The magazine that started it all.
The “chat room” set up as an adjunct to The Chap and the original Sheridan Club's corporeal meetings. Highly sophisticated and extremely full of words nowadays. You could spend the rest of your life there and still never catch up with all the bon mots that have been lobbed about since its inception in October 2004.
An outlet for some for the more monomaniacal drinks-focused reportage from the New Sheridan Club team. As well as highlighting interesting products we also conduct group tests, comparisons and head-scratching experiments into the best booze choices and how best to serve them.
The hugely successful and influential blog of our own Miss Fleur de Guerre, covering all things vintage, from recreating a look to all the most stylish vintage-themed events going on.
A collective of vintage-obsessed ladies, who blog and put on events.
Official website of La Société des Flâneurs Sans Frontières (Liverpool chapter), decribing itself as "an Open Forum for Anarcho-Absurdists, Revolutionary Sybarites, Alchemical Hazardistas and Urban Arcadians everywhere". Full of general flanerie but specifically aims to provide an idiosyncratic guide to the cultural and artistic side of life in north west England. Home to the breath-taking, death-defying Great British Insult Generator:
An online magazine about, unsurprisingly, dandyism. Erudite, articulate, somewhat cynical and proudly opinionated.
Foppish den of—and self-built shrine to—Lord Peter Whimsy, “mammal of paradise” and “affected provincial”. It is a warm, safe and sunny place. (Update: actually he seems to have "moved on", but he is still posting so you may find it interesting.)
The Handlebar Club has been going since 1947 and is for men with handlebar moustaches. At the site you'll find various moustache-related news and advice.
As its name suggests, this site concerns itself with tea and biscuits and the joys of relaxing with them, with side ventures into cakes and pies. There is a Biscuit of the Week and important news (such as the axing of the plain chocolate hobnob).
Not unlike an American version of the Sheridan Club forum, but with a particular obsession with clothing (there's a clue in the name). Here folk will post photographs of some recently acquired collar bars or a hat creased in seven different ways, with no further explanation required.
Website of a slick magazine that has been glorifying alcohol abuse for ten years now. Aside from this it is not especially Chappist, though the imagery has a pleasingly Forties tone.
An online resource that does what it says on the tin. A bit sprawling and ad-heavy but there are some interesting nuggets in there.
Slick historical resource for the wartime generation.
A suitably grey site. While NSC members won't share the DMC's desire to avoid excitement at all costs, this site does nevertheless dedicate itself to enjoying simple pleasures, “free from pressures to be 'in' or trendy”, something we can all appreciate. Here you can discover the joys of collecting sand or listening to a metronome, read an impressively thorough guide to the world's airport luggage carousels (with notes on which direction they turn) and tune in to a webcam that is watching a cheddar cheese mature.
Difficult to know what to make of this lot, the 18th Century Club, so I'll leave it to you. The website's quite amusing but, given the level of potty-mouthedness and the photograph of them all with but one tie between them, one might be inclined to keep an eyebrow cocked. (Mind you, in fairness, it's all quite true to the age, I suppose.)
An annual mass bicycle rally, in London and elsewhere, where riders are encourage to dress in tweed and other vintage paraphernalia. There used to be a Tweed Cycle Club but their website (tweed.cc) appears defunct.
Liverpool's answer to the Tweed Run
A noble relaunching of the club that has had many guises since the 18th century, its emphasis sometimes literary, sometimes theatrical, but always celebrating the eccentric. There's quite a charitable element too.
Forum dedicated to sartorial elegance. Hurrah!
Katie Dexeter's website addressing all things vintage. She also runs events and has an online shop.
Group (currently a Facebook group but I don't think they have their own site yet) celebrating and encouraging the wearing of White Tie
CLUB NIGHTS AND EVENTS
A regular London-based cocktail club with a 1920s speakeasy theme, run by NSC Secretary Mr Hartley, offering a menu of cocktails, fine dining options, plus dancing to live jazz bands, performances by dancers, cabaret artistes and the odd bit of burlesque, as well as period platters spun by the NSC's own DJ Auntie Maureen. The venue is a secret, revealed to ticket holders only a couple of days before the event, and the place is lit entirely by candles.
Formerly a party brand as well as a curiosity shop, run by Viktor Wynd and Suzette Field, the pair have gone their separate ways (see below). Last Tuesday parties still take place but as a franchise with the involvement of neither Viktor nor Suzette; the website is now mostly about Wynd's collection of art and oddities, his shop and the exhibitions and events taking place there.
After the rift with Wynd, Suzette has carried on her programme of decadent and rather gothic parties and balls under the A Curious Invitation brand (which is also the title of her book about famous parties in literature).
Large steampunk-ish events put on by a band (originally called Kunta Kinte, though they changed their name and now seem to have vanished, subsumed by the event itself).
Run by NSC Member Ella Armstrong-Lach, the London Vintage Kitchen puts on dining events with specific vintage themes to the menu.
SWING, LINDY HOP AND BALLROOM DANCING
Thorough and well-built site listing Lindy Hop events all over London.
Putting on club nights, dance classes and weekend workshops since 1986.
Offering swing dance lessons at various venues.
Dance tution from former UK Lindon Hop Champions Robert and Claire Austin.
If ballroom dancing is your thing, this site aims to list all the events going on in London.
Purveyors of Fine and Interesting Things:
The oldest tailor in Scotland (their records include invoices for Sir Walter Scott and various Royals), this firm offer made-to-measure and fully bespoke services, as well as ready-to-wear items, with an extensive range of tweeds and tartans, including family and estate designs. Their accessories include caps, scarves, luggage and tweed-covered hipflasks.
A West End London tailor with a family tradition stretching back 200 years. Their shop in Carnaby Street sells a range of silk accessories such as bow ties and scarves, socks and shirts with exotic cuffs and collars, but they also offer made-to-measure and fully bespoke suits and coats, with a house style that betrays their origins as military tailors. They make ties for clubs (including one club that only has four members) and military regiments and even make ties for Savile Row tailors Huntsman.
An interesting online bespoke tailoring concept: you measure yourself following their instructions and enter the details on the website—or nowadays you can visit one of their "Style Advisors" at one of 26 locations round the country. Then they have the clothes made up in Nepal. Although they don't expressly say so they will make adjustments to garments until you are happy. (I made them redo a waistcoat four times and they didn't stab me in the eye or anything.) They will even come to your office. Suits start at £200 for a two-piece plus £25 extra if you want face time with a Style Advisor.
Another service offering genuine bespoke tailoring for those on a tight budget. The website offers the usual online ordering process and they also have premises on London's Liverpool Street or will come out to your place of employment to measure you up as you bark at your stockbroker over the telephone. I can't personally vouch for the quality (they boast that they'll emblazon your football club's imagery on the lining yet their online ordering process doesn't even seem to allow for brace buttons) but a suit from them was the star prize at the Chap Olympics this year—and was won by our own Artemis Scarheart, so expect a report soon. Prices start from £299 so they may be good value. They also do shirts and overcoats.
Modern menswear inspired by the 1930s and 1940s. At the moment they seem to be offering just a range of singe- and double-breated suits plus some spearpoint collar shirts.
If you are an Antipodean type you may like to know that Empire Tailoring, run by Lily Hensius, wife of Club Member Dirk Hensius. Despairing of being able to find a decent Norfolk suit in their native New Zealand, Lily started making them, along with hacking jackets, tweed and wool sports coats, hight-waisted trousers, waistcoats and breeks, as well as military tunics and vests for re-enactors, speciality mess dress, patrol jackets and bustled and boned gowns for ladies.
James Lock & Co. established this business in 1676 to serve the court of St James (St James's Street was just a muddy track then) and have been serving the royal and the famous ever since. Their speciality is the fitting of hard felts to your exact head shape though they also sell a wide range of soft felts, tweed hats, panamas, flying helmets, pith helmets, smoking caps, etc, including a range of ladies' titfers. They are not cheap, but I suppose one pays a premium for shopping at a place that once safely received a postcard addressed simply, "The Best Hatters in the World, London".
This traditional hatter had until recently been peddling titfers from its crumbling Jermyn Street premises for over a hundred years and it is still a family-run business. Cheaper than Lock's, they don't do made-to-measure hard hats as the latter do, but they do offer a range of head shapes as well as sizes. Sadly the landlords recently threw them out, wanting to redevelop the site (doubtless into flats they can't sell or yet another vital Starbucks), so Bates are now installed within Hilditch & Key along the street.
Located just off London's Carnaby Street, Atelier supply fine hats, fascinators and hat-making supplies for ladies, as well as their summer range of Panamas and linen, cotton and silk blend caps for gents (felts coming soon). They also run hat making courses. Produce your New Sheridan Club Membership card instore and you'll get a 10% discount on full-priced headwear for men and women.
Website and online shop for Patchacuti, suppliers of good quality, reasonably priced Panama hats—an essential item in any gentleman's summer wardrobe. Not only that, but Patchacuti hats are all Fairtrade, so you are actively making the world a better place by buying them.
Renowned for supplying traditional riding, military and ceremonial headwear, top hats and bowlers, Patey make all of these hats by hand from scratch in their London workrooms using skills which trace their origins back to Huguenot forebearers. To coincide with the opening of a new shop on Connaught Street they have extended the range of headwear to include a new Town & Country Collection of trilby, fedora, panama and tweed and cashmere caps.
Purveyors of nothing but quality, hand-made, made-to-measure trousers, in a range of moleskins, corduroys, wools, tweeds and washable wools. They also make breeks, plus twos and plus fours. Somehow both refreshing and comforting at the same time. They will even copy an existing pair of trousers if you have, say, an original pair of Oxford bags you want duplicated, and will hang on to the pattern for future orders. You can also visit them in person if you are in the Sowerby Bridge area in West Yorkshire.
Catherine Darcy's Lewes-based emporium is mainly aimed at supplying thesps with costumes, but she is also very willing to supply Chaps with hard-to-find items such as stiff collars in a variety of styles, shirts with spear-point soft collars and collar clips. Formerly The Vintage Shirt Company, she has now expanded to include hats, trousers, jackets, waistcoats, evening wear, accessories, etc.
A trifle garish and modern, this site may just be of interest if you are after 1940s or 1950s style undergarments. At the time of writing they have a consignment of genuine Second World War underpants.
Online supplier of vintage and traditional apparel. They don't seem to have an awful lot of stock, apart from a heavy emphasis on (some might say obsession with) underwear and The Chap magazine.
GENERAL OUTFITTERS AND LADIES' GARMENTAGE
The wonderful people at Old Town make new clothes to old designs, usually based on specific vintage garments found stuffed behind a radiator somewhere and forgotten for a hundred years. They do not make to measure but they make to order so you can choose your fabric. Items and fabrics come and go from their range, and has shifted more towards vintage workwear and simpler patch-pocket garments, but the whole site radiates their very precise aesthetic. Both stylish and strangely calming.
A hotly tipped source of reproduction clothes and shoes from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, with a store off Carnaby Street. Also caters for the swing dance mob, so sells suede-soled dancing shoes too. Mostly for ladies but a few items for men too, inlcuding co-respondent shoes.
Vintage clothing, accessories and soft furnishings, based in Greenwich Market and recently rated by Homes and Antiques among the top 50 vintage shops in the country.
Blackout II has a big selection of ladies' garments from the 1920s to the 1980s, crammed into a compact show in Covent Garden, as well as a fair few suits and coats for chaps too.
Website of this splendid bazaar near Paddington, filled with tiny units selling all kinds of antique and vintage goodies, from lighting and furniture to clothing, hats, jewellery and more. Earmark at least half a day or you'll be disappointed. It's very easy to get lost in there, but there's a nice café at the top.
Beyond Retro have two outlets in London, one in Brighton and four in Sweden. The ones I've seen are huge but quite a mixed bag aimed more at the hipster than the hardcore vintage nut, and with a good proportion of their stuff no older than the 1990s or 1980s (i.e. vintage as in vintage jeans and plaid shirts). But worth a poke around.
Online shop for gentleman's accessories—ties, handkerchiefs, hats, socks, hipflasks, etc.—based in America. And if you live in the Manhattan area they will even bicycle over with emergency dandification supplies. In fact as of 2012 I think they are opening a bricks and mortar shop there too.
Website of a fine vintage clothing and homewares shop in Lincoln, which is well worth a visit. They also have a special vintage bridalwear department.
A fun shop in Leicester offering1940s and 1950s repro womenswear.
Vintage emporium specialising in the 1920s to 1950s, based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter but also offering an online service. Named after the owner Virginia Ewart, who started shopping for vintage clothing at 12 and wore a 1940s suit to school.
Opinions on bespoke tailoring and reviews of suppliers from aesthete Frederick Bown. Be warned that he only has time for the best (the sole wristwatch manufacturer mentioned is Patek Phillipe, for example). Not sure where his money comes from (he apparently used to be a clergyman) but he also reviews high-end hotels and restaurants.
BARBERING AND GROOMING SERVICES AND SUPPLIES
These venerable barbers have two shops in London and you can also buy their fine range of shaving products at this site.
Offering traditional gentleman's barbering services at their three London premises, Murdock also have their own line of grooming products which you can buy online.
Founded in 1790, this perfumers on St James's (by Appointment to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales) offers a wide range of pleasingly old-fashioned grooming products for ladies and gentlemen hand-made in England-from aftershaves and hair fixatives to candles and "stress-relief bath oils", plus natural sponges, tweed accessories and waterproof leather military wet packs. They'll also so you monogrammed horn brushes and combs.
Why not make shaving the opulent ritual it deserves to be? These people fashion some very tasty razors, shaving brushes, et al. You can't buy at the site but you will be directed to somewhere where you can.
Vintage syling team, offering hair and make-up sessions, either privately or at regular clinics. They are often to be found at vintage events too.
In Kingly Court, off Carnaby Street, is It's Something Hells, a hairdresser/beauty parlour run by Miss Betty and Mr Ducktail. Miss Betty's vintage hairdos are the talk of the town, while Mr Ducktail is very much locked in the rockabilly mould—if that's your thing he will even cut your hair with a flick-knife.
Website of vintage beauty stylists the Powder Puff Girls who have a "Powder Room" in Shoreditch, London. They used to have one off Carnaby Street too, but I don't think it is there any more.
Mr Patt Foad is primarily a hair, makeup and prosthetics artists for the cinema industry, but does a nifty sideline producing this moustache wax. (He has also made a handy video demonstration the correct deployment of moustache wax here.)
American website devoted, as its name suggests, to anything sharp, including a section on razors. Although there are plenty of reviews of traditional cut-throat razors it is not snobbish and equally reviews cartridge and disposable razors and offers guides to choosing the right shaving tool for you. And, as a bonus, you can learn about kitchen knives, blenders and juicers, and what to look for in a throwing axe.
The former site www.absinthemuseum.com, offering everything (reliable) you could want to know about the Green Fairy, produced by absinthe sage David Nathan-Maister, now seems to have been subsumed into oxygenee.com, a group of businesses selling absinthe, absinthe accessories and rare and high-end spirits, including tiny parcels of incredibly ancient Cognacs, whiskies, Tokay, rum, madeira, etc.
Well worth a visit for those interested in absinthe (and let's face it, who isn't?). Run by some laudably dedicated Americans (until recently it was still illegal to sell absinthe in their country and they had to have all their samples sent from Europe), it is a forum for enthusiasts. They don't sell anything but do have a buyer's guide featuring reviews posted by members. Given the huge number of absinthes suddenly on sale and the high price tag that even the cheaper ones demand, this sort of information is very handy.
Website of Wilsons of Sharrow, who have been grinding and blending snuff at Sharrow Mills near Sheffield since the mid-seventeenth century; the company is still owned by the Wilson family. They are purveyors both their traditional blends and modern inventions such as orange chocolate snuff.
It's good to know that this sorry age can support a business such as this, selling nothing but snuff, including special house blends such as their new Gin and Tonic flavoured snuff, as well as hundreds of other blends by all the major suppliers.
Website of the splendid Bakelite Museum in Williton, Somerset, to which every chap should make a pilgrimage at least once in his life. It is the largest collection of vintage plastics in the world, in all manner of textures and colours, showing just how deeply bakelite affected all aspects of our lives at the time.
If you ever get a chance to see the Insect Circus' travelling museum then grasp it firmly. It tends to tour around festivals and the like. Inside this converted lorry is a lovingly constructed museum of an imagined heyday of circuses involving giant insects. The period styling and layered humour are top notch. Nowadays they also have a live show in which real acrobats dress up as insects, but this is rather missing the point, I think. Better the suggestion of the painted postcards, ephemera and artefacts such as the six-armed ant uniform, ring master's whip and the "actual" bass drum as featured on the cover of the album Captain Cicadella's Insect Circus Band (by the all-insect pop group, The Peaple, ho ho).
If you mourn the demise of our telegram system, rejoice. Thanks to these coves you can still send one-and a dashed handsome one at that. For £10 they will put together a pleasingly old-fashioned looking object, complete with vintage stamps, with your message typed out and pasted on. Of course your recipient actually receives it via Royal Mail, but it looks the part. UPDATE: This web address no longer seems to work but I gather they have transferred their business to notonthehighstreet.com—the link above will now connect to that.
Unstoppable inventor of "chap hop" Mr B. has to be seen to be believed. He is a NSC Member and has performed at a number of our parties.
An NSC Member himself, Mr Lud now has a full band of tweedpunk artistes to help him realise his own brand of end-of-pier musical tomfoolery. His website is increasingly worth viewing just for the amusing animations.
Those who attended our Kredit Krunch Kaberet party at Christmas 2008 of the Yes We Can-Can at Christmas 2009 will remember the sterling entertainment supplied by Maria. This is her own internet home, in case you would like to book her, follow her career, send her flowers, etc.
Cabaret singer and MC, mistress of the ukulele.