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THE NEEDLE AND THE DAMAGE UNDONE

Bespoke London tailor Terry Haste has an almost telepathic connection with some of his regular customers

THE CURATED LIFE

HAVING CLOTHES MADE is a powerful experience. I have been visiting a tailor for 30 years, and the magic of a well-made coat or pair of trousers continues to cast its spell over me. I am not alone; the power of good clothes has been documented by far loftier minds than mine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is often credited with the observation that “the sense of being perfectly well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.” While those words do appear in his 1875 collection of essays, Letters and Social Aims, they appear in quotation, attributed to a “lady” to whom he listened “with admiring submission.” (And whatever that is, I suspect it is ironic.) His own thoughts on the subject were rather different. “If a man have manners and talent he may dress roughly and carelessly,” he wrote. “If the intellect were always awake, and every noble sentiment, the man might go in huckaback or mats, and his dress would be admired and imitated.” Clothes are, he suggested, a crutch for the man who lacks “firm nerves and has keen sensibility” and who needs the confidence-enhancing power of good clothes to endure the Sisyphean trials of daily life and “dismiss all care from his mind.”

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Friends and rivals for most of their lives, top Conservatives David Cameron and Boris Johnson are now in open warfare over Britain’s role in the EU. by Isabel Oakeshott.
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