Interview: Patrick Grant, Norton & Sons


A perennial topic on this site, and indeed other style fora, is how customers interact with their tailors when they have their first suit made. The customer thinks he knows what he wants but he can’t quite express it – at least not in the terminology the tailor would use. And the tailor tries to divine the customer’s wishes from every source he has available: what he is already wearing, his facial expressions, his reactions to … [Read more...]

Cheap Bespoke – Too Good To Be True?


Entirely handmade shoes are not cheap. The high-end benchmade shoes are hand-clicked and hand-lasted, but not hand-welted. In this country, most of the entirely handmade ones are made bespoke. And that makes them even more expensive, as the shoe is being made unique to your foot, as well as being constructed by hand. Most entirely handmade shoes are pushing £1000 or more. Laszlo Vass of shoemakers Vass in Hungary is one exception, but then … [Read more...]

Cultural Differences: Black Tie At Weddings


Considering the violent and convincing manner in which the redcoat troops were defeated in the last quarter of the 18th century, with the assistance of French gold and weaponry, the very existence of what is famously termed the ‘special relationship’ seems inconceivable but the similarities between the peoples either side of the Atlantic Ocean are well noted and undeniable. Indeed it could be argued that Britain has now maintained a friendly … [Read more...]

Reader Question: Fake Welts And Lacing


Patrick: I recently had a pair of black cap-toe boots repaired and afterwards the cobbler explained to me that my Banana Republic boots had fake welts. I realized that I hadn't really paid enough attention to a lot of shoe details. Among the questions I had were: Is there a preferred way to lace dress shoes? I searched online and came up with this site which lists 33 different methods for … [Read more...]

A Flamboyant Wedding


A colleague of mine is going to a wedding this summer, on the beach, with the proscribed dress code of “flamboyant”. Now, a dress code like that has the potential to condone all manner of horrors. From black tie with flip flops to Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts, linen suits with t-shirts to board shorts and knobbly knees. Doubtless the bride and groom realised this and were brave enough to give their friends and family free … [Read more...]