A winner of the prestigious Drapers Awards Menswear Brand of the Year title, Winq magazine’s Man of the Year for Style, as well as a columnist of Menswear Buyer magazine, Simon Carter's life in fashion famously began in 1985 selling brooches in Chelsea.
From there he moved on to a wider range of gentlemen’s jewellery, accessories and luggage. “I’m a great believer in getting one thing right before you move on to another,” he tells us. Thus his path into men’s clothing was calculated and meticulous: he created ties, then shirts, and then suits.
We sat down with the designer to talk trends, career advice and the future.
Pictured above (from left to right): ‘Croker’ Wool Sharkskin Suit Blue and ‘Moore’ Large Fish Print Shirt, both by Simon Carter. ‘Bailey’ Suit Steel and Button Print Shirt, both by West End by Simon Carter; Spot Pocket Square by Hardy Amies. All products available instore.
What colour suit should be in every gentleman’s wardrobe?
A navy suit is so versatile – you can dress it down with a patterned shirt, or dress it up with a knitted tie. It is perfect for the first day in the office, first dates, and even as a guest at a wedding.
What kind of suit or accessory will help you get the job?
You can never go wrong with a grey suit for an interview. I believe it’s impossible to be too smart. Grey works well with all skin tones, and is flattering; It suggests professionalism.
What do you wear with your suit to take your look up a notch?
Here is your chance to express your personality with a good silk tie. Avoid the beginner’s mistake of ‘novelty’, but go for a strong colour, teamed with a plain white or dark blue shirt; this will suggest confidence. Cufflinks are an important way to finish a gentleman’s outfit. Remember, with accessories, less is more. Understated cufflinks will impress an employer more than Disney characters.
Pictured above: Bailey Pupstooth Suit Blue and Cotton Camera Print Shirt, both by West End by Simon Carter; Paisley Pocket Square by David Jones (available instore)
What suiting trend do you think we’ll be seeing more of this season?
Bold blues remain strong in fashion terms. Also the slim suit is making the transition from being solely workwear to sophisticated eveningwear; the notch is a little higher on the jacket lapel.
What is particularly special about a Simon Carter suit?
I always say that it’s a combination of great design, superb quality and outstanding value for money. It’s desirable and wearable, and I hope my customers still enjoy wearing it in five years’ time.
What’s next for suiting and the Simon Carter brand?
I’m always looking at new developments in fabric and fibre technology. Today’s suits are all about performance and fit, and this will become increasingly important.
Find Simon Carter suits at your nearest David Jones store.
Shop our A/W 2016 Menswear Careerwear catalogue.