Brolly Stereotypes

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The James Smith Whangee

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“Hey, it’s John Steed!” cries the cabbie gleefully as the James Smith Whangee man climbs into the back seat. Forcing a smile, he cheerily requests his office address, hiding his disdain for a world that increasingly mocks elegance by persistent association with theatrical characters and costume. A self-described ‘old-fashioned’ banker – wealthy private clients, wig-and-quill-pen offices – he is rarely seen in anything other than pinstripes, black brogues and club stripe ties. A one-time guardsman, he stumbled into his career at the 17th century bank after his wife was invited to open an account by the scrum half from his school’s first XV – a back-slap or two later, he found himself behind a mahogany desk on the blower to a Marquess. Fond of Turnbull & Asser shirts and guards cufflinks from Benson & Clegg, the only time he is seen without his bamboo handled brolly is indoors.

The Fulton Ambassador

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The Fulton Ambassador man is always in a hurry. His plane is always leaving, his car is always late; he has no time for browsing and no time for duty free. His Odyssean business trip is a never-ending series of lounges, hotels, telephones, Blackberries, midnight-typing, taxis, credit cards and dry cleaners. As he waltzes the dizzying waltz of corporate gain, he has no time to contemplate his lack of contemplation; he spies the Fulton Ambassador, recognising the green-leaf logo before noticing the clock, realising he has precisely two minutes before boarding for Mumbai where the rains (according to report) continue to fall. Packable, strong and black; a thirty second choice is made and, after stuffing it into his hold luggage next to his Macbook he dashes for the gate.

The Malacca Navy Canopy Fox

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The Malacca Navy Canopy Fox man, an effete residential architect with a penchant for building overgrown and excessively haberdashed replicas of Victorian railway cottages, doesn’t own anything black. His shoes are grey, brown or blue – he adores Berluti – and he was very particular in that his splendid Malacca Fox umbrella had a navy blue and not a black canopy. To him, black is an unseemly and lazy tone too often used and too often seen; “Colours are life” he opines “black is merely death.” The most interesting demonstration of his non-black belief was at a black tie function at the Banqueting House on Whitehall. Before he arrived, colleagues speculated on his attire with more than a few betting on a garish white cruise tuxedo. Smiles were wiped from faces, replaced by open-mouthed shock as he climbed out of a cab clutching his trusty Fox brolly in a splendid navy velvet three-piece suit with a matching velvet bow.

The Silver Crook Brigg

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An American in London can often be more English than the English. The Silver Crook Brigg man is of this creed. Having sold his successful spread-betting company before the recession, he now cultivates his first love; the aimless existence of an historic London gentleman. He devours biographies on Brummell and Prinny, collects Dickens first editions, breakfasts at his club (the Royal Over-Seas League may not be White’s but it’s a start) buys fragrance from Trumpers and attends philanthropic soirees at the V&A museum. He bought his Brigg after asking a fellow member of his club, rather loudly over his Eggs Benedict, what umbrella Prince Charles owned. On the same trip he rather excitedly purchased a Lock homburg and ordered himself a pair of Lobb dress boots to add to his already bursting collection of Anglophilia.


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Winston Chesterfield is an amateur composer, fashion blogger, trained lawyer and style aficionado. He lives in Westminster, London and blogs at www.levraiwinston.com.

Comments

  1. Derrik Ollar says:

    Thanks for the new Ebay wish list. Well done.

  2. fonda says:

    great article and thoroughly enjoyed it…i am a brolly toting lawyer in Melbourne Australia and would not leave home without it (the longer walking stick type)…often inviting comments from fellow staff if i am in a three piece suit which i tend to wear more often than not.

    great read and thanks!

  3. Peter says:

    Fantastic! I always enjoy these. Though, are we supposed to think which one we’re closest to?

  4. Barima says:

    This might be the best, most satirical one yet. I’m not certain why, but Malacca Boy seems like a lot less fun than he should be
    -
    B

  5. Will says:

    Very good