Fifa World Cup: Hong Kong’s Sam’s Tailor says Gareth Southgate’s famous waistcoat tells us he is sincere, trustworthy and elegant

Sales of waistcoats and suits worn by the England manager have risen 35 per cent in line with the national team’s progress at the World Cup in Russia

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 July, 2018, 5:30pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 July, 2018, 11:12pm

The world-famous Hong Kong tailor who has outfitted celebrities, royalty and politicians has given the thumbs up to England manager Gareth Southgate – who has sparked a fashion revolution in England because of the waistcoat he wears in the dugout during his team’s matches at the World Cup.

Sam’s Tailor, which is a must-visit destination for the rich and famous who visit Hong Kong, says Southgate has made an excellent fashion choice that portrays him as a man who is sincere and trustworthy. However, Sam Junior, of Sam’s Tailor, says the 47-year-old former England player may consider a few tweaks to his wardrobe.

“He has a very smart and elegant look,” said Sam Junior, who is part of the new generation of tailors from the Hong Kong institution, which goes back 60 years. “People like to hang around with just a waistcoat and trousers. It is a nice gentleman look, casual and an eye-turner.

“When you do business and wear a waistcoat and trousers, people have more confidence in you and can trust you from a business perspective,” added the younger Sam, whose family has suited up the likes of Michael Jackson, former US President Bill Clinton, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, Margaret Thatcher and a host of other A-listers.

According to England’s official suit supplier Marks & Spencer, demand for waistcoats has risen 35 per cent thanks to what they say is “the Gareth Southgate effect”. And with England reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Russia, the manager and his fashion taste is becoming even more influential.

A full replica suit costs more than HK$2,700. Not only has the style factor enamoured England fans but a close look at the waistcoat reveals the words “Coming Home”, referring to the manager wanting to bring the trophy back to the country that invented the modern version of the game.

The term comes from the Three Lions song popularised when England hosted Euro ‘96 and has become a meme during this World Cup.

While Sam Junior has no issue with Southgate’s waistcoat, which is made of merino wool woven by the Alfred Brown mill in Yorkshire, he did have some advice for the England manager.

“Maybe if he had a different style each time he came out, that would be nice,” said Sam Junior. “Something round, a low angle, low button, checked and matching the trousers all would add to his elegance.

“Also, if it was the same colour in the front and the back, that would be very eye-catching.”

Of course, Southgate is obligated to stick to the style provided by the team’s official suit supplier. Still, the Hong Kong tailor to the stars said England fans should feel at ease with Southgate at the helm, if only for his dress sense.

“The way he dresses, it tells us that he is sincere, smart and elegant and knows what he is doing,” said Sam Junior. “He is trustworthy and you can have confidence in him to do his best.”