I wrote almost a year ago how impressed I was with Will at A Suitable Wardrobe setting up a store, to sell his taste and knowledge of European manufacturers to the blog’s readership. Since then the store has grown and I have purchased many things from it. Given how hard it is to buy clothes satisfactorily online, I thought readers might appreciate a few personal experiences.
My favourite piece of clothing to buy from ASW is socks. The sizing is easy, the styles simple and the range impressive. Although mostly made by Bresciani, that manufacturer’s range is difficult to identify in the UK and besides mostly relies on retailers’ individual requests. Good long cotton socks and particularly cotton/silk mixes are difficult to find, as are those with clocks or delicate pinstripes; so those would be my top recommendations.
Drake’s ties are made round the corner from me, and their shop isn’t much further; the Neapolitan styles, especially the six-fold, are too narrow for my taste; but I applaud the ASW offering of longer ties, something few European manufacturers offer, for both being the right length for me and my preferred width – 3.5 inches.
The horn products are beautiful, if easier to acquire than some of the items here; I particularly recommend the horn-backed clothing brushes. The same applies to the perfumes, which though I know are wonderful can be found on the high street in London – L’Artisan Perfumeur is sold alongside Ormonde Jayne, Les Senteurs, Byredo, Lorenzo Villoresi, Bois. We’re spoiled really.
Simonnot-Godard, however, gets a standing ovation. Both the cotton and linen handkerchiefs are wonderfully fashioned and I’m a particular fan of the voile shirt cloth, which I’ve had made up at Turnbull & Asser (cost £120, a good saving on full price £200).
Equal plaudits go to the knitwear, which there is necessarily less of at the moment but has that lovely fluidity of hand knitting that is instantly recognisable. Some of the sizes are perhaps a little too boxy for my tastes, but I know I’m at one end of a spectrum.
I highly recommend all the Saphir products, and have just got my first pair of the shoes (Belgian slippers in green) so it’s too early to tell on those.
Quite a range, isn’t it? I hope some of that feedback is useful, both to you and to Will.