Our new Stylist Series brings to light the people behind our brand—join us as we discuss their journey's into the world of tailoring, from their first suiting experience, to their current style influencers and favourite suit details, to the items they place value on, their favourite coffee, literature, wine and more...This week, meet the ever dapper Dylan O, from our Adelaide showroom.
Tell us about the first suit you ever purchased and your experience.
My first real suit was vintage. It was an early 60s, black bespoke two-piece made by a Ballarat tailor (now long closed down) that I grabbed at an op-shop for about $5. I am a big fan of the English style of the 50s and Ivy-League clothes, and I’ve since become a notorious vintage clothes collector. I have everything from 30’s evening-wear to 70’s abominations I would never wear, but, by the same token, never throw out; all accumulated in an attempt to experience, pick over and examine every facet of classic menswear.
What items in your life do you place the most value on? Tell us about the items of value you have in your life - your most prized possessions.
For the amount I’ve spent on shoes in my life, I think they’d qualify. Tricker’s is likely still in business because of me. Shoes are the one element you can’t cheap out on - people notice. Really though, it’s an antique tailor’s square my girlfriend got me for the first birthday I had with her. I’d been drafting patterns without the proper tools and it was such a perfect gift - and a beautiful piece of historical art.
Tell our readers something about yourself they may not know—tell us about yourself in 100 words or less
I’ve grown up around clothes. My Mother and Grandmother are both very talented seamstresses - and my Grandmother owned a Menswear in Adelaide with my Grandfather. She would do the alterations and little custom jobs and I learned so much from her as a child. I’ve been making clothes for myself and others for a long time as a result. Now I do that for several people everyday and I love talking to her about how things have changed, and how they’ve stayed the same.
On a more personal note, I’m a really big fan of the Beach Boys, particularly their post-surf song stuff, and most nights I have a cup of tea and knit.
Talk us through what you’re favourite garment that you are currently wearing, how it’s unique and why you love it.
I’m not particularly tall, so everything has to elongate the silhouette. I wear high waisted trousers with a fuller leg, and have a short, structured jacket to lengthen the legs. It doesn’t make me look 6’, but it helps hide the fact I’m only 5’7”. Proportion is so important. I’ve got slightly extended, roped shoulders and a full chest to make the waist look smaller echoing the tradition of the Conduit Cut of London tailoring. My tie is from my Grandmother’s shop, and I knitted the waistcoat.
On Suit Details… What are some of your favourite details?
For me it’s about what’s inside - the canvas, the shoulders, the way the lapel sits. That's what makes a suit work. The most boring, plain suit can be impressive because it has a flattering cut and can stand the test of time. I think trousers are often overlooked too. They are more important than people think, and a well cut pair of trousers are hard to find.
What’s your favourite part about your job?
My favourite thing about being an InStitchu stylist is working with gorgeous fabrics and having such a variety of choices. There’s a fabric for everyone. You can create a capsule core work wardrobe and create personal pieces from whatever strikes your fancy, and my job is to help by making that fabric work for you with the design and fit so you can wear it for years to come.
What do you wake up with in the morning?
Earl Grey with a dash of honey. I’m not much of a coffee fan, I’m afraid.
What are your top 3 must reads and what are you reading right now?
I just finished ‘The Sleeper Awakes’ for the first time by H.G. Wells on the weekend, which I really enjoyed. He’s probably my favourite author, and is disturbingly prophetic in his predictions of how history would unfold. He nails a lot of our current social issues which is very impressive considering he wrote it in the 1890s.
I like a lot of history books too (I did my degree at uni in history), and I’m always captivated by Charles Bean’s correspondence from the First World War, and the way he talks about ordinary people facing that kind of struggle. Historians are critical of some of it but Iit paints an awe inspiring picture.
I think an all time favourite is ‘Wind in the Willows’. It’s a great story no matter your age.
To make a booking with Dylan or any of the staff at our Adelaide showroom, book an appointment here.