Eric Musgrave

Since 1980, menswear & fashion retail commentator, opinionated thought-leader,
event host & all-round top bloke. Contact me to discuss working together.

The Musgrave Manifesto

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In a military tradition

Friday, August 24th, 2012

I was delighted to find delivered to my house these fine desert boots from Clarks. With a nod to Jimi Hendrix and Cream in their 1960s military uniform period, the boots are made from cloth from the Hainsworth mill in Leeds, which also produces the cloth for Guards’ tunics. The eye-catching style is decorated with gold piping, button trims and a dyed crepe sole. Have a look at


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Want to get ahead?

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Want to get ahead? Get a hat! So ran the tag line of an advertisement for the long-gone menswear chain Dunn & Co. On a recent visit to James Lock, Hatters in St James’s Street, London, I tried out a 150-year-old apparatus called a conformateur that is used to measure one’s head size and shape.

Involving 48 flexible ebony arms, this remarkable device establishes the shape of a one’s skull. When the contraption is gently pushed down on to one’s head, the ebony arms, each of which is like an inverted L-shape, are pushed outwards. This movement determines the position of sharp points on the end of each arm. These points puncture a circle of points on to a piece of paper at the top of the conformateur, so the circle represents the outline that determines the hat’s fitting, as shown below.

Once the paper pattern has been cut out, it is placed in another flexible apparatus called a brow. On this another set of movable pegs is fitted around the piece of paper, therefore following exactly the shape of one’s head. The rigid hat in question is then adjusted to the correct profile using steam in the case of a felt top hat or a bowler.

Pic by Andy Barnham of

I am assured that my head size is 60cm or 7 3/8ins. Fascinating stuff. 

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In praise of the bow tie

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Pleasing bow tie from Le Noeud Papillon of Australia.

It’s reassuring to know that good taste is a worldwide phenomenon. Nicholas Atgemis contacted me after my piece on bow ties appeared in the Financial Times. In a trice he kindly sent me this rather impressive bow tie – all the way from his base in Sydney, Australia. To be precise this is style Orlando, a pink silk mogador with navy polka dots. See more at



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A bow tie from Brooks Brothers

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012


I have recently been singing the praises of the often overlooked bowtie in The Financial Times ( and

Proving that I can walk it as well as talk it, here I am sporting a rather splendid example from Brooks Brothers. It is reversible, which adds to the fun. Many thanks to Chanel de Kock at Brooks Brothers’ London office for bringing this to my attention.

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