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Lock & Co

We spotted John from afar in his horn-rimmed glasses and dapper straw hat, but he says the hat was actually an accidental buy. Chatty and animated, he goes on to explain: “I walked into the store and saw this hat which I thought was quite nice, but I didn’t check the price and when I brought it to the counter I got a bit of a shock. I bought it anyway because it would have been too embarrassing to put it back, but I definitely wouldn’t have bought it if I had known how much it had cost.” The Englishman is prone to bouts of impulse and random buys, and says he’s sometimes gone shopping drunk and ended up buying more leather bags even though he has “loads”. Not that he doesn’t have good taste, however — he begins to speak passionately about his love for tailored, bespoke menswear and menswear brands he recommends. Take his shirt, for instance. “Boggi uses interesting fabrics, and the cuts are good.” We met John the day after he arrived in Singapore, although he seems to be adapting just fine — “I’m wearing flip-flops to fit in.” John works in the Royal Navy back in Britain, and so while he can’t personalise his uniform on work days, his job allows him to travel all over the world to pick up interesting things: “Silks in goa, cashmere in Oman, saffron and spices in old Dubai, wine and cheese in Sicily.” It sounds like a dream job, and even though he is oftentimes away from his family, he is able to separate life and work with ease. “I think we’re lucky in my profession, that you’re either busy and away at sea, or working a shore job and seeing lots of your family. It definitely makes it easier to separate work from family life. I keep a house by the beach for the weekends which is a great getaway.”

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