Thom Sweeney’s Suitable Notions

Yesterday morning, British label Thom Sweeney launched ready-to-wear versions of its bespoke menswear on Mr Porter. Emerging from a long tradition of London tailoring, the line offers an updated take on a traditional British suit, softening the shoulders and using lighter material, departing from Savile Row’s military uniform antecedent.

“It’s for guys that want to look modern, but grown up,” says designer Luke Sweeney. “They don’t want to make too much of a statement… they want to look timeless, but classic.”

Creating a ready-to-wear line does not mean Sweeney and his partner Thom Whiddet have abandoned their bespoke roots. The pair started out working at Savile Row heavyweight Timothy Everest, where they met. In the seven years since founding their own business, every experience of crafting individual suits brought them closer to a flattering universal. “We’ve taking elements from our house block,” says Sweeney, citing the Mr Porter ready-to-wear suits’ gently sloped shoulders, high armholes, and short jackets. “All small technical details we’ve learned and evolved through the bespoke process we’ve incorporated into our ready-to-wear line.”

To those who might not value a well-made suit, or more dire, the self-declared un-suitable, Sweeney has an answer. “We’ve had a lot of customers say, ‘I don’t really wear suits.’ I say, ‘You would if you had a nice one.'”

The collection comprises classic menswear looks in shades of blue and grey, including business suits and a tuxedo. The “Berkeley Evening Suit” and “Albermarle Suit” are three-pieces, though the designs permit them to be worn with or without waistcoats. A standalone blazer, in blue or pink, provides a casual option. “The collection is based on Monday through Saturday wardrobe, so we’ve got it all covered,” says Sweeney. What about Sunday? “Sunday’s a day off,” says Whiddet. “If you want it to be.”