The winter menswear essentials

One of Australia’s leading men’s tailoring brands shares the secrets to dressing well for the winter

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Iconic Australian family tailoring business Peter Jackson has recently continued its commitment to wool through the The Woolmark Company’s certification program, ensuring the high quality of its products, many of them crafted from wool woven in well respected Italian textile mills including Zignone, Reda, Comero and Marlene. Here, the brands director, David Jackson, speaks to Merino about dressing well for winter. 

What is the overarching trend in menswear this winter?

Checks are back in a big way for tailored menswear this season. The men of Australia, in particular, are starting to revisit and experiment with classic patterns like the Prince of Wales, multi- and windowpane check. I think it's symptomatic of men craving a more individualised touch, both in and out of the office.

How can men best layer their clothing for the colder weather?

Layering is all about choosing the right fabrics, so you want to avoid synthetic blends. A chunky cable knit might look warm but can fall flat on its face when the wind comes rolling in if it’s made with the wrong material. The best move for men this season is to opt for pure, natural fibres, like Merino wool, knitted into thinner layers. The fine fibres of wool gives greater insulation at the cost of less material, which allows you to avoid that bulky, marshmallow effect.

What makes Merino wool so great for winter wear? 

Pure wools, like the ones we use in our Merino suits, come with a bounty of amazing properties. The fine fibres are not only soft to the touch but are also amazing at regulating temperature. When it's cold they contract and make the fabric dense, mitigating the elements around you. When it's hot, the fibres open up and capture small pockets of air, promoting breathability. That last point might sound strange in winter, but it gives a suit or garment longevity and the ability to adapt much better to changing environments.

What are the key items men should have in their wardrobe for winter?

At least one pure wool suit, a couple of knits, a dense and durable overcoat, and a range of pocket squares to add a touch of colour.

On that note, are there specific colours dominating the season? 

Blues are still a heavy focus for men at the moment. This year, however, we started to see the broader spectrum come to light, from deep indigo to iris – a colour that features in our current autumn/winter 2016 collection, to cobalt and rich navy blues. 

Tell us about Peter Jackson’s new made-to-measure service – what does it entail, and what is the outcome? 

In summary, the Peter Jackson MTM experience gives the men of Australia the opportunity to create a uniquely tailored garment, speaking to their sense of style and personal tastes. Almost every facet of the garment is customisable in some way, and while this might seem daunting at first, we've set in place some core procedures that make it a lot easier for both the customer and our team of specialists.

First, our customer looks over a series of styles or "blocks" – beautifully illustrated by one of our design team – selecting the base from which everything is customised. From there, it's a matter of selecting one of 70 different fabrics milled by the Italian juggernaut Marzotto for the body and makeup of the suit. After this, you're measured and given free reign over the customisable options from buttons to lapel to stitching and lining. You're given a lot of breadth to create something unique to you, which is really what I want this experience to convey.

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