Brown in Town: Never?


Whilst we are oft’ reminded that one should never wear brown in town; the mild indiscretion of wearing one’s country tweeds into town or brown shoes with a blue suit. However, it is met with some degree of irreverence where we at Brown in Town are concerned, as you might have gathered from our name.

You see, whilst we revere the time honoured traditions of sartorial etiquette, let us not forget that so many of these foibles of fashion were either started by a roguish dandy, or, chanced upon by the great and the good: generally royalty, for example;

The Turn-up
Attributed to King Edward VII who quite sensibly rolled-up his trousers to avoid them getting wet whilst taking a stroll around his estate.

Trouser Creases
Apparently pressed into a pair of trousers by Edward VII’s housekeeper, in error – trousers, were worn with no crease prior to this, and prior to that we were wearing hosiery.. yes, tights!

Unfastened Waistcoat Bottom Button
Again, Edward VII, who, following a banquet, unfastened bottom button to relieve the pressure the last button of his (straight bottomed) waistcoat was asserting on his (rather corpulent) stomach; bear in mind that at this time, all waistcoats were straight bottomed, whether single breasted or double breasted, and, like today’s waistcoats were worn to the waistband of our trousers but our trousers were worn at our natural waist i.e. on the belly button!

Brown Shoes, Blue Suit
And it was Edward VII’s grandson, Edward VIII, who, we are informed, was the first to put paid to the notion that one should never wear brown shoes with a blue suit, as it was this sartorially inspirational monarch who sported brown suede (brogue, I believe) shoes with his blue suit, leaving his peers and family aghast – his relationship with his father, George V, was strained at the best of times, but one can only imagine what Edward’s sartorial experimentation did for his standing as the future aire to the throne in his father eyes.

I can certainly relate to the parental concerns, being, as I am, now a father and consider on a weekly basis the torment I put my own father through with the myriad different looks, styles and phases which I flaunted at every occasion; from punk to b-boy, to hippy and with varying degrees of sartorial incorrectness, nay, gay abandon – the jet-black hair and the padlock and chain around my next (to which I lost the key), being particularly memorable, as I recall.

And, for our part, Brown in Town, as the name might suggest, will not dissuade you from wearing brown in town, though we might inform you of it’s origins (which I have had to do since our inception, and more than I thought I would have to..).

Neither will we openly encourage you to wear brown shoes with a blue suit, unless of course your shoes are beautifully made, and the particular shade of brown compliments your suit, beautifully.

And, if like so many of our grooms, you hanker after a tweed suit for your wedding day, and, providing you appreciate that tweed is a heavy cloth, and, ergo, might make you a little warmer than 9Oz – 13Oz suiting cloth, and, that the elder statesmen within your family may frown upon you, and, providing you take our advice on cloth colour, then Brown in Town are only going to encourage you to do so!

Best of luck, it’s a minefield out there..

Brown in Town