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old friend tieOnce upon a time a vast gleaming edifice on London’s Piccadilly was one of London’s finest Gentlemen’s emporia. Today sadly it is one of London’s largest bookstores or coffee shops depending on how you look at it.

It had, in fact still has, wide sweeping staircases which back then led to floors of wonderful men’s togs. Up on the mezzanine between the ground and the first floor were gentleman’s loos with stainless steel engineered and port holed doors so stunning that when we built a new bathroom in our house we modelled our bathroom door on them (at huge expense!)

It was in this palace of Gentleman’s wonder that I fell deeply in love with a tie, it was a spectacularly striped number which called to me across a crowded store and which I instantly knew would become a firm favourite.I bought it and I have worn it and cherished it for many years. It has drawn comments and admiring glances whenever I have worn it.

So imagine my dismay as I made my way home on Wednesday from a hard day at the suitably attired Perfect Gentleman coal face to look down and see that my beautiful silk tie appeared to have been in a major battle with some industrial strength Velcro. 

Threads were pulled, the once smooth surface was ruffled and looked dreadful and I have sadly come to the conclusion that there is nothing for it but to consign it to the dustbin. It will be a sad day but it has been a good and faithful servant and I like many men sometimes struggle to let go of clothes and that’s just wrong.

Just as important as wearing the right clothes is knowing when something has reached or even passed its sell by date. There is nothing worse than whipping of a shoe in the changing room to reveal a peeping big toe or equally bad frayed cuffs on a favourite shirt or even a hole on the sole of your shoes.

So some Perfect Gentleman rules which will help you ensure that your wardrobe is always in perfect order:

  1. Take the time to check over your wardrobe with a critical eye periodically
  2. Check your:
    1. Short cuffs, elbows and collars
    2. Trouser seats and ‘personal areas’
    3. Trouser pockets
    4. Toes of socks
    5. Waist bands of underwear
  3. We know that it is hard, but you must be ruthless, throw out anything which is threadbare and passed it’s best and head out to replace it with something shiny and new.

If I can do it to my favourite tie then you can do it too.

The only element of possible consolation in this whole story is that I need a new band for my panama, and so begins two searches; one for a stunning new tie which will serve me as well as my old love did and the second for a seamstress, or hatter, who can salvage enough of the beautiful silk to make me a new hat band.

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