What Have I Done? Tales of a jaguar XJS
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 | Admin
What Have I Started?
It started with a conversation about rallying historic cars and ended with cash changing hands behind a strip club in the West Midlands.
A friend came across a European car rally called Monte Carlo or Bust. It looked like a lot of fun driving across Europe, raising money for your chosen charity. The only entry criteria was that the car should cost less than £500 (and by the way, there was no technical backup on the trip for your banger). With this in the back of my mind, I took to Ebay and lo and behold, an advertisement jumped out at me: An early 2000s Jaguar saloon that had reached the dizzying heights of £400 with just a few hours left of the auction. Not only that, but I recognised the house in the backgound of the photograph as just a few minutes walk away. I had to take a look.
The car had corrosion worthy of an MOT failure, but under the grime I knew there was a great car, if only I could devote some time to it. The main problem was a potentially life threatening problem with the accelerator: Once pushed down, it was very reluctant to come back up...which caused consternation on the test drive. Nevertheless, a deal was struck and I was the proud owner of a long wheelbase Jaguar 4.0L V8 saloon. Honestly, Darling, I hadn't meant to buy it....it just felt like the right thing to do.
As you will know if you've spent any time around old cars, there are always a few surprises, but luckily nothing that could not be fixed relatively easily. Once back from the welder (and now knowing the rear suspension was not going detach itself from the chassis), work on the interior and exterior started in earnest. Bumper scuffs removed, chipped paintwork rectified, a small dent or two filled and the car began to look much better. Small but vital bits of missing trim were tracked down and ordered, tyres replaced and nearly two decades of grime removed. After three months work and now mechanically sound, the car looked like new inside and out. It was a remarkable transformation from a neglected commuter car into a sparkling Jaguar limousine.
Feeling very proud of my handiwork, my navigator and I decided we needed a couple of shakedown events to test both us and the car. A local navigational rally was despatched with ease and some longer trips (needing to ferry my eldest to view universities) confirmed this was a wonderful vehicle. In fact,
Why Choose Driving Gloves?
Friday, 10 February 2017 | Admin
Why Choose Driving Gloves?
Driving gloves are a great combination of form and function: Not only do they look good in and out of the car, but they do provide functional improvement at the wheel.
The key advantage of using gloves for driving is comfort: They keep your hands warm in Winter and keep your hands dry in the Summer.
That is the logical reason, but there are also the intangible advantages: They give a greater feeling of control at the wheel, if you will, a more heroic feeling of man and machine in harmony against the elements. They hark back to the earliest days of the motor car, when the driver was at the mercy of the weather (ask any Morgan or Caterham driver for a contemporary account). A pair of driving gloves makes driving an event once more.
The very act of slipping them on can be part of your mental preparation to for the road. We asked a journalist at on-line motoring magazine MotoVerso to let us have his comments on two different pairs of gloves. One pair made him feel as though he was driving a classic Ferrari through the Alps, and another pair evoked US muscle-cars...it's amazing what a pair of gloves can do!
As with anything slightly unfamiliar, more experience will help you find your favourite. Deerskin or Cabretta leather, perforated palms or not, full gloves or delta cut-aways, full finger or fingerless. There are quite a few permutations to bear in mind.
If you want them to match the upholstery in the car, that's fine too, and normally the best reason! Our most popular driving gloves are a classic 1960s design with a delta cut out on the back of the hand, together with knuckle holes and perforations to aid breathability. In our opinion driving gloves should be unlined on all but the very coldest days.
If you prefer a full glove, the Dents Officer's gloves is very popular with professional drivers as it doesn't look "Sporty" (which might convey the wrong impression in a funeral cortege). A stylish alternative are the Dents Skyfall driving gloves: Hand made in the UK, they were created for Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall, when driving the famous silver Aston Martin DB5.
Gloves should be snug to start with as they will naturally stretch across as they accommodate the shape of your hand. Well made gloves will not stretch in length, so as long as the fingers fit well, do not be concerned if at first the gloves feel tight. Take a look at our gloves sizing guide for more information.
For whatever reason you try a pair of driving gloves, we're sure they'll become a firm favourite.
After all, they are why the glovebox in your car exists.
Is it a Trilby or a Fedora?
Saturday, 4 February 2017 | Admin
Is it a Trilby or a Fedora?
Some items in one’s ideal wardrobe are so ubiquitous that we don't consider their origins. Hats are one of those objects and in particular the Trilby and Fedora.
Generally made of wool felt or fur felt with the crown creased and pinched, with a narrow brim, the Trilby could be termed a subset of the broader brimmed Fedora.
Both were originally styles for women, but which came first…the Trilby or the Fedora?
The Trilby stems from a 1895 stage adaptation of George Du Maurier's novel of the same name. The eponymous heroine wore wore a newly shaped hat with a narrow brim, promptly named the Trilby.
As men rejected the over-formal attire of the 19th century, and with it, the top hat, fashionable men sought a new type of headwear. HRH Prince Edward, always a style setter, adopted the Fedora in the mid 1920s. We like to think it was a political statement too: The Fedora was previously much favoured by women's rights activists. Could HRH’s approval have been tacit support for the movement?
The Fedora quickly gained the upper hand when it was subsequently adopted by Hollywood, in a strange twist of fate, as shorthand for virile manliness (think Humphrey Bogart). The Fedora was worn de rigueur by every tough guy. Only the feistiest female characters ever wore a Fedora on the silver screen.
As the 20th Century progressed, the Trilby once again surged ahead in the 1960s as fashions changed again (think Frank Sinatra). The Fedora wasn’t finished and made a comeback in the 1980s with a certain Dr Indiana Jones.
In our opinion the Trilby spawned the Fedora, however, it is the vagaries of fashion that have changed their relative fortunes. After a century, both are in good health, even though they are no longer mainstream attire.
The sartorial significance of a hat and gloves is sorely underestimated in 2010s. The old advertising slogan (whose origin is claimed by many) “Get Ahead, Get a Hat” still has merit: Wearing a hat gives you added confidence, swagger and style. A good hat marks you out as a man or woman of independence and good taste.
Best of Britannia - Review
Friday, 7 October 2016 | Admin
We were delighted to take part in the October 2016 London edition of Best of Britannia - a showcase for up and coming British brands.
Tom Dick and Harry were exhibiting as part of The Grey Fox', curated selection, commissioned by the show's organisers. The Grey Fox is one of the UK's leading arbiters of men's style, and his blog is followed closely by the trade as well as consumers. We were favoured with a premier position at the entrance of Victoria House in Holborn, central London, alongside some long established brands such as the cashmere knitters, Johnsons of Elgin, as well as newcomers The Northampton Sneaker Company and British Boxers.
The show demonstrated the amazingly diverse nature of British manufacturing: Bicycle makers, Shoemakers, Jewellers, Skincare, Artists, Clothing designers and Distillers. to name just a few of the disciplines on view. The opening day was a chance to meet the press, bloggers, TV crews and trade buyers. The following two days were open to the public, with a chance to buy the products on display.
We were pleased to meet existing and potential customers at the fair, and for those unable to attend, we are pleased to have found a way of bring you some of the other products on offer through the Tom Dick and Harry website. During October, November and December Tom Dick and Harry will be showcasing designs from half-a-dozen or so British designers and manufacturers: Not only men's accessories, but great gifts for ladies too.
Make sure you have signed up to receive our emails (we send no more than one email per week, and often less than that!), so that you can explore these hand-picked products.
We are indebted to our friends at the English Mineral Makeup Company for the following interview recorded at Best of Britannia.
The lovely Curtis from Tom Dick & Harry. @BestBritannia @BuyBritBrands @puriskin #BOBevent #BuyBritishDay #proud #luxury #mensaccessories #hats #gloves #belts #londonislovingit TomDickandHarryPosted by The English Mineral Makeup Company on Sunday, 2 October 2016
Global James Bond Day
Wednesday, 5 October 2016 | Admin
Celebrating James Bond Day!
5th October 2016 marks the 54th year of the Bond franchise. Global James Bond Day was born in 2012 when Bond films celebrated their golden anniversary. It has been celebrated on this day ever since! Why 5th October? Well this date marks the anniversary of the release of Dr.No in 1962.
We thought we would take a walk down memory lane and share some of the classic styles of Mr James Bond. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a 007 we even have some top tips on how to get that iconic style.
Who is your favourite Bond?
From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig we have seen a fine array of British actors taking the role of Bond. All of whom have brought their own unique sartorial style to the role. Of course, the classic and somewhat iconic style pieces such as the black bow-tie have always been included in the films. But what about something a little different, fit for a special agent? We share some of our favourite Bond looks through the years, and share with you how to get the 007 look.
Sean Connery‘s Bond is famous for wearing a Trilby hat, usually with a suit or blazer. In fact the famous trilby crops up in several Bond films including Dr.No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball.
Get the look
The Trilby hat is simply a more modern sub-category of the Fedora. A felt hat with a slightly narrower brim, turned up at the back and down at the front. The Trilby is often worn angled to the rear slightly compared to a Fedora.
If you love Sean Connery’s Bond style you’ll love:
It seems that Roger Moore’s bond is quite partial to a fine sophisticated dressing gown! There are plenty of examples of Bond impressing the ladies with his stunning loungewear. Roger Moore’s Live and Let Die was a big film for dressing gowns, with Bond wearing three in total of different styles!
Get the look
A gentleman needs a dressing gown in the morning and in the cooler evenings. What could suit a dapper gent like Bond more than a 100% silk dressing gown?
With fast cars and modern style Daniel Craig sports some fantastic stylish leather driving gloves in both the films Spectre where you can see Bond sporting a pair of black leather gloves behind the wheel of his Aston Martin DB5. Perfect for getting to grips with the Supercars used by 007!
It’s not just driving gloves that are favoured by Daniel Craig’s Bond as we see him wearing another pair of black leather gloves in Skyfall. Look out for them during the scenes at Shanghai airport and London roof-top!
Get the look
Men’s driving gloves are a small but significant luxury, which are becomingly increasingly popular. We are fortunate to stock the exact style of driving glove used in Spectre and worn by Daniel Craig. They are handmade by Dents in their factory in the UK as part of their Heritage collection. These gloves are butter-soft 100% lamb nappa and are unlined.
For fans of Skyfall we also stock these elegant black leather gloves for men. Again these gloves were created by Dents especially for the film. 100% leather and unlined to obtain the closest fit, perfect for a Double-0!
Prostate Cancer UK - New Strategy
Monday, 29 February 2016 | Admin
Prostate Cancer UK – 10 Year Plan
Tom Dick and Harry were delighted to be invited to City Hall in London for the launch of Prostate Cancer UK’s new strategy: Ten Years to Tame Prostrate Cancer.
A stellar panel of the leading lights in prostate cancer research, drug development, surgery and specialist nursing was chaired by Professor Robert Winston in a Question Time type format. It was a fascinating journey into the challenges of the work currently being funded by the charity.
This cancer is diagnosed in over 40,000 men per year, but men are notorious for ignoring the early symptoms: We tend to think we’re invincible as it’s always going to happen to the other guy; but for over 10,000 men per year, prostate cancer is fatal, so why not get up to speed now on the symptoms – it won’t only help you, but your family too.
The audience at City Hall was a combination of doctors, surgeons, men with prostate cancer and families who had suffered the loss of a beloved husband, son, father or brother. The experience of the men living with the disease and the passion of the families supporting this charity was inspirational.
At Tom Dick and Harry we want to help spread the word that this disease must be brought out into the open so it gets the recognition and research it requires: The Chief Executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, as a member of the panel, was clear in his recommendation: The work of Prostate Cancer UK is vital not only as a fund-raiser for research but to increase the awareness of the disease to ensure public opinion influences healthcare providers like the NHS to give more priority to men suffering from this cancer: Better screening, better testing and better treatments are within reach. Learn more here.