The anatomy of the New & Lingwood jacket
More than any other component part of the gentleman’s wardrobe, the suit or tailored jacket offers you the opportunity to express something about yourself, to show that you understand how to dress and enjoy your clothes.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Tailored menswear brings with it a minefield of potential faux pas, whether the wrong fit, style or cut for a particular moment or occasion. Negotiating this minefield is no easy thing, even a seasoned sartorialist can come a cropper once in a while (I should know…) so visiting an outfitter that knows the drill makes all the difference.
It’s a little-known fact that New & Lingwood has been making tailored clothing since its inception in 1865, initially for the students and academics of Eton College, but latterly for English society at large. Dressing gentlemen for the races, for Henley, for formal dinners or evenings out in both town or country is in the house’s blood – archival illustrations dating back as far as 1933 exist to prove it. New & Lingwood has always succeeded in following changing trends in tailored menswear, while staying true to its own particularly British aesthetic.
Today, this heritage manifests in a number of different ways. Not one to stick in the mud, the house offers a well-made collection of tailored pieces designed to suit the various requirements of a modern man’s wardrobe. Both suiting and jackets are available in either a contemporary structured English silhouette, or in a softly structured Italian style for something more relaxed.
Regardless of silhouette, everything is half-canvassed, with jacket chests made in the traditional fashion, using layers of horsehair canvas and padding to create a rich, three-dimensional shape without resorting to the synthetic components often used in mass-produced suits. Lighter, softer jackets feature minimal padding in the shoulder, while suits and more formal blazers take a traditional English pad.
Cloths are important too. As with its shirts, New & Lingwood has long-standing relationships with the best British and Italian mills, and takes a curated approach to its collection each season. Robust worsteds come care of mills in Huddersfield or Scotland and rich ‘West-of-England’ flannel suits, jackets and trousers are woven by Fox Brothers & Co. in Somerset. Lighter weight and more casual cloths (the house’s indulgent moleskin trousers or washed cotton sports coats for example), are sourced from the best mills in Italy – primarily from Biella, the country’s cloth-weaving heartland.
When it comes to design, the details matter. Structured garments take a full chest, hourglass waist and a clean roped shoulder. Lapels are carefully proportioned to be neither underwhelming nor too broad, while matte horn or polished corozo nut buttons are used throughout. Cuffs are functional (often in the house’s signature ‘two and two’ spaced design) and trousers are left unfinished, to be hemmed as required. N&L’s tailoring is trimmed properly too, its quirky linings are designed in-house and casual jackets feature pocket linings cut in the same silk jacquards as the house’s tie collection. In the warmer months jackets come half or totally unlined for comfort. Colourful under-collar meltons add fun touches of British eccentricity.
Each design has a point of historical reference, whether the house’s crisp mohair ‘military eight’ double-breasted suits, inspired by British naval dress uniforms, or summer boating blazers, which retain the house’s long-standing role in dressing gentlemen for high-profile sporting events throughout the summer season. Essentially, New & Lingwood does things properly.
Moreover, the house’s staff are well placed (and I can attest to this personally) to offer styling advice and to fit the house’s tailoring properly – New & Lingwood does not cut corners. If you’re after some insightful suggestions, a wardrobe refresh or just curious to see what the house has to offer, a visit in-store is a must. It’ll almost certainly surprise you.