A well fitting suit of classical proportion in simple English cloth forms the foundation of a good wardrobe. An English Bespoke tailor will cut you a good suit. If your suit is going to last you twenty years it is best to avoid fad or fashion.
Patrick Grant of Norton & Sons
How to choose a suit
I would advise a gentleman to follow three simple rules.
1. Few suits but good suits.
2. Favour simple suiting but splendid Linen
3. Always let ones clothes be correct, never too formal nor too casual, never too worn nor too new.
I favour a single breasted two button jacket with a notched Lapel, straight pockets and side vents, and a higher cut flat fronted trouser. If your finances allow start with the following; dark navy flannel, dark charcoal flannel, navy Worsted, charcoal worsted, Glenurquhart check worsted, navy cable stripe worsted. For warmer days add a couple of fresco's, again in navy and charcoal.
Armed with his simple suits a gentleman can set forth to create his look with shirtings and silks as simply or as flamboyantly as his tastes allow. It is with his linens that an Englishman expresses his sense of dress. Ones shirts must be well cut and should be classically proportioned. Experiment until you find a collar shape that works. A good shirt maker will assist in your choice of cut, and help you guide you through the many thousand Cotton shirtings and tie silks that he will offer.
And one should neither overdress nor underdress. Dress for the occasion and avoid looking contrived. According to the wonderful George Frazier 'No well-dressed man's clothes should look either old or new'. I wear a dinner suit of my grandfathers, cut in 1936, which age and wear has rendered perfect. The Norton & Son's suit that I am wearing today I have worn at least one hundred times before. It took about fifty wears before it really Felt worn in. Purchasers of inexpensive suits will never experience this joy.
Norton & Sons is one of Savile Row's finest Bespoke Tailors. Established in 1821, the house made its name tailoring to the young and sporting amongst Europe's elite.
The firm gained eminence making sharply cut suits for rugged and robust gentlemen, such as Lord Mountbatten and the young Winston Churchill, for whom the firm made everything from dinner suits to racing silks. Lord Carnavon wore a Norton suit when he discovered Tutankhamun's tomb.
In recent years Norton & Sons has worked on clothing collections for British menswear Designer of the Year Kim Jones, British Designer of the Year Giles Deacon, young London designers Richard Nicoll, House of Holland, Christopher Kane, and New York's Rag & Bone.
Norton & Sons still hand cuts and hand sews every garment on Savile Row, using the traditional techniques perfected over centuries of tailoring in London.
John Smedley shows us how to care for your knitwear.
Quality comes at a certain price, but does not necessarily need to be preciously treated. With a degree of care and attention all John Smedley (Look at the care instructions on other knitwear brands)garments can be machine washed and will continue to look good and last well for many years to come.Top tips for John Smedley's merino wool knitwear:
1.Remove surface soiling by gentle brushing, this will help the stain later on.
Treat stains immediately with cold water, blot dry with a clean cloth - never paper.
3. Air wool after wearing by laying the garment flat , as this helps to get rid of odours.
4. Always try to store lightweight wool folded and allow breathing space.
5. Clean your garments before storing, the dreaded moths, seemingly love top quality fibres, but they are actually feeding off the body oils and dirt, not the actual fibre. Use natural remedies to combat moth attack- the old ones are the best and smell the best- cloves, lavender, rosemary and thyme, orange peel and cedar, can all help deter the munchers. Never put these in direct contact with the knitwear, tie them in a gauze bag and hang in your cupboard or wardrobe. It is worth noting that as we have ditched our carpets in favour of floor boards, the moths no longer have carpets to attack, so are more inclined towards your clothes.
6. Try to rest your wool garment between wearing, (if you can bear to!), 24 hours allows the natural fibres to spring back and preserve its natural resilience.
7. Turn the garment inside out to protect the outer surface.
8. 30 degrees C is all you need on a reduced cycle. Merino wool has natural self cleaning properties, so you don't have to wash so often and all of this in turn helps the environment.
9. Use a mild, non-biological detergent. Biological enzymes eat away the natural fibres, causing long term damage.
10. Dry flat, or I prefer a good line dry on a windy day, the fibre almost returns to its natural habitat!
11. Gentle, warm iron with steam should just return the shape- though again straight from the washing line no ironing is necessary.
John Smedley's Sea Island Cotton needs less precautions. A beautiful, long fibre staple length, with a luxurious handle can be machine washed.
As we dye all of our colours at the mill in Derbyshire, the colours stay true and fixed. Still wash dark and lights separately, keep the temperatures low and never hang black and dark colours on the washing line in bright sunshine. Natural sunshine is the best natural bleaching agent- so perfect to keep your whites white!
For stain s and soiling, cold soak prior to washing. This loosens the dirt and prevents it fixing permanently with hot water.
A British Insititution, John Smedley has been manufacturing the finest knitwear since 1784. Still proudly Made in England at their factory at Lea Mills in Matlock, Derbyshire, the family owned company today, exports to over 35 countries worldwide.
The body panels and sleeves of the wool and cotton garments are linked together by hand, stitch for stitch, to create the impeccable neat seams which remain one of the hallmarks of real luxury knitwear.
After knitting, the garments are scoured or washed using water from John Smedley's three springs - this is a crucial stage in the manufacturing process giving the garments their characteristic 'soft handle'. Additional processes render the garments shrink resistant and machine washable, a unique feature considering such delicate techniques are applied.
Ideally if this is your first time growing a beard I would recommend a visit to a barber for advice. However, if you are unable to get to one, here are a few tips to help ensure that you get off to the right start.
Senior Barber at Gentlemen's Tonic, Imad Khaireddin
Whilst everyone experiences hair growth at different rates, you should typically allow the hair to grow in length for around 4-6 days. Ensure that your electric clipper has graded numbers and a half setting to allow for some flexibility in choosing your preferred length. The grades refer to the length of the hair in millimeters, for example grade 1 means the hair will be cut to between 1 -3 millimeters in length where as grade 2 represents between 2-6 millimeters in length.
Do make certain that you start with a dry beard. If you're unsure how short you would like your beard to be, it is best to start trimming with a higher clipper grade. You can then repeat the process with a lower grade if you wish. In cases where the thickness of the beard differs on various parts of the face it is best to use a short grade on the thicker areas such as the chin or moustache area, and a longer grade on the thinner areas to achieve an even finish.
When you are happy with the length, take some time tidying up your beard. Set your clipper on 0 and remove the clipper guard if you have been using one. The teeth should be closed. Tilting your head back slightly, use the flat side of your clipper to create a line from left to right above the Adam's apple. Use your own discretion but try not to take the line too high or too low. To create a natural finish to the beard, trim the neck area with the clippers on a grade lower than you used to trim the bulk of the beard. You can put a small amount of shave oil into the beard when finished to ensure it looks shiny and healthy.
Gentlemen's Tonic is a traditional yet contemporary barber in the heart of Mayfair. Combining traditional barber shop treatments such as wet shaves and hair cutting with spa treatments such as eyebrow threading and thai massage, Gentlemen's Tonic also have branches in the City of London, Houston, Texas and more recently Selfridges, Oxford Street. TheChicGeek is a fan of the post party "Hemingway" treatment which constitutes of a Bloody Mary, aromatherapy facial and massage.