Have you ever thought your wardrobe could do with a little revamp? Or have you ever thought your other half’s wardrobe could? Mrs Tusting (Gillian) thought maybe Mr Tusting (Alistair)’s could (he’s always too busy flying the Tusting ship to shop for new clothes), and she knew of no better person to consult with on the matter than the Grey Fox himself, David Evans. A renowned blogger on the subject of sartorial excellence for the more (ahem) mature gentleman, David is well known to Tusting, having visited the factory some years ago and helped us model our AW15 range of bags. He is brilliantly knowledgeable about all the best British clothing brands for men, as well as what to wear for which occasion, and where to get it.
Once Gillian and David got talking about the possibilities, both thought it would be great to drag young Fin Tusting (Alistair and Gillian’s 18-year old son) into the plot – having survived the slog of A levels and about to be let loose on the world, Fin’s wardrobe was restricted to one exhausted school suit, several trillion tee-shirts and a few nearly-outgrown pairs of jeans. Even though a travelling gap-year before art school calls, there was a serious need for some new looks! Keen to show that great British brands are not just for the pre-Generation Z-ers, David was up for the challenge as long as he could call in ace gent’s stylist and personal shopper Sarah Gilfillan (AKA the SartoriaLab).
First job: Mr Tusting senior is in need of a suit that really fits.
One of the Grey Fox’s favourite London tailors is Susannah Hall. One of a very small number of female British tailors (all of Susannah’s beautiful clothing is sewn in the UK), Susannah was excited at the prospect of clothing a fellow British maker. First, the initial consultation: choosing the cloth, the lining, the buttons, the cut and style, and of course, the all-important measurements. Alistair was soon immersed in the huge combined experience and undivided attention of both Susannah and Sarah. “Shopping” took on a whole new charm and he may even have slightly enjoyed deliberating on all manner of detail for his first made to measure suit (but couldn’t possibly comment!).
With their able assistance, Alistair chose a mid-weight navy wool with a light stripe in the weave from Harrisons of Edinburgh and a delicious spotty lining to compliment it, from Barrington Fabrics of Yorkshire – both being British-made cloths. The decisions made and many measurements taken, the first fitting is anticipated with great excitement.
Next, to Jermyn Street, London’s Sartorial Mecca for Gents
A day was dedicated to this famous street and its immediate environs, and Sarah planned a day of outfitting for both Alistair and Fin with military precision. As befits a couple of gents from a family so rooted in the leather business, the first call had to be for shoes. Crockett and Jones is both a favoured source of brilliant shoes for the Tusting family members and a customer of Tusting’s natural calf shoe-lining leather. Further, their shop-fit includes a large set of gorgeous Tusting leather tub chairs, so at 9am sharp, their flagship store at 92 Jermyn Street was somewhat invaded by three Tustings, stylist, photographer and the Grey Fox himself.
Fin, a young man of clear sight, knew just what he wanted and quickly settled on the Skye brogue boot – instantly comfortable and properly cool, they pretty much went on and stayed on, so Polskey got to work with her camera, proving with her images that these boots are so classy they are actually actively photogenic.
Alistair deliberated rather longer on the merits of suede over full-grain, brogue over oxford, and boot over shoe but finally alighted on a delicious pair of dark brown suede brogues which will serve as well with the much anticipated new suit as with a pair of jeans – both SartoriaLab and Grey Fox approved and the deal was done.
With not only the nicely weathered Tusting chairs to rest in, but amazing displays of vintage shoes and the inimitable Bismark Walter, who resides within the shop creating incredible bespoke colouring and polishing feats on shoes, this is no regular shoe shop and really is a must-visit when in the area.
With the subjects freshly shod, the team headed off to Cordings, a renowned centre of gentlemanly outfitting excellence…
There’s more! Now Read Part 2 here.