© h.f.ullmann publishing GmbH Original title: Der Gentleman – Handbuch der klassischen Herrenmode ISBN 978-3-8480-0197-2 For the new updated edition: Bernhard Roetzel Project coordination: Dania D’Eramo Layout: e.fritz, berlin 06 (on the basis of the original design by Malzkorn, Büro für Gestaltung GmbH, Cologne)
© for the English edition: h.f.ullmann publishing GmbH Original translation into English: Christine Bainbridge, Anthea Bell, Terry Moran and Martin Pearce in association with First Edition Translations Ltd, Cambridge, UK Translation of the updates into English: Susan Ghanouni in association with First Edition Translations Ltd, Cambridge, UK Overall responsibility for production: h.f.ullmann publishing GmbH, Potsdam, Germany Printed in China ISBN 978-3-8480-0262-7 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 X IX VIII VII VI V IV III II I
GENTLEMAN A Timeless Guide to Fashion Photography G端nter Beer
40 UNDERWEAR 42 The Most Important Question of All 44 Variations Underneath 46 A Fly-Away Success
10 THE GENTLEMAN’S VISITING CARD
48 THE SHIRT
12 THE BEARD
50 A Gentleman’s Shirt • 51 Good Shirts at a Glance • 52 Collar Shapes 54 Cotton • 55 Swiss Quality-Alumo 56 The Stuff Shirts are Made of 57 Folding a Shirt 58 Shirts with Soul • 60 The Best English Shirtmakers • 62 How a Custom-Made Shirt is Created • 64 Checks for the Weekend 65 The Brooks Brothers Shirt • 66 The Right Shirt – the Right Fit • 68 Washing and Ironing – the Fundamentals of Shirt Care
14 Shaving at Home 16 At the Barber’s • 17 A Good Wet Shave 18 The Electric Shaver • 20 Different Men, Different Beards • 22 Timeless Scents 24 The Perfumer’s ABC 25 Lorenzo Villoresi
26 THE HAIR 28 The Joys of Visiting the Hairdresser 30 What Should I Put on My Hair? 32 The Right Way to Wash Hair 34 Hairstyles with Character 36 The Toupee: For and Against 37 The Fake Hair of the Stars 37 Chest Hair • 38 The Royal Hairbrush 39 The Manicure
70 THE NECKTIE
118 SMART CASUAL
72 From Neckcloth to Ornamental Neckwear • 73 Stars of the Stripes 74 A Good Necktie • 75 Woolen Neckties • 76 A Great Success from the Grande Nation • 77 The Best of the Best 78 The Origins of Silk 79 Making a Necktie • 80 The CustomMade Necktie • 81 The Business Necktie 82 The Four-in-Hand • 83 How to Tie a Necktie • 83 The Windsor Knot 84 The Bow Tie • 86 Tying a Bow Tie 87 The Cravat
120 The Sports Jacket • 122 Needle and Thread • 124 Tweed Plus • 126 Attolini – A Suit made by the Boss• 128 Today’s Sports Jacket • 128 An Eye for Detail 130 Fabrics for Trousers to Go with the Sports Jacket • 132 The Gray Eminence 134 Khaki Couture 135 Shorts • 136 The Right Sort of Jeans 138 The Cut • 139 How Trousers Got their Cuffs • 140 The Waist Area 140 The Trousers in Detail 141 Other Lands, Other Trousers 142 All about Suspenders • 144 The Right Belt • 146 The Blazer – a Living Legend 148 Blazer and Trousers
88 THE SUIT 90 Style in the Suit • 91 Button Undone • 92 The Mecca of the Custom-made Suit • 96 The English Suit • 97 Patterns and Fabrics • 98 A Suit from Gieves and Hawkes • 102 Beckenstein Men’s Fabrics • 104 Three Savile Row Customers • 105 The King of Style • 106 The Right Kind of Tweed Suit • 108 The Italian Suit • 109 Handmade Ready-to-wear Clothing – An Italian Art • 110 Brioni – veni, vidi, vici • 112 Kiton or the Vision of Ciro Paone• 112 Exclusive to Kiton: The Fabrics 114 The Summer Suit 116 Brooks Brothers
150 SHOES 152 Good shoes 156 John Lobb • 158 Formal shoes with closed lacing • 160 Formal shoes with open lacing • 162 Loafers 164 Moccasins Italian Style 166 Monkstraps – the Shoes with Buckles 167 Other Word for Weatherproof 168 Not all Leathers are Equal 170 The Center of the Shoe world 172 The Shoemaker’s Tools • 174 How a
Shoe Takes Shape • 178 The Other Word for Cordovan • 180 Suede Shoes 182 American Classics – Saddle Shoes 183 Slippers • 184 The Royal Wellington Boot • 186 Socks – Getting the Combination Right • 188 Shoes and the Rest
220 Those little differences 222 The Everyday Ballast • 224 One has it – but where? • 226 What does it tell us? 228 The best watches in the world 230 All About the Watch • 232 Less is More • 234 Preface to Tobacco 236 The Cigarette • 238 The Pipe 240 Classic Pipe Squad 241 The Manufacture • 242 The Cigar • 244 The Sizes • 246 The Bar in the Pocket • 248 The Cuff Link 250 Our Daily Companion 252 The Original • 254 Traveling in Style • 256 For the Short Trip 258 The Knack with the Jacket 259 The Right Way to Pack a Suitcase 260 The Walking Cane • 261 The Lap Robe • 262 No Fear of Rain 264 The Other Word in Umbrellas 266 Glasses • 268 Not only when the Sun Shines • 270 The Handkerchief 272 From Hand to Breast Pocket 274 The Right Combination • 276 The Glove 278 Scarf Refinement
190 OVERCOATS & JACKETS 192 Overcoat Culture • 194 Essential Overcoats • 198 The Officer in the Gentleman • 199 The Duffel Coat • 200 The Barbour Phenomenon • 201 The Story of the Waxed Jacket 202 The Barbour in Detail • 203 The Top Six • 204 Short is All Right
206 THE HAT 208 The Hat Past and Present 210 The Bowler • 212 Courage to Wear Hats • 214 Who Wears Hats? 216 The Panama
328 Available to Rent… 329 The Right Shoes • 330 Morning Dress
282 In the Beginning Was the Sweater 284 From Sheep to Wool 286 Classic Knitwear • 288 Between England and France • 289 The Guernsey in Detail • 290 From Fine to Chunky Knit 292 Correct Coordination • 294 For Cold Winter Days • 296 Pure Understatement: the cashmere sweater
332 HOME COMFORT 334 A Hint of Decadence 336 Breakfast with Style 338 A Souvenir from the Colonies 340 Home Comfort
298 SPORTING LIFE 342 APPENDIX
300 Why Sport? • 302 Hunting, Riding, Fishing… • 304 Shooting – the Outfit 306 James Purdey & Son: Country Look by the King of Gunsmiths • 307 The pocketknife 308 Riding – the Outfit • 310 Spectating in Style • 312 Fishing – the Outfit • 314 Hole in One • 316 The Crocodile 317 The Other Polo Shirt 318 Water Sports – the Outfit
344 Looking after your Wardrobe 344 The Suit • 346 The Necktie 346 Shoes • 347 Shoe Repair 348 Glossary • 353 Index 358 Picture Credits • 359 Bibliography – a Selection • 359 Acknowledgments
320 FORMAL DRESS 322 White or black? • 324 The Tuxedo – and What Goes With It • 325 Black & White 326 White Tie • 328 A Jacket for Smoking
FOREWORD Ten years have passed since this book was first published, during which time it has come to be regarded as a classic of its kind and been translated into many different languages. The publication of this revised new edition with its fresh layout may prompt fans of the original edition to ask whether the changes and additions were absolutely necessary. “The Gentleman” was, after all, about classic men’s fashion, or, as one American colleague very aptly described it, “permanent fashion.” Is such a style even subject to change at all? The original edition could – in theory – have been left unchanged for another ten years since the number of facts which needed updating turned out to be surprisingly few and the rules a gentleman must observe when assembling his wardrobe have, in any case, barely changed at all. Nevertheless, the book did contain gaps in certain areas which I have been wanting to fill for some considerable time – the question of Italian style, for example, needed to be looked at more closely. Moreover, over the course of the past ten years, I have discovered a large number of new manufacturers, producers and studios, a few of which I would like to introduce in this new book. I hope that all my readers will thoroughly enjoy this new edition of “Gentleman,” which, like the original, seeks to kindle a sense of enthusiasm for quality, elegance and traditional craftsmanship. It would give me, as the author, enormous pleasure if, along the way, I also manage to help one or two readers to discover their own personal style.
THE GENTLEMAN’S VISITING CARD One thing should be clear: clothes do not make a man a gentleman; and, by the same token, a real gentleman is always a gentleman, even without his clothes. However, it would be a mistake to conclude from this that our appearance is not important. Clothes are the visiting card of a personality, and should therefore be chosen to match it. This book is an attempt to provide a comprehensive description of the proper style of attire for a gentleman. By this we mean a dress code that has its roots in England, and that is accepted around the world today as classic style. Anyone who dresses as described in this book can be sure that he will look well-dressed, whether he is in London, Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Rome, Milan, New York, or Tokyo. Dressing like a gentleman means mixing tailored garments and mass products, exclusiveness and modest practicality. A pair of Levi’s jeans with a tailored, made-to- measure tweed jacket is just as acceptable a weekend outfit as goodvalue boat shoes from Sperry with chinos by Polo Ralph Lauren and a blazer from Gieves and Hawkes. Dressing like a gentleman is therefore not to be equated with a stubborn conservatism. Innovations which prove their worth and look
good gradually find acceptance in the international style canon of London, Milan, and New York. Jeans are a good example. Although it took a while, these blue cotton trousers eventually established themselves, and are now familiar and accepted leisurewear items almost everywhere. Or there is the Husky jacket, which was invented at the beginning of the 1960s but only became well known around the world in the 1980s. Or Diego Della Valle’s Tod’s shoes, which have only been on the market since 1979. Combining pieces of clothing and accessories of the most varied origins to assemble a harmonic, interesting whole demands a thorough knowledge of the history of the individual garments. Naturally, this knowledge may also lead to the quite conscious creation of new and unusual combinations, which may occasionally even be the products of intuition and chance. But someone who does not wish to rely on these imponderables should learn about the individual components of his wardrobe. Only by doing so will he eventually understand how to wear them properly. Of course, it is not by chance that English clothes and English style are discussed so much in this book. London
became the leading fashion center in Europe as early as the eighteenth century, especially since important new ideas kept coming from the British Isles. While the French aristocracy lived at the royal court, their English counterparts spent a great deal of time on their country estates. Their favorite pastime was fox hunting, and this required a completely new style of dress. The knee-length coat was a hindrance when riding, so it was cut shorter and shorter. The vest became shorter to match, and the pants tighter. This new look was taken up throughout Europe: in France the English frock coat became the fraque, and in Germany the Frack, while la Grande Nation corrupted â€œriding coatâ€? into redingote. Only at the end of the nineteenth century was the color finally driven out of the suit that evolved during the eighteenth century, and consisted of a frock coat, vest, and pants. In view of the muddy roads of the time and the city air filled with soot and smoke by innumerable coal fires, this trend was thoroughly practical. Only in the country was there a contrast to the gray and black of the city. The colors of nature the nobility saw on their country estates were reproduced in hunting and riding clothes. Unknown trendsetters who wanted to be able to wear comfortable riding jackets in the city as well came up with the idea of having them made of dark materials. Ultimately, it is this development we have to thank for the cut of the modern suit, with its short jacket. In consequence, the modern man who finds a dark suit stiff and
formal may console himself with the knowledge that, in a sense, it is the dark version of a leisure outfit. But there is also another lesson to be drawn: dressing like a gentleman costs not only time, but money as well. An investment in a good garment generally entails further expenditure. Someone who is wearing a pair of genuinely good shoes for the first time will automatically cast a critical eye over the rest of his clothes. And as a consequence the need for a good suit arises almost out of necessity. This, in its turn, demands good shirts and ties. It is a process which usually takes several years, and it is better that way. A wardrobe must grow like the decoration of an apartment. This is a highly individual process, which can, and should, lead each of us to a unique style. As has already been mentioned, clothes are the visiting card of a personality.
An indispensable element of wet shaving is a shaving brush made from genuine badger hair. A. Simpson & Co. continues to make shaving brushes entirely by hand, using a technique that has remained unchanged since the firm was founded in 1919. The firm’s current range comprises 75 different models.
An altogether elegant as well as ecologically sound option is to use shaving soap in a wooden bowl as this can be refilled with fresh soap whenever necessary. Since just a small amount of shaving soap on the brush is sufficient to soften the beard, the need for a refill will be a relatively rare occurrence.
SHAVING AT HOME
In the past, the application of aftershave lotion to freshly shaved skin often caused painful stinging. Nowadays modern grooming products have a pleasant cooling and soothing effect on the skin. The traditional London firm of Taylor’s of Bond Street recommends its range of alcohol-free gels and balms which are specially formulated to soothe the skin and produce a velvety smooth finish.
Thanks to its soft consistency, tube-based shaving cream can quickly produce a rich lather. Simply squeeze the required amount – 1 inch (2 cm) should be sufficient – into the palm of the hand and rub onto dampened skin. Tube-based shaving cream is a less economical option than shaving soap, however.
While regular air travelers who only carry hand luggage must obviously conform to security regulations, a small bottle of shaving oil is not likely to raise any objection since it contains only a minimal amount of liquid. What is more, it can be applied without a shaving brush. Simply apply to wet skin, then massage it into your face and shaving can commence. The specialist products illustrated are available from The English Scent, a specialist store in Berlin. Its current range can be viewed on the Internet, ordered online, and dispatched throughout the world.
Shaving cream is available in tubes and pots with screw-top lids. Cyril R. Salter is a wellknown brand originating in Great Britain, where the firm's range of products is still produced. The shaving cream comes in various fragrances, one of the most popular of which is Indian sandalwood.
Is it acceptable for a gentleman to use shaving cream out of an aerosol can? Is this not too vulgar and indicative of the sort of convenience mentality that is frowned upon? Certainly a wooden bowl containing shaving soap does have greater sensory appeal than a metal can, the design of which resembles car spray paint. Nevertheless, shaving foam dispensed from a can does have its pros and its devotees. It is useful for anyone in a hurry, and the more leisurely shaving ritual can, after all, be reserved for weekend enjoyment.
Aftershave is rather less popular than it used to be since most men have grown tired of subjecting themselves to the stinging discomfort that accompanies the application of alcohol-based astringents to freshly shaved skin. Nowadays other products are available that sterilize the skin without pain, such as Pink Aftershave by D. R. Harris, which is scented with rose water.
Wet shaving provides a good, close shave but its effect on the skin is akin to a cleansing and peeling treatment. Most gentlemen find an aftershave milk a pleasant treatment. Not only does it sooth minor nicks, but it softens and moisturizes the skin.
Shaving soap is available in a variety of forms. One slightly less fashionable alternative is the shaving soap stick, which nevertheless represents an extremely practical and economical choice. Remove the cap, twist up the soap from the base, and rub it onto wet stubble. The small amount of soap applied to the skin in this way can be worked up into an extremely rich lather with the use of a shaving brush.
AT THE BARBER’S When Emile Zola spoke of a “ladies’ paradise,” he was referring to the institution of the enormous department store, that temple of commerce in which fine Parisian ladies abandoned themselves to unrestrained frenzies of buying in the midnineteenth century. By contrast, the good old barber’s shop is a paradise for men. It is a place where a man can engage in conversations of a particular kind that are only possible with a hairdresser: a little banal, entertaining for the most part, and always highly relaxing. The close physical contact encourages a certain familiarity, which is balanced out by the general nature of the conversation. In contrast to the ladies, 16
a man does not discuss intimate matters with his hairdresser. He is more likely to talk about cars, the weather, recent or upcoming horse races, and what is on television. But, sad to say, the barber’s shop is a threatened species, though it has not quite died out completely yet. Fortunately, many European cities still have traditional gentlemen’s hairdressers that offer their customers a good shave and a timeless haircut. It is usually men who work in these establishments, true to the old rule that, apart from his wife, a real gentleman does not allow himself to be touched by a woman. His doctor, his tailor, and, indeed, his hairdresser, must be male.
A GOOD WET SHAVE
Before the actual shave can commence, the beard is softened with hot towels. This procedure also encourages the blood circulation in the skin of the face.
The customer’s face is lathered using a real badger-hair brush. The lather softens the stubble and makes it easier to shave.
The cheeks are shaved first. The razor is always drawn “with the grain,” that is, in the same direction as the hair growth.
The barber holds the customer gently by the nose so that his upper lip is just tight enough.
The point of the chin requires particular skill, and no beard should be left underneath the bottom lip. But this is not a problem for a barber who is well versed in his craft.
When the shave is finished, the remaining soap is rubbed off, and the skin finally patted dry. This subjects the customer’s face to a thorough exfoliation.
THE SUMMER SUIT When you try on a very light, half-lined Italian summer suit for the first time you will be surprised that its lightweight fabric can be used for a suit at all. But if the suit fits well – whether because the right size is in stock, or you have ordered a made-to-measure suit, or you have had the suit custom-made from the first to your own measurements – you will be astonished to realize that this lightweight fabric hangs as well as the suit you wear in the fall. You can feel cool air around your legs as you walk, light actually seems to shine through the jacket, and the sleeves are so thin that the double cuff of your shirt seems heavy and stiff by comparison. When you look down at your legs you can see the ground through the fabric to right and left of your feet through your trousers. And note that we mean a woolen suit, although the wool is of so light a weight that it seems almost like shirting fabric – but unlike the cotton of a shirt it does not crease. Of course summer suits can be made in other fabrics, such as cashmere, silk, mohair, and cotton. But a tropical weight of pure wool is the best material for a suit to be worn to the office every other day in summer. Mohair, made from the hair of the angora goat, is equally hardwearing. This grainy, elastic fabric is mainly made into tuxedos, but it can also be used for summer suiting, although not everyone likes
If you think of cashmere only as a soft, warm, woolen fabric, then let your tailor show you lightweight cashmeres for summer. They are soft but still pleasantly cool to wear. Cashmere is not as hardwearing as merino wool, but keeps its shape better than cotton and considerably better than linen. At the establishment of the Dusseldorf tailor HeinzJosef Radermacher the client can choose from a wide range of this noble cloth. Lightweight woolen fabrics have long been regarded as ideal for summer. Fabrics like “Super 100” or even lighter weights combine the good qualities of pure wool with the light, airy quality you want in summer. With very lightweight grades of pure wool you can get through the summer almost crease free.
the luster that is characteristic of mohair. Silk is also a typical summer fabric, and it was the Italians who reintroduced silk to the gentleman’s wardrobe, like cotton and linen. Cotton and linen are certainly comfortable to wear in hot weather, but they crease badly, and a suit made of such fabrics soon loses its shape. In addition, the light weight of linen and cotton means that they do not drape so elegantly or hang out as well as pure wool – these materials just do not have the weight to pull the suit back into shape again as quickly. These vegetable fibers, then, are to be recommended only if you do not mind creases in a suit, and if your suit will be given enough time between wearings for the creases to fall out again. The creases in linen suits are less likely to fall out than those of cotton suits, and so the wearer will have to be prepared to tolerate a somewhat crumpled look.
The Italian manufacturer Belvest is renowned for producing extremely lightweight suits that feel almost like shirts even in extreme summer temperatures.
Many men find it difficult to think of silk as a suiting fabric, perhaps because most of them connect it primarily with the delicate Hermès scarves worn by their wives or girlfriends. But silk dyed in appropriate colors is an ideal material for summer suits. The Italians are masters of the production and working of this luxurious fabric. Mohair, like cashmere, is spun from the hair of a goat and then woven. It is an extremely elastic material and creases even less than merino wool, so it is ideal for formal summer suits. Most men think of mohair as the typical fabric for a tuxedo – in black or dark blue evening dress, the sheen of the weave is particularly noticeable. In fact this characteristic luster makes it harder to envisage mohair as correct for daytime wear. Although it is used for suits that are to be worn during the
day, not many gentlemen have these in their wardrobes. Cotton is pleasantly cool to wear in summer and is therefore an ideal material for lightweight suits. However, the great disadvantage of these typically pale summer suits is that they crease easily, which is a particularly annoying feature because it affects the fit of the suit. Concertina folds inside the elbow and at the hollow of the knee, for instance, make the sleeves and trousers of the suit look too short. But many men either will put up with this drawback because of the pleasantly light feel of wearing cotton or do not even feel that it is a disadvantage.
the ultimate summer fabric and think that its typical creases look distinguished. You could call it a marketing coup that an obvious drawback has been presented as a mark of high quality. Irish linen is considered the best. Linen for summer wear can be bought in many different weights, from heavy to very light. Since linen creases even more easily than cotton, and the creases do not hang out, it is not used much in classic or traditional tailoring. The cut and fit of a linen suit does not aim to look good in spite of creasing, and so such suits fall into the province of ready-made designer clothing rather than good tailoring.
Opinions on linen are divided. Traditionalists usually regard it as a material suitable only for white handkerchiefs. Others consider linen
BROOKS BROTHERS Brooks Brothers is not only the most famous gentlemen’s outfitters in the United States but also an American institution. When Andy Warhol received his first check in 1955 for a series of advertisements for the shoe firm of I. Miller, he bought 100 identical white shirts from Brooks Brothers. Brooks Brothers was founded in 1818, and can thus look back on as long a tradition as many European gentlemen’s outfitters. Its history is closely linked with the history of America. For instance, on his second induction into office in 1864 President Abraham Lincoln wore a coat from Brooks Brothers. Nineteen years before this memorable event, in 1845, Brooks Brothers sold its first ready-made suit – a complete novelty in the United States at the time. It was the predecessor of today’s Brooks Brothers suit in that it was a characteristic “sack suit” cut with natural shoulders, three buttons, and a vent in the back of the jacket and the top buttonhole was pressed in with the lapel. Typical fabrics are blue and gray pinstripes, gray herringbone, Prince of Wales check, plain blue, gray, and olive. Sizes range in single steps from 36 inches up to 50 inches, with jackets in up to five lengths – regular, short, medium long, long, and extra long – and trousers in regular, short, and long lengths. Alterations are made in the firm’s own workshop. In addition, jackets and trousers can be chosen in different sizes, something that is not usually possible on the continent of Europe, and the
trousers come either with or without pleats. Prices are lower than for European ready-to-wear suits of good quality. And if you do not need to buy suits off the rack, you can usually find something to suit you here in the way of shirts, neckties, underwear, socks, and above all sportswear. Brooks Brothers supply the originals we are used to seeing in Ralph Lauren designer versions: check shirts, sweaters, rugby shirts, corduroy trousers, and chinos. The shoe department is worth visiting too, since the Brooks Brothers label sells, among other things, Alden’s famous cordovan shoes, which can be recognized by the large eyelets for the laces. The great advantage of Brooks Brothers, however, has always been that if you like something so much you would rather not try anything else for a change, you can always reorder it. But today the firm displays traces of a modernizing trend regarded with some skepticism by old Brooks Brothers customers, who feel that it is diluting its style and quality and making unnecessary concessions to modernity. It is to be hoped that this will not lead to the loss of a sense of the firm’s identity, since its charm and strength lie in its maintenance of tradition.
Brooks Brothers suits can be bought with either two or three buttons. In the three-button version the top buttonhole is pressed in with the lapel so that it cannot be buttoned up. You should never forget to point out this feature to your dry cleaner, or the buttonhole will be pressed straight. The Brooks Brothers suit has natural, rounded shoulders, a feature which is responsible for the casual silhouette of the cut of the sack suit. The back vent is a typical feature. It allows freedom of movement, and you can put your hands in your trouser pockets without pushing the
jacket out of shape. The only drawback is that then the jacket opens up at the back, allowing a view of the wearer’s behind – which is not always especially attractive. The trousers sit high on the hips, and can be ordered with or without pleats. Although pleats went out of fashion for a time in Europe, at the end of the twentienth century many European men can scarcely imagine trousers without them. Whereas in America, trousers with unpleated front are the norm and are held up by suspenders for the sake of comfort rather than fashion.
Seersucker is the summer classic in New York. In Europe, on the other hand, men tend to look slightly eccentric in a seersucker suit. The word derives from the Indian term shirushaker, meaning “puckered,” which is in fact a good description of the characteristic structure of the material. It can be bought in pure cotton or a mixture of cotton and synthetic fibers. It is highly suitable for summer wear, being very lightweight.
Prince of Wales check is regarded as very suitable for business suits in the United States, where they say that this pattern is appropriate for “school, work, and travel.” In fact a suit in Prince of Wales check is practically indestructible, since it hardly shows stains. Men with black, gray, or white hair in particular find that the pattern looks good on them, but a man who is rather short or thin should choose it only for a singlebreasted suit – otherwise it can look overpowering.
Gray flannel has been acceptable for business suits in Europe only since the 1950s. In America, it has long been as popular with bankers and stockbrokers as the dark blue, pinstriped, or herringbone suits which are common elsewhere.
A fine gray herringbone pattern in flannel is a real American classic. European tailors use the material more rarely, but gray herringbone flannel is an interesting nuance in between plain gray wool and the more sporting look of a Prince of Wales check, which may not suit all types of occasions.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR WARDROBE The Suit If you want to look after your suit, you must first handle it with care. This does not mean treating it with kid gloves. On the contrary, you will only look good in a suit if you move quite unaffectedly when you wear it. Careful handling is just a matter of treating a suit with love and attention. As the product of great craftsmanship and many hours of work, it has earned a certain degree of respect. Anyone who has seen how much work goes into a good suit and how long it takes for a two-dimensional strip of fabric to be shaped into a piece of clothing that fits the wearer perfectly will regard the garment with new eyes. In practice, this means that the suit should be hung up on a broad, well-shaped clothes hanger after it has been worn. Ideally, the hanger should be shaped like a pair of shoulders. The hanger does not need to be made of wood as long as it is the right size and fills out the jacket. The hangers on which suits are hung in shops are narrow so that more clothes can be fitted onto the rails and into the display units. In order to prevent the sensitive shoulder seam from stretching out of shape while the jacket is hung up on these narrow hangers, it is fixed with white cotton thread, which is removed after the suit has been purchased. Good hangers can be bought in a department store. Pants should hang on a pants hanger, which clamps onto the bottom hem so that they are pulled into shape by their own weight. If you place great store on an immaculately ironed crease, you can put your pants in a pants press, or iron your pants by hand. When you do this, always lay a piece of damp, white cotton cloth between the iron and the material. Otherwise, the suit will be shiny after it has been ironed. Do make sure you have emptied the pockets before you hang up a jacket. After a day in action a suit needs a day of rest. If it has been worn for several days in succession, the rest period should be lengthened to match. Before the suit is hung away it should be given a quick brush. This should be done with a clothes brush made of natural bristle. Clothes brushes are available in various grades for different types of material. For example, particularly soft goat’s hair brushes are used for sensitive cashmere. It is best to buy English brushes, such as the ones produced by G. B. Kent & Son. You would be well advised to avoid the sticky rolls that are supposed to pick up fluff. They leave behind traces of adhesive on the material, which can cause considerable damage.
It is definitely much better to simply remove hairs and fluff with your fingertips. Go gently when you brush your suit. Do not pull off the buttons! The pockets also require careful treatment. Dirt really builds up in the cuffs of a pair of pants. They should be emptied and brushed as often as possible. You should turn your trousers inside out now and then in order to brush them from the inside. A suit should not disappear into the wardrobe straight away after it has been brushed. It is better to let it air for a while in an open window, on a balcony protected from the rain, or in a bathroom. Wool fibers need moisture to maintain their elasticity. A steam bath is just as beneficial to a suit as a Turkish bath to its owner. Clothes can be steamed easily in any bathroom. Close all the windows and air-vents, run hot water until steam forms, and then hang up the suit for a while in the misty atmosphere you have created. This gets rid of creases and unpleasant odors. The experts are not in agreement about dry cleaning. The traditionalists of Savile Row say that it is unnecessary: brushing, airing, and steaming are quite sufficient, while stains should be treated individually. Others see no danger in dry cleaning: the real problems are associated with how a garment is ironed afterwards. Anyone who has seen how a suit is treated at the dry-cleaners round the corner will definitely stick to brushing and airing. Ironing a suit is a highly skilled task, and getting a suit ready to be worn with an iron takes a very long time. Bad ironing can practically destroy a suit. It is best to ask the leading gentlemen’s outfitters in your area which dry-cleaning company offers the best service. Custom-made clothes can be taken to a tailor to be cleaned. He will also send your suit away to be cleaned, but will get it back unironed, and then iron it to a professional standard. In any case, if the suit fits well and the material is of the right weight for the time of year, it will not even need to be cleaned. After all, a suit hardly ever comes into direct contact with bare skin.
Tailors and valets have been relying on the“brush and steam” method to get dirt and creases out of suits since time immemorial.
GLOSSARY A Adjustable Waistband A pants waistband with an adjustable device inside it that can be used to vary the waist measurement. Pants with an adjustable waistband do not need to be worn with a belt. Adjustable waistbands are usually found on pants that are held up by suspenders.
B Balmoral In America the Balmoral, sometimes shortened to “Bal,” is a shoe with closed lacing. The most formal of all Balmoral shoes, the Oxford, is called the “Balmoral Oxford” in the USA. Bedford Cord A thick woolen material that makes extremely warm, durable jackets, suits, and pants. It is often used in shooting wear. Beefroll An American loafer. Belt A strip of material, usually leather, that is fed through loops on the waistband and is used to hold pants in position. It should match the wearer’s shoes. Belts replaced suspenders as the favored means of holding up suit pants after the Second World War. Bemberg Rayon The manufacturer’s name for a silky material made of cotton and used as a lining. Bengal Stripes Narrow stripes on a white shirt, usually dark blue, deep red, or dark gray. A classic pattern for business shirts.
they are usually single-breasted versions of the navyblue blazer. Blucher An American-English term for a shoe with open lacing. The quarters of a Blucher are stitched onto the vamp. The vamp, the part of the shoe that covers the instep and the toes, is made of the same piece of leather as the tongue. Boater A hard straw hat with a flat crown and round brim. Boat Shoe A moccasin with leather laces and a non-skid plastic sole. The Sperry Topsider is the original boat shoe. Bowler Hat A stiff hat developed in the workshops of the legendary hat makers Lock’s, better known in the US as the “derby.” It was commissioned by William Coke, and intended as a form of headwear for gamekeepers. It was originally called the “coke hat,” and only became known as the bowler when the company Bowler & Son began producing the new hat around 1850. See also Derby. Braid A silk stripe along the outer seam of the pants leg. A single braid is worn with a dinner jacket, a double braid with tails. Breeches An English term for riding pants.
Bespoke Tailoring An English term for what is known in American English as “custom-tailoring.” One definition is: “a garment cut by an individual, for an individual, by an individual.” Blazer 1. A dark-blue double-breasted jacket with two side vents and gilded brass buttons (the navy-blue blazer). 2. A single-breasted club jacket, usually with sewn pockets and brass buttons. Traditionally, club jackets were striped and came in the colors of a club. Today
British Warm A short, sand-colored, double-breasted woolen coat with leather buttons and epaulettes. Originally a British military coat. Budapests Wingtip shoes. A version of the British brogue developed in Budapest. Buffalo Horn A material used for the buttons of suits and sports jackets. Button-down Shirt A shirt with collar tips buttoned to the breast. The original version is the button-down shirt with a soft-roll collar made by Brooks Brothers of New York.
C Canvas Canvas is used in traditional tailoring to give shape to a suit jacket. A custom tailor will sew it in by hand, but in industrial manufacturing it is stuck in with adhesives. Canvas that has been fused in stops the material of a garment falling loosely, reduces the breathability of the
suit, and is less durable than hand padded canvas. Cashmere Yarn or weave made from the fine hair found under the coarse winter coat of the Cashmere goat. Casual Suit A suit that is not worn to work in the city, but for leisure activities and days in the country. Casual suits are usually made of rustic woolen cloths in natural shades, often checked. A casual suit could be described as a sports jacket with matching pants. Cavalry Twill A warm, extremely long-lasting woolen material with a characteristic diagonal structure. It is mostly used in the beige and brown pants traditionally worn with sports jackets and blazers. Chalk Stripe A classic pattern used in suit-making, with white strips on a gray or blue background. It is often used for doublebreasted suits. Chesterfield A city coat with a fly front. Traditionally, a Chesterfield is single breasted, comes in a gray herringbone pattern, and has a black velvet collar. The Chesterfield is also available in blue, black, or beige. Cheviot A robust, but very coarse, worsted fabric made from the wool of the Cheviot sheep. A typical material for English sporting suits. Club Tie Originally a necktie in the colors of an English club that was only available to club members. Today it is used as a general term for the striped necktie. Coat The word used in Savile Row for a sports jacket or the jacket of a suit. Coat-maker A tailor who specializes in making jackets. Coke Hat See bowler hat. Cordovan A term for horse leather, a rare and expensive raw material used in shoemaking. Only the leather from the hind parts of the horse can be used. One hide supplies two round pieces of leather, just enough for two or three pairs of shoes. The best Cordovan shoes are considered to be those made by the North American manufacturer Alden. Cotton The most important textile commodity. Cotton is even more widely used than natural wool. Underclothes, overshirts, jeans, chinos, and Gabardine raincoats are typical garments made of cotton. Covert Coat A single-breasted coat made of covert cloth, a medium twill, and reaching as far as the knee. Its typical features are a fly front and four simple parallel decorative seams above the cuffs and along the bottom hem. Crombie Coat A dark-blue single-breasted city coat with an open button facing. Cuff Links Two identical objects shaped so that they pass through the button holes of the cuff to fasten it. They are secured in place with a bar, a chain, or an elasticized ribbon. Cuffs A relatively recent invention, pants cuffs have only been worn since the first half of the nineteenth century.
INDEX Pages with detailed entries on
Bass (firm) 65, 154, 162
Breguet (firm) 228, 229
subject are in bold.
Bass Weejuns 162, 317
Breguet, Abraham-Louis 228
jacket 128, 314
Breitling (firm) 228, 229
necktie 75, 76
Baume & Mercier (firm) 228, 229
Brigg & Sons 264
scarf 278, 279
Baume, William 228
suit 114, 115
Aaltsz, Tony 19
Bausch & Lomb (firm) 268, 269
Brioni (firm), 110–111, 128
Acqua di Parma 22
beard styles 20
‘action-man’ sweater 295
Beckenstein Men’s Fabrics (firm)
British warm 195, 348
chalkstripes 97, 189, 348
brogue 158, 159, 160, 161, 165,
chambray 64, 65
see also dressing gown 337
Adenauer, Konrad 138, 223 adjustable waistband 140, 143, 352
see Swaine, Adeney,
Bedford cord 125, 305, 348 beefroll loafer 162, 348
181 Brooks Brothers (firm) 65, 116, 127,
cashmere 103, 115, 348
sweater 296 cavalry twill 130, 131, 148, 195, 348
Chameau, Le (firm) 305 Charles II, King of Great Britain 72
aftershave 14, 15
Belcher, James 72
Agnelli, Gianni 35, 65, 227
belt 96, 144-145, 349
Brooks Brothers shirt 65
Aida Barni (firm) 296
Belvest (firm) 115, 147
Brooks, John 65
Charvet (firm) 74, 339
Alden (firm) 65, 116, 153, 154,
Bemberg rayon/silk 348
Brown, Davies & Co. (firm) 50
Cheaney & Sons, Joseph (firm)
Benetton, Luciano 267
Brugnon, Jacques 316
Allen, Woody 127, 214, 267
Bengal stripes 348
Brummell, George Bryan 72
Allen-Edmonds (firm) 153, 154, 158
Bennett, Tony 37, 113
Brun, Henrik 45
see also gingham; house check;
Alumo (firm) 55
Prince of Wales check;
Altman & Co., B. (firm) 111
Berluti (firm) 157
see hairbrushes; clothes
Anderson & Sheppard (firm)
Bernhard, Prince of the
155, 158, 163, 178, 179, 181
143, 179, 182, 214
Charles, Prince of Wales 35, 53, 94, 104, 143, 201, 209
153, 154, 167, 170 checks 189, 314, 348, 350
shepherd’s check chest hair 37
94, 101, 104
Chesterfield (coat) 194, 348
angling, see fishing
Bespoke 93, 104, 348
Budapests 159, 165, 348
Cheviot 125, 189, 348
Anne, Princess 185, 201
bill pocket 225
buffalo horn 348
chinos 65, 134, 149, 181
aran sweater 291, 295
Billings & Edmonds (firm) 104
Burberry, Thomas 198
Church, Thomas 170
Armstrong, Neil 228
blazer 146-149, 318, 348
Burberrys (firm) 198
Church’s (firm) 153, 154, 159, 166,
Asprey & Garrard (firm) 256
Blucher 160, 161, 179, 348
Burlington (firm) 187
Astaire, Fred 37, 133, 214, 327
Blücher, Gebhard Leberecht 160
Bush, George 80
Churchill, Randolph 237
Attolini (firm) 59, 126-127, 128
boat shoes 163, 186, 319, 348
button-down shirt 64, 65, 249
Churchill, Winston 84, 183, 215,
Au Grand Rasoir (firm) 20
boater 212, 348
Audemars Piguet (firm) 228, 229
Bogart, Humphrey 37
buttons 51, 96, 123, 129, 149
Boothby, Sir Brooke 277
228, 237 cigar 242-245 cigarette 236-237
boots 305, 308, 312, 313
cigarette case 222, 237
Babers (firm) 177
Borotra, Jean 316
Cagney, James 213
cigarette lighter 222, 237
Badge & Button Company (firm)
Borrelli, Luigi (firm) 59
Calcani, Armando 110
Clapton, Eric 104
camelhair cloth 189
Cleverly, George (firm) 165
badger hair 14, 17
bow tie 85, 86, 325, 327
canvas 101, 129, 348
clothes brush 344, 345
Balmoral Oxfords 158, 348
Bowler & Son (firm) 211, 348
Car Shoe 154
clothes hanger 344, 345
bowler hat 210-211, 213, 348
Cardoso, Lopez 18
club jacket 146
Barbera (firm) 128
Box, Joseph 169
care of clothes 57, 68-69,
club necktie 72, 73, 348
Barbour (firm) 201
boxcloth 142, 143
Barbour jacket 200-203, 305
boxer shorts 42, 44
Carré, John le 130
coat maker 92, 100, 348
Barbour, John 201
Braun (firm) 19
Carreras, José Joaquin 236
Cochet, Henri 316
baseball cap 213
Cartier (firm) 228, 229, 233, 237
Coke, William 211
coat 192-199, 304
PICTURE CREDITS The overwhelming majority of the illustrations, not listed here individually, are new photographs by Günter Beer. Other pictures were kindly provided or created by the following: ro. = row, col. = column, c. = center, ri. = right, l. = left, t. = top, b. = bottom
© Achim Bednorz, Cologne, 24 background © Action Press, Hamburg, 20 c.col.b., 214 l.t. (photo: Holland), ri.t., 282, 322 l.b. © Aida Barni, Prato, 296-297 © Alden Shoe Company, Middleborough, 169, 178., 179 t. © Alumo AG, Appenzell, 55 © Anton Perich, Katonah, 104 c., 137 © Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte, Berlin, 20, l.col.t. (photo: Paul Almasy), 35 l.col.t, 135 ri., 138 (photo: AP), 182 b. (photo: Ursula Litzmann), 199 ri.t., 223 (photo: Gill, Riet/AP), 234 (photo: Ernest E. Gottlieb), 243 background (photo: Erich Salomon) © Archiv Pfeiffer-Belli, Munich, 229 except 2. col. from l., 2. from b. © Asprey, London, 256 ri.t. © Astrid Fischer-Leitl, Munich, 284, 288 ri. © Attolini, Naples, 126-127 © Barbour & Sons, Simonside, 201 ri.b., 203 c.col., ri.col., 312 ri.col.t. © Bass & Co., Melton Mowbray, 162 l.t. © Bavaria Bildagentur, Munich, 285 (photo: Buchholz), 303 ri. (photo: Images) © Belvest, Piazzola sul Brenta, 114, 146 © Bernhard Roetzel, Berlin, 21, 72 l., 76 b.l., 77 r., 93, 102-103, 109, 129 b.c., 157 t., 165 b., 170 b., 184-185, 306 b., 307 t., 328 b. © Braun AG, Kronberg im Taunus, 19 ri.t. and b., 68 l. © Brioni, Rome, 110, 111 © Camera Press Ltd., London, 84 background © Cartier, Paris, 229 2.col. from l., 2 from b., 233 2. from t., 3. from t., 237 c.col.b., ri.col.b. © Cheany & Sons, Northamptonshire, 167 b. © Church & Co., Northampton, 159 t.ro.ri. © Cordings of Piccadilly, London, 64 background, 106, 304 l., 308 t.ro. © Crockett & Jones, Northampton, 159 t.ro.l., b.ro.l. and ri., 161, 162 b.ro.l. and ri., 166, 167 t., 170-171, 181 b.ro. © Culver Pictures Inc., New York, 214 c.b. © Curtis Publishing Company, Indianapolis, 335 © Deutsches Wollforschungsinstitut, Aachen, 285, ri.b. © Eduard Meier, Munich 159 l., 183 l., 347 b.l. and ri. © Emanuel Berg (Shirtmakers Family GmbH) 52-53 © E.F.F., Erill Fritz Fotografien, Berlin, 14-15, 30 t. and c., 31 © Ermenegildo Zegna, Milan, 225 col.l.c., col.ri.t., col.ri.b., 250 © Filmarchiv Siegfried Tesche, Garbsen, 226 l.t. © Fotografie Schulzki, Bergisch Gladbach, p124/125 background, p144/145, 153, 188, 220, 232, 233 ri.b., 236 t., p268/269, p276/277 background © Francesco Maglia, Milan, 265 © GAMMA/StudioX, Paris, 142 t. (photo: Georges Merillon, 201 ri.t. (photo: De Keerle), 209 (photo: Jayne Fincher), 227, 239 ri.t., 241 ri.col. (photos: J.M. Turpin) © Georg Valerius, Cologne, p154/155, 157 except t., 168, 172, 174, 179 b., p180/181 background, p244/245 background © Greve Schoenfabriek, Waalwijk, 164 background (photos: Piet Pulles), 165 t. and c.
© Helga Lade Fotoagentur, Frankfurt am Main, 10 ri. (photo: Dass), 11 l. (photo: Pictures), 11 ri. (photo: Willi Arand), 24 (photo: BAV), 37 ri.col. (photo: Rainer Binder), 54 (photo: BAV), 226 background (photo: J. M. Voss), 288 (photo: Bernd Wenske), 302 c. (photo: Ege), p314/315 background (photo: BAV), p318/319 background © Henri-Lloyd, Manchester, 205 b., 318 l.t. © Hermès, Paris, 76, 77 © Horse & Hound, London, 310 l.b. (photo: David Miller), ri.b. (photo: Trevor Meeks), 311 background (photo: Trevor Meeks © IFA-Bilderteam, Düsseldorf, 312 l.t., (photo: Aberham) © Impress, Munich, 121, 216 l.t. © Justin Bird, London, 246, 324 ri. © Karin Heßmann, Dortmund, p286/287 background © Kent & Sons, Hertfordshire, 38 l.t., c.b. © Kiton, Naples, 112-113 © laif, Cologne, 78 (photo: Gernot Huber), 245 ri.t. (photo: Conrad Piepenburg), 245 c. (photo: Anna Neumann) © Lewin & Sons, London, 248 background, ri.b. © Lock, London, 216 l.b. © Lorenzo Villoresi, Florence, 25 © Luigi Borrelli, Naples, 59 © Marinella, Naples, 80, 81 l.t., c.t., ri.t, c.l., c.c., c.ri. © Marion Schweitzer, Munich, 104 ri.t. (photo: Rex Features), 105 l. (photo: Rex Features), 224 (photo: Tom Hustler), 327 ri.t. © Mauritius - Visa Image, Frankfurt, 204 background © Miele, Gütersloh, 68 background © Moviestore Collection, London, 210 background, l.b. © National Trust Photographic Library, London, 9 (photo: Andreas von Einsiedel), 72 t. (photo: Andreas von Einsiedel) © Ogilvy & Mather, New York, 239 l.t. (photo: Multimedia Publications) © Philips, Eindhoven, 18, 19 l. © Private collection, Milan, 230 © Quadrillion Publishing, Godalming, 211 ri.t., 300, 302 l.’ 309 ri., 311 ri.b., 330 © Rupert Tenison, London, 58, 75 l.t., ri.b., 85 c., 90, 92 l., 96, 98, 107, 194 ri., 195 l., 196 l., 200, 250 c., 262, 263, 290, 294 t., 328 t., 331 c.b., 340, 345 background, 351 b. © Scabal SA, Brussels, 91 © Sipa Press, Paris, 20 l.col.b., c.col.t. (photo: Sipa Icono), ri.col.t. (photo: Dalmas), ri.col.b. (photo: Roussier), 35 l.col.b., c.col., ri.col., 36 l.t. (photo: Baumann), 37 l.col.t. (photo: Jeanneau), l.c. (photo: Rudling), l.b. (photo: Fred Prouser), c.col.t., c.c. (photo: Bébert), c.b. (photo: Rickerby), 43, (photo: Patrick Falco), 65 t. (photo: Dossier), 104 b. (photo: Stevens/Villard), 214 ri.b., l.b., 215 l.t., l.b. (photo: Clergue), 237 c.t. (photo: Clergue), ri.t. (photo: Alexandra Boulat), 238 l.b., 267 ri.t. (photo: Trippett), ri.b. (photo: Matel), c.t. (photo: Chan), c.b. (photo: Kessler), 297 ri. (photo: SAMA), 315 ri. (photo: Tavernier), 316 t. (photo: Baumann), p318/319 background (photo: hl), 325 ri.t., ri.b. © Tate Gallery, London, 227 ri.b. © The Hulton Getty Picture Collection, London, 132, (photo: Bert Hardy) © The Ronald Grant Archive, London, 64 c., 278 c. © Tony Stone Bilderwelten, Munich, 82 ri.b. (photo: Doug McKenzie), 139 t. © Tumi, Middlesex NJ, 256 ri.t., c.b. © Ullstein Bilderdienst, Berlin, 105 ri.t. (photo: Camera Press), ri.b. (photo: Camera Press) © VOLMA Wirkwaren, Hechingen, 47 ri.t., ri.b. © Vuitton, Paris, 251 ri.b., p254/255, 256 c.t., 257, 261 © Yello Sport, Cologne, 317 l.