Fredrik Stéen- Me and My Budd
All stories have a beginning; be they mine, yours or those of fairy tales. My own story started with a pair of green pumps at the age of three. Do you remember when your own style story began? It doesn’t really matter when your adventure started, what we do know is that we share the same passion and appreciation for beautiful, subtle and authentic sartorial classics.
Fredrik Stéen wearing his Budd Stripe dressing gown.
Similar to the moment that as a three year old, I held my grandmother’s hand and stared longingly at those shimmering green pumps through the shop window, is the experience that I, alongside so many people from all corners of the world have today, when I travel to Budd’s little shop in Piccadilly Arcade.
Standing in front of the shop’s windows, eyes dance around at the goods within, regardless of the season. Most magical of all and just around the corner, is Christmas time. Bright eyes, rosy cheeks, convivial conversation and friendly greetings are exchanged when the doorbell sounds as another visitor enters the Pandora´s box that is Budd Shirtmakers.
The Autumn and the twinkly candlelight of the weeks ahead does not just mean that the cosy darkness of the period embraces us, it also means that the Black and White tie season is upon us. Whether you are reading this post from Asia, Europe, America or Australia you will of course be able to find dress shirts in the most well-stocked stores in your own Capital. But dear friends, we are a particular group with higher requirements and expectations than your average gentleman. We seek perfection. It is in this quest, that I always make pilgrimage to my favourite store in London and kit myself out with the best accessories for the forthcoming season.
My Budd Essentials for the party season, are their Stiff bib neckband dress shirts with a stiff wing Carlton dress collar, a white tie Marcella waistcoat and a sized white Marcella Batswing bowtie. Whether I’m attending a ball or my own nuptials, these are my fail safe and preferred options, their elegance impeccable.
Fredrik Stéen wearing his Budd essentials at his recent nuptials.
Autumn finds me travelling a lot. I find that there is nothing nicer than waking up in a hotel or guest room, pulling the blinds back and having a good stretch as the sun touches my face. I then like to sit down for a leisurely breakfast in a luxurious pair of pyjamas and dressing gown. Slippers are an oft overlooked treat; at home, a pair of Albert slippers awaits patiently by my bed, but when travelling, I always ensure that I pack my deerskin and suede grecian slippers into my case.
Regardless of whether you are having breakfast at Le Bristol in Paris, as a guest at a friend’s country house, or within the confines of your own home, I think that it is always nice to start the day as well dressed as you can possibly be for that moment; a dressing gown is essential to me for this. Budd carries both of the aforementioned items of nightwear. Pyjamas and Dressing Gowns. Customers can choose between classic, conservative tones or go a little wild and match their colours and patterns to their mood. My personal and well worn favorites when it comes to nightclothes, are my poplin pyjamas in sky together with the my Budd house stripe cotton dressing gown in navy and white. The ultimate, sleepwear of my dreams however, would have to be a pair of navy silk pyjamas, with a burgundy wool dressing gown worn over the top. The fact that I can now order gowns to measure, selecting trim and cloth combinations to my heart’s desire is both good news and bad!
Beyond relaxing in nightwear and the fun of black and white tie events that come with the increasingly Wintery months, Autumn also means that it is reluctantly time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work. Irrespective of whether you are a hardworking banker or student, I find that the intensity of our daily wardrobe increases. In order to start the day in the best possible way, I like to work from the bottom up, namely with a visit to a well stocked sock drawer. Knowing that I am quite literally putting my best foot forward, gives way to a clearer headspace.
So, let’s get together and make an early New Year’s resolution, or even just an Autumn promise: Put your hand on your heart and repeat after me “This Autumn, I promise to be a healthier person. I will start the season with the best conditions possible and pledge to clean out my sock drawer!”. Once you have succeeded in the odious task of sorting out your odd and colorless socks, it is then time to refill the drawer with beautiful knits, qualities and colours, to ensure you start the day with a spring in your step!
In order to get in great physical shape for the summer of 2019, the Autumn/Winter months will need to include some training. For that, short cotton socks are a great companion. I think of these as a good, casual option, whereas during the working day time you are best advised to opt for half hose socks in wool. For magical night times, when the music starts playing and the floor is filled with dancing feet, it is time for the crown jewels of hosiery, a pair of long, ribbed silk socks.
Just like the three-year-old boy happily walking down the street with a shoebox under one arm and his grandmother’s hand held by the other, I implore all of you, whether you be new to a different length of sock, have your heart set on a special dressing gown or just want to embrace true, classic style, stand proud and decide that this is the year you will take the plunge. Dare to live your sartorial dreams and keep in mind that style is never a matter of money. If is the sum of your choices.
Until next time, remember to live, laugh and love as much as you possibly can!
All the best,
Fredrik Lilliestråle Stéen
Fredrik Stéen has been a Budd customer for over a decade. Followers of Budd on Instagram may have seen his regular posts in recent years, where he captures himself beautifully turned out in black and white evening attire, business dress and most often of all, his Budd stripe dressing gown. He is founder of Swedish menswear and lifestyle podcast, Stilsamtalet (The Style Conversation) and runs the instagram account @stilsamtalet.
Born in Bergslagen, Sweden, Fredrik is proud to have grown up in the most beautiful part of the country. He initially began his professional life as a chef and sommelier, soon realising however, that he preferred to be on the other side of the bar and kitchen. Beyond the world of culinary delights, Fredrik’s burning interests have long been in style, beautiful clothes and meeting new people. It is little surprise therefore that he founded his podcast. Today he combines recording his show, together with lecturing on style and behaviour and writing his first book on the subject.
Fredrik is a veteran of the Swedish Armed Forces and served two tours of duty overseas, in Afghanistan and Chad/Central African Republic. Amongst his busy schedule, he devotes part of his time to working as a recruiter for the Life Regiment Hussars.