Even though we are bombarded by emails to buy from a company once you have purchased from them on line, there is still something satisfying about a chance personal acquisition. This happen to me twice over the past 6 months.
I was walking to my hotel in Welbeck Street from Oxford Street some six months ago when I realised I was a shirt light. In Duke Street near Selfridges I passed a shop called Burrows. It was not the type of shop I would patronise as it had an expensive air: you know the sort of thing, tiny boutique, bit effete, selling over priced wares. In fact I was offered a poplin shirt at a not unreasonable pric and this proved to be one of the most comfortable shirts I have ever bought. The fabric was gloriously soft, I liked the collar, colour and fit. I duly returned to the shop to buy navy and light blue ones. It’s a more casual shirt than one you would wear with a suit but adaptable for informal or more formal occasions.
Last week I needed a biro and stopped at WH Smith in Victoria. I do own a Mont Blanc but there is something of the wealth statement about this pen. It’s the type of pen you produce at meetings to sign the big deal so everyone else in the room knows how rich you are but I found it too heavy and the flow too slow. I therefore acquired at a tenth of a price a Cross biro. It’s black and silver, smaller, more compact and the flow is excellent. What is more when I lose it, as I inevitably will, I will not be too distraught.
Although not strictly a personal choice as it was recommended to me by Polly Bob Tickler’s p/a who has exquisite taste, I would also advocate the Savoy range of Egyptian cotton bedding from the White Company. This has 400 thread count and the most soft comfortable sheets and covers imaginable .
Conversely two items that have disappointed me immensely are the modern braces and photo frames. Braces nowadays operate from a clip attached to trousers but in every case the clip is not tight enough in grip, causing the brace to break away and strike me on the head. I have tried John Lewis and M & S and both are unsatisfactory. The older type of outfitter still has the buttoned braces. Secondly the modern photo frame is cheap and tacky and the fasteners are the back do not secure the frame.
The moral of the story is that however much the internet is a blessing in terms of convenience, you cannot beat your own personal taste, judgment and choices.