Stocking Stuffers: Part II
This is the last of these, in case you were worried there might be a part III. In the previous post I stuck to the formulaic socks, ties and handkerchiefs. These next few suggestions have a little more originality.
Albam Horn Accessories: I’m a big fan of English independent label Albam, I like their philosophy of ‘modern crafted clothing’ and their kit never disappoints. Their horn accessories, which include keyrings, shoehorns, coin holders and night trays, are hand made in England from a variety of natural horns. With organic textures and colouring there is something wonderfully tactile about them. I have one of their keyrings and reckon they make cracking little gifts. Available online.
Vintage Cufflinks: Bit of an odd one this, but cufflinks really don’t have to be solid 18ct gold to look the part or do the job. Having a root around in your local vintage stores and markets can turn up all sorts of beauties, at very little cost. Just remember that proper cufflinks really ought to have chain links rather than the more common bolt links. It seems petty but chains really do cast a more refined vision. Hard to advise on sources but e-bay is a good starting point. For those living in London I strongly recommend Greys Antique Market near Bond Street Tube Station. And I recently discover Violet Vintage.
Velo-re, Smart Turnout and Argentine Polo Player belts: A spot of colour and interest around the midriff can enliven even the most humdrum of looks. For example, I often wear my Velo-re belt with chinos and white button-down oxford – nothing more humdrum than that. I’ve highlighted Velo-re and Smart Turnout before, but I rather fancy the Argentine Polo Player Belt this time. As its name suggests it was originally worn by Argentine polo players and that sporty edge will do you plenty of favours. Two useful sources Gaucho Belts and Estribos.
Books: Books always make good stocking fillers. Here are three easy to read texts packed full of facts.
The Little Book of Ties: I’ve written this one up as a review here before. No need to do it again I fancy. But those interested in detail will not be disappointed. Available from Amazon.
A Well Dressed Gentleman’s Pocket Guide: It takes you through the history of each item in a man’s wardrobe from suits to socks, and their varying styles. It provides some excellent explanations on the weaves of cloth. I’ve found this an invaluable little book. Available from Amazon,
Savile Row: The Master Tailors of British Bespoke: Admittedly you’d need a bloody big stocking to stuff this book into. A sizable tome; books of this heft normally attract the prefix ‘coffee-table’. But that’s unfair. It’s a wonderfully concise history of Savile Row and the distinguished tailoring houses upon it, with plenty of human interest. However, it’s the beautifully detailed and prolific photographs that make this a book worth having in library. I picked up a copy on Amazon for £25 (nearly half price).