“Piles and piles of useless information – that’s what the internet is.” This was the rather room-quietening remark made by a technology sceptic relative of mine when all surrounding were discussing websites, streaming video, YouTube and blogs. As daft and naïve as the statement may have been, it did provoke me to ponder the usability of the internet’s unparalleled resources; how much of what I read is actually necessary? How much of what I write is actually useful?
Good advice is rather hard to come by, so I feel I should at least impart the knowledge which I have attained through experience. The sort of advice some might call ‘old fashioned.’
The quick leg up
Of all the complaints about off the rack purchases, the trouser length ranks as one of the most frequent. As frustrating as it is for buyers of such garments, it makes perfect sense – a trouser that is too short is almost useless. The long trouser can always be shortened. However, putting off a visit to the tailor is common; some chaps don’t have enough time, are absent minded or are temporarily too low in finances to complete the vital ‘shortening’ of the trouser. Imperfection is infuriating, but so is a newly purchased suit gathering dust. As a temporary measure, simply turn your trousers up the required length, inside the trouser leg. Then affix small safety pins to the inside trouser seams to hold them in place. Iron over the trouser bottoms several times and be careful when slipping your legs into your trousers not to displace the pins. For an impermanent alteration, this is rather convincing.
The tie ‘clip’
Ties may be a physically small accessory but they are extremely important. And there is no point in wearing them weakly; they deserve to be worn with flair. One of the smartest ways to wear a tie is to wear them tightly knotted, pointing almost horizontally away from the collar; this creates a pleasant rumple of the silk and a pleasing profile. However, it’s difficult to keep the tie sitting in this distinguished position without constant readjustment. One of the best methods is to secure the tie against the placket of the shirt. A tie clip would do this admirably well, particularly when wearing two-piece suits. Three-piece suits wouldn’t necessarily require such an accessory; a large paper clip can secure the tie underneath the waistcoat. Simply push the tie up against the shirt towards the collar until the top third is protruding from the shirt, then slide the clip in to secure in this position.
The double scarf
In the recent ‘cold snap’ I found it rather difficult to remain elegant; the bitter, biting cold had me breathing into scarves wrapped tightly around my lower face. It’s very possible to look like an unfortunate hobo in such weather, despite the expense or sophistication of one’s wardrobe. Let’s say you have purchased a smart shirt and are tired of wearing the chunky roll necks that dominate your winter wardrobe; a little refinement is what your winter ensembles need. Simply wear a silk, or cotton, scarf wrapped around your neck rather like a cravat, add a v-neck jumper, a second scarf – preferably cashmere or wool – an overcoat, and hey presto; a little chilly chic. The layering of different textures is as arresting as the ensemble is warm; adding a chic fedora or Gatsby cap would complete the look.