I visited Jermyn Street last week on one of my periodic trips to London. I didn’t buy anything. Given that I’ve already blown my budget for this year that was never on the cards. So why was I there? A number of reasons.
First, it was an opportunity to have a look at the Autumn collections, about which I’ll say more in a later post. Second, if I’m honest, I love being on the Street: the atmosphere, the novelty of virtually a whole street devoted to menswear, the opportunity to have a close look at beautiful things. But, third, and the main reason for my latest visit to the Street, the visit to Jermyn Street was an opportunity to get some tips.
One of the great things about building a wardrobe of depth and breadth is the exponential number of possible combinations. However, if you lack imagination or confidence, many of those combinations will never occur to you. Unless you see an example somewhere.
Nearly every time I visit Jermyn Street, the window displays, provide with tip about colour combinations that I might try out, often with items that are already in my wardrobe. In some cases, these tips provide me with ideas of what I might like to add to the wardrobe.
On this trip there were two window displays in particular which caught my attention, and which I have already been able to put into practice immediately.
The first window to catch my attention was an autumnal display of cords in a range of colours. In particular, I was taken by a combination of brown blazer and aquamarine corduroys. Not only did it look great, it was a somewhat unusual one. Even more striking, I was wearing a pair of chinos in a similar colour and have been trying to figure out what one wears with bright blue trousers. One rather fetching answer was staring back at me form that shop window. Regrettably I can’t recall which shop the window was in!
The other window that caught my eye was at Hackett. They are running a promotion in collaboration with Pierce Brosnan called The Leading Man. Brosnan models their Leading Man range.
In contrast to the previous window this one was in greyscale. In particular I was taken by two combinations in this window. The first was a light grey unlined woollen Blazer combined with charcoal trousers, plain white shirt and black/white spotted tie.
The second was the other way round, charcoal blazer and similar colour waistcoat with light grey trousers, again combined with plain white shirt but with a plain black tie.
These are very simple combinations but very smart indeed, despite being slightly less formal than a suit because of the odd jacket/trouser combination.
I was able to try out both of those combinations immediately, over the weekend. The day after I got back from London I was able to try out the brown/aquamarine combination, with a slight twist. Bright blue chinos, ecru shirt, brown knitted waistcoat and brownish-green blazer, garnished with blue silk handkerchief with brown suede slip-ons. A few days later I was able to wear a similar but slightly more formal version by swapping the bright blue chinos for a pair of blue formal trousers and the brown suedes for brown formals.
The following day I tried out my version of the charcoal blazer/light grey trousers look. The plain white shirt is a staple in the gentleman’s wardrobe and I have a black/white spotted tie. It looked incredibly sharp.
I am very unlikely to have come up with these combinations on my own. But having seen these window displays provided ideas for how I might pull together my own similar combinations. So even if you don’t intend to or can’t afford to shop on Jermyn Street it still well worth a visit the next time you have cause to be in central London. You’ll pick up all sorts of tips.