In appreciation of Father’s Day, we took local lad, dad and business man Gary Szabo, CEO of post-production company Smoke & Mirrors, to the flagship store of independent tailors McCann Bespoke London to try out their affordable alterations service and tailor one of his much-neglected suits.
Welcomed into their Shaftesbury Avenue branch by the smell of freshly brewed coffee, Gary eagerly surveyed the wall of colourful silk ties while Jack, the appointed tailor methodically inspected the given suit with his tape measure and pins.
As Jack mused, “the fit of a suit or even a pair of jeans can change the way a person walks and perceives themselves.” Chris, McCann Bespoke’s long term business partner and tailor explains that “our services make this a more accessible and sustainable choice in the current climate of ‘fast’ fashion.” Established by founder Neil McCann 17 years ago in a South East London garage, McCann Bespoke have prided themselves on their cutting-edge approach to modern tailoring with new E-sizing technology and first-class customer service, appealing to the businessmen, sportsmen and A-listers of the area. Their new branch on Lime Street opened in March this year and has a less traditional approach, featuring an events space and Members Club – making it a true destination.
“I once wore a bright blue checked suit to the airport, thinking I was the bee’s knees, until I saw a woman at the gate in front of me in the exact same outfit. From then on, I’ve stayed pretty safe with my choices.” Gary presented a grey tweed suit he purchased online a few months ago. “It’s not yet had an outing, due to its non-elasticated waistband.” He hopes he can soon wear it comfortably with a sense of eminence in his stride. “When I moved to London in the 80s from Hungary, I wore my best pieces while starting out as a runner for TV, only to get coffee stains all down them. I hope that with the growing variety of business wear, my own daughters will be able to express their individuality, without the pressure of enforced uniforms.”
After all the pinning marks had been made and style preferences chosen, the suit was then whisked away to be altered in 24 hours. When Friday morning came, Gary arrived prepared, donning a pair of yellow dogtooth socks. Sliding the garment on, he remarked on the immediate difference in fit while eagle-eyed tailor Jack assessed all the adjusted seams, denoting a keen perfectionism in his craft. Picking out an iridescent mustard tie, Gary stood for the final result photos, beaming from ear to ear as everyone involved remarked on the transformation – not only of the suit, but of Gary too.
A Tailor’s Tips
1. Cut and shape
“I often get larger guys coming in wanting a slim trouser leg, but because of their calf size which often causes the material to bunch at the knee, I tend to suggest a looser, cleaner line for broader silhouettes.”
2. Most versatile fabrics
“Depending on the occasion, heavier weight fabrics like wool might suit more occasions than lighter ones, as the weight of the material tends to hang better on the body, making it easier to wear with more casual outfits.”
“To personalise a look, a lot of suits have a contrasting coloured stitch within the weave of the fabric, using this colour as a guide for accessories can be an easy way to tie an outfit together. A bolder choice might be to wear a shirt of this colour too.”
Words Ella Clarke
Photography Sam Rockman