It was four winters ago, on a cold and rainy South London evening. A group of friends were gathered together to celebrate. Perhaps a birthday? Or maybe one of them had simply had a good day at work? An excuse could always be found to head down to the local watering hole and escape the brisk chill of winter in their favourite cosy, homely refuge. With a glowing fireplace gently crackling away and the rain drumming on the window panes, their spirits were jovial and the conversation was flowing with ease.
They were a mix of eccentrics - collectors and students of classic menswear, each one gladly embracing the long-standing British tradition of consuming warm, brown beer late into the night.
Towards the end of the evening, the discussion of classic menswear was reaching its zenith. A quest for the Holy Grail of classic men’s tailoring had begun, and each took their turn to demonstrate why their chosen creation was superior above all others. A great many classic garments were thrown into the ring, from Edwardian-style workwear to spear-point collar polo shirts and early 1920s denim trousers… Then, on a spur of inspiration, SJC designer Simon made the proposition of a super-heavyweight classic linen suit, in autumnal colours. But, “doesn’t every man have a linen suit?” they asked. “No, at least not like this.”
The idea was simple - a single-breasted mid-season linen suit that would retain the elegance and optimsm of those wonderful bygone years, yet one which could be worn with confidence in the more conformist era of the present day.
The linen would be heavy - really heavy. The notion that linen suits are an exclusively summertime outfit, best suited to holidaying in exotic or tropical climates, was about to be challenged. It would be a suit for all day, every day. It was a moment of genius.
The work was to begin immediately. Simon, with his new menswear brand still in its infancy, had the connections and drive needed to make it happen. Despite this, it was clear that the task at hand was greater than any of them could have anticipated. They would need reinforcements.
The problem lies in the question ‘“how does one create the perfect suit?” - especially when such a solution would require just the right balance of cut, form, details and features to meet the brief of elegance in the modern age. The team would have to have to accommodate all of these requirements. Thus, with the aid of an international network of classic menswear experts and enthusiasts, it was decided that it would in fact be two suits, and not just one, that SJC would produce in the pursuit of the Holy Grail of classic men’s tailoring.
The journey had begun and as they gathered once again, confident because they had come this far and calm in the presumption of almost certain success, the excitement was tangible. However, as you will discover, what seemed quite simple as an idea would begin to prove increasingly difficult and challenging at each new turn of the journey.