Having just returned from a wonderful break in Runswick Bay on the East coast, I have to admit I’d gone rather feral.
Whilst most of my customers assume I relax in velvet smoking jacket, embroidered slippers, silk cravat and fez, my downtime is marked by a far more casual approach to dress.
The pleasure of getting up, a quick teeth scrub, throwing on an old t-shirt and heading off to Saltburn for a surf in the brine, is a welcome break from my usual, rigorous morning ablutions – think ‘American Psycho’ and you’re not far off!
On holidays, I don’t shave, and whilst certainly shunning cargo shorts and hooded tops (because I can tie my own shoelaces), it’s polo shirts, chinos, and perhaps an unstructured jacket that will form the bedrock of my playtime wardrobe.
I first started started wearing chinos as a 16 year old, whirling around the dance floor to ‘Never gonna give you up’ by Rick Astley.
Since those heady days of cider, cigarettes and snogging, I’ve lately been drawn to their more preppy credentials, and find the cream chino, blue blazer combo, rather swish for a smart-casual ensemble.
In a world that sadly, and misguidedly, seems desperate to ‘dress down,’ the chino is without doubt increasingly moving to the fore as a staple of our country’s business wardrobe.
It seems to me, most professional service firms are determined to emulate tech-companies – it’s all jeans and t-shirts, open plan offices, table-football, bean bags, macrobiotic salad bars and piped whale music.
I’ve always found the chino a rather American thing – not in a smooth, Ralph Lauren, Ivy League kind of vibe – but more along the lines of a red-faced guy called Chuck, in short sleeved shirt, scuffed boating shoes and punching above his weight on the BMI index.
They’ve never really captured my imagination like a beautifully cut pair of flannels worn with Albert Thurston braces, or, mohair dinner suit trousers with silk tape down the side seams and crisp forward pleats.
Oh! for the ‘Mad Men’ days of sharp suits, elegant briefcases, drinks cabinets, slugs of scotch at 11.00 am and a board room full of cigar smoke.
I’m a romantic dandy at heart, but a realist in my business, and so as dress codes have ‘relaxed,’ have embraced, softer, more contemporary, Italian style jackets worn with separate trousers.
In my continued quest to give my customers what they want, I have now found the right Italian manufacturing partner to work with, and am excited to offer a fabulous range of Michelsberg made-to-measure chinos!
We have two styles on offer, “The Gatsby” – a more formal look with front-pressed crease, clean top-stitching and waistband extension – perfect with a open neck shirt and strong Martini.
Secondly, “The TR6” – named after the Triumph Motorbike used in The Great Escape with Steve McQueen.
Styled with a more jeans-like approach, they have a non-pressed crease, heavy top-stitching, straight front closure and laugh in the face of barbed wire fences and Angela Merkel.
Incorporating a premium level of make on both styles, they include sartorial finished belt-loops, hand-stitched fly and the usual customisation options in terms of closure, pocket style, hem finish and monogram options.
Working with the Olimpias textile group in the province of Treviso, Italy, we offer a fabulous selection of stretch twills, broken twills, corduroys and moleskins.
Priced at £300 per pair, they are not cheap, but I feel offer excellent value for money, particularly when compared against premium off-the-peg chino brands like Incotex.
So don’t delay, pick up the phone today, and get yourself booked in for a spot of cotton loving.
Here’s wishing you all the very best as we enjoy the final weeks of our Great British Summer.