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The Chap Magazine’s top five waistcoat wearers

Posted at 6:00 pm, November 30, 2012 in Fun London

This Saturday (Dec 1) get ready to dust off your feather boa and polish your spats as The Chap prepares to foxtrot us into December. The 4th Grand Anarcho-Dandyist Ball will see the Bloomsbury Ballroom awash with cads in black tie and femme fatales in dresses that would make a post-Atonement Keira Knightley jealous. The Gonzo Dog-do Bar Band will head up a procession of eccentric entertainment and heels will be oiled with a selection of Bourne & Hollingsworth bespoke cocktails from 8pm.

To make sure you’re tip top for this ‘Night of 1000 Waistcoats’ we asked the chaps from The Chap to tell us their top five waistcoat wearers…

The waistcoat (which should always be pronounced ‘weskit’) comes in almost as many forms as the human being. Of the many well-know waistcoat wearers, The Chap has picked its top five:

1. Terry-Thomas was alleged to have a collection of 150 waistcoats, made of every conceivable fabric. The most expensive of them was white mink, for the premiere of ‘Make Mine Mink’. Terry was the founder of the London Waistcoat Club, whose members included John Pertwee, probably the nattiest waistcoat-wearing Dr Who.

2. King Edward VII. One of the dandiest kings of this nation, Edward VII was a big waistcoat wearer, and his unbuttoning of the bottom button after dinner, to allow more comfort for his embonpoint, led to a fashion for leaving the bottom button unfastened on single-breasted waistcoats that survives to this day.

3. Beau Brummell’s waistcoats were unremarkable for their day, which was the whole point of his revolution in men’s fashion. Preferring perfection over flamboyance, he wore pastel-coloured waistcoats with his black coats and crisply starched cravats. His waistcoats were characterised by the precise positioning of his pocket watch, with only two links of the chain ever showing outside the pocket.

4. William Burroughs’ use of the waistcoat is impressive, purely because he was part of a movement that hardly bothered to dress at all, never mind wear proper suits. Burroughs’ natty three-piece suits, usually in muted grey fabrics, were a disguise against being rumbled for his depraved activities. A man in a waistcoat rarely gets arrested, was his philosophy.

5. Francis Rossi. Waistcoats are usually and preferably worn as part of a suit, but Mr. Rossi, in his role as a rock guitarist, probably gets a little hot under the collar when performing. His perpetual use of a waistcoat shows signs of trying to maintain standards in an otherwise rather poorly dressed milieu. Honour Bayes

For more info on the Grand Anarcho-Dandyist Ball, head to thechapmagazine.co.uk.

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