Author: <span class="vcard">Winston Chesterfield</span>

If there was ever a misunderstood item of male clothing, then the bow-tie is that item. Perceived as an accessory appropriate for mockery, relegated from everyday use to infrequent evening…

The 1980s, the decade in which I came into this world, seems to be the decade everybody loves to hate. The music, most people will claim, was not music at…

Black and white is so simple. One is the very apex of colour, the other the complete absence of colour. The basic art of sartorial monochrome was certainly one of the most influential fashion movements of the 20th century, and it seems like designers and the public can’t get enough of the penguin palette.

“To look a million dollars” it has been said “a woman need only spend real money on her handbag and shoes.” When I re-utter these words to female friends with an eye for fashion, they nod knowingly like I am whistling them a song they recognise, but last heard a long time ago. “Yes” they tell me, “it’s true, you don’t need to go designer for your jeans if your shoes are Louboutin.”

In an armchair, by the fireside, just big enough for two…” croons Al Bowlly, crackle and pop goes the cosy fire; the scene is a heart-warming one. All a man needs sometimes is the quiet fireside, a cockle-warming dash or two of malt whisky, and his own thoughts. Simple pleasures are often the best.

Which is why some lovely ‘comfort clothing’ is essential; slipping into it is reassuring and relaxing.

Picture the scene; it is a crisp October morning in the heart of the countryside. Birds sweep up into the sky, glowing yellow with the promise of new dawn; dew drops cover the grass and glisten like little crystals. Only the distant sound of running water and the cry of the geese is heard. The air has an unmistakable coolness to it, and each intake of breath feels like the cleansing of the soul.

Ah yes, the countryside. For an Englishman dwelling in the city of London, the countryside is a glorious retreat; a paradise that exists beyond the smoke and the brick walls.

Two invitations fly through the letterbox; one reads ‘Birthday party celebration – smart casual’, the other reads ‘Cocktail party – 8pm’. Stumped? Well, don’t be. Adding mystery to the surprisingly commonplace announcement of a cocktail party is standard; it gives the evening a promising air of the unknown.

The fact that one party announces humbly that there is really no need to dress particularly specially for the occasion gives us cause to wonder why on earth there is no stipulation for the cocktail party, and there is but that simple explanation; the sense of mystery.