Unless we subscribe to the heresy of Antinomianism, we know that we all need a few rules by which to lead our lives. Human beings are not made for chaos, but for order – of the proper sort. We do not want to be oppressed, yet we know instinctively that anarchy would probably be the worst oppression of all. Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets on which were written The Ten Commandments. In my own, rather more modest, fashion I wish to respond to those correspondents who have asked for some guidance about the proper way in which a gentleman can maintain a decent appearance in a world which can be depressingly indifferent to standards of the sartorial sort. I therefore humbly offer to readers my own version of The Ten Commandments. Most of the Commandments are to do with matters of dress, although a couple relate to aspects of behaviour. One of my heroes - the French writer, Anglophile and conservative, Maurice Druon (1918-2009) - was once denounced as "starched, outdated, reactionary, egotistical, haughty and sinister". If these Commandments prompt as noble a tribute from my many detractors, I shall know that my efforts have not been in vain.
BUYING A BESPOKE SUIT
A GUIDE TO THE DETAILS
The acquisition of a bespoke suit is a delightful experience. But – like most of life’s more worthwhile occupations – it is not without its complexities. Many gentlemen, quite properly, have sent questions to me about this or that aspect of buying a bespoke suit. I therefore think it appropriate to offer the following observations – which, I hope, will be of some modest assistance to anyone who is about to embark upon this particular sartorial adventure.
I am frequently asked whether I have an explanation for the truly appalling standards of dress exhibited by men (I can hardly call them gentlemen) on the streets of Britain. The slovenly, drab clothes worn by my compatriots – both young and old – cause shame to those of us who remember when the sartorial principles of the British (perhaps I mean English? – but no, the Welsh, the Scottish and the Northern Irish were our equal in this regard) were, to use the cliché (which was a cliché because it was true), the envy of the world.
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Readers might care to look at the interview with Francis Bown on Keikari