For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of tailoring. From the first time I put on a school blazer, dressing well has always been a pleasure, never a chore. However, growing up and beginning my career in the temperate (and quite laid-back) climate of Sydney, Australia, I had little need for tailoring outside the necessity of traditional business suits. My weekend outfits used to consist of jeans, sneakers and shirts – wearing a sports jacket just seemed all too formal.
It wasn’t until I was posted to Hong Kong for work that I first began to appreciate more casual tailoring and the need to keep cool in the stifling summer heat and humidity. Sadly my MTM Sydney suits weren’t made for the Hong Kong summer; the fully-lined jackets weighed heavily in the humidity and worked poorly as separates while my flannel trousers sagged in the heat.
The Armoury, Pedder Building, Hong Kong (circa 2012)
Driven by need as much as interest, I embarked on my first true bespoke experiences with The Armoury and W.W. Chan, where I began to learn about fabrics and construction. The crisp handle of fresco, the breathability and sheen of mohair, the pleasure of linen against the skin…all combined with a cut that was fitted but not tight, lined only where necessary and classic in its proportions. Slowly but surely I began to balance my wardrobe of working week needs with leisurely weekend wants.
Since moving to London I’ve had the opportunity to explore the world of bespoke on an even wider level; the city is blessed with an abundance of English, French and Italian tailors. But as tempting as the idea might be, I find little use in commissioning a bullet-proof tweed jacket, a flannel chalk-stripe suit or a sweeping overcoat; in the long-term I plan to live somewhere much warmer and tropical. Bespoke commissions are lifetime investments after all, and I plan to gain as much wear out of them as I can.
First fitting at Sartoria Caliendo, Napoli
As such, over time I have found myself constantly gravitating towards Neapolitan tailors, with their historic ability to make garments that are both better suited to hotter weather in terms of style and construction, and ultimately comfort. Much more on this later.
In summary, this is the continuation of my sartorial journey; one that began with a functional need, took more than its fair share of stylistic wrong turns and is now focused on finding that nexus between classic style and dressing comfortably, all mixed together in a hot and humid climate.
This is the genesis of Open Weave. Welcome, and I hope you enjoy the journey!