Monday, December 15, 2014

Style: The Olive Green Linen Suit

Tough, that's all I can say. Plain, old tough. I'm referring to this hue of green. I bought this suit last year with the intention of giving it a good run this summer. It is an olive green linen suit. At the time I had myriad combinations in mind, however, in reality I really purchased it because it was on sale. After a few alterations these are the results. I have to agree with the colour and image experts that olive colours don't complement gents with dark complexions. I think this point is wonderfully illustrated in these images. Olive is tough to pull; even more so olive green.

This suit is fairly conservative in terms of its styling; it doesn't have that casualness that is a feature of linen suits. Features such as patch pockets, a half-lined or unlined jacket, and double vents would give this suit that Italian flair which would make it perfect for those outdoor summer soirees. The jacket features a single vent, jetted pockets with flaps, and is fully lined. The single vent is not comfortable nor aesthetically pleasing, the jetted pockets give it a conservative touch even though it ought to be a casual suit, and the full lining makes it unbearably hot. I tried it with a golfer/ polo and my arms were sweating profusely while rubbing against the polyester lining. All these factors render this jacket unsuitable for regular wear this summer. I am mulling the idea of taking it to my tailor and having the lining removed. After some consultation I will make a decision.

I decided to pair it with this yellow and blue paisley tie and linen pocket square with yellow trimming. These dark brown spectator shoes were also getting some mileage for the first time. The overall suit fits well and this was achieved after alterations. I had the jacket taken in at the waist and the trousers were shortened, since they were slightly long. I also had the hem narrowed to 15 1/2 inches and the waist was a whopping size 40; bringing it down to size 34 or 35 was nearly impossible, so I opted for the best alteration as possible and to further size it down I had a single pleat inserted. I also had turn-ups inserted. And for a linen trouser, even though pleats might seem unconventional, I say the pleats justify the turn-ups.

I also tried wearing the suit as separates and I was a lot more comfortable with the outcomes. A pair of light blue denim jeans, a yellow golfer/ polo and white sneakers is just one of the myriad combinations I can try with the suit. The polo really gives me endless options.

A polo with a semblance of a sturdy collar will always hold up well under a jacket. In fact, the polo collar will hold its own. I think the image below evinces this point quite clearly. Green and yellow, a combination that's tried, tested, and fail proof.

If the jacket holds up well as a separate, I thought the trousers would as well. On a Saturday dentist run, I decided to try the trousers with a pink and white, candy striped, short sleeve shirt, and white sneakers. This was definitely not over-dressed for the weekend, especially out of the house. Apart from the suit working well as separates, I'm impressed with the fact that it responds and works very well with bright and pastel colours. Maybe as a suit it's run out of options but as separates it's giving me endless options. When it comes to a suit, its usefulness is in its versatility. 

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

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