Some years ago I found myself in possession of a novel book called 101 Things To Buy Before You Die. It’s basically a directory of the best-of-the-best across a range of lifestyle categories – from alarm clocks to wallpaper, this book has it. Much of it has stood the test of time, for example Birkins and Bayswaters are still a damn good place to start for a kick-ass, eyewateringly expensive handbag. Does Revlon still make the best lipsticks however? Probably not. For that matter, I’d argue that you don’t need to spend a fortune to have lovely things.
So I thought I’d take the time to share with you my go-tos (and updates where applicable) for each of the categories laid out in the original book.
Frivolous? Absolutely. But a bit of fun, too. Here’s the first instalment…
The original: bespoke suits. The update: suits.
Sure, you could spend the price of a round-the-world ticket on a bespoke suit, but when an off-the-rack number with a few alterations or made-to-measure has the same effect for a fraction of the price, it seems more silly than splurge.
An impeccable suit is however, worth splashing out on. For men or women, the pieces that make up a suit are as relevant when worn together as they are as separates. Jackets dress up denim for both sexes, but for men the trousers can be worn on their own with a casual shirt and rolled sleeves for a look that sits squarely in the ‘smart casual’ category. Women can pair their trousers with a chambray shirt, heels and a statement necklace for much the same effect.
The point is, they’re worth investing in. Buy yours in black, navy blue or a mid-grey.
For men, Thom Sweeney (top) is a very fine place to start – they produce not just bespoke and made-to-measure suits, but have also just released their first ready-to-wear collection. You can’t buy online from them directly though – if you wish to do so, head to Mr Porter.