In the 1950s my gear for ‘going up West’ in London consisted of green corduroy trousers with turn-ups; a second hand Gieves striped collarless shirt worn with a starched white collar and collar studs; a Paisley-pattern bow-tie (self-tied not clip-on); and my school pull-over. I wore round NHS spectacles with sprung stainless steel ear-pierces that fitted behind the lug-holes. And a Brylcreemed short-back-and-sides.
"Clothes shop"s (for the young working man or woman) had yet to be invented!
Although my style might seem like something from Monty Python now, it was outrageously head-turning in those days, when the only respectable outfit for a young man to wear “out of the house” when not working was a single-breasted grey suit from Burton’s. Or grey flannels and a Fairisle pullover for informal wear.
Few could afford one. And in the 1950s there was nowhere to go except the flicks or the dance hall, the Palais De Danse.
Next came the Teddy-boy style that was the prelude to today’s modern world of postwar masculine fashion.
I also remember visiting London’s first postwar coffée shop just after it opened. It was on Hammersmith Broadway and was called Heaven and Hell. Heaven was at street level, and Hell was in the basement. It boasted the first American juke-boxes.