Grey Fox in Blue Suit

Designing a suit for the Grey Fox

How I dressed British style aficionado, the Grey Fox, in a made to measure corduroy suit

If you need proof that British men can look amazing at any age with the right tailoring and a healthy dose of confidence, take note of blogger the Grey Fox, whom I had the pleasure of dressing this year.

Just before Christmas, David (The Grey Fox’s real name) visited my Savile Row showroom to collect a very special order: a made-to-measure, navy blue corduroy suit. I’d contacted him over a year-and-a-half ago, and finally, we got the opportunity to work together as he was keen to have this particular type of suit made. Corduroy has made something of a comeback and it’s currently trending with likes of Drakes who are featuring suits and jackets in this fabric. Thankfully, its return has a sleek city vibe that wipes away memories of its fusty geography teacher past.

David mentioned that he’d love a corduroy suit made. I have to confess- I did think oh! However, I like a challenge and thought ok, if people think corduroy is history teacher comfort; I’m going to prove them wrong. I’m known for making things look that little bit sexier and this was my mission; to turn this idea on its head.

I designed the suit with a full, free-floating canvas for softness. The shoulders have a particularly soft shape as David prefers the suit to show the slope on his shoulder, and this isn’t possible with a firm shoulder. He also asked for a little more room around the waistline and slim trousers. Grey Fox advocates British made so we chose a navy-blue medium weight cord* by Huddersfield Fine Worsted.

David’s personality called for a few little quirks (which I always love, too) so we used tortoise shell buttons, burgundy under the collar, a two-tone pink and purple lining, and added ‘Grey Fox’ to his lining for a little humour and surprise. In all, the suit took six weeks to complete, with fittings conducted at our Shoreditch store.

It was a real joy to work with David. I like to make a joke or two and thankfully David found it amusing, unless of course he was being kind. Off camera, we had a mini salsa dance and giggle. He’s serious about Tailoring but a lot of fun. I really enjoyed making a suit for David and spending time with him, which is (I’m happy to say) is how I feel with most of my customers. After all Tailoring is very personal, so enjoying each other’s company is important.

David was a solicitor for 25 years before becoming a vocal and visual advocate for men dressing stylishly over the age of 40. It’s an often-forgotten demographic in the fashion world, and one who he recognised struggled with what to wear.

He describes his blog as “A mature search for style. Fashion and menswear for all men.” The blog focusses on British-made products and reflects his love of the outdoors and exquisite watches. His Instagram feed (@greyfoxblog) is equally well curated and features beautiful shots of UK landscapes.

Far from being overly eccentric or loud, David injects personality and colour into his outfits – and suggests men do the same – through high-quality accessories and impeccable tailoring. Our kind of man indeed. He loves mixing pieces together and said that the Sarah Gilfillan, owner and personal stylist for men at the Sartoria Lab has been instrumental in helping him see how certain things tie together.

We shot David in the new suit (see featured image), along with our Autumn/Winter collection below, at French restaurant Blanchette, on Brick Lane. I curated his wardrobe for the shoot (with David’s agreement) and used a variety of items that I felt that would enhance David’s look: a roll-neck merino sweater, our brown herringbone jacket, a blue rain mac and a crisp white shirt. (To be fair, the Grey Fox looks great in most things…) On a side note, almost any tie worked with the corduroy suit. Plus, personality always wins when you’re confident to wear something different.

Grey Fox in crisp white shirt and jacket in front of mirror  Grey Fox in burgundy roll neck sweater

Grey Fox in Herringbone Jacket  Grey Fox in Blue Mac

Our collaborations have continued outside the fitting room, too. I was lucky enough to have the chance to sit down and talk to David more depth about style and tailoring – you can listen to the podcast of our chat in January so stay tuned. We are also designing my summer collection together and launching it at the Andaz, Liverpool Street in May.

Until then, I’ve got some tips on how to dress when you re over 40 in my post How to dress in your forties.

*If you’d like a made-to-measure corduroy suit of your own, you can order any colour from our wide range. Contact us at info@alexandrawoodbespoke.co.uk

 

Words by Katrina Strathearn @ Veracity Content