A Rather Useful Yule


When someone asked me whether I was going to encourage the classic Yule purchase of small stocking fillers like mother of pearl shirt stiffeners or recommend instead something more serious and thoughtful, I realised how I had neglected the season; this is unusual, as I am anything but a humbug. I also realised how important it was to provide ideas which are not easy wins, as they are plentiful and receive recommendations far and wide, but rather ideas which require a more considerable financial outlay and thought for the needs of the recipient.

These suggestions reflect my thoughts on the sometimes neglected needs of those with advanced sartorial interests.

The Cufflink Box

When browsing the excellent collection of links on offer at Selfridges, it occurred to me that it is all very well to purchase these cuff-baubles of silver and gold, onyx, enamel and pearl but what will they do for a home? Are they to sit in their boxes, piled in a drawer? Are they to be kept inside a large container, causing unnecessary frustration when only one of the damned things can be found? Or are they, as I believe, to be given a plush, red velvet bed inside a substantial black lacquered box, kept under lock and key? If your thoughts align with mine, you may wish to consider the Ercolano Italian-made cufflink box sold by Penhaligon’s. With twelve layers of lacquer, the boxes are incredibly smart; if your cufflinks could talk, they would thank you.

The Umbrella Stand

I do not know how many homes I have been to where the wet umbrellas of the household are left lying on the floor or squashed into a cupboard. The really great shame of this is that many of these poor umbrellas are of fine manufacture and therefore deserve a decent place to rest after the exertions of protecting you from the downpour. An umbrella stand with a drip tray is the ideal place to store umbrellas for drying without soaking the floor or causing unpleasant damp smells in the canopy and the cupboard into which they are stuffed. Those of an exotic bent may wish to take a look at Linley’s umbrella stands in embossed leather with brass interiors.

The Magnified Shaving Mirror

When I once saw a friend shaving in the reflection of a glass shower door, I informed him he was simply asking for a face covered in cuts. Speaking as someone who has been forced to shave without actually being able to see my face, and the horror show that resulted from it, I know the importance of having a clear view of the process of dragging a blade across your skin. There is nothing better for this than an adjustable shaving mirror with magnification from Samuel Heath. The close-up image of your mug may be rather unsettling, but there is no superior way to achieve a closer shave in the comfort of your own home; tilt it to see under your chin, magnify it to trim your facial hair.