I’m a big fan of TML. Probably my favourite outfitter. However, I’ve never bought a suit from TML. Lots and lots of shirts. Lots of accessories: ties cufflinks, etc. Some knitwear; but no suits.
I thought that this ought to change. So I’ve been saying to friends and family, ‘If you want to give me a gift how about a TML voucher?’ They have been generous over the last 12 months or so.
So earlier this year I popped into my local TML in Newcastle to have a look at their suits. I had identified the one I wanted from their online shop (one of the ones I could afford in other words…). It wasn’t in store. No problem. They could offer me suits of a similar cut to try on to see how they fit and then order in whatever I wanted.
My chosen suit was a slim fit item so I tried a 40L in a fetching Navy as well as a 38L. The 40L was lovely but the 38L was awesome. Wonderfully, flattering fit. Think Daniel Craig…. Scratch that, think 007.
But then I tried the trousers….. Not. Good. At. All.
TML’s slim fit trousers in my normal 34L looked comically tight. 36L weren’t much better. I needed 38L to fit anything like I wanted my trousers to fit, but by then the waist was way too large to be adjusted properly. Taking 4 inches out of the waist is a major change to the shape of a pair of trousers.
So we shifted tack and explored the regular fit suits. This time I started with the trousers. In regular fit the 34L trousers fit me so wonderfully that I didn’t want to take them off! They fit me exactly the way I like trousers to fit; snug on the waist, loose on the leg and calf, and loose on the cuff. Comfortable and elegant. Totally awesome.
However, when we got to the jacket it turns out that the TML regular fit suits do not come in a 38L. Longer length jackets begin from size 40. This was not great news. The 40L jacket fit me, but was nowhere near as flattering as the slim fit.
This was more than the fact that a regular fit jacket is more generously proportioned than a slim fit. It is also to do with the fact that a regular fit jacket has a longer cut than a slim fit. So the tail of the regular fit jacket hung a good few inches lower than the slim fit.
So it turned out that what I wanted was a slim fit jacket in 38L with regular fit trousers in 34L. But there was a but. Quite a big one in fact….
TML have separated their slim fit and regular fit ranges so that there are only 2 suits in their slim fit range which are made from the same fabric as their regular fit range. Unfortunately, I didn’t like either….
So I found myself on the horns of a dilemma. I could create a mix & match suit with slim fit jacket and regular fit trouser in different fabrics, for example, a classic navy jacket and grey trouser mix. But to be honest I didn’t really want to do that. I’d prefer a suit made form the same fabric.
Alternatively, I could choose from one of the two fabrics which would allow me to have a slim fit jacket and regular fit trousers in the same fabric. But as I didn’t really like either of the two fabrics I’d end up with a suit that fits wonderfully but in a fabric of which I am not overly fond. So I didn’t want to do that.
Finally, I could go for a 38L slim fit jacket and 36L trousers and have the waist adjusted. The trousers would still be a bit too close fitting but I might be able to live with that. Similarly, I could go for the 34L regular fit trousers and 40L regular fit jacket and then have the reg fit jacket adjusted. My guess, however, is that no amount of adjustment would make the 40L regular fit as awesome as the 38L slim fit.
In the end I decided that I couldn’t resolve my dilemma. So my wardrobe still does not include a TML suit.
I’ll keep my eyes open. I can only hope that in the future TML might develop more of an overlap between its slim fit and regular fit suits. If that day comes I may be able to find my perfect TML suit.
It will have a jacket from the slim fit range and trousers from the regular fit range in a fabric that I love.
I wonder if I’m alone in this?