Travelled to That London yesterday and visited our shiny new offices in Jermyn Street. If you’ve not been to Jermyn Street, you really should take the time. Some of the shops there seem to have entirely ignored this, all of the 20th and a fair chunk of the 19th century, and are still selling the sort of gear that would suit the….well, the only word I can think of is ‘dandy’.
In fact, really close to our office is a statue of Beau Brummell, a sort of Russell Brand of his day, although obviously without the radio phone-in. Or the hilarious line in wacky mysogynism. Anyway, Beau Brummell is credited with inventing the man’s suit and tie, and much more that passes for western ‘style’. He claimed to take at least 5 hours to get dressed in the morning, thereby beating most other men by around 4 hrs 55min. Anyway, his influence is absolutely felt on Jermyn Street, which has all manner of small men’s outfitters, with the most amazing shirts, socks, cufflinks, waistcoats and dressing gowns on display – hugely desirable and beautifully made, although I suspect they might look better in the window than on the customer. I’ve only just started going past these shops in the last few weeks, and already I have the strangest hankerings for long extravagant socks and a smoking jacket.
So it seems only right and proper to make an effort when travelling to London, as I like to think that life is too short to look scruffy in such historic company. And, this morning, in exceptionally pointy shoes, and overcoat, I will admit that I thought I was cutting rather a dash (as they probably don’t say in the shops around these parts).
So I really thought my time as a style icon had come, when a gentleman in a tweed jacket fell into step beside me as I walked out of the office to get a cab.
(He) ‘Well, sir, it’s not often I see someone as beautifully coordinated as you, looking like a true gentleman, along Jermyn Street”
(Me, slightly worried) “Err, thanks”
(He, beginning to sound like a Lionel Bart character) “Yes indeed, I’m enjoying both the cut of your coat and the point of your shoe”
(Me, slightly alarmed that I might have been selected for some bizarre grooming project) “Err, thanks, you’re very kind”
Of course, at this stage, I was secretly Very Pleased Indeed. At last, recognised as the style icon I’d always hoped to be. Move over, Peter York….there’s a new kid in town and he’s wearing a big brown coat…
This reverie lasted for about 15 seconds, at which point my new friend tried to sell me a copy of The Big Issue. Ho hum.