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Dr John Hawkins

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St. James's and Playdates

Posted on 2017/04/29 08:37:05 (April 2017).

[Saturday 22nd April 2017]
Erika had a total of 3 playdates today - two planned, one impromptu. Chie and I took it in turns to accompany her to the two planned ones, so I had a bit of time to myself in the morning.

I decided to pop down to St. James's, having not been for a while. Although thanks to the very mixed weather we've had so far this spring (that one very warm weekend, and then at times really quite chilly since then) I've been able to eek tweed season out for a bit longer than it perhaps should last for, but I'm fully aware that this run of good fortune can not last for ever, and regrettably days when thick wool suits do not represent comfortable attire are just around the corner. I've come to the realisation that I'm happiest when wearing suits. I like the simplicity of not having to think which trousers go with which jacket and which shirt, and despite the laziness of it the end result of a suit almost always just seems that bit smarter and more appealing than separate trousers and jacket. So I decided I should invest in some summer suits, so I can stick to that same comfortable modus operandi, just varying the cloths involved.

What I really didn't want though is something resembling a "business suit", and it's a sad reflection on the decline in sartorial standards and the general diminishing interest in aesthetics in society that the vast majority of suits on sale seem to only be catering for this market. I walked disinterestedly past row upon row of banal navy and grey suits, fated to be worn by owners who probably despised them as icons of their workplace subjugation. Which is all a bit sad. I wanted suits made of cloths exuding panache and a certain elan, and such articles are disappointingly hard to find off the peg. I considered having something made to order, but as always didn't have the forethought to engage in this seriously back in January or February such that it would be ready now that spring is upon us (well, sort of).

I thought I would give Suit Supply a go, as despite the general disapproval of the traditional tailoring establishments, they did seem to have a few off the peg suits made of cloths which were a little more off piste and the prices were fairly reasonable which seemed prudent for a slightly more experimental foray down a new sartorial avenue. I'd found an interesting looking white and blue houndstooth / puppytooth linen cloth which felt like an appropriate translation of my much loved tweed into a summer context. They didn't have one in stock in my size, but ordered one in for me.

Of course I can't just wear one suit the whole summer, so I thought while I had some momentum I should keep going, and went to some of the old stalwarts on Jermyn Street to see what I could find. Hackett, usually quite a reliable fallback, didn't have anything which appealed, but Boggi, who generally do a good job of very lightweight summer suits had an interesting sort of brown/charcoal suit with a large overcheck which gave it a bit of character, and patch pockets, of which I'm normally not a fan, but to my mind at least took it firmly out of the banal realms of busniess attire.

So that was quite a successful morning's shopping, which I ended with a cup of tea at my club, wherein I sat in the central lounge for a change (the bar wasn't open yet) and admired the rather ornate staircase.

I headed back to K-Town shortly after noon, to meet Chie and Erika at Wahaca for lunch, before I then took Erika for her second playdate, the highlight of that being a batch of rather good home made madeleines.

On the way back home from there we bumped into another friend of Erika's, and the two of them played at a playground for a bit. Erika's friend and her family were heading to Wahaca for dinner, as it happened, and Erika asked if we could go too, but I thought twice in one day might be overdoing it a bit.

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