Recently in London on a business trip. Below are my impressions. 1. I must agree with Markus on AAAC (who recently returned from Paris), by comparison, it is clear that Europeans, and certainly Englishman attach more importance to the subtlies of fine dress. The fearless and well-placed use of color were prominent (e.g., socks, ties, sweaters, pocket squares, boldly patterned odd jackets). I am not saying our cousins are peacocks, but from my brief experience, they are far more adept at texturizing, layering and splashing color through out their attire. 2. With obvious exceptions, American men dress "not to fail" rather than "to impress" or to show a detailed knowledge of the craft of sartorial excellence. Brooks has a marvelous history and brand, but compared to the English and Europeans, the style is boring and unimaginative. I say that with quite a few Trad pieces in my wardrobe. Ralph Lauren (with a beautiful shop on Bond Street) attempts to bridge this gap ... classic and more silhouette American cuts with innovated blasts of color. 3. Service was mixed. Depending on which outfitter I frequented, I came away with varied impressions on service. a. Turnbull & Asser. Staff was quite dismissive, bordering on ill-mannered. I do not need to discuss the quality of its wares - phenomenal. I was prepared to be quite generous in my purchases, but given the demeanor of one staff member in particular, I did a quick about face and left. Disappointing principally because T&A is, quite frankly, my favorite shop in NYC. b. Lobb. Surprisingly, the staff from Lobb (on St. James) was remarkably affable and courteous. I was likely jaded walking in based on my T&A experience. I'm not sure I agree with Esquire that Lobb is "The Most Beautiful Shop in the World," but it certainly is not far from the top. The wood paneling felt like a warm blanket. It seemed that at any moment the Duke of Windsor or Lord Byron would walk through the door - like a time machine. Unforgettable. c. Crocket & Jones. Similarly, the staff at Crockett & Jones were knowledgeable and courteous (disclosure - I did purchase a pair of suede Eatons, trees, etc., so maybe they were properly incented). We discussed leather, lasts and Lobb (very complimentary). There is a reason I have a wall of C&J's in my closet. d. Edward Green /Church's / J.M. Weston / Trickers / Fosters. Browsed through these shops ... E&G and Weston's shoes were breathtaking. e. TM Lewin. I have seen Jimmy Choo's shop in NYC before the opening of a sale, and while the crowd at Lewin lacked that level of aggressiveness, the activity inside was comparable. Everything, yes, everything was 50% off. 4 shirts for $170 (vs. Pink in NYC @1 for $140). I saw men and women leaving with luggage carts filled with shirts and ties. I entered with no intention of purchasing anything, but given the treatment at Turnbull, I walked out with a few bags myself. f. Pink, New & Lingwood, Harvie & Hudson, etc. Given the activity at Lewin, these shops were more subdued, but the quality of items was equally impressive. H&H were offering covert coats for $450 (off from $630). This might be my only regret in London ... I should have picked up one. New & Lingwood had exquisitely patterned shirts. g. James Smith / Brigg. I loved my experience at Smith - picked up a solid stick umbrella, dark polished wood, green cover (for brown shoes). The feeling at Smith was comparable to that at Lobb. At the other end of the spectrum, Swaine, Adeney & Brigg - see description of Turnbull & Asser. Very disappointing since I have a Brigg. h. Savile Row. Given that I enjoy being married, I took myself off the market for a bespoke suit (next visit, by hook or crook). Nonetheless, I did venture to The Row. Not surprisingly, as beehive-like as the rest of the high street shopping district was, Savile Row was sedate, even comatose. This tells you all you need to know about the selectivity of the clientele. I did browse Huntsman, Gieves & Hawkes, and Poole & Co. Similar ambience to Lobb, James Smith. Fabrics at Huntsman were otherworldly. I did visit other spots - Harrod's, which reminded me of an upscale Macy's; Cordings, fantastic country ambience in the city; Lock & Co. for hats - observed a stunning woman who rudely "distracted" me from the hats. I certainly intend to incorporate nuances from the English and Europeans. After what I have witnessed, I am not sure how or when NYC became "The fashion capital of the world,"- a title that certainly still resides in Europe (whether it is London, Paris or Milan). That said, the sloppiness that we complain about here in the States does exist abroad ... however, at the higher end of the sartorial spectrum, the Europeans are more smartly attired. -- Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance.