Wednesday 18 April 2007

Does your inside leg have class?

Between I and me

Nothing excites the English more than to realise that the dormant class war has been jolted into an active volcano with pyroclastic flows of hints for the middle classes to burnish their airs of snobbery in ways that would make Hyacinth Bucket look common.

This was brought about by the break-up of Prince William and Kate Middleton whose greatest sin was to have a mother who responded with a "Pleased to meet you" than the proper, "How do you do?" and asked for the toilet when one does ask for the lavatory.

One remembers remodelling one's manner of speech to say "pardon" rather than bark out "What" considering that too rude for everyday conversation for which one could be accused of dumbing down.

The class frenzy in the papers

So, the Daily Telegraph which one finally persuaded the local newsagents to obtain for one's reading each morning went into overdrive on snippets of being proper enough to have truck loads of toffee on one's nose though not guaranteeing the dosh for readers to travel posh.

Things like laying down your cutlery whilst chewing; having guests wear morning dress to weddings and so on would have those striving to keep up with the Joneses in a tizzy.

However, the greatest putdown in the class war in contemporary times was delivered by Alan Clark when he said of Lord Heseltine who then was a mere Micheal Heseltine - a successful politician and multi-millionaire - a man who bought his own furniture.

The irony is not lost on anyone that many of those in aristocratic circles once had ancestors who bought their own furniture as would eventually never be said of Lord Heseltine's descendants.

The class of your suit

So imagine how I chuckled when I found an advertisement in the Telegraph about a tailor from Hong Kong elbowing his way into the turf of the Savile Row purveyors of formal menswear peddling the best of British cloth and cuts of class under-cutting Savile Row prices tremendously.

He is making the rounds of well-appointed hotels around England measuring up gentlemen for bespoke tailoring all the way from Hong Kong, it reads like a symphonic orchestra calling at theatres all around the country as opposed to pop concerts calling at rowdy stadiums.

Obviously, it is not proper to ask the price of anything indicating you cannot afford it, nor is it of the best manners to blatantly seek out bargains, seeing that is an affectation of the middle classes - this is suffocating as I swoon with a backhand to my tilted forehead - do these people live in this world?

One is not being served

The clincher in the advertisement can only be delivered verbatim - under the title - Even the price suits you, Sir (how common) one paragraph reads -

"In other words, customers can now buy two bespoke, custom and hand-stitched suits, made from fine, British or Italian cloth and measured by a master tailor for the price of one off-the-peg, chain store suit cut by a computer out of cheap fabric and sold to you by a gentleman with spiky gelled hair and who wouldn't know a side vent or a notch lapel from a PlayStation." Ouch! Ouch! Meow!

Now, if he were not making more affordable (read cheap-er) suits, he might have been a prospect for a Royal Warrant - But who says the middle classes are not smarter on the money?

If you must, Raja Fashions can have a tape measure on your inside leg sooner than you had time to smirk at the offer as you ask for gold buttons on ermine.

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