With the weather finally cooling down over the past few weeks, it is just the perfect climate to put on an extra layer and suit up! As Hong Kong's autumn weather sets in, we have partnered with the incredible gentleman's bespoke tailoring shop The Armoury to host a very unique and exclusive Gentleman's Evening filled with bespoke leather accessories, fragrance profiling with Penhaligon's and whisky tasting by The Whisky Library at Timothy Oulton.
The Armoury is well known in Hong Kong as a true clothing specialist and provider of high quality menswear from carefully selected artisans all over the world. There is no one else better than the founder of The Armoury, Alan See, to tell us all about the best ways to dress and accessorize for the upcoming season. As we prepare for the exciting event that will be held on the 24th November, we speak to him about how he began his clothing business and how he discovered his love of fabrics and textures.
How did you discover your passion?
Obsessing over the finer details and learning from all the tailors and shoemakers that I found certainly started my vision to create the Armoury. It was also through self-educating and finding to true artisans who had so much passion about their own product;I got sucked into it and became addicted to their craft. It is that same passion that I want to try to share with other people.
What was most challenging about growing your own business?
A lot of what we do and try to show people is quite intangible and romantic, in a sense the hardest part is always trying to capture the authenticity of the workshop our where the product came from. Trying to capture the dedication that someone has invested into perfecting a shoe, or suit or tie etc. is certainly a challenge but worth the effort when you see the rewards.
Why did you name it The Armoury?
We put people into modern day suits of armour and prep them for the battlefield that is their conference tables and meeting rooms. May the best man win!
What colours are best for the Autumn/Winter seasons?
There isn't any particular color that's particularly great for the season, however winter is the chance to really go for textures, because you have the chance to wear bodied fabrics like flannels, tweeds, cashmeres, etc! Other than keeping you warm, it has so much more depth and lends so much more interest to fabrics and outfits
How would you accessorize for Autumn/Winter?
I love scarves, and what better reason to wear a scarf than the cold weather! Most men in Central are forced to wear conservative charcoal and navy suits. The scarf is a great way to put a bit of colour back into an outfit and is still very much appropriate for work.
What are your favourite Autumn/Winter essentials?
My navy tweed jacket from Naples and long charcoal coat from Florence are both favourite pieces of mine and they make me feel like a million dollars. They are nothing fancy and are very subtle pieces, but that's the best part - I can wear them anytime. The comfort, fit and silhouette is what really sets them apart.
How do you go about choosing the perfect artisan to partner with?
We personally try each artisan - there's the product of course, which is the most basic requirement, but actually there is so much more to the bespoke experience which is the entire process itself, from communication with the artisan to after sales. In some cases our shop can make up for what they lack in, but in general the whole experience has to be up to our standards, which obviously we want to share with our customers as well!
What is a particular man's style error you see a lot in Hong Kong?
Men who don't take the time to get comfortable in their suits? Most of the men in Central are wearing their suits 5 days a week but it seems like their mom just started putting them in suits. Get comfortable and get confident is really the most important part! The suit world has also been chasing super fine fabrics. If you have a piece of fabric lacking in practicality it can sometimes look bad. For example a light fabric with no body - the fabric cost a lot, but it may not be suitable for tailoring a great piece of clothing. There are proper fabrics that are soft and beautiful with that amazing bodied feel and with great care tailors can make you look tip top.
How do you tell if a suit is well made?
From far away, you can tell by the silhouette and proportions. From closer up, it's the fit. When you get really close, its things like the stitching, the fittings (like the buttons), and when you are finally holding it in your hands, it's the construction, the shape and drape.
To help you navigate the choppy waters of dress codes and the etiquette of luxury formal dressing we have created the