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December 13, 2008

Meet Jeeves & Wooster, my newest style idols.

I chanced upon this British television series while rummaging through a friend’s torrent-downloaded TV show collection while listening to a boring lecture.  Airing in the UK from 1990 to 1993, it starts a young Hugh Laurie (House) as old-rich bum Bertie Wooster and Stephen Fry as Jeeves, Wooster’s well-informed valet (pronounced va-let), much like a butler/nanny for the very rich.  

Stephen Fry as Jeeves and Hugh Laurie as Wooster
Being British and set in the 1920′s/1930′s, the show takes quite an effort to understand, and even when I’m listening closely, I confess, I can only understand 80% of what the characters are saying.  Nevertheless, I think the show masterfully employs a comedy style that transcends eras and language barriers.  It’s got both the dry sense of humor the British are known for and a light dose of Mr. Bean slapstick which make for a laugh-out-loud viewing experience.

Hugh Laurie as Wooster in what seems to be an ivory tail-less tuxedo jacket (cut much like the recently resurrected marching band jackets of yesteryear) with gold buttons and epaulettes (!)
The wardrobe is a delight to see, why else would I be writing about the show on this blog anyways?  Hugh Laurie’s character Wooster, a member of the idle rich, is a bit of an eccentric dandy, favoring bolder sartorial choices than what was currently in fashion then.  Never short of luncheons, dinners, nights out on the town, and weekends in the country, he always has somewhere to go to dress up.  It also helps that he’s six-foot-three and on the skinny side, making his bespoke suits drape perfectly on him.
Here he is on his way to the gentleman’s club.  I love the short double breasted waistcoat paired with full, high-waisted pleated trousers.  

Close-up of the same outfit.  Note to self: try wearing a freshly cut rose as a boutonniere one of these days. 

Intensely dandy, Wooster wears extra-full pleated glen-plaid trousers tucked into yellow socks that match his yellow plaid waistcoat to play golf.  Michelle, inspiration for your golf pro outfit!

We can learn a thing or two from the duo Jeeves and Wooster regarding matters of accessorizing.  Brown leather gloves, oxfords, and fedora go well with a mouse-gray suit.  Jeeves’ signature bowler hat is the perfect complement to his perpetual sly grin.

For Bertie Wooster, style is a round-the-clock committment.  He always wears a full-on tux to dinner:

and goes to bed in immaculate pj’s.

Must download more episodes.

8 Comments

  • Frederic
    December 13th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    oh certainly they´re dandys…
    like U!
    :)

  • naboonies
    December 13th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Very immaculate costumes. Hugh Laurie looks way younger in this. It’s a 360 degree opposite of his costume in House! HAHAHA

  • Anonymous
    December 13th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Did you really have to write how valet is pronounced? Seriously.

  • izzydore
    December 13th, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Anonymous: I pointed out that valet was pronounced “va-let” in the show because where I come from, it’s pronounced “va-lay”. My mention of the way the word was pronounced differently was done in the intention of pointing out how culturally different the show was from what I’m used to.

  • fuchsiaboy
    December 14th, 2008 at 5:22 am

    not all of us lived with a valet (pronounced as va-lay where i come from) and it’s quite interesting how it has a ‘t’ all along. (like seriously how people could be so nitpicky at such mundane stuff and point out how serious you are when in fact they are doing the same. irony is what they call it?)

    anyway, i can’t get the ivory jacket out of my head.

  • DaisyChain
    December 14th, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Jeeves and Wooster are amazing. You must watch as much as possible.

  • vagabondshoes
    June 11th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    perhaps one of my favorite shows of all time! I love this whole blog in general. I am a bit of a dandy myself :) looking forward to reading!

  • Stephen
    September 26th, 2012 at 3:04 am

    I have the complete DVD series. Love it! I have to go to a 20′s coctail party in November so will do my best to locate the appropriate dinner suit, wasitcoat etc (not sure that I will buy patet court shoes as that is a bridge too far). I already collect early 20th century tux sets and links so I am part way there. Its a good thing I won’t have to travel by train from the country as I don’ own a brown Harris tweed either:)


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