Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Rochester: A Suit Review

“England – alas, my country! – has degenerated very much, and is degenerating every day. She has not many gentlemen left. We are few. I see nothing to succeed us but a race of weavers.” So said dear Mr. Turveydrop in Dickens' 'Bleak House'.

Which brings us to the word ‘deportment’. ‘Deportment’, you will learn, is a very special word, which touches on every aspect of what it means to be, not only a gentleman, but an Englishman. It is a word that covers, not just one’s conduct and personal demeanor, but one’s entire appearance and attitude to life. When wise Mr. Turveydrop spoke of his country degenerating, he had no idea that the general decline in manners and good conduct would correspond with an equal decline in the way people dressed. Ripped jeans! Long hair! Baggy T-shirts! Horror of horrors – men in make-up! Mr. Turveydrop would most likely have turned white as a ghost and vomited at the very mention of such a thing. That is because Mr Turveydrop lived in a golden age when people dressed with precision. When men were gentlemen and women waited in the wings, not yet having donned pantaloons. It was a time when people’s dress filled them with pride, and a sense of deportment motivated their movements. The hunched shoulder, the slouched back, even the sudden movement – none were for the self-respecting man, who always spoke low and was utterly composed: the kind of man who donned a three-piece before his wife had even laid eyes on him in the morning! Deportment, then, was the name of the game – and deportment now is what guides us.

For me this suit epitomises deportment. If it’s not the serious greyness of the fabric, it’s the severity of the five-buttoned, double-breasted waistcoat. If it’s not the double peak of the jacket and the matching vest, it’s the attention to detail visible in the working cuffs. It’s a suit that says, ‘Deportment,’ all over it without shouting it from the rooftops. It’s a suit for those customers who strive for perfection but find achieving it difficult in our degenerative age. It’s for Mr Turveydrops everywhere… and if you don't believe me try it in your measurements: you won’t believe how good it feels when it’s been cut especially for you.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with one more word on this elusive thing called 'deportment', taken from my own personal bible, called 'Rules of Etiquette and Home Culture': "A man should not lounge in a chair, nurse his leg, caress his foot crossed over his knee or bite his nails. He may sit cross-legged if he wish, but should not sit with his knees far apart, nor with his foot on his knee. In indicating an object, move the whole hand, or the head, but never point the finger. All should be quiet and graceful, either in their sitting or standing position."

Take heed. Visit


Anonymous said...

Hi Jake,

I think your site looks great. It's a fantastic idea. I'll add you to my links menu!

Suit Wizard :)

Michelle said...

These are such elegant men's suits. But I think they'll look all the more perfect if you can pair them with pocket business card holders.

Zita said...

Good post.