I would like to know what "tailored jackets that definitely don’t come from Next, like Charlie’s" means in the following sentences:

This man is Duncan, apparently, and he’s married to Georgina. He’s also one of the ushers, along with the other three guys. Peter – hair slicked back, a party-boy look. Oluwafemi, or Femi – tall, black, seriously handsome. Angus – Boris Johnson blond and similarly pot-bellied. But in a funny way they all look quite similar. They’re all wearing the same striped tie plus crisp white shirts, polished brogues and tailored jackets that definitely don’t come from Next, like Charlie’s. Charlie bought his especially for this weekend and I hope he’s not feeling too put out by the comparison. But at least he looks fairly dapper next to the best man, Johnno, who despite his size somehow reminds me of a kid wearing clothes from the school lost property cupboard.

  • Lucy Foley, The Guest List, Chapter 12

This is a thriller novel published in 2020 in the United Kingdom. One hundred and fifty guests would be gathering at some remote and deserted fictional islet called Inis an Amplóra off the coast of the island of Ireland to celebrate the wedding between Jules (a self-made woman running an online magazine called The Download) and Will (a celebrity appearing in a TV show program called Survive the Night). The day before the actual wedding day, Hannah, the wife of Charlie (Jules' friend), arrived at the island and is now at the dinner party for the rehearsal dinner with only some selected guests. And during the party, Hannah sees that other guests, especially the ushers, are dressed with expensive clothes.

(1) In this part, I wonder whether it would be right to see that "that definitely don’t come from Next, like Charlie’s" modifies only "tailored jackets" that is right before the phrase, or all the "striped tie, crisp white shirts, polished brogues and tailored jackets."

(2) And I am also wondering whether "tailored" here means they measured their body sizes and got their suits at a tailor shop, or just their suits looked as if they had been tailored, because they fit their bodies perfectly.

1 Answer 1


It would appear to modify "jackets", but it doesn't really matter to your understanding.

"Next" is a well-known clothing store that sells off-the-peg clothing at reasonable prices. They sell suits and jackets, and most other types of clothing.

"Tailored" does mean cut to fit by a tailor. A tailored jacket might cost five or ten times more than a jacket bought at a shop like Next.

Charlie's jacket is from Next. Perhaps his tie and shirt are too. It doesn't really matter. The important fact is that Charlie is not nearly as wealthy as the other guests, and this fact shows in his clothes.

  • Dear James K, thank you very much for the explanation! Actually, I was wondering whether “that” modifies only the jackets or all of the shirts and ties and so on, because I couldn’t grasp it grammatically clearly, being an English learner. I thought it modifies only jackets because jackets are preceded by brogue shoes, but then I went to Next website and found that they also sell shoes, so... I am confused. Apr 15, 2021 at 0:56
  • 1
    I read it as modifying "jacket". I suppose it is ambiguous, but it doesn't matter because the ambiguity doesn't affect the important meaning of the paragraph. So there is no need to be confused.
    – James K
    Apr 15, 2021 at 7:02

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