As the heavy metal door lumbers open, I am smacked in the face by the smell of stale cigarettes, dusty furniture, and old soup. The clinking of overstuffed keychains is deafening. After the first heavy metal door comes another, then another. Until, finally, I am led into a bare room. The only decoration in the visitor’s room of Hamburg’s pending investigation building is a table and two unupholstered chairs. My client’s face lights up as he sees me. ‘I’m here to help. Everything will be fine. But first things first, I need a coffee.’ The wake-up call this morning came at a decidedly uncharitable time. Justice never sleeps, they say. I now know that to be true.
Once I had been woken up, my first thought was, of course, to ask myself what I was going to wear. I decided on the most classic combination possible, namely a navy blazer and grey trousers. There is something sober (almost militaristic) about this particular outfit. At the same time, its elegance is unquestionable. Just as well-suited for the most formal events as it is for the day-to-day slog of the office, it is also the perfect choice for a business trip.
What really makes a great navy blazer is the correct fabric choice. There are as many options as there are stars in the sky. From the classic hopsack or twill to the slightly more daring silk-blend or even luxurious cashmere. It is my belief that the ultimate, the definitive navy blazer should be cut from a 480g navy Fresco from Harrisons of Edinburgh. Fresco is a loose-weave high-twist wool. This particular Fresco from Harrisons will keep you cool due its breathability while draping beautifully due to its weight.
In classic naval style, the blazer I’ve opted for is double-breasted with six gold buttons (bearing the insignia of my alma mater) in a 6X2 configuration. In all of its conservative virtue, the jacket has two side vents and two slap pockets. Narrow but never tight in the waist and with a strong shoulder line, this is the height of athletic tailoring, even if I have skipped more workouts than I count at this point. This is my suit of armour. In it, I am bulletproof.
After offering my client some encouragement, I will have to brave the foul weather to plead my case to the stuffy old judge at the courthouse down the road. My tried and tested Chesterfield coat will shield me from even the most inclement weather. In all of the excitement, I almost forgot to tell you about my trousers. They are cut from a heavy cavalry twill from Dugdale & Co. As the name suggests, cavalry twills can also trace their heritage back to martial pursuits. For modern purposes, their heavy weight and their unique weave make them ideal for travel. No matter what happens, they will remain crease-free.
My business done, I go back to my usually routine. I never leave Hamburg without meeting with some old friends in a magnificent little club near the Alster river. This being the anglophile part of Hamburg, I am not surprised to see that I am not the only one in navy and grey. What sets me apart is the wide full-bellied lapels that my tailor is famous for. Not to mention my light-blue multi-stripe shirt with a subtle semi-spread collar and French cuffs, all cut from the gold-standard of Egyptian cotton, Giza-45. As always, my tie is the striped club tie from my university, understated and elegant.
On a day like this, I have many demands for my footwear. They need to be comfortable enough to wear all day (including travel), formal enough to wear at the courthouse, and chic enough to wear at the club in the evening. The obvious choice for me was to opt for black full-strap loafers from my good friend and shoemaker Mr Leonard Kahlcke. I really must dash off now. The champagne is getting warm. Chin chin!