First impressions can be deceiving, so I didn’t take my time to wait and see what this new arrival has brought to the
Row, a street in need of some good news. In the spirit of honouring Hackett’s irreverence, as well as the previous
owners, I picked a high-twist (see what I did there) wool, called Fresco III from Hardy Minnis. When you go for a
fresco like this, a 9/10oz bunch, you are making something for warmer seasons, and so I opted for an
oatmeal-coloured fabric, largely because it is jam-packed with texture for such a neutral hue.
The process of choosing a design had to be collaborative, because on the one hand I wanted to see what J.P. Hackett
had to offer, and on the other I like things a certain way — and I wanted to see if they were up to the challenge.
Cutting for my slanted right shoulder, exaggerated nape and (alas) the emerging #DadBod should be taken as read
(read on anyway), but, for example, whether J.C. was able to cut the length of jacket I like — two inches off the
bottom of the seat — with a classic three-button-two formation, side vents and buggy back for the jacket was what I
was watching for. Either that, or what he was able to offer me that I might have been able to take on as a new
design affectation I hadn’t tried before.
All this was dealt with as measurements were taken. The diva demands of yours truly were met with polite
accommodation, and I opted for Carlos’s two-button trouser fastener with the wider waistband, which I am perfectly
happy to experiment with alongside the essential (as far as I am concerned) double pleats and turn-ups. We even went
for lapped seams — quite a lot for a trouser, but it was all in the name of you, dear reader, having a greater
understanding of what is on offer.
First fittings are always fraught. In my case there’s every chance I put on the jacket and decide that the fabric
washes out my fair complexion, or I identify more serious problems, like not having socks to go with it. One thing
not to get worked up about is the fit, at least not at this point. In this instance, the back balance was
off and needed to have the shoulder and neck unstitched from the basting and re-pinned to take into account (one
assumes) my terrible posture.
A relationship with a tailor takes time, and I like these moments when working with someone for the first time, as
you can feel the bond growing and the familiarity registering. It is peculiar to have someone with an intimate
knowledge of my figure to whom I am not married, but it’s probably better that way. J.C. has a playful manner, and
when I was on the fence with details like adding three quarters of an inch to the lapel or lapped seams, he
encouraged me to take the step. He will do the same for you if he thinks the modifications are worth it.