Jim Flynn is a humorist, writer and novelist. He is available for speaking engagements. To contact email: email@example.com
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When I was 58 years old I cancelled my Wall Street Journal subscription and subscribed to The Financial Times of London. I thought it would make me more worldly, there was a dynamite Introductory Rate for six months, and I could always steal someone else in the office's Wall Street Journal on a given day. Two things I learned:
1 ) British high fashion models are way more anorexic, androgynous, world weary, and pissed-off pouty than their U.S. counterparts. The Financial Times has a fashion page every Friday, and it always made me laugh. These models were apparently not happy that other people were looking at them! This is a gap the American fashion industry has to address if we're going to be competitive on the world stage.
2 ) Embarrassing to admit, I didn't know what the word "Bespoke" meant. It's not a word you encounter often in U.S. media, certainly not in the Wall Street Journal. You cannot avoid Bespoke while reading The Financial Times, it's there every day.
Ok, ok, I know you know what it means, but for those few who don't, I found out it means "custom made," as in "James Bond wore bespoke Saville Row suits."
Maybe I didn't know because I never considered paying up for a custom made suit. I worked at IBM, then in the financial business, so I wore a suit to work pretty much every day for over 40 years, and I learned: I have the ability to put on an expensive suit, and after one hour, look as though I slept under a bridge in a rainstorm.
I bring it up because the above photo shows me proudly wearing a Bespoke Hawaiian shirt, made as a birthday surprise by my daughter Megan, a talented seamstress. She got the fabric on a trip to Hawaii and it's great! The Real Deal. I can't wait to show it off to the guys I play golf with. Then again, it's really too good for that riff-raff, they probably don't know Bespoke when they see it, so maybe I'll just wear it when I give talks about my books.
After six months I cancelled my Financial Times subscription and went back to the Wall Street Journal. Unintended benefit: I got a two-year new subscriber rate, at a 90% discount!