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The Bespokesman - by Mansel Fletcher

The Bespokesman - by Mansel Fletcher

Legendary photographer Slim Aarons relaxes in a self portrait shot in Athens, circa 1955

"The fact that I'm on holiday doesn't mean I'm not thinking about clothes. I'm just thinking about different clothes. The days when men wore cream-coloured lounge suits in the heat are long gone (perhaps because Dirk Bogarde in Visconti's film of Death In Venice always looked so uncomfortable), but that's no reason to give up entirely. After all, it’s only usually on holiday that we Brits go head to head with chic Italians in the style stakes – national pride is at stake!

"So far the top half of my body is well catered for with a combination of Polosophy polo shirts, lido-collar shirts and Hackett's current version of the navy and white striped knitted cotton sweater worn by Cary Grant in To Catch A Thief (see previous blog entry for more info). In the evening I'd ideally be wearing an unstructured blazer but as I only ordered mine last week (in case you’re interested I went for a Smith and Co eight-ounce, navy hopsack cloth, single breasted, three buttons rolled to two, three patch pockets, unlined) I'm doing without, which means it's a bit fresh by the time I drink a sundowner on the hotel terrace.

"Because I’ve no jacket with me I didn’t bring any ties, and only two pairs of shoes. I have battered brown Gaziano and Girling leather loafers for the evening, and for the day deck shoes by Russell Mocassin, a small company based in Berlin, Wisconsin, which makes one wonder how much sailing they do in Wisconsin.

"So far, so good. The sticking point is the trousers, because even I don't want bespoke swimming trunks (although I do seem to be in between sizes in Orlebar + Brown…). But what trousers? Uniqlo Japanese jeans were fine on the plane, but are too hot now I’m here, and the brick-coloured Bills Khakis chinos that I brought make me look like an old Italian man rather than JFK on vacation.

"The answer, I now realise, is a pair of loose fitting trousers in a cotton or linen heavy enough to drape, cut to sit on the waist and loose enough to let the air circulate. It's almost certainly too late already for this summer but if I order them now they'll be ready for next year."

Mansel Fletcher is Esquire's Executive Style Editor