Last night, I shed a tear.
After nine series and one hundred and thirty four episodes, my favourite TV series, ‘Suits’, came to an end.
Since March 2020, I’ve lived and breathed the antics of the impeccably well dressed, high flying lawyer, Harvey Specter, and genuinely feel like I’ve lost a friend.
There are telly moments in my life that I’ll never forget.
Sipping a ginger ale in a brandy glass, and being allowed to stay up and watch ‘Minder’ with my father for the first time.
That was the day I became a man.
Or was it when Daisy Duke, from ‘The Dukes of Hazard’, strutted onto the screen wearing those magnificent jean shorts?
As a family, we bonded in front of the log fire to the dastardly deeds of J.R. Ewing in ‘Dallas,’ and when Sean Connery introduced himself as “Bond, James Bond,” in midnight blue shawl collared dinner suit, that was the moment my love affair with formal wear began.
I’ve always drawn inspiration for clothing from the box and the silver screen
John Steed’s velvet collared jackets from ‘The Avengers’ were one of my own first bespoke commissions, and when it comes to fine threads, ‘Suits’ is up there with the best of them.
Focused on the cut and thrust of an impossibly glamorous Manhattan based law firm, it never fails to make me beam with joy.
Outstanding acting, wonderful characters and a sizzling plot are present in abundance, but what makes ‘Suits’ sing, is it’s celebration of style, success, and sexuality.
Leading ladies, in spiked Louboutin heels and Prada bodycon dresses, pad like panthers down the legal corridors of power, oozing confidence from every perfectly exfoliated pore.
Holding court in designer offices overlooking a glimmering New York skyline, they recline on cream leather Eames chairs, crossing legs that go on for miles, and sip 20 year old Macallan whisky from cut glass crystal tumblers.
‘Harvey,’ the protagonist of this glorious production, is the “best closer in the City.”
With a grin like a Cheshire cat, he’s an iron fist in a velvet glove, master of all he surveys in the courtroom, boxing ring and poker table.
His vintage Aston Martin, chauffeured limo, penthouse apartment are all very nice, but it’s his wardrobe that makes me slobber like a St Bernard in front of a butcher’s shop window.
Tailored by two of my favourite designers, Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren (Purple Label), his suits bear all the traits of classic, British tailoring.
With my wife and children banished from the ‘TV room,’ it’s just me, a gin and tonic, salt and vinegar crisps, and a blissful array of peaked lapels, hand-sewn Milanese buttonholes and gorgeous roped shoulders.
The cloths are usually dark, elegant and understated, draping beautifully from a canvas base that provides structure, and so formality.
All the hallmarks of quality and taste are present and correct – side vents on the jacket, strap & buckle side fasteners on the trousers – complimented beautifully by crisp white shirts with cutaway collars, and ties made-up in muted, sumptuous silks.
The palate is often monochrome, the vibe imposing and confident, final details polished shoes, a simple pocket square and Patek Philippe watch.
At a time when our sartorial landscape is becoming increasingly bleak, ‘Suits’ for me is blissful escapism, a joyous, soul warming hark, back to the days when people took pride in what they wore to the office.
For years, we’ve been dumbed-down by ill conceived dress down policies.
I’ve seen elegant customers in professional services, once resplendent in tailored garments, reduced to the state of golf caddies, in gilets, baggy chinos and short sleeve shirts.
The streets of our great cities, once bastions of the suit and overcoat, now rustle with the sound of Puffa jackets and Gore-Tex anoraks.
Rucksacks, woolly hats, ‘athleisure’ wear, all further nails in the coffin of stylistic respectability, the Berghaus walking shoe, a kick in the balls to the inherent beauty of a pair of Cheaney Oxfords.
It’s all rather depressing and has been compounded further by the pandemic.
Working from home for months on end, has left millions of us shuffling around our kitchens in slippers and sweatpants, smeared with the slop and dribble of last night’s Deliveroo supper.
Like hibernating bears, we’re coming out of our slumber and rubbing the sleep from our zoom weary eyes, as we prepare to go back to the office, for at least some of the time.
Opening our wardrobes, two paths lay before us – the road to redemption, and the road to perdition.
Whilst some will continue to stomp, rambler chic, down the latter, the chance to smarten up for many, will be relished.
Very simply, because it makes us feel good.
Beautiful blazers and trousers, tailored chinos, bespoke shirts, will once again be back on the radar for many a professional, but I predict dandyism of the highest order, when racetracks, restaurants, hotels, clubs and bars, open their doors for business.
Billions of pounds have been saved over the pandemic, and like the Roaring Twenties, after the end of First World War and decline of Spanish Flu, we have a powder keg of hedonistic longing waiting to explode.
Corks will fly, heads roll back with laughter, as once again, we can come together as friends and colleagues, and milk the fun out of a life we are so lucky to live.
My first two weeks back have been joyous and triumphant.
After twelve weeks of doing bugger all, it’s been a baptism of fire, and I’m shattered but glowing with happiness.
Not because money is going into (rather than out of!) the Michelsberg coffers, but because I’m back with my customers, wallowing in the banter and doing what I love – talking fine threads.
I’ve had a customer hand me a stunning bottle of white burgundy as a welcome back present, and once again felt that shiver of joy, seeing customers buzz with happiness over their new treats.
Life at the moment is pretty good, and I very much hope the same can be said for you all.
Here’s to having a Spring and Summer that shows those ‘bright young things’ of the 1920’s, whose the daddy.
Let the good times roll!