just stood steadfast in the pocket, with a slight but ebulient overflow to the outside. I somewhat always have a challenge with pocket squares that don't hold firmly in place, they always slip and disappear into the pocket. This silken one was a breath of fresh air and a new experience. I will definitely be looking at acquiring more quality pocket squares and handkerchiefs. I just won't be breaking the bank though.
These yellow silk knots were a deft touch. It was the first time wearing them since receiving them as a gift from my brother. I finally got to put them to good use, they are incredibly serviceable.
The work done on this suit was quite extensive but worth it, especially in terms of the cost as well. I paid only R175 for the jacket and R50 for the pants. I would be remiss if I didn't thank the gentlemen at Soli Omar Tailors for their commitment and dedication, and for always assisting me with a smile. I can definitely vouch for them because the work of their hands is meticulous, thorough and immaculate. If you're looking for their exact location it is 331 Monty Naicker str (formerly Pine str) Durban. For further info you can also call them on 031 3055856.
PG: Man to man, generation to generation.