Never mind Sam Riley, the brooding, handsome chap in the new Burberry adverts (nicely profiled here) in his faux-military coat with his lily-liveried, on-page girlfriend. For me, he is very thoroughly trounced by the wartime pin-up above.
Starring in a ‘Service Knitwear in Lavenda and Poplar’ leaflet from about 1942, he is the real thing. And so is the headwear. So much more robust than the silly little caps perching on heads like Beckham’s these days.
The particular pattern he is modelling is imaginatively entitled ‘Cap’. Other patterns to knit for the serviceman of your choice include: Socks with Dutch Heels, “Sea Boot” stockings and of course the ultimate hair flattener – the Balaclava Helmet.
Sadly, for me, the clichés about men in uniforms ring true. What’s not to like: grand fabrics, tassels, tasteful colours, crisp tailoring, camouflage, proper linings, shiny buttons, sharp creases, and ribbons.
Even better, though, to combine a crisply tailored uniform with a very obviously hand-knitted accessory. Sublime AND ridiculous.