For years I’ve had this recurring dream. I’m on a Triumph Bonneville cruising down a winding country road. It’s early fall and there’s a slight chill in the morning air. I’m wearing a waxed cotton motorcycle jacket over a tweed sport coat, tweed pants, leather boots, and a custom made matte black helmet. As the road curves to the left, I lean the bike over, reach down, and drag a gloved hand across the asphalt, a tactile reminder that I am in the south of England, riding towards a grand destination - the seat of the Dukes of Richmond and the Goodwood Revival.
How sorely people desire to be seen, recognised, noticed, and known in today’s world. Not that I’ve been privy to Edwardian dinners, but one excellent custom from socialising in previous centuries that seems a bit lost today was the art of not being noticed. Regarding classic style, we understand this nowadays as understated elegance. I will now dive into what I think are some key features of this concept and why it is the preferred way to dress.
A Sunday roast followed by a brisk walk aside, is there anything more Autumnal than corduroy? The soft, durable, ribbed cotton fabric that we know today originated in 19th Century Manchester as factory workwear. It was later adopted for war work, perhaps most famously for the Women’s Land Army.