Archive for the ‘Bermuda’ Category

TABS: The Authentic Bermuda Shorts

FireShot Capture 371 - The Authentic Bermuda Shorts - www.tabsbermuda.com

note how the logo matches the new Bermuda tourist board logo/typeface

I’ve been wanting to do a post about this company since it relates to a subject near and dear to my heart: Bermuda shorts and the style they embody. TABS is a “lifestyle brand”, which I think covers a bunch of different topics.  Rebecca intended to “reclaim Bermuda Shorts and show the world what they are really made of. ”  She goes on to say:

I spoke to countless locals about what makes Bermuda Shorts unique and why they are proud to wear them. The research paid off and after over a year of pinning, poking and testing I had my first prototype.

FireShot Capture 369 - Bermuda Forts __ 5 Must-See Forts in Bermuda - www.gotobermuda.com

The Bermuda Tourist Board Typeface

Both Rebecca and myself will point out that she is pretty much the only Bermudian business that is trying to market this style internationally, which is one of the reasons I like her company. You can buy her products online. And while the English Sport Shop (ESS) and TABS both market this fashion in a lifestyle mode (although I would say ESS is the older, traditional Bermuda), TABS is the “New Bermuda”.

Although Bermuda shorts are the national business attire coming in various colours. The more conservative colours are gray, beige or navy blue. But some men prefer brighter colours: orange, pink, green or yellow. Newly arrived expatriate businessmen tend to go for the dark grey at first. Then they graduate to navy, dark green, burgundy, yellow and pink as they get used to that being the norm (I admit to having done this as well at first for a few reasons).

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The cognoscenti know these Authentic TABS shorts from at least two different things even with the hanger in the way.

TABS shorts are different in a few ways from those sold by the English Sport Shop: although both are proper Bermudian Business attire. However, little things show that you are wearing TABS, not shorts from the ESS. For example, I can tell the shorts are TABS in the Style Advisor picture from the How to wear Bermuda shorts (for men) post. People who know the TABS brand tend to be cohesive. And small in number at this point, but I hope that the number gets much larger.

I won’t get as effusive about the shop as some of the reviews I’ve seen about the store since it isn’t the only place to buy Bermuda shorts on the Island. Also, the

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TABS’ distinctive linings on the  Bermudiana Purple Polo (front) and shorts.

store seems a lot like most other clothing stores with the exception that it sells Bermuda shorts with all the colours that entails. Toss in that I like both ESS and TABS. It’s Rebecca’s desire to popularise Bermuda shorts that makes me like this company (and feel sorry that I didn’t talk to her more when I met her in the store). We share a goal of seeing this style become more popular  outside of Bermuda.

I would point out that the English Sport Shop has been around for over 100 years, which makes them very much a part of the Bermuda short culture. You can’t discount ESS in any discussion of Bermuda Shorts

IMG_7426On the other hand, the English Sport Shop doesn’t have a website or sell online. You will get some assistance in making a wardrobe at ESS, but TABS has its style advisor to help you get the look right. Toss in the linings of the TABS shorts also help give an idea of what colours coordinate with the shorts!

I really like this brand and recommend them. At least stop in if you are in Bermuda.

And maybe you’ll end up a convert to this style.

The TABS Bermuda website:
https://www.tabsbermuda.com/

The Secret Museum of Bermuda

SIMG_7417ome of the things in Masterworks Bermuda’s storage room are the signs for the H.A. & E Smith and Triminghams. There is at least one other lost stores sign. They are the original items.

Anyway, I’ve seen a couple of articles about how you can still buy things from these closed stores. It’s done by going to places like Etsy, eBay, Poshmark, etc. that sell used or secondhand items. Although I have found more than one new with tags items, such as the huge Bermuda shorts in a previous post.Triminghams Bag
The wildest item I have seen so far is this Triminghams bag which is for sale on eBay UK!

I have to agree with the reviewer on Trip Advisor that:

Many old, great stores on Front Street like Trimingham’s and H.A. & E. Smith are gone and replaced by banks, re-insurance firms, and tee-shirt shops. Yesteryear was much nicer.

I liked it better when there weren’t traffic jams too!

But you can still do some shopping online and find the Triminghams handbags.

And even a shopping bag to put it in!

I know where that is!

They are at the Coral Beach and Tennis Club on Elbow Beach.
Bermuda Wedding
I know this not only from the fact that it’s a popular location for beach weddings, but I am really familiar with Elbow Beach (and most of the beaches on that part of the island).

I could tell where they were from the background. Here’s a slightly different view which backs up my statement.DSCF1155

TABS_pink_front_open_groom_2000xI would recommend it for a great place to get married. Some people go for the unfinished church in St. George, which is interesting since there are signs warning people that the church is unsafe…

Anyway, the site for the Bermuda Weddings where I saw the pic is http://www.bermuda-wedding.com/bubbling-with-happiness/.

Oh, and TABS will customise your shorts with “Groom” and “Best Man” (or “Lucky You”) for the perfect wedding night! (Cost #20)

Point Finger Road.

Not sure why this hasn’t made it to the net yet, but I am now fixing that.

IMG_7642

How to wear Bermuda shorts (for men).

OK, there are a couple of good guides out there. The first being TABS Bermuda’s Style Advisor, which is the starting point for this. Rebecca is the Bermuda Short guru, although the people at the English Sport Shop will give similar guidance. Sean from Island Gentry also has a video that’s worth watching on 4 ways to wear Bermuda shorts.

It also gets into what I call “Going Full Bermuda”, which is an interesting term since my interpretation is to go with as many things bought from Bermudian companies as possible. Which means wearing my Smith’s Blazer with a tie and belt from ESS. The shorts and socks would be from TABS or ESS, While ESS sells shirts and shoes, that is probably optional. The other option is a Polo shirt especially if it is from a legacy company like Smith’s or Triminghams. TABS sells polo shirts, but a shirt from one of the closed department stores is heritage (as is the Smith’s blazer since ESS sells those too). But that is a digression.

Tie and shorts

From TABS Bermuda’s Style Advisor

The Traditional/Formal style used for business is to wear the shorts with a navy blazer and knee socks. The shoes are dress shoes (brogues/wingtips) although tassle loafers can be worn as well, Rebecca just says brown or black loafers. IOW something which is made of leather. Sean starts his portion on this look without a tie, which is a no-no: that’s more the casual look.

Socks should be Navy, Black, or compliment the tie.

IMG_7278The tie should compliment the shorts and the socks as the pic above shows. Although the socks take precedence over the shorts for being complemented by the tie. The tie in the TABS pic can be worn with pink or blue spectrum shorts or socks: preferably one or the other.  It would have been the perfect tie for what I am wearing.

The shirt should be white. Rebecca says it can be striped. I’ve worn pink and sky blue. But white seems to be the “safe” colour. And it needs to be tucked in.

For whatever look (formal, casual, informal, etc), the socks need to be up all the way. Otherwise, don’t wear socks. But no tie and no socks is not the formal business dress.

4 Stylish Ways To Wear BERMUDA SHORTS

Sean’s advice from Island Gentry.

The next step down is casual, which runs the gamut. On the island, steer clear of going too casual if you are going out. By that I mean, wear the type of shirt you would for the formal and open the top two buttons. You can roll the sleeves up or wear a sweater/jumper or cardigan depending on the weather.

The rule of thumb for shirts is wear a brighter shirt with neutral shorts or wear a neutral shirt with brighter shorts. This is why I say the white shirt is the best for the formal look. The same also applies for  wearing black or navy socks as opposed to the brighter colours.

Screenshot from 2019-07-06 19-23-09

The two surcingle belts are from ElizaB/Leatherman and the other is from ESS. The ESS belt spells “Bermuda”

Rebecca says wear a brown or black leather belt, which I think is the best for going formal. I also like wearing the surcingle belts, but that is better for the less formal occasions.

Espadrilles are bottom line for acceptable casual. Things have changed a lot on the island and they don’t expect the formal dress for dinner! Although, I am enough of a traditionalist that I would at least wear a good shirt for going out.

One final tip: wear white underwear. Anything else prints.

Anyway, other than the formal/business style, this stuff is pretty much people’s opinions on how to wear the shorts. Take them more as guidelines (other than how to wear the socks). Anyway, I hope this gives you ideas on how to do this style and you will try it.

Renting a car in Bermuda

FireShot Capture 374 - (2) New Messages! - www.currentvehicles.comYou can’t.

They do have electric cars you can rent which are called “Twizy”. The people who used to joke I drove a smart would be even more amazed at these things. They are electric cars which look like something that would fly out of a jet fighter with the passenger being in the rear.

And there is absolutely no cargo space.

image-assetThe only advantages of the Twizy to a scooter is that the Twizy is electric and protected by being a cage. They cost around $100 a day to rent from Current vehicles, where I pulled the pics from.

Depite the changes in Bermuda, Bermuda’s Wade International Airport is something which hasn’t changed much since the Second World War when it started life as an RAF base. The Arrivals-immigration area hadn’t changed from when I was a kid: the pictures of the Queen were still young if I wasn’t. The Site MoretimetoTravel has a good write up on the airport: Bermuda Airport (BDA): Six things you need to know.  Number 5 is:

You won’t find any car rental counters

His explanation that:

And you won’t find rental cars off the airport grounds either. That’s because foreign visitors can’t rent cars in Bermuda. The combination of driving on the left-hand side (to which many visitors aren’t accustomed); narrow two-lane roads; and motorbikes zipping around the curves make it too dangerous.

“If you people rented cars here, you’ll kill us all,” explained one taxi driver. (Thus, taxis and public buses are abundant at the airport).

Isn’t totally accurate.

IMG_7449

Traffic Jam in Hamilton

Visitors were not allowed by the Bermuda Government to rent cars or operate any other kind of four or more wheeled vehicle on Bermuda’s roads, or bring their own motorized 2-wheel vehicles – not even for the handicapped or disabled until the laws were relaxed in 2017.

This is because of Bermuda’s very small physical size, which is less than 21 miles in total land area and sixth largest population per square mile in the world, higher than in Bangladesh and Bahrain and exceeded only by Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Macao, Monaco, Singapore and Vatican City. Foreign drivers licenses are not legal in Bermuda, which means that visitors, even when they have driving licenses issued by their home state or province or country, aren’t allowed to drive in Bermuda.

One of the major changes from when I was a kid is that Bermuda has by far more vehicles per square mile than anywhere else in the world. That means I was a treated to seeing a traffic jam which extended the length of Front Street and Pitts Bay Road, which was a few miles.

So, I go for the Twizy if you want to brave Bermuda’s roads in something other than public transportation.

See also:

O Sibili!

This used to hang above the bar at the Pompano Beach Club in Bermuda when I was young (not sure if it is still there, but I hope it is).
O Sibili
Anyway, my Dad thought it was funny as heck.

I would love to find this.

The Bermuda Buggy Ride

IMG_7685I made a comment about Bermuda once being a mid-Atlantic Mackinac Island in my previous post. That’s because it once was before cars became far more prolific on the Island.  Seeing a Bermuda buggy wasn’t that strange a sight (and people would ride bicycles all over the Islands as well).

The old Bermuda Preview Guides used to carry this blurb in the sightseeing section:

Bermuda Buggy: No Honeymoon is complete without a “Bermuda Buggy Ride!. It makes a “fun” outing for the family too. Children who’ve never travelled by horse and carriage consider it a rare treat. There are usually several carriages for hire by No. 7 Shed (where the Franconia docks) on Front Street.

IMG_7718There’s even a song about the Bermuda Buggy Ride that was performed by The Bermuda Strollers, Talbot Brothers, and Hubert Smith (at least).

Signs like this one on the bridge from St. George to St. David’s were common when I was a kid.

Buggy bells were also sold as souvenirs.

Alas, there are now cars and traffic jams. I think the only buggy is the one pictured above. You can find her in St. George.

carriage Bermuda tie - eBay - www.ebay.com

Some people can be a bit clueless. Then again, the buggies aren’t as common as they used to be.

me people can be a bit clueless. Then again, the buggies aren’t as common as they used to be.

Exploring Bermuda’s Forts

OspreyBermuda is also called the “Gibraltar of the West”. It could have once been called a Mid-Atlantic Mackinac Island, but that is one of the many changes not for the best.

it’s also another post.

Anyway, if this is your idea of a fun thing to do (it is mine). I suggest buying a copy of Osprey’s Defenses of Bermuda 1612–1995 in the Fortress series (#112), ISBN: 978-1472825964.

OK, the Bermuda Tourist authority and Historic commissions don’t have their shit together when it comes down to good guides for this. On the other hand, this is an excellent guide which will prevent you from trying to find Forts Albert and Victoria: even though they are on the tourist map. It doesn’t tell you that Fort St. Catherine (the one on the front cover) has been wrecked by development.IMG_7472

You can get what looks like a pristine beach without the future St. Regis residential hotel by using a telephoto. On the other hand, the development of St. Catherine’s Beach caused a shit storm for quite a few reasons (first off, it was a public beach).

Well, they can’t ruin the view looking out to sea. Or maybe they can…

Likewise, Forts Albert and Victoria were trashed by development, but good luck finding that information anywhere besides the Osprey book. I was able to put together the pieces to learn that Fort Scaur was the one I wanted to explore when I was a kid.

IMG_7504

This picture was taken through the fence using the zoom

One major problem with exploring the forts is that Bermuda isn’t really good at preserving its history, as my previous points have shown. The Dockyard is now a tourist trap. They development folk also neglect it was home to Casemate’s prison, which is a whole separate topic.

And probably one most Bermudians don’t want to discuss.

Fort George has a really great view, but it is the Bermuda maritime Operations Centre. You can go there, but not much history or much to see besides the view.

Also, not all these forts are accessible when they still exist. The ones on the islands in St. Davids are on private proerty, which hasn’t really stopped anybody from visiting them.  It also takes some coordination trying to visit the Forts (e.g., you need to make an appointment to see the Martello Towers, which aren’t really restored).

Forts Victoria and Albert became inaccessible to general public after the demolition of Club Med Hotel in 2008, which was located in the same area.  Fort Victoria, which was once one of the finest forts is Bermuda, had been badly damaged from the demolition. Not that having a hotel built around it didn’t do enough damage. A new hotel complex is planned to be built on their site, although the UNESCO world heritage designation of St. George may result in the Forts being somewhat restored.

I’m not holding my breath given the development of St. Catherine’s Beach.

At this point, the Osprey book is the best guidebook around. For that matter: it’s probably the only guidebook around on the topic. Britain’s Island Fortresses: Defence of the Empire 1796-1956 sounds interesting, but it deals with the Fortresses worldwide. The Bermuda Maritime Museum also publishes Bermuda Forts 1612-1957 (ISBN: 978-0921560111), which is the authority on this subject, but a little large for carrying around with you.

On the other hand, this book is very comprehensive and thorough. Like visiting Bermuda, Osprey books were a staple of my youth. Unlike Bermuda, Osprey has only gotten better. This is pretty much the type of information you’ll get on the Island.

Bermuda now has cars. Way too many of the things for a small island.

Buy your copy before you leave since it will cost you (at least) twice the price if you get it in Bermuda. There are a couple of book stores in Hamilton that might have this title (Browns).

Well, you are on an Island in the Atlantic…

See Also:

Buying Bermuda Shorts online.

This is probably more of an issue if you are trying to buy the English Sport Shop shorts than the TABS (The Authentic Bermuda Shorts) shorts. Actually, English Sport Shop doesn’t have an online store, which means that you would probably be on eBay or Etsy. Toss in that the people at TABS are really helpful, which is good for an online vendor.

Of course, I am all for your taking a trip to Bermuda to buy Bermuda shorts.

But here are some helpful hints if you don’t.

FireShot Capture 372 - royal poplin men shorts 38 - eBay - www.ebay.com

This person probably bought them looking at the label, but found that English Sport Shop Islanders run small. My guess is that something similar happened below as well.

FireShot Capture 373 - islander linen bermuda shorts in Shorts for Men - eBay - www.ebay.com

The lesson is that it is good that the English Sports Shop doesn’t sell their shorts online! The other lesson is that you should measure your waist if you are buying these shorts online.

Doing the Bermuda Shorts thing.

This picture was with an article on the English Sports Shop:
listing-945-English-Sport-Shop-07ae47465056a34_07ae4a70-5056-a348-3a4afcae2de5121e

I have to laugh since it’s pretty much what I have on in the previous post: A different tie, but definitely the shorts!

Posted 20/06/2019 by lacithedog in Bermuda, Bermuda Culture, Bermuda Shorts

More Bermuda Shorts

IMG_7278

This is a nice classic style which has never gone out of fashion in Bermuda and was once popular outside Bermuda. The look is:

The best quality Bermuda Shorts have a three inch hem, hand sewn, to hang correctly. Bermuda Shorts are garments for all seasons, representing a standard of turnout difficult to surpass in their originality. They are as well constructed as a good pair of trousers, complete with a proper fitted waistband or with belt loops or a self-supporting waistband and a seam in the center back. They are usually pleated for business use but a more informal variety can be unpleated. They usually have one pocket on each side and one on each side of the bottom. They are form-fitting, designed essentially for and can look very good on the slim or medium-built person. (Any with huge waists and bottoms will look far better in lightweight long trousers). Accompanying them are Bermuda hose (imported long – knee-length – socks), plus a white or blue button down imported Oxford or other appropriate short sleeved shirt and conservative Windsor knotted striped or corporate insignia or club or regimental tie, with a single or double breasted navy blue blazer or a sport coat or madras or linen jacket that contrasts with the Bermuda Shorts. The most appropriate shoes are imported loafers with tassels – from the USA – in black or brown, depending on the colour of the shorts – to compliment and complement the Bermuda Dress Shorts.

OK, one thing about real Bermuda shorts: they are expensive compared to most other shorts. Toss in that the best place to get them is in Bermuda (or do a search for Bermuda shorts on eBay or Etsy). But there is a problem with buying them online: the actual size is not what you think it would be if you are buying authentic Bermuda shorts. You will most likely get a size smaller than you expect if you buy authentic Island shorts (e.g.: English Sport Shop, Smiths, Triminghams, or Davidsons).

So, it’s best to go to Bermuda and buy them in person. The best place these days is the English Sport Shop (49 Front Street, Hamilton)DSCF1127. There are other branches, around the Island, but the Hamilton store has the best stock. This is the place to get the original Bermuda shorts since they have been making them since 1918.  I could do a post on just this store.

The other alternative in Bermuda is TABS (The Authentic Bermuda Shorts), which is the new kid in the business having only been in business since 2014, and opened their store in 2016. They do sell online and have a good selection. Drawback, their shorts are fairly pricey (about 30 bucks more than the English Sport Shop’s).IMG_7424 Also, their store is not on Front Street (12 Reid Street, which is up Walker Arcade from the English Sport Shop–they are close to each other).

There are plusses and minuses to English Sport Shop and TABS. I would suggest checking both store out before buying. The best rule of thumb is that English Sport Shop is the more traditional of the two, TABS is the more contemporary by Bermuda standards. They both make great products. A biggie for TABS is that they are closer to being true in size (ESS’s tend to run a size or two small: e.g, you would want a 38 if you wear a 36 and maybe 34). I like them both and have shorts from both companies (although partial to ESS for its being the “heritage” brand).

There are options if you don’t want to go to Bermuda to buy them. Brooks Brothers, Jos A. Banks, and similar mens stores are a good bet. Brooks does sell authentic Bermuda shorts, but their price is similar to TABS without the selection of colours. Lands End and LL Bean are also an option, but not as close to the real shorts as Brooks Brothers Bermuda shorts for shorts not sold on Bermuda.

The advantage of buying shorts locally is that you know they will fit.IMG_7245

One other point for buying Bermuda shorts in Bermuda: it’s a whole lot easier to get the socks to go with the outfit. There are some of online retailers that carry them (TABS, The Sock Company UK, and The Great Canadian Sox Company). Vagden, Glendale, and HJ Hall make ribbed, knee high (golf) cuffed socks. [1] Navy blue is a default, but there is a rainbow of colours out there if you want to add some dash to the look.

This is standard dress in Bermuda: OK, the national dress. This look will certainly get you attention if you are not in Bermuda or at a Bermuda function. The bottom line is that this is the look for you if you want to stand out from the crowd and bring some Bermudian charm to your life.

Here is a video of the owner of the English Sport Shop explaining Bermuda Shorts

Note:
[1] Vagden, which are sold by the The Great Canadian Sox Company, makes the socks sold by the English Sport Shop.  Glendale make very substantial socks.

See also:

He’s got the look!

My Bermuda Shorts outfit

I’ve been threatening for some time to try the accepted Bermudian business dress, which I mentioned in my fashion for a changing climate post.  The weather is finally getting unbearably warm to the extent that I really couldn’t care less what people think–I want something that is going to be comfortable!  Unfortunately, supplex shirts aren’t going to be acceptable wear for business anytime soon*.

Surprisingly enough, the outfit received more positive comments than I expected.  Sure, it does look like a boy’s school uniform, but I’ll always opt for comfort where comfort is concerned!

I’ve been told that I have the legs to pull this off (and the kilt as well).

I just wish I had the hair!

* Supplex nylon has a unique moisture-management treatment to help disperse perspiration. It looks and feels like cotton, but dries much faster.

See also:

Steelband music?

Somehow my mother would buy steelband records when we visited the Islands (Read Bermuda, The Cayman Islands, and Virgin Islands) during my youth even though these Island were not where steelpan music comes from (Trinidad and Tobago). As I grew older, I got into the Reggae family of music as well as Soca and Zouk. Which added toward my taste in World music. As a girlfriend said when I was around 18: “if he offers to play Tibetan Chants–he’s not joking!”

Our honeymoon in 2006 was spent on Saint Vincent where we had authentic steelband music.

Anyway, I’ve managed to come up with the more authentic discs that my mum bought over the years which was the Brute Force Steelband of Antigua, but my post about Bermuda Shorts has me thinking about Hubert Smith Junior and the Esso Steelband of Bermuda and the pictured album that we have a vinyl copy somewhere about (I don’t toss books or music). There must be a CD of it somewhere. Or has this LP gone the way of Triminghams?

You can get the old music at Music Box (58 Reid Street in Hamilton). The staff are very helpful.

Ah! The memories!

Fashion for a changing climate

A friend of mine told me that British Foreign service workers used to receive hardship pay to live in Washington, DC at one time due to the hot summers. Now that the Earth is warming, we all need to think about more comfortable work attire for hot climates. Part of me wishes that the Continental Advocat’s robes were long enough to hide that one is wearing shorts. Of course, the alternative is to wear Bermuda Shorts as they do in Bermuda.

The real Bermuda shorts, worn three inches above the knee and they are correct national day and evening attire for any non-formal occasion including meetings on the Island of Bermuda. The correct mode of dress is Bermuda hose (imported long – knee-length – socks), plus a white or blue button down imported Oxford or other appropriate short sleeved shirt and conservative Windsor knotted striped or corporate insignia or club or regimental tie, with a single or double breasted navy blue blazer or a sport coat or madras or linen jacket that contrasts with the Bermuda Shorts, and tassel loafers. While dressy, They are not formal wear. There is no such thing as black formal Bermuda shorts. When invitations state formal wear on the Island, they exclude Bermuda Shorts and instead mean a dinner jacket, with matching long trousers and bow tie.

If you are tempted to go the route of wearing the Bermuda shorts attire, the proper hose can be found by googling “Bermuda Socks” or “Men’s Long Golf Socks”. The proper Bermuda hose is similar to kilt hose in that it comes almost to the knee and then folds over. The socks are thin knee-highs. The tops fold down 4 inches; the top of the fold ending at the top of your calf. This ebay seller carries this type of sock at a reasonable price, but you can expect to pay anywhere from £2.25-9.99+.

Proper Business shorts are made of finer fabrics, traditionally linen or wool blends, usually in subtle shades such as gray, beige or navy blue. But you will find them also in tropical color including pink, green and yellow. It seems to me that cotton would also work provided it is in a conservative colour (khaki, stone, etc.). The US Company Lands End has been trying to bring the Bermuda short fashion to the States and sells what appears to me to be an acceptable pair for business attire. You are also looking for a 23 CM (9 inch) inseam if you are of average height for that proper Bermuda Shorts look.

the Real Deal (English Sports Shop Linen!)

If you are willing to travel to Bermuda to buy REAL Bermuda shorts, the best place to buy Bermuda Shorts is the English Sports Shop (49 Front Street, Hamilton City, Phone: (441)295-2672) or Aston & Gunn (2 Reid Street, Hamilton HM 11 Phone: (441) 295-4866) At least you will know that you are being truly authentic in your attire.

Well, it’s a thought for hot weather business attire! If we can’t do something about climate change, then we will have to do something about dressing to survive the hot weather that comes with that change.

See also:

And special thanks to Denise for coming up with the Real Deal (English Sports Shop Linen!) for me at a bargain basement price! Now, I’m officially dressed!