25 June 2010

Off My Back: "Suit You, Sir"

"Does she want it, sir?"

Nestled under a green marble facade at 77 Jermyn Street is the reliable shirt maker, Harvie & Hudson. Home to the never ending "3 for 99" sale, the shop has been a must stop for me since I first visited London over 20 years ago. Known for loud stripes and two sleeve length options (Medium & Long), it also offers boxer shorts to match their shirting.

My first visit was not unlike the The Fast Show's, "Suit You, Sir" skit. How anyone can be intrusive and aloof at the same time is a talent but my salesman managed very well, thank you. "How is, sir?" "Is sir from the states?" And so it went with "sir" sounding more like "shit head." But I loved all of it. The shirts, the boxers, the salesman, the never ending sale, that big ass label.

Split yoke and double cuff with a so-so collar. Not the quality of Hilditch & Key or Turnbull and Asser but darn good value for 33 pounds and head and shoulders above Tyrwhitt and Pink. Works with a lightweight Italian Pal & Zileri half lined blazer with mother of pearl buttons and side vents. While Manhattan is a long way from Jermyn Street - in my heart - it's just next door. "That's an amazing coat sir is wearing. I've never seen such an earthy tone of dung."


james at 10engines said...

that clip is the bizz. ooOO!

lucky too have recently picked up a white H&H at our local thrifty -wore it y/day infact... i just scan the hanging rows of shirts and zero in on the double cuffs; shopping tip there. you all know that trick no doubt...

Brummagem Joe said...

......I'm an aficionado of Harvie and Hudson for forty years, both their more expensive productions and the cheap and cheerful which are, as you say, surprisingly good, although no longer made in England alas. Their heavy woven Macclesfield silk ties are very good too although I prefer the Hilditch and Key foulards because they have a bit more body if you like a mid sized sculted knot......I also get my detachable collars from there which I still wear occasionally....archaic but nothing looks as good......the late lamented highly sexed midget Senator John Tower of Texas who also favored detachables used to purchase his there.

skorpeo said...

i love, love, love your references to "the fast show" (a.k.a. "brilliant" on bbc-america...because it was)! that show, along with the british version of "men behaving badly" are forever on the top of my list of funniest shows ever.

...of course, i was very, very drunk.

Family Man said...

That is the loudest shirt I've seen that I actually like. I can't imagine pairing it with a tie, but that's OK. Under a navy blazer, it's perfect on a warm evening.

Am looking forward to what I'm certain will be a hilarious clip.

Hestor said...

The problem with their shirts is the cut - they are made for the size of a man of a bygone era. Most men now tend to have slimmer builds that would fit a 38R size. H&H should cotton (no pun intended) onto this and produce their wonderfully loud shirts. It would not be a compromise in the slightest.

Anonymous said...

Most men now tend to have slimmer builds that would fit a 38R size.

Not in my country.

heavy tweed jacket said...

The English "Fun Shirt." I like this one - a lot.

Mr Brown said...

H&H gingham.

Last one did 10 years of service.

'Credit to your laundry Sir'.


Now cut into a draw string bag for travelling.

They're great.

tintin said...

james- I've been focusing on old Brooks oxfords. I can spot 'em like I could I could spot the spine of a Playboy magazine from 50feet buried under a pile of Southern Livings wnen I was 12.

Joe- I love H&H. With some cream cheese and belly lox and capers. Oh, man. I gotta go back and look for collars.

skorp- "Me, the 13th Duke of Wynourne. In a woman's prison? With my reputation?"

Family Man- Never mind the shirt. Did you like the clip?

Hestor- Are you taking a piss?

Anon- I think Hestor is pulling a fast one.

Tweed- It sings.

Mr Brown - Great idea. I need camera lens cases. Perhaps a favorite shirt folded over many times and made into a pouch. With The Trad monogramed on it. Hey, they're for sale. Anyone?