Lace ties the knot
Name Matt/Jon | Date Sunday 15 Feb 09, 22:25PM
Matthew Storey

On Friday, Best man Jon and I went to London to try to find suits for the wedding.

Jon came down on Thursday and we did a night out in Winchester.   The plan was a couple of beers and a curry, but it ended up a bit of a heavy night which found us working our way down town, with a pit stop for a 6 inch Subway, and ending up in The Porthouse til 2am. For those of you unfamiliar with The Porthouse, it claims to be Winchester’s premier nightclub, but in reality it's Winchester's only nightclub. All I’ll say is that it’s cheesier than my undercarriage after an hour boogying in there.

The evening also saw me buy the most expensive kebab ever - £6 for a doner and some other random 'meat' (possibly dog?).   It was so filling that we ended up giving most of it to a couple of students that we passed who were quite literally begging for kebab meat. Not the best food to eat when you’re training for the London Marathon. 

So we travelled up to London the following day with kebab fingers, breath like the inside of my boss’ arse (see last week’s blog) and a raging hangover and headed for Selfridges to see what suits we could find for the wedding. Prior to Selfridges, we'd been to House of Fraser and spoken to what can only be described as a poor man’s Trinny and Susannah.  Pretty bloody useless, but a lot better looking than the celebrity versions.  They clearly however didn’t do the whole Julia Roberts “Do you work on commission?” for when asked their thoughts on suits they recommended that we head straight out of the door and turn right for Selfridges.

As if by magic, Lace appears

As if by magic, Lace appears


We had both been given some ideas of colour combinations from Shella the previous day, but as we thumbed our way through the Paul Smith department we were still very confused. Well that was until enter stage right, "as if by magic", the shop keeper appeared.

The Tinker, Tailor or just plain saviour and total legend of the day… came in the form of Lace!

Step aside Jeff Banks, move over Gok, we were fortunate enough to walk straight into Lace’s world.   It was a world of fashion, colour and most importantly, detail.

“Matty my son, its all about the detail. You gotta stand out on your big day, you aint there to make up the numbers, and trust me the hanky will work magic”

Lace introduced himself as 'the Special one' and told us this is what he does. In less time than it took to order last night’s doner – he had us (very much like the students the previous night) eating out of the palm of his hand.  After just a few minutes with the Jose Mourinho of Selfridges Menswear (although he had an opinion on Ladies wear too) Lace had sorted the suit, shirt, tie and Ted Hankey.

Surely this can’t be over already, so we tried the suits on, but it was all too good; there was a problem. It could have been the lights but neither Jon nor I were convinced by the Special one’s first choice of tie.  Jon stated it wasn’t the right colour red that Shella wanted and I agreed, especially having seen the £160 price tag.

It's all about the pinch

It's all about the pinch


So like any true god, Lace was not to be beaten at the first minor set back.  As he told us “we’ve got the main units covered, if I can't find you a tie then no one can” So he dragged us literally all over Selfridges in cotton socks to find the perfect matching tie. Although my socks were not the only parts of my underwear on display as I was struggling to do up the button and flies on my trousers. True to his word and only adding more weight to the Special one tag, Lace found the perfect matching tie.  He tied the perfect knot round my neck but to be sure of the full look I needed to see Jon in the tie as well. To our amazement, just as we agreed to go with the tie, some guy picked up the same (and last in stock) tie and begins heading for the till.  “I’m not having a bleedin’ Merchant Banker interfere with my work”.  Lace set off, like a young Paul Michael Glaser in pursuit of some New York street punk.  Lace worked his magic. This shopper was no match for our silver tongued fashion guru who firstly persuaded him to lend it to us purely for a photo to send to Shella for her approval and then blatantly just refused to give it back.

“My man Matty’s wedding is far more important than your needs”!

We needed time out and Lace told us to come back at 2.15pm. It was lunchtime, my kebab had definitely disappeared so we stopped for a quick bite to eat before Jon 'popped' to the Gents. But he seemed to spend longer in there than the time it took us to eat our lunch... 30mins to be exact!

Lace enjoying a moment between Jon's legs

Lace enjoying a moment between Jon's legs


The afternoon saw us get down to the nitty gritty, being measured up with a constant flow of funny quips from Lace.  Lace altered the jacket to his own design to allow cuff links to be viewed.  Jon was concerned that Lace was turning a Paul Smith classic into some Don Johnson number.  “Boys, I keep having to tell you, trust me my son, it's all about the detail”.

Lace just laughed some more and returned to my trousers.  They proved to be quite a challenge for the Special one as they were a bit tight round the waist and crotch area.  Lace said he could adjust the waist no problem but when I pointed down to my crotch and asked what I should do with that he simply said that was down to Shella to sort that bit out and he was merely the tailor! Still laughing at his own tailor-line he then set about pinning Jon’s strides when suddenly his eye is taken and off he wanders, mid pin, to check out the new female sales assistant being shown round the store on her first day induction. Surprisingly her tour of the floors doesn’t include a stop at Paul Smith.  “I cant believe they don’t introduce all new staff to ‘the Special one’,  she could learn a lot watching me do my work, in fact she should meet you two, you’re my VIPs”.  We asked Lace if there was a suggestion box for such ideas to be put forward. “You boys are just killing me today”.

Jon also had Lace in stitches when we were looking for shoes. Lace pulled out a pair of winkle pickers and Jon said can you imagine those in a size 11, I'd look like Coco the Clown. Lace was on the floor in tears! We decided to leave the footwear for another day.

Jon, Lace and Matt

Jon, Lace and Matt


Once we’d paid for the suits at the end of the day, Lace had taken a bit of a shine to us and insisted on putting us in his ‘Very VIP’ book next to a gent that “spends £10k on a quiet day”.  He also told us he’d kitted out Billy Zane (in his days with Kelly Brook) and took great pleasure in telling us how Billy simply had to put on the clothes that he had chosen and dressed for him.  “Like you two also, I do his tie with my special pinch and all you guys and Billy have to do is move it to your neck.  Detail boys, detail; the detail of tying a knot”.  Billy wore Lace’s combination to a major London Premier. So what’s good enough for Billy is good enough for Jon and I.

We said goodbye to Lace and parted company with a warm and embracing hand shake come shoulder barge.  Jon claimed that coming from the streets of Bristol now he was familiar with such goodbyes but I must admit I was all a bit lost in the experience. But I’m telling you, just watch me big up some gangsta in The Porthouse next time Jon’s down!

Take a close look at our ties on the wedding day as Lace has already tied them for us -“It’s all about the pinch at the front” according to him.  After 10 years working the men’s department at Selfridges, I can definitely confirm that Lace completely deserves his title of ‘the Special one'.  So if you’re ever looking for a suit, make sure you visit Lace in Selfridges.

Lace was fantastic on the day and a massive thanks to him for kitting us out.  I honestly have to say, I've not laughed so much in ages.

Thanks also to Jon for contributing to this blog and reminding me of the funny stories from the day.

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