Wacky Wednesday: Sartorial Inspiration for the Day

Being, as it is, a Wednesday, it raised a wry smile on Bristol’s local tailor’s moustached lip when I read the title of this morning’s Dr. Seuss book to my excitable daughter: ‘Wacky Wednesday’?!

Being a creature of habit – I hear you sniggering at the back! – I was slightly perturbed to learn that Wacky Wednesday is not illustrated by Dr. Suess’s more well known illustrator, Jason Peltz, but instead, by George Booth – though Grace Blake was more concerned with crocodiles in prams, and skateboards under the school teachers feet – actually they were rollerskates, but skateboards take precedent in the Darby Minns household!

But what Booth lacks in the blissfully off-the-wall illustrations of Peltz, he more than makes up for in his capturing of the style of a bygone era, and, one of my favourites to boot; the 1960’s!

Albeit published in 1974, the style of dress is still very much 1960’s with gents wearing well tailored suits and trilby hats and carrying umbrellas with cane handles – think Mad Men. The women, or possibly nanny’s, all pushing vintage looking prams and also wearing hats – think Breakfast at Tiffany’s – such a great look I’ve always thought. The policemen, referred to as ‘patrolman’, carrying truncheons and wearing peaked caps – think Chief O’Hara in Adam West’s Batman – look so smart with their melton cloth blousons and tapered trousers, and the shoes, which appear on the ceiling, on the wall, as plant pots and, most wacky of all, floating on clouds in the sky, are beautifully illustrated brogues.

And as for my Wacky Wednesday, aside learning that one of my favourite local breweries, Exmoor, has started producing a tomato and ale chutney, it’s been fairly ordinary thus far. Oh, apart from the fact that today marks Brown in Town’s 2nd (week) anniversary, no less!

I bid you a good Wacky Wednes-day..

Something for the weekend, Sir?

Friday is here and we know what that means; the opportunity to dress-up, dress-down or simply to wear something different to that which we’ve been wearing all week.

For some us, myself included, it will mean hanging our 3pc suit to rest, separately, of course; jacket on a sturdy wooden hanger which supports the sleeve head and gives the sleeves the ability to rest and rid themselves of their wrinkles, and, so too, ones’ trousers by hanging them upside down on a trouser clamp hanger in order to eradicate the wrinkles from behind the knee and the stretching in front of it. And, not forgetting one’s waistcoat of course, which simply requires airing and so will be hung separately on it’s own hanger.

Talking of separates, it will most likely be the the look of the weekend for Bristol’s local tailor, affording one, as it does, casual elegance and also utility; the jacket being the male handbag and useful for carrying one’s wallet, phone and keys etc. – and, if I foresee an opportunity arising, a cigar in my tailored-cigar pocket!

And, affording us a Robin’s dash of colour at the chest in place of one’s tie, the ever-elegant pocket square. From the silk, the spotted, the bright or the patterned, what better alternative to brighten up one’s ensemble.

This is not to say that there is not a place for the tie at the weekend, though I might opt for one less formal, a tweed or worsted tie by Anthony Haines perhaps, to provide some texture and depth of colour, natty too – and also particularly good for keeping one’s neck warm during this cold-snap we’re experiencing.

So, whatever your plans, remember to enjoy your 2 days of rest, and, if the opportunity arises, sartorial exploration.

Have a nice weekend one and all.

Wedding Suits: The Time is Now

Barely a week into the New Year and already you grooms are thinking about your wedding suits, and why not; the Christmas festivities are behind us, you’ve had a week to work off the excesses and now you’re back behind the desk, the wheel, the bar, enemy lines, but, with the help of Brown in Town, not behind the times!

That said, we at Brown in Town take pride in honouring certain tailoring traditions such as making bespoke suits whereby you, the customer, make informed decisions about which cloth you’d like your suit made from – and us keeping it aside for you. We believe that suits look better when they are made to fit you, both in terms of proportion but also comfort. And we also like quirky details such as roped-shoulders and striped sleeve-linings– see gallery for details – as we believe it gives a suit a more artisanal and elegant look.

However, we are, above all, sensitive to those details which you, the wearer, consider to be de rigueur; whether that be a working cuff, pleats or turn-ups in your trousers, contrasting collars and cuffs on your shirts or brightly coloured-linings on the back of your waistcoats and Brown in Town is only too happy to facilitate.

So, we’re engaged – congratulations – but what next? Presuming you’ve secured your venue, and if you haven’t, might I suggest that you contact Georgina at Hotel du Vin as the Sugar House is such a wonderful location for tying the knot. But let’s imagine that the wedding dress, the venue, the cake, the flowers (and I can’t recommend Edward Allen flowers highly enough for his architectural and bespoke creations) and the photographer have all been taken care of, now might be the opportunity for you to discuss with your betrothed what, if any, of the budget is remaining that might be apportioned to a bespoke wedding suit?!

If you already have a clear idea of what you want to wear for your wedding, then feel free to get-in-touch and make-an-appt. to see me at the humidor, Hotel du Vin. If you have no idea, or are unsure, then read on..

You see, unless the bride has chosen what the wedding theme is going to be – and wedding theme should not be confused with wedding colour-scheme, and I’ll come onto that – then we must first consider if you are going to wear traditional dress i.e. morning suit, although dinner suits have increased in popularity over the past year, and, ergo, would consider this traditional dress, of sorts. Or perhaps you hanker after a 3pc suit for it’s elegance, it’s traditional values and, not least, the waistcoat’s ability to distinguish the groom from the congregation once he’s removed his jacket – it’s also a great opportunity to show-off your grandfather’s fob watch.

And, so, what of the colour of your wedding suit; pale grey – the most common owing to it’s ability to compliment most complexions, dark grey – for those who prefer something a little more formal, black – if you prefer your wedding suits classic, or, indeed if you are to marry into an Italian dynasty on Italian soil, or, perhaps, the increasingly popular navy blue – because you have blue-eyes or because none of the other criteria apply to you, moreover appeal to you.

Once this suiting cloth has been selected, it is only natural to consider the suit’s lining colour, and, or pattern. Traditionally, a wedding suit is lined with one of the colours from the brides colour-scheme, but this does not have to be the case. If having pink on the back of your waistcoat is not for you, but you would like to show your solidarity, then have the wedding colour-scheme represented only on the inside of your jacket or coat, and line the back of the waistcoat with the same colour as the suit cloth.

Whatever your predilection, Brown in Town offers a bespoke tailoring service, and, as such will be more than happy to tailor your suit, or shirts, jacket, slacks or even overcoats for that matter, in any cloth, and at your bequest. But, we are also more than happy to offer expert advice on cloths, colours, style and accoutrements etc. that you might make informed decisions about which of our cloths, and indeed designs, is most suitable for you, the customer.

With thanks..

If Brown in Town’s first week in business was one of logistics and establishment; Douglas (my mannequin) and I moved into our new premises, the cigar humidor at Hotel du Vin, Bristol, we switched on the long anticipated website and we distributed our ‘Coming Soon’ posters to various peer’s establishments around the city, then week two is one of knuckling down to the task at hand, chiefly, making customer’s finery, and, owing to the inclement weather, their umbrellas, post haste – the latter being top of many of my customer’s lists!

But before we submerge ourselves in a world of bespoke tailoring, fine cloths and the rather decadent surroundings of my new studio space, I would like to take a minute to thank those who have been instrumental and made Brown in Town possible.

Firstly, Bristol’s local tailor must of course thank his better half, Saffron Darby, for her tireless support and sartorial advice. And, not least, for relinquishing her studio in our attic in exchange for my, somewhat smaller affair, in the scullery.

I’d also to thank Sam of Studio Baum for his creative skills in helping me to realise my vision of Brown in Town’s branding, and, also, his embracing of Brown in Town and it’s values; bespoke tailoring with a twist – I look forward to reinventing your wardrobe Sir as you have me!

But probably the greatest hurdle of all was not designing the website, as I had a fairly clear style in mind, but populating our new website, as, without content it is but a suit on a hanger. The real challenge was conveying, through imagery, what it is that Brown in Town does, what it stands for, what it believes in, and, above all, how you, the patron, the casual observer, perceive it. And this task was entrusted to Remco Merbis of Pixillian, who, like me, also had set himself a goal; to be the best photographer that he could be. I think he has achieved this. I hope you agree.

As for entertaining my customers, whilst I have been known to receive guests at my newly acquired attic studio from time-to-time, there can be no question that the preferred address for receiving one’s customers is at Brown in Town’s new home in the (cigar) humidor at Hotel du Vin. Quite simply, a better space this cigar aficionado could not wish to occupy – if we cannot enjoy cigars in these wonderful surroundings, let us at least enjoy the other age old art of dressing for an occasion and waxing sartorial instead. As for the staff and the service, both my patrons and I agree, it is first rate and I look forward to entertaining more of you here, in due course.

And if you have not yet been fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the Coming Soon poster for yourself, which was designed by the amazing Studio Baum and printed in record time by Hello Blue, then you’ll find them at the following establishments;

Bang Shanky (formerly Mack Daddy’s), Colston St. Bristol
Averys, Culver St. Bristol
Small St. Espresso, Small St. Bristol
FCP Coffee, Broad St. Corn St. Bristol
Harts Bakery, Temple Meads, Bristol
The Star & Dove, St. Lukes Rd, Totterdown
Source,, St. Nicholas Market, Bristol
The Swan, Wedmore
The Ethicurean, Wrington

This speaks nothing, of course, of the countless friends, family and patrons who have given me their support, their time, their encouragement and their feedback in order to enable me to realise my dream; to be able to provide a personal tailoring service with all the trimmings, here in the South West.

So, one and all, I thank you and I hope to see you at the humidor soon..

Yours sincerely,


Going Live!

A little later in the day than planned, ahem, but Brown in Town is now open for business!

May I take this opportunity to wish all and sundry a happy, and prosperous 2014.

I look forward to moving my cloths, scissors and measuring tapes into Hotel du Vin, Bristol today and to welcoming you all in due course. If you are passing, do pop-in for a coffee and feel free to peruse our fine selection of cloths from some of the worlds leading cloth mills.

Yours sincerely,