Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


ALL BRITAIN is abuzz with the sartorial style of Benedict Cumberbatch of BBC’s Sherlock. This prompted yesterday’s examination of the real sartorial Holmes ( and today’s followup on Mr. Cumberbatch.

Given that the Sherlock series takes place in the 21th century, it’s not surprising that cell phones, GPS and other gizmos make regular appearances. As an aside, I’m amused with the Green Hornet on SiriusXM “Radio Classics” when he asks his faithful valet Kato to “pull over at that drugstore so I can make a phone call.”

Yes, we all used to do that.

The British newspaper The Observer had an article by Polly Vernon titled “Sartorial style of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes points the way for British men.” See


Benedict Cumberbatch, left, and Martin Freeman star in BBC’s Sherlock. Image from BBC/Hartswood Films.

Vernon noted, “Cumberbatch’s version of Holmes’ style is entirely appropriate. It’s lean: completely without flounce or fancy, give or take the swirl on the coattails, a swirl which invokes ‘cape,’ without having to go as literal as, you know, actually being a cape.”


Benedict Cumberbatch’s style: fastidious, minimal, timeless. Image from BBC/Hartswood Films.

His coat, Vernon said, comes from the incoming collection of Belstaff, an English clothier with an interesting history. Founded in 1924, Belstaff made its reputation producing waterproof jackets for motorcyclists. It also sold gloves, goggles and other accessories for aviators of the era.

The company is now Italian-owned, though its English sporting heritage continues. See

According to Vernon, a waiting list for the Cumberbatch coat evolved by the time the Sherlock end credits rolled. If you’re into dressing “a little bit Sherlock,” know that his shirts are from Dolce & Gabbana,

To the best of my research, Dr. John H. Watson does not cite where the real Sherlock Holmes got his clothes. I suspect they were bespoke.

Also, in full disclosure, I should mention an opposing opinion that the evil Professor James Moriarty of BBC’s Sherlock is better dressed. See, a website called Fashion Moriarty—and yet other proof that modern British fashion is vibrant and entertaining.


Will the real Holmes and Watson please stand up? Both images are identified as by Sidney Paget (SP).

Last, I offer a solution to yesterday’s Case of the Mirrored Paget. Which is the real Paget portrait?

I deduce it’s the one on the right. Observe the left-over-right of Watson’s waistcoat. As added confirmation, this image is identified in William Baring-Gould’s The Annotated Sherlock Holmes as appearing in the Strand Magazine, September 1893.

The mirror image appears at a website on design, perhaps reversed (with a double-reversed SP!) to fit the author’s layout. No citation is made of the reversal. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2014

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