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Mad for it; Sharp suits are this seasons must have for urban man. Dawn Collinson finds out more.

Byline: Dawn Collinson

IT'S the sexiest show on TV, where the women simmer with repressed desire and the men just boil over with it. As season three of the award-winning US TV drama returns on screen tonight, Britain has been wooed by the suave Mad Men.

But it's not just the Kennedy era storylines which are keeping fans hooked, it's very much the cool 60s fashions too.

While the women are all tightly-nipped waists and bosomy curves, their husbands and bosses are never less than sartorially sharp in slim-fitting suits.

It's a strong powerful look which has found its way onto the high street and which is having a major influence on the wardrobes of everyone from students to businessmen.

Billee Williams, manager of Gieves & Hawkes in Liverpool's Metquarter, has seen a noticeable increase in younger men's interest in tailoring.

"Gone are the days when the superbrands and the big fashion houses led the way and dictated what was ahead," says Billee. "There are so many more interpretations now from street level and particularly from media like moves and TV.

"We get a lot more men coming in and saying 'I saw a suit on this guy, I want to look like him' whether it's James Bond, the Ocean's Eleven cast or now Mad Men.

"Guys are much more trend-orientated than they used to be but menswear is still a bit different from womenswear which works at a faster moving pace. Menswear revolves in a slower cycle so the changes take three or four years to happen. The 60s is a very current look and that won't just disappear after one season."

Billee says the appeal of Mad Men is that men aren't just buying a suit, they're buying a male fantasy lifestyle.

"Mad Men is such a well-styled programme, all very sharp and tailored, and when see what the characters are wearing and think 'hey, I could be Mr Cool like that.' What they want is the whole image and the tailoring is a big part of that."

The idea of following a movie or TV style is nothing new, adds Billee. "It goes back to The Godfather, and then the whole Wall Street trend," he says. "The difference now is it's much more accessible."

So, what are the rules for any man wanting to get the look? "The suit needs to be single-breasted with a slim lapel, usually two-button, and worn with a slim tie and flat-fronted slim fitting trousers," advises Billee. "And it's important to have little finishing touches like a pocket square, cut off sharply. That's very Don Draper!"


Granite high twist wool fine check single-breasted two-button suit with flat fronted trousers from Gieves & Hawkes Charcoal wool tonal check single breasted two-button suit with flat front trousers from Gieves & Hawkes Grey wool/linen single-breasted two button suit with single pleat trousers from Gieves & Hawkes Black peak lapel dinner suit with white pleated bib-front dress shirt, black silk cummerbund and black barathea silk bow tie, from Gieves & Hawkes Jon Hamm stars as Don Draper in Mad Men Wool blend single breasted one-button tuxedo jacket, pounds 120 from Marks & Spencer
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 27, 2010
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