I recently received this inquiry.
I've bought another Ariel 3 from Ebay in very good condition, but in Florida so far. Now, I need some advice and am thinking of Julian Bond. Since he is from England, perhaps he can advise us as to properly eccentric attire to wear while riding such a 'unique' looking 50cc machine with pedals. I keep picturing a crushed felt bowler hat which is the same color as the bike and perhaps a similarly matched suit with very wide lapels. Sort of like the actors in " A Clockwork Orange " . However, we Americans are not as dress - savvy as the English and so I'd prefer to defer to Julian or some other Englishman to be certain that I am tastefully attired for this social situation.

Being somewhat unsure of how to answer I referred this to my aesthetic advisor, Cecil de Cashmere, who provided the following advice. Make of it what you will.

"For the gentleman, I would suggest a wool Harris tweed suit with a restrained pattern and turn ups, brown brogue shoes, a tweed flat cap and a straight briar pipe. The tie should have a simple diagonal stripe and ideally be from one of the Guard's regiments. Remember that the shoes should be well shined and the tie should use a simple knot. It's always important to understand that sartorial elegance is defined by the details as much as by the grosser points. However do remember that motorcycling is an active sport; it may well be better to leave gentlemen's accessories such as cufflinks or "Albert" watch chain at home. If you find yourself working on the machine, be sure to wear a pair of elasticated arm bands. As well as performing as designed to keep your freshly starched shirt cuffs away from your oily hands, they can be pressed into service as an impromptu generator belt in a pinch.

For the ladies a stout pair of jodhpurs, leather riding boots and hacking jacket should be more than sufficient. Any tendency to attempt to imitate BSA's advertisements, in which their fine machines are decorated with a lady of dubious virtue wearing only those ungodly "Bikini" swimsuits, should be resisted at all costs.

Your suggestion of a "Zoot" suit and well made bowler hat (I can recommend Lock's of St James) could easily be combined with imaginative use of ladies make up to cut a real dash at your local tea room. But I suspect you might be mistaken for a consumptive poet. If this is your intention I can only say that this is a noble ideal, but the effect would be somewhat ruined by your choice of machine. Perhaps a Douglas Dragonfly or Francis Barnett Plover would be more appropriate?

I remain sir, as I began,
Cecil de Cashmere."

[ << UDDI, GNUDDI, PHUDDI ] [ One, Few, Many Analysis >> ]
[ 0 comments ] [ G ] [ # ]