The ‘White’ Dinner Jacket


"The only person who looked good in a white dinner jacket was Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. And that's only because it was filmed in black and white." The above comment was made to me by an acquaintance when discussing a wedding I am due to attend later this year at a palm-treed, sandy-beach resort hotel in a particularly warm part of the world. The occasion, seemed to me, to suggest the use of the 'white' dinner jacket instead of black; the … [Read more...]

Summer Etiquette: A Matter of Exposure


Picture the scene: it’s a hot and hazy summer day, the sun is baking the grass to an uncomfortable crispness and there’s no cooling breeze to blast against your sunburned face. The heat is such that the only thing you have any effort to do is rip off your sweat-saturated clothes and hug the nearest iceberg. You feel filthy, smelly and infuriatingly itchy. In such circumstances, etiquette is probably the furthest thing from your mind. And … [Read more...]

Three Shoes to Survive Summer


Brown suede loafers There is something special about brown suede shoes. They’re not in the least bit practical, largely because suede is so high-maintenance. Get them wet at your peril; drop anything on them and they’re nigh-on ruined. They’re the Zsa Zsa Gabor of footwear; you can’t treat them like any old pair of kickers/entitled, self-obsessed diva. You have to encase them in fur and shower them with...protective spray. One … [Read more...]

The Denim Blazer


A half-French colleague of mine recently gave me an efficient lowdown on Nîmes: “Easily the snobbiest city in France - outside of Paris, of course.” “It’s not really a proper city either” she said  “it’s just a town. I think the people of Nîmes want you to think it is a city though, to think it is important.” It’s not hard to see why local residents might think a lot of themselves. Nîmes is an ancient place, civilised … [Read more...]

Sartorial Love/Hate: Back Blading a Tie


When my father taught me to tie my tie, I remember how he would fiddle with my meagre attempts; shaping the knot, positioning it in the exact centre of the collar, standing back to inspect. I was a rather impetuous little scamp in my youth and did not sufficiently appreciate the lesson he was providing, the result of which is that I have not altered my method of tying ties since childhood; a simple four-in-hand with as small a knot as … [Read more...]