Jamie Redknapp talks tailoring

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When Esquire editor Jeremy Langmead reviewed Marks and Spencer's World Cup suit for The Times last Saturday, his opinions were mixed. "The jacket is great, the trousers fine, and you can leave the waistcoat behind".

In light of the lukewarm review, we made our way (somewhat hesitantly) to the official launch earlier this week. The first high street brand to take up the mantle since Burton in 2002, Marks & Sparks - along with Savile Row tailor Timothy Everest - has had a fair crack at the cut of the single-breasted, two-button number - resulting in a contemporary-feeling suit, complete in black and white birdseye weave wool.

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Following a Percy Pig and Hoisin duck wrap mini-binge (inadvisable before 11am), a look at the new World Cup collection and a brief audience with football legends Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Roger Hunt and Gordon Banks, we caught up with the understated style icon of British football, Jamie Redknapp.

An advocate of fairly priced tailoring, Redknapp told us, "One thing I have learnt. I’ve definitely been spending too much money on suits. I recently bought a bespoke suit, got it home and it had a tear down the seam. It’s scandalous really." Luckily, the M&S World Cup suit has been replicated for sale in-store, it’s a snip at £199 (sans waistcoat), and you needn't worry about the seams.

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Discussing the mythology behind the football suit, Redknapp mused "It takes your mind off the game. When the suits get delivered everyone’s trying them on and someone's suit is always too big for them" - a member of Liverpool's '96 FA Cup final squad, all of whom were dressed in bright white suits prior to the match against Manchester United (which incidentally, they lost), Redknapp – now resplendent in a slim-fit single breasted number - remembers the "Spice Boy" suits less fondly. "We looked like something out of Miami vice, I don’t actually know what we were thinking...I don’t look back at it with pride. In fact I’m disappointed more than anything else."

Thankfully, Redknapp is this year free to dress as he pleases, as Sky Sports –for whom he is a pundit – do not have the rights to cover the World Cup. Instead, Jamie plans to "sit back, holiday with the family, play a bit of golf and watch the World Cup as a fan", a man after our own hearts.

The Marks and Spencer World Cup suit is now available in store for £199.

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