There’s a tiny subsection of menswearists for whom the opening of Nepenthes in London (see yesterday’s report) is a bad thing. Or not bad so much, as mildly concerning. Does it make the roster of Engineered Garments, Needles and South2 West 8 in particular a little too available? A little too easy for the bridge-and-tunnelers? Yes. I know. I’m a horrible, dreadful tit. But is it rather like when an obscure techno artist (who you love) starts working with Kanye. One of your things goes mass. People you know, who have never, ever expressed an interest in your obscure techno artist are suddenly name dropping them at every opportunity. I hate that. And I hate myself for feeling this way. Just not enough to stop.
Fortunately for the truly wankery, there are plenty of global brands that remain impossible to get in London’s London town. Porter Classic is one. This is one of their tops.
It’s a reverser. Royal blue fleece on one side, white cotton with a fine blue stripe on the other. It’s got one of those gaping smocky necks; like a giant Lungfish is trying to swallow your head.
You simply can’t be on the fence with smocky necks, you either love them or hate them. Unless you’re like me and you’re not sure. You see, I’ve bought things with necks like this before; then spent every five minutes tugging it, pulling it, trying to make it sit properly. Except they never do, quite. There’s always a couple of yawning semi-circles either side of your neck. They make you look like a 17th-century peasant who’s discovered a weird hairy skull in a field and is rushing to the village to shriek satanic warnings.
On the plus side, this top requires maximum aggravation to get. Head to Japan outpost Digital Mountain and brief your proxy service and bank manager. Then wait ages. Then miss the delivery because you had to nip to the shop for some smokes. Then worry that it’ll be returned to sender. Then finally reschedule the delivery, wait at home all day, with a big piece of paper Blu-Tacked to your door saying, “In all day, please ring the bell.” Then, it finally turns up at 6.15pm. You try it on and the neck looks too big. The struggle is real.