The sad decline of the tweed-clad gent

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
In the Guardian no less! Made me smile so I thought I'd share. Some of the comments are interesting too.

The sad decline of the tweed-clad gent
Let's ponder the horrific decline in male attire. The well-dressed gentleman has been hunted to near-extinction by louts in Lycra


There are insufficient vowels in the English language to describe the damage sportswear has wrought on our national identity. That it is considered acceptable for a full-grown man to wear Lycra in public, the ghoulish outline of his inner sanctum served up for all to see, demonstrates the depths of sartorial chaos we have plunged to. And in Great Britain, a relatively benign landmass that enjoys a pleasant climate, humans currently jaunt about their business sporting fleece, polyester and scientific materials designed to withstand the extreme rigours of Himalayan peaks and Arctic tundras. To spend 15 minutes around Bloomsbury, you would think you were closer to the North Shore of Oahu than the British Museum's intriguing numismatic collection of medieval currency.

Let us hang our heads in collective shame. Cif commenter Unexceptional, in one of the finest exemplars of British knitwear, dared to raise his head slowly to the sky and humbly ask: "Whither the well-dressed gent?" Whither indeed. He has been hunted to the point of extinction. A legend. Ancient lore.

Society is all the more impoverished. Not only have we lost the gentleman's cheerful and pleasingly unproductive outlook on life. Of more concern, his coat of arms has been tossed on to the cultural compost heap. Tweed, linen and corduroy (the aromatic, manure-coloured variety), the holy trinity of British style, are nowadays considered the fabrics of the fuddy-duddy, the village historian who uses an ear trumpet and partakes in brass rubbing. Small children, with tattoos on their eyeballs, dressed head to toe in American aberrations throw stones at him, make wholly inappropriate hand gestures and taunt him mercilessly. "Look at that knob in tweed! Get him!'"

To add poorly dressed insult to injury, just as fringe political parties flourish in constituencies where the main three fear to tread, trendy buffoons have usurped the mantle of British panache and are busy subverting it to their own nefarious ends. Scylla and Charybdis travel the nation's highways, convince retired primary-school teachers and landscape gardeners to pose in the buff, subject the poor blighters, who have the innocent temerity to not dress like vacuous cretins, to abject humiliation, and then stitch them up like oversized children.

Is there anyway to rekindle the flame of British élan? There are those who suggest we could learn a thing or two from the French or Italians. Caveat emptor. The antics of continental Europe should not be adopted lightly. Certain practices and customs can feel entirely natural in the luxurious warmth of the Dordogne (badminton and wearing shorts spring to mind), but take on far more sinister dimensions if adopted at home. Gallic flair, while mildly impressive, is at cross-purposes with British majesty. There is too much emphasis placed on silk, too much attention drawn to the erogenous zones and too much use of eau de toilette. No thank you, Sir. And the fashion escapades of Italians, who, it must be admitted, produce outstanding ice-cream, border on the ridiculous.

More's the pity that not one of our prime ministerial candidates appears to own anything other than dull, drab, navy suits – the sort of ensemble that's supposed to imply "Aren't I awfully dynamic? Watch me achieve." Achieve what exactly? Gordon Brown looks like an Easter Island statue made up to look like a mannequin, Cameron the creepiest prefect at school, all smiles for the teacher before trying to initiate you into a secret society with a marrow and a rubber ducky. And Nick Clegg looks like he manages an Iceland. Have none of these twerps read Shelley?

When the time comes for you to canoe across the Styx, far better to bequeath a gloriously soiled pair of moleskin chap-pants to the family minors, than some ill-considered treaty. Tweed outlives international law. They would do well to take heed. For the time being, however, let us simply hang our heads in collective shame.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#4
I was at work today in a Barbour tweed sports jacket, and can be found prowling around the countryside in Musto tweed breeks from late summer onwards :D
 
#5
I have two excellent Harris Tweed jackets but the twats down the pub call me a geography teacher when I wear them to go for a couple of pints. Standards are so lackng in the UK these days.
 
#7
I'm in workware. I don't and never will ever want to look my maths teacher. Please come out of the 19 century and into the 21st.
 
#8
natotattie said:
Most people who favour tweed have hygiene problems.
And you know this because.....?
 
#9
Cpl_ripper said:
I'm in workware. I don't and never will ever want to look my maths teacher. Please come out of the 19 century and into the 21st.
Certainly not, the thought of wearing a plastic shell suite fills me with horror.
 
#10
eodmatt said:
natotattie said:
Most people who favour tweed have hygiene problems.
And you know this because.....?
...............I've had the sad misfortune to be in a room with two of the tweeded inbreds.

The smell of stale coffee mixed with Hai Karate and sweat emanating from them was sickening.

They were the equivalent of the Dementors from Harry Spotter - sucking up the atmosphere and spreading despair.

Talking of despair, this thread sums it up.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#11
Don't confuse the high-end tweed wearer with your common old M&S jacket wearing teacher - the giveaway is the leather elbow pads, or even worse synthetic leather 8O
 
#15
vvaannmmaann said:
Get yourself off to one of the main game/country fairs/shows.Acres of the stuff.(And men wearing red cords)
my bold
Ugly spends many happy hours watching some of these red cord clad ne'er do wells :D
 
#16
Nice tweed, Msr, but the black taffeta gimp mask is a bit de trop!
There's not enough tweed - not the nasty stuff that used to be found with labels from Dunn & Co, but well-tailored tweed. I'm a big Cordings fan, with three of their suits in various weights. Only one bespoke, though, which has lasted me more than 20 years and in which I'll probably be buried.
 
#17
vvaannmmaann said:
Get yourself off to one of the main game/country fairs/shows.Acres of the stuff.(And men wearing red cords)
You utter cad.

I once brought a bugandy two piece with white silk shirts and white oxfords, fook knows why.

And you had to remind me............coont.
 
#19
.......and don't forget the leather patches on the elbows.
 
#20
It being dress down Friday, I am sporting a grey herring bone cashmere number, that fortunately doesn´t smell of herrings. No fire risks on me.
 

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