My new podcast helps you dress with confidence and authority. Wish I’d had it when I was twenty.
A few years ago I decided to learn how to dress myself. This might strike you as somewhat behind schedule, since I’m several decades out of primary school, but I realised I was suffering from a malaise which affected many men I encountered – the absence of a framework for understanding just how clothes are intended to work. A conversely small number of guys I observed clearly did seem to possess this information, but they were few and far between.
It wasn’t for lack of trying. I’d always bought quality brands, frequently had garments adjusted, knew my optimum colours, the lookbooks I liked perusing and a sense of what seemed to suit me. But I was way too scattergun with my purchasing; I bought what I fancied with no strategy or plan, and when I brought items home I frequently had difficulty putting them together with other things in my wardrobe. In short, an overarching style always eluded me.
To address this, I began a journey into the world of the sartorialist; a mysterious, misty landscape of of pocket squares, boutonnières and barchetta pockets, with its own curious lexicon of terms like ‘half-canvassed’ and ‘breaks’. Along the path I was introduced to fedoras by a Chicago hatter, observed wales in their natural state (those ridges in corduroy, anything from three to twenty-five per inch) and explored button design (tagua nut or horn, sir?). I discovered my true shoe-size – having blithely assumed I was a British eight when I was actually several barleycorns shorter. (Barleycorns were the delightful original measuring unit for footwear – three to the inch, giving me a 27-barleycorn right foot).
Finally, when I felt I had accrued enough basic data to talk to a tailor without making a complete arse of myself, I sought one out (a tailor, not an arse) and met David Minns of Brown in Town just a few miles away in Bristol. And with several fittings under our belts and finally – blissfully – a small but efficient wardrobe of clothes which fit perfectly, complement one another and bring compliments my way, too – I decided to share some of my gleaned experiences and David’s vast sartorial knowledge with the world through our new podcast – Savvy Dressers.