31 Jan 2015

The three-piece heavy Cheviot Tweed suit from Bespoke Tailors Thos. Dowell & Sons

Looking for a location to present my three-piece heavy cheviot tweed suit from bespoke tailors Thos. Dowell & Sons I went to the nearby local equivalent to the Hundred Acre Wood.
The suit is quite versatile; equally suitable for a walk in the forest and by the river as today, a visit to the local public house for a pint of beer; and pursuits in an about a country house. On a Friday I would also sometimes wear this suit to the office.
The suit is neatly made; hand sewn button holes; the right attention to making the lapels, trouser cuffs cut for high wrist etc. The Cheviot tweed is in a herringbone weave; colour is a varm olive with windowpane checks in burnt orange.  
Today I am wearing a double cuffed light blue shirt from Stenström's; a green medallion printed wool tie from Hackett London; a wool/silk pocket square from Drake's London; dark brown unlined leather gloves from Dents; dark brown brogue boots from Tricker's and my beloved flat cap with the suit.
I also brought my Barbour Border jacket as the weather was quite chilly.

In the outskirts of the woods
The middle button fastening matches my natural waistline

Long single vent. I especially like the waistline and the shoulders

The suit looks great with the chunky boots, but also with my leaner brogue shoes.
Brogue shoes and brown/fawn spats I imagine would look absolutely superiour...  

High ground view over the river

Walking through the Hundred Acre Wood wearing my Barbour Border Jacket over the suit

In the shadows the ice and hoarfrost remained

Details from the waist coat

Details from the trousers; the small waistline pocket; the button side adjusters; the double inward pleats

The name of the Gentleman who commisioned the suit is faded away... the suit is presumably from the mid-80s

Hand sewn buttonholes



The persistent reader would notice that this is the suit that I altered in August last year. You are welcome to have a look at the post I made on that occasion: Altering-bespoke-tweed-suit

Working concentrated on the right sleeve. The left sleeve is already attached with crude stitches.









23 Jan 2015

A week at the office

Judging from my recent posts one could be lead to believe that I spend most of my time walking in the country side in tweed, shooting socks and a flat cap; and I must admit that many of my favourite garments are country attire. 
Once in a while it could be nice to be able to quote the inimitable Jeeves:
"I hesitate to contradict you Mr Spode but the working masses and I have barely a nodding acquaintance. Good afternoon."
But I am of the working masses and I do have a full-time job to attend to; Monday to Friday.

At the office I am fortunately not restricted by a particular dress code; one could dress in jeans and t-shirt, navy business suits or tweed - no restrictions except for shorts.
I do not dress like most men in the company: e.g. nobody else wear ties and only a few wear a suit.  
At the office I mainly wear vintage lounge or business suits, but also odd jackets and flannel trousers. Occasionally - mostly Fridays - I wear tweed.
Every day at the office I wear a tie or a bow tie; a pocket square; and over-the-calf socks.

This week I set out to take a few photos every day during business hours to illustrate the variety of and the possibilities in the office attire.
Below are a few samples. Here is a link to the album...

Tuesday: Vintage 1960s SB, two-piece, navy, chalkstripe suit. Shantung silk tie from Drakes London

Monday: Green brogues from Magnanni; Wine fil d'Ecosse socks from Mazarin

Wednesday: 1955 vintage POW check, three-piece flannel suit. Paisley bow tie from Drakes London
Friday: Vintage 1932 Cambridge Blue; 1920s Eton pop society waist coat; white shirt with detachable double round collar from Darcy Clothing; and a vintage silk cream dotted bow tie.









17 Jan 2015

Vintage Houndstooth Tweed Plus-fours from Hackett London

In December I bought a pair of vintage Houndstooth Tweed plus-fours; the cut and the quality of the tweed really amazes me as the garment is from a 1980s high street store.
The trousers are made for pursuits in the countryside - not just for looking good; the comfortable fishtail back; the warm and stout fabric; and the beautiful nature-like brown and green hues. 
The plus-fours must be from the first years of Hackett London making their own collection of clothes - until then Jeremy Hackett and his business partner Ashley Lloyd-Jennings sold refurbished vintage gentlemen's clothing. 
As I described in a previous post (Plus-fours and Norfolk jacket) the plus-fours are a natural match to the Norfolk jacket. Today I combined a tweed bow tie, a Fair Isle knit, green shooting socks and the Norfolk with my plus-fours. Perfect for a cold January day in the country side.   

Fishtail, brace buttons, button fly - just perfect
I enjoy the look of fishtailed trousers and find them very comfortable

Double (inward) pleated

Just returned from a walk in the countryside. 

A view from today's walk: the ancient landscape surrounding an enormous Bronze-age tumulus or barrow near "Mariager" fiord.


Beautiful colours



7 Jan 2015

The canvas inspiration - portraits of Gentlemen

I find inspiration for wardrobe essentials,  composition of attire and sartorial details in great many places; in litterature; motion pictures; electronical social gatherings like Tumblr, Twitter etc. but I also find inspiration in ye olde canvas; oil-paintings; portraits of Gentlemen.
I am a great fan of the National Portrait Gallery in London...
But also in online sites like BBC - Your Paintings much sartorial insight is available.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/

At the BBC website you can create an account and build a collection of your own.
I discovered the British painter William Carter (1863-1939) who has made some very fine portraits of men of stature. Mr. Carter was born in Swaffham, Norfolk and his brother was the famous Egyptologist  Howard Carter. Link to my collection of William Carter paintings.

In the portraits you can find much inspiration; let me give you a few examples.
First this Gentleman (Lieutenant-Colonel John Sancroft Holmes) in country attire; I find this portrait a great inspiration for walks in the countryside - the detachable round collar; the waistcoat with lapels;the Derby (bowler hat) and the shooting stick. This year I plan to buy a Derby - presumably from Christy's Hats (their fur felt Derby) - mainly for use in the countryside, but also occasionally in town.

  • Date Painted: 1921

More details to bring into your everyday wardrobe

Wing collar; peaked lapels; beautiful soft roll lapels  

Tan spats; slim roll umbrella

Single cuffs with cuff-links; straight-cut white waistcoat; single Albert w. fob

Well-made suit in a lovely brownish hue; love the green coloured bowtie

Link to a post from National Portrait Gallery

3 Jan 2015

Riding boots; a walk in the woods and meadows

Maybe it is a faux-pas, but I could not resist to acquire a pair of vintage gentleman's hunting riding boots even though I do not hunt or master the art of horse-riding. I simply love the the look of riding breeches and tall boots; I have ever since I was a young boy admiring the cavalery uniforms of Napoleon's and the Duke of Wellington's armies.
I am not into the stylized look of skinny catwalk models from e.g. Ralph Lauren wearing riding boots - it seems like a sheer ostentatious act. But the riding boots used in terrain where one otherwise would have chosen a pair of Wellingtons or for a match of Bike Polo paired with a proper pair of gentleman's breeches I believe it makes reason.

Today the usual party went for a walk in the forest and meadows next to the largest creek in Denmark.The terrain is quite muddy and several paths have been flooded this time of the year. The temperature is warm for a January day - 5-6 degrees Celsius; During midday and early afternoon mainly blue sky with altocumuli.
Considering the grounds and the weather conditions I chose to wear a vintage Scottish Kilt Jacket, a houndstooth check hunting waistcoat, a pair of heavy twill riding breeches and riding boots.

Vintage riding hunting boots from Gentleman Outfitter Hogspear. I love the mahogany leather top of the boots. As I did with my military boots when I was enlisted I make sure that the riding boots are properly greased to ensure that they are waterproof.

Watching my steps in the flooded meadow

Appropriate attire for the surroundings

The old preserved oak woods is during most of the year inhabited by hoofed creatures; cows.

A view over the flooded lowland and the creek
I have always liked the look of riding boots in the hallway


Nailed heels on the boots

The mahogany topped boots matches the hues of the fox

HRH Prince Philip wearing a pair of riding boots playing bike polo 

I have pinned a few photos of Gentleman's riding breeches and boots at Pinterest

Chester Morris by Otto Dyar

1 Jan 2015

The Ash Knob Walking Stick

A dear companion for my walks is the ash knob walking stick; a lovely silver-grey stick with a comfortable polished knob.
The ash knob stick is a traditional walking stick that has been grown and used in Britain for centuries. Produced using the coppicing method these sticks are formed from the shoot that grows when the upper part of a young ash tree is removed.
My ash knob stick is grown in the woodlands of Somerset, England by Classic Canes Co.

Today - the last day of the year - my spouse and my dog accompanied me for a walk along the creek "Gudenå". I was wearing my vintage 1970 POW glen check shooting suit and Tricker's boots
The shooting suit matches the hues of the trees and grounds beautifully; if I may say so.

A short rest during the walk; enjoying the view over the "Gudenå" lowland

The wooden stick is quite lovely; It is alive, responding to the weather and the grounds. The bark shines and sort of changes when in use.
I lost the metal ferule in muddy terrain today; obviously it was not properly attached to the stick. I will need get a new ferule and this time secure it properly. I might opt for making a brass ferule myself and attach it with a brass nail.
In the terrains visited today the wooden stick comes in handy; for measuring depths of pools of water; estimating the nature of the mud; a brilliant support up and down the hills and a precaution to protect the small canine companion from attacks of larger beasts.


Chaaaaaarge!



I decorated my walking stick with my personal arms. The twin cross forming an "H" is the family insigne.

The coppicing circle


I have inherited my grandfather's old walking stick; unfortunately it is too short for me. 
He brought it with him on the many trips he and my grandmother took around Europe. And as tradition tells he attached small pewter emblems from the places they visited onto the wooden stick. 
I am truly grateful for grandmother Ingrid passing this memory onto me.

Pewter emblems from Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Norway, Germany etc.

My grandfather's old walking stick



Old timer wooden stick