A while back I did a couple of posts that thinly disguised my hatred for the PLAGUE OF PLAID that had infested menswear. OK, that sounds a bit pompous and high-fallutin’. I still stand firm. Well, sort off… I’ve been drawn as of late to the geometrically patterned chemise but I’m leaning towards gingham as opposed to plaid. Thus, I don’t feel such a hypocrite.
Its that slight feeling of spring in the air that gets one thinking about the summer ahead — lovely rumpled shirts, sleeves rolled up past elbow, collar undone in a lopsided fashion. I do give good shirt, I must say. So its rather worrying that I live so close FRENCH TROTTERS on rue Vielle du Temple. Its one of those little local shops that has been garnering a lot of interest in magazines such as Monocle. Cool, lifestyle-y and low-key. A shop for men. No loud music. Something cool and hum-inducing on the sound system. But not too cool. Cute assistants – eye candy a prerequisite to a good shop session; oils up an otherwise reluctant carte bleue. Its pretty much all a guy needs in one space.
They stock brands such as Oliver Spencer, Margaret Howell, ACNE, A.P.C., Universal Works and Visvim. Great menswear staples. Good selection of accessories and shoes. Sweet little nothings like The Hill Side squared-off neckties — these really do perk up a “Look”. And luxe perfume brand Byredo. Smell Bal d’Afrique or Gipsy Water and DIE. So you see why this is so disconcerting. I don’t shop much and when I do I’m quick and precise. Go in for the kill. I never try anything on. I just need to check the lengths of sleeves –I’m over 6ft tall. And the width of shirts and jackets — my fondess for a tipple or two has left me, shall we say, portly, round the abdominal region. Hey ho, I’ll die satisfied, I guess!
image: The Selby
Anyway, back to plaid, sorry, gingham. I’ve always loved chef’s whites. I like all things culinary, really. But CHEFS ARE COOL. The slouchy trews, the aprons, white shirts. Its a utilitarian look that’s soft around the edges. Perfect. And this summer I’m drawn toward pattern. Not stripes. Bit off those. And definitely not Plaid. But gingham… Its simplicity and monochromatic nature make it such a winner. And not too micro, either. 2cm squares are about the right proportion. Present but not in your face. I’m gonna be rocking a few of those come summer. The blue and white Oliver Spencer just bristles with the promise of a great summer to come. What fun we shall have, my dear, what fun.
image: Garance Dore
image: The Sartorialist