It is a peculiar English affectation not to talk about one’s tailor. But I was very sad to hear from my brother the news of the death of mine, Leo White, who built my suits in London ever since the late 1970s. I guess that, now he is dead, we can share warm memories of him.
The first time I met him, I thought him somewhat alarming. He was kneeling between my legs, measuring my inside leg, when he looked up – as usual over the top of his glasses – and earnestly announced in his heavy Jewish accent: “What a lot of people don’t realise is that Israel is in a state of war”.
Leo would talk about a lot of things. The state of his marriage, which was not always steady. His relationship with the tax man, which was always decidedly unsteady. How many cuff buttons were appropriate for which sort of suit. What sort of lining was right for what sort of cloth. Continue reading