When I went to see Women, Fashion, Power, I was a little surprised to see Mr Patrick Grant giving an interview at the end on the history of women’s fashion. Like me you may have known this guy from the Great British Sewing Bee. He is not an academic; he is not a journalist; he is not a tailor; but now he has become a foremost style expert for both men and women. He bought a defunct tailors’ and became its style advisor. Recently he produced a range for Debenhams, badged as quintessential British style. Good luck to him – I hope he is successful.
Patrick was born in Scotland and trained as an engineer, but has always (rarely for a man it seems) been most interested in style and looking right, even as a school boy (knee high socks up, but turned down). He is tall, with wide shoulders and a fairly slim but not effete body shape with smart facial hair. He is selling his own style, claiming he would not produce anything he would not wear himself. I follow Paddy on Twitter and he is a good guy – but as he sets himself up as an expert on style I hope he doesn’t mind me giving my opinion on his outfits.
Let’s have a look, at his look.
Here he is (1) in a double-breasted coat over a nice grey checked suit with decent brown shoes. The coat is a bit naval, but the wide collar is flattering on hin and he looks smart. I don’t think the suit cuff should be revealed, or has he pushed up the coat sleeves deliberately? Is it a new look?
I like (2) , his diffusion range for high street store Debenham’s. Patrick again develops the fisherman look with a heavy polo necked jumper, a coat with the collar artfully turned up, plain grey trousers, and a pair of light tan shoes. He is tall enough for the contrasting shoes, and in fact the outfit would be a little dreary with black shoes. Patrick has his horizontal lines in just the right places. His cuffs are just long enough, the trousers are the right length and the knee-length coat is a good on him, balancing out his wide shoulders. Personally I find the collar of his jumper a little bit too wide, but it this is just a matter of opinion.
The messy linen double-breasted jacket and rolled up trousers (3) is a bit off. Here the horizontals make him look fairly short and a little bit fat. Although he has a tan I think the blue is bit bright – muted colours are more flattering for him, with some deepness – and this emphasises the width of the tummy area, making him look a bit like he is pregnant. The tatty turquoise shopper undermines the natty pocket handkerchief. And does the outfit need a tie too? The rolled up trousers could look OK as he has long slim legs, but I would have matched them with a nice round neck cashmere jumper, or a loose jacket.
“Some people have the ability to carry clothes, and whatever clothes they happen to wear they look right in. Other people, sadly, could be dressed by the greatest stylists in the world and still look slightly uncomfortable. I think the point is that you have to wear the clothes that you feel yourself in. Then, even if you’re scruffy, you can be incredibly stylish. Style is about individuality and continuity, and fashion is about uniformity and constant churn — but you can buy into fashion and retain a sense of personal style. Although I do think there’s too much fashion in the world.”
Let’s have a look at another outfit. Patrick likes to wear a double breasted suit. He is tall and broad chested enough to wear a DB jacket but to me the proportions are wrong. The trousers, shoes and tie are way too skinny for such a full jacket. It makes him look a portly and the length resembles a dress. And although you can wear them undone, this just looks a mess to me. The colour of this suit and shirt (muted blues) work well.
We have the same issue with the two double breasted jackets below. The single breasted grey suit (no 2) is far more flattering than no 4 and no 5. The two button tweed looks really nice and neat (although I think the trousers may be a little tight in the crotch). The mid grey suit and soft blue shirt work well with the dark tie and shoes. On the other hand the double breasted suits are not so good. He has had them fitted into the waist when I believe the jacket would look much more pleasing if it were tapered to the hip, giving a stronger V shape, rather than a slight hour glass. Patrick has slim hips but is a bit thick in the waist and the flare on the jacket just emphasises it. I like the evening suit, matched with a midnight blue coat, but possibly the tied belt was a mistake. But the worst outfit here is the loud check coat and hat. Although the hat is good style for his angular features with the coat it just looks too much like a fashion victim to me – and the trousers are bagging around the ankles.
Let’s have some pictures of where Patrick nails it. In all these views he has chosen a more muted colour scheme; I especially like the shades of green which complement his eyes and hair. The mixed textures – linen, tweed and gingham – mean that there is a low contrast to the look – very harmonious and and elegant. The two more traditional, but not over formal suits, show the classic English Savile Row fit – not too slim cut, but well fitting nevertheless. The trousers are slightly fuller and balance his tapered body shape perfectly. The two button jacket looks great without cutting him off at the top of the legs. I really much prefer this style of jacket to the double breasted ones above.
What do you think – especially about the double breasted jacket and coats?
Love your astute comments and while Patrick can pull off double breasted most of the time that poor bright blue jobbie…makes him look like Jeremy Piven after a long night of gorging on Indian food…a little bloating? Grey plaid suit with angled buttons looks modern but Lordie…ditch that hat with the plaid coat outfit…it makes him look a bit tipsy and like he is wearing his younger brother’s hat. While the Sewing Bee promoted him as an expert in tailoring, it is interesting to know that is not the case but he can still turn out a collection for department stores. Is it a case of like Miss Beckham “producing” a line of clothes without knowing the front or back end of a sewing machine?
I haven’t seen any of the Bee shows, so I wasn’t familiar with his style. Agreed on the double-breasted looks that you have shown. The proportions are wrong for him. He looks fabulous in the green jacket outfit. I also think he needs the slightly fuller pants to balance his figure. I don’t like him in any of the coats. I think he needs a simple, straight, buttoned style that isn’t double-breasted, belted or plaid! He needs something that looks more youthful, frankly. But all the same, I like the idea of being stylish simply by wearing what one likes: “Then, even if you’re scruffy, you can be incredibly stylish.” If this is true, there might even be hope for me!
I don’t have enough fashion expertise… even though he looks a little doofy in the light blue smart casual outfit, that’s my second-favorite picture! 😀 Next to the the green one — that suit is fantastic.
The green jacket is so wonderful it makes me want to be a man – I just love great men’s tailoring.
Well, you’ve certainly nailed our Patrick here, and while your comments on his variety of chosen styles are interesting (I’ll bear them in mind when I shortly fund my son’s first bespoke suit, as a promised gift for professional qualification), my overwhelming reactions are twofold. The effect of the accumulated images is that he’s just another male model. And how come he puts himself forward as this tailoring expert on Sewing Bee?
PS – do I really mean ‘bespoke’, or ‘made-to-measure’? It’s the crushingly expensive option, anyway. And I love your blog!
I think made to measure means a suit based on their standard blocks but with a choice of fabrics and some personalisation. Bespoke is based on a personally drafted pattern, is fitted four or five times, and has an unlimited amount of options in terms of fabric and styling.
And thank you for your kind feedback. It means so much.
I really like him in the green jacket and I like the single breasted look best on him.
I’m not too sure about this rolled up trouser thing at the moment. There are some guys in our office, young and some not so young doing it. Some really embrace it – where I think they’ve rolled too high! Then others a bit more shy and not so much. It does help if you have a good height to carry the look off.
Let’s just say Patrick is a very handsome man that has put an effort into dressing beautifully, which is rarely seen in the states. There are fashions here that I don’t love such as a double breasted suit but I would still say it fits him well, just not my personal favorite. And there are other outfits that hit the mark perfectly. It’s a joy to see someone care about their appearance, especially a man.
Here, here Cathe. I love a man that actually cares and if one doesn’t like his style, he can always disrobe so as not to offend! Sass and Bide are 2 accountants here ‘down under’ who have made a motza from a very fashion forward eponymous clothing line when many about them have fallen in a bankrupt heap. They had no training in ‘making’ other than tax returns I recall. Thats why there are pattern makers – to be bring ideas to life. I saw the Dior movie last night – wow – fantastique! Raf Simons didn’t appear to make anything.