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Clothing Tips for the Gentleman Adventurer.

The most important thing is to dress the part. You still can't do better than a bespoke (tailored) suit from an established Savile Row tailor. Whatever suit you wear, invest in good quality, and make sure that it fits well around the shoulders. If it doesn't, there will be a 'ditch' in the jacket, below the collar. Ideally, the suit should hang well and show no signs of stress (ridges, folds, etc.) however the wearer is standing (tailors call this quality 'balance'). The trousers should hang close at the heel. The cuffs of your jacket should unbutton so that you can wash your hands with style. A real gentleman can be identified by the fact that he tucks the pocket flaps of his jacket INTO the jacket pockets. Don't be shy of investing in shoes that are obviously of excellent quality.

Good town suits are made of worsted, which is usually made from combed merino wool. Country jackets may be made from uncombed woollen fabrics, such as tweed. If you wish to give the impression that you are used to wearing tailored suits, compliment the 'nap' (the surface quality) of the material. A winter suit should weigh about twenty ounces, and in temperate summers, fifteen ounces is about right.

In warm climes a ten ounce tropical suit can be worn during the day, but it would be a real hero who wears a topee nowadays. Be sure to get one as an ornament, though. You can put it on the outside table while you sip gin and tonic on your verandah, at sunset.

The gentleman adventurer dresses for dinner when he can, unless it is the first night aboard a ship. A black dinner jacket is always acceptable, but white looks fine in warm climates. Wear black trousers, even if your jacket is white. For a shirt, you can't go wrong with a soft front and double cuffs. You should wear a bow tie of black silk, satin or marcella. Black socks should be worn, with black patent leather laced shoes. If the weather is cold, carry a black Chesterfield coat. If the weather is warmer, black gaberdine is more suitable. Hats are rarely worn nowadays, but if you want one, chose a black Homburg. A red carnation sets off your attire (which is NOT called a dinner suit).

Do not be patronising towards a Savile Row tailor. Unlike some tailors in other parts of the world, they are gentlemen themselves, traditionally treated almost as equals by the aristocracy. This is because the aristocracy were often in debt to them. The respectable Merchant Taylor's school was for the gentlemanly children of tailors, and St. John's was once their own college at Oxford. Tailors were even given titles, by royals who regarded it as cheaper than paying their debts.



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