Plus, men’s style tips from his expertise in the industry.
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
When walking into Jesse & Son, custom tailors in Sukhumvit Soi 10, the store felt like a breath of fresh air, with its high ceilings, orderly and colour-coordinated reams of cloth, and discreet fitting rooms tucked away beneath the staircase. “My wife designed the store, and the concept was that it had to be different from any tailor store in town,” Manop confides in me, resplendent in an emerald-green vest and matching high-waisted trousers.
Similarly, his sense of style stands out from other businessmen in town, while still retaining that level of class and professionalism that is a hallmark of his industry. “A couple of months ago, I decided to dress in more vintage styles,” he says. “High-waisted pants, bigger collars, matching colours. In my opinion, it’s more classy, more grown-up, and it helps me in my business. When people come in, it’s not something they think of – they usually ask for basic work stuff, shirts, pants, jackets. This is to show them, especially men, that there are other options out there. there’s something out there. While vintage styles are coming back, people still aren’t used to it, and they need to see it on someone to see how it’ll work.”
Born and raised in Bangkok, Manop went to Ruamrudee International School, then graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Chulalongkorn University before putting his degree to use with a men’s clothing store in Platinum Fashion Mall. “My dad had been in tailoring for a while, and around a decade ago, he wanted to open this store, and thus Jesse and Sons was born,” he says. Since opening Jesse and Sons, he explains, his personal sense of style shifted to a much more professional look.
“When I was younger, I preferred things with a tighter fit, skinny this and that,” he recalls with a laugh. “It was geared towards a ‘going out’ kind of lifestyle – parties, clubs, etc. Now I’ve changed my wardrobe completely. I donate all the old stuff and currently, I have a collection of vests and pants in matching colours, so I can pick anything in the morning and just go. I don’t really go for loud patterns, more muted colours on the vests and pants, and a bit brighter on the shoes, but still conservative. I like to keep things classy.”
When asked about his style inspiration, he cites Italian tailors and suit brands on Instagram. “There’s an event called Pitti Uomo,” he says, “And I love the way that the attendees dress. It’s an evolved style of dressing; it stands out, but it’s not loud. I’m lucky because I have my own tailors here – I find styles that I like, and then I have that outfit made. It’s easy!”
I ask him about the dos and don’ts of menswear fashion, based on his years of experience in the field, and he has a few quips ready to go. “Don’t wear black clothes with brown shoes, and wear blue suits only with brown shoes. If you’re wearing a grey suit or trousers, you can opt for either black or brown shoes, which most people don’t realise,” he advises. “If you get clothes tailored, go for beltless options so that it looks like it’s made for you. Belts are an accessory, but they don’t look as nice as clothing that fits you properly. And don’t wear all black clothing unless you’re going to a funeral!” he adds on.
As for the mark of good quality clothes? “How it fits and drapes on you,” he says straightaway. “Fabric is not everything, you can choose a cheap or basic fabric and make it look expensive. The finishing of the clothes – the clean detailing, the stitching; that’s when you know the quality. Most clients are not as detail-oriented as the person who does it for them, because we have more experience.” When asked about his favourite brands outside of his own tailoring, he mentions Royal Ivy Regatta for polo shirts on the weekends, and Onitsuka Tiger for sneakers – “I probably have 30 pairs of those shoes in different colours!” he admits, “I’m the kind of person who, if I like something, I stick to it, and I buy the whole range of colours.”
“My final fashion advice,” he tells me when asked, “is don’t try too hard. Keep it simple, keep it clean. Classy and elegant always last, and make you look more mature and sophisticated. People will look at you and think, ‘Ahh. Respect.’” What more could anyone ask?
A VESTED INTEREST
His “typical workwear,” Manop sports an emerald green vest and high-waisted trousers, with a pastel shirt underneath to offset the jewel tones. He pairs them with shoes also tailor-made at Jesse and Sons, and no belt, of course. “It’s comfortable and professional, but not a suit,” he explains. “I feel most like ‘me’ in this outfit.”
SUIT YOUR FANCY
An outfit for “parties and other events,” Manop looks striking in a grey, plaid, bespoke suit and white dress shirt. “They’re still high-waisted, if you notice,” he says of the trousers. “And I always make sure to match the cuts to the print.”
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
“I like to travel in this outfit,” Manop explains, showing off his bespoke dark blue jacket, with its wealth of pockets. “It’s called a safari jacket because of the pocket placements, and I had it made so that people can see what a good travel jacket can look like.” Paired with a pink lavender shirt, he exudes an air of the sophisticated jet-setter.
If you could wear only one type of outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably a nice, high-collared white shirt, my green shoes, and colourful socks. I love this emerald green vest and pants. I feel comfortable in it, I feel myself in it, and it suits all sorts of occasions – if I have a wedding that I need to go to, I can just go.