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Caitlin Foley

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Every gentleman needs one smart, well-fitting suit in his arsenal, something to break out for special occasions. As your wedding is the ultimate special occasion, it is the perfect time to invest in a suit for life. Here are our top tips!

1|the quality

Unlike brides, grooms have the benefit of being able to wear their wedding day attire well past the big day. We have been designing and tailoring beautiful suits for over a 150 years and have perfected the suit. Quality is key for us – starting with the fabric – luxury tweeds, Italian or British wools and Irish linen. We pay special attention to the trim details – linings, piping, contrast pocket details, collar meltons and horn buttons.

Edward and David, were married in August 2019 at Cloughjordan House in Co Tipperary, Ireland.
Photo by Louise Scott Photography

2|the fit

We think that one of the most important parts of getting a great-looking suit is ensuring your garment fits perfectly. Sleeves that finish just above the wrist bone, a jacket that stays smooth when buttoned across the front, trousers that just skim the top of the shoe without catching: these are all the details that you need to get right to ensure a smart and sophisticated look. For your wedding day, we recommend getting a made to measure suit, ensuring the perfect fit from the start, or if you do find the perfect suit off-the-peg, we have expert tailors who can tweak and make small adjustments if required.

3|the style

Choosing the style of your suit is where you can show off a bit of personal flair. Narrow lapels, and straight or narrow-leg trousers are both popular at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t step out with something more bold. Think wide, peak lapels on the jacket for a vintage-inspired look!

Navy suits have ruled the day for a long time and are still a firm favourite – an all-time classic that can be worn again and again, but why not add a bit of personality with a checked fabric? This Autumn brown suits are also making a strong comeback, bringing a smart, retro vibe to the wedding scene. A contrast waistcoat can also add a fun pop of colour to a three-piece suit. Our speciality is the Donegal tweed suit – a truly timeless suit!

If stepping away from the classic three-piece suit our recommendations would be the traditional morning suit – double up with a day at Ascot or the 007 inspired dinner suit for a very smooth look!

Catharine and Andrew were married in April 2019 at The Stone House in Nevada, USA.

4|the details

The finishing touches to your outfit are key – a crisp white or blue cotton shirt, a silk knitted tie (the knit is great for a vintage look with a tweed suit) and a pocket square, which adds a nice touch. Our Made to Measure option also includes embroidery – e.g. the date of your wedding or your names.

5|after the event

You’ll get the most mileage out of a well-fitting three-piece suit; it can be broken down into separates and worn lots of different ways. Pair the trousers with a smart knit and coat for a day at the races; wear the jacket as a blazer over chinos for date night. Your wedding suit will be a wardrobe favourite for years to come with a little creative flair, bringing back great memories every time you do.

A Donegal tweed suit worn 3 ways

Looking for your perfect suit? Our Made to Measure service gives you the opportunity to design your own suit, perfectly fitted to your measurements.

We would like the thank both our beautiful couples who featured in this blog for letting us use their photos. We wish them every happiness in the years to come and thank you for choosing to wear Magee!

This autumn, we’re celebrating women with a series of interviews from women in Ireland. First up: our own Charlotte Temple, Director of Design and fifth-generation family member behind Magee 1866.

Can you tell us what it was like venturing into fashion & design with Magee 1866 from your military background?

I left the army and went to London to work as a Personal Trainer, this was not a long term career for me and I spent many hours in London exploring the wealth of stores. This is where I fell in love with fashion and design. I started in our family business aged 24, very young and very naïve, however my experiences before, while nothing to do with fashion, where hugely people orientated and I also had absorbed a lot of conversations around our business since a child so coming into our family clothing business was not totally alien to me.

Everyone within Magee was hugely supportive of me becoming part of the team, but it took me a while to find my feet and I spent time in different parts of the business, starting in wholesale (I am hopeless at sales!) and ending up in design. I love the creative aspects of my role – through both product design imagery and brand development. My aim after about a year in Magee was to create a lifestyle brand. We specialised in suits and jackets then for primarily an older generation. While we have some way to go, we are starting to capture the essence of an Irish family lifestyle brand. Our focus is luxury fabrics and design, steeped in our heritage with contemporary styling.

If I had one regret it was not working in another large brand for a couple of years before going into our company. This would have enabled me to gain some specific fashion experience which I now have but it took a little longer to grasp.

Any advice for young women finding their way professionally?

Focus on what you want to do and work hard to achieve it. We spend so much time at work and It is so important to enjoy what you are doing, there will be of course difficult moments but overall you need to be happy in your role – you will achieve more.

Wearing the Alexa coat, now available for pre-order.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?

Be focused on the end goal and work hard.

What’s top of mind for you at the moment?

The effect we are all having on the environment is without doubt having an impact on me, and fashion is a huge pollutant – second after oil! From a company stance we are a slow fashion brand. We focus on natural fibres and our clothes are designed to last – not to end up in a landfill in a month post purchase.

Personal style philosophy?

I take a pretty simplistic view of fashion and adore clothes that are timeless. Comfort is also a key factor. What I buy now, I want it to last. Fabric is really important to me – be it a luxurious cashmere knit jumper or tweed coat. Staple colours are black, navy, olive green, camel and white. Orange is my pop colour right now. Silk and cashmere scarves are my go to accessory. I am not a fan of overdesigned products and feel overall – less is more.

Your favourite local spot & why?

Murvagh beach – when I lived in Donegal after returning from London, I ran there every day in all weathers, wind, rain, snow, sun – the perfect antidote to a long day in the office.

Your perfect day?

I love the mountains and spend a lot of time in France. My perfect day would be a ski tour in the Alps, with my husband and our guide. We love getting into the middle of nowhere for a few hours – bright blue skies, dramatic scenery, good snow and silence – with no one else around us! Then meet our three small children for a late lunch in Cave de Creux, my favourite restaurant – great music, team, atmosphere and food – the truffle risotto is amazing! Ski home with the boys – and then a big fire at home with a glass of red wine, reminiscing about our day.

Favourite piece or pieces this season from the AW collection?

I have two favourite pieces this season – one of our Lily jackets in a classic black and white salt & pepper Donegal tweed with a hint of lurex to add a contemporary twist and the new teddy bears! I am so excited about these little bears showcasing our original Donegal tweed in a fun way!

Left: Grey Lily jacket. Right: Blue Donegal Tweed Bear, coming soon

We’re excited to introduce the latest piece to our Home collection, made in collaboration with Merrythought bears in the UK. These bears are adorable heirloom pieces, made with Magee Weaving tweed, and come with a wonderful history.

“We wanted to work with Merrythought because they have similar values to Magee 1866,” says Charlotte Temple, fifth-generation family member and Director of Design. “They’re a family-owned business based in England. All their bears are handmade there in their factory, and made to last, which is important to us.”

Since 1907, Merrythought have been crafting artisan bears with their own unique designs. Their team of teddy bear makers use traditional methods to craft their bears from start to finish in their famous Ironbridge factory, using blends of mohair, alpaca, silks, cottons and other wool. Like Magee 1866, they’re a fourth-generation family run business and take pride in putting out a top-quality product.

For our Magee 1866 x Merrythought bears, our design team chose a selection of our best quality tweeds, designed and woven at our weaving mill in Donegal. Our Magee bears feature all the signature looks of a Merrythought classic, with fully jointed arms and legs, a satin ribbon, and velvet details.

See more of Glen the Bear as he travels around Ireland. Follow #wheresthebear to see his adventures on social media!

Photos of Merrythought via Caters News, by James Ward

There’s no doubt that the iconic Peaky Blinders series from BBC One, and especially Cillian Murphy’s performance of 20th-century ganglord, Tommy Shelby, has had a huge influence on men’s style everywhere. We can see its influence all over the streets of Ireland and the UK, from men’s haircuts to the rising popularity of the baker cap.

Magee 1866 has over 150 years of history, designing, weaving and tailoring, so of course, Peaky Blinders ticks all the boxes for us. We wouldn’t recommend rocking up to work on Monday in a full three-piece tweed suit with a baker’s cap on top (unless you really want to?) but with a bit of modern sense, you can achieve the Tommy Shelby look for any occasion.

1 | The Suit

For the role of Tommy Shelby, costume designer Stephanie Collie had several suits made by London-based tailor Keith Watson.

Having a suit that fits well is essential; it will give you that Tommy Shelby swagger without all the criminal activity. Fitted, tapered trousers will give any man more height, and give a modern look. The trousers mightn’t be entirely historically accurate in Peaky Blinders (apparently bell-bottoms were the look of choice) but the tailored trouser is definitely sharp looking, and we would recommend going the same way.

Among the Shelby clan, tweed rules the day, with grey herringbone and dark checks coming through. This look is reminiscent of another era, while still being entirely comfortable, modern and wearable. If you’re going all-out, definitely include the waistcoat (and a pocket watch!) but for an updated look, you can make it more casual by leaving the waistcoat at home. It’s good to have options.

Three piece grey tailored Donegal Tweed suit. €699.

2 | Outerwear

The Baker’s cap is potentially the most essential part of this look, dare we say it. It’s different to a flat cap, as it has a more structured design and a button on top. These caps were a popular choice in the early 20th century.

And then, of course, there’s the coat. Cillian Murphy’s character is seen in a long wool coat with a prominent lapel. His coat is slightly oversized (probably for gun-slinging purposes) but it makes an attractive silhouette, and is easy to wear over a suit.

Other essential details include black gloves, sturdy boots, and a pocket watch, at your discretion.

Left to right: Arranmore Double Breasted Donegal Tweed Coat. Doonalt Tailored Coat. assorted men’s caps.

3 | The Shirt

Especially in the first season, Tommy Shelby is seen pretty much exclusively in a penny-collar shirt, sans tie. Difficult enough to find today, the grandfather collar shirt is a suitable substitute, with the same rounded collar and button-up neck. Style it with a crisp white linen for the Tommy Shelby look, or a striped cotton flannel for added warmth.

Left: Irish-made linen grandfather shirt. Right: Striped Irish cotton grandfather shirt.

4 | The Dinner Suit

For a man whose idea of ‘business casual’ is a three-piece suit and pocketwatch, it’s no surprise that Cillian Murphy’s character goes all-out for formal wear. The black dinner suit has a timeless, cinematic elegance, and it’s making a comeback.

The dinner suit is usually worn as a two-piece – jacket and trousers – with a crisp white formal shirt and a black bowtie, just like Tommy Shelby above.

Left to right: Two piece dinner suit. Silk self-tie bow tie. Slim fit formal shirt.

From the dramatic rise of black sea cliffs over the Atlantic to wide, sandy beaches; from taking the scenic route along winding country roads to exploring vibrant local towns, it’s no wonder we say Donegal has it all. An absolute haven for those of us who love the outdoors, Donegal also offers plenty in the way of relaxation and luxury. If you’re planning a weekend, let us help!

Spend your first day near Donegal Town, which is a lively spot all year round.

TAKE YOUR TIME AT MOUNTCHARLES & SALTHILL GARDENS

In the morning, take a five-kilometre spin down the road to Mountcharles Pier. Stop for a coffee at the small café there, and have a splash in the ocean if you feel up for it!

After enjoying the views across the bay, head to Salthill Gardens just up the road, 200m from the sea. Built within old stone walls, this contemporary garden is bursting with flowers, shrubs and vegetables. Wander the paths, peer through rod iron garden gates, and feel as if you’ve stepped into the pages of The Secret Garden.

ENJOY AFTERNOON TEA AT LOUGH ESKE CASTLE

Served from 12pm to 5pm, a luxurious afternoon tea at Lough Eske Castle Hotel is the perfect place to whet your appetite. Explore the lovely grounds of the castle hotel and then sit down to indulge in home-baked treats, savoury sandwiches, and a glass of bubbly.

EXPLORE DONEGAL TOWN

For a town that many would consider remote, Donegal is absolutely bubbling with life. We often get to enjoy music from talented buskers in the town square, and if the sun is shining be sure to get an ice cream cone from Little Mamma’s ice cream shop. For a bit of history, pop into Donegal Castle for a tour.

Of course no trip to Donegal would be complete without a visit to Magee of Donegal (if we do say so ourselves!). The shop has been in that same location since 1866, when we began as drapers shop and traded genuine Donegal tweed. Ask for a demonstration of handweaving, which dominated the tweed market for centuries. Have a peruse of our clothing collections, which features fabrics designed and woven at our working weaving mill just down the road.

STAY AT HARVEY’S POINT

Situated on the banks of Lough Eske, Harvey’s Point offers a relaxed getaway for your weekend. If the sun is shining, sit out at the Harvey’s Point Bar & Terrace and enjoy the view. Alternatively, treat yourself to a delicious dinner at the Restaurant. Their seven-course tasting dinner is the perfect way to enjoy the best of Irish produce. Retire to a luxuriously comfortable room, furnished and fitted with complete attention to detail – and even fresh-baked cookies delivered to the door! 

On your second day in Donegal, head out the coast road and enjoy the coastline that Donegal is famous for.

TAKE A SCENIC SPIN ALONG THE COAST

In the morning, take your time enjoying the coastal road that brings you from Donegal Town to Sliabh Liag cliffs. Be sure to head toward Muckross for the spectacular views across the bay. There’s a beautiful sandy inlet there surrounded by green fields, well worth stopping the car to get out and stretch the legs.

EXPERIENCE IRELAND’S HIGHEST SEA CLIFFS

Sliabh Liag (alternatively Slieve League) are the highest sea cliffs in Europe, reaching over 600m above sea level, and unmissable on a trip to Donegal. You can choose to drive your car up nearly to the top of the cliffs, or park and enjoy the hike (and the views!). It’s a few miles, and it’s the best way to fully enjoy the spectacle of the area.

For the adventurous and experienced walkers, a One Man’s Pass loops around onto the Pilgrim’s Path, offering a strenuous but rewarding walk. It can be dangerous, especially in adverse weather conditions, so proceed with caution!

STOP AT KILLYBEGS SEAFOOD SHACK

The Seafood Shack captialises on Killybeg’s position as a working harbour town. Their seafood chowder won Ireland’s Best Chowder in 2019 at the 9th All Ireland Chowder Cook Off in Kinsale, so you definitely won’t want to miss it. Their box of fried seafood is another option you won’t want to pass up; it’s freshly made and full of local seafood. The place is literally a shack (although a very nice shack), so don’t expect fine dining – but with views of the sea, we promise you won’t mind.

HEAD TO A LOCAL PUB

What trip would be complete without a pint of Guinness and some music? Donegal Town has plenty to offer in the way of pubs, from small locals to lively bars brimming with music and energy. McCafferty’s Bar has music seven nights a week if you’re looking for a place to pass an evening!

On your third day in Donegal, it’s time to head north into the country.

VISIT GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK

It’s just over an hour from Donegal Town, but Glenveagh is certain to be one of the highlights of the trip. Given the distance and the amount to do in the area, we’d recommend spending the day. 

Park your car for free, and then a free shuttle bus will take you up to the castle. The tour of the castle will take you through the history of the area. The surrounding gardens are built on the banks of Lough Beagh, offering a relaxing stroll with lovely views.

The café on site offers delicious, affordable food for your lunch. Fully fortified, we recommend taking a hike through the national park, following the trails. You’ll see Mount Errigal and other breath-taking views as you go. If hiking isn’t your favourite pastime, it’s still worth hopping in the car and taking a leisurely drive around the lough to fully appreciate the beauty of the area.

If you’re on the lookout for more to do, don’t miss the Poisoned Glen at the foot of Mount Errigal, just west of the National Park.

As always, we hope you enjoy your visit to our beautiful county and come away saying, as we do… Donegal has it all! 

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