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For those that follow my column for How to Spend It magazine (part of the Financial Times), there have been two articles in the past month – on Barbour and on Begg

We’ve stuck with this format for almost 18 months now, as response has been so good among HTSI readers. It generally involves a first-person narrative, based off the kind of trips or craftsman interviews I tend to do, and gives a behind-the-scenes view of a new or growing brand. 

The past serious for HTSI, a series of practical guides called ‘How to Buy’ can still be seen here on the site. For those that want a basic guide to purchasing a suit, a bag or a fountain pen, it remains a handy resource. 

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Dear Simon:

First off, a sincere note of thanks for the work you have put into your website. I read it daily and find the information enjoyable and invaluable.

My question is this: is there ever a social occasion where a dark (either charcoal or navy blue) three piece suit can be worn? I have commissioned four bespoke suits over the past few years, three of them 2pc SB everyday business suits, and one 3pc dinner suit. I like the powerful look of a dark 3pc suit however (particularly one with peak labels and pinstripes), but fear that I will never have the occasion to wear it. For the office, such a suit would be too “memorable,” for lack of a better word, so I am left wondering whether there is any social occasion where such a suit can be suitably worn. A winter wedding, perhaps?



Many thanks Simon, I will try that combination!