A Sliding Scale of Formality: Shoes/Trousers

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You see quite a few bankers around this part of London wearing driving shoes with their suits. They presumably think they’ve stumbled onto a great thing – like loafers, but different, and in a huge range of colours. But then they can’t see their suit trousers piled up on the rubber nubbins that driving shoes often have on their heels. To those walking behind them, it looks just as bad as wearing chunky trainers with a suit. Driving … [Read more...]

Suede Shoes: Should I?

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When I was a young lad my parents, ever practically minded, used to consider that the tricky problem of buying clothes could be mitigated by purchasing garments that were rather too large for me but that could be temporarily altered. The sad fact of the matter was mine was an adolescent body not capable of achieving the ideals of growth that my parents had envisaged. However, I am grateful to my parents for their input. Such practical thinking is … [Read more...]

How to Salvage Your Clothes

This is advice that was given to me on when you can save clothes that are ripped, stained or holed, and what to do about it. The situation: A sweater with a hole in it Can it be salvaged? The more unravelled the fabric and the finer the knit, the more difficult it is to mend without being too obvious. What to do: Find a seamstress who can reattach the loose knitted ends. Whatever you do, don’t wear a sweater with a hole in it if you plan … [Read more...]

J. Press: As Classic as You Can Get

This is a true story: Back when he was running for president in 1980, George H.W. Bush (that’s George senior) was giving a speech at his alma mater, Yale University, and being heckled by some students. Someone yelled out that Bush was just another out of touch “Brooks Brothers Republican.” The president, apparently offended by that particular remark, promptly opened his suit coat to reveal its J. Press label. I’ve always liked that … [Read more...]

A Different Link

“Gentlemen”, so I was once told by a particularly patriarchal and patronising old man, “do not wear jewellery.” When I challenged this assertion with evidence to the contrary – that of smart gentlemen wearing rings and watches – he scoffed that the rings (‘likely to be wedding rings’ he suggested) were more like manacles and that wristwatches were too practical to be ever considered jewellery. Though this gentleman did happen to … [Read more...]