Wednesday, 21 December 2011


Following on from my post about soles a couple of weeks ago, I thought a brief mention of resoling might be in order.

One of the tricky things about owning leather-soled shoes is the need to get them regularly resoled at some expense. For those of us with more money than sense, shoes can usually be sent back to the manufacturer to be completely rennovated but, in reality, just getting them resoled as they wear through is more than adequate. The difficulty is finding somewhere that will do a decent job of replacing the soles without charging more than the shoes cost in the first place.

The best bet is to have a look at other shoes they've done - there ought to be some kicking around - and check that you're happy that the soles are neatly stitched, made of decent quality leather, and that the edges have been trimmed and polished.

I was delighted to discover a place in Putney, not far from where I live, staffed by the sort of elderly gentleman who inspires instant confidence in his ability to do a cracking job. I was even more pleased when they quoted me just £35 to half-resole and to replace the heels.

Half refers to the way the replacement sole only covers the area that is actually in contact with the floor (and therefore wears down). It looks slightly less neat to anyone who might happen to be looking at the soles of your shoes, but is much cheaper as it doesn't require the removal of the entire heel.

Anyway, Cobblers of Putney did a terrific job and I shall certainly be going back.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Polo Coat - Completed

Cad and the Dandy, true to their word, got me the polo coat finished in time for my trip to the US. I was glad they did, as Washington was extremely cold for at least a couple of the days I was there.

I could not be more pleased with the coat. It's exactly what I was after. The cloth is a lovely golden colour, and soft without being either too delicate or too heavy. The herringbone pattern is subtle, but just noticeable enough to add a bit of interest.

It fits perfectly, although this is shown off best when I'm wearing a jacket underneath, as I asked to have it cut to wear over a suit. This means if I wear it with only a jumper, it's very slightly too large in the shoulders, but there's no real way to avoid that, and it's the kind of coat that looks fine without being perfectly fitted anyway. Besides, I'm happy to mostly wear it with a jacket.

The thing I like about it most, and which also seems to get the most attention, is the length. Almost no modern coats go below the knees, but this one comes right down to the top of my calves, which is exactly what is needed for a polo coat. I think such a relatively heavy garment, especially as it's double-breasted, would look unbalanced if it were much shorter. In any case, it would fail to keep my knees warm when standing on the edges of a freezing cold polo pitch.

We went for hand-stitching around the lapels, and all down the front edge of the coat. This is more than just a style feature as Cad and the Dandy actually recommended it to help hold the heavy material together and make the coat more durable. I hadn't really considered that as a factor, and wouldn't otherwise have gone for the it as I'm not particularly bothered by visible stitching. However, it's good to get that sort of advice and, in the end, I think it looks really nice anyway.