The Sexton Look

At Edward Sexton, our tailoring is confident, generous and richly architectural. Our house style is rooted in the art deco look of the 1930s, sharpened with a nod to the ‘70s rock and roll swagger that Edward introduced to fine tailoring at Nutter’s of Savile Row in 1969. The Sexton look is at once elegant and a touch rebellious, composed and yet dramatic.

The proportions of our suits are rooted in mid-century glamour, inspired by the effortless protagonists of Hollywood’s golden age, like Astaire, Gable, Grant and Bogart. Jackets are cut long, with a smooth hourglass silhouette. Expect roped shoulders, a defined chest and nipped-in waist – all of which gives the impression of a handsome, well-balanced figure.

The lapel is a natural focal point for our tailoring. In Edward’s words we cut our lapels “long, low and leafy” with a generous curvature or ‘belly’ across the chest that draws the eye up from the buttoning point, towards the shoulder-line. This clever illusion has the power to make a person look taller and slimmer, with broad shoulders and longer legs.

In contrast to most modern tailoring, which is unstructured and often lacks shape, we work closely with our clients to accentuate the natural strengths of their physique and disguise any imperfections. The jacket’s skirt flares gently over the hips and runs seamlessly into the line of the trouser. Armholes are cut high for comfort and freedom of movement. Trousers fall from the upper hip with gently tapered legs, while a high trouser fork lets plenty of light through the legs, which also elongates the figure.

Combined with the right dress shirt or cashmere rollneck, accessories and shoes, a Sexton suit creates a flawless impression, and conjures a uniquely romantic image; part-rock star, part-sophisticate.

The subtle nuances of proportion in a tailored jacket are fascinating, and will totally transform the impact of a garment. While our house style is elegant and architectural, it can take many different forms as we shape a jacket’s lapels, buttoning point, length and silhouette.

Our Heritage Jacket is the epitome of the Sexton look, cut with confident peak lapels, a straight shoulder-line and one button to fasten. Single-breasted one-button jackets like this contribute to a lean, athletic look. The single button focuses the eye on the wearer’s natural waistline, while a broad lapel draws the eye towards the shoulders, which contrast with the jacket’s slim waist. The overall impression is supremely elegant, and true to our art deco reference points.

We like to cut our jackets with peak lapels for the same reason; they were first popularised in the 1930s and add gravitas to a single-breasted jacket. We cut our with a ‘full belly’ – the sweeping curves that lend the wearer no small amount of poise and presence, and create a long, unbroken line from waist to shoulder – elongating the wearer’s torso.

Notched lapels can look handsome too, particularly on business suits or sports jackets, which can afford to be a little more understated. We eschew slim lapels, whether peaked or notched, in favour of generous shapes that reinforce an hourglass silhouette. Adding a second button to a single-breasted jacket likewise softens its impact, but is nonetheless extremely elegant and can help to balance the slightly shorter, squarer proportions of notched lapels.

This shapely approach to tailoring also filters through to our double-breasted models, which come in two complementary styles. Perhaps our best-known cut is the timeless Signature Double-Breasted jacket, which has four buttons to fasten and two ‘show buttons’ on the chest. A personal favourite of Edward’s, double-breasted jackets like this lend stature and a touch of authority to the wearer, but can nonetheless still create a playful impression in bold colours, soft textures or trimmed in silk edge-tapes.

The second model is our Low Double-Breasted Jacket, which fastens at the hip. This has its roots in the 1930s and ‘40s, seen in films that Edward has long admired like Casablanca, and this too relies on the delicate balancing of proportions. The lower buttoning point and subtly extended shoulder-line focuses the eyes on the shoulder and hip, rather than accentuating the waist. This creates a louche, masculine and fluid silhouette. We cut these jackets slightly looser in the body and without rear vents, true to their art deco archetypes. They are a natural partner to wide-leg Hollywood trousers in flannel or Irish linen.

We also offer a Drape Jacket, which is inspired by the slightly softer and rounder jackets Edward first cut at Kilgour in the 1960s. Subtly extended shoulders with soft pads and a rich chest contribute to a jacket feels supremely comfortable. We like to cut drape jackets in smooth gabardine, plush corduroy and heavy Irish linen – cloths that will change character and improve with age. We also add a second button to our drape jackets, to help balance their generous chest and shoulder-line. Wear with matching Hollywood trousers for a sophisticated, but pleasingly slouchy suit.

Trousers are sometimes treated as an afterthought, but we see as much nuance in tailored trousers as in suits or jackets. At Sexton, we cut several different styles of trouser, each of which creates its own flattering impression.

Understated dressers will most likely gravitate towards our versatile Contemporary Trousers, which are cut with flat fronts and a subtle taper through the legs – neither too wide, nor too slim. Trousers like these will take you anywhere in fine style, and can easily be paired with suit jackets or sports jackets alike.

Those who, like us, enjoy a touch of romance in their dress may prefer trousers cut with pleats. Our Heritage Trousers are cut in the classic mid-century style with a high rise, generous legs and two deep, forward-facing pleats on each side of the waist. Trousers like these create the illusion of a slim waist and hips, and form the bottom half of the hourglass shape that starts with our jackets. We finish these with our signature pistol shaped side straps and slant-jet pockets; details which help our Heritage Trousers to retain a clean, fluid line through the leg.

Our pièces de résistance, though, are our Hollywood Trousers, which are cut with an unstructured, soft waistband and belt loops. These are inspired by a particular kind of ‘leisure trouser’ that was popular in the 1940s and ‘50s, designed to be wonderfully comfortable and free-flowing. In flannel, corduroy or smooth gabardine, they’re as sophisticated as trousers can be, and well suited to creative dressers or clients in search of something chic to wear on the weekends. Pair with a fine cashmere rollneck, tucked-in, or chambray hidden button-down shirt for a contemporary, elegant look.

Most of our trousers are cut with timeless, gently tapered legs, but we also recently reintroduced Parallel Trousers, which taper through the thigh and then fall straight from the knee, giving the impression of a subtle flare. These come with no small amount of sex appeal, and are the style of trouser that Edward introduced at Nutter’s of Savile Row, as worn by the rock aristocracy of the 1970s – Mick Jagger in particular.

Turn-ups add a touch of panache, and help wider leg trousers to drape and fall correctly – and so are always to be encouraged. We like healthy two-inch turn-ups on all of our trousers.

At Sexton, we treat our shirts with as much reverence as we do our suits. We favour sharp pointed collars that reference the 1930s and 1970s, and lend a touch of drama to a tailored look. These frame the face beautifully and create the perfect amount of space for a neatly-knotted, four-in-hand tie.

Our pin and tab collars are designed to wear with ties, and help the tie to express itself; sitting proudly on the neck. Our hidden button-down collar has a very pleasing soft roll to it, which is lovely worn open with a jacket and designed to fall open gently beneath your lapels. Our striking point collars are best suited to evening shirts, and can be worn either inside or spread across your jacket’s lapels for a chic, lounge-lizard feel.

The fabric of a shirt is every bit as important as its styling. Densely woven twills and poplins with a smooth hand are best suited our formal pin and tab collar shirts, especially when finished with deep double-cuffs. Our hidden-button-down shirt is suited to fabrics with a sporty edge; like Oxfords, washed chambrays and superfine cotton jersey. These contribute to shirts with a nonchalant, rakish air – perfect for the weekends or to wear without a tie.

Subtle Bengal and fine-striped shirts are truly timeless, whether for business or pleasure. Pastel shades like sky blue, baby pink, leaf green or sunny yellow are versatile and easy to style with contrasting or dark ties. White collar and cuff shirts add a hint of authority, perfect for business dress. For eveningwear, we cut handsome silk satin shirts in cream, chocolate, navy and black, which offer a sophisticated look with a dark flannel or pale gabardine suit.

Double cuffs are a must for formalwear and look sleek under a suit. We cut ours with extra depth to match the confident style of our collars, but with the link-holes thrown forward so you can see a flash of cufflink beneath a jacket’s sleeves. Single cuffs are versatile, understated and are easy to wear with or without a jacket.

Knitwear is a sophisticated alternative to classic shirting, perfect for smart-casual dress or weekendwear. The weight and style of the knit should be determined by the season. In the cooler months, we like to pair fine gauge merino or cashmere rollnecks with flannel suits in rich, earthy colours. Try a black cashmere rollneck beneath a grey flannel double-breasted suit cut in our house style, finished with polished black Chelsea boots. Chunkier weight crewnecks or rollnecks look handsome beneath greatcoats or heavy tweed sports jackets in the depths of winter.

Fine merino or cotton crewnecks look chic in autumn and spring, especially tucked into a pair of Hollywood trousers, with a safari shirt or bridge coat thrown over the top. In summer, try a fully-fashioned T-shirt in lightweight cotton and silk, dressed with a pair of gabardine or Irish linen drape-cut trousers.

Wearing a tie to complement your Edward Sexton suit is a fine art. We always recommend that clients wear a neat, tightly-tied four-in-hand knot (Edward says, “remember to send the tie once around the tree and down the hole”), which will sit snugly within a Sexton pointed shirt collar, and be held aloft comfortably with a tie pin or tab. Always ensure that there is a dimple beneath the knot of the tie – this looks chic and prevents the tie from slipping.

Ties are best suited to dark colours and subtle patterns, like classic polka dots or subtle floral prints. College repp or military stripe ties are timeless, and suitably understated with either a flannel suit or navy blazer. Fashion should determine the width of stripe; the season the colour. Only wear a striped tie with a striped shirt if it has a white collar and cuffs and the shirt stripe is subtle.

Pocket squares should flatter your tie but never match it. Ours are made from either printed silk twill or fine wool, cashmere and linen blends. The texture of a pocket square is as important as its colouring; choose something with body and a soft handle for a luxurious finishing touch. Neatly folded pocket squares look clean and crisp, but for more debonair dressers, handkerchiefs can nonchalantly flow from the out-breast pocket.

A final word on shoes. Polished black leather can often look rather harsh when put against a tailored trouser; warm brown tones in various shades look softer and suitably elegant, as does black suede. Half-brogue Oxford, monk-strap and wholecut shoes suit the clean lines of Sexton suiting. Chelsea boots always look sharp, whether styled with suits or separates. For those who enjoy the more rock-and-roll elements of a Sexton cut, Cuban heel boots make a suitable statement.