Mr Benn: Sartorial Hero


Mr Benn was an ordinary fellow, living an ordinary life, in an ordinary suburban town, ordinary, that is, until he paid a visit to the fancy dress shop, where he assumed his alter ego as an adventurer and embarked upon epic voyages of discovery.

In every episode, regardless which costume, and, ergo, character, Benn changed into, he started his journey to the fancy dress shop in a 2 piece suit, black Oxford shoes, striped tie and a bowler hat.

Being disappointed with the choice of that which is available ‘off-the-peg’ – I think we all know how he feels – Benn is guided to the fitting room by the fez-wearing shopkeeper where there awaits a different costume each time he visit, a costume with the power to transport Benn to another time and place – and I definitely know how that feels!

Upon exiting the dressing room of the fancy dress shop through the alternative exit, Benn uses his wit and common sense to solve problems for his newfound friends, rising to the challenges of his assumed role, and, yet, always returns to that which is familiar at the end of each adventure; his suit, tie and bowler hat.

Albeit I was a suit dodger until the grand old age of 30, when I was seconded to South East Asia by Target Corp. and promptly informed that suits were the modus operandi for ex-pats of my position living in the hottest climes on earth, I was reminded just this week that my earliest inspiration of dress was not the 1970’s surfer style that I had grown up with – my elder sister married a surfer and, ergo, our bathtub was always full of wetsuits, our porch skateboards and Vans shoes and car the scent of Uncle Zogs Sex Wax – but it was in fact none other than cult childrens television favourite Mr Benn – possibly because he dressed up as a spaceman which was, as a 6 yr old, my chosen vocation!

Impeccable in every sense; tie tied correctly, shoes laced at all times, suit cut to perfection and bowler hat always firmly in place, or ready to be tipped, should the occasion require it.

And whereas Mr Benn was seeking adventure by changing into the costumes provided by the mysterious shopkeeper, one’s own adventures begin each morning when I don my 3 piece suitshirt, tie, semi brogue shoes, and Fox Umbrella and make the pilgrimage down St. Lukes Crescent, not Festive Rd, to the humidor at Hotel du Vin and assist my customers in assuming their chosen identity, alter ego or possibly tweeds for just such an adventure!

So, if you hanker after a reason to dress-up, or indeed the costume for just such an adventure, then allow Bristol’s local tailor to assist you in all things sartorial..

Brown in Town