Testing the Gant Rugger, and how to wear a summer suit.
A short time ago, I discovered the products and the universe of Gant Rugger, directing me straight to their shop in Paris. We’re going to reflect together what pulls this relatively new brand together.
Gant, a long family history
Bernard Gantmacher and his wife Rosa, who both worked in the trade of shirt making, came up with the idea. In 1927, they opened up a workshop and rapidly gained a solid reputation amongst tailors from Connecticut and numerous other brands during this period in fashion history.
Guaranteeing the quality of his products, Bernard Gant (a nickname that formed the name of the brand) had the idea to mark a G on all of the shirts (they still do it even today).
Originally in 1949 the brand was called “GANT of New Haven” referring to the name of the town where their entire family lived.
The button down (buttoned collar or the American collar) is one of the designs that were in fashion during the 50s. Today, it is a timeless piece of the male wardrobe (I’ll come back to it during the test).
The sons of the founder, Elliot and Marty Gant in front of one of their factories (1960s). There is a long family history. You can also notice the Gant “Shirtmakers” behind those who show the history of the brand with the shirt.
The Swedish group Pyramyd Sportswear then redeemed the brand in 1990, conserving the quality of the product (and its carefully thought out history) by allowing the brand to grow and evolve fully. Since 2008, the group Swiss Maus Frères has managed Gant (owners more notably of Lacoste and Aigle).
Gant Rugger, the most recent and contemporary line
Created in 2010, Gant Rugger is a second brand, which now is really a second brand (not just a simple collection from Gant). Rugger combines sportswear and preppy styles from the 70s. It’s a more modern brand with much more defined Italian characteristics than Gant: the cut being more adjusted, with details such as the lapel of the blazer, shorter sleeves, as well as materials that clearly highlight the inspirations from Italy.
To resume, Gant Rugger has retake Gant’s history (the know-how + sportswear / preppy influences) with a certain kind of assumed collectedness. Here you’ll find a touch of modernity and creativity on specific details on the clothing.
You can recap the spirit of Gant Rugger through this look. Teaming together the timeless classics (chinos, trench coat) and more statement items such as the green cardigan with white stripes (think American sportswear) and a silk scarf (for a preppy touch) with an original motif. It’s a really good example of how statement pieces can be perfectly integrated into an outfit thanks to playing with colours and the verticality given by the coat and the scarf.
Gant Rugger Test: Dressing elegantly and relaxed
I tested a complete outfit, consisting the emblematic items from Gant Rugger. You will see how easy they are to wear, you wont be mistaken! With the Gant Rugger outfit, you will see how to wear a summery and relaxed suit that looks elegant without being too much (the sprezzatura spirit).
The relaxed suit in cotton and linen for spring and summer (660€)
When I try on a suit, I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the cut, notably on the jacket. Yes, I emphasise the word blazer because it is deliberately shorter than a normal suit jacket (like a number of brands that we have already discussed on BonneGueule, such as Melina Gloss, for example).
The interest is to be able to easily wear it unmatched with other pieces of clothing from your wardrobe, such as chinos or jeans.
The cotton / linen partnership
Normally, I’m not really a fan of linen however the fact that the fabric is made from cotton (60% cotton and 40%) allows the material to retain the lightness of the linen and the fall of the cotton. For info, the material comes from Italy.
A nice detail: contrary to what you would think, it crumples hardly any more than a woollen suit (this wouldn’t be the case in a 100% linen jacket).
So, do me a favour: don’t buy clothes made from 100% linen. After a few hours, the material doesn’t hold (crumpled). It’s inelegant and doesn’t complement your look.
Before taking photos, I had already worn it for 2-3 full days: you will see that the material has kept its shape from the start.
I had forgotten the pocket hanky (or tissue), also from Gant Rugger and is selvedge. The pocket square is an excellent way to personalise your style and to give it a touch of originality.
A modern cut
As I have already said, the suit is well cut. The jacket has a straight shoulder that fits slender figures like mine. But don’t worry; there are also bigger sizes.
The fit is also good, and stays the same when the blazer is open I also like the fact that there isn’t any padding (on the shoulders): it doesn’t destruct the silhouette and accentuates the relaxed side to it.
As for pleated, slightly high-waisted trousers, I really like the cut, semi slim, without the overly tight fit so you’re able to feel comfortable in summer.
On the other hand, I have a problem with the size that is a bit too big for me. I have to constantly wear a belt. I’ve chosen the smallest size but there’s not a lot that can be done (outside of retouching). Those who have very small waists won’t find sizes that are small enough (sizes below 46 in suit and 28 in trousers don’t exist)
All Gant Rugger trousers are cuffed: I like the Italian details. Retouching isn’t a problem, the seams at the top allow the cuff to be removed and redone easily. The Gant Rugger sneakers are made from 100% leather and are really comfortable. COS socks, When I Was Seven7een bracelet (l’Atamé)
Style tip: when you break up a formal appearance with trainers, keep the socks the same color as your trousers, giving it a sense of uniformity. Discreet patterns are recommended 😉
Gant Rugger sizes
In a nutshell, choose your normal suit size, but pay attention, as Gant Rugger produce many different cuts. I choose the most fitted cut: it’s what I prefer and what suits me the best.
The difference is at the level of the trousers: the “smarty” (the cut of my trousers) is the tightest. If you’re in Paris, don’t hesitate to ask the salesmen, they know their products inside and out, and give out really good advice.
The details that make the difference
- The finish and caring about detail, don’t forget about these:
- All the buttons are pearl and thread shank
- The stitches are close together and neat (the same for the button holes)
- There are small details hidden on the jacket
- The front flap pocket add a relaxed touch
This kind of detailing (the strap of material) is really nice; there is something similar at the level of the cut, hidden under the collar of the jacket. Notice that the buttons are stitched in an Italian style (it overlaps itself).
I like front patch flap pockets, hiding the formal effect and bringing to the blazer a sense of casualness, all the more relevant here. I grant you; it’s a question of taste. Even if the pockets are wide, it isn’t an excuse to put in your keys or wallet: it’s most definitely not intended for that.
The indigo chambray shirt (120€)
You have already seen in previous photos, the shirt has an American collar (just like the majority of the shirts in the collection).
This is a bit like the trademark of the brand; not surprising considering the stylistic choices at Gant (and the know-how on this kind of item). This shirt is, then again, their best-seller.
The color of the chambray canvas
I was immediately seduced by the gentleness of the color. After a few washes, the material begins to age nicely and the color looks more authentic. The indigo bleeds a little at the beginning to allow a more subtle color, less “perfect” (it’s for this that we continue to use indigo, for its natural pigment that changes over time).
The cut of the Gant Rugger shirt
Regarding the model that I tried on, (the Hugger fit cut), the shirt fitted tight at chest level and a little less at arm level, insomuch as when I took a size S, at arm level I was swimming in it.
The shirt in XS resolved the problem however with the cut, as I can’t do up the last button. I have however a relatively average physique but it is always better to go and try things on. If you have big arms, this kind of cut will look good on you 😉
As you can see, the shirt falls really nicely and there aren’t many creases. At the armholes, there’s not a lot to say: it fits well without being uncomfortable. There isn’t excess material on the back thanks to the small crease at the back which acts as the fit (often employed by Anglo-Saxon brands). The only drawback is the thing surrounding the last button. Belt from When I Was Seven7een.
We’re looking at the standard of shirt for entry-level high quality:
- 6.5 stitches by centimeter
- The button are sewn in a cross
- The last buttonhole at the neck is horizontal (and very neat)
- The collar is well made (construction + quality of the interlining)
- The stitching at armpit level are well aligned
- Quality Italian fabric
- A plated pocket for the American Sportswear side
You could request pearl buttons and lined up stitching yet personally; I find that it’s less disruptive on a casual shirt.
The springtime trench
To give a little sparkle to my outfit, I’ve chosen this trench in a vibrant color (panna cotta, just like Luca’s favourite desert.
The gabardine is a thick fabric that you can find on all trench coats. Despite the twill weave, this material isn’t impermeable but it will keep you dry when faced with a few drops of rain.
A straight cut but adjusted here where it is necessary
For the majority of trenches, the cut is straight however this one is well fitted at shoulder level and sleeves.
A clean cut and functional overcoat
I like the fact that the buttons aren’t visible thanks to the hidden placket, so that the trench isn’t overloaded and gets noticed due to the color and sense of coolness (flap pockets).
The quality of the finish is well worked
With the jacket, it’s certainly the best finished item.
As you can see, all the stitches are braided, it’s a really nice feature. The trapezoidal yoke (l’empiècement trapezoidal) that you can see to the bottom left of the photo is in fact the accordion pleat has a detachable slit (shown in the following photo).
Bonus: Style ideas with the Gant Rugger blazer
I also want to share with you a few ideas for looks that I have already put together with more statement pieces:
Note from Geoffrey: Florian doesn’t like to wait for his pastis.
Here, a more dressed up look that I’m particularly fond of: proof that you can easily appropriate wearing a tie on a day-to-day basis (I’m going to become a campaigner if it continues). Notice that the tie clip is really handy: it clips the tie to the shirt, I can’t live without it!
PS: The material takes very well to the light (a sign of quality). BonneGueule shirt x Marchand Drapier, Marchand Drapier trousers, COS tie, Asos Tie Clip, Gant Rugger blazer and pocket hanky.
Note from Geoffrey: notice that the mix of brands within the outfit with more elaborate and stronger pieces of which it is in your best interest to invest, with materials that are enhanced together, next to more simple items of clothing with which you can overcome financial burdens, particularly with accessories.
Opinions on the brand and where to find it
Gant Rugger has proven to be a good discovery: the items are well made (with special reference to the blazer and the trench). The quality / price relationship is good: the products are well priced with regard to the quality of the preparation and of all the details provided.
A popular style, it’s a line that stands out from Gant (a style much more classic) to offer other more contemporary and quirky items, the detailing plays a major role. It’s a really good brand if you’re looking for relaxed summer suits (their winter suits are equally as casual).
At the moment Gant Rugger isn’t that developed in France, yet it is a brand that will discover its place within the ready-to-wear industry in the next few years. Don’t hesitate to take a look at your store locator, which is regularly updated. Whilst waiting for a store to open up near you, you can shop online.
So there we are, I’ll leave you to it, as I have an alcoholic beverage with my name on it waiting for me!