Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Mad hatters?

Inspired by the vision of so many men dressing so stylishly for Henley, I've decided to do a bit of a men's fashion week on the blog front. I'm especially pleased to note that men also like to add individual touches to their outfits at Henley - it's not only women who make an effort to stand out from the crowd.

Take the man below left with his miniature sized boater, whom I spotted trying to chat up a large group of rather boisterous older ladies. And this photo which captures the inimitable Uncle Roger, who has worn the same boater for many years - at one stage it appeared to be falling to pieces, so it must have been repaired since then. This time he showed us the inside (pictured here), revealing the newspaper lining, which we observed is the Daily Express from 4th July 1947: there's no accounting for Uncle Roger's taste, but the boater's curiously cool.

To the right is Uncle Roger in a previous incarnation at Henley a few years ago, wearing another fine hat (actually one of mine), which sets off his stripey blazer and tie perfectly - in fact I think it suits him far better than it did me...

More evidence of men getting ahead in the fashion stakes: I notice that lots of men at Henley choose to express their individual style through their clothes - and some even opt for headgear that's less traditional than the customary boater, as illustrated by the characters below, including (from left) Charles Armstrong in a natty straw hat, John Robbins (a very talkative little fellow from the Furnival Rowing Club) in his trilby and this rather distinguished looking gentleman wearing a turban.

The rowers and some of the fans in their enclosure tended to favour a less formal and more practical look - including this flag wielding groupie - no prizes for guessing the nationality of the team he's supporting.

And, finally, there were those for whom the hats of choice were predetermined, like this security attendant in the Steward's Enclosure and the immaculately uniformed guards performing on the bandstand, who must have been sweltering in the hot sunshine. Don't they look smart though?

One of the best things about Henley Royal Regatta is that it's such a friendly event. It's not just about posing - most people are there because they are either rowing, they know someone who's rowing, or they belong to a rowing club. It's all very authentic and it allows the opportunity for everyone to express their own unique style - a concept that we at ShopCurious strongly support.
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