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The Perfect Suit

Alastair Sooke explores the evolution of the gentleman's suit, which has evolved from working man's Sunday best to the casual wear of royalty over the last 100 years.

A witty exploration of the evolution of the gentleman's suit. Alastair Sooke only owns one suit, but he is fascinated by how the matching jacket and trousers has become a uniform for men. Over the last 100 years the suit has evolved from working man's Sunday best to the casual wear of royalty.

For many 'the suit' is synonymous with all that is dull. But tailor Charlie Allen, Top Man chief designer Gordon Richardson and Sir Paul Smith show Alastair that the suit can be a cutting-edge fashion item and 'armour' to face the world.

1 hour

Last on

Tue 10 Jun 2014 01:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Alexander Faris

    Crown Ceremonial

  • Benny Goodman

    Down South Camping

  • Benny Goodman


  • Benny Goodman


  • Benny Goodman

    Body and Soul

  • The Bryan Ferry Orchestra

    Let's Stick Together

  • Roxy Music

    Angel Eyes

  • David Bowie

    Rebel Rebel

  • David Bowie

    Boys Keep Swinging

  • Dean Martin

    You're Nobody 'Til Somebody loves you

  • Duran Duran


  • Edward White

    The Scape Goat

  • Gorillaz

    On Melancholy Hill

  • Heaven 17

    Penthouse and Pavement

  • James Rhodes

    Le Tombeau de Couperin:VI Toccata

  • The Jam

    In the City

  • Japan

    Quiet Life

  • Japan

    In Vogue

  • Jet Harris

    Besame Mucho

  • Sunshine Band

    Boogie Shoes

  • The Kinks


  • Kraftwerk

    The Robots

  • Mark Ronson & The Business Intl

    Bang Bang Bang

  • Charlie Parker's Reboppers

    It Never Entered My Mind

  • Mud

    Tiger Feet

  • Nouvelle Vague

    Just Can't Get Enough

  • The Osmonds

    Love Me For a Reason

  • Peter Moore

    Lazy Day

  • The Philharmonia Orchestra & Conducted By Geoffrey Burgon

    The Hunt

  • Plan B

    She Said

  • Ray Davies

    Carry On Shopping

  • Señor Coconut

    Smooth Operator

  • Trevor Duncan

    Cheeky Monkey

  • Visage

    Fade To Grey

  • Zoltán Kocsis

    Bartok Piano Sonata


Role Contributor
Presenter Alastair Sooke
Participant Paul Smith
Participant John Sergeant
Director Colin Lennox
Producer Debbie Christie