Tailoring is undergoing a quiet revolution; we pick our five favourite ways to shake up suiting

For most, tailoring is inseparable from formality. From that very first school uniform right through to that very first (and probably ill-fitting) interview suit, the combination of a blazer and tailored trousers is sartorial shorthand for smart conformity.

As such, when it comes to wearing a suit, style is often a secondary consideration; your suit should make you look respectable and if you look vaguely stylish to boot, it’s a bonus right? Not so for AW16. Now more than perhaps ever before, tailoring has become a fusion of craftsmanship, style and possibility.

Gone are the days when tailoring was a robust and well-constructed way of blending into a corporate climate. Though your suit is still a pretty safe bet for work , tailoring has also become the answer to the question; what shall I wear outside of the boardroom?

Tailoring for AW16 is precisely what you make of it. In its own right it's exciting and interesting and that’s before styling even comes into play. Tailoring will still serve you well for formal occasions – but thanks to some nifty design tweaks, it’s far from business as usual.

How are we mixing up tailoring this season? Here are our five tips for wearing well.


There’s nothing surprising about the combination of a suit, formal shoes and a shirt, except when that shirt is worn sans tie and collar. Still following? No, we’re not suggesting that you lop the collar off your faithful work shirt. Instead we’re gently nudging you towards trying the grandad collar as a simple way to freshen up your work look. If your workplace is extra-relaxed or you’re off-duty, a T-shirt will make a similarly savvy (and undoubtedly more comfortable) choice.


The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that for AW16 many of our blazers have no corresponding trousers. Similarly not every pair of tailored trousers has a matching blazer. That’s because right now contrasting separates capitalise on tailoring’s new-found sense of freedom. What mismatched tailoring lacks in straightforwardness (you’ll have to endure a little trial and error) it more than makes up for in originality. If you’re unsure where to start, charcoal grey and oatmeal will make a handsome pairing.


The last time sportswear was a viable wardrobe option for stylish men, things felt a little heavy-handed. Tracksuits were worn in their entirety and as far as sneakers were concerned anything was acceptable. Thankfully, this time around menswear’s love of sportswear feels much more refined and as a result tailoring isn’t immune to the steady march of sportswear’s wardrobe domination. A hoodie worn beneath a blazer still brings to mind the previous decade’s sartorial bum notes, so opt for a neat zip top and a pair of white sports luxe sneakers instead. Modern, contemporary and comfortable – an all round win.


It’s not just about how you style your tailoring this season but also the cut you select which will align you with menswear’s sharpest dressers – and incidentally you should be giving cuts that are too sharp a wide berth. In seasons past the suit practically demanded to be dressed up and accessorised, but a healthy amount of modern suits have been constructed to cater to menswear’s new laid-back outlook. This means softened shoulders and patch pockets on blazers and trousers which feel ever so slightly more straight cut than slim. Uptight tailoring this is most certainly not.


As if you needed any more convincing that the suit is heroically versatile, this season’s designs can be worn with knitwear without you breaking a sweat (clever eh?). At the office but don’t fancy wearing a shirt? A crew-neck cashmere jumper will do just nicely. Heading out in the evening but want to look suitably sophisticated in your suit? A fine rollneck jumper is a no-brainer. The only piece of advice to bear in mind? Keep your knit lightweight to avoid overheating and thin so that it doesn’t compromise your suit’s lines.