With the Prince of Wales celebrating his sixty-fifth birthday today, there has been a significant amount of positive press about Britain's longest serving heir-in-waiting to the throne.
Among the articles was this piece in The Daily Telegraph by Luke Leitch, the newspaper's deputy fashion editor, that focused on the sartorial influence of Prince Charles.
Highlights of the article include the following:
So when Prince Charles welcomed several hundred menswear designers and their ilk to a reception at Clarence House recently, he delivered the following confession in the manner of a man perplexed.
“I’m finding it very hard to live with myself, Ladies and Gentlemen. Because someone suggested that I might be an icon of fashion. After 64 bleeding years! I don’t know why,” he said.
To a growing groundswell of laughter, he continued: “I have lurched from being the best-dressed man to being the worst dressed man. I don’t know why — presumably it sells publications. Meanwhile, I have gone on, like a stopped clock — and my time comes around every 25 years.”
Charles’ assessment of his own dress sense that night contained a kernel of truth. He has absolutely always favoured the “stopped-clock” approach. The trousers of his Savile Row lounge suits are invariably cut rather widely; no Oxford Bags, certainly, but in this age of skinny jeans noticeably roomy nonethelesss.
Yet even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day. And, as he observed, fashion and the Prince’s comfortably fossilised relationship with clothes do sometimes coincide, too. Now is indeed one of those moments; elbow patches and traditional English country checks, tweed and houndstooth have been a lucrative trend in menswear for a while now.