15 September 2009

London via Kid's Books

I may have a knack for turning up the menswear, but Mrs. G. is the undefeated champion when it comes to turning up books for the kids. It's like they have a magnetic attraction to her. She finds a wealth of books that combine both great stories/information with stunning illustration, in all styles and from all points in time. Needless to say, the Boy and the Girl have an outstanding library. Today, she came home with "This Is London", published in 1959. I chose to feature a few choice images from this one because the imagery is menswear related, and just plain cool to look at.

In my dreamland, this is the way that a man dresses. Formal (even to the point of a top hat!!) for the office, casual for "the country". And by casual I mean an ascot, tweed jacket and flannel pants. I'd like to imagine that England is still full of men like this, but I'm probably romanticizing things a bit.

The caption opposite this picture reads: "Children are not allowed inside a pub. But peek inside and see what's going on. Look, the grown-ups are playing darts."...and drinking beer and smoking pipes and wearing tweed caps and boiled wool riding vests. There may be glasses of booze all over the place, but somehow I have a hard time imagining the police arriving to break up a brawl amongst these chaps over their conflicting loyalties to either the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees.

And this guy is just too quaint, a Chelsea Pensioner. Don't you just want to sit in the courtyard of the soldiers home and let this guy beat you at chess repeatedly while you listen to stories involving Wiemar cabaret girls during "The Great War" and drinking a tipple of Bual Madeira? Pip, pip...cheerio!

In other news...Happy Birthday to Me!

An Affordable Wardrobe is a year old today. I started as a lark with a post about a cheap Harris Tweed jacket. In the process I've made a great many "imaginary friends". The whole experience has been informative, fun and even humbling. The fact that 800-1000 people out there care to read my ramblings on a daily basis never ceases to floor me. I thank each and every one of you, most especially my loyal commenters. Here's looking forward to another year of vain self indulgence.


The Tyrant said...

I think I've been along for the read since the beginning, and I appreciate the unique take on things. That book is adorable and your children are lucky.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have to be the one to tell you but the last British veteran of WW1 (The Great War) died a few weeks ago, so none of the Residents of the Royal Hospital Chelsea will be able to recount tales of that conflict whilst beating you at chess.

(FYI- I think its also still punishable by death to impersonate one)

Not to worry, still plenty of veterans will challenge you to a game and talk about other wars, I will if the same rules apply (I believe you said you would let them win)

Good blog, I read it weekly.

M. Davenport said...

Oh, the stories have been told of kings and days of old--but there's no England now. There's no England now. --The Kinks

I love this blog very much. Thanks for the great style tips, photos, and recipes! I can't seem to get enough. I've read the whole thing from whence you began.

M. Davenport
Des Moines, IA

heavy tweed jacket said...

Top blog. Best wishes for a great second year. Cute book. I know I've seen it before...

C said...

Damn! 800-1000? I told you you were one of the big-timers.

That first picture is great. Look at the mustache on that first guy.

lisagh said...

Congrats on 1 year!

Giuseppe said...


I know. I'm shocked every time I check the traffic.

Toad said...

It's been a great year. Keep it up my friend.

Anonymous said...


great blog. Congrats on the milestone.

Ass said...

Congratulations on your year! I read this blog religiously, but this is my first comment. Maybe I should make commenting more of a habit.

riahvi said...

Congrats on a year in. Enjoyed what I read.

And looking forward to bean spinach soup
some gray November day.

Thanks for the offer of free tassel loafers. Not my
size. By the way, did you ever find overshoes?
My local thrift had quite a number of Tingley
for Men and Boys for something like a quarter.
Glad to pick up a pair and send them off as
a subscription fee. Just send me your shoe size
and your tykes and I'll take a look.

Anonymous said...

First-time poster, daily reader. Thanks for the effort and Happy Birthday!

A Modernist said...

Great post! And, of course, keep up the good work. You have, by far, one of the best blogs out there. I always wonder if I'll one day bump into you in a thrift shop around town!

You probably already know, but the font used for this book is Futura --- a classic modernist look. Recently, it's been used by Wes Anderson for his credits. I love its elegance: clean, simple, a bold kind of understatement.

Sputnik said...

Great read every time =)

foolio_iglesias said...

Geese,I'm an OG follower of your blog.Wow,has it really been a year already?It wasn't until I stumbled across your blog that I discovered the advantages of thrifting mightily(tm).Now my closet is full of the finest of spread collars and ocbd's and tartans and ginghams of every size and color and sweaters from the goats of Kasmir and your whole perspective of getting dressed is fun,gotta love it......

Anonymous said...

In 1957, John Osborne had his character Jimmy Porter (in "Look Back in Anger") say:

"I must say it's pretty dreary living in the American Age - unless you're an American of course. Perhaps all our children will be Americans."

That's the British explanation for why the Brits no longer look like Brits.

Old School said...

It's a Happy Anniversary for all of us!

It's been a great year.

Here's to many more!

I'm one of those who check your blog on a daily basis.

Young Fogey said...

Congratulations! May you continue to enjoy blogging, and may we all continue to benefit from your musings.

Thank you also for the many great ideas. You've converted me to the benefits of thrifting, and I've expanded my wardrobe (much to my wife's dismay) on the cheap (much to her relief).

Unknown said...


Love the This Is... series of books! I have the "This is Paris" book in French.

The Chelsea Pensioners are brilliant, too.

Happy Anniv!

Ian Gilmoure said...


On a side note...do you have anymore architecture stories in the pipeline?

Pitboss12 said...

Congrats on year one! Let's keep it going!

It's too soon for me to think about transitioning into fall clothing. It was 97 degrees today!

Giuseppe said...


The kids are keeping me busy, so I'm currently on sabbatical from the world of architecture. But it has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, so I'm sure it will turn up again soon.

Everyone else,

I am humbled by your kind words. Truly.

Anonymous said...

It's okay to romanticize things - hell, I'm guilty. There's a job for the worst sort of space cadets - a Disney imagineer, and the illustrations of the book don't seem too far from some strain of the Disney ideas from the sixties (e.g. Tomorrowland). Anyhow, congrats on your work.

P.S. The capped guy in the pub by the darts has an uncanny resemblance to you...