The History of the Seven-Fold Tie

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The History of the Seven-Fold Tie

The History of the Seven-Fold Tie

The necktie in some form has and will continue to be the one vital accessory that completes your suit. As uncomfortable as you may find it, the modern-day tie provides a sense of formality while presenting you with the opportunity to add a little personality to your look. While the seven-fold tie is one variation of a necktie, there is a long history of the evolution of what we find many gentlemen wearing today.

History
In a fashion aspect, the history of the necktie began with the cravat. A cravat is a brightly adorned, silk handkerchief tied loosely around the neck. It was initially a symbol of royalty, but was eventually adopted by the wealthy elites around Europe and Great Britain. The silk and the type of elaborate knot later became a way to assert one’s status. Ultimately, there was a turn towards comfort and convenience and the necktie as we are more familiar with, as well as the modern bow tie and ascot, came into play.

The four-in-hand necktie is the earliest, most recognizable form of what we know. Originating in England, it was a long, rectangular piece of fabric with squared ends. It was then tied into what was termed the four-in-hand knot: a smaller, asymmetric knot at the base of the neck. This style gained popularity as comfortable, relaxed fashions replaced the more old-fashioned elaborate fabrics and knots.

Modern Day
The seven-fold tie as we know it today is a direct descendant of the four-in-hand necktie. Instead of using an interlining, an additional piece of cloth is sewn in for thickness. This type of tie is constructed from a single piece of silk with seven distinct folds. The folds not only provide the desired thickness and weight, but also a far superior drape. Originating in the late 19th century, the seven-fold tie quickly grew in popularity and has reigned among neckwear since.


For a polished, complete look, our go-to will always be the seven-fold tie. Of course, there are a plethora of options. Woven or cotton ties are for the more casual affair while the bow tie and the rare ascot can all be kept on hand as alternatives. However, the seven-fold silk tie will give you the clean and professional look you are striving for. In addition, don’t shy away from using this accessorizing opportunity to add some individuality to your look. We always condone the simple solid or subtle pattern, but a bright color or more eye catching pattern might be just what you are looking for.


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Canvas

Canvas

We touched on the influence of your fabric choice and how it will affect the drape of your suit, but the shape and structure of your custom Sebastien Grey suit goes far beyond the fabric you see. Just as with any piece of art, a suit begins with a canvas.


A canvas is traditionally made out of horse hair and it is layered between the outer fabric and the lining of the suit. It is the structural element that builds shape and provides reinforcement. A canvas can either be found in half or full size. A half canvas will only drop roughly halfway down the body of the jacket whereas the full size will extend the full length of the suit. Generally speaking, the half size is lighter than the full and provides more structure than a suit with no canvas, but less than that of a full size.  


Our design is a half canvas, although if our clients insist, we do offer a full canvas option. We stand by our half canvas design as it is superior to any other canvas on the market, either half or full. It provides unparalleled structure through the shoulders and down the torso while remaining lighter than a full design. In order to insure the optimal drape, we use a non-woven fabric towards the bottom of the jacket just below the canvas to provide the necessary weight.


The Sebastien Grey canvas is one of a kind and took upwards of a year to perfect. We understand this element is vital in the construction of each and every suit and therefore took the time to perfect this foundational element. We would go so far as to say it is likely the best canvas out of all custom clothiers in the United States. What sets it apart? There are two distinct features of our canvas that are ours alone. For one, we extend the canvas several inches below the armhole. We also extended the canvas up the back of the neck. Both of these features aid in providing your ideal, seamless shape and fit. They help provide the structure you will find in no other suit.


We at Sebastien Grey look at each suit as a piece of art. We start from scratch, begin with each client’s unique pattern based on our intricate measurements and move on to the the canvas. From there we build the foundation of a suit unmatched by any American custom clothier. We take the utmost pride in our product and have designed the canvas and method we have in order to deliver the highest quality suit to each and every client. We believe quality begins with a strong foundation. Let us prove it to you.


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Suit Maintenance

Suit Maintenance

Now that you have invested your time and money in your custom suit, there are a few simple guidelines that must be noted to properly care and ensure it a long, healthy life.


Maintenance
First and foremost, do not store suits you actively use in a bag. Wool is a living, breathing natural fiber that needs to breathe. Visits to the dry cleaners should be kept to a minimum as harsh chemicals and the aggressive cleaning process are harmful to the fine wool fibers as well as the buttons. In between wears, a light steaming will refresh the suit by eliminating any unwanted creases. With that said, now would be the time to invest in a quality steamer. The additional time it takes to steam your own suit is worth the longevity of the garment.


Cleaning
Frequent trips to the dry cleaners are not necessary. However, you should always be conscious of any odors emanating from the suit. If you start to smell something funky, try to steam or press the suit to eliminate the odor. If that fails, a trip to the cleaners is necessary. As long as you aren't sweating profusely in it, you should be able to get away with several months in between visits. Be sure to have a rotation between uses so that your suit can rest at least a day before its next wear. In case of any stains, we recommend a trip to the cleaners instead of any attempts to remove it at home. Be sure to find a reputable cleaner so that the suit comes back in one piece.


Wood Hangers
Toss out any measly wire or plastic hangers in your closet. Rather, look for sturdy, wooden ones. These will support the shoulder construction and help maintain the jacket shape while it hangs until its next use. Check out SG hangers!



On the Road
Consider purchasing a brush and/or lint roller. Both will come in handy to freshen up your look before a big meeting, date or even before it returns to the closet. If you do not have a steamer available and must use a hot iron, purchase a pressing sheet to protect your fabrics. Lastly, ensure that you consider a safe, sturdy form of transportation for your suits if business puts you on the road. An option would be a garment bag that fits the contours of your suit so that it arrives to its destination in one piece with minimal wrinkles.


If you follow these simple suggestions, your suit will look its best and last you years to come. It is definitely well worth the investment in time to learn how to care for your own suit so that it stays fresh and clean.

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The 3 Foundations

The 3 Foundations

Every gentleman, without question, should have a base rotation of navy, grey and charcoal suits. These are the suits, no matter what your profession, will be worn time and time again. Not only are they appropriate for every professional engagement you might find yourself in, they will serve you well for the inevitable social occasions such as weddings, dates, graduations and the like.


Without question, a navy suit should hang in every man’s closet. The navy suit is a blessing to all men. It is the suit that your grandfather, yourself and your grandchildren will wear. It is not only appropriate for all occasions, but it is versatile enough to be worn with either brown or black shoes and accessories and any color shirt and tie. Grey and charcoal are also appropriate for many events, and together with the navy suit they make the cornerstone of your suit wardrobe. No matter which color shoe you prefer, you will undoubtedly require a pair in both black and brown by the time you own your third suit, though.


Because these first, foundation let us call them, suits will be worn with some regularity, we suggest a conservative, soft-spoken design to start. We also suggest purchasing a second pair of trousers in the same fabric. Because you will be wearing this suit quite often, you don’t want to wear your trousers down and return for a second pair only to find the fabric is no longer available or does not match the jacket exactly. This is a common occurrence among our clients and it is this kind of knowledge and forethought our designers will be able to provide you with.


Understandably you might have some anxiety about the amount you will initially be spending, but you must think of these first suits as investments. When chosen wisely and tailored correctly, they will last you for years and through countless formal and semi-formal professional and social engagements. Do not forget, though, when paired well, your trousers, jacket and waistcoat can take a more causal turn. So do not feel you are purchasing just a single garment, but rather two or three in that seemingly simple, yet timeless suit.


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What Fabric Is Best Suited For You

What Fabric is best suited for You

When you walk into Sebastien Grey, you are surrounded by walls of suits in a vast array of fabrics. We have everything from the professional’s suit to the special occasion tuxedo to the weekend sports coat. While an excellent opportunity to see some of the fabric choices on a completed garment, it can also be overwhelming simply thinking about the sheer number of choices you have in choosing a fabric in navy. Choosing the right fabric is of the utmost importance and also one of the first decisions you will make when designing. It is best to keep in mind the reason for the purchase, and also where you might find yourself in the process of building your wardrobe and how your seasonal selection of suits is shaping up.


It is not uncommon for our clients to come to us looking for a suit they can wear year round, but while the cost up front to build a more seasonally focused wardrobe might be greater, this wardrobe will last you longer than that which you try to wear all year. While most of our fabrics are 100% wool or a wool blend, our designers will walk you through the choice of weights when thinking summer versus winter. 


When choosing a fabric the origin, pattern, texture, depth of design, and fabric grade, or rather how fine the fibers of the fabric are, all play a role in the decision at hand. It is not uncommon for a client to become fixated on the number assigned to a fabric. The higher the number, the more delicate the fabric is. While a higher number will drape better, it will not stand up to repetitive use in workplace environment. If you are purchasing a tuxedo or suit to be worn only a handful of times a year, we are more likely to recommend a higher super number. Do not be fooled, though. A higher number does not always mean the best quality. Regardless of this number, we stand by each and every fabric we have to choose from at Sebastien Grey.


Many of our clients are professionals working in a suit five days a week. In this case, we must ask after your rotation, or perhaps, your ideal rotation of suits. When designing a wardrobe, we strongly suggest having three staples, two of which you will be wearing twice a week. These suits, typically navy, grey and charcoal, are not particularly memorable, but they are well tailored and will be made of a fabric that will stand up to being worn twice a week. After these three staples of have made it into your closet, we will encourage our interested clients in exploring patterns and depth of design within the prescribed range of colors and durability of fabric.


When you walk in the door, it is most important for us to discover how far into the construction of your wardrobe you find yourself and what the purpose of this particular suit will be. Our designers will then approach the decision of fabric color, pattern, wearability and weight in terms of seasonality. Men are lucky in that a well-tailored, modestly decorated suited never goes out of style. These suits will last you for years to come when the choice of fabric is aligned with the intended use of the suit. Not to worry, our designers at Sebastien Grey will use their insight and creative eye to find you not only what you want, but what you need.


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Designing Your Perfect Suit

Designing Your Perfect Suit

For those who find themselves at the beginning of the construction of a well-tailored wardrobe to those who have already begun their collection, the designing of one’s suit is an overwhelming notion. Because Sebastien Grey suits are strictly bespoke, you can choose every detail from fabric and lining to buttons and lapels to choices you didn’t know existed.


No matter whether you have a unique image in your mind or have drawn inspiration from the best dressed of the red carpet, our designers at Sebastien Grey are knowledgeable resources and are here to make that vision, or perhaps a simple idea, into a reality for you. We can show you not only how to construct the clean, professional suit for the office, but how to add detail to create a garment that will break the barrier between office and after hours.


Once you provide the inspiration for the purchase, our designers will combine their knowledge and creativity to aid you in navigating through the overwhelming number of options available. Based on the purpose of the suit in question, we will guide you through the first steps to lay the groundwork.


While many of you come to us in search of workplace appropriate garments, we encourage small details that are minimal in visibility, but really set the jacket, waistcoat and trousers apart from the rest. Such small detail as choosing a contrasting thread for one or more button holes or a sharp contrasting felt beneath the collar can really add the life you are looking for in your wardrobe. A popular way to express a little personality is to have fun with the lining of the suit. Because the suit will be buttoned for formal meetings, the lining will mostly be known only to you. This formality also allows for an expressive piping, an array of pockets and a monogram if you so choose.


The choices go even further to include size and shape of lapel, whether or not you would like vents and if so how many, the slant or straight pocket with or without flaps and not to mention the variety of pockets you may choose to include inside the jacket. As for the trousers, there is the choice between belt loops and side adjusters, zipper or buttons, pleats or no pleats and a myriad of other functional options to make the sometimes-uncomfortable trousers a bit more so. But as not to overwhelm you, the remainder of the choices to be had will certainly be shared with you upon your arrival.


First and foremost, our designers want to help you make the designing of your suit easier than it may appear. They also want you to have fun with the process. You will live your life in the suit you have come to us to design and we not only want it to make you look your best, but we want it to reveal your personality, even if in the smallest of design details. Using their extensive knowledge of the history of these garments, the current and prospective trends as well as their own creative eye, our designers at Sebastien Grey will transform your wardrobe into a collection to be envied.


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Bespoke Vs. Made To Measure

Bespoke Vs. Made To Measure

While there are many questions our clients come to us with, first and foremost is the question of what makes Sebastien Grey unique? Why choose to invest in Sebastien Grey bespoke?


We must define the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure in order to begin to answer this question. Bespoke, in the most general sense, means the article of clothing has been made from scratch and this is exactly the approach we take at Sebastien Grey. Your suit is custom tailored to you. We will take more than 40 measurements following the contour of your body in order to create a suit that will most flatter your profile.


Made-to-measure, on the other hand, will only take roughly 15 measurements. The companies who sell these will have their manufacturer make suit templates varying in size and shape. The companies will then use their selection of templates to find that which most closely resembles their clients’ perfect fit. Simply put, it is impossible to create the perfect suit using this method because no two bodies are the same. This process does not take into consideration the hardly noticeable, yet crucial individual differences.


We look at the creation of your perfect suit as an artistic process. We must first look at your person with a critical eye. A majority of us are unaware of the small differences that make our bodies unique from anyone else’s, but it is our responsibility at Sebastien Grey to identify these differences by way of measurements and photographic documentation.


It is not uncommon for clients to come to us under the impression of a particular inconsistency only to discover something else entirely is responsible for the asymmetry. For instance, a client may come to us with the notion one arm is longer than the other when in fact one shoulder is raised a bit higher than the other. In addition to a mindful eye in terms of measurable characteristics, our team is experienced in studying posture. How our clients sit and stand has an effect on how the clothing will fall. Understanding how the article will fall based on the arch of the back or the roundness of one’s shoulders is key to delivering the suits our clients will look good in everyday of their lives. It is this attention to detail and the considerable amount of measurements we take that help us identify these seemingly innocent discrepancies and ultimately build you the perfect-for-you suit.


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When faced with the decision in the future to choose between made-to-measure and bespoke, consider the purpose of your purchase. A suit can last you for years and years, so look at the purchase as an investment piece. No matter whether you have work and/or play in mind for a particular suit, you want what will only aid you in leaving the best impression. A properly tailored, bespoke suit from Sebastien Grey will only help reveal the best, most confident version of yourself.