Answering the questions I never got asked

Sunday, January 9, 2011
Like many bloggers, I expect, I tend to keep half an eye on my visitor statistics. These are provided in fascinating detail by Google Analytics, and tell me all kinds of things about where in the world my visitors come from, which posts are popular, and which sites send me a lot of traffic (thanks The Natural Aristocrat!). One of the most interesting bits of information is what Google searches brought people to me. It can be very cheering to see that someone searched for a topic on which I have written, and apparently enjoyed what they found on the blog enough that they spent twenty or thirty minutes looking through other posts. The best example of this lately was someone who searched for "upstairs downstairs clip on bowtie" and ended up on my blog. I don't know who you are, but it makes me very happy to imagine that at least one person was as incensed at this as I was and, perhaps, found reading my post cathartic.

Anyway, in amongst the Google results, I occasionally come accross things people have searched for that I haven't ever covered. Most of these people promptly leave and never come back so, although it may be too late for them, I thought I might take the opportunity now to answer some of these, the questions I have never actually been asked.

Are flannel suits in style?
I don't know about 'in style' but they are wonderful in the right situation. Not necessarily the best bet for everyday wear, especially in a heated office or a warm country, but as a winter suit for occasional wear they are a smart and classic look that is hard to beat.

Best way to drink gin
In a Martini. Dry, very cold, with at least one olive. Alternatively, if practically neat spirits aren't your thing, a gin and tonic is a perfect drink for all occasions.

Blue suit for dinner dance?
Yes. Assuming the dress-code is not black or white tie, then a dark blue suit will be just the thing.

Cad and the Dandy is the hand stitching worth it?
That's actually quite a tricky question. For the hand-stitching itself, most people will not notice the difference, and there is actually a certain amount of debate as to whether it makes any difference at all. Some people argue that hand-stitching allows for a bit more stretch in the seams which will extend the life of your suit. Hand stitching can be made particularly obvious around the lapel, an effect that some people like, but is now commonly replicated by machine on much cheaper suits. However, the fact that the hand-stitched suits are also half or fully-canvassed and come with a basted fitting is definitely worth the money, and will make a very noticable difference.
Image taken from

Can't find a white marcella exact size bowtie
Ede and Ravenscroft do them. An exact size white tie is a good idea, as it will be worn with an upright collar, meaning that the adjuster would be visible at the back on an adjustable tie.

Chemistry behind adding an olive to gin?
It's delicious. What more do you need to know?

Do you starch a marcella tie?
No. If you starched it to the same extent as your collar, it would be impossible to tie! In any case, you don't want it to look completely rigid.

Is a mens tweed jacket okay to wear in the spring?
Yes, especially in the country, at the weekend, or if it's very cold. Later in spring, however, you may want to switch to cotton jackets and blazers.

Mens shirt step up from Lewins?
Ede and Ravenscroft and New and Lingwood are a good step up in both quality and price, with shirts from around £80, although both have sales on currently. Both also offer a made-to-measure service for whenever you feel ready to upgrade to that.

More to come, I expect. And may I remind readers that if you do visit this blog and find your question unanswered, I welcome emails and will happily answer you privately, or by posting on the blog, or both.