Keep in mind that I went over the pond to relinquish several watercolours to a dealer and fully intended for the trip to make me money not cost me much. The restraint and discipline required to assure I accomplish this was almost beyond my scope. Due to an embarrassment of travel points and the limitations of only six days-I’m proud to report that I accomplished the mission. Beau Brummel remains in command of all things Jermyn Street-albeit at half price and in my opinion-under the same stress as high end purveyors in the States.
What I Bought
So my scant haul was limited to five items- three half price purchases and a pocket square from Luca Rubinacci and corduroy trousers from David Saxby. New and Lingwood offers a cashmere and cotton blend shirt. I treated myself to the only one they had left in my size-navy blue gingham.
Two pairs of top pocket trousers from a Jermyn Street purveyor of minor repute-I’ve thrown the bag away and the togs don’t have to store label in them-but at 50% off-I’m not worried about my inability to name drop. There’s moleskin in green and a pinwale corduroy in such a garish gold colour that I HAD to buy them. Again at half price-the risk is minimal.
The David Saxby cords are bulletproof. Very high quality and a superb cut-fit. Chocolate brown wouldn’t have been my first choice but he was sold out of all the fun colours shown on his website. Flat front-dress extension-side tabs. One rear pocket-shut up.
Savile Row is almost a goner-in my irrelevant opinion-I’ll do a post on what I saw on the Row. But I did have fitting number three-of course-when it’s finished you’ll be the first to see it. Patience please.
As the original fuzzy diced redneck from South Carolina-I was forced to contrive some level of acceptable garb for my fitting on the Row. This be the best I could contrive to assure that my country ass wouldn't be throwed off the Row. Savile or Rotten.
I had to buy a souvenir of my visit with Rubinacci. I’ll explain in a separate post.
What I Saw
You might recall that my thirty year old Briggs Silk Canopied umbrella is AWOL. I truly want another one and I’ve completely bought in to the lore that rain drops landing on a silk canopy have a unique sound and I’d like to experience that sound again. At about a thousand dollars to replace the identical one I owned-I’m just gonna have to get over the silk canopied thing.
I first stopped at Briggs in St. James and after fingering the silk canopies and then the nylon ones-was completely transported from Buckingham Palace to Aunt Tootie’s trailer back in South Carolina. Yes, the hand stitching and craftsmanship is consistent on the nylon canopied Briggs brollys and the cost is about one third-they even promised to engrave my initials on the warrant band if I could give them a few hours. I couldn’t pull the trigger.
Briggs sells an array of stunning goods. I'll have one of each please.
So then I went to James Smith and Sons over in Bloomsbury. Their Umbrella Shop is worth seeking out even if you aren’t in the market for one-it’s a quintessentially British shop and they are dying off every week.
I checked out their offerings-a bit less in quality and price than Briggs. They don't even offer a silk canopied option anymore. Again-couldn’t do it and thus came back to the Colonies with no umbrella-it’s all good. I’ve got baseball caps-in cotton.
Cordings worried me as soon as I walked in the door. Even with Eric Clapton owning fifty percent of the quintessentially English Country home church-no purveyor is immune from demise. I don't think I've ever been to London without buying something at Cordings. I was there fifteen years ago with a friend who couldn't have been any less interested in things sartorial. He watched as I pondered with great excitement the choices in box cloth braces until he finally said-"I've seen anyone so taken by something as inane as a pair of suspenders-I'm buying them for you".
Cordings always has a great selection of moleskin and corduroy in fun colours-alas they had none.Their tattersall shirts are always faithful to the old patterns and that's what I wanted this time. I'm thinking that it's all over-they are going out of business since they have almost no inventory. Then I learned of their unfortunate fire that broke out on the ground floor just before Christmas. Everything is back in order now but the odd trousers and great shirts that I like were on the ground floor and smoke/water damage explained their absence.
I suppose one of the comforting things about having a shotgun custom made at Purdys on South Audley Street is that if you ever want to sell it-they'll add it to their inventory of pre-owned guns. This one was on offer for one hundred and thirty five thousand pounds. Nice. A London trip for me would not be complete without traipsing through Audley House. The exterior still has pock marks from the Blitz. More later on Purdy in a seperate post.
The shoe climate in London has never been better. Restraint was required but even at half price my money was best kept stateside when it comes to shoes. Shipton and Heneage on the Fulham Road had a nice array of slippers for the likes of those fruit loops like Tintin who seem to wear such.
John Lobb offered shoe rubbers in yellow. Yellow rain wear. Not my thing.
Suede-my leading choice in skins abounded with aplomb. Green suede boots-yessireeee. Shut up.
Holmes Hats-Deerstalkers-Panamas-Borsalinos....Toad would have been in heaven.
Tintin did a great holiday series on evening wear and on smoking jackets. I'm pleased to tell you that Turnbull and the Boys still have every contrivance imaginable in velvet.
The Arcades remain impressive butcept for a few interlopers who've made their way in. Budd is still toiling away bespoking shirts.
My favorite watch of all time-the Rolex Prince is abundant in London-at about fourteen thousand pounds for the least fancy version of this classic. I'll stick to my repros.
And of course the grooming goods purveyors always stop me in my tracks. If hygiene was a priority for me perhaps I'd drop a dime or two there-but it ain't.
Ok-back to work before the snow becomes a full blown distraction. Gonna be a long lonely weekend without LFG here to frolic in the snow with me. Anyone (girls only-sorry) wanna come over and console me?