A Coat for the Meanest of Winters
Again, I’m not much of a reblogger, but it’s hard to not reblog a photo of such a wonderful garment. This is what’s known as a “Guards coat,” which is a style of overcoat that takes its name from what English Officers of the Guard used to wear. It’s a “city” coat, which means it’s slightly orientated towards business, rather than leisure. Back in the day, men of a certain class used to have their wardrobes cleaved in half - so there was one part of their wardrobe meant to be worn in the city, and another to be worn in the country. This was meant for the first. 
A traditional Guards coat is made with peak lapels, a double breasted 6x3 button front, welted pockets, and a half belt at the back. You can see versions of it here on Prince Charles and King George VI.
Vox’s coat was made for him by Steed, a small bespoke tailoring house in England that specializes in the “London drape cut.” That essentially means a soft shoulder and slightly fuller chest and upper back. You can kind of see that effect here, although it’s subtle. The cloth is a heavy, heavy, 36oz dark blue cashmere from The London Lounge’s Cloth Club. That’s basically a heavy enough cashmere to keep you warm in Antarctica. 
(Photo via voxsart)

A Coat for the Meanest of Winters

Again, I’m not much of a reblogger, but it’s hard to not reblog a photo of such a wonderful garment. This is what’s known as a “Guards coat,” which is a style of overcoat that takes its name from what English Officers of the Guard used to wear. It’s a “city” coat, which means it’s slightly orientated towards business, rather than leisure. Back in the day, men of a certain class used to have their wardrobes cleaved in half - so there was one part of their wardrobe meant to be worn in the city, and another to be worn in the country. This was meant for the first. 

A traditional Guards coat is made with peak lapels, a double breasted 6x3 button front, welted pockets, and a half belt at the back. You can see versions of it here on Prince Charles and King George VI.

Vox’s coat was made for him by Steed, a small bespoke tailoring house in England that specializes in the “London drape cut.” That essentially means a soft shoulder and slightly fuller chest and upper back. You can kind of see that effect here, although it’s subtle. The cloth is a heavy, heavy, 36oz dark blue cashmere from The London Lounge’s Cloth Club. That’s basically a heavy enough cashmere to keep you warm in Antarctica. 

(Photo via voxsart)

"“Every 25 years I seem to come back in fashion." - Prince Charles on the vagaries of fashion and the not-vagaries of how he dresses.
(Thanks, Ben.)

"“Every 25 years I seem to come back in fashion." - Prince Charles on the vagaries of fashion and the not-vagaries of how he dresses.

(Thanks, Ben.)

Controversy is brewing in the UK over outfits. Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a press release, announcing that he won’t be wearing morning dress to the impending wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Instead, he’ll wear business dress - a suit and tie. He will be the first Prime Minister to shirk the traditional dress code, and will perhaps be the only man so dressed. (Above, by the way, are Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles at their wedding.)
Many speculate that Cameron is dressing this way to avoid the stigma of his upper-class past. Cameron was a member of Bullingdon, an Oxford club notorious for its exclusivity and its destructive binges. He’s shunned formal dress since his past became an issue when he rose to national prominence, and this is in keeping with that pattern.
It’s tough for an American to judge a choice like this, since class plays so differently here, in a land where we at least pretend that it is a fluid status that comes with hard work and seized opportunities and so forth. Besides which, we have no monarchy, and essentially think of the British royals as amusing anachronisms. So I write from the perspective of a bemused outsider. That said, Cameron’s decision does strike me as both disingenuous and self-centered.
It is disingenuous in that it is an attempt to obscure his past. When Prince Charles dons Highland Dress, it is not because he is trying to pretend to be a Scottish warrior, or lead people to think that he anything other than an English Prince. Instead, it is an act of fellowship and a gesture of respect. Part of dressing, particularly for men, is to humble yourself, even if you are a Prince, by asserting that the custom of the whole is as important as your personal choices. This is why we wear business dress, as well - it is an assertion that we’re all in the same boat, all respect the importance of the situation, and we’ve chosen ceremonial clothing to reflect that fact.
Perhaps if Cameron were a representative of the proletariat he could genuinely claim that breaking this tradition was a revolutionary act. One could then quibble with whether he was leading a just revolution, of course, and the answer would depend on how one felt about the monarchy and so forth, but he would at least have some ground to stand on. Instead, it seems transparent that this is an act of obfuscation in the service of self-interest.
Indeed, it is that self-interest that is the most annoying here. The reason that we all dress the same way for a wedding is respect for the occasion. For those of us in the pews it is a joyous day. For those on the dais it is the most important day of their lives. This is true for Kings and Queens just as it is for street sweepers. We wear clothes that reflect that celebration, but we also wear clothes that indicate ceremonially that we understand how important that day is, clothes that reflect that we are the community that binds together the couple being wed.
If given the opportunity to chat with the PM, my message would be simple, and it wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that these people getting married are royalty.
I’d just tell him this: it’s not about you, man.
(Thanks, Ari, for emailing about this.)

Controversy is brewing in the UK over outfits. Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a press release, announcing that he won’t be wearing morning dress to the impending wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Instead, he’ll wear business dress - a suit and tie. He will be the first Prime Minister to shirk the traditional dress code, and will perhaps be the only man so dressed. (Above, by the way, are Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles at their wedding.)

Many speculate that Cameron is dressing this way to avoid the stigma of his upper-class past. Cameron was a member of Bullingdon, an Oxford club notorious for its exclusivity and its destructive binges. He’s shunned formal dress since his past became an issue when he rose to national prominence, and this is in keeping with that pattern.

It’s tough for an American to judge a choice like this, since class plays so differently here, in a land where we at least pretend that it is a fluid status that comes with hard work and seized opportunities and so forth. Besides which, we have no monarchy, and essentially think of the British royals as amusing anachronisms. So I write from the perspective of a bemused outsider. That said, Cameron’s decision does strike me as both disingenuous and self-centered.

It is disingenuous in that it is an attempt to obscure his past. When Prince Charles dons Highland Dress, it is not because he is trying to pretend to be a Scottish warrior, or lead people to think that he anything other than an English Prince. Instead, it is an act of fellowship and a gesture of respect. Part of dressing, particularly for men, is to humble yourself, even if you are a Prince, by asserting that the custom of the whole is as important as your personal choices. This is why we wear business dress, as well - it is an assertion that we’re all in the same boat, all respect the importance of the situation, and we’ve chosen ceremonial clothing to reflect that fact.

Perhaps if Cameron were a representative of the proletariat he could genuinely claim that breaking this tradition was a revolutionary act. One could then quibble with whether he was leading a just revolution, of course, and the answer would depend on how one felt about the monarchy and so forth, but he would at least have some ground to stand on. Instead, it seems transparent that this is an act of obfuscation in the service of self-interest.

Indeed, it is that self-interest that is the most annoying here. The reason that we all dress the same way for a wedding is respect for the occasion. For those of us in the pews it is a joyous day. For those on the dais it is the most important day of their lives. This is true for Kings and Queens just as it is for street sweepers. We wear clothes that reflect that celebration, but we also wear clothes that indicate ceremonially that we understand how important that day is, clothes that reflect that we are the community that binds together the couple being wed.

If given the opportunity to chat with the PM, my message would be simple, and it wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that these people getting married are royalty.

I’d just tell him this: it’s not about you, man.

(Thanks, Ari, for emailing about this.)

Britain’s Prince Charles dances with villagers at Tolasar village  near Jodhpur in India’s state of Rajasthan October 5, 2010.   REUTERS/Sunil Verma
(via Kempt)

Britain’s Prince Charles dances with villagers at Tolasar village near Jodhpur in India’s state of Rajasthan October 5, 2010.  REUTERS/Sunil Verma

(via Kempt)

HRH Prince Charles’ shoes, having been patched over several decades of service.

HRH Prince Charles’ shoes, having been patched over several decades of service.

“I am not entirely sure I fit the description of being ‘fashionable.’ Sometimes there have been those generous enough to call me ‘well dressed,’ but if they knew how much of what I wear is many years, even decades old…”

HRH Prince Charles, in this month’s Vogue.

(Side note: the photo caption is “Fresh Prince.”  Really?  Seriously, Vogue?  “Fresh Prince?”  FOR REAL?!)