Tuesday, 23 November 2010

How to dress like you had an education.

 I guess its something to do with the fact that I dropped out of two Universities (not bad eh?) but I am developing a slight obsession with University dress codes especially Ivy league.
Ivy league are eight American uni's (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown and Cornell) all situated in the north east corner of the States and over the years developed their own "look". The book above is a really amazing insight to life on campus. Originally published in 1965 Japan to quench the thirst for the trendy Ginza shopping district of Tokyo this book is a fantastic view of something that is now such a worldwide look its quite cute to see how it all started and that the chaps who made the look probably had no idea what they were starting.

This fellow's bottle green jumper indicates his Graduation year. How may times have we seen this copied over the years? I remember a Duffer jumper I had that was navy blue and in red had 1969 on it I loved it and knowing what I know now I was wearing Ivy before I even knew it existed.
So at least I dress like I have had an education. If only that was the only thing employers looked at when you went for a job and not your C.V.

Friday, 19 November 2010

All in the detail....

 I was wandering around Mayfair yesterday the weather took a turn for the worst (started lashing down) so me and my good lady dashed into the nearest place to take shelter. It turns out the nearest place to hide from natures wrath was the Alfred Dunhill store on Davies Street. Yeah you guessed it the very little money I had began to burn a hole straight through my brand new Acne jeans. 
As soon as we walked in I felt like I had arrived at the shop that all over shops need to aspire to. The staff were very well turned out, polite and down to earth. Now me being a rough old Northerner with an accent in between Yorkshire and Newcastle (yeah its a good one alright) I can sometimes walk into high end stores and get a bit of treatment to put it mildly but no such occurrence here. Me and the future Mrs had a glide around ohhing and ahhing at all the amazing pieces to be had in there. The pick of the bunch had to be a navy blue cashmere overcoat with detachable Mink and Beaver fur collar coming in at a cool £7,000. I decided I needed to aim just a little lower and started to rack my brain about what I actually needed.
You know the list you have in your head but you never get round to finishing off? It reads like this:
1. Get fit and buff
2. Eat more fruit and veg
3. Learn Italian
4. Buy a tie clip
5. Own a pair of bespoke shoes
6. Make Mum and Dad proud (an ongoing one I think)
7. Do a parachute jump

I ran through the list and the only one on there which good old Alfred Dunhill could help me with (not jumping out of a plane of course although that would be ultra suave wouldn't it,  The Dunhill death jump) was the tie clip/slide I have been after for years. My jewellery colour of choice is gold to match my family crest pinkie ring, my favourite watch and my bespoke cufflinks. So a gold tie clip was a must have. Now I would like to say I looked and searched for hours trying to find the right on but no as soon as I set eyes upon the "one" I knew it was meant to be.

Here it is. Nice and simple like me and the detail is lovely. So happy with my choice and I look forward to my next visit to Davies Street to see the staff and all the gorgeous clobber in the beautiful shop. If you haven't been make sure you pop in the next time the weather goes wrong or even if the weather is fine for that matter.
Now does anyone know a Gym that you can learn Italian in?

Monday, 8 November 2010

Bespoken for.

I know what you are about to say? Good tie and shirt combo. I got that tie about 3 months ago and I have not had it off yet. Cashmere don't you know and the shirt is from a previous post.
Anyway the point of this post is to say that I am getting a blazer made as you can see. A very good friend of mine is working at Gieves and Hawkes  the Savile Row power house (its his hands you can see here in this shot). I am not going to bore you like other blogs do about what cloth I have gone for. Its a blazer so its blue with brass buttons end of. What I want to talk to you about is the items on the rail just over my right shoulder me in this shot. These are papers patterns something that the Cutter will cut the cloth around to make a suit. When I popped in for this fitting (the final one thank the lord) the guys were picking out the most influential customers patterns. Note the most influential not famous. Some amazing folk have had there kit made at Number one Savile Row but I wont tell you them. Go along and see for yourself.

Here is a shot as you walk into the new bespoke fitting room (note how they didn't fit me in here but in the basement. Cheers for that lads.) It is amazing! Straight ahead on this picture we can see some of the patterns already hung on the wall. All the furniture is late 1960s and early 70's and inspired by David Nightingale Hicks. His interiors were a mixture of very new design with old features strong colours and strange patterns. They have kept the old feel about it very well and they even have a picture of the Queen in the fitting room so she can over see your fitting naturally.

I love it and I hope to have my next fittings in here, if they let me.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Prince or Pauper?

Alright? Good. Well here it is the suit that launched a thousand suits. I would love to know how many tailors and men's outfitters have had orders placed because of the suit above. It is of course Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair and the cloth is a grey Prince of Wales (P.O.W) check. I myself went straight out and ordered the above suit. I was even lucky enough for my grandfather to give me his pocket watch which was coming to me any by way of inheritance but as soon as he saw the suit he knew it needed the finishing touch regardless whether he had popped his clogs or not (he did pop his clogs by the way about 4 months later. He is where I get all my dandyisms from).
So my suit arrived and of course it became my favourite straight away. I wore it for work, nights out and pretty much everything else and subsequently cut the life of the suit massively. 

Now five years on, and that particular suit "retired", I have a double breasted flannel P.O.W suit (which I am sat in now posting from a coffee shop off Carnaby Street) and a single breasted P.O.W suit (above picture). The check is so easy to put things together with it. Here I have a green cashmere tie, pink check white collar and cuff shirt and pink paisley pocket square. The suit is a mens wardrobe staple and folks should not be afraid of it at all. Its way more interesting than a black (I hate black by the way) suit which a lot of chaps think is a staple. I made the mistake of having my first ever made to measure suit a black one as  thought "All men need a black suit, don't they?" No they don't but thats another post altogether.
Anyway I have just ordered a three piece Fox flannel P.O.W suit so grandad Shepherd's watch can get back in action. I hope he is glad i am putting it to proper Dandy use.