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South2 West8: the sophistication of a Parker pen

That didn’t last long. Just the other day I was tossing my toys out the pram over a lack of sartorial inspiration. Then this monster lands over at Nepenthes London. Hold the phone. Call the cops. It’s back on baby.

Take a moment, look at that pattern and those colours, drink them in. So scarily wrong, yet so perfectly right. It’s like a time-machine to a more naive time.  A time of Harold Wilson, portable cassette recorders and the sophistication of a Parker pen.

I’ve been looking for a reason to regrow my clichéd lockdown moustache and here it is.

We’re looking at a suit, albeit one you can buy as separates. The brand is South2 West8, although what this 60s lounge lizard style has to do with their usual Tenaka fly-fishing inspiration is anyone’s guess. The jacket is the now familiar ‘Pen’ style  — extremely simple, somewhere between a chore jacket and the most casual blazer conceivable. I own a couple of these in cotton and a more ideal lightweight summer throw-on you’d be hard pressed to find. Although here we’re talking acrylic. Could this thing be more retro?

The matching trousers come in a drawstring style. I’d be a little concerned that in acrylic they might come off as a bit tracksuit bottomy. A little too hangy off the thighs. But for a pattern, and indeed a full suit, like this I’d take the risk. I’d just crank the sizing to the max and get the bottoms altered if need be.

I’m strongly feeling this entire scenario. I’ve been looking for an affordable gateway into 60s/70s style and the price points here reduce the risk of disaster. I need some Peter Wyngarde vibe in my lifestyle, a bit of Persuaders casual. But at £193 for the jacket and £145 for the trousers it wouldn’t be world-ending if I looked like a tit. I could suck it up and wear it exclusively around the house. After a nail-biting week of politics, back pain from working on the sofa and still no sign of Saint Maud (my most anticipated film of the year) hitting streaming services, I just feel compelled to escape it all by dressing like a 60s cushion cover.

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