I haven’t been good at posting pictures recently, so here’s an attempt to make up for it. Here we have images of the polo coat that has been documented in detail over the past few months, but of which I never posted a final image, and of the ‘fishy’ suit I commissioned most recently from Graham Browne. This was my first suit with braces (so with a fish-tail back) as well as featuring a fish-mouth lapel.
The fish-mouth lapel has a narrower gorge (the gap between lapel and collar), with the lapel angling upwards like a peak model but at neither the same angle nor to the same length. It is seen as a nice compromise between a notch and peak, though glancing around the various off-the-peg suits out there you will notice there are many variations on the notch, both in size and angle.
There are essentially two variables – the angle of the seam between lapel and collar, and the size of the gorge. If the seam is more horizontal, the lapel is flatter and sticks out more, achieving some of the broadening effects of a peak. Many modern suits give the impression of a higher gorge simply by changing the angle of the seam. If the size of the gorge is bigger, both collar and lapel are pushed apart. This dates a suit from the 1980s as much as the height of the gorge.
Of course, the notch lapel is defined by the angle of the seam continuing in a straight line along the lapel. A peak and fish-mouth lapel both angle upwards, to a greater or lesser extent.
I like the braces – the trousers certainly hang better at the front and the waist is larger and more comfortable. However, I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to having something around my shoulders. The next commission (Minnis mid-grey flannel with patch pockets) will switch back to normal trousers. And this may even be altered to that style eventually.
I couldn’t be happier with the polo coat, though I am reconsidering the choice not to have turn-back cuffs. The style probably suits it better, but the camelhair is so heavy that I feel tired just at the thought of it.
The back of the coat, which featured so heavily in the pieces on its design and construction, is shown here in two different settings – mid and tight. As I am wearing a suit and cardigan underneath, the tight setting (close-up shot) is a little too tight for easy movement here. It would be used if I were just wearing a sweater.
Thanks to Dan ‘the trews’ for photography