Focus on: belts and braces

polo-belts-principe-2 It is possible to count on the fingers of one hand those characters that have translated as successfully from the page to the screen as Jeeves & Wooster. Fortunately, few of us are so frequently in need of advice that will get us out of unwise engagements, away from overbearing aunts or over mind-bending hangovers following a night at the Drones as young Bertram W. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to read these stories or watch Fry & Laurie do their thing without thinking that having a Jeeves in one’s life would make each day run a little... smoother. At the very least, he would be able to steer one gently away from those outré plus-sixes, flamboyant cummerbunds and startling socks. For example, it is easy enough to imagine the inimitable gentleman’s gentleman laying out some of Oliver Brown’s white silk braces for the young master alongside the white tie and evening tails, or packing a pair or two of tweed braces into the motorcar before tootling off to Blandings or some other well-worn country seat. A latter day descendent of the faithful retainer would also, one feels, thoroughly approve of the fine, plain leather belt coiled neatly in the corner of the old valise. It is true that, nearly a century on, he may raise an eyebrow upon encountering one’s polo belt and murmur, ‘O tempora! O mores!’, but we’re confident that he’d acknowledge that it is important from time to time to express just a modicum of individuality.