30 Jul 2014

Green shoes from Magnanni

I have never had a pair of green shoes before and it is not my first choice for most occasions, but I fell for these beautifully crafted Magnannis. And having more shoes in my collection than I can use during a week I find it justified to obtain a specialty pair in the omnibus.
They just arrived by mail and I am trying them for the first time while having a restorative snifter after work.
My first ideas are to match the shoes with my vintage navy chalkstripe suit or with a greyish suit like this or the tan gabardine suit.
To find a matching pair of gloves I might opt for grey unlined leather.

Reclined posture in the withdrawing room

I think that the Bologna construction used by Magnanni is both making the shoes admirably slim and durable. The finish is quite good and details like burnishing and perforations are well done.
Like always a new pair of shoes needs breaking in and a dozen layers of polish before looking really good.

Traditional hidden channelled stiching and skillfully bevelled soles. 

Enjoying a restorative snifter after work

Green shoes matched with wine OTC socks and a charcoal suit

24 Jul 2014

Bespoke 1984 Tan Gabardine Summer Suit - the Solaro suit

The Gabardine fabric of this beautifully crafted bespoke suit is unusual; at least I have not seen such fabric before. It seems like greenish threads are woven in a madder red base; letting a red hue through the outer layer and together giving the impression at a distance of tan colour. 
The fabric is called "Solaro" and is designed for keeping the sun-rays out.

I had second thoughts when I first saw the fabric about keeping the suit, but since then it has grown on me.
The suit is a three pcs. single breasted three button piece of art. Two pairs of double pleated and cuffed trousers are included.
The suit looks great on a sunny Summer day paired with a Panama hat. I think the dark leaf colour of my Cheaney&Sons ("Cambridge") matches the suit very well.

Great colour for Summer; lightweight suit
Single vent
Made for a British Major

Beautiful craftmanship; lovely details

Rather unusual hue to the Gabardine fabric
Sample from of  Herringbone woven Solaro fabric

I have started a more thorough registration of my wardrobe. Work in progress but you are welcome to visit "My Wardrobe"

Ready for work Wednesday morning

16 Jul 2014

My 1929 Silver knob handled walking stick

I have just arrived at home after a refreshing stroll with my dog in the village where we live. Just in time for a restorative drink before dinner; it has been a rather hard day at the office.

A new but already dear companion on my walks is my 1929 silver knob handled walking stick.
I have been searching for a such for a while as it is a very comfortable feeling to walk with a stick in your hand. Sticks such as an umbrella, a sword, a cane etc. - has been ever since I was a boy.
An umbrella is not needed on this fine afternoon; sunny; bit of puffy cumulus.  And my medieval single handed sword is not giving the best impression among the neighbours I gather.

The walking stick is of some kind of lightweight rosewood; very slim and elegant. With a good balance. The balance and the feel to the polished silver and rosewood are very important for the enjoyment of a perfect relaxing stroll.

Lovely - bruised but lovely - silver knob, hallmarked for London 1929.
Slightly creased pinstripe suit (off-the-peg Austin Reed), Green vintage silk untipped Italian made tie, dark brown oxfords, panama hat and the walking stick. The boutonnière flower is a small pink rose from my garden.

...and yes, I have a sprouting moustache which hopefully is looking at it's best for my entering the Copenhagen Tweed Run mid-September.
Some might think that walking sticks do not have relevance in the 21st century, but it really does to me. The sheer feeling is enough, but also the practicableness of a pointing device (mind the cyclists if you are pointing across a busy street in Arnhem is my experience, though); a device for measuring the depth of ponds for ladies or dogs; and a mean of self defence - e.g the noble art of Bartitsu (see below).
It is important that the stick is being used - it is not an object of sheer ostentation. If I only paraded with this to make a show of my self I would rather leave it at a montre at home.

Original brass (?) ferrule is a bit bruised but looks good.

The walking stick is 36½" (approx. 91 cm) long. 

"Take away my high hats
Take away my favorite tie
Take away my white spats
I'll still get by
But my walking stick
You simply must let that be
I mean you can't take that away from me:
Without my walking stick, I'd go insane
Can't look my best, I'd feel undressed without my cane."
from My Walking Stick, song by Irving Berlin

Bartitsu Self defence

From Wikipedia:
Vigny is best-remembered today as the founder of a unique style of stick fighting which employed walking sticks and umbrellas as weapons of self-defence. Aspects of his method were recorded by E.W. Barton-Wright in a series of articles entitled Self Defence with a Walking Stick, published in Pearson's Magazine in 1902.
Barton-Wright's name combined with the ancient art of Jujitsu gave the name: Bartitsu

I discovered a rather useful newspaper article on the subject:

Pierre Vigny and Edward Barton-Wright demonstrate walking stick combat. (The Bartitsu Society)

11 Jul 2014

Mother of Pearl Cufflinks

I feel very dapper when I have the opportunity to wear a double cuffed shirt with cufflinks. Opportunity is quite often, but mainly with business suits and formal/semi-formal attire.
My collection consists of just two pairs of cufflinks; both of Mother of Pearl.
I find the two pairs quite sufficient; surprisingly when considering my ever growing "need" for new jackets, shirts etc.

The first pair is a very plain design of rather large MOP buttons and steel bars for links. Design by Udeshi and acquired at Exquisite Trimmings, London.
The buttons are approx. 15 mm in diameter and 3 mm (!) thick. The bar and hinges are of a total of 18 mm long.
The design is quite versatile, but some buttonholes might have trouble to pass the large buttons.
MOP cufflinks from Udeshi
The second pair is lovely set of vintage 1930s art deco cufflinks in imitated gold with MOP I acquired at Mr. Wickstead's small Etsy store. They have a wonderful feature of expanding-retractable chains; making us without a valet (a gentleman's gentleman, a butler) able to attach the cufflinks properly to the shirt prior to dressing.

A pair of 1930s art deco cufflinks. MOP and d'Or faux.
Expanding-retractable chains, patented. Diameter 13 mm.
Double cuffed shirts from Swedish Stenström's.
The vintage cufflinks just noticeable below the lovely cuffs of my evening tails jacket.
If I had cufflinks which had been in my family for years or specially made for me in pure gold and silver I would most likely use such jewellery. HRH Prince Charles for example have some nice golden cufflinks.