Custom suit linings keep self-expression close to the vest

Commonwealth Proper’s new service is an HR-approved way to add a serious dose of attitude to your nine-to-five wardrobe.

By Phoebe Neuman 25/09/2018

Though there are more ways than ever to express your personal style while still adhering to a conservative nine-to-five dress code (styling your suit with fresh sneakers or swapping your briefcase for a playful carryall are among the easiest), admittedly there is only so much room in which to play before your more staid coworkers raise their eyebrows. But there is one place where you can almost always get away with pushing the envelope: the lining of your jacket. It’s just subtle enough to fly under the radar but will add a sizeable flash of personality to even the most buttoned-up suits as you shrug it on and off.

Of course, that navy silk lining your off-the-rack suit comes with is not exactly the pinnacle of self-expression (or maybe you didn’t even think about adding in a flashy lining while making sure your bespoke suit fit just right). Enter Commonwealth Proper. The Philadelphia-based tailoring brand’s new Custom Lining Program allows you to swap out the lining of any blazer, sport coat, or jacket with one of its personality-packed custom-milled silks.

Founded in 2008, CMMP (as the brand is also known) made a name for itself with its made-in-America pieces and subtly rock-and-roll-inspired take on tailoring—think classically cut chinos done in a tough camo print, bold black-and-white-checked blazers, and sharp coats worn with the collars popped for a serious dose of attitude. And the nine linings available through the new service dial up this usually only slightly subversive aesthetic. Designed by CMMP’s in-house team in collaboration with famed tattoo artists Cheyenne Randall and Henry Hablak, the linings range from a Damien Hirst–inspired monochrome skull print on the more demure end to a psychedelic, rainbow-hued Jimi Hendrix design that is certainly not for the sartorial faint of heart.

Each lining can be purchased individually through CMMP’s website or one of its showrooms in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta. Then, take it to your trusted tailor to be installed, or you can package up your jacket and send it off to the brand’s Philly headquarters, where one of its tailors (the brand also has a sizeable bespoke and made-to-measure element) will swap it in. Three weeks later, your jacket—now decked out in Hablak’s old-school tattoo lining or an Andy Warhol print—will be shipped back, ready for you to make a subtle statement.

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