French Eye Oxford Street Store Review
Men’s suits and formal wear are both stylish and timeless; however, trying to obtain that perfect fit is often difficult to obtain. In my latest blog post, I review my shopping experience with French Eye, beginning with my visit to the store and ending with my final tailored product. Read on to find out more.
French Eye has been on my radar for some time; I have been paying keen attention to their variety of formal wear pieces. A quick glance online will greet you with a comprehensive collection, including three-piece suits, footwear, shirts and accessories. However, I had only seen images online and had no tangible idea of how they held up in real life. They have recently opened up their flagship Oxford Street in London, adding to their Westfield stores already in operation. My goal was to visit the new store, pick one or two items that would be hand-tailored to my body shape, and report back in this latest review on my men’s fashion blog for an in-depth look.
Oxford Street Store Visit
I headed down to the London store from Birmingham via train, and fortunately, the day was bright and warm (considering it was Autumn); my black cab dropped me right outside, and as I alighted, I was greeted with a wonderfully bright and modern store! Large glass windows allowed passersby to glance inside and see the goodies on offer. Once inside, there was a swath of mannequins on either side, all wearing the latest French Eye styles; these were complemented by seemingly endless rows of suits, blazers and shoes. Running down the centre of the store were cabinets and drawers showcasing all of the available accessories, where you will find ties, pocket squares and shirts.
It wasn’t long till I was approached by one of the many smiling members of staff who was only too happy to help me on my visit (after I stored my bags in the changing area), showing me all the latest styles on offer. My typical colour scheme in clothing is often simple yet classic – grey, brown, beige, navy, but I couldn’t help but be drawn to the gorgeous-looking green three-piece in the corner of the store. At once, I lifted the suit from the rail and decided this was the one for me. After discussing sizing with the sales assistant, I was advised they would grab my closest size from the stock room, ready to be measured up for a tailored fit.
I was then passed over to a different team member (Alex, a legend on my visit) who was there to help me with the alterations process. After I slipped on the suit (I picked out a 36 X 30), Alex guided me to the mirrored area and through different stances and arm and leg positions, he pinned the various parts of the suit to how I wanted it to fit. The whole process was quick and efficient (and I could already see that the final product had great potential for how I wanted my suit to look). For the jacket, the arm length would be shortened and pulled in for a slimmer fit, and the legs would be tightened for a skinny fit and hemmed for the cropped look I love (paired with loafers).
Once completed, I returned to my original clothes, provided my address, and after saying my thanks to the staff (and French Eye owner!) I left to return home, excited to receive my finished product. My French Eye parcel arrived after a few days (which was impressive considering the tailoring work that was done!), so without further ado, let us move on to the review of the suit.
Style And Design
French Eye offers many different styles, yet the green stood out to me with its beautiful colour and design. It is a three-piece suit that consists of a 2-button jacket with 4-button cuffs and a double-breasted waistcoat. The fabric has a wonderful depth, allowing you to see the fine details within the thread itself. I wanted a head-turner, an iconic suit that would stand the test of time and judging from its appearance alone, I have found it. Despite the vibrant green on display, this suit would be more than suitable for an event such as a wedding or business trip; you could even make an impact in the office, harking back to this infamous quote “ Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”.
I styled the suit in a classic style, opting for a crisp white shirt and complemented the green fabric of the suit with a patterned green tie and plain green pocket square, which held a different shade of green to allow it to stand out from the three-piece. I completed the look with a pair of dark brown loafers minus socks (note – all these accessories were also from French Eye). I added my own items to finish – an Automatic Omega Watch, ring and green-painted nails for a hint of rock star!
The suit is fashioned out of lightweight fabric, giving you a much more extensive range of options when wearing it. You can easily rock this three-piece with sockless loafers during the summer months for that European vibe and not feel the heat, thanks to the breathable material. Additionally, you can wear it throughout autumn (perhaps include socks to save your ankles if the cold air bites if you opt for the loafer look). During the Winter, the suit is still viable, but perhaps, instead of a shirt and tie combo, pair the blazer with a knitted roll-neck (in green or brown) for a striking yet casual ensemble.
Sizing And Fit
The suits at French Eye arrive off-the-peg with a wide range of sizes available (including a small 34-chest); however, as they offer in-house tailoring, it would be unfair to discuss the sizing and fit. The jacket pre-alterations still fitted well; just in need of a few minor adjustments. As standard, the blazers are a regular slim fit; however, I prefer the fitted look, which was the end goal during the made-to-measure process.
The completed tailored suit will be discussed (and praised) in-depth as I find the final product exemplary. I have owned and tried on endless amounts of formal wear ensembles throughout my lifetime, and I must confess that none of them fitted as well as this French Eye number. The shoulders sat perfectly on top of mine, and the width and length of the arms (after tailoring) were, for want of a better word, perfect with the sleeve hem sitting just shy of the shirt, allowing the cuff to protrude just enough for that top business style. The jacket pulls in nicely at the sides to represent a striking silhouette.
The legs of the suit are something that I was worried about (from experience, it has become challenging to obtain good-fitting trousers) after the final alterations. Thankfully, my concerns were more than unfounded, and after slipping the trousers on, I was happy to find a fantastic fit. The trousers were very slim (almost skinny) but not too tight to restrict movement, and I could even sit down with ease (practically impossible with any of my other skinny-fit trousers). The hem length was on-point, sitting just above my ankles, ideal for that sockless loafer style.
Value For Money
I always state that you need to spend generously on clothing; formal wear sits at the higher end of that scale to achieve the look you are after. Paying high for a suit makes sense; however, be advised a high price tag doesn’t always go hand in hand with a great fit (many designer brands are guilty of offering poorly fitting three-piece suits at astronomical prices).
Fortunately, French Eye offers fantastic suits at very reasonable prices, with some available at discounted prices towards the end of each season. Combined with the made-to-measure tailoring service available, the costs appear even better!
From my first step into their Oxford Street store to receiving my completely tailored three-piece suit, my experience with the brand has been a joy to behold. I cannot wait to return to the store and add another outfit to my wardrobe! If you have been hunting for a great fitting suit tailored to your size and shape, turn your attention to French Eye and discover a varied selection of stylish suits without breaking the bank. In conclusion, top marks, and consider me a new fan!
*Partnership with French Eye / Opinions are my own.