Style | The Aesthete

The Earl of March talks personal style

The Earl of March is the driving force behind Goodwood events, from Glorious to Vintage via the Festival of Speed.

November 02 2010
Maria Shollenbarger

My personal style signifier is a shortish overcoat. Or a rather long jacket. I have several. I’ve got a kind of thing about these short overcoats, which my tailor, Terry Haste, makes for me. You can’t wear a jacket under them, as they’re quite fitted. 13 New Burlington Street, London W1 (020-7734 1433).

The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of black leather lace-up boots from [John] Lobb. They made them for me; I’d been thinking about them for a while. 9 St James’s Street, London SW1 (020-7930 3664;

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a quite interesting little compact camera, the Panasonic DMC-GF1. I used to be a photographer in my past life, so I’ve always got my eye out for cameras. From £679.99.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. I was there in April for the speed trials, with all sorts of drag-race cars. The event was amazing, but also the place. It’s like a different planet, especially at night; it’s quite lunar. It’s very American as well, and I love America.

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a 1929 Ford pick-up, which I found on that same trip. It’s just mad. I saw this rat rod out on the salt, and my kids and I fell in love with it. It looks like it’s been pulled out of a pond – all rusty, no mudguards, fabulous. It’s amazing it’s legal. Everyone piles in the back and we go for lunch.

The people I rely on for grooming and style include Hari, of Hari’s in Chelsea. He himself has cut my hair for about 25 years. Then John Lobb for shoes, and Lee at Texas Traditions, in Austin, for cowboy boots. And my daughters are my style consultants; always reliable, with candid opinons. Such as, “That shirt is crap, Dad; do something about it.” Hari’s, 305 Brompton Road, London SW3 (020-7581 5211; Texas Traditions, 2222 College Avenue, Austin, TX 78704 (+1512-443 4447).

My favourite room is the small library here at Goodwood. It has books on three walls, and is all windows on the fourth. It looks into the garden, with a wrought-iron balcony. I’ve got Napoleon’s Waterloo campaign chair in there, and a great sound system. It’s where I work at night, so it’s really my room.

The last music I downloaded was by Jimmie Vaughan, who’s an amazing American Blues guitarist. I met him in Texas some time ago, and then we brought him over for the Festival of Speed. And we got to know him a bit, which was a pleasure.

The book on my bedside table is Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. It’s just sitting there, though. I haven’t read it for years. It’s one of those books that changes your life at 19 and, of course, it made me want to be an architect. It sits there and slightly winks at me. There’s also Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and Collapse by Jared Diamond.

In my fridge you’ll always find a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and Grenada chocolate from Rococo in London – it’s absolutely the best, proper dark chocolate. I don’t know about staples – milk or eggs. I’m not looking for eggs when I go to the fridge, I’m looking for champagne and chocolate.

The best gift I’ve given recently was a pair of earrings with black pearls and Egyptian cobras, for my wife from Theo Fennell. He’s a friend and has made stuff for us in the past, but these were from one of his newer collections. £4,500, 169 Fulham Road, London SW3 (020-7591 5000; and branch/stockists.

And the best one I’ve received recently was a special-edition Fender Telecaster. They supplied guitars for the Festival of Speed and gave us guitars to auction too. I was thrilled. I don’t play, but my 10-year-old, Freddie, is proving to be quite good. So he gets to have it one day.

My favourite website is Apple’s. All of it – iTunes, the downloading options – is genius. It all fits together, and the overall experience is annoyingly brilliant. And all designed by an Englishman [Jonathan Ive], no less.