12 Jan 2014

A rainy Sunday with Fedora and later a Fair Isle knit

On a rainy Sunday - one of those grey-not-so-cold-but-moisty-with-slight-rain Sundays - I would dress in a country suit and a Fedora and go for a long walk in the country side. On such a Sunday I might not wear a tie, but a cravat instead.
The Fedora and the country suit are perfect for a rainy Sunday. Here I am wearing a Tattersall check shirt and a navy Paisley cravat.

Then when returning to the house after a long walk I would hang the suit jacket and waistcoat to dry* and slip into my comfortable and warm "Fair Isle" knit sweater vest and enjoy a nice cuppa tea by the fireplace.

A nice cuppa by the fireplace
My knit vest is not actually from Fair Isle but it is Scottish, though. Fair Isle is a remote island situated between Orkney and Shetland to the north of Scotland. Fairisle knitting gained a considerable popularity when the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VIII and then Duke of Windsor) wore Fair Isle sweaters in public in 1921.

The Prince of Wales in Fair Isle knit.
My lambswool "Fair Isle" knit from Darcy Clothing
My navy Paisley silk cravat from Swagger& Swoon. the colours and pattern are very versatile for use with various shirts, odd jackets and suits on informal occasions.

*Regarding the damp suit jacket please consider the advice from Mrs. Beeton's excellent 1861 book on household management: 
"Before he (i.e. the valet) hangs damp clothing by the fire, he rubs the cloth with a sponge until the smoothness of the nap is restored. If the clothes are allowed to dry before brushing, then later brushing might not remove the roughness."

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