A swellegant, elegant party.

At my wedding, my best man and college friend Paul said in his speech, “over the years we’ve shared many highs together, some legal…”

Whilst this might be true, I doubt many were better than the one I got from hosting my customer party last Thursday evening.

After a last minute flood of “sorry we can’t make it” texts, the clock struck six. Within minutes I was surrounded by friends, family, suppliers and grinning customers, adrenalin and alcohol pumping through my arteries. Read More

First is first, second is nowhere.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin (the founder of the Olympics) said, “It’s not the winning but the taking part that counts.”

Utter tosh. These are the words of the loser, the also-ran, the dud, the deadbeat, the defeated.

In battle there is no prize for runner-up. Coming first is everything.

One day, like Brian Clough, I hope I can look back on my career and declare: “I wouldn’t say I was the best tailor in the business. But I was in the top one.” Read More

Time Out!

“The Laziest Tailor in Leeds” has been at it again folks.

Last week I hung my tape-measure over my dummy and left the showroom for a week’s holiday in Portugal.

In truth, I do put the hours in, and whilst bespoke tailoring and running my own business is something I love, six day weeks, tight deadlines, and the energy required to keep driving things forward all take their toll.

I wouldn’t change things for the world. I believe you get out of life what you put into it. Read More

Grazie Roma

Out for lunch with a customer last Friday, I felt the sun’s warmth on my cheek for the first time in ages. The restaurant was buzzing, people were smiling and one duck pappardelle later I left, ready to cast the dark, dank, cloak of winter from my shoulders.

From a cloth point of view, the mill owners of Yorkshire are feeling frisky and have well and truly declared that Spring is in the air. They’ve just sent me their new bunches which have more kick than a lamb running from the butcher. Read More

A Snappy New Year

Another year, another dollar, and after what has been a highly indulgent Christmas, it seems another chin.

For ten gloriously gluttonous days I put my feet up, except for an enjoyable trip to Helmsley for a photo-shoot with two new customers.

Introducing brothers George and James Craig, from the band, ‘One Night Only.’

They knocked on my door after spotting the particularly dandified double-breasted waistcoat in scarlet doeskin I’d made for Jack at Jeffery-West shoes. Read More

Sew this is Christmas!

Last Sunday I enjoyed a perfect quiet moment to myself. Wallowing by the log fire with a belly full of lamb shanks, I raised a glass of Chianti to the newly installed Christmas tree in the corner and looked forward to my favourite time of the year.

To me, Christmas is all about the build-up, and mine has well and truly begun. Last Monday evening was the final of the Michelsberg Debating Competition.

Held at the Malmaison Hotel in Leeds, there was a really festive vibe as judges, teams and guests enjoyed carols and a glass of red wine, amongst twinkling lights and candles in the Chateaux lounge. Read More

Sharp suits and sniffles.

As I staggered into the coat-makers with half a dozen fittings in each hand, my bag over my shoulder and a length of cloth and lining under my arm, I recalled the words of Thomas Edison: “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

I raised my eyes to the sky, thanked the Lord for Right Guard and made a mental note to book in for an IQ test.

This month has been full-on. Absolutely Mental. It hasn’t helped that I’ve been suffering from that terrible affliction known as man-flu, but like many a chap, I’ve put on a brave face and battled on without a whimper, or, request for sympathy…sniff.. Read More

Trip to Shanghai

It’s four hours before my flight home and I’m closeted in the cigar bar of the JC Mandarin Hotel, a bottle of Tsing Tao beer in my left hand, a knock off Montblanc pen in my right, trying to find words that do justice to the incredible city that is Shanghai.

Here for a mixture of business and pleasure, it’s blown my mind. Whilst Europe shivers from an ill wind of debt, China sunbathes confidently in a Gucci G-string.

What a city. It’s bold, brassy, bristles with energy, has the swagger of John Wayne and more grunt than Monica Seles. I was staying just off the Nanjing Road, their equivalent of Bond Street. Read More

Fancy a poke?

Damn that Zuckerberg bloke. I’ve resisted Facebook for years, but I’ve had yet another customer extolling the virtues of ‘social networking’ and how it could benefit my business, so I’ve decided to take a shaky step towards the dark-side and start a Facebook page for Michelsberg Tailoring.

I’m still not entirely convinced. I’ve always thought it a virtual slobberfest for American adolescents, techo-geeks and paedos to oggle pictures of Katie Price wannabes, driven to tell the world when they’ve waxed and what they’ve just eaten at McDonalds. Read More

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

It’s Monday morning and there is a spring in the Michelsberg step. On Thursday night I downed tools and headed off with my family for a long weekend in Runswick Bay on the East Coast.

What a spot. Gobsmackingly beautiful. It’s straight out of an Enid Blyton book where kids with beautiful manners eat picnics, take walks and uncover an international smuggling operation run by the lighthouse keeper. I relaxed, ate chips with everything, managed some surfing at Saltburn and even changed a few nappies. Read More