People are going to be a lot less inclined to dress up these days, what with one thing and another. Working folk are being urged indoors and the inclination to fall out of bed at 8:50, boil the kettle and make a cup of coffee before joining the first work Zoom session and pretend your camera doesn’t work, is threatening the very fabric of what is expected by the British by the rest of the world. Which is to be perpetually well turned out, whether you are at the beach or working from home.
Whilst I appreciate that suits will have to be popped in their protective bags (top tip: with a spruce of lavender to fend off moths) and left to hang till normal service resumes, there are ways of staying on top of your wardrobe and how you maintain a high standard of dress while in self-isolation, and here’s how.
As long as it doesn’t have a hood, a knitwear sweater or cardigan is the basis for all proper loungewear. Having a cashmere jumper or long cardigan with patch pockets is the easiest win for wearing something at home that is both comfortable and maintains a sense of turning up when you sit at your makeshift desk. Anderson & Sheppard will do you good here. When you want to do your daily exercise, cashmere knitted trousers (the best are from Z Zegna) are wonderful for a brisk jog but do have the air of pyjama about them. Any shirt underneath, cotton Thomas Pink, or cashmere/cotton Turnbull & Asser will do, so long as it is pressed.
While they won’t garner much attention on zoom, the trouser is going through a renaissance of sorts and so should not be neglected. Details that are typically seen in early 20th century sartorial imagery, like braces and pleats, are very much in favour. Post-war cloth rationing meant pleats became an extravagance that had to be scrapped for a while, but their ability to form shape and silhouette, looking dashing and sharp, means they are very much de rigeur for formal wear, and the added room means that it is just as relevant for casual wear. The best trousers for this are from Rubinacci or Kit Blake.
Putting time and effort into your appearance has grooming at the core of it. Personal favourites for grooming include the cucumber and rose hand cream from D.R. Harris, for hair, the moulding cream from Pankhurst London and, most importantly, soap – to run out of this would be remiss in the current circumstances.
Shoe care is a no brainer at this time, even though you won’t be wearing them. Nourish and care for your shoes even if they are kept in the cupboard for months. Shoes get the biggest battering out of any item of clothing in your wardrobe. Use a selvyt (pronounced sylvette) cloth with warm water (heat is the secret to polishing) and Saphir polish. Use small circular motions to get that high shine that not only protects the shoes, but also makes them look terrific. If you like the idea of slippers indoors, then best get the cashmere version from G.J. Cleverley or Foster & Sons. Alternatively, for those who don’t see the necessity of shoes for the next 12 weeks, the London Sock Company delivers socks to your door with an enormous selection of colours and materials.