My experience with braces

Posted by

Image courtesy of the best, Albert Thurston
That’s suspenders to the Americans out there; braces to the British. I’ve always been curious about braces. I can see the argument for wearing one’s trousers on the natural waist (above the hip bone, around the belly button) as was the norm for much of the past century. It’s the slimmest part on your body so the shape up and over the hips is nice. (Women are increasingly realising...

Learn from your grandfather

Posted by

I know, I know
There he was, top left of the weekend’s Financial Times. It took me a while to work out why he looked so different. It was the normal Lapo Elkann, unkempt (frankly straggly) blond hair and toothy grin. But he looked, well, he looked good. Then I realised why. He was dressed like his grandfather (Gianni Agnelli). In fact, to be fair to Italians at large, he was dressed in the same...

The subjective size of patterns

Posted by

H Lesser & Sons bunch
“So how big should the pattern be?” he asked, displaying a brow furrowed by concern and concentration. “How big do you want it to be?” I asked, endeavouring to get some parameters for my answer. “I suppose so it can be seen, but not seen too much,” he replied, helping only a little.

So what of the texture of my tie?

Posted by

A superb shantung silk tie from Drake's
I do like to speak of spectrums. I’ve often found that the weakness of a man’s argument is that he jumps to one extreme in reaction to a point made by another. This is not reductio ad absurdum; it is creating conflict where there need be none.

Which shirt collar suits you?

Posted by

Those are some pretty pointy collars. Only Pacino escapes
The range of shirt collars available covers pretty much 180 degrees of a man’s neck. At one extreme there’s the long, very pointy collar that leaves little room for the tie other than a slim sliver of silk – more shadow than ornament.

Two quick questions: inspiration and jackets

Posted by

It's not my idolic memory, but it is a famous grey flannel suit
Derek, London: Simon, when did you first get interested in clothes and what inspired you to turn towards sartorial clothing? James, Los Angeles: I notice you always refer to the ‘jacket’ rather than the ‘coat’ of a suit. Is the latter not more correct?

Romika Espadrille Sneakers

Posted by

Romika Espadrille Sneakers 03-tile
An espadrille sneaker does not sound like the most alluring option for spring and summer, but Romika's interpretation of the staple is quite good. These long and lean sneakers have the expected rope edging and natural-looking elements, including camel laces and canvas bodies. Piped in camel for a contrast effect and available in four fresh colorways. Green, navy, red, and cream. [via...

What about deck shoes? A reader question

Posted by

John Lobb slip-ons
Tom, Hong Kong: Simon, where do you stand on deck shoes? I’ve seen them around and think they’d be a nice compromise between scruffy converse and brogues when wearing jeans or casual trousers. I grew up detesting them for being too boaty but quite like the look of them now. I know exactly why you have that inherent distrust of the deck shoe, Tom. I have it too.

Ooo, there’s another one!

Posted by

Not many pictures out there of this phenomenon. But Frank looks good
Ooo, there’s another one! A perfectly respectable businessman with only the bottom button of his three-button jacket done up. Just the one. Leaving the rest of the jacket flapping open.

Big shoulders + nipped waist = power

Posted by

Note Pinkie's tie pin and their wide lapels. The weakling is wearing a dressing gown
Spicer is thrown to the floor as the mob closes in. His nervous twitch accelerates as panic grips him. Pinkie grins with that frozen, demonic grin that Richard Attenborough did so well. Is that a belted suit?

Where the grass is greener

Posted by

www.rugby.com
In style, the grass often seems that little bit shinier and slinkier on the other side of the fence. As the proverb suggests, however, that is merely a result of your vantage point.

How to wear black tie - Part 2

Posted by

Herbert Hoover covers his waist
In the last post – part 1 of this couple on evening dress – we discussed the biggest mistakes men make when donning black tie. They were: wearing it during the day, not covering their waist and mis-matching the formality of their shirt, collar and waist-covering.

How to wear black tie - Part 1

Posted by

Bogart wears a tropical dinner jacket, with shawl collar
A man’s dress used to be driven by social propriety – what his peers considered to be fit and proper. Most of the rules for dress that we have inherited were formalised by social norms. Style icons were made when those that could (usually royalty) broke with convention and wore. Hence the wearing of suede shoes and double-breasted jackets by Edward VIII when he was Prince of Wales. He made...

Do what I say…

Posted by

Try to ignore the plane. How high are those trousers?
OK, it’s a fair cop. Someone commented to me recently that I wasn’t living by my waistcoat theory (see post on January 15) and they’re right. I don’t pursue it every day by any means but I still believe in its internal logic, and the clothing combination it suggests is certainly something I make use of regularly. I just like a little variety.

Don’t twirl your umbrella down Fleet Street

Posted by

John Cleese was dressed in costume
I like wearing chalk-stripe suits. I’m a fan of red socks, as well as double-breasted jackets and white-linen handkerchiefs. But I know that if I wore all of these pieces in one combination I would look like a caricature. I might as well top it off with a bowler hat, grow a moustache and wander down Fleet Street twirling my umbrella.

Rock, paper, scissors: Style, colour, fit

Posted by

Fashion, yes, and fit isn't that bad. But fails on colour
Last week I wrote a column about buying designer clothes. Its message was that you should buy designer for design, and recognise that is what you are paying for. Not branding, quality or anything else. They come after – if you’re going to pay designer prices, it should be because you consider the design unique and particularly attractive. It’s hard then to put a price on aesthetics.