Wool and Silk Morning SwallowtailEvery year, many of our clients choose to get married in tails.

Sometimes in classic white tie, sometimes in a swallowtail look or in one of our military or steampunk styles.

Tailcoats and morning coats have deep roots in tradition, but in the modern era can be some of the most unique and expressive pieces in menswear.

In recent decades, women would show up in wedding gowns and flamboyant ball gowns and men would show up in rented black suits.

Such is a poor way to honor the special events in one’s life.

But recently, we have seen more and more tailcoats at red carpet events as men have become more interested in dressing well.

Traditionally, the black tailcoat with a black double striped trouser and a matching white pique vest, shirt bib, and bowtie was the ultimate evening formalwear.

Morning Coat for WeddingFor the daytime, a black or charcoal morning coat—a frock coat that sometimes has a pronounced swallowtail or cutaway shape—with a charcoal striped pant, and a contrast vest, with either with a contrast formal cravat or bowtie was the way to go.

But dressing well is not so much about following the rules as it is about using tradition to express your individuality.

The pics show one of our most recent morning suits.

The cut of the coat is a hybrid of a swallowtail coat with the sharper, more angled shape of classic tailcoats.

The front shape is continuous along the placket, but then cuts away sharply back into a square tail.  It is my feeling that this shape feels more modern than a classic swallowtail.square tails tailcoat

All of the pieces tie in various shades of purple.
Victorian Peak Lapel Tailcoat

The tailcoat is cut from a black wool, but with silk lapel facings that wrap around to the wool edge which features rows of decorative buttonholes.  The silk is iridescent—charcoal grey woven with subtle purple.Purple Morning Coat with Awesome Cuff

The vest––cut from pale purple silk––features classic peak lapels and a low neck.

And the pant is made from a traditional morning stripe charcoal wool––but here the stripes are purple as well this time, a bold purple that is only visible when close.  Classic Morning Coat

The cut of the pants is a classic wide-leg pleated style with wide cuffs.Classic Morning Coat for Weddings

Finally, the 6″ top hat is cut from a subtle purple heather flannel that reads as charcoal grey at first glance with trim to match the morning coat.

We made everything in the pics except the shoes and the ivory handled walking stick (which belonged to my great great grandfather!).Colorado Bespoke Suits

So if you are considering a tailcoat, a morning coat, a top hat, or a vest definitely Contact Us so that we can talk more.

All of our pieces are custom made to your measurements, and with the full suits, we actually cut and sew mock-ups of the pieces to mail to you to try on, ensuring a perfect fit in the final garments.

Last year, we made suits for events all across the world.

So where ever you are located, we can make a suit for you.

Each piece is handmade one-at-a-time here in our studio in Denver, Colorado.

Black Pinstripe 3pc SuitEvery suit that we make is unique and made for an individual client.
We don’t have 5 or 10 or even 500 designs.  Prohibition Era Suit
For every suit that we make, we start with the client and his own sense of style.
We ask him where he will wear the piece.
How often he will wear it.  How much he wants to stand out or blend in.
We ask him what kinds of motions he will be making, whether he will be dancing or reaching across a desk or sitting on a barstool with his jacket buttoned.
Wedding Pinstripe SuitCrimson Paisley LiningAnd then we mine the rich history of menswear for details from the past that can be dragged into the present and recreated to fit within the thick context of his individual life.
We do not set out to create something new.
Action Back JacketBut the distinct individuality of each human person gives birth to newness.  1930s Style Pinstripe Suit
But this newness is never merely superficial or contrived.
It is instead filled with meaning; it carries its past within it; it is purposeful.
This post showcases some of our unique recent pieces.
Many of the pictures show a black pinstripe suit that we made recently. 
This suit combines details from many eras to create a suit that is perfect for business, pleasure,—and getting married in.
The fabric is a gorgeous wool twill with bright white stripes.
Mod Navy SuitMany of the details of the piece are borrowed from more sporty and casual suits of earlier eras.  Slim Lapels Suit
The pleats in the back above and below the back belt on the suit give the suit an “action back”.
This keeps the suit feeling slim while allowing for lots of extra movement in the back when driving, operating a mouse, or shuffling papers around on a desk.
The hip pockets are hacking flaps, which make for easy entry and comfortable slouching, but they are further accessorized with buttons which help to contain items of importance when the jacket is tossed upon a bed.
The shapes of the pocket flap and the cuffs are in one of the more interesting and distinct nineteen teens/early 20s styles and give the pieces a slight aura of dandyism despite the business-like orientation of the pieces.
The jacket and the vest are cut with peak lapels and are single breasted.  Like all of our “1909 Bespoke” suits, this jacket is finished with hand pick-stitching and distinctive vintage handwork tacks.
We also made the shirt, tie, and the tropical wool wedding gown shown, and always enjoy the chance to make as many pieces as possible for a special event or performance.
Daytime Formal Wear SuitThe next suit is almost completely different.  This piece, cut from a more finished black and navy basketweave tweed, is an utterly fitted “Mod” piece that has more of a 1960s look to it.Tan Herringbone Suit
This jacket is styled with a wide upper collar but narrow lapels.  It has traditional hacking flap pockets with a ticket pocket and is finished with crowsfoot tacks on the pocket flaps and a simple handworked buttonhole on the lapel in navy.
Double Breasted Herringbone Formal VestThe jacket has 2-button functional cuffs sewn with 30 ligne horn buttons for a more Mod look.
These buttons, like the buttons on the jacket, are a brown, rather than navy horn, all of which adds to the deliberate retro look of the piece.
The pants are slim “boot cut” low-rise pants with L-shaped jean pockets.  This detail gives the suit a sporty look and allows for a highly fitted seat.
L-shape pockets are also excellent for holding your keys versus standard slash pockets should you decide to take a rest on the grass.
The third suit (a tan herringbone flannel) is a unique take on daytime formalwear.  With this piece we wanted to do something that had the formality of a tuxedo but would work for daytime and outdoor events.
Grey Pin Stripe SuitWe wanted something that felt a lot more modern than a morning coat, but still felt pretty traditional. The design combines some Gatsbyesque 1920s details with a “space-age” 1960s look.
The lapels on the vest are made from a silk duppioni in cream, and the handworked boutonnière on the jacket is in a slightly contrasting tan.  The pockets have an angle-cut hacking flap.
The result is what we think of as “Garden Party” formal.
The next suit is in a classic silver pinstripe wool.  It is “tropical weight” with a dry hand.  All of this makes for a piece that is highly breathable.
The customer was looking for a suit for traveling, and a quite matte fabric like this has excellent wrinkle resistance.3pc Pinstripe Suit in Silver
The pants are based on a favorite pair of boot cut jeans that the client mailed to us.  This allowed us to get the ideal fit that he wanted and to make sure that the piece looked good with his cowboy boots.
Although some books on “dress etiquette” prescribe a vest that always covers the pant waistband, we went with a Western cut for this that would prominently display the client’s belt buckle in the notch of the vest hem.  The jacket also has cuffs, which are easily rolled up when feeling hot.
The final suit in this listing is cut from a gorgeous 2-ply wool pinstripe.
Navy Pinstripe 3pc SUitThe client wanted a suit that would work for business but also a suit that didn’t feel stuffy or basic and could be worn for special occasions.
The style that we ended up designing is a classic 2-button business suit, but with a Mod-style angled cutaway hem and pointed flap pockets.
This pocket style was found on many early 20th century sportswear jacket styles and on some Western and 1970s styles.
Incorporating a flap like this into a modern suit creates a piece that utterly resists the look of an “stuffy old man” business suit, while otherwise retaining the classic and traditional look.
If you are considering a suit, please drop me a line via email (aj@denverbespoke.com) and we can talk more.  
All of these suits are “muslin fit.”  Which means that we cut and sew cotton mock-ups of the suit and mail these to you to try on.  You send us your feedback and also digital pics; and we analyze the pictures to achieve a great fit that matches your personal send of style.  We make the majority of our suits for clients that are outside of Colorado and often outside of the US—But we love local clients as well.

The pictures of the wedding with the black pinstripe suit were taken by photographer Kevin Fung.  You can check out more of his amazing work here.

Victorian Seersucker Vest

Waistcoats (or “vests” in good American English) haven’t been this in style for decades. Seersucker linen vest
Perhaps the recession made us all a bit more serious, and many of the guys out there who hoped to be boys forever decided to grow up.
Or perhaps we all just decided to think a bit more about history and a bit less about what was new, when future prospects seemed to dim.
But while vests have come back in style, attractive, interesting, and idiosyncratic vests are still absent from the stores.

1920s Style Vest

You can find a basic vest, but can you find a vest that someone spent some time designing?
We can design and make a one-of-a-kind vest that is completely designed to fit your body and your life.1920s Boardwalk Empire Vest
Victorian Melton VestOur waistcoats are drawn from the history of fine men’s dress but propelled forward into modern life through taste, judgement, and a selection of the best modern materials.
Our goal when we design is to take details from greatest pieces crafted over the past centuries and renew them by placing them in the context of contemporary life.Navy Victorian Vest
The white seersucker vest with the stand-up collar, wide lapels, and silver buttons, for example, is almost identical in style to a vest from the 1700’s that is in the V&A museum.
But when made up in the right fabric, with just the right proportions it does not look out of place at a summer picnic or garden party.
The most distinct detail on this vest is the forward sloped shoulder seams, that wrap the linen backs of the vest over onto the front.
Western VestThe grey pinstripe vest is cut extra long for a slim early 1920’s look and is inspired by the same period in which the show Boardwalk Empire is set.Pinstripe Western Vest
The heavy navy blue melton vest was inspired by a book on Victorian explorers of the Nile region that I had been reading and all of the wonderful paintings of the explorers.
I wanted a vest that I would be able to wear for work without getting destroyed with pockets that could hold all of my gear, and this was the result.

Photo By welovepictures.co.za

The vest is lined in cotton twill and is self-backed  —the perfect vest for working with your hands or repairing machinery.

The two Western style vests in the listing were designed in a similar frame of mind.  It is easy enough to find a Western style vest, but hard to find one that doesn’t seem like a costume.

With Austro-Hungarian Military Buttons

The heathered brown wool vest was designed for a 1950s style wedding in Hawaii, and I wanted something that would be both retro and Western but with a completely different sensibility than you would find if you were going line dancing.  
The grey pinstripe vest is almost identical.  Here, the Western yoke almost disappears into the pattern of the stripes.
This vest was also made for a wedding, but this one here in Colorado.  The fabric is an extremely breathable, open weave, tropical wool.
The dark grey vest with silver buttons has an early 20th century cast.  The buttons are vintage Austro-Hungarian military buttons and the front fabric is a mix-stripe flannel wool.  The result is a hip and youthful vest that draws on the well of history.
The wool windowpane vest pictured was made for a wedding in South Africa and is paired with a pair of trendy low-rise pants that we crafted and a Liberty print skinny tie that we made.  A beautiful plaid is ideal for an outdoor summer wedding (where black should generally be avoided).
The last few pics show some shots from my own wedding (and you can expect to see more of these pics soon).  When we design and make all of the pieces for a wedding (vests, shirts, hats, jackets, pants, dresses, ties, etc), the results are amazing.  Handmade Vests and Waistcoats
(Feel free to check out our women’s store for more pictures of our dresses: www.DenverDressmakers.com)
The picture of the bride and her father shows a brown gabardine vest with a green embroidered collar.  The groom’s father is shown in an off black vest with brown pinstripes (made from superfine wool) with brown wool pants, and a green cotton sateen shirt.  His vest is cut with a breast pocket that sports a cotton print pocket square.
The groomsman (in white) sports a silk matka vest with duppioni on the collar, welts, and back.  And the groom (in greens and browns) is wearing a suit that is cut from an Italian wool sateen.
All of these vests are just samples of our work.
Contact us by email (aj@denverbespoke.com) and we will get to work designing a vest just for you.  You tell us a bit about yourself, and we will send you sketches and swatches until we find the perfect fabrics and style for your events and the life that you lead.
We make vests for customers all over the world.  So wherever you are we can deliver to you.

The initial set of engagement photographs and the final set of wedding photos are by amazing Denver and Fort Collins Colorado area photographer Sarah Christine Photography (http://www.sarahchristinephotography.com/) be sure to check out her work and to choose her to photograph your wedding.