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Savile Row

LMG6

If I’ve spoken to you over this past week or so, you probably could’ve seen this post coming from a mile away, because I’ll admit I don’t think there’s been an waking hour that’s gone by since the start of the new year that I haven’t brought up The West Wing. For about ten days now, thanks to Netflix’s ever so wise decision to finally buck up and offer Aaron Sorkin’s political masterpiece (which all of you should check out if you have the chance) I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the majority of my days basking in the liberal utopia that is The West Wing.  While I love The West Wing, and I’d like to believe that it accurately portrayals the inner workings of our political system, I’m not naive, it is still television after all and it’s no secret that the show takes it’s fair share of liberties with history.  Yet, one area where it is not off base is in the attire of the president and his team.  President Josiah Bartlett and rest of his staff dress like pretty much all modern day politicians: lame, cookie cutter, stagnant, and all around average.  As with any rule though, there is one large exception, and that’s John Spencer’s character, White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry.

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Patrick Grant By Richard Nicholson

Patrick Grant By Richard Nicholson

There’s few people in menswear I trust like Brandon Capps.  Before there was tumblr, there was Drinkin’ and Dronin’, one of the original free-scrolling image inspiration boards the could cover everything from turn of the century naval jackets, to cell-phone pics of beer cans, to Pitti street style, to multi-colored brogues, and everything in between.  It was a grab bag of just about anything you could imagine, a fitting format for a guy who’s style is as inspirational and diverse as the photos he posted.  While Drinkin’ and Dronin’ has subsequently made the jump to Tumblr, and Brandon has found a home as Billy Reid’s made-to-measure specialist, the blog lives on, and I still look forward to Brandon’s smattering of posts, as they’ve always lead me down some interesting paths.

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In the wake of a triumphant (or tragic, depending on your level of sanity) presidential election, I realize it’s a bit odd to come back with a piece about a figure(head) from across the pond, but the more I look at photos of our president and politicians that flank him, the more I think about how as the years go on the group of “well-dressed” leaders gets smaller and smaller. And then there’s Prince Charles. While each new crop of politicians from across the globe seem to be worse dressed than the last, Prince Charles endures as the best dressed politician in the world (despite the fact that the Royal family doesn’t exercise any power anymore, but that’s beside the point.) Much like his great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfathered in title, Charles was born into the dominant British style that stretches from the bespoke suits of Savile Row to the tweeds and barn jackets of the countryside. During his younger years Charles’ style was more reserved, mainly leaning toward three button jackets in subtle patterns such as grey nailheads. Yet it was during his late twenties and thirties that Charles began wearing double breasted jackets almost exclusively, a testament to the more prominent tailoring style of Savile Row.

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