Density of Pattern, Part 2

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In the first part of this exercise in density, I was only able to cover the main points about combining patterns in your shirt, suit and tie. The lessons there can be summarised as: • Patterns next to each other should be of different sizes and densities, to avoid clashing • Changing the type of pattern also helps (e.g. check, stripe, spot) • The shirt’s proximity to tie and suit makes it the most vulnerable to clashing, but do not … [Read more...]

OTC Recommends: Drakes Ties

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Those of you who are fans of the outstanding magazine Monocle (a global briefing on style/politics/culture/urban planning) are probably familiar with Drakes London. Monocle’s founding editor, Tyler Brule, devoted a recent editor’s page to this remarkable neckwear firm. No mere affectation, the “London” portion of the name is very much a badge of honor. Their ties are, in fact, handmade in London. Based in Clerkenwell, the Drakes … [Read more...]

Generations: Dressing Well Instinctively

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Mine, spent in Dorset with my extended family, had one sartorial highpoint – the instinctively stylish dressing of my grandparents. On Christmas Day, they were the best-dressed people there (by my traditional and subjective values). And that includes me. Before you splutter with surprise and indignation into your coffee, I had tried – but I wasn’t sure about the lime-green pocket square and my … [Read more...]

How to Save Your Shoes from Salt

There’s probably a good chemical reason why vinegar and salt don’t like each other, but I don’t know what it is. I was probably too busy making ink pellets in the back row when that relationship was explained in Chemistry class. The enmity is very useful, though. For when you’ve been out in the rain a lot (as happens frequently at this time of year) or been sweating rather profusely (as happens in the other half of the year), vinegar … [Read more...]

Reader Question: Wet Shoes

Rob, London: I keep buying what I think are decent shoes (Barker brogues x2 and Loake Oxfords x1) with leather soles. I’ve found they soak up water when I wear them on a wet day. It is coming through the soles! Are my shoes not a good enough quality, or what? Let me tell you a story, Rob. Back in the dark ages, shoes came in two exciting varieties: wood and skin. A man placed either a piece of wood or a piece of animal skin on the sole of … [Read more...]