Fashion

Off the peg with T.M.Lewin – an insight into Britain’s favourite shirt maker and tailor

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lewinMaking close to three million shirts each year is no mean feat for the much-loved British brand, whose first store opened on London’s Jermyn Street in 1898.

Today T.M.Lewin remains one of the finest formal wear brands and leading retailers of high-quality, affordable business wear with just under 100 UK stores, 44 stores internationally and a successful online business.

Obsessive about doing things differently, the founder of T.M.Lewin Thomas Mayes Lewin made a name for himself as one of the finest tailors of his day, and one of the original pioneers of the ‘coat shirt’ with buttons down the front – like the ones still worn today.

Lewin’s clothes were not only of the highest quality, but also excellent value for money. The two principles Thomas lived by 115 years ago remain a driving force behind the T.M.Lewin brand in 2016. There are a host of standout pieces in the current collection such as the Camden summer suit, half-lined and lightweight, with a breathable and soft feel.

It is just perfect for these warmer days, and its two-button style is effortlessly good-looking with soft shoulders and classic tailored elements like its double vent and narrow lapels.

2015_03_02-06_TMLewin_1237As well as dressing professional businessmen, their womenswear range is also blossoming. With a national rise of female execs in the boardroom, nothing could be easier than getting kitted out at your nearest T.M.Lewin.

If you don’t have time to pop into store, the brand has a fabulous collection service you can pick up from your closest train station.

So, if your commute takes you to New Street or Snow Hill, you can collect your garment at the station as long as you order online a couple of days in advance.

We visited the stunning Grand Central Birmingham branch to get our new Farringdon suit and were taken on a journey of self-discovery with some of the best tailoring advice you’d be able to find anywhere outside Savile Row.

The store manager helped take us through the range of suits and shirts sold in store. Boasting a stylish and affordable womenswear range including shirts, suits, knitwear, and accessories there are a host of unique additions such as silver initial cufflinks, bold and beautiful formal socks, or their impeccably-crafted range of off-the-peg tailored pieces.

Womenswear isn’t a really a new thing for T.M.Lewin. But the brand has realised a lot of women didn’t really know much about the brand due to its masculine shop fronts.

Over the last couple of seasons the brand has struck gold by adding a range of formal and casual womenswear dresses, suits and shirts to their window collections. They have also introduced a strong collection of versatile, flattering clothes that can be worn into the office, or out socially.

We move on to look at the current shirt collection. Shirts are, after all what T.M.Lewin is famous for. There are so many to choose from, in all colours and styles – from bright blues, yellows and greens to radiant checks, brilliant whites and timeless pinstripes. There really is something for every taste.

We go across to the suit section and I’m left to browse at my leisure, and there is a wide range of stunning made-to-measure options for all tastes and occasions.

I love the Cassidy tobacco chinos, and the fitted George quilted jacket. Matched with the Farthing tan casual brogues and the slim fit burgundy bengal stripe poplin shirt you have a real head-turner of an outfit.

SuitWhilst we’re looking around the store, it is impressive to see their broad range of evening wear tuxedos, and we marvel at their stunning shark grey boardroom suits.

We love the ultra-sharp slim fit Farringdon suit. With a touch of class this charming charcoal grey number has a sleek and popular slim fit. Its 100% super 120’s wool is woven in a subtle grey overcheck to add depth.

The brilliant trick up T.M.Lewin’s sleeve here is the beautiful half-canvas construction that moulds to your body shape the more you wear it. The classic details of this suit, such as the jetted flap pockets, slim lapels and double back vents help to keep this suit at its most luxurious.

Once we’ve given the green light our tailor takes his tape measure and measures up. Around the neck, chest, waist, arm, seat, wrist and legs, taking additional measurements between the elbow and cuff.

“How do you wear your shirts?” he says, “with or without cufflinks?” Making a quick calculation, he explains that I need to go one size smaller to show just the right amount of cuff and cufflinks.

It is this dedication to quality that makes all the difference and it’s not difficult to understand why T.M.Lewin has so many loyal customers.

10 Top Style Tips from T.M.Lewin

A crisp, white shirt is one essential piece that will compliment a whole host of different looks and is suitable for just about any occasion. A breathable white cotton linen is especially good for helping you keep your cool in a heat wave.

A pocket square has the magical sartorial ability to instantly transform any look from drab to dapper. Choose classic white or experiment with brighter colours and patterns.

A classic pair of chinos is suitable year round for both formal and informal occasions. You can’t go wrong with this wardrobe staple.

A supply of elegant cufflinks to coordinate with your collection of double cuff shirts. Choose from a kaleidoscope of colourful silk knots or opt for classic gold, silver or enamel.

A drawer full of smart socks can provide the last essential finishing touch. A bright colour or pattern can be way to show your flair for style. But don’t get too carried away and avoid socks of the novelty variety.

navyA tie can say a lot about the person wearing it, so choose carefully.

Invest wisely and build a collection of plain and patterned suits, regular and skinny, so you always have options. The essential black suit is particularly perfect for formal occasions. In fact, a well-cut, properly-fitted black suit is often the failsafe option. And a good quality dinner suit is one you’ll wear time and time again.

The wear-it-anywhere casual blazer is smart and versatile, which is the reason why it makes its return year after year. Weekdays or weekends, it could be one of the most versatile jackets you’ll ever own.

A decent belt or a pair of braces will keep your trousers hanging perfectly. Depending on the style you choose, they can also be statement-making.

A light grey suit can be a lifesaver during the summer months when temperatures rise. They also make for ideal wedding guest attire. You really can’t go wrong.

To shop online, or to find your nearest T.M.Lewin store, visit their website: www.tmlewin.com

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