Sunday 10 May 2009

Ten to the power of Two

I haven’t been posting on here much for the past couple of weeks as I have been on holiday down in Devon and Cornwall. Yipeee!
We had a great time and it was a good excuse for me to take in a couple of Who activities, one in either county, that I would not normally get the chance to visit.

The first of these was a visit to Hound Tor, which had been the main location for the classic Tom Baker episode, The Sontaran Experiment. The story features the second appearance of the Sontarans and Hound Tor was the Earth in the far future where Field-Major Styre (left) lands his craft (below) to survey the planet for possible invasion material.

I had found the location by looking on and had put in the postcode of where we were staying in Devon, and found that Hound Tor was relatively not that far away.

I had recently been chatting to a young lad called Guy, who has a Baron Boutique suit. I spotted that his profile said he lived in Devon, and since I would be in the area I thought it a good chance to meet up with him and see what a Baron’s suit looks like up close.

Guy had only recently ordered his suit, so had as yet not taken any decent pictures, so Hound Tor seemed like a suitably dramatic and Who-related backdrop to use.

We arranged to meet on Monday 5th May, the Bank Holiday, and as it happened we were not the only Who fans on the Tor that day. A full write up of that part of the visit can be found in the Making My Tennant Coat blog.

Arranging to meet a random person on the top of a rock is, once you start thinking about it, is rather odd! So that Guy had a chance of finding me, I made a point of wear at least the coat so I would be conspicuous. I decided, in case Guy did not make, not to initially wear my suit, and would change into it once he joined me.

After walking around the Tor for about half an hour spotting filming locations, we notice a tall, slim person walking up the hill towards us, wearing a snug-fitting suit: Guy had arrived!
I felt a bit rotten dragging Guy all this way, especially since, being Dartmoor, it was quite windy and not that warm, and I don’t think his suit looked all that warm!

I then popped back to the car to change into my own (Magnoli) suit and pulled on my Converses. Luckily (for me!) I kept my coat on and we posed for a quick photocall, both in out Tennant outfits (see below).

I had promised Guy the opportunity to try the coat for size, and I think for a moment he was grateful of the chance to warm up a bit! 
It was a bit big for him, but looked good with his suit (see below).

I then had the chance to take a much closer look at Guy’s suit. 
The first couple of things that struck me about his suit was that it was a very good fit, and that Baron’s now appear to be using a revised fabric.
In my previous entry, Comparing Fabrics, I showed all the fabric swatch I had been able to lay my hands on. The image I had for the Baron’s suit was a scan of a swatch I had been sent when I enquired about the suit in September 2008. However, I could clearly see that that was no longer being used as Guy had only in the past few weeks taken delivery of his suit.
The basic fabric was still too dark, almost black, and was more of a navy blue than a brown. The pinstripes were much brighter, wider and visible compared to my existing swatch.

Looking at the construction of the suit, the box pleated breast pocket looked okay, with the pleat being an accurate two-pinstripes wide. On closer inspection I could see it was, like the Magnoli suit, a little too square and could do with being a taller (see left). The pocket flap has an un-necessary top-stitch around the edge.

Moving on to the outer pockets, I could see they were conventional suit pockets, with a flap built into an upper welt (see right).
The faux flap is not a common feature in suits, so unless you know of its existence, it is easily missed.

Finally, the belted back was not quite right (see left). It would be a quick reaction to say it is set too high, but looking back at these pictures I see it is a little more than just that. The belt is at the right position (for the wearer) but jacket is, overall, too long. This makes the distance from belt to hem too big compared to the distance from collar to belt. It could do with loosing 2 inches.
The split then starts an inch or two below the belt to compensate.

Having said all this, the silhouette of the suit is very good and was a stunningly good fit on Guy’s slim frame, which is not dis-similar to that of David Tennant’s! (do you think Guy had cut his hair and gown the side-burns to add to the effect???)
In fact, Guy said the fit was his favourite part of the suit, and I don’t blame him!

While he was there, Guy also got some great pictures for himself, and here is undoubtably the best!

With thanks to Guy for braving the colds of Dartmoor so we can take a close look at his Baron’s Suit.

On the strength of what I could see looking at Guy’s suit, I have revised the Comparing Fabrics entry to include the new material Baron’s now appear to be using. 
As a quick reference, here is it.
Baron’s Boutique: 2009 fabric
Type of fabric: Wool/man-made mix (from look and feel)
Fabric weight: Lightweight
Colour of fabric: Dark navy
Colour of pinstripes: Blue
Width of pinstripes (in threads & mm): 1 thread - 0.75mm
Pinstripe repeat: 12.8mm

If you look at the picture above where I am wearing my Magnoli suit and Guy is wear his Baron’s, you can see the main colour of the Baron suit is still too dark, and if anything looks more navy than brown compared to the Magnoli, but the pinstripe is much more prominent and visible, being of a brighter colour and wider stripe.

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