I have been obsessed with waistcoats; granted given my other sartorial pursuits. However, many waistcoats that are sold on the high street are flawed in many ways. First, they are often made of plasticy fabrics that wear out and pill over time and second, they are badly cut that it makes you look like a slob or some emo. They are sometimes too short (given that many wear their trousers so low that a big wide gap the size of Rohan appears between the hem of the waistcoat and the waistband of the trousers.) And many of the fabrics used are just ludicrous, gaudy and vulgar; think of what Heston from the BBC daytime drama Doctors wears…
Therefore, you can only get good waistcoats from either the venerable tailors of Savile Row and certain high end retailers or have them made to order from those who know how to make a proper waistcoat. There are two companies that can do this currently online. David Edward London specialises in formal day wear waistcoats (the kind used for morning dress) and Bookster who specialises in using tweed and country. The latter now uses suiting cloth as well so you could have a waistcoat for City and business wear.
I have a backlog of waistcoat wants: a white marcella evening waistcoat for white tie (needs to be MTM IMO as the length and fit is crucial), a brown tweed waistcoat for country/winter and a black or charcoal herringbone waistcoat for City and business wear (or to go with morning dress and funeral wear). Prioritising, I decided to go for a SB black/charcoal one as I am missing a dark waistcoat in my wardrobe.
Since I have limited funds, the place I go to is Bookster. I chose a charcoal grey herringbone cloth from their suiting cloth range:
The waistcoat shall have the following features:
Lined with black rayon
Regular length and waist with side vents
4 welted pockets
6 black horn buttons
In addition, I requested that there be a straight vertical pocket watch buttonhole between the fourth and fifth buttonholes for the albert chain to go through.
This is what it would look a bit like, barring the modifications of my spec:
The overall effect would be formal yet versatile. A worthy and useful addtion to my wardrobe.
And here is the finished product:
The only alterations I had to do was to have them taken in (as I am really a 34 1/2″ chest). Also, if you wear high-rise trousers, I suggest you have the waistcoat made extra short (minus 2″ than regular) or even shorter for the 6 button waistcoat as it tends to be longer than the 5 button one.