The cult of the gilet

Last summer I attended a reunion at my prep school. The occasion was the leaving of a much-loved master. I thought that the appropriate thing to wear would be a tweed jacket in honour of prep-school masters everywhere. I found myself woefully overdressed. Pretty much all of my contemporaries were wearing gilets. It was a similar story this year at the Fortnum & Mason awards, the Oscars of the British food and drink scene. I wore a suit, but it seemed as if every other guest was casually sporting a gilet. When I was growing up the only people who wore gilets were fishermen, farmers and Michael J. Fox in