28 Dec 2015

The Yule-tide spirit at Glücksburg Strandhotel

As my wife and I were neither invited to Skeldings Hall nor had plans for Monte Carlo we went to our favourite hotel in Schleswig-Holstein, Strandhotel Glücksburg, to commend the Yule-tide Spirit.
Five days of excess living at the adorable 4-star hotel next to Flensburg fiord.
The restaurant though not having any stars yet is mentioned in the Michelin guide; quite deservedly.

Such a stay calls for substantial luggage including several pairs of shoes and boots; tweed suits for the countryside; flannels and worsted suits for the city of Flensburg; and Dinner suit and Evening Tails for evenings. Furthermore a myriad of accessories including umbrella, walking and shooting sticks.

Dining in the restaurant "Felix"

6 Dec 2015

Chukka boots from Carmina Shoemaker; MTO via Skoaktiebolaget

My new Chukka boots from Carmina Shoemaker are made on the sleek Simpson last in a beautiful burnished museum calf; they are part of a group MTO by Swedish Skoaktiebolaget ordered 3½ months ago. The boots are Goodyear welted and of really good quality.

Carmina is made in the Spanish island Mallorca; and from reputation a great shoemaker. The Albaladejo family has been making shoes for almost 150 years and more companies are currently run by family members; José Albaladejo founded Camina in 1997.
The Simpson last is a slightly narrower last which suits my feet perfectly. The burnishing looks great, and the craftmanship in general is really good. The half rubbersole (called "Tomir") is perfect for the boots; suitable for Autumn/Winther and still fits the sleek design (Dainite soles would have looked too crude).
I ordered my boots with corresponding shoe trees from Skoaktiebolaget; a quite appealing design, made in North Hampton.
Carmina does a lot in group Made To Order and you really have the opportunity to get beautiful designs made. I am looking forward to if they soon will open for individual MTO, too.

The sleek, slightly elongated Simpson last

23 Nov 2015

The 1967 vintage bespoke brown houndstooth check suit

A recent acquiry is this lovely vintage bespoke brown houndstooth check suit; made in Exeter, England in 1967 for a British lieutenant, Royal Marines.
Two-roll-three button SB jacket; no vents. Single pleated trousers with tapered legs. Waistcoat with lapels. Real horn buttons. Beautiful hues.
A true classic.
Only alteration needed was a 1 1/4" sleeve lenghtening.

The houndstooth check originated in the Scottish Lowlands in the 1800s. The traditional houndstooth check is made with alternating bands of four dark and four light threads in both warp and weft. Fillings woven in a simple 2:2 twill, advancing one thread each pass.

Today I wore the suit with a double-cuffed striped shirt and a detachable round collar from Darcy Clothing; a narrow plum silk tie; and dark oak brogue shoes.

In the with-drawing room

8 Nov 2015

The Borsalino Trilby from Hatters Petitgas in Copenhagen

Last weekend I visited the exquisite hatshop Petitgas in Copenhagen and was once again taken by the wits and charms of owner Bernhard Tommerup and his lovely wife.
First time we met was at the Copenhagen Tweed Ride in September when I won the prize for best dressed Gentleman; the prize being a gift voucher to Tommerup's hatshop (link to blog post)

The Petitgas hatshop has been in the same locations since 1857; and much of the interiour remains unchanged. Saying is that Hans Christian Andersen frequented this charming hatshop in Købmagergade.
Hats were made in the back building and as many as 40 people were part of the manufacturing back then. Nowadays hats are not being made here anymore; but quality hats like Borsalino, Mayser and Stetson are in the cupboards and shelves. Bernhard took over the business in January 2013.

Bernhard and his wife have great knowledge about the various hats; furfelt; colours; shapes etc. and will kindly tell you which hats are suitable for you.
Even before I arrived they already knew that I would end up buying this lovely gunmetal furfelt Trilby from Italian Borsalino.
(Only today it struck me that Borsalino started making their quality hats the exact same year as Monsieur Petitgas opened his hatshop in Copenhagen; anno 1857).

I wore my new Borsalino for a Sunday stroll with Spouse and dog in the park surrounding my old Gymnasium. I wore my vintage 1950s dark blue King Coat over a vintage 1960s three-piece brownish Glen Check suit. Handmade shoes from Vass in antique cognac and English tan unlined gloves from Dents.

At the main entrance of my old Gymnasium

2 Nov 2015

End of Season Field Hunting in North Zealand

The first Sunday in November every year since anno 1900 the Danish field hunting society celebrates the end of seasons with a spectacular race in "Dyrehaven" (the deer garden) north of Copenhagen.
The unique area centered by the early-18th-century Baroc country house "Eremitagen" - originally a hunting lodge for the Danish King Christian VI - was in 2015 added to the UNESCO World Heritage list
The orthogonal grid design is exclusively designed for the past par force huntings enjoyed by King and nobility.

Nowadays par force hunting with packs of hounds has been abolished and the field hunt on St. Hubert's Day is a parade ended by a final race towards "Eremitagen"; still a spectacular sight with beautiful hoofed creatures and hunting pink jackets.
The field hunting society has 24-25 annual hunts across woodlands and estates all over Denmark during Spring and Fall. The horsemen participating in most hunts during the two seasons qualify to the final race in "Dyrehaven" - and the chance to win His Royal Highness the Prince Consort's prize.

My wife and I joined our friends from the Copenhagen Tweed Ride Society for a lovely day out in the stunning autumnly woods and fields. The weather was quite good even though the sun was hiding and the hues of the leaves being too subtle.
As many as 40,000 people followed the 160 horsemen this Sunday!

As a small anecdote I can share with you that when the hunting horn blowers played the classical French drinking song "Chevaliers de la table ronde" before the hunt started I sent kind thoughts to my High School French teacher and my class mates...

Waiting for the final race in front of the early-18th-century Baroc hunting lodge.
The Danish Royal family is watching from the balcony
final briefing before the hunt starts

Time passing discussing sartorial matters with Mikkel, Alice and Jimmy

Mikkel testing my antique wooden shooting stick

Beautiful creatures and much drama

The deer watched us with curiosity - seeming to know that the hunt was not for Ungulates today

19 Oct 2015

My antique wooden seat stick

I never seem to complete my long list of indispensable Gentleman's accessories; and in regards to walking sticks and canes I have only just started..
(The silver knob handled walking cane and My ash knob walking stick)

Recently I acquired a lovely antique wooden seat stick; I do not know the history behind this well-crafted item, but I have seen seat sticks similar to this from late 19th Century London (sword maker R.S. Garden, Picadilly). The hinges work like a marvel and details in the making are well cared for; except for a few woodworm holes the stick is in fine condition and quite functional.

The seat stick is a perfect companion for longer walks that includes bird-watching, but also for spectator sports like field-hunting.

Preparing a seat
Antique wooden seat stick

Wearing my vintage 1970 bespoke tweed shooting suit; a vintage houndstooth tweed waistcoat; peccary gloves; loden green shooting socks and tan brogues.  Binoculars and shooting stick.

The seat is quite comfortable


German newspaper sellers on seat sticks, 1927

1920s postcard

12 Oct 2015

Moustache wax from The Quintessential Beard

I do appreciate enterprises based on craftmanship, the best of raw materials, and passion; such an enterprise is The Quintessential Beard. A foray started a couple of years ago in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England by Kerry Barrows and his wife and mother.
An endeavour to supply high quality products that will make the bearded or moustachioed Gentleman look well groomed; a truly admirable venture.

I have tried out their Moustache Wax; a light wax based on locally sourced organic beeswax; lanolin; golden jojoba oil and unrefined shea butter. The scent is subtle but unmistakeably filled with notes of honey, flowers and pollen - a welcomed change from my scentless old moustache wax.

My Quintessential Beard Moustache Wax displayed on a huge lump of beeswax.

At first I completely neglected the idea behind this wax; to be an alternative to the hard moustache waxes that don't necessarily nourish your moustache and might even cause loss of the appriciated facial hair.
I was afraid if the new softer wax would be able to withstand the autumnly weather conditions - especially because my moustache is very narrow with inch-long straight points and even little hair-disturbance would be a disaster.
And being slightly un-appreciative of the instructions from Kerry I attacked the wax with a hairdryer - like my regular wax; and learned that the ingredients in The Quintessential Beard moustache wax definitely does not agree with heating.

But after a while I learned to trust the soft luxury of the wax; simply scrape out an amount of the wax with the back of your finger nail and form between fore finger and thumb before working the wax into the moustache while twirling the points.
Advantages over the usual hard wax are a quicker, softer application; the subtle natural scents; and the softer, groomed look of the moustache - the hard wax can easily look more like a massive coating.

I have not yet tried out the wax in extreme weather conditions with lots of rain and wind, but expect only a little less sturdyness of the moustache than with the old hard wax.
If a re-application should be needed during the day - e.g. if stopping for a drink at a local public house during a long walk - this moustache wax comes in handy!
For everyday use at the office, in town and countryside this moustache wax is brilliant.

In the words of Hercules Poirot: "I did not achieve true facial symmetry until I grew the moustache..."
Moustache after 10 hours at the Office; waxed with The Quintessential Beard Moustache Wax.
Bow tie from Drake's London

Forget about the hairdryer - simply scrape out an amount of wax with the back of your finger nail

I had not heard of Kerry's enterprise before he approached me with a free sample, but I really appreciate his ideas and passion and would really love to be a returning customer - I hope that Kerry and his family will broaden their range to include e.g. locally sourced knitwear or tools with the same passion and focus on quality differentiating them from competitors.

The moustache wax is available here: the-quintessential-beard.myshopify.com : 30ml (1 oz) for £8.00

30 Sep 2015

A Walk in the Countryside - Tweed, Spats and Bowler

This weekend I immensely enjoyed the fine weather with my wife and dog walking in the countryside surrounding Fussingø in Jutland; virtually in my own backyard.
From anno 1753 Fussingø was the home of County of Scheel von Plessen, but when Germany lost WW2 the Danish government confiscated all German property; including Fussingø.
Anyway the landscape surrounding the house is very beautiful and includes lovely meadows, ponds, a lake and old forests.

I wore my heavy cheviot tweed suit, with spats and bowler - perfect for a day in the countryside....

These pictures are also my entry into the competition "The Well-Dressed Man of 2015" at the Danish blog "Stiljournalen" (Journal of Style); a highly recommended blog on bespoke tailoring, handmade shoes, fine shirts and all those major and minor components that create true style.

Bowler from Christys hats; wool tie from Hackett; wool-silk pocket square from Drake's London; English-tan unlined gloves from Dents.
The red barns next to the "Chateau"

walking the dog
I am very happy with the fit of this suit - a real autumn favourite of mine...

26 Sep 2015

Mustard Knit Cardigan from Coxmoore of England

This time of year when the Autumn starts spreading it's wonderful warm hues and temperature is getting lower we can again dress in Tweed and waist coats; and knit cardigans for warmth and comfort.
I have been looking for a proper knit cardigan for a while; a cardigan of high quality and in a colour that suits the warm gold/orange/red colours that are woven into my Tweeds.
I finally I decided for this lovely mustard wool cardigan from Coxmoore of England; classic knitwear from Nottingham. I bought it from the brilliant Gentleman's outfitter: Tails and the Unexpected.

The quality is excellent; much effort has been put into the design, and the making of the seams. Buttons seems to be made of dark grey Mother of Pearl; even the button holes are quite well-made.
The cardigan adds beautiful colouring to different suits and odd jackets.

Today I wear the cardigan with my heavy Cheviot Tweed suit; Olive with window panes in burnt orange.

Light-blue Stenström's shirt; green medaillon print wool tie from Hackett's; dark oak brogues from Cheaney&Son.
The lenght and the fit of the cardigan is great

Adds beautiful colouring to the ensemble

Beautiful buttons

Well made yokes, hems and seams

Shooting socks and wool tie

14 Sep 2015

Bowler, Hacking jacket, Riding breeches, and Riding boots - at Copenhagen Tweed Ride

Attending this year's Copenhagen Tweed Ride was sheer pleasure: the party of well-dressed and intelligent people was great company during a day of visiting beautiful old Copenhagen; having picnic in the park and finishing off with punchbowl and live music at Lidkoeb bar.
And I was accompanied by my lovely wife and our dog...

I am happy to share with you that my partners-in-Tweed voted me the best dressed man of this event.; thank you all!
This post might seem a bit self-centered, but I would like to show the winning combination of Bowler, Hacking jacket, Riding breeches, and Riding boots.

The Bowler is from Christy's Hats; shirt and detachable double-round collar is from Darcy Clothing; vintage untipped silk tie from RL; Hacking jacket and waistcoat are part of my vintage 1980s bespoke heavy cheviot tweed suit; the Vintage 1957 Riding breeches are made of heavy cavalry twill; OTC argyll socks from Burlington; my vintage Riding boots and matching (English Tan) unlined hairsheep leather gloves from Dent's. Pocket square in wool/silk from Drake's London and my antique silver pocket watch from Waltham Mass. in a military-style leather strap.

My wife, my dog and I at the Copenhagen Tweed Ride (Photo by my chum H.P. Henriksen)
Together with messrs. Outzen and Kurt-Nielsen

During the picnic in the park we also played the old game of "Cap the Pigeon" - a most enjoyable pursuit after a nourishing meal.

Watching the game while enjoying a bag of Tyrell's hand-cooked crisps. together with my chum H.P.

Giving advise to Fiona - even though I had no luck myself capping a pigeon. Fiona won the contest by the way...
Together with my good friend Jimmy

The Riding breeches are vintage: made in 1957 for Sir Lancelot by bespoke tailors Gillott & Hasell. Made from a heavy-weight Loden green cavalry twill.

Vintage bespoke riding breeches from Gillott & Hasell

The Bowler is fur-felt from Christy's Hats - a new entry in my wardrobe but already a favorite...

Pictures from Tails and the Unexpected
Winning the price of best dressed man left me with a giftcard of DKK 1000,- to spend at the exquisite hat shop "Petitgas" in Copenhagen. I am looking very much forward to be visiting the shop once they have finished changing to autumn/winter hats during the next weeks...

Giftcard to the exquisite hat shop Petitgas in Copenhagen

28 Aug 2015

Tobacco Linen Suit from Bladen

Inspired by a Swedish guy I am following on Instagram I looked by a Swedish Gentleman's Outfitter called Tweed Country Sports.They have a small store in Rörstrandsgatan in Stockholm and a fine online shop. I was looking for a linen or fresco suit to reinforce my Summer wardrobe.
I falled in love with a tobacco three-piece linen suit; made from the finest 12 oz Irish linen by British Bladen. A lovely cigar brown hue...

Tobacco linen suit from Bladen

Medium to high waist and accentuated pleats

The cut is contemporary with fitted jacket waist and shorter lenght. The trousers are also slim but with a medium-to-high waist and deep single forward pleats that gives room.
The making is ok; jacket half-lined with natural horsehair interlining and lined with cupro bemberg.
Real horn buttons - a must-have.
I am not too fond of the button-holes, though; being used to handmade quality from my vintage bespoke suits.
I will eventually change the cuffs to working cuffs with handmade button-holes; Bladen have most kindly fully prepared the cuffs for the change in their design.
Legs come unfinished (36"), so I made deep (55 mm) cuffs... lovely!
The suit creases  (obviously) during use but that is quite OK; fits the degree of informality and Summer.
It's a true versatile suit during Spring and Summer; suitable for office, for town, for garden, for day and evening. And easier to wear than my 1930s white linen suit.
And it's great for wearing as separetes: e.g. jacket with cream Fox flannels or trousers with a denim blue linen DB sports coat.

Cream Fox flannels; light blue DB cuff Stenström's shirt; green vintage silk RL untipped tie
 Handmade shoes from Vass in antique cognac
I prefer blue or blue-striped shirts with the suit - white seems too formal and adds too much contrast -  at least during day time.
The waistcoat needs more alterations;  It's always difficult to get a decent fit in a waistcoat, but in this case I also judge wrong design: the waistcoat is simply far too long (at least 2").
But all in all a lovely suit and not last time I will consider a pair of Bladen trousers - I really like the fit.
In regards to ready-to-wear linen jackets in this price range I prefer the making of Suit-supply; the comfortable, unconstructed, Neapolitan cut.

Denim blue linen DB jacket from Suit-supply; shantung silk tie from Drake's; pocket square from Rubinacci; Blue shirt from Stenström's; OTC cotton socks from Bresciani (#Mes Chausettes Rouges)

Real horn buttons. Cuffs prepared for working cuffs.
Dark leaf Cheaney's and deep cuffs.