30 Dec 2013

Odd jackets and flannel trousers

The main part of my wardrobe consists of suits, but I have a few odd jackets. And two pairs of grey flannel trousers to complete the ensembles.
The combination of odd jackets and flannel trousers are classic, timeless and perfect for weekends and holidays. At least for the days where shooting suits or heavy tweed are not required.
Today I am wearing a HarrisTweed sports jacket I bought last year - off-the-peg. The fabric is woven in a vintage pattern and in lovely warm colours to celebrate the 100 years of Harris Tweed in 2010.
The fabric is a third lighter than normal for Harris Tweed thus making this an ideal odd jacket for indoor pursuits. I have combined the jacket and trousers with a light brown vintage country waist coat due to the cold weather.

The burgundy checks of the jacket are supported by the burgundy knitted silk tie and the burgundy buttons of the country vest. The edges of the woolen pocket square catches the blue shade of the shirt.
A "selfie" in the mirror
Centenary Label - 100th anniversary of the 'Orb'
A beautiful combination of colours; the vivid colours of the jacket against the grey flannel.
The light grey flannels are vintage, but the charcoal flannel trousers are off-the-peg from British Pakeman, Catto & Carter
Odd jacket and flannel trousers; here combined with navy knitwear, a blue repp tie and a striped shirt with a pin collar. Drawing from Apparel Arts

28 Dec 2013

Sale at Exquisite Trimmings - a returning temptation

I feel tempted every time I get a newsletter from Shaya at Exquisite Trimmings in London. Especially at this time of the year where a sale is on - a 40% discount makes the exquisite ties and accessories affordable.

I would like to share some of the ties and accessories I find tempting in this sale:
I need a black tie - I haven't got a black tie!
A lovely versatile tie for the odd jackets and tweed suits
I adore these Medallion printed squares from Drake's

A beautiful and very versatile tie

25 Dec 2013

Sports Jacket and grey flannel trousers

I am absolutely thrilled about my new 1932 navy sports Jacket from Fitzwilliam House Athletic Club. Today matched with a pair of grey vintage flannel trousers (from Victory Vintage, London), a striped shirt from Stenström's and a Shantung silk tie from Drake's, London.

Ready for Christmas visit at my parent's
Ryder and Amies, Cambridge. 1932
Fitzwilliam House Athletic Club (FHAC)
Brass buttons
Patch pockets

23 Dec 2013

The shirt for Christmas Eve

I have purchased the perfect evening shirt for Christmas Eve: a vintage cotton Marcella front shirt. The shirt was acquired from Tickeryboo-Vintage who asserted the shirt to be of 1920s origin. 
I am looking forward to wearing this shirt with my 1951 dinner suit instead of my usual stiffened front dress shirt on Christmas Eve for a more informal look without giving up all standards.
I was given to understand that the soft fronted dress shirts went into general use at the same time as the Dinner jacket won terrain over the formal Evening tails in the post-WW1 years.
The shirt has long tails - 37" long
I am not an expert but even though the shirt is without doubt vintage the condition of the fabric, the cuffs, the buttonholes etc. are so perfect that the age is hard to comprehend.
The most important, though, (I mean more important than the actual age) is that the fit is perfect, the seems and buttonholes are excellently done and the Marcella front absolutely astonishing.
This is my first vintage shirt and I am not likely to buy more shirts vintage as I prefer the crispness of new shirts, but I went ahead for this opportunity of a really old dress shirt. I gathered that dress shirts in general might not be worn and torn to same extent as every day shirts. No regrets on this purchase, though,  as the shirt is absolutely perfect.

I only had to replace a broken button - everything else was just perfect.
Here matched with dress studs and wing collar
Even the cuffs show no signs of wear to the fold.

Embroided "52"

21 Dec 2013

Leather oil for shoe soles

New supplies of shoe cream and wax have just arrived from Grundwald True Style; just in time as I emptied my #34 Havanna-Tobacco Saphir wax the day before yesterday.

Shoe care from Burgol and Saphir
This time I also bought oil for leather soles from Swiss-German company Burgol. Apparently one might double the lifespan of the leather soles by applying oil with a soft brush four to five times a year. And at the same time improve the leather soles' water shedding capabilities and flexibility. This will be interesting to experience...
Link to Shoe polish - a daily recreational activity

14 Dec 2013

Shantung silk tie from Drakes, London

Today is my birthday and a special treat is this gift from my parents-in-law:
An untipped woven shantung silk tie from Drakes London. 

Lovely texture and feel to the weave

It is my first tie in shantung silk, but I really love the textured look and the feel to the tie. 

From http://www.drakes-london.com/

It is an exquisite tie and I love the fact that it has been made by hand by skilled craftsmen in London.
The gift wrappings also adds to the experience...

The tie will match my coming Christmas present perfectly (I presume :-)) ... the crude spun silk goes well with a sports jacket I gather.

Picture from http://www.savvyrow.co.uk/

12 Dec 2013

The King Coat

I have been looking forward for quite a while to taking my lovely vintage 1950s blue double breasted "King coat" out of the closet. The shape is absolutely beautiful with a sharp defined waistline. And it fulfills it's purpose - the heavy cloth protects me from the cold and the wind. The lenght of the coat is very becoming I think - and seen too seldomly worn by Danish men; the most common overcoats are of hip or thigh lenght.
On the way to work. Wearing a navy chalk stripe suit under my DB overcoat, a vintage green/white dotted bow tie, a wine/green pocket square from RL. Dark brown unlined gloves from british Dents and dark brown Oxford shoes from Magnanni. A black Homburg would have topped the ensemble I would say. 

The Duke of York 1932, wearing a blue, double breasted overcoat from Crombie - the "King Coat"

Cary Grant wearing the DB overcoat. Looking impeccable as always. 

8 Dec 2013

The man behind the suit

Part of the attraction to vintage clothing is the history behind the suit. For me the most important is the quality of the cloth and the craftmanship in the making. But quite interesting is also the history of the suit; the tailor; the contemporaneous people and events; and the man behind the suit - he who commisioned the suit. I only have one suit where I have identified the man behind the suit. A lovely 1951 suit made by tailor Malmstrom of Sackville Street in London.
I am a foreigner and not quite into the tradition of tailor/customer confidentiality, but it seems like a faux pas to disclose details about customer and suitings. Nevertheless lately we have seen tailors like Henry Poole, Savile Row, using historic connections to Sir Winston Churchill for advertising purposes.
My suit of which I will not give further details was commisioned by Architect and Interior Designer Michael J. C. Inchbald (1920-2013) in 1951. His portrait is at The National Portrait Gallery in London by the way - and why I decided to visit the Gallery in the first place.

M.J.C.Inchbald 1965, photo by Rex Coleman, National Portrait Gallery

It adds to the charm of the suit that I have identified the man behind the suit, but still the most important is the excellent fit (you should think the suit was made for me) and the gorgeous details in the handicraft. I bought the suit last year prior to Inchbald's death, so I guess he was the one deciding to recycle the suit. 

Inchbald at home. His house, Stanley House, in Chelsea was also his design laboratory and showroom.(Photo from The Times) . He spent much of his childhood in this house which belonged to his great-uncle, Sir Courtenay Ilbert (1841-1924), Viceroy of India and Clerk of the House of Commons)

Inchbald behind his desk at his home in Chelsea (Photo from Telegraph.uk.co)