How to be a Kingsman

Tuesday 12 September 2017

When only the most British of manners will do…

How to hail a London taxi

Ah those iconic London black cabs… The drivers train for years to know every street in the city, and the cars are designed to accommodate a person wearing a bowler hat. But how to hail one in a sophisticated manner?
1.	If the Taxi light is illuminated yellow, the cab is available to hire. 2.	Once in a suitable position at the side of the road, extend your arm at the approaching taxi. A wave of a closed umbrella or hat in the hand is acceptable. Do not shout ‘TAXI!’: this is not becoming. (Or, you could just download the Gettaxi app https://gett.com/uk/ and hail a cab with one tap…). 3.	When the cab stops, before getting in, go to the front window and tell the driver your required destination. Remember, London cabbies know every street and landmark in London, so you don’t need to go into details. 4.	Embark through the rear passenger door. 5.	You are encouraged to converse with your driver; keep topics light and non-political. 6.	When you arrive at your destination, the driver will tell you how much you need to pay from the automatic meter. Get out first and pay through the front window. 7.	Tips are discretionary and around 10%, or rounded up to the nearest pound, for the utmost convenience to all.

 

When at the club or restaurant

There are many long-established clubs and classy restaurants in London. Be sure you blend in with these top tips for taking afternoon tea…
•	The host pours the tea pot. Milk goes in the cups first. Each guest attends to their own milk and sugar. •	Keep your saucer on the table at all times. •	Split your scone by hand, not with a knife. And something stronger: Whisky is served in a short, heavy-based glass tumbler. Adding water to a single malt is not frowned upon, but adding ice is a no-no – it interferes with the aromas.

Getting a suit made in Savile Row

Make sure you know what your tailor is talking about with our jargon-buster…

Kingsman suits in Savile Row shop window

Balance – adjustment of back and front lengths of a jacket to harmonise with the posture of a particular figure. Baste – garment roughly assembled for first fitting. Bespoke – a suit made on or around London’s Savile Row, bespoken to the customer’s specifications. A bespoke suit is cut by an individual and made by highly skilled individual craftsmen. The pattern is made specifically for the customer and the finished suit will take a minimum of 50 hours of hand work and require a series of fittings. Coat – jacket. (Only potatoes have jackets, it used to be said). Cutting system – the process of measurement and figure evaluation devised since the 18th century. Doctor – alteration tailor. Drummer – trouser-maker. Kipper – female tailor. Made-to-measure – garment made to a customer’s individual requirements to some extent, but not necessarily by hand. Pigged – a lapel which turns up after some wear. Rock of eye – rule of thumb: using instinct born of experience, rather than cutting system. Skiffle – a job needed in a hurry. Scye – the armhole: from ‘arm’s eye’. Skirt – part of a jacket that hangs below the waist.

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