The Pleasures of a Shoe Shine


Walking along the Burlington Arcade last week, I took the opportunity to have a shoe shine. It’s rarely offered in London these days, which is a shame. So it was nice to support someone that’s making the time to set out there and ply his wares. (Though I wouldn’t be surprised if he is subsidised by the Arcade itself – a shoe shine boy fits with the image of timeless London and luxury the owners doubtlessly like to create.) It also … [Read more...]

Beautiful Hangers. But do You Buy Hangers?


Hangers from The Hanger Project ( are nice. Very nice. They are works of art in design and craftsmanship in construction. If I could, all my clothes would hang on these hangers. But that doesn’t mean I’d spend any money on them. Kirby Allison, the founder of The Hanger Project, offered to send me a couple to try them out and, if I liked them, review them here. I had seen the project mentioned and was interested to … [Read more...]

Sartorial Love/Hate: Madras


When I was walking around a smart branch of H&M recently, flicking through the deep rows of spring and summer jackets that possessed that particular, dense aroma of newness, my eye caught sight of a little picture of a bow tie; a rather incongruous but interesting little scribble with the clichéd but admirable words ‘Be brave. Be yourself.’ It seems H&M is not content in providing extraordinarily inexpensive clothing to budgeting … [Read more...]

Charvet and Brioni: Mass Producers


The most relied upon measures of luxury today are the materials used in a garment and how much manpower went into it. The second of those measurements might not be as straightforward as you think. True bespoke is done by one tailor, from scratch, to your precise and individual measurements; a new set of paper patterns is made just for you. Made to measure is individual, an adjustment to a standard pattern; the implication is that there is … [Read more...]

Longevity, not Profit, at Hermes


Ties are not easy to clean. Those made of silk, at least, are very delicate things. They are carefully folded lengths of volatile material that are sewn together with loose, sparse stitches – to allow room for the silk to flow, to stretch and to play. They do not take kindly to Bolognese. However, if cleaned properly, most stains can be removed, provided the soiled tie has not sat for weeks in the back of your wardrobe. The problem is, … [Read more...]