03 August 2010

The English Gentleman: Good Tailors

Good Tailors

Gentlemen may wear their suits until they are threadbare but they do so with considerable panache and it is evident to the most uncritical eye that they have been built by a good tailor. As one gentleman remarked about the members of a club which he considered socially inferior to his own, 'They are quite a decent lot of chaps. It is only a pity that they all seem to make their own trousers...'

There are, too, certain little touches to the way a gentleman dresses which sets him apart from the less socially elevated. For example, the flaps on his jacket pockets are always tucked into the pocket itself and he always wears the bottom button of his waistcoat undone. This latter idiosyncracy has its origins in the days when Edward VII was the leader of Society. Nicknamed 'Tum-Tum' because of his great bulk he always has difficult in doing up the bottom button and when eventually he gave up trying, other gentlemen politely followed suit.

The Sports Jacket

No gentleman ever has a garment which is popularly called a sports jacket. Nor does he ever wear a blazer with a badge on the pocket. The only exception to gentlemen not wearing blazers is at Henley when they turn out in creations they have had since their rowing days and which would make a stage comedian look ridiculous.

His Shoes

A gentleman always has well-polished shoes which are generally hand-made and last a lifetime. They are polished with ox-blood which is a similar eccentricity to washing his riding breeches in urine. On less formal occasions he wears gum boots which are usually green and have a little strap to tighten them below the knee.

The English Gentleman, Douglas Sutherland (1978)


Main Line Sportsman said...

Not a sports jacket? What the heck is it then MJr. Southerland?....and no club crest on a blazer? What if you are the commodore of your yacht club or representing your fraternity and a national enclave? What is Southerland smoking anyway...and in 1978..the year of the leisure suit and lapels as wide a wings on a F-15.

jeune_premier said...

nice post!
and i can say that i learned something new!

Anonymous said...

Your man has an eccentric sense of humour even if he was writing in 1978. I don't believe a gentleman owns up to considering anyone his social inferior. The odd grammatical mistake also suggests that this fellow may not really be quite the thing. Interesting post though; I'd not come across him.


Paul said...

Even if it's not 1978, if someone pisses on my pants - I'm gonna have a shit-fit!

Anonymous English Female said...

Admiral, good for you raking up D. Sutherland. Sometimes I think you're more British than I am.