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Tailoring brands keep suits slim

Commercial menswear brands in the UK are sticking to a slimmed-down tailoring silhouette for spring 10, despite the emergence of a looser and less structured look at trade show Pitti Uomo in Florence and the men’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris.

The most directional tailoring to come through at the fashion weeks came from the likes of Lanvin, Kenzo and Paul Smith, and offered relaxed lines and a softer shoulder. However, the brands with a commercial foothold in the UK will continue to push lean suits and clean lines.

Kevin Stone, marketing director for menswear brand house BMB, which distributes brands including Baracuta and The Label, said: “The deconstructed look is not right for the UK. Right now the look has gone even skinnier and in the Gibson London and Ben Sherman collections we have taken the trouser widths in. The baggy and high-waisted looks will come through at designer level.”

Jason Gerrard, managing director of agent Geko Fashion Marketing, which sells Without Prejudice and Bäumler, said: “On Without Prejudice, the lines are cleaner and we have removed the breast pocket from suits to make them leaner.”

Menswear indies are also buying into slimmer looks. Martin O’Byrne, owner of menswear indie Frewen & Aylward in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, which won the 2008 Drapers Menswear Independent Retailer of the Year Award, said: “We’ll be going for slimmer lapels but still with a commercial silhouette.”

However, some retailers are pleased with the more forgiving option. Derek McCormack, manager and buyer at menswear indie Majors in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said: “Too many skinny trends have been geared towards [shoppers in]London or Milan and they haven’t worked for the silhouette of the average UK male. But in suiting we can’t go too far [the other way].”

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