May 25 2013
In the 1950s and 1960s, Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack friends brought a touch of show business panache to golf in Las Vegas and Palm Springs. In the present era, there is no more enthusiastic Hollywood golfer than Samuel L Jackson, who loves to play a round in England and Scotland just as much as he does in the US. Jackson is renowned for his golfing wardrobe and is the owner of a magnificent pair of purple and black plaid trousers with double belt loops. The inspirational strides were made for him and his friends for the Shooting Stars Benefit in 2010 by the mobile tailor David Brooke, director and founder of Mathieson & Brooke, who shows similar flair across a whole range of sporting, business and recreational garments.
Brooke’s view is that the key test of a suit or a pair of trousers is how people feel wearing them and how other people feel when they see them wearing them. The ability to inspire confidence is all. In our September 19 2009 issue, I wrote about a California-based company called Loudmouth Golf which has made a splash with its outrageous retro garb, combining plaids and spots in a riot of loud colours. Its clothes are great fun but, as I speculated at the time, would you really feel like a winner standing on the first tee alongside Tiger Woods while sporting a pair of Loudmouth orange and pink harlequin trousers? I think not, and neither does Brooke. By comparison, his Samuel L Jackson design stays just the right side of kitsch, while making a confident statement about the wearer and his ability to play the game.
Brooke brings the same tailored approach to the rest of his collection, which is proving extremely popular with young professionals in the City. Eschewing premises in Savile Row, he spends several days a week taking his pop-up shop to the offices of companies in the Square Mile, such as HSBC and Credit Suisse. His customers only have to leave their desks for 30 minutes or so to go to a fitting and the next time he calls they may be able to walk back past their colleagues in their smart new whistle and flute.
Brooke, who designs the clothes himself, believes that “everyone nowadays wants, in some ways, to personalise their wardrobe”. Among his most popular items are a mean Mod mohair suit in black or electric blue, a stylish homage to the classic 1970s Doug Hayward three-piece suits worn by Michael Caine in his Get Carter period and – a personal favourite – a grey wool and camel hair overcoat inspired by the style the ultra-confident Jose Mourinho favoured when he was manager of Chelsea.
Other than discussing their projected purchases, Brooke finds that what most of his clients like to talk about during an in-office fitting is sport, and they could be well represented at Wentworth from May 23-26 when the BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event of the European golf tour, reaches its climax. The tournament seems tailor-made for the stylish Luke Donald, who has been successful for the past two years but has yet to win a Major. He can be backed at 26-1 on Betfair to remedy that omission in the 2013 Open at Muirfield, and punters can always lay him back on the exchanges if his odds contract between now and July.