It’s no secret that the blogosphere today is hideously over-saturated with teenage girls doing make-up tutorials and Gwyneth Paltrow explaining how to make hot water and lemon, so it is a testimony to Mr David Evans that his menswear blog, Grey Fox, has sky-rocketed to success, going from strength to strength without a backward glance at the competition. Appealing to gentlemen over the age of 40 with a certain interest in style and grooming, he’s the first to admit it was all a bit of a happy accident. “After I was a lawyer, and then a teacher, I wanted to do some writing. A man of a certain age has this problem of how to dress, where to buy clothes, and no one ever addresses that – apart from The Rake of course – so I wanted to explore that. I did it for a few months, and realised I’d moved into something no one else is doing. Our demographic is huge, it’s affluent, so if I can get them out there and get them buying nice clothes then I’ve achieved something.” Blogging is not always as easy as it seems, but David’s motivation comes from his readers – “the personal responses are so interesting, and that’s what keeps me going. It means a lot to me when people say ‘Until I discovered Grey Fox, I had no idea about this, and didn’t know that…’ It’s very gratifying.”
Savile Row’s Dege & Skinner tailored David’s suit. His son, who was an officer cadet at Sandhurst, has had uniforms fitted by the house and that together with David’s affinity for the military heritage of British structured tailoring made the house an obvious choice. “I was keen to have a double-breasted suit, but also for Tristan [the cutter] to have a bit of free reign. I love the roped shoulders, turn-back cuffs and buttons on both sides – I feel like I’m in the guards when I’m wearing it, but at the same time it’s incredibly comfortable.”
Taking bespoke to the next level, the cloth of David’s suit is the result of a collaboration with textile titan Johnstons of Elgin. “I was like a little boy in a sweet shop. I went up to the factory and went through the archives, picking out elements that I liked – they designed a score of possibilities and also produced section blankets for me to choose from. Throughout, I’d wanted a Prince of Wales check, and this rather misty blue overcheck offered something a little unusual. It’s half cashmere, half lambswool, and I wear it everywhere.”
“I’m rather getting into denim and denim-look shirts,” David explains. “I think it’s a nice way of toning down the formality of a suit; you can wear them with blazers, suits, or even something really formal like a pinstripe. Often when they wash they get a bit worn and develop a bit of personality.” Here he wears our very own Drake’s for The Rake powder blue denim shirt, which brings out the beautiful blue overcheck in his suit. “I think the widespread collar of this one makes it much more suited to a tie than a lot of options out there,” he says.
David’s braces are made by yet another British brand, Albert Thurston. “These are the second pair of trousers I’ve ever had made that need braces, I just wanted to try them. It was a bit experimental but actually I really like them. The funny thing is, the waist fits so well that they’ve ended up being purely decorative; again the white trim is very military. It’s also really important to me to support British craftsmanship.”
“I bumped into your Editor, Tom Chamberlin the other day, and he spotted my shoes and said ‘You wore those to your daughter’s wedding!’ It’s fitting that he would notice that sort of thing,” David laughs as he points to his Barker shoes. The black leather vamps have a subtle grain, which softens the formality of the shoes and brings out the texture of his suit. “I tend to go for fairly classic styles – I’d love to be able to wear more Italian style shoes but a cycle accident a few years ago messed up one of my feet. I do find that the more you spend on shoes the more comfortable they are – Edward Green’s are so slim and beautiful, but feel so good.” David’s London Sock Co. socks peep unassumingly out from beneath his tailored turn-ups.
An avid collector until about five years ago, David wears a Rolex Explorer 1016 from 1976. “Ian Fleming is known to have had an Explorer, and the original James Bond watch is this one as he wore one in the books. It’s the style as opposed to the fact that it’s a Rolex; it keeps perfect time every second of the day despite being made 40 years ago. I have a few favourites I rotate and I also love my Omega Speedmaster from 1967; it would have been exactly the same movement as the ones they wore on the moon. I just love that history in any object.”
The miserable English weather is of no concern to David, who wears a glorious Grenfell shooter jacket. “They’ve recently recreated this style, and I just happen to have a vintage one – it’s interesting to compare them, I think the new one is slightly heavier. I think this is from the 1970s, but I just love Grenfell’s heritage; the 1920s era, the roots in exploring, climbing, field sport. It has a really nice weight and detail inside.”
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