Rick Edwards on style: suede

Leather’s classier cousin may be a colossal pain to look after, but aficionados know it’s worth it

I like suede. I suspect that this is not a widely held fondness. I know it’s a bit 70s, but I don’t care. It feels good; it looks good; it’s regular leather’s classier cousin. However, it is a bastard to look after. Even more high maintenance than cashmere, which is saying something. Suede looks awful when it gets spotted with rain. It stains in seconds. It grazes – if that’s the right word – easily. That protective spray you can get always seems to change the colour, or make it blotchy. It’s bloody annoying.

All of these considerations mean that the window for wearing suede is narrow. You need to know when you step out of your front door that the weather is going to stay dry. Clearly that’s a rarity in the UK. And you don’t want to wear suede in hot weather because you will be a sweaty mess. So the corridor of opportunity is located in late spring. To be extra careful, maybe take a brolly everywhere with you, or one of those enormous transparent ponchos you buy for a tenner at festivals.

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