They say that change is as good as a rest; but when that change flies in the face of one’s edicts, it can be a bitter pill to swallow. But, perhaps what we mean by this is that the feeling we experience when we are rested is one of invigoration, which is, ostensibly the feeling encountered following change. Perhaps.
I am not sure of the precise moment when it occurred to me – as these things often do, as a complete picture in my mind – nor the inspiration, but it was toward the end of Summer last when I decided that I would fashion but two new suits for the year ahead, both of which would be two piece suits and both single breasted suits at that.
In fact, scratch that, I’ve remembered precisely when and where was the immaculate conception. My friend the Major was above decks at Bangshanky, having his ears lowered, as you do at the barbers and we were waxing sartorial about his next suit which, unbeknownst to either of us at the time, was to become his wedding suit..!
The cloths under consideration were various PoW’s (Prince of Wales checks) in various shades of grey – perhaps not quite as many as 50, but here at Brown in Town we do like to be comprehensive – but the various colours of window pane over black/grey glen check – which are of course the two checks that the Prince of Wales design is formed of – did not fit the bill on this occasion.
So I disappeared below decks to hunt for the particular shade and pattern which I had in mind. But there are times when, even with the huge selection of some of the finest cloths in the world for suiting, jacketing, vesting, overcoating and shirting which we have in-house, just do not cut the mustard. And so it was, that after some time searching, I conceded that the aforementioned suiting was not something which I had at my fingertips and so I did what we do in such situations; we informed our muse that we would have to go to market to source it. So we did exactly that, we went to market.
Now, the Major is quite possibly the most debonair man I know and the image I had conjured up for his new ensemble was something sophisticated, ergo, the glenurquhart check, being the sophisticated cousin of the Prince of Wales and worn in a style à la Pierce Brosnan – who is perhaps the most debonair man whom I do not know sartorially, but would welcome the opportunity to dress on perhaps one occasion – worn as a two piece, single breasted, two button affair.
Given that we are subterranean most of the time, and given that we do not own a television, nor find the time to read gentleman’s quarterly’s much these days either – two children under four do not afford you much time for anything, least of all sleeping! – we have been known to take inspiration from one’s customers from time to time. And what transpired during my market research for the elusive glen-check, in the elusive shade of grey, was that I developed a penchant for the cloth myself: who knew?! And as for the two piece ensemble, the inspiration which I had had in mind for our muse, stuck with me and I was keen to know if I had reached an age whereby I could dress with a hint of debonair myself..
But as anyone who has joined me upon this sartorial journey will attest, I am an advocate of the three piece suit and only ever wear two piece suits when they are of the double breasted variety. But this vision of a suit which I had conjured up, made sense to me only as a two piece, single breasted suit: what the bloody hell was happening to me?!
Needles to say, that I pained over putting this suit onto the cutting table would be an understatement. In fairness, I labour over putting most of my sartorial ideas onto the cutting table, which perhaps explains why I spend so much of my time exorcising my demons by dressing others – after all, aren’t the best psychotherapists those who, rather than facing their own demons, they exorcise others.
And whilst I may have forgotten its origins when I put the aforementioned suit on this morning, it nonetheless gave rise to a quizzical eyebrow as I considered it’s lack of waistcoat. Moreover, as I considered who it was that we would be entertaining in the studio and what their sartorial requirements would be i.e. three piece tweed suit, morning suit etc. – I believe to dress for one’s audience can oft’ assist our patrons in their getting to where they want to go. A kind of sartorial conductor, if you will.
I had all but forgotten about that rarest of journeys; a journey beyond one’s comfort zone. But there it was, the sartorial seed was unequivocally sewn. And here I sit recounting this tale of sartorial adventure in my new two piece, single breasted glen check suit. And loving every ounce of it.
So, thank you messrs Ross and Brosnan, for it is not important to know the origins of our inspiration, but rather to live by one’s ethos, as opposed one’s edicts.
“Never Say Never”, as they.