28 Feb 2015

Spats for country living

I have grown very fond of wearing spats; I like the look of the smooth transition from cuff to shoe and the comforting feeling of warm ankles.

I have been looking for spats to wear with my country attire for a while as my light grey canvas city spats with their delicate mother-of-pearl buttons would look out of place in the countryside.
Then recently I purchased two pairs of vintage spats from Ebay-based Gentleman's Outfitter John Lauder (Ebay store Whitetie_123); a most recommendable store if you are in the market for spats and other Edwardian attire and accessories.

I had a good walk in the countryside this morning wearing my "new" fawn felt spats; a perfect match for my three-piece heavy cheviot tweed suit and mocha brown brogues. Spats really elevates the look and was needed for warmth in the 6 degree Celsius warm early Spring weather.
The second pair of spats I purchased is an old pair of leather spats; 12" high. The outside has a soft suede-like surface and the inner a smooth full grain. These spats are for rough use with shooting socks, brogues and breeches amongst sedimentary rocks and thorny bushes.


Fawn felt spats

Heel reinforced with leather. The leather strap is quite sturdy

Leather Shooting spats - 12" high

Tan brogues and leather spats

1920s brown/fawn spats, narrow legs and cuffs - link to Pinterest

An alternative to spats is a lovely pair of boots. Below are perfect examples of how beautiful boots suitable for a heavy cheviot tweed suit can look. Both are found at the brilliant Swedish shoe store Skoaktiebolaget  

Edward Green Alderley

Carmino Polo suede Balmoral boot

References to previous posts on my blog if you would like to read more about the shoes and the suit:

Cheaney Wesley II
Heavy Cheviot Tweed suit
P.O.W. and spats

16 Feb 2015

The diplomat's suit

During fall last year I acquired a vintage bespoke suit  from Gentleman's outfitter Savvy Row; a lovely medium/heavy weight grey worsted DB suit. The suit was originally commissioned by sir Guy Millard - a British senior diplomat. The suit was made in Savile Row in 1975 when sir Guy was still the British Ambassador to Italy.

Sir Guy Millard; read more about his life and career in this obituary 

The suit is quite contemporary in cut and style with the narrow legs and a slim short jacket - the closing of 4x1 button (four button front of which only 1 button is working) adding to the slender look; especially taken into account that the suit was made for a gentleman aged 58 forty years ago.
The colour and fabric makes the suit quite versatile and gives room for matching different colours of shirts, ties and shoes.
I wear the suit at the office; sometimes with a white shirt, detachable wing collar, a tie and black Oxford shoes; other days with a sky-blue shirt, a paisley bow tie and black brogue shoes.
Today, I went with my green Magnanni shoes; grey spats (which I think looks great with the narrow legs and cuffs - a 1920s look); a blue-striped double cuffed Stenström's shirt and a green untipped vintage silk tie.

As usual I added brace buttons to the trousers; braces are indispensable

4x1 button front

No vent

Wide, peaked lapels

Working cuffs

Cream shirt from Tyrwhitt; Shantung silk tie from Drake's; Pocket square from Rubinacci; fur-felt Bowler hat from Christy's; and oxblood shoes from Herring (Drake)

Bespoke tailors Sandon & Co, Savile Row
The double-breasted suit with 4x1 button  is often seen worn by the Duke of Windsor; a jacket closing that elongates the body and thus "adds" height to the bearer.

The Duke of Windsor