Thursday, March 12, 2009
Country Road, Take Me Home
Was running errands yesterday and had 15 minutes to kill so I popped into a charity shop for a quick browse. And found a fine Country Road summer-weight suit, marked at £12 ($16).
Country Road is an Australian brand specializing in what you could call "coach plus" business wear, comparable in quality to Ann Taylor in the US and Austin Reed in the UK. In other words, the workmanship is reliable and the fabric is decent (in this case much better than that), and it won't crumple helplessly after a few hours sat down at the workstation.
It fits, but not perfectly, and I won't put up with less than perfect anymore. So, I'll have my tailor swap out the shoulder pads for bigger ones, to eliminate the slight concavity outside the shoulder seam, where it meets the arm. He will then take in sides and back about an inch, so that the jacket skims across my torso rather than simply falling straight down from the shoulder. He will also tighten the waistline by about a half inch, so there is no question of the skirt sliding when I move. I will swap the buttons over for mussel-blue mother-of-pearl.
This tailoring work will cost about £40. It will get me a nice suit that fits beautifully, which will help to offset the fact that it's not of the most ultra-deluxe materials.
What caught my eye about the suit in the first place was the "hard" quality of the wool finish, meaning very little fuzz, a sign of a high-worsted fabric coming from the finest quality fibers. Also, there was an ultra-subtle pinstripe. Usually, with the better clothes, it's the tiniest details that bespeak quality. Leave the huge, trendtastic logos to the trashy celebs. You'll look better in clothes that whisper their quality, and will do so for you for years.