Yale, 1940

The Casual Tailoring Guide

Gone are the days when tailored clothing was the common uniform for the everyman. Wearing tailoring today is about putting your best foot forward. It’s as much a sign of respect for yourself and others as it is a way to look and feel your best.

We’ve embraced the idea of casual tailoring from the days of Ivy style, when it was worn less as a status symbol and more as a practical mode of dress.

There’s a noticeable increase in self-confidence when putting on a tailored suit. It provides a feeling of comfort and structure all at the same time. It’s one of the few pieces that accentuates the body, providing certain focal points with an emphasis on the shoulders and chest and slimming of the waist—partly the reason why the suit has stuck around for hundreds of years.

Along with those feelings comes an appreciation of craft that can be seen and felt while running your hands over the finely milled fabric, feeling the construction of a sleeve while running your arms through a jacket, or putting on a pair of precisely tailored pants.

We’ve included key details in our casual tailoring that you’d typically find in traditional American outfits: the arc of a notch lapel rolled to the second button of a 3-button front closure, patch pockets, an off-center hook vent, and fabrics that get better with every wear.

Steve McQueen, Hollywood, 1963
Steve McQueen, Hollywood, 1963
The Jacket

Finding a suit that fits, whether off the rack or after slight alterations, can be difficult. We’ve developed our casual tailoring with a modernized fit that’s more in line with our West Coast roots. Simple, casual, and timeless. 

We considered how a jacket should hug the body, where it closes at the waist, and how it sits on the shoulders. When trying on a jacket, the areas to reference are the shoulder, chest, waist, and length of the body and sleeve. 

The edges of your shoulders should align with the jacket’s shoulder, where the sleeve attaches at the top, creating a natural line that shouldn’t hang over your shoulders (too large) or bunch up (too small). 

The chest and waist go hand in hand. If you notice that the jacket looks loose (too large) or pulls across the waist while buttoned (too small), it would be best to either size up or down and see if either continues. 

In terms of sleeve length, we prefer to show a very small amount of a shirt’s cuff, with the sleeve resting just above your wrist. 

Our Graduate Blazer offers a natural soft shoulder—a slight amount of structure—with patch pockets, a 3-roll-2 button closure, and a center hook vent to allow for breathability and comfort.

Paul Newman, Burbank, CA, 1958
Paul Newman, Burbank, CA, 1958
The Pant

When considering how tailored pants should fit, the three areas to consider are the waist, seat, and thigh. If there’s any pull in those areas, it’s best to try a different size. Alterations can be made to help with the waist and seat; however, the thigh tends to be more difficult. It’s best to have more room to work with rather than not. 

With our pants, we took into account the rise, inseam, and leg opening to ensure that when paired together as a suit, the proportions work together, and each can also stand out on their own. Our Graduate Pant is a tailored pant that can be worn on its own or as a suit. Its front is lined through the knee for comfort and comes with an unfinished hem that can be hemmed in-store through our complimentary service. 

We prefer our trousers without a cuff and no break, leaving the slightest glimpse of a bare ankle. This provides a clear separation of the pants and shoes for a clean and modern look. 


Cotton 0

When choosing a fabric, weight and weave are both good to keep in mind. Our 7.7-oz cotton twill comes from Veneto, Italy, and is light in weight and structure, with a tighter weave that gives a more formal look. It’s suitable for wearing throughout the year on all but the warmest summer days.

Wool 1

Given its durable structure and breathability, our English Wool Fresco—a high-twist, open weave, and highly breathable fabric from Fox Brothers—resists wrinkles and keeps you cool and dry. It is ideal for traveling and warmer climates.

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Brown Houndstooth Check English Fox Air Fresco Graduate Blazer

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Charcoal Heather English Fox Air Freso Graduate Pant


There are a few details that make a jacket easy to wear as a suit or on its own. The pockets—we went for patch pockets for a more casual look, the vent—a single vent allows for some flexibility and movement, and the button closure—the 3-2 button roll is a classic Ivy detail, hiding the top button by rolling over the lapel, and the color and pattern—solid and muted tend to work best.

To keep things cool and casual, we prefer to pair a blazer with a plain white tee, dark selvedge denim, a thin leather belt, and suede shoes. For a slightly more elevated look, you can pair our Graduate Blazer with our Baker Pant, a polo shirt, and a bandana tied around the neck and tucked into the shirt. Gray, navy, or khaki pants are almost always guaranteed to pair with most items in your wardrobe.

Our Graduate Pant also offers the flexibility of wearing as a suit and separately as trousers. When worn on their own, we like to pair them with a simple button-down shirt, denim jacket, and canvas sneakers.

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Natural Linen Hopsack Carry-On Jacket

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A key to layering is identifying your comfort levels for your body heat. And, understanding how many layers you’ll need to adjust throughout the day as you get either warmer or colder.

The simplest layering technique is to pair a shirt, either a standard lightweight cotton t-shirt or a heavier weight tee, underneath a button-up shirt, with a blazer thrown on top. 

If you want to take a step up, you can tuck a silk scarf inside of the button-up, providing a bit more emphasis towards your neck area from a visual standpoint, and again, providing some more warmth.

We also enjoy layering a sweater underneath a coat, either a crewneck or v-neck, made of cashmere, lambswool, or merino. If you have to remove the jacket, you’ll look just as put together wearing the sweater on its own.

Throw on a beanie, either in a similar tone as the jacket or pants, or an altogether different color to allow for some pop of color, like a red, orange, or yellow. This works especially well when “dressing down” the suit.

The beauty of clothing is being able to try out different things, experiment with layering, and wear the same thing over and over again until it becomes part of your uniform.

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Navy Italian Three-Season Wool Graduate Blazer

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Charcoal Heather Italian Soft Wool Flannel Graduate Blazer