From JFK to Trump: A Degradation of Style

Posted by 3 weeks ago

As the sensible world settles down to four years of mayhem, madness and appalling outfits in the form of the new incumbent, an American colleague of The Chap looks at the sartorial elegance of John F. Kennedy, providing a detailed search through the former president’s immaculate wardrobe.

Use the link below to access the story. In the meantime, further shock revelations have come to light about how ill-prepared Mr. Trump is for office. A photograph has emerged which shows clearly that he is using Sellotape to fasten the back of his tie to the front.
This is presumably to allow the president to wear his necktie with the tip hanging some six or so inches below his waistband – an unprecedented length for any man, let alone a US president.

John F Kennedy never wore his tie so low over his waistband – not that anyone would have been able to measure it anyway, since, as is proper, Mr. Kennedy always kept at least one of his jacket buttons fastened.

Read in more detail about JFK’s clothing

Dandies Unite Against Terrorism

Posted by 3 weeks ago

The capital of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, Erbil, which has been at the frontline of the struggle against the Islamic State (IS) group, has seen the birth of a sartorial revolution.
A group of proto-Chaps is calling themselves Mr. Erbil and has been dubbed “Iraq’s first gentlemen’s fashion club”. Mr. Erbil’s first photo shoot gathered huge amounts of social media followers and sent ripples of approval among followers of this publication.

Mr. Erbil stress that what they are doing mixes “modernity and cultural heritage”, by harking back to the lifestyles of the Effendis, the traditional Kurdish landowning class. The Effendis would don their finest clothes to attend cultural salons and visit tea shops in the early part of the 20th century.

But this movement is not just about fashion. Mr. Erbil sees itself as representing young Iraqi Kurds who are looking for a better life and want to promote Kurdish culture to the world. And the focus is not exclusively on male fashion:
Mr. Erbil wants to effect social change and challenge traditional attitudes, particularly on women’s rights. The Mr. Erbil Instagram account posts about women’s issues in Kurdistan, Iraq and the world, as well as posting photos of bearded chaps larking about.

For example, in January Mr. Erbil posted about Dashni Morad, who gives workshops in leadership skills to women who survived the massacre and rape of members of northern Iraq’s Yazidi sect by IS militants. “The effort she puts in for humanity, love and peace is so impressive!” said Mr. Erbil. “Keep up the good work, you are making us proud.”

The Chap has already sent a reporter to Erbil to delve more deeply into this fascinating story, which chimes very well with the revolutionary zeal of our own followers, though with a lot more at stake than the opening a new Starbucks on their high street.

Follow Mr.Erbil on Instagram and Facebook

Slim Jim Phantom Rockabilly Autobiography

Posted by 1 month ago

The subject of the Chap’s major forthcoming interview, Slim Jim Phantom, has published the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll autobiography.

The drummer in the Stray Cats reveals how the band had to come to London from New York to find an audience, entering the world of post-punk squats, drug holes and unreliable impresarios. Slim Jim befriended members of the Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Dammned, who helped add punk flourishes to the fledgling rockabilly band. Once the Rolling Stones had attended one of their first gigs, the band shot to British and then international stardom, taking them on journeys around the world that eventually led to Slim Jim meeting and marrying Britt Ekland.

Returning to Los Angeles after the break-up of the Stray Cats, Slim Jim set up the coolest bar in the city, the Cat Club on Sunset Strip, where the drummer’s stool was occupied by the likes of Clem Burke and Paul Cook, when Jim couldn’t make it because he was on tour with Jerry Lee Lewis. The tales in the book of playing drums with the Killer are hilarious and terrifying, while other tales of Jim’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle are heavy on celebrity name dropping, but light on stargazing. A Stray Cat Struts is ultimately a book about friendship, recounting the people that the author gathered along his musical travels and how some of them stuck and others didn’t. Who would not appreciate a call at three a.m. from Harry Dean Stanton to request help with the LA Times crossword puzzle?

The Chap was lucky enough to interview Slim Jim Phantom while on a brief visit to the UK, when he revealed many more rock ‘n’ roll anecdotes, as well as a fascination with Princess Diana memorabilia and confessed to housing a large collection of garden gnomes in his LA house. This remarkable conversation will be published in the February edition of The Chap. In the meantime, acquire A Stray Cat Struts from

Ring Out The Old, Ring In The… OLDER, With Pilsner’s Picks!

Posted by 2 months ago

Who needs Mariah Carey when you can have Bessie Smith? Who never lip-synched anything, by the way— the technology didn't exist in her time. But I have a feeling that she wouldn't have done it even if it had been possible.

Anyway, as 2016 is flushed deservedly down the old commode, here's the New Year Edition of Pilsner's Picks.

Herr Döktor 2016-12-20 12:07:00

Posted by 2 months ago

Coming up to Christmas- An UPDATE!

I have been busy, instructing my elves, er minions, to produce some very nice things, including, by popular demand, t-shirts, limited edition prints of some of my creations, and postcards:

Available in two designs, the classic Herr Döktor's Laboratory 'Triangle of Doom' logogram, and the Herr Döktor's Laboratory shield:

Both are professionally printed on 100% cotton Fruit of the Loom shirts, the logo on black the shield on stone.

Here are the limited edition poster prints, all in full colour on 350gsm paper, A3 size, suitable for framing, first is the Gladstone tank on Mars, duing the Second War of the Worlds, 1913:

 Next is the Celestial Sphere "BRITANNIA" on her launch pad, before her historic journey to the moon in 1869:

Third in this set is Her Majesty's Airship "LEVIATHAN", cruising through the clouds above London in 1899:

Also available is a set of postcards of the above, at A5 size, printed in colour, with a rather nice double sided design, which can be used as a postcard to send to friends:

All available from my Emporium.

Bumper 90th Edition

Posted by 2 months ago

The Chap’s 90th print edition is out now, with Neil Hannon on the cover and a full-length interview inside.

We also have a long-overdue profile of Louise Brooks by our resident Doctor of Dandyism; some tips on dress for world leaders, with particular emphasis on how not to dress like Donald Trump; a walk on the wild side of Berlin’s cabaret scene; the life of Eugen Sandow, the Victorian strong man who invented modern bodybuilding.

Sartorial matters covered include bicycle panniers, cardigans and whether slip-on shoes count as proper footwear. We offer a tribute to Albion, loyal Chap adherent who passed away recently; Anthony Newley’s bizarre 1969 film Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness; the launch of new accessories outlet Kit & Kaboodle; the sex scandal that began at a performance of Handel’s Messiah.

Cricket looks at Harold Pinter’s lifelong devotion to cricket, which he thought was better than sex; Laszlo Krass reports from Rome on a plot to steal a valuable Caravaggio; our Parisian correspondent reports from the most elegant stall at the flea market. The Butler advises the gentleman with an embonpoint, Atters rounds up his stable of hirsute beauties and beasts and we crown another King of Chaps.

Order the new issue from

Write up in Make Magazine

Posted by 2 months ago

I have just been written about on Make Magazine on a couple of Steampunk artefacts and thought you might be interested:  Click the link below

Crafting the Ultimate Steampunk Entertainment System

Chap Launches New Accessories Store

Posted by 3 months ago

Kit & Kaboodle is the new online retail wing of The Chap, selling authentic men’s accessories of an exceptionally high quality. We have combed the factories, workshops, warehouses and studios of Great Britain to find the nation’s finest craftspeople, many of whose products are hardly known outside their small band of loyal customers.

From master leather workers to talented tanners, dedicated cutlers to kings of the woollen mill, makers of the finest writing implements to cutters of the smoothest leather notebooks, hereditary horologists to the crafters of beautiful leather watch straps, Kit & Kaboodle have sought the finest makers in the land and brought them all under one roof.

We firmly believe that buying the budget version of something a man will probably use for his entire life is a false economy. We believe that if you buy sensibly and from a source that has taken the trouble to ensure long-lasting quality by using traditional methods of construction, you will not have to buy that item ever again. Objects that are soundly made also age extremely well: a satchel made from premium calf-hide will not only outlive a synthetic alternative, but will acquire a patina that reflects its years of faithful use; it is far more likely to improve in appearance rather than degrades over time.

We have been a long time in preparing this enterprise, forming relationships with countless independent makers of the items we think every man should possess, regardless of age, fashion or sartorial style. The people we work with have either been in business for decades, or honing their particular craft, to the exclusion of all others, for many years, and this is reflected in the products we are offering to you.

Take our advice: invest in a single, perfect example of each of your essential accoutrements, look after them well, cherish them like you would a beast of burden, and you will never have to purchase another one again. Allow Kit & Kaboodle to guide you through the nooks and crannies of a British manufacturing industry that thrives today more than ever, despite the attempts of global brands to seduce us with their throwaway products, and your life will be enhanced for it.

From The Jolly Old Elf, Himself, It’s The December Pilsner’s Picks!

Posted by 3 months ago

Okay, so I'm not an elf, I'm usually not jolly, and as for that other part— never mind! Ho ho ho.

DIY Engine Driven Welder Part 4 – It Is Alive!

Posted by 3 months ago

I finished my engine driven welder and started welding up my scrap iron anvil! The welder works well and seems to be able to push rods as large a 3/16″. It’s build with the engine from a 1946 Austin Dorset and a 250 amp high-output Ford alternator.