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Top 5 Irish Mens Fashion Blog

I have been blogging occasionally here for the last 10 years or so.Usually my blogs are written on a scrap of paper lying around in one of my jacket pockets and then transfered to the PC a few days or weeks later.A lunchbreak or coffee break in the morning usually provides the oppurtunity to scribble down my thoughts on all things sartorial.

This morning I traveled into work a little earlier to write these notes and as we speak I am sitting down on our leather sofa on the wedding suits floor with my sheet of foolscap.

My blogs tend invariably tend to be about mens’suits,tailoring and little things about our wonderful store in the heart of Cork City.Sometimes I wonder why i write them and I wonder if I am the only one who reads them!It can be rewarding when a customer comes into the store and tells you he saw your latest post about custom tailoring or some famous celebrity that visited the store.In today’s world of cluttered internet posts and pieces this does not happen a lot.

With this in mind it came as a lovely little surprise when we were named in the top 5 most influential fashion bloggers in the world of Irish mens’ fashions.Being named alongside such illustrious bloggers as male.ie was very nice and gives us a nice little pat on the back and justifies all the hours spent scribbling notes on pieces of paper in coffee houses.

A nice start indeed to 2019 and hopefully a sign of more good things to come!


Part One: Your Black-Tie Rental

Tom Murphy’s is one of the Munster’s premium suit rental destinations. We cater for a wide range of events, with Weddings, Christenings, Graduations, Funerals, Award ceremonies etc. being the most popular. The first in our series of hiring and rental blogs looks at all things Black-Tie, particularly the ins and outs of our tuxedo rental service.        

Hiring/Rental for Black-Tie

Most of us will at one point or another, be invited to attend a Black-Tie event. This means we need to find a classic tuxedo, with all the stylised particularities that comes with it. This can create a problem, while most men own a suit of some kind, (usually one that’s kept in reserve for certain occasions), many do not own a classic tux. So here you’re left with two choices, you can either buy your Black-Tie tux (something every man should own), or if that’s not an option, you may need to hire or rent one.

But how do you go about the business of renting a tux for Black-Tie?

The Process

The first thing we encourage you to do is make an appointment. This is not a must of course, we’re happy for you can drop into our store without a booking. But why not enquire on-line or over the phone in advance, it’ll save you time and allow us to better prepare for your visit.

Once you’re in we’ll take your measurements, tailor for your requirements and advise you on what you’ll need. Once you have selected the various pieces, we will work to get everything prepared, all in plenty of time for the big-event. Our clientele would typically schedule their consultation appointment for one week to ten days before their event. Once measured and tailored, we hold the suit on stand-by for collection, usually the day before, or same day as our client’s event. Our customers will typically return their tuxedo between one to two days following the event. This timeline is more of a guide than a general rule, we fully understand that our clients may need more time to collect and return. This is never a problem, once the timeline is within reason.

The cost of a tuxedo rental is in-keeping with the price range of our other suiting rental options, between €60.00 to €130.00 variable.          

Your Black-Tie Outfit

As mentioned above, many of our clientele are unsure about the do’s and don’ts of tuxedo wear. It is all very simple once you understand the basics  

You will need:

  • Tuxedo Trousers 
  • Suit Jacket
  • Waistcoat (Typically black)
  • A White Shirt (typically with a Doubleor French Cuff; Embroidered Panelling; with a Peeked Collar Lapel

Key finishes include:

  • A Bow-tie
  • A Set of Cuff-links
  • A Cummerbund

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Can I Wear a Regular Suit for a Black-Tie Event?

Put simply, no! Not if you want to do it right.  There are several important differences between a tuxedo and a regular or standard suit.

Here Are Some Key differences:

The Material

  • Satin: Tuxedos are typically made from satin. This gives tuxedos a finish that is easy to notice. Some find that this makes a tuxedo look more formal than regular suit wear. 

The Trousers

  • No Belt: You should never wear a belt with a Tuxedo. In most instances, you will be unable to regardless, as tux trousers are absent belt loops. Instead, you would typically wear suspenders or braces. These are only an option of course. 
  • Piping: Tuxedo trousers typically have piping features. These are best described as a narrow strip of satin material extending from the hip to the base of the trousers. Unlike the features illustrated above, piping is more of an option. You can choose trousers with or without this feature.

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Traditionally, tuxedos are worn before 6 pm. In this sense, you had tux wear for half the day, your regular suit for the other. Don’t worry though, this is an old tradition that is not very popular today. You will likely only need the one outfit.

The reason for the before 6 pm preference related to the formal look of the tuxedo outfit -something which is not as important for evening dinners or dancing.

Think of it in the context of an Irish wedding. The ceremony (Mass or Registry office) typically takes place between 12-4 pm. After this (and during) it’s photos all round. The best of you will be on display. However afterwards, you can relax – it’s jackets off, neck-ties in the pocket and rested smiles. Hench, no need for that tux

Next in Part Two: Not all Tuxedos are Created Equal


Wilvorst Three-Piece Mohair Tuxedo





The Features:

  • Royal Blue Jacket.
  • Narrow Peak Lapel. 
  • Drop 8 Fit (for a Slim, Structured Cut)
  • Covered Buttons & Scoop Style Waistcoat

Rental Price: €120-€130

To Buy: €599.00


Tuxedos

Tuxedos are reserved primarily for the dressiest events on the calendar– from weddings, proms, galas, balls, to formal dinners or receptions. Every time an invitation indicates black tie, black tie optional, or formal, a tuxedo is the ideal attire for men. The tux allows you to personalize your look according to your taste and style even when attending these dress-code dictating events.

What makes a tux a tux?

A tuxedo isn’t just a black suit worn with a bow tie. While suits are virtually made with a consistent fabric on both the pants and jackets, tuxes have much more finer details. The design of tuxes uses silk satin, which is most prominent on the lapels as well as on the pants leg stripes. Most tuxes have silk-covered jacket buttons. Moreover, they come in various colors including black, white, midnight blue, and grey among others.

The History of Tuxedo

The name tuxedo is derived from Tuxedo Park—a residential club of mansions in the outer parts of New York. The club annual autumn ball was a crucial social event in New York, and it dress code would usually be white-tie and tails. In 1885, James Brown Potter, a charter member of the club was introduced to the idea of a dinner jacket by the Prince of Wales, who would later become Edward VII. The Prince had recently designed a new evening jacket that was worn at his country estate Sandringham. Brown Potter wore the dinner jacket, which was black but without the tails during the annual club ball. A year later (1886) Pierre Lorillard and his son Griswold designed similar jackets with satin lapels and a cut similar to the equestrian jackets. These Tuxedos soon became the customary attire for semiformal evening events in the society. Over the years, Tux has evolved and various designs, colors, and trimmings have emerged to create a new contemporary line of tuxedos.

Different Types of Tuxedos
Typically, the design of the jacket is what mostly defines the type of tux. Here are the most common types of men’s tuxedos:

Notch lapels tuxedos

notch lapel tuxedo

Shop now for this Notch lapel tuxedo range at Tom Murphys as worn by our model nicholas

Standard in men’s tuxedo suiting today, notch lapels are considered more casual than other lapel types. They have a notch where the jacket collar meets the lapel. It is versatile and if possible should be avoided on the most formal black-tie events. To add an elegant touch, wear it with patterned bow tie, dress shirts with fold down collars, loafers, and unique cufflinks.

Burgundy Mohair Tuxedo

Shop now for this Peak lapel tuxes in different black and colored options at Tom Murphys of Patrick street

Peak lapels tuxedos
Slightly wider, peak lapels are viewed more formal than the notch lapel. It features edges that peak upwards towards your face and they have the effect of making you appear taller and slimmer. They are suitable for the most formal events such as a black tie occasion. Typically, they can be accessorized with a pleated shirt with French cuffs, patent leather shoes, black bow tie, button studs, and silk knot cufflinks.

tuxedo-slim-line-smoking-jacket-silver-trim-401600_10_7050_1

Shop now for this Shawl collar in 20 different black fabrics by Tom Murphy

 

Shawl Collar Tuxedo

Shawl collars tuxes are characterized by a rounded, modern shape collar jackets. Although the shawl lapel is mostly found on black-tie appropriate garments, it is deemed less formal than a peak lapel. It is more panache and can be accessorized with black or patterned bow tie, metal cufflinks, cap or patent toe shoes, and shirt with fold down collars.

Double breasted tuxedos
For the double breast tuxedos, the jackets have two sets of buttons and overlapping front flaps. They are associated with everything from the 1930s gangsters to the 1980s Wall Street brokers. Today, double breasted tuxes have a slimmer cut that makes them much more flattering and creates a broadened shoulder appearance. Since they feature wider lapels, they look excellent with formal un-pleated dress shirts, cummerbund, white pocket square, and larger butterfly bow tie.

The white dinner tuxedo
Also called the “warm weather black tie”, the white dinner tux is worn mostly in a formal black tie event taking place in warmer climates during the day. It is also worn for creative black tie occasion since it is attention-grabbing and very dashing. Nonetheless, it can be a faux pas to wear it with a waistcoat and hence you can pair it with white formal shirt with onyx studs, black pleated cummerbund, patent leather dress shoes, and black tuxedo pants.

Dinner jacket white slim line

Shop now for White tuxes which can come in plain options or black satin combinations

The takeaway
Tuxes are designed to elevate your appearance above day-to-day attire. With the different types of tuxedos available, you can now dress a notch higher while going to formal and semi formal events. Tom Murphy Menswear specializes in tuxedos that are tailored from the very best fabrics and come in different and classy designs as well as colors. We have been selling unparalleled men’s tuxedos since 1938 in Cork and surrounding areas. Besides, we offer tuxedo hire services at a very affordable rate.


Our popular Waistcoat, or ‘Vest’ first emerged roughly 300 years ago. Samuel Pepys spotted this new men’s garment while visiting Persia (today’s Middle East – Iran, Iraq and the United Arab Emeritus). He noted in his diary that ‘The King hath … declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes which he will never alter … It will be a vest.’ The rest is history.

Regardless of its origins however, waistcoats have become an essential staple in any men’s suiting wardrobe. We can see why. The waistcoat allows men an opportunity to accentuate a unique style, to add an important piece to a fitted, well-tailored suit. Within popular culture we have come to see waistcoats represented in formal occasions, including weddings, ceremonies and other important life events. What does this tell us? Where wear them when we need to impress – it’s our job then to help you do just that.

The Essentials

 

Have a look at our Edison Blue Tan Check Tweed 3 Piece suit.

The Specifics:

    Pele Style
    Blue Tan Check Tweed Jacket
    Rich Tan Waistcoat

Waistcoat Sold separately: €65.00
Full Three Piece Suit: €269.00

 

Same difference: How to navigate the differences between a suit and a Tuxedo

Both Tuxedos and Suits differ in many Ways

So, what are the primary differences between Tuxedos and suits? Well there are two clear differences,

Satin Features (Most notably in the lapels, pockets and pocket trims).
A tux is the garment of choice for Black-Tie events.

But trends change. In recent years, we have noticed that many of our clients are opting for a tux option when attending a wedding. This trend seems to common throughout continental Europe, particularly in Italy and Portugal. It’s tricky to understand or pin down the reason for this change, but it have something to do with changing wedding trends themselves. In the past Irish, Italian and Portuguese weddings took place within a Catholic Church. This has changed significantly. With a changing venue (almost half of all Irish weddings now take place in locations other than a catholic Church. It may be the case that this is allowing people to change choice of dress and style also.

Regardless of which, we’ve got you covered.

Peak Lapel Blue Tuxedo with Double Breasted Waistcoat

The Specifics

     Wilvorst, Royal Blue 3 Piece Wool Mohair Fabric.
     Narrow Peak Lapel Jacket
     Trousers with Double-Breasted Waistcoat

Three Piece Suit €599.00
Waistcoat: €65.00

Our Mid Grey Mohair Tux DB Vest


Luxury Tailoring at Tom Murphy’s:

Understanding the Made-to-Measure & Bespoke Suit Process

Our grandfather was rooted in the strong suiting traditions of the past. He developed his trade at a time when Irish society was finding its voice, its unique social and cultural place in the world. In his time, the country was locked at the intersection between the old and the new, between a colonial past and our emergence as an independent nation within the European community. He built his philosophy on formalwear suiting within this brave new world, and set the scene for us to continue this journey into the world we find ourselves today. So, what have we learned and how do we see ourselves within Cork’s exclusive suiting and tailoring community?

Custom Tailoring: A Vocation Rather than a Skill

We are suiting specialists,we’ve mastered our trade. Because of this, we see suiting is a living thing, as a set of ideas, made manifest through look and style. Each person brings their own personality to it, their own set of impressions or ideas about what fashion means to them. Over this past two decades this our clients seem to have developed a greater interest in style, a desire to choose clothing options that are more individualistic and personal. Men seem to be more comfortable asking for specifics – choices which better reflects how they see themselves and the world they live in. Where once men chose to follow trends, they now look to create them. This new-found confidence is of course a great positive, something to be welcomed. For us, this has meant that we can cater for increased choice, and importantly, use our seven decades of expertise to delight our clients.

Not all Suits are Created Equal: The Key Features of Men’s Suiting

As with all luxury products it’s always helpful to know your options. This means looking at some of the key features of suit tailoring and selecting what works best for you. We are experts in this field, and as such we can guide you through the entire process. But we believe in client empowerment, in sharing what we know with you and, in doing so, enabling you to develop confidence and pride in what you wear. Take a look at our suiting chart below [Figure 1].

Figure 1: Learning the Essentials: Key Terms and Phrases in Suiting

Bespoke & Made-to-Measure at Tom Murphy’s

We are also incredibly proud to showcase our ‘Tziacco’ Bespoke options for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2019 season. But what exactly are Bespoke and Made-to-Measure tailoring methods and why are they so important to us and our clients?

The Custom Suiting Process

Made-to-Measure is built on principles of personalised tailoring, a process where a suit is created for you, the client. You do not need to fit into a suit, we make the suit to fit you. How do we achieve this? First thing is to arrange an appointment, something that can be done at a time which best suits you. Once you are in with us we will take your exact measurements and invite you to select patterns and/or designs from our material sample brochures. This is an exciting process, it is personalised, individualistic and professional.

People often use the terms Bespoke and Made-to-Measure interchangeably. While these two approaches are indeed similar, there several differences to consider. Your Bespoke tailoring experience can be more rewarding; you will have a greater choice of options available to you. With Bespoke you can choose the textures, prints, thread counts and other intricate details to construct your fine luxury piece.

Figure 2: Made-to-Measure Fabric Samples

Detail & Difference: What to Look for when Creating your Custom Piece 

So now you have a better understanding of the process and methods, what type of should you opt for? Look at our three options above. Can you notice the differences?

You might ask yourself:

  • How are they different?

  • How would you rank these three options?

  • Which options would suit you?

  • Would some looks suit some occasions better than others?

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Luxury Boys Suits  made in Germany

For the past thirty years or so Tom Murphys has been the place to go for suits for the little men in the wedding party.Well known brands such as Magee of Donegal were always stocked in miniature sizes and the little men were able to blend in with the wedding party.Lately there has been a trend for the little guys to be kitted out in a new suit for the big day and we have introduced a stylish collection of boys suits and the range is perfect for other big occasions such as communions and confirmations.The elite collection features beautiful luxurious Italian fine wools in all sorts of styles.We are even offering a bespoke collection for young boys.These suits come in the finest yarns and In Northeim, Lower Saxony WILVORST produces outfits for the little gentlemen – perfectly matching the wedding suits or festive outfits of their dads.

Besides the collections for men (wedding suits and formal wear)Tom Murphys in association with WILVORST also offers boys suits, waistcoats and acessories for the wedding perfectly in the style of the adults. The bespoke garments are available in the retailers shop in 8 weeks delivery time.For the little gentlemen  you may choose the  favorite from a program of more than 1000 fabrics of high quality. The second step of the boys suit is the style. Evening tail suit, dinner suit, morning coat, 1-button jacket, 2 button, 3 or 4 button, jacket with stand-up collar and different styles of waistcoats and accessories are available.

As well as the custom made designs we have expanded our portfolio of off the peg suit options for boys.We stock Benetti suits for boys and they are priced at 169 euro which makes them exceptional value.There are numerous colors available and we offer some amazing contrast waistcoats to complement the suit.

boys wilvorst suitJames Grey Tweed Boys 3 Piece Suithogan boys suitJames Petrol Blue Boys 3 Piece SuitJames Petrol Blue Boys 3 Piece Suitcusack boys suit


serge besten heineken add

We recently had the honour of being approached by one of Ireland’s leading costume designers Maeve Patterson about supplying Serge Besten with a retro style tweed suit for the shooting of the new Heineken add.After a visit to Cork Maeve and Tom went through a mood board and Tom gave her all sorts of suggestions for a cutting edge ensemble that would capture the mood and theme of the add.A couple of outfits were taken up to the studio where the TV ad  was being shot.Maeve was thrilled with the combinations but alas when they tried the suits on Serge some of them were a bit too tight on his arms and shoulders.The slim fit cut of our tweeds were just too tight for the big man but there was still time for an outfit to be sourced from another supplier.Tom did get to have some of his gear feature in the ad however.The accessories were provided by none other than Tom Murphy and the Goodwin smith two tone shoes were also out of our store.So if you see the ad and find yourself admiring the dapper style of Mr Besten you know where to go to achieve the look!

serge besten

Serge Besten playing for france in his pomp

goodwin smith shoesat tom murphys

Goodwin smith weir shoe as worn by Serge Besten available at Tom Murphys


 

Tom Murphy Bespoke Suit worn at a wedding in Lithunia

When the Tom Murphy boys used to go for a pint in the Vineyard bar around the corner from the shop back in the good old days there was an amiable barman working there called Phillip Verling.”Phil” as he was affectionately known was a good friend of Kieran Fitzgerald who used to work in the shop and he and the lads used to get on very well.

Little did we guess that the young man behind the bar(Phil was only a young lad in college at the time!}would be visiting us about 12 years later to organize a suit for his wedding in Lithunia When Phillip called in first he showed Tom a picture on pintrest of a lad in a bottle green tweed suit and stated this was his preferred option.However when Tom started showing some of the more stylish bespoke options from designer label Tziacco Phil was hooked.The patterns and tones of a Tziacco wedding suit are just that little bit extra special and Phil wanted something different.He ended up choosing a beautiful black jaquard three quarter length coat with matching waistcoat and silk madison.The grandfather collar shirt completed the ensemble and there was nobody in any doubt in Lithuania as to who the best dressed man was that day.Phil has joked that we might be getting a few orders from that part of the world pretty soon and Tom has retorted that we already have plenty already!

To add a little touch of “Irishness” to the proceedings the lads wore some emerald green bow ties and they went down a treat with our eastern European friends.Special thanks to Phillip for sending in the photos and being such a loyal customer over the years

Corkman Phillip Verling struts a pose in a Tom Murphy Bespoke in Lithunia

Phillip getting ready the morning of the wedding

The lads wearing a bit of green to get the Irish thing in there

 


From Cork to the USA with the wedding Suits

Joel in a gunmetal grey tweed suit produced by Tom and the team

When Tom got a call from Katy McGovern of Ohio in the United States asking him if he could supply her fiancee Joel with his wedding suit for their upcoming wedding he was happy to oblige.Our team often gets requests for suits from our American friends and it is something we are looking at doing more of.The phenomenon of the global village is definitely impacting on traditional local traders like ourselves and the niche products that we sell can be appealing to people from all four corners of the world.Our range of Donegal cloths seem to be particularly appealing to people getting married.

After a brief conversation with Tom Katy asked for a made to measure tweed ensemble in gunmetal grey.The suit was comisioned to be made once Joel’s sizes were confirmed.After 7 0r 8 weeks the suit was sent across the great Atlantic.As usual Tom had done his homework with the sizing and the suit fitted absolutely perfectly.
The process for working out the sizes for overseas customers is relatively uncomplicated.After a couple of Skype calls and emails back and forth Tom had figured out the size that Joel needed and the wheels could be set in motion for the production team to get going on the suit.As can be seen from the photos the Suit and the couple looked amazing.Special thanks goes out to Katy and Joel and thank you so much for the business!

Katy and Joel in the West of Ireland for their big day


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Customers are always pointing out to us that, their Dads or Grandads got their wedding suits off us.We really notice that we have different generations of the same family shopping with us and it is such an honor to provide the service we do.

Recently a bride and groom that we kitted out for their wedding suits went a step further and told Tom they would send in the photos of their Daddy in a Tom Murphy special 40 years ago on his wedding day.They had come in to get a tux fitting and they got talking to Tom and said they would be delighted to show him the old photos.

The photos looked amazing and there was a terrific reaction on Facebook to them, with Evan the groom who was recently married locking dapper in a custom made Tuxedo and his father in law in a Black and grey tails which was the epitome of grooms wear Style 40 years ago. Evan’s photos made the front of the VIP weddings magazine and I am sure that if the same magazine existed back in Martin’s time he would have done the same.

It is really nice to hear that different generations of the same family have continued the family tradition and opted to get their wedding suit from us. Sometimes we find that a lad comes in and has a look around and tells the parents he found a really nice suit in a shop called Tom Murphy and then the Dad says that he got his there too.This often is enough for the groom to come back and finalize the booking

.It is also the case that a groom is sent in by the father and often tells the groom that there is only one place to go for a wedding suit in Cork and the dutiful son obeys!

mick martin 40 years on with his beautiful daughter.Mick wears a stunning blue wilvorst by Tom Murphy

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Mick Martin on his wedding day 40 years ago in a Tom Murphy Tail with buff waistcoat.Ironically the buff waistcoats are back in vogue again this season.

Mick’s son in law Evan tied the knot recently and wore a Wilvorst blue tux.A special thanks to Evan and his bride for taking the time to send in the pics.