New Year’s Sartorial Resolutions
“Have you got any ressies?” someone asked me recently.
“Ressies?” I winced.
“Yea, you know resolutions. New Year’s. I’ve got a few. Need to go to the gym I joined – last January!”
I’m not much of a ‘ressie’ man. For me, things like going to the gym and eating healthily don’t really require the New Year ‘spell’; my formidable year-round vanity sees to that.
I could make some weak self-promises around work, some attempt to ‘correct’ my personality – whatever the hell that means – and I could probably set-up a direct debit to a dog charity but I am not so woolly-minded that I can’t see them as mere bait for the bandwagon.
After all, to “resolve” is to ‘decide firmly on a course of action’ and, thinking about it at length, I realized there was very little that would cause me to firmly commit to a course of action, save a few personal business ideas I have been mulling over.
Also, ‘New Year’s resolutions’ are meant to be silly and breezy – at least everyone else’s seem to be. So the only resolutions worth considering are sartorial ones, and given that I spend an inordinate amount of time reading, writing, window-shopping, reviewing, admiring, lusting and dreaming about all things sartorial, it’s clearly an area in which I can make some sensible changes and some firm commitments.
1. Steadily build my suit collection with MTM and (maybe) bespoke
The suit is king, long live the suit.
Not only do I need good suits for work, I also enjoy wearing them more than any other clothing. It’s a point of mystery to me that many others take no pleasure, or pride, in acquiring and wearing suits.
It’s true that I used to advocate a more substantial collection of odd jackets, trousers and waistcoats. There is no doubt these are useful, but purchasing a three-piece suit gives you all the elements in a single package that, when combined, is the apogee of elegant masculinity.
On the cards: a dark grey flannel three piece for winter and a dark blue linen three piece for summer.
2. Tailor all of my favourite trousers
I have several pairs of trousers that I love wearing, but are slightly off in some way. I have lost weight over the past year, so many are too generous in the waist and thigh. Also, some of the legs do not have the exact taper I would like, and I always feel slightly incomplete when I wear them. Having recently had a pair of suit trousers slimmed and tapered, I have resolved to take the plunge and have all my favourite trousers (including some daring ones in black velvet) tailored.
This improvement to my wardrobe will also mean that I have more reason to…
3. Avoid impulse purchases
It’s long been a part of my philosophy to value quantity as well as quality of clothing. I love variety and feel somewhat dejected at the thought of wearing the same outfit twice. I am therefore what I would charitably term a “good shopper.”
However, this singular fondness has often led to wastefulness; silly items I have worn but a few times. No more, I tell you, no more.
4. Only buy ties on eBay
This is a bit of a cheat resolution as I have long resorted to online auctions for second-hand silk and wool ties.
The reasons are simple; I prefer older silk, I prefer older patterns and they are exceptional value for money. There are some lovely new ties out there, particularly those by Drakes and Ralph Lauren, but they are ludicrously expensive by comparison.
5. Make more significant investments
There are a number of things I should spend more money on, a few key pieces for which I should opt for a little more quality and durability, not just style. I have a habit of choosing on the latter alone.
However, there are some things I am looking for – a good Panama hat, a more capacious washbag – that require more than prettiness. They are long-term pieces for the next decade or so, not fly-by-night fashion.