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?


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

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


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.

Why buy when you can rent your wedding suits?

A few years ago we posted the inverse of the above question in a blog entitled ‘why rent when you can buy?’. The topic up for discussion was whether to buy or rent your wedding suits of course. At the time there was the odd bride and groom considering buying their suits and we noticed more and more were considering that option. It has to be stated that up until three or four years ago the default process was for everyone in the party to rent their suits. Tails, three quarter coats and frock coats were hardly something that needed to be splashed out on when in all likelihood they would never be worn again. Besides the cost of acquiring such suits would have been prohibitive and the suppliers tended to be high end brands like Magee and Wilvorst.

Buy the groom and rent the rest`

With the deformalization of wedding suits and the emergence of the semi-formal lounge suit as a viable alternative, people could now began to consider buying their wedding suit as it could be worn again.

It could even be seen as an investment. Casual and semi-formal suits were definitely starting to become a force in grooms wear attire with this trend starting 5 or 6 years ago. Allied to this the cost of buying a suit was significantly cheaper than in pre-recessionary times. While the aforementioned established brands like Magee and Wilvorst stuck to their guns with pricing policy there was a new crop of brands starting to emerge and they offered significant value to the customer. Three piece suits could be acquired for about €250 and this continues to be the case in today’s market maket.

It can be a sensible option to buy the wedding suits package when the prices are favorable. We ourselves find that our Benetti wedding suits package is particularly popular at the moment. For €249 you can acquire a brand new wool suit in a spectacularly slim fit from a well established brand. Sometimes the suits on offer at the lower prices are of an inferior quality and lack the preciseness of fit by a brand such as Benetti.

Some of our famous brands where you can buy a brand new groom’s suit for 249







Patrick Howard with Bill Clinton Patrick wears a Tom Murphy Tails Suits like this were rented

All in however the cost of buying four or five suits can mount up quickly. Sometimes shirt and tie is not included either so this can mean that the budget for wedding suits is going to be over stretched quickly. A few years ago the thought of spending €250 on five groomsmen would have been unheard of. On top of this the groom’s suit tends to be more costly as the trend now is for the groom opt for bespoke/ made-to-measure or high-end. Our Tom Murphy bespoke collection is extremely popular at the moment and we have people travelling to us from all over the country but these suits are at the higher end of the market. A three piece suit in this category can cost up to €1000. Alternatively an off-the-peg suit from high-end suppliers like Magee or Wilvorst will be €599 to €799.


Many grooms are buying their suit and renting the lads’ suits

With the cost of the grooms suit often being at the higher end it probably makes sense to strongly consider renting the suits for the rest of the party. We really find this a hugely popular way of kitting out the wedding party. It probably offers the best value for money with the rental outfits coming to about €100 each. With that you get suit, shirt, waist-coat, neck-wear, pocket-squares and cuff-links. You get a suit from a high-end brand such as Wilvorst of Germany which will have an unbelievably precise fit. The cloths tend to be a superior quality too in a pure wool high-end finish. The retail price would be circa €800 so it definitely makes sense to rent them if the opportunity presents itself. The saving on the groomsmen suits allows the groom to go for a brand new bespoke wedding suit or something a little bit spectacular. We would often recommend bringing in a small bit of the grooms outfit into the groomsmen’s outfits. A nice tidy way of doing this is by having bow-ties cut from the cloth of the grooms suit. This provides a lovely subtle connection between the groom and the rest of the party. Sometimes a contast waistcoat in a scoop style can seperate the groom from the rest of the party.Whatever happens it is nice to coordinate the groom and groomsmen.Having said that some people prefer to let the groom stand apart in a completly different outfit.


Ireland’s Tallest Man candidate Brendan MacCallister wears Tom Murphy bespoke on the Late Late Show.

Back in the early 80’s after of a year of trawling through candidates it was cut down to 3 candidates, who all stood at 7 feet and over. The three appeared on the late late show and we had the honor of kitting out Brendan McAllister in a bespoke suit for the occasion. As Brendan was 7 feet tall we had no choice but to commission a specifically tailored 2 piece suit spun and woven in a cloth by Magee of Donegal . Our resident tailoring experts Michael and Tom Crowley were commissioned to produce a suit for Brendan on the big night.
After the initial measurement process there was a 5 week turnaround and Brendan was invited back into the shop for his second fitting. Michael and Tom admit to being nervous as Brendan tried on the suit but lo and behold it was the perfect fit and they were all thrilled with the result.
Gay Byrne was gushing in his praise for the immaculately dressed gentlemen and Brendan, who is originally from Cobh, looked resplendent in his threads, which he says still hang proudly in his wardrobe. Alas he did not go onto win the competition but he placed 2nd. If there was a prize for the best dressed giant needless to say he would have walked off with it.

Brendan MacAllister in a Tom Murphy bespoke on the Late Late Show with Gay Byrne.

Another big man, Paul O’Connell being kitted out in one of our bespoke suits by Mick Murphy.

Get the Tziacco Tuxedo 2017 look at Tom Murphy’s

The latest collection of Tziacco suits is inspired by an avant garde interpetation of the ever classic tuxedo.As ever the lapel details are a little extravagant and they hint at a groom that is not afraid to make a statement.With the surge in the appeal of tuxedos as a wedding suit tziacco tuxedos are becoming more and more popular.To see the full collection pay us a visit or make an appointment.Some are available from stock and there are lots to see in the custom made range as well.The lead time generally is about 5-9 weeks but we can push orders through a little quicker if necessary.

Get the Tziacco 2017 look at Tom Murphy's

Midnight blue tux with lapel edging matching the waistcoat and bow

Tziacco 2017 at Tom Murphy’s

Get the Tziacco 2017 look at Tom Murphy's

Jaquard blue tux with plain contrast trousers

Get the Tziacco 2017 look at Tom Murphy’s

Get the Tziacco 2017 look at Tom Murphy's

Black soft wool fabric with paisley extreme low cut waistcoat