When a client called to say he was heading to Vegas and wanted some new threads, inspiration came in the form of the character Sam “Ace” Rothstein, in one of my favourite films, “Casino.”
When it comes to mobsters and gangsters there is one cloth that is de rigeur and that my friends is a sexy little lady by the name of Miss Mohair. When she rubs up against your skin, it’s time to hit the spirits, light that stogie and party.
The magic of mohair is it’s sheen and lustre. Made from the hair of the Angora goat, it is light yet exceedingly durable and when it’s pressed, will leave a seriously sharp crease down the front of your trousers.
The suit we went for was a true Michelsberg classic – fitted, skinny notch lapels, cloth covered buttons with a metallic silver lining. I can just see the lights of The Strip reflecting off the back of his jacket as he steps into the back of a limo in search of fun and frolics.
One of my favourite parts of the film is when De Niro is in his office and is told by his secretary he has a visitor. He gets up from his desk to reveal he is wearing no trousers, walks over to a closet and slips on a pair straight from the hangar. This is a guy who doesn’t do creases.
I’d also like to bring your attention to his socks, the downfall of many a man. It is my opinion that the section of flesh between the ankle and knee should be covered at all costs. A pair of socks does the same job for a guy as a bikini wax does for a girl. You know what I’m talking about – it’s that moment when some bloke crosses his legs to reveal a flash of pale white shin covered in fluffy brown hair. Shocker.
The only time you can get away with going commando is when you have a tan and are wearing loafers – unless your name is Giuseppe, my advice would be to keep well clear.
Socks should be knee-length and like a tie (see my blog ‘Ties and a trip to London), be chosen with care, the colour and pattern of which will be based on the rest of your outfit and occasion. White socks have often been ridiculed but worn in silk at the height of summer with a white linen suit are perfectly acceptable.
Personally I stick with plain, darker colours for work although I’ve nothing against introducing a splash of colour, perhaps to reflect the colour in a tie, hanky or pinstripe.
As far as material goes, natural fibres such as cotton and wool breathe better although a small addition of synthetic fibre such as Lycra will help them keep their shape. I’ve inherited permanently cold feet from my father, who has solved this problem by wearing bright red cashmere ones – slightly eccentric but what would you expect from a man whose hobbies include pimping up the boot of his Bentley with mirrors and crystal ornaments.
So here endeth the lesson – two key points – Mohair is great for dastardly deeds in the desert and unlike some we could mention, keep your hairy bits covered.