In a world increasingly defined by The Sartorialist and The Selby, that is, documenters of what is, rather than adjudicators on what should be, the question of etiquette, to my mind, becomes increasingly relevant. I’m not plugging for the Republicans here, just suggesting that sometimes knowing the correct – or let’s say, most elegant – way of doing things, is knowledge that can’t go astray. As anyone who has undergone the humiliation of attempting to pass the cheese platter twice, in Paris, can tell you: rigour is still de rigeur.
So, I was happy to recently stumble across the assembled works of John Bridges and Bryan Curtis for fabled Upper East Side haberdashers, Brooks Brothers on mrporter.com (total disclosure, I am a member of Mr Porter’s Style Counsel, but the stumble was really just that…) These guys are funny, incisive, camp comme il faut. My favourite volumes to date are A Gentleman at the Table (beware the cheese plate!) and Toast & Tributes (writing a note versus an email, most instructive…) This wicked duo are the Emily Posts & Miss Manners for our times – albeit in three-piece suits.
And if this all sounds a tad conservative of me, lest we forget: Brooks Brothers was also the preferred store of that most American of Psychos, Patrick Bateman.