24 Mar, 2021

No floppy brims ….

If you check the Comments you’ll see that Meriel asked if I was Spring, Summer or Autumn.  My reply: “Summer”.  Read the entry of 21 March and it might make sense.

Some rummaging through the Peace archives had produced that little case of 30 fabric swatches, shades of colour that we had judged were the best matches for my complexion back in the early 1980s.  Gunter and Sam had certainly thought so, and I hadn’t disagreed.  There was something else in the case though.  I’d forgotten about it until Meriel asked.  Printed notes recommending the colours and fabrics to choose for different garments.

As I said on the 21st, I’d never used any of it.  Reading it again after so long set me pondering again: how far have we changed over the decades?  It’s rather like the Greek and Italian phrase books quoted in the 8 March blog. 

From the fabric colour selections I’m assessed as having the ‘Summer’ palette, and the notes graciously advise how to dress ‘A Man for all Seasons’ – seasons of style in the early 1980s anyway.  Some snippets:

Hats: ‘grey, blue, brown, beige, no floppy brims’.

Overcoats: ‘powder blue cashmere, medium grey, rose beige, cocoa brown leather’.

Colognes: six listed, too embarrassing to mention here.

Business suits if you’re 6’2” or more: ‘solid dark grey, dark grey pinstripe, medium blue, medium grey, light blue, subtle plaid, beige’.

Shoes: various and ‘avoid patent leather’. 

Socks: various and ‘over calf only’ and ‘always darker or same as trousers’. 

Belts: various and ‘avoid heavy ornate buckles’. 

Wallet: ‘dark cocoa brown, black, keep flat looking’.

Briefcase: ‘dark brown; simple lines with no decoration; avoid black’. 

Gloves: various and ‘avoid suede’.

Ties: many and various and ‘tip of tie should come to belt buckle’ [make note, Donald T!]. 

Shirts: too many to mention here, but ‘avoid short sleeves with business suits; sporty shirts with dressy suits; two patterns going in opposite directions’.

Leisurewear: plenty but ‘avoid silk, velvet and sheer fabric’. 

Jewellery: ‘gold watch; use expensive pens in gold or silver; avoid necklaces’.   

And as I was branded ‘Summer’ (and still might be, I wonder?), here are the Summer shades for ‘A Man for all Seasons’ 1980’s vintage: powder blue, medium grey, ash grey, rose beige, rose sand, cocoa brown, navy, off white, mink brown, maroon, grape, plum, light blue, sky blue, purple, rose, mauve, grey rose, light green, grey green, aqua, jewel green, blue green, yellow’.  Enough, do you think?

Come on chaps, guys, blokes of a certain age!  How many of you would have walked into a clothes shop with that list?  Shown it to the attendant?  What would you have bought?  A powder blue cashmere overcoat?  A flat wallet?   Such good advice though, wouldn’t you agree? 

OK, here’s the Cologne list: Givenchy ‘Aqua Velva’; Canoa ‘Dante’; Amon Triomphe ‘Kanon’; Royal Copenhagen ‘Jade East’; Paco Rabanne ‘Brut’; and Chanel ‘For Men’.

So own up.  Who wore what, then?


  1. David, you didn’t need the list……….you were always a snappy dresser when we knew you! (Others may have a different tale!)
    As for changing over the years: I understood that one’s basic skin tone remains the same, even as we age, and I am still an “autumn” but go for different, deeper colours now that I have silver hair. (And NEVER wear brown or beige!!)
    Well, isn’t it interesting what subjects we come up with in DP’s blogs!

    • David, cast your mind back to our wedding day, when Anthony appeared at the end of the proceedings in his ‘going-away’ suit of olive green, worn with a shirt of a strong, purplish-pink hue, and I began to wonder whether I really knew the man I had just married. He might have done well to be at your colour session too.

  2. All I can say is thank goodness you heeded some of this advice and never turned up for one of our Shepherd Market dinners in velvet leisurewear and patent leather brogues!!!! Lots and lots of love xxxxxx

    • Nothing wrong with velvet leisurewear! Nor patent brogues (whatever they might be). Says the guy who likes yellow socks, has never worn a single cologne, and whose wallet often bulged with pennies (back in the olden days). I might even come to your 40th in a rose beige coat, Cam, and fat gold watch and necklace. With a black briefcase to boot. Or…maybe I should follow this sage advice. Thanks Dave.


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