A person’s wedding day, it is generally agreed, is, or should be, the happiest day of their lives’. Well if that’s the case then my own nuptials, due to take place in just a few short weeks, better be good – I mean really good – because they’ve got a lot to live up to. More precisely, the celebrations have to compete with this fine day; a day on which I can hardly steady my hands to type such is my giddy, child-like excitement. The reason … I’ve just ordered my first ever three piece tweed suit. Holy Mother of God, how ecstatic can one man be?
Now, to anyone who doesn’t know me well, that might sound a bit odd, but the simple fact of the matter is I cannot convey my love of the rustic, woollen cloth sufficiently in this post or any other because of the gaping hole in my vocabulary. Suffice to say if someone were to offer me an Aston Martin or a bespoke shooting suit from Cordings, Huntsman of Savile Row, or another great tailor, I’m quite certain I’d pick the latter.
From where this torrid affair derives I cannot exactly pinpoint. I remember precisely when I became transfixed by linen – it was at the wedding of a couple I didn’t know in a village near Scarborough when I was 17 – but not tweed, though I suspect it has much to do with my rural upbringing, a devotion to P.G. Wodehouse, the sporting prints that hung in my grandfather’s house, and an absolute distain for anything containing man-made fibres. Holmes and Watson may also have featured.
I ordered the suit specifically for the wedding as I refuse to wear Morning attire, which has, in my view, been largely relegated to the status of a novelty in the UK. It is half-heartedly adorned by people who have no idea what they are wearing or why, and are probably doing so under sufferance. Sartorial considerations deserve far greater reverence than that. There are certain equestrian contests where Morning dress is still a prerequisite, such as Royal Ascot or The Epson Derby Stakes, and these are the only circumstances I would wear it because here, it retains its dignity, sincerity and purpose, but not at a wedding.
But enough of that and back to tweed. When finished, my suit will be greenish in colour with subtle purple and blue over-checks and is of medium weight to suit the September climate. The jacket will have slanted pockets and the tradition ticket pocket; the vest, four pockets; the trousers, pleatless and timeless; in combination, splendid, even greater than the sum of the individual parts. Everything about it has been selected to compliment the backdrop of a late summer wedding at an English stately home. And it should be ready in just seven weeks time. Pictures are likely to follow in future posts. Of course, I haven’t yet decided on the shirt and tie combination, that pleasure is still several weeks away, but I have had tantalising visions of solid yellow, possibly with a white collar and cuffs, and a patterned purple tie with matching pocket square. But who knows? The possibilities are as endless as they are elating and it wouldn’t do to be rash.
To her great credit, the future Mrs Glaves has given her full backing to a union in tweed. Perhaps, given my sometimes erratic tastes, she feels she’s got off lightly. I’m also sure she saw the delighted-cum-pleading look on my face when I first told her of the plan and decided putting a dampener on it would be like euthanizing a favourite pet. Indeed, she even had a hand in choosing the pattern to ensure there were no unexpected shocks on the big day.
I am of course sure the joy of getting married will live up to the delight of ordering the suit otherwise I would never have suggested it. Another thing they have in common is that they’re both long term commitments not to be entered into lightly. Responsibility comes with both tweed and wife and both require love, care and an occasional pressing if the relationships are to flourish. Perhaps the only difference will come in the enduring nature of the partnerships as, having no belief in an afterlife means ‘til death us do part describes the most optimistic prognosis for my better half and me. The tweed on the other hand, well I’m already planning to be buried in that because quite frankly, it’s expensive and I want the wear out of it. And besides, knowing as you now do my consuming passion for the material, you would surely expect nothing less.