Winston Churchill: a British leader of style as well as substance

Opulent: after a bout of illness, Churchill greeted the world's military leaders in his dressing gown Credit: Bettmann

As Churchill again takes centre stage in new film Darkest Hour, Stephen Doig heads to his old tailor and discovers the  wartime leader’s sartorial secrets in the paperwork 

Of all the near mythic stories about Sir Winston Churchill – his wit, his steeliness, his leadership through some of the worst moments in British history – there’s a tale that perfectly encapsulates another aspect of his character: his sense of polish and appropriateness, clearly acquired at an early age.

When still a young student at Harrow, Churchill wrote to his mother requesting a list of essentials, with the terse instruction to send “breeches from Tautz” – a rather exacting specification from this precocious, though clearly well dressed, young man.  Churchill was referring to E Tautz, the now 151-year-old tailoring institution that would become a key contributor – along with the likes of Henry Poole, Turnbull & Asser...

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