Suiting Fabrics and Cloth: The Weaves and Designs: Herringbone

If you are looking for a proper business or city suit, think about having your garments tailored with the Herringbone fabrics available at De Oost. Then again if you are looking for a more heavy outdoor Tweed suit these are offered too in Herringbone. Technically Herringbone is not really a fabric, it is a method of weaving a fabric. Herringbone is a twill-weave with threads running alternately to left and right to form an inverted -V design that could be construed as the bones of a fish. This is a popular style for suits and sport jackets. Herringbone-patterned fabric is usually wool, and is one of the most popular cloths used for suits and outerwear. Tweed cloth is often woven with a herringbone pattern. 

History of the Herringbone pattern

The use of the Herringbone pattern is not limited to the weaving of fabric. Some say the V-shaped pattern was developed around 500 B.C. during the Roman Empire as they developed an expansive world-class road system called the Viae Publicae. The basic principle for the construction of this super road – which allowed for accelerated communication and rapid transport of people and materials throughout the empire – was called Opus spicatum, or “spiked work”. It was discovered that this simple pattern of interlocking bricks creates an intensely durable and stable  geometric matrix, perfect for roadways and infrastructure. 

In fashion design these patterns are also often used symbolically to connect a modern garment to it’s historical predecessors, since patterns are like flags; they have the potential to evoke a sense of identity and place. The fact that herringbone’s roots are in Rome make it a no-brainer that plenty of suits, sportcoats, and blazers have been done up in the pattern.  The Herringbone pattern can be found in Celtic history too; horsehair herringbone cloth has been found in Ireland from around 600 B.C., which explains why it’s also a traditional choice for tweed. That being said let us start by showing you some of the tailored tweed herringbone garments by De Oost. Following with a selection of the herringbone business and city suits tailored for our clients.

Herringbone pattern often seen in Tweed fabrics

Tweed is popular for equestrian, hunting and other outdoor activities.  The smaller details of having a Herringbone pattern in your tweed tailored garments give one a fast and dynamic look while coarsing or horse riding. The herringbone pattern is vibrant and alive.

Grey Herringbone from the Harris Tweed Collection from  Holland & Sherry - HS 1389, available at De Oost.

Rust Herringbone double breasted waistcoat and notch lapel. Click here to see the complete portfolio.

Mustard Contrast Herringbone 38 inch Peacock Collection HS 1262 Holland & Sherry Wool worsted Sports Jacket with ticket pocket.

Herringbone popular with Business Suits

As is seen on our Business Suits page, many clients have chosen  to have their business suits tailored with an herringbone weave fabric.  Today herringbone cloth can be found in just about any garment type, in an endless variety of sizes, scales, textures, weights, colors, blends, etc. It’s one if the easiest ways for a man to introduce pattern into his wardrobe, too, because it is  so subtle and monotone that you don’t really have to worry about it clashing with other patterns. 

Dress Wear with Herringbone pattern

 In our collection of bespoke tailored tuxedos, tailcoats, morning coats, waistcoats, dress wear and formal wear, the herringbone pattern appears too.  One of our eye-catchers in the atelier of De Oost is a morning coat and waistcoat with a strong visible herringbone pattern.

The Morning Coat: Coat, Waistcoat and Trousers with Morning stripe. Click to see complete portfolio here.

Suiting Fabrics and Cloth: The Weaves and Designs: Hopsack

If you are looking for a suit to wear in spring or summer, think about having your garments tailored with the Hopsack fabrics available at De Oost. Technically Hopsack is not really a fabric, it is a method of weaving a fabric. Most often a lightweight (Merino) wool or a high twist tropical wool like Mohair is preferred. The “basket weave” texture, which comes in many different gages, creates a very unique feel to a tailored garment. It can be thought of as a spring/summer alternative to flannel or tweed.

At De Oost one of the popular hopsack weaves we work with is one of 340grm 11oz (as seen as in the pictures above). A variation of plain weave whereby the fabric is woven with two threads together as one in the warp and weft. This weave creates a more informal, relaxed, and balanced look to the fabric whilst retaining its strength and durability. The Force 10 Merino Hopsack Collection is available in sophisticated and elegant browns and tans alongside the more traditional colours of blues and greys.

Blue hopsack double breasted sports jacket with peak lapels, patch pockets, golden buttons and backseam based on Japanese Samurai Katana sword. See complete portfolio here.

Hopsack Pros

  •  It is easier to tailor.
  • Hopsack is very lightweight and breathable. We recommend to go for an unlined tailored garment.
  • The loose weave lets the breeze right through the fabric. It breathes very well. This makes it an ideal spring or summer suiting fabric.
  •  Due to the woven texture it is naturally wrinkle resistant. Roll a Hopsack garment up into a ball and it snaps right back. This makes clothing tailored with hopsack ideal for travelling.
  • The coarse texture creates a more casual, wearable garment. When hopsack is used in midnight blue, blue and charcoal one can create business suits that appear more alive and vibrant.

Hopsack Cons

  • Hopsack tends to not insulate heat well enough.
  • Although it breathes better, the weaving process actually adds a little bit of physical weight to the garment, as compared to a traditional tropical wool or mohair.
  • The loose weave is susceptible to getting snagged by sharp objects. This effect is worsened on larger gages.
  • Larger gages can also be more delicate.

Three hopsack samples from the Holland & Sherry bunch - Classic Worsteds Collection - HS 1565. Constructed from 100% wool, the fabrics in this collection are the perfect choice for the traditional city suit. Notorious for their tailoring capabilities, wool fabrics are durable and versatile allowing strength and body to enable a garment to hold its shape.

Hopsack is a type of weave, so a hopsack weave with another fabric type than wool is also possible. In the case of the gallery shown above you see a tailored pair of duck egg colour hopsack weave cotton trousers. Made with fabric from Holland & Sherry bunch So Cotton HS 1127.

Although not mentioned that often on our website, quite a lot  of our tailored garments are made with hopsack weave fabrics.  Some as full suits,  but also as separate trousers or waistcoat.  Hopsack makes for a very versatile and comfortable pants.

With that said, in the last pictures we present a waistcoat and pair of trousers (tailored for separate clients, but  made with the same fabric) to  highlight the versatility of hopsack fabrics. 

Hazel solid double breasted, a-symmetrical waistcoat with two breast pockets and two hip pockets, with cloth back and brass buckle.

Hazel solid hopsack trousers with fishtail.

Hazel solid hopsack trousers with fishtail.

Men’s Bespoke Trousers - Style, Fit, and Fabric

It seems like jeans are the go to pants for covering ones legs, even paired with sports coats for semi-casual situations. Comfort and casualness are pointed to as the reasons the once rebellious jeans have made such an arrival on the sartorial scene. But there is a more stylish and perhaps just as comfortable alternative to the jeans: the humble trousers.

Trousers are the more traditional alternative to jeans when it comes to semi-casual and formal wear. Ever since Beau Brummel donned the first pair of modern full-length trousers centuries ago, the trouser has been worn by men of differing backgrounds, social standings, economic classes and political beliefs around the world and across the decades. The trouser is truly a garment that binds men together. It is the article for every man, for trousers lend themselves to be tweaked, adjusted, shortened and changed according to the individual’s needs.


Men’s Trouser Styles

And like everything else, there have been countless different styles of trousers. However, today there are two main styles that focus primarily upon the front: first, the flat front trouser and second, the pleated trouser.

The more traditional and stylistic pleated trousers have pleats of material that fold down the front from below the waistband on either side of the fly. Personally, I believe these pleats look great and add a touch of style while giving my hips and legs extra room and freedom to move. Pleated trousers are perfect for the business setting where more traditional styles are acceptable, though they can be worn for nearly ever occasion.

The flat front, while a very old style, has been adopted by fashion-setters as the new and hip style of trousers, often worn low on the hips. Unlike the pleated trousers, flat front trousers lack any sort of pleats down the front. The clean lines of flat front trousers lend themselves to be worn with fitted jackets and sleek accessories and are popular with younger trouser wearers, though flat front trousers can effectively be worn by anyone who desires.


The style of trouser front depends upon personal preference.

Another stylistic consideration that must be taken into view is trouser cuffs (or the lack thereof). A cuff is an upturned flap of material that goes all the way around the leg hem. A cuff requires extra material to create and therefore adds more weight to the trouser leg, making the trousers hang and drape very well from the wearer’s body.

Cuffs can be made in a variety of depths, anywhere from one inch to two inches though these are merely general boundaries. A 1 ½” deep cuff is considered to be a good middle point. Cuffs are a traditional style and, as you’ll find out below, may be a requirement depending upon the style of trouser that is chosen.

Cuffs must be made on trousers with pleated fronts. This is a requirement that not only has a long tradition but balances out the trousers, keeping the trousers from being too busy on top. However, flat front trousers can be made with or without cuffs, though traditionally cuffs are preferred.

A Man’s Body Type and Trouser Selection

What style of trousers you choose depends partly upon personal preference and partly on body type.

Body type can play an important role in choosing trouser styles. While skinny, long legged men can effectively wear both the flat front and pleated trousers, portly or shorter men must be more careful when picking a style. Depending upon individual body shape, larger men may want to avoid pleated trousers as the extra bulk of the pleats could add extra pounds of visual weight.

Try on the two different styles of trousers and see which you prefer the most. Once you do pick out your favorite style, it’s time to know how to wear them.


Over time trouser styles change and can form great inspiration to give your trousers a certain 'signature'.

While styles have changed over the years, wearing trousers has for the most part stayed the same. While young hipsters and fashion designers like low waisted trousers that ride around the hips, the stylish and traditional way to wear trousers is around your waist.

Wearing them around your waist does three things for you:

First, it give the wearer the appearance of longer legs, especially for guys who are short-legged. As well as the appearance of longer legs, wearing trousers at the waist keeps the torso looking short and thereby making the proportions of the wearer look right.

Low hip-riding trousers do the opposite: they make the torso appear long and the legs short, throwing proportions out of harmony.

Secondly, wearing them at your waist makes it easier to keep your trousers up. The expanding hips keep a well-fitted pair of trousers from slipping down too far. This can further be enhanced through the use of a belt or suspenders.

And lastly, wearing trousers at the waist is much more comfortable than wearing them at the hips, where they dig in and slip down. The crotch of the trousers are also where they are supposed to be when worn at the waist, allowing for better movement and flexibility.

The ˜wear at the waist’ rule especially applies for robust men. Bigger men should wear their trousers around their waist and stomach as this not only more effective in keeping the trousers in place than at the hips, but it looks better.

Trousers will drape better if hung around the stomach than if it is placed below the stomach. And it will be more comfortable.

A Man Wears Trousers With Pride

*Source: real men real style