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By Robin Dutt

More and more men it seems are choosing to finish off their sartorial suiting with for some, seems an unessessary addition.  Not so.  The pocket kerchief, square or pochette is a visual delight – or can be depending on if you know what to do with it.  Practically every tailor of Savile Row understands the importance of this square of silk or cotton, for the most part, certainly not used to clear a nasal disaster but a flash and a flourish and perhaps and even then, only perhaps, to rescue the tears of a film going campanion before high tailing it to Claridge’s for a slightly Dirty Martini.  Here are a few ways to accomplish the look…

1) FLOUNCE – Take your silk square by the middle and give it a shake.  Without too much thought, insert into the pocket and forget all about it.

2) STRICT SQUARE – Iron robustly – cotton is best.  A spray of starch might come in handy.  Make the most minimalist square, insert and await compliments.

3) PYRAMID POINTS – Quite 1950s gangster but hey… Arrange corners of the square together until they resemble sartorial shark’s teeth.  You might also like to consider a solitary triangular shape too.

4) BI-SQUARAL – My favourite is to match or mismatch two squares, as long as they are of the same material and shove them into the pocket, with elan and not too much fretting (a twist or two may be required).  Match this look with balancing sock patterns.

By Robin Dutt More and more men it

By Robin Dutt

Known by so many names – beaver hat, silk hat, cylinder hat, pot hat and even stove pipe hat, which Marc Bolan references in I Love to Boogie (he wore a Mad Hatter’s example in several photographs), the article remains correctly, the Top Hat. Yes, every change in the dimension and materials used for the hats caused a name change but for the foreseeable past, it is the top hat – and please…not the Topper.

For this writer, there is only one kind.  Silk plush.  Ebon black – of course –  but the black is blacker than any midnight can summon and the feel, softer than…well, you imagine.

I have four examples dating from the 1860s to, I believe, the 1920s – all black silk plush. They are all erect – not crush-collapsible (for the opera).  Yet I continue to still seek them out.  Pre-quibble the price?  Never.  You are dealing with works of art. That they might turn up, de temps en temps, in charity shops is rare, but not impossible. For the real deal you have to take a deep breath and head to one of England’s oldest establishments: Locke’s (some 300 years) or seek out the brilliant knowledge of David Sexton in his shop Top Hat, to learn about the charm and formality of this most eloquent sartorial survivor.

With Ascot approaching – and several other essential meets of The Season – go on a voyage of discovery.  Your wallet will be lighter but you won’t regret the journey.  Black plush. Yes.  Grey? Don’t.

By Robin Dutt Known by so many names

With supreme excellence as the celebrated quality of all on Savile Row, The Ambassadors Project Launch reminded everyone about exactly what goes into the creation of each garment, however anonymous. Individuality is key, with the style of every tailoring establishment its unique signature. For more than 200 years the craftsmanship of tailors in the Row has become internationally celebrated with sartorial elan. So this project reminds us about the behind-the-scenes necessities and the very personalities of the craftsmen and women who have honed their skills and wielded their shears with aplomb.

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With supreme excellence as the celebrated quality

Several designers chose a more voluminous and capacious silhouette for their Autumn/Winter inspirations.  With fur, leather and lashings of velvet on the catwalks, the theme was resolutely rockstar, urban dandy and city denizen.  Of course, Autumn can be rather predictable – layering, texturing and of course, indispensable knitwear, but it offers rather generously, every opportunity to shine (quite literally) in glossy cherry sheen leathers – sculpted sharply and worn under a thick wool or cashmere coat.  Look at the offerings of Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and Burberry for the ultimate in masculine chic.

6a00e54ecca8b9883301a3fc38a6d7970bBurberry modelA definite nod to the relatively minimalist trends of the 1990s was more than evident and so was the appearance of slim, trim leather trousers which can be a bridge too far for some.  But teamed carefully with a strict coat or underscored by a more than casual zip-up top (although still sharp) they can look effortlessly elegant.  The secret is to wear leather in a monochrome way…not always black, but if black is a base, you can get away with quite a lot.  Navy, black, burgundy and leopard print made bold appearances with thigh-length luxurious coats from amongst others, Dunhill and J.W Anderson changing the way you might look at your wardrobe.

If you think pattern is a definite no-go area – and for staunch minimalists it is – the Autumn/Winter trends for  tribal and speedy computer-inspired dynamics on jumpers or more boldly on whole coatings may need  a little more than the usual flair to wear.

Several designers chose a more voluminous and