Thursday, September 2, 2010

Man Clean

I got the call early this morning. R, from Beaune, cheerfully reminding me that Friday will be one week until my departure. Don't forget, he said, bring coffee-- down to the last 3 cans, and the rest of the stuff we had discussed. "Can't wait for you to get here." After a series of his mates from London in town, and a week long business trip to Istanbul, he is doing laundry, and the workmen are coming soon to look at a piece of the roof, and did I mention, we are almost out of coffee?
And, he added, the house is Man Clean. Full Stop. On top of months of dust, this means that the floor is essentially clear of debris, but beyond that, who knows? We live in a town with a wine store on every corner. Around the corner is an Anglo-style pub that is open til 4 or 5 in the morning and gets rocking around 3am; when the boys come to town they party and drink wine. I do not want to paint R as an invalid because he is not, at all. But as I hung up the phone, I put a box of these in the "to be packed" pile:
I am sure I will need them!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I changed my bed linens for the cooler weather; a vintage French linen sheet that is soft yet weighty and perfect for the almost-Fall weather with a blanket on top; here is the turn-down:
this is a homespun French linen sheet, with central hand-sewnseam, but while it has weight it is also soft & cool to the touch; the hand-sewn mono has a contrasting thread over the letters:

While digging through the linen closet, I found several French men's shirts. Shirts of Men Who Would Never Clean House; Shirts of Men Who Do Not Man-Clean. Shirts of Men Who Have Their NightShirts Monogrammed in red petit croix:

This would be a shirt that Mister Bennett would wear:
Entirely hand-sewn and made of linen. Brut, Tres Masculin. Gathered cuff detail with hand-sewn button holes:

the yoke at the back is also gathered and sewn; the collar is in fine cotton: I did not get an overall shot for some reason, but the shirt has a split, vented side, with the back panel longer, and to prevent it from tearing it has this detail at the joint: I find this detail fascinating!

Also in my collection, this fine French cotton night shirt:
I think the lace is hand-made, as well as the ladderwork:

the stitching is by hand:
and the collar is exquisite;
here the yoke, the collar falls on top of it:Certainly a night-shirt worthy of Mister Darcy!
Which Mister Darcy to you prefer? While I love Colin Firth, this one will do just fine and will look lovely but manly in the lace-y chemise de nuit! Who can forget this Keira Knightly closing scene? Loved it!
from the back, the collar detail is equally fine:
I have never shown these to R, he might want to wear them. Thankfully his preference is for Chinese house coats and Moroccan slippers. Just a little reminder perhaps of an earlier time, before men were allowed or expected to clean!


  1. Hi Andrea! I will be in Laguna Beach next weekend (Sept. 11) and was going to stop by the Corona Del Mar Farmer's Market. It looks as if you will be traveling but will you have someone manning your goods for you? I'm still interested in a market basket similar to the Aix or Bandol. Thanks!

  2. Oh those shirts! I am FROTHING at the mouth. To die for. I actually would wear either one of these ~yes, in public.
    Oh and for the record, Colin Firth over Matthew Macfadyen on any day. :)

  3. I have a bunch of vintage French ladies chemises and a jupe or two that I will get out one day soon...