Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work at a Saville Row tailor? Are you curious about your tailor’s true style opinions?
In this series of posts, we go behind the dressing-room curtain to help you get to know the members of the Alexandra Wood team. We’ll be delving into their own personal views on style, and unravel their best tailoring tips.
This week we are speaking to Dennis Sterne. Our men’s tailor in Hertfordshire and PR guru, Dennis is the cogs in the wheel. He’s irresistibly charming and has an insane knowledge of tailoring: he’s always quick to show you a pocket square trick or two, so be prepared!
What people may not know about him:
Dennis has been a designer at Vogue magazine, and possesses a long string of talents including photography, writing and buying a lot of Thorntons chocolate!
Can you tell us a bit about your role at Alexandra Wood?
I’ve been at Alexandra Wood for six months. My role involves first stage tailoring: I measure clients for their made-to-measure suits, advise them on their fabric requirements, and engage with what they are trying to achieve. Essentially, I believe we are selling the business of dressing properly.
I also offer style tips based on my extensive background in fashion editorial and lifestyle photography, and get involved with marketing due to my media background.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Assessing the customer and sharing my product knowledge, but also seeing the customer recognise the value of a bespoke suit. I once had a customer who bought bespoke shirt which looked so good it made his suits look bad. He then upgraded to a whole wardrobe of suits made-to-measure!
How would you describe your own personal style?
Classic with a twist. Daring on occasion. My own style is derived from a knowledge and passion for British fashion and tailoring.
Even though I love clothes, since working at Alexandra Wood my wardrobe has improved. When I’m on appointments, the suit I wear makes such a difference. The clients notice and comment on how nice my suit is so it’s a real testament to the work. I truly believe that I’ve won clients based on my appearance. However, if the he looks smarter than I do, I need to get my game on!
How would you describe the style ethos at Alexandra Wood?
Clean traditional British tailoring with a modern message. The Alexandra Wood brand to me stands for a style-forward movement in traditional tailoring.
What are your favourite fabrics?
Classic patterns in natural fibres. I’m fascinated by traditional textiles and weaves. There are so many man-made fibres in tailoring and fashion these days, it’s crazy. Natural fibres allow suits to breathe properly. With traditional sartorial sensibilities coming back, it’s nice to see natural fibres being respected again.
What are your favourite suit styles?
Two-button and one-button single and double breasted.
Do you have any particularly strong views on style elements e.g. pockets, lapels, internal embroidery, vents?
None other than super slim lapels.
I regularly advise customers not to button waistcoats and blazers all the way down. It’s surprising how many aren’t aware of the rule and why. A simple test is to sit down and see.
Are there any style trends you particularly like? Any that you see becoming popular in 2017?
I’m not keen on fashion style trends for suiting in general but, dare I say it, I’ve liked some of Armani’s suit trends e.g. his wider trousers teamed with fitted blazers.
It sounds like a cliché but I really love the return of all things sartorial. There has been a notable return to tailoring and younger men certainly look better for it. I see 2017 as a continuation of tailoring merging with mainstream fashion.
What one tip would you give to someone who is thinking about having their first bespoke suit made?
A suit really is an investment so consider wearing the suit as separates. In turn, be conscious of colour ways.