Thierry Stravers Gentleman Franc-Maçon gentleman blog Freemasons Dutch regalia maçonniek Freemasonry Loge Benelux

We have already spoken at length about the pinstripe and lime stripe, but what about other well-known fabric patterns for a (tailor-made) suit? Apart from the striped suits, there are of course the plain fabrics, which do not need any additional explanation as far as the motif is concerned, because it is not there. But there are other common variants. We discuss the most well-known ones here.

The Glen Plaid, or Prince of Wales (Prince de Galles)

The name of the fabric comes from 'Glen Urquhart plaid', also known as the 'Glenurquhart check'. Also known on the mainland as the 'Prince de Galles' or 'Prince of Wales' check. Its origins can be found in the Glenurquhart Valley in Inverness-shire, Scotland. The motif became popular with the Duke of Windsor when he was Prince of Wales, which explains the other name. In other words, we can say that it is not a Welsh pattern, but truly Scottish.

It is (mostly) a woolen fabric, with a woven pattern of overlapping large and small checks. The pattern is best described as 2 dark and 2 light stripes alternating with 4 dark and 4 light stripes.
This gives a diamond pattern of irregular squares. Usually, in the most classic form, a black and white combination of yarns is used, which gives it a grey appearance. In exceptional cases, a red, green or blue yarn is incorporated, which draws a larger but subtle diamond in the pattern.

President Ronald Reagan was considered un-presidential in a grey-blue Glen plaid during a European trip in 1982. And Cary Grant wore the iconic suit in the 1959 American spy-thriller 'North by Northwest'.

The 'Bird's Eye', also called 'œil de perdrix'.

I do not know what the correct Dutch name is, and it is also very difficult to find. The pattern looks like small diamonds or bird-eyes because of the very repetitive weaving method. Originally in cotton or linen, it is a very strong fabric, and therefore mainly used in men's clothes.

Perfect for formal wear, especially in summer. This is because the fabric can be made very light and therefore has a fine breathability. The cotton variant in particular is perfect for a spring or summer suit.

You can easily clean the fabric with an ordinary clothes brush and some steam to remove the creases. However, you should always hang the suit or jacket on a good hanger, especially the looser varieties, to ensure that the shape is preserved.


The Cock's Foot: "Pied-de-Poule" or "Houndstooth".

The motif consists of broken diamonds, or abstract quadrangular shapes. Classically made in black and white, but also very beautiful in other colours. If one has a very fine small version of the 'houndstooth', it is called a puppy-tooth. The French name is inspired by the imprint of a bird's foot. The method of weaving makes it a very strong fabric.

The pied de poule motif first appeared in the West in the 1930s. In the Netherlands, pied de poule is called hound's-tooth or windmill motif, in England it is called hound's-tooth, cock's-tread or crow's-foot design and in Germany it is called Hahnenschritt.

The motif is introduced during the weaving process by means of a twill weave* in combination with a certain sequence of colours in the warp and weft threads.

Edward VIII of the United Kingdom often wore suits with this motif, which quickly increased its popularity.



The herringbone pattern dates back to the Roman Empire, where it was used in buildings and roads. This interlocking paving system is built on a base of crushed stone, which cleverly absorbs the pressure of traffic and footsteps, making it extremely stable and durable.

This innovative way of creating roads was revolutionary because cultivating a powerful infrastructure of Roman roads was vital for the preservation and development of the Roman state.

Herringbone can also be traced back to ancient Egyptian jewellery worn by the elite.
However, the earliest herringbone fabrics were found in ancient Italy. How appropriate that herringbone is now an essential fabric used in the making of menswear! This distinctive fabric design also found its way into historic Irish textiles, which were often used in rustic tweed suits.

The herringbone pattern, usually in will, is very popular for suits and "outerwear".
We find the pattern frequently in Tweed, for example.

The classic windowpane

Just like the English origins of the brands that made it their leitmotif, the tartan, or rather the
sees the beginning of its history in Scotland. The endless combinations of warp and weft of this woollen fabric gave life to the colours of the clans that made up Scottish society in the sixteenth century and to their traditional kilts.
It then became the uniform of official occasions under the reign of King George IV in 1822, but no one could have imagined how far this vicar would go.

The windowpane has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, especially among younger suit wearers.
The big advantage is that the windowpane makes a skinny man look a bit firmer, and the heavier man look a bit slimmer.

The pattern is also very versatile in its combinations, and even if you are colour-blind you can always get away with it. They are usually not perfect squares, but rather rectangles. So they are slightly longer than wide. This enhances the optical effect, by the way.


Raphaël van den Poel, former fashion consultant of Scapa, Reinhard Frans and Atelier NA tailored suits,
writes our weekly blog on gentleman matters. He writes for MYX Magazine, a Flemish luxury lifestyle platform.
He also has his own blog which you can read here:

Raphaël van den Poel
The Belgian Dandy


Thierry Stravers Gentleman Franc-Maçon gentleman blog Freemasons Dutch regalia maçonniek Freemasonry Loge Benelux

Everyone knows it, the 'Aviator', the ultimate classic aviator glasses. Iconic Americana, widely copied but never equalled. A favourite of film heroes both on and off the set, it is still the first choice of many pilots worldwide. Well, a new icon is born. Inspired by this timelessly cool 'Aviator', we get 'The General',
Uncompromising, tough... and certainly shameless. A classic revised for the 21ste century.
The General' reinforces the classic lines of the Aviator for a sharper silhouette that perfectly reflects its retro confidence. A bold iconic model. Refreshing too. With 'The General', every outfit is instantly classic, just like the shape that inspired it. But wear it subtly, to embellish e.g. a white t-shirt and jeans. Or wear it tough with a khaki green cardigan and bottoms, then you suddenly have the look that is just as strong as the shape of the glasses.
The General's solid, rugged design deliberately has a military look. This is also reinforced by the double bridge, which of course is reminiscent of the original Aviator. However, it makes a statement in its own right. It's retro yet modern, and doesn't grab your attention, it just asks for it!
Created in 1987 as an ode to General Douglas MacArthur, it has recently been redesigned in a more modern, up-to-date version. Available in a range of colours, frames in shiny or matt, there is always a model to suit everyone. Whether as normal glasses with optical lenses, or as sunglasses.
The frame is available in classic black, military green, or copper colour. The lenses are even available in 8 colours. No matter which combination you choose, there is always a nice version for you. See also:

Douglas MacArthur,
born January 26, 1880 in Little Rock, Arkansas, US and died April 5, 1964 in Washington, D.C., was an American general who commanded American troops during World War II in the Southwest Pacific, commanded Japan after the war during the subsequent occupation and led United Nations troops during the first nine months of the Korean War. In 1944, he was awarded the rank of General with five stars as distinguishing marks, one of only five American five-star generals and one of only eight men to hold that title. Although MacArthur's character was controversial, he possessed exceptional leadership skills.
Apart from being considered a style icon, he was also a very charismatic man with many qualities. He is still praised for his keen strategic insight.

Freemason .˙.
General Douglas MacArthur was, by great exception, exalted as Master Mason (Mason-at-Sight) by Samuel Hawthorne,
Grand Master of the Phillipines on 17 January 1936 and thus attached to Manila Lodge No. 1. He received the 32nd Degree of the AASR, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Manila. That same year, on 8 December 1947, he received the 33rd Degree of Honour at the American Embassy in Tokyo.
He was also Shriner at the Nile Shrine Temple in Seattle.

About Ray-Ban

Ray-Ban is originally a sunglasses brand, founded in 1937 by the American company Bausch & Lomb. The brand is best known for its Wayfarer and Aviator models. Classics that have not become obsolete since the brand was founded. Bausch & Lomb lenses also enjoy worldwide appreciation and recognition for their quality.
Throughout its 80-plus year history, Ray-Ban has pioneered the music and arts, enhancing celebrity culture and creating the power that rock and film stars wield over global fashion. From James Dean to Audrey Hepburn to Michael Jackson, Ray-Ban has proved indispensable to cultural icons who don't want to be seen - but do want to stand out. So it is fair to say that Ray-Ban has undeniably left, and continues to leave, a strong mark on cultural history.
More information on

Raphaël van den Poel, former fashion consultant of Scapa, Reinhard Frans and Atelier NA tailored suits,
writes our weekly blog on gentleman matters. He writes for MYX Magazine, a Flemish luxury lifestyle platform.
He also has his own blog which you can read here:

Raphaël van den Poel
The Belgian Dandy

Every gentleman has a few pairs of good-looking and especially decent dress shoes. Most likely these have been a sound investment, and as we all know, investments need to be protected. Beautiful polished shoes do not only complete your wardrobe, but maintenance also extends the life span of your favourite pair of footwear.

For many it is a necessary evil, but you can also make it a weekly or fortnightly ritual.
You will notice that after a few times it will be a real pleasure. A nicely polished and well maintained shoe also has to do with self-respect. Leather is an organic substance, just like human skin. If you let it dry out, it will wear faster and get ugly creases and cracks.
Therefore, use the best products you can afford for maintenance, i.e. of natural origin.

  • Your good shoes deserve cedar wood shoe trees. Not only do they ensure that the shoe keeps its shape after wearing, because they dry 'in shape', but the wood also has a drying and deodorising effect. It will not only absorb sweat, but also acids and salt.
    Always put the shoe trees in the shoes immediately after wearing them.
  • If you do not have shoe trees, you can stuff the shoe with newspaper before polishing. This keeps them in shape.
  • Cover your work surface in advance with old newspaper. Polishing shoes can be a dirty job.
  • Decide in advance whether you are going to use a brush or an old T-shirt. For polishing, the brush is best, for in between I personally prefer a t-shirt. This gives more feeling with the leather and the shoe.
  • Use a lint-free soft cloth for the final finish.
  • As mentioned before, use natural products as much as possible. Products based on beeswax are preferred. They are slightly more expensive but well worth the money. And they smell better too! Dried-out crumbly shoe cream is a no-no.
  • Make sure you have all the products and the right colours ready before you start. I also recommend that you treat several pairs at a time.
    This will get rid of them all at once and also save you time.
  • You can obtain extra gloss after all the steps by rubbing the leather with an old nylon stocking. Be careful not to do this on the creases or they may get a crackled effect from the extra shine afterwards. So only on the nose and contre-fort, the heel piece.
  • When applying the coloured wax or cream, never forget to apply it to the sides of the soles. Pay special attention to the front, and don't forget the heel. The heel is a weak point for many men: driving a car makes the heels dull and grey due to the position of the foot, especially the right one, on the accelerator.

First of all: Clean up!

Before you start polishing your shoes, they should of course be cleaned thoroughly. First brush all the coarse dirt off the shoes.
Don't forget to do the seams as well as the edge where the leather is attached to the sole. This can be done with a toothbrush.

Dust, mud, salt and other accumulated dirt have no chance of being fixed by the new polish and/or wax to be applied. Any remaining grains of sand could also scratch the surface when you apply new coats. This is also the time to remove the laces from the shoes. You protect them and avoid getting shoe polish on them, which will give you dirty hands when you tie the shoes afterwards.

Stubborn dirt can best be wiped off with a damp cloth, and in case there are already too many old wax layers on the surface, you can use an adapted 'cleanser'. This lotion, which is adapted to each individual, also ensures that the pores open up again. As a result, the new layer of cream will penetrate the leather more easily. Then let the shoes dry for at least 10 minutes.

Step 2: Feeding.

After thorough cleaning, which in any case, together with wearing the shoes, has put a strain on them, we need to nourish the leather again. Gently rub the nourishing lotion or cream into the leather in not too large quantities. You can do this with a brush or, as I do, a soft cotton cloth such as an old t-shirt. Rub in small circles until completely absorbed. This will ensure that the leather gets a rejuvenating cure, as it were. The perfect good basis. Let this also soak in for about 10 minutes. Make sure that no residue is left on the leather.
Everything has to be spread nicely and evenly over the whole shoe.

Step 3: Brushing out

After the lotion or cream has rested and been absorbed, the shoes should be brushed out for the first time. Preferably use a soft brush with horsehair. It is sufficient to brush briefly and firmly over the entire shoe. You will notice that the natural products already make the leather shine.

Step 4: Shoe polish and/or wax!

With a soft brush, or like me, a soft cloth, we now gently but thoroughly rub the coloured cream into the leather on the shoes.
Make sure that everything is applied evenly and that no thicker stripes are left behind. They are difficult to remove once they have dried.

A cream is easier to apply than a wax, which is harder by nature. The main advantage of a wax is the extra protection and shine afterwards. A combination of both is also possible. If necessary, use a cotton bud for places that are difficult to reach, such as the seams and where the sole is attached to the shoe. Here you can be quite generous.

Leave the cream or wax to penetrate for at least 15 minutes. This will allow it to set in and on the leather.

The final step

Take your horsehair brush and brush the entire shoe to the desired shine. If you want, you can rub in a little more and polish again. Tastes differ, of course. It is a fact that several thin layers are better and more beautiful than one thick layer.
The polishing itself is done with short, quick strokes. Because of the heat that is generated during this process, the products will be absorbed better into the leather. Now put the laces back in, and you have a pair of shoes worthy of a gentleman again!




Raphaël van den Poel, former fashion consultant of Scapa, Reinhard Frans and Atelier NA tailored suits,
writes our weekly blog on gentleman matters. He writes for MYX Magazine, a Flemish luxury lifestyle platform.
He also has his own blog which you can read here:

Raphaël van den Poel
The Belgian Dandy