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Sartorial Splendor for All

James Andrew - vintage "Zero King" toggle coat. Photo Nick Turner

James Andrew – vintage "Zero King" toggle coat. Photo Nick Turner

Hard work, positive thoughts and powerful imagination have payed off over the years, and I’ve generally had the luxury to shop wherever I want. The result is I’ve amassed a pretty fabulous collection of clothing.

But things have not always been so peachy. For instance, when I was young, I was not making crazy amounts of money, but dressing up was still really important to me. Consequently I spent most of my wages on what I wore…think Carrie in Sex in the City, when she said “I need to find a $25 dress to go with my $400 shoes.” One invaluable lesson I’ve taken with me from that time was learning where to save, and where to invest. For instance, growing up in the opulent 80’s there were a lot of parties and events that required black tie. I needed to be appropriately attired so I invested in a great pair of opera pumps in black patent leather, a Ralph Lauren Tuxedo shirt and black satin tie (which saved me the expense of buying an evening set). For my tuxedo, I went to a wonderful vintage clothing store and found a fabulous one in a light weight wool barathea with black faille lapels and classic banding on the pants. This terrific tuxedo was only $90 and needed very little alteration. It provided me with years of use!

As a rule of thumb these days, I don’t skimp on tailored clothing, shoes, and belts, but I don’t limit myself. One can find beautifully made vintage articles at consignment shops, discount stores, and quite often, even on ebay. With these particular outlets, there is the added appeal of finding pieces that are truly unique, if not one of a kind! Case and point is the terrific toggle coat that I’m wearing for today’s photo. I stumbled upon this whilst in an ebay k-hole…the price was $100 and no one else had bid on it. As you may have surmised, I was the successful bidder. Now, I’m often stopped on the street whenever I wear this jacket!

Don’t get me wrong, I adore the clothing created by Tom Ford, and it/he has become my go-to resource for that tailor-made look, and I do mix in a few things from the legendary Savile Row tailors as well, but sometimes there are necessary pieces that I overlooked, or that are no longer produced; these are the sort of situations that have me seeking other resources…and I can tell you, often I’ll find said items at a fraction of their original price! My Givenchy inspired loden cape for example as well as my Pucci tunic were both found on ebay. Of course you have to know quality, but my point is, if you’re looking to establish a spectacular wardrobe, there are many ways to go. One can fill in the holes with jeans, cotton slacks, sweaters and other such wardrobe staples from stores like Uniqlo. Ralph Lauren’s Denim & Supply brand have some remarkable pieces at great prices as well. One just has to be clever with one’s choices.

Vintage "Zero King" toggle coat

Vintage “Zero King” toggle coat

I’m photographed (top) wearing my eBay treasure, a vintage “Zero King” toggle coat, with Tom Ford dark brown wide wale corduroy pants, Gucci dark brown hand knit wool sweater, aviator sunglasses and brown suede slip on shoes, Turnbull & Asser red mini tartan cotton shirt with contrast white collar and cuffs , vintage Rolex watch, Sermoneta forest green leather gloves and my fragrance is Tom Ford Oud.


  1. La Comtesse Lola says:

    There is nothing more chic than high/low. Bravo!

  2. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Comtesse Lola,

    I have been wanting to share this rant for a while.

    I thought me sporting this Ebay find would be the perfect lead into this conversation.

    Cheers and Many Thanks!


  3. Oonagh says:

    Hear hear, James. Carefully chosen, quality vintage has a place in every wardrobe.
    And I love the duffle!

  4. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Oonagh,

    Thank You!

    This duffle coat just jumped out at me and upon closer inspection I was amazed at how very chic it was.

    Men’s vintage at least here in the states is not as good as it is for women.

    But occasionally there is a treasure to be had.



  5. Love the description of how to build a wardrobe-from your evening wear, to quality tailored pieces mixed with vintage finds. Love that you mixed the classic coat with other essential classics -the vintage rolex and classic aviators -it is all about an eye for quality, an eye you most certainly possess!

  6. James Andrew says:

    Dear Philip,

    You are so delicious!

    I savor your sensational comments and feedback!

    Thank You!



  7. Oonagh says:

    PS Dearest James – “e-bay k hole” = phrase. of. the. month!
    O x

  8. Oh James,
    you slay me with your INCREDIBLE chicness!

    You are TOO PRECIOUS for words! Lol
    I also like the fact that you mentioned your fragrance. I love Tom Ford’s Oud. I love his Vertiver as well.


  9. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Tracy,

    Thanks for all your terrific support!

    I need to have a whif of the Vertiver.



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