25 Mar 2014

Malmstrom of Sackville Street, Black City Coat

It was with great anticipation that I opened the parcel that arrived today from my favourite Chap Outfitter: Savvy Row - the brilliant online vintage clothing store owned by the British gentleman Paul Tiernan.
I had ordered a most beautiful vintage 1952 bespoke city coat.

And the coat is everything I expected: beautiful craftmanship by bespoke tailors Malmstrom of Sackville Street, London. The fit is perfect and the coat is indeed a rare find. I feel very honoured and lucky to have this beautiful coat in my wardrobe!

The fabric is black wool with a subtle herringbone weave and the collar is silk velvet in a midnight blue.

Vintage charcoal three-piece suit, Homburg, city coat, pink shirt, wine selftipped silk Antonio Muro tie, and black Oxford captoes. 

I assume that the coat is commisioned by the same man that had my vintage evening tails made:
The evening tails are made in October 1951 and this city coat is made in January 1952 by the same tailors. The coat has the exact same lenght as my evening tails and thereby fulfills my need of a proper formal coat. The coat and the evening tails both have the beautiful decorative cuffed sleeves.
The name of the gentleman ordering the garment has been cut of from the coat, which might be because he actually died in between the evening tails and the coat entered the vintage store.

Beautiful detailing: cuffed sleeves (picture from Savvy Row)

Impeccable black cloth with a subtle herringbone weave (picture from Savvy Row

Bespoke tailors Malmstrom of Sackville Street, London. The name of the man who commisioned the coat has been cut out.

23 Mar 2014

Cheaney Wesley II

I admit that I get tempted when I stumble over a pair Cheaney's at a good price. I have found more purveyers of seconds and prototypes from Cheaney, Crockett & Jones etc. and if the flaws are almost invisible and price just ½ or two-thirds of normal price then I feel tempted.
The other day I bought my first pair of seconds: a really nice pair of Cheaney Wesley II at just half price compared to a regular pair of Cheaney's. And these shoes have double leather soles...

I have a suspicion that the shoes where either made years ago or made-to-order since the logo in the insole is not the imprinted logo I see in all the new models. And inspecting the shoes thoroughly I can find a few flaws in the hand-burnishing. 
But I do not mind; the craftmanship is good and the shoes of very good quality. I love the espresso colour which will grow beautiful with repeatedly polishing.  
Cheaney Wesley II

My shoe collection mainly consists of Cheaney & Sons and I am very satisfied with the looks, the finish and the overall quality...
But reading the appraisals of British Edward Green shoes, which presumably are the best ready-to-wear shoes made in Britain, one comes to think of how the Cheaney's look after 20 years of wearing compared to Edward Green's? I have never had that long a time horizon in my port folio management.

But I believe that the time has come skip future temptations and focus on saving for a pair of Edward Green's - and a trip to Jermyn Street, London to get familiar with the Edward Green lasts. Even though Edward Green shoes are priced double compared to Cheaney's

But for now I am very pleased with my new Cheaney's which I am sure will serve me well for many years ahead. 
Here are a few more pictures of the details:

Based on the somewhat elongated 11525 last

Double leather soles

Beautiful broguing

15 Mar 2014

The Homburg

Going to Town this morning I wore my 1950s "King Coat" and my black Homburg hat. The Homburg is a good choice for business suits and town - quite sleek and versatile.
My Homburg is vintage, German made presumably of the 1960s.

Ready for Town. Charcoal 3-piece suit; black oxford, captoe shoes; peccary gloves, King Coat and Homburg.

Homburg & King Coat
A beautiful vintage German made Homburg

The Homburg (derived from Bad Homburg in Germany) was first popularised by King Edward VII, but in the 1930s Sir Anthony Eden - praised for his good style - again started a hype around a sleeker version of the black felt Homburg - which became widely known as an "Anthony Eden" hat.

Three great examples of stylish men wearing the Homburg:

Sir Anthony Eden 

Sir Winston Churchill wearing a grey Homburg

French Haute Couture maker Jean Patou

10 Mar 2014

Socks with some panache

The other day I read Simon Crompton's (Permanent Style Blog) piece on the American innovative luxury socks from William Abraham. And I felt compelled to visit the online shop.

William Abraham Rake Seersucker socks, 70% Coton Fil D'Ecosse, 30% silk

The socks look very beautiful and the silk mix sounds most appealing, but the price for the 3 pairs I preferred were approx. €200 including postage and import taxes to Europe; a tad over my budget at the moment.
I am quite satisfied with my 100% fil d'ecosse cotton socks from Bresciani. They've over time become my favourite city socks with their beautiful colours, quality and sense of panache: priced at €22 a pair at Mes Chausettes Rouges, Paris. 

Bresciani navy contrast socks, 100% Coton Fil D'Ecosse

The Brescianis matched with my POW check flannel suit

The socks look beautiful with the dark leaf colour of my Cheaney's

Consider matching your socks with your tie. Here matched with my navy/wine Shantung silk tie from Drakes London

Mes Chausettes Rouge are getting more elegant and bold designs in stock that will satisfy my needs; e.g. Pink dots and Red contrast stripes

Pink dots, 100% Coton Fil D'Ecosse

Red contrast rib, 100% Coton Fil D'Ecosse

But one fine day I will get my silk stockings from William Abrahams, I guess...

1 Mar 2014

Single Albert & fob

Recently my search for a proper silver watch chain to match my antique Waltham Massey pocket watch paid off; I have aquired a vintage single Albert watch chain with a fob. The t-bar, clasp and chain are all hallmarked for Chester 1922 whilst the fob is hallmarked for Birmingham 1910.

The pocket watch chain used with my vintage POW flannel suit
I wanted a single Albert chain in silver and it should not be chunky. A chunky chain would not match me. And I have always preferred the looks of a single over a double Albert chain.
I use the Albert for formal attire and city suits (when wearing a waist coat obviously), but for country suits, tweed and odd jackets I still use the leather watch strap.
I aquired an extra sterling silver t-bar and clasp and intend to make a proper quality leather strap from goat skin; I will keep you posted on that project.

I am considering having my family coat of arms engraved in the empty shield. (Crux Geminus d'argent au gules)

Below is a picture of "Jeeves" wearing a double Albert watch chain and fob. I always wondered what was attached to the other end of the double chain, but I learned that practical tools like a vesta (Victorian match box), a folding knife, the key to wind the clock, etc. could be suggested.

Matthew Macfadyen (Jeeves) and Stephen Mangan (Wooster) in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York's Theatre Photo by Uli Weber
A few pictures of the watch chain from the seller:

A beautiful piece 
T-bar hallmarked 1922
Clasp well functioning

Cheers! Bertam Wilberforce Wooster wearing a single Albert with a fob.