Book Review: The Last Shall Be First


This famous book is well-named: its sub-title is ‘The colourful story of John Lobb, the bootmakers of St James’s’. That colour comes from tales of the young Lobb, social history of the development of bootmaking and pocket biographies of the shop’s most famous customers. But fortunately there is also colour about the product – the boots themselves. Just skip the bits on the Lobb family and the lists of customers. For example, I … [Read more...]

Taking Winston’s Advice


In a bid to avoid repeating the advice of others, I spent this week looking through past Men's Flair posts. This one, by Winston, advocating patterned trousers chimed with me. I have a surfeit of jeans and chinos for weekends and casual wear. In many ways I’m comfortable in my uniform of odd jacket and denim. But as I plough on into my thirties I feel my tastes maturing slightly. Time to experiment with trousers. Previously I’ve found … [Read more...]

Sartorial Alchemy In Practice Part 1


Many moons ago I wrote, somewhat verbosely, of my admiration for style resourcefulness and sartorial alchemy. I am continually impressed by the unpolished gems that some style gurus manage to find in unlikely places; at the bottom of bargain boxes, in a charity shop, on eBay, in their parents attic. Wherever there is value, you will find them. They are extraordinarily patient people who think nothing of spending hours in underground thrift stores … [Read more...]

Is Bespoke Always Better?


I spotted this jacket on a recent visit to Nino’s. I liked it straight away. Made in Italy it’s pure linen with a floating canvas, working button holes, satin lined and hand finished. I also like the contrasting dark brown piping on the pockets and stitching around the button holes. When Nino told me the price of £560 I instantly thought, ‘But it’s not bespoke. Is it worth it?” I suspect my reaction would be a common one.  Perhaps … [Read more...]

A Tour Around Milan


As anyone who has been fortunate enough to visit Milan will tell you, the city is not all fashion. There are several old and new stores worth the visit for those interested in classic menswear. By reputation, the city’s three stand-out establishments for tradition and quality are Bardelli, Neglia and Tincati. However, each offers something quite different – as I discovered recently. Neglia is the destination for Milanese men looking to … [Read more...]