The fascinating world of butlers
The word ‘butler’ probably conjures up images of old world luxury and Downtown Abbey-esque scenes… However, this fascinating trade is still very much alive. I got a chance to see what being a butler in modern times means when I visited the butler school Hertsberge in Brugge some weeks ago.
Vincent Vermeulen, the owner of the butler school, and myself are no strangers. As a fan of Butch Tailors he asked me if I would like to visit the butler school and talk to the students about how to keep your clothes looking their best. The world of butlers has fascinated me for years, so my answer was an obvious ‘yes’… and boy, was it an experience.
Modern day butler
The butler school is located in the truly superb and scenic surroundings of Brugge. On these beautiful grounds students learn all the skills and techniques needed to be the best butler they can. You might be surprised to hear it, but a butler is still very relevant in today’s society. There are probably a few million butlers operating around the world today.
Search for perfection
The present job description of a modern butler is quite expansive, simply because there are a lot of chores when it comes to managing a wealthy estate. This includes: overseeing the housekeeping staff, being a concierge, a valet, wine cellar manager, party host and organizer and sometimes even just a loyal friend to the boss. I admire butlers for their loyalty, flexibility, discreteness, honesty and their ongoing search for perfection – a trait we have in common…
Looked after clothing
Of course, clothing for a butler is of utmost importance. A typical dark coloured (as you know, midnight blue tones are my favourite) suit is preferred as a uniform, it shows knowledge and expertise and says a lot about the butlers honour. Being classy and stylish is one essential point, another one is having clean and looked after clothing. I very much enjoyed teaching the students about how to keep their suits looking fresh. My number one tip? Brush and air your suit after each wear.
Until next time,