29 June 2009

Part Six: Of Timeless Design

Anderson & Sheppard
Savile Row Tailors

Peuple du Vent

White Cotton Shirt
Gieves & Hawke
Savile Row

Vintage Red Cross Watch

Vintage WW2 Pilot's Omega Watch

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life what would it be?

I have actually often pondered the answer to this question. Admittedly not in the sense of being my only outfit, however more in terms of my potential general uniform. My father has always taught me the importance of looking presentable and smart at all times. Regardless of what I may choose to wear, he taught me to make sure I put thought and effort into my look. And indeed we as humans are primarily visual creatures, so the way in which we choose to present ourselves to the world is very important.

If I were to only wear one outfit, it would have to be an outfit that was presentable for both more formal events, as well as for events such as weekend luncheons with the family. I would say I have definitely been inspired by photography, film and illustrations of traditional menswear from the first half of the twentieth century. As such, I suppose the outfit would have to be a classic suit. A man will always feel his best in a well cut suit, and as such it is the perfect singular outfit.

Having been born and raised in London, no other tailoring compares, in my eyes, to the bespoke tailoring of Savile Row. If money were no object, I would book myself into one of the well established tailoring establishments on the Row, such as Anderson & Sheppard. I would be measured and fitted for a fine woolen, light grey, two-buttoned suit. I would ask for a slightly stronger shoulder, with a slim cut waist and trousers falling just onto my shoes. The suit would be finished with tortoiseshell buttons and subtle navy blue threading for an interesting visual detail. My initials would also be embroidered onto the tailor's label, hidden on the inside of the left breast pocket.

In order to allow for the expression of my more colourful tastes, I would ask for the suit jacket to be lined with red Peuple du Vent silk Hermès scarves. Having the surprise of the colourful lining, with the wonderful print only being shown in flashes when walking, or subtly displayed when I were seated with the my buttons undone, would allow for that extra special finish. The reds, blues and purples would compliment the light grey wool, and contrast nicely against the navy threading of the suit.

Under the suit I would wear a bespoke white cotton shirt, with a classic collar and single barrel cuff. I would again have my initials monogrammed onto the the bottom corner of the shirt's breast pocket, just to make it that little bit more individual. In order to keep the collar nicely positioned, rather than using collar stays, I would use a sterling silver collar pin, the holes for which would have been subtly cut into the collar.

To wear with the white shirt, I would opt for a knitted silk, square ended, navy blue tie. The tie would be worn with a smallish half Windsor knot, positioned upon the collar pin, and held together with a plain sterling silver tie bar. The navy tie would play nicely against the reds of the jacket lining, whilst also complimenting the navy threading of the suit. The knitted silk would allow for a more casual feel, whilst still maintaining a smart appearance. Indeed the more casual feel of the tie would work well against the fine wool fabric of the suit.

Given that the tie would be subtly complimenting the threading of the suit, I would not choose to match my tie to my pocket square. Rather I would use a plain white cotton pocket square, with white initials set in the corner, for my suit. It would usually be worn, simply folded and straight across, however for more formal events, a three peaked display, or singular point would work too.

For my trousers, rather than wearing buttoned suspenders, which risk being a tad too formal for many occasions where I would not be wearing a jacket, I would wear a woven canvas and brown leather belt. The leather fronting would allow me to look smart when wearing a jacket, however if I chose to take it off on the weekends or under the sun, the woven canvas would be on display, providing a more casual and easy finish.

To compliment the lining of my suit, I would wear red socks. The flash of unexpected colour would allow for that little bit more of visual intrigue and expression of creative thought. Although not as rich as a patterned sock, I would rather allow the suit lining to be the main area of visual depth and complexity. And indeed I would not want to have different patterns vying for attention in my outfit.

For my footwear, given that I would have a brown leather and woven canvas belt, I would also have to opt for brown leather shoes. For smarter events I would wear deep brown Cordovan lace up shoes, however for more casual affairs, I would opt for brown loafers. Keeping in line with the brown leather, I would also opt to wear a brown leather strapped watch. Rather than having gold which would compete with the tie bar and collar pin, I would wear a silver watch. And given that I have rather slim wrists, the watch face would be rather low key. Indeed I am also not really one to wear complex watches such as chronographs, and as such, a plain numerical face would be my choice. I would definitely opt for a more classic design, preferably a vintage watch with a rich and interesting history.

Indeed an outfit with a story to tell would be my aim, yet it would have to be one with potentially unlimited versatility. I would be able to look smart and presentable, yet have enough subtle detailing to provide for an interesting visual experience.

Are you as stylish in your dreams as you are in reality?

Style is not simply the visual expression of our minds, rather it is the character of our minds. As such I do not believe one could ever be more stylish, in the sense of having a better style, in their dreams. I think the difference between reality and imagining is that in our imaginings, our garments are always well fitted and finished. If money were no object, than one could indeed indulge in the benefit of having more choice in terms of fashion. However imagining and money does not make up for a lack of style to begin with.

We all imagine ourselves in beautifully cut and finished garments, however unfortunately the means for achieving those goals may not always be available. That is not to say that money creates style, or opportunity creates better style, but rather it allows for more choice and variety of potential expression.

I can only ever be as stylish as I allow myself to be.

Currently playing: Lucky ft. Colbie Caillat - Jason Mraz



  1. What a wonderful post! i love that you would chose a suit if you could only ever wear one outfit for the rest of your life!
    muah x

  2. the vintage red cross watch is beautiful
    i've gained a bit of an obsession for watches as of late
    and i love that one!

  3. Just incredible! I swear you could even make a tube schedule (or anything as mundane and ordinary) sound poetic.

    ive been v slack - check your inbox in 5!!

  4. thank you darling for your sweet comment and I'm so honoured/happy to be on your list.. has your project already started, I mean is the book already at some other place?


  5. Hi love! Oh wow, your answers!...I am swooning over the lining of your coat! Red Hermes...and then red socks. Remember me when you write for Vogue one day soon, k? :)


  6. really good collection of photos, love the watches, id also wear them i love guys watches x

  7. I can really see you writing for Vogue like Elizabeth said! Or Esquire or GQ! You definitely have the talent for it! I love reading your thoughts on style and fashion. It's a great reminder when I feel a little too lazy to be "presentable". xxoxoxoxoxxo

  8. aww, that sounds like a perfect suit! maybe one day you'll be able to get one. (: i especially love the idea of wearing red socks and having the hermes lining.

    p.s. that first picture makes me so happy- with the bookshelf, the color palette, and (of course) the big windows!!

  9. wonderful post.

    and wonderful choice in song today :D

  10. If I could wear one outfit for the rest of my life, I think I would pick a dress with KEDs. It's the most comfy and stylish things I like to wear. Nice post!

  11. There is nothing in the world more glamorous & timeless than the Hermes scarf. Gorgeous!

  12. Yet another wonderful read! I sometimes go up and down Savile Row (without entering any stores), just to inhale some of that old-school traditional workmanship (igoring Abercrombie and Fitch). If I were a guy with loads of money, I would definitely get a suit made there instead of some designer brand on Bond St. And I love the details of your perfect outfit... especially the Hermes lining (I've always been a sucker for lining) and your choice of shoes and watch. I definitely think it's an outfit that will stand the test of time but still represent who you are :) Wishing you a fab week!

  13. if i can only wear one outfit, i would wear my navy chanel boucle jacket with a fitted white tee and jeans using a hermes scarf as belt.

    ps. love to exchange link with you.

  14. Oh thank u so much. your comments alwyas makes my day :)
    goodness, the vintage watches r awesome :D

  15. i really think everybody should own one white crisp shirt. man and woman. ;)

    ps. love this song so much!

    click here to visit me at mode junkie!

  16. Oh..I do wonder what that would be..I love my flannel pants and ribbed tank that I'm sitting in now as I type this. I guess that would not be fit..huh?

    Very cool post.

  17. how i love those watches.. theyre just sooo perfect..

  18. i completely agree with your father .. and how great is it that he was gave you such great advice or instilled this in you ..
    the way you present yourself is important whether people like to admit or not

  19. you are such a talented writer! amazing.

  20. your father is a very smart man! My dad is the very same way. I think that you have such a wonderful grasp on your own personal style...I loved this post!

  21. Your blog is very aptly named! You truly are a Dapper Kid! You have a wonderful blog, here!

  22. adore the hermes scarf...
    if i had to wear one outfit.... omg that is so hard!!!!
    and i love that song lucky, my boyfriend and i listen to it all the time :)

  23. Thanks so much for the note. Well..I have a feeling something will fester and need to come clean sooner or later with Amy.

    Some fantastic watches. They are like jewelry to me.

  24. THE Peuple du Vent OF Hermès IS SO VERY AMAZING!!!

  25. I think there are certain items that are timeless classics. They always will be. I really love those watches and shoes.

  26. In my dreams it's all about my surroundings and less about myself. I would love to be able to see exactly how I'm dressed in my dreams, yet I'm usually absorbing each tiny creature and dancing in the wind, not really paying attention to the color of my top or the length of my jeans.
    It's interesting how different peoples' minds work in their subconscious, isn't it?


  27. Awh! Interesting post! :) I love the choice of outfit you would last decide to wear for the rest of your life - well said! ;)

    Great song you're listening to as well! :D


  28. Hi there-what a great post! I think if I had to choose only 1 outfit, it would centre round a LBD!!

  29. Damn!!! Where did you get your fashion eye?
    Those are wonderful Items.
    You said Imagining and Money does not make up for a lack of style but you forgot one thing with money you can buy someone that possesses a style eye haha just kiddingg

    I really like this post =]]]

  30. I think you would look wonderful in the outfit you described! I like the detailing. :D I love vintage watches. You answer at question number 2 was amazing, too ^^

  31. This was fun to imagine! The lining is my favorite part.

  32. Your outfit is clearly one that has been though out well and suits every occasion that befalls you.

    I love your style. Adore, rather!

    La C.

  33. I love the careful, detail you go into when describing your clothes, and it's all so carefully thought out. Did it take you long to think about?

  34. Nice post and I definitely agree with you on those timeless designs! :)

  35. great scarf! =)


  36. I enjoyed this post immensely. I particularly love the photo of the buttons. my mum hoards buttons and has them all parsed out in little bins like this.

    This should be mandatory reading for my husband. His idea of style is a clean T-shirt.

  37. has to be a suit its d most practical it can be dressed up or dressed down.loved d worn out looking wristwatches too.

  38. Love Hermes scarves.
    I'm definitely more stylish in my imagination--and WAY taller.

  39. I have to confess that I've visited for a week or two but wow, this post has blown me away. Great selections, the Vintage Red Cross watch has captured my imagination and will not doubt force me in to embarking on a life of crime.