This Is The Secret To Wearing A Great Suit In Manila
Perfect fit is important, but to really pull off a suit, especially in Manila weather, fabric is the secret. Consider the recent celebration of bespoke tailors Tiño and London-based fabric firm Holland & Sherry. Dressed in suits and sport coats, the gathering of gentlemen appeared dapper and unfazed despite a warm evening that clocked in at 33 degrees Celsius.
For almost two centuries, Holland & Sherry has been the source of luxurious woolen and silk cloths, such as the Super 240, pure worsted vicuña, and cashmere, making it the top choice of Savile Row tailors, generations of royalty, couture houses, fictional spy James Bond, and even someone like Gerard Butler, who was spotted in a crease-free suit at Wimbledon.
Napoleon Arienza, master tailor of Tiño, has been a fan of the textile specialist for as long as he can remember. “It really stands out. When you feel the fabric, when I cut it, the way it falls.... The sheen is good, the weight is good,” he described.
Arienza, who began his tailoring journey at 18 and was trained by artisans in Penne, Italy, works on the construction of every Tiño suit, all of which he gives a signature quality of fluidness. That night, the tailor wore a soft jacket, in a blue windowpane pattern, made of Holland & Sherry silk.
Also present was Vishal Advani of NJ Bhagwan, the Southeast Asia distributor of Holland & Sherry, who shared how he had been looking for a Manila partner, who could do justice to their luxury fabrics, and finally found one in Tiño. “It stands out in the industry because they're real craftsmen. Tiño is the first store in Manila that we approached and the first to stock Holland & Sherry,” he said.
The tailor now carries the firm’s spring/summer collection, an extensive line with a suiting set for business suits and a jacketing set for more casual pieces, all available in entry-level and luxury iterations.
Some fabrics to consider include the Oceania, whose range of blues will be perfect for lightweight summer jackets, or the Snowy River, which is known for its crimp and elasticity.
The Summer Variety is woven with Teclana, a technical fiber, developed by Holland & Sherry, that gives the fabric the same handle and weight of more expensive materials. But if you're looking for the best and most luxurious offering, it would be the Imperial Gold, which is cashmere and vicuña.
There are also fabrics that combine form and function. The Dragonfly AquArrêt is a high-performance fabric with a water- and stain-resistance finish around the fibers, but it remains luxurious in feel and stylish, too, as rendered in contemporary checks this summer.
During the party, Josh Lane, regional sales manager of Holland & Sherry, demonstrated its practical nature. He poured water on a swatch and it simply formed into beads and then rolled off. “For weddings or social events where drinking and dancing are involved, it's nice to just have that contingency plan,” he said. “Bridging the old school and the new school—it is things like this that make Holland & Sherry a longstanding brand.”
Of the latest fabric collection, Advani noted how it is perfect and applicable for the Philippines: “The fabrics are of a more acceptable weight at 240 to 300 grams as opposed to the fall/winter collection that will have heaver flannel type fabrics.”
You can explore the entire set in a beautifully illustrated book, which also includes color-coordinated swatches. “It gives both customers and tailors inspiration and takes a bit of pressure off from the customer when deciding what to wear with their jacket or what to match with those pants,” Lane said.
But if you're still overwhelmed by the plethora of choices, here's a quick tip from Advani: Get the Fiesta III. “These are linen suits, silk-linen suits with mesh jacketing, a very popular line of Holland & Sherry fabrics,” he shared. “I love to just walk up in a nice jacket with a T-shirt and a pair of jeans to the club. Even in that setting, it makes you stand apart. Everybody wants to be a peacock once in a while, right?”
Herco Center, 114 Benavidez Street, Legazpi Village, Makati. tinosuits.com