Classic Luggage

Tube Etiquette Posted on 2 Dec 10:48

There are many silent rules be known to a local Londoner that tourists find hard to fathom. During my last trip to London I was witness to tube etiquette first hand and so asked my local LONDON team for insight into the discreet yet fundamental rules of the underground. 


Here they are: 

  1. Don’t look anybody in the eye. If you do they will think you are a serial killer.
  2. Don’t smile. If you do they will think you are a sociopath.
  3. Don’t talk to anyone under any circumstance.
  4. If you feel ill do not pull the red emergency handle but quietly wait until the next stop before tumbling off train and vomiting silently into a paper bag. 
  5. If you are lucky enough to have a seat you must look up if new people enter a carriage and check to see if they are in a greater need of that said lucky seat. (Elderly, infirm, pregnant, child) Then offer your seat graciously and discreetly (nobody likes a hero). If your offer is refused then say you are “getting off at the next stop and apologize profusely” even if this is untrue and get up immediately. Be sure to mumble and look at your shoes in case someone thinks you are a sociopath. 
  6. Don’t lean on the doors it causes delays.
  7. Stand to right of the escalator.
  8. If you stand on the left you will get pushed up to the top with no consideration whatsoever of your own personal stamina.
  9. If you have a contactless bank card you need to use this by tapping on the yellow circle at the gate - make sure you tap in and out with the same card or you get over charged. 
  10. Have said card out and ready to tap at the gate or you will hear a lot of discreet “tutting” from angry commuters behind you. 
  11. There will be delays. They enjoy communicating these delays on a regular basis. After they list these delays (all but three lines are not mentioned) they cheerily add at the end “all other underground lines are offering a good service” 


A Guide to Dressing for Black Tie Posted on 7 Nov 14:15

As winter approaches and festivities are around the corner, the party invites will start to arrive, and many will require a dress code. If you’re heading to a black tie event this year then it is time to start thinking about your outfit – and you’re in luck, as Sterling & Burke turn to Budd for their expert advice.

Budd produces a striking array of fine quality pieces which will have you turning heads. Below is a guide to all of the elements you may require for the perfect black tie evening wear.


Firstly, you need to start with a dress shirt. A classic Marcella dress shirt is a perfect choice, in either plain or pleated - depending on your personal preference. White is a staple colour, but Budd also stocks a cream alternative in cotton or luxurious silk for a vintage impression. Marcella is usually stocked in a variety of collars; however, wing collars tend to be for white tie.

marcella black tie shirt

If you’re looking to add some individuality, then you may want to select some flamboyant dress studs and cufflinks available in sterling silver and cloisonne enamel, mother of pearl or precious stones.

Traditionally your tuxedo will consist of a black or deep blue dinner jacket with silk lapels and matching trousers. You may also opt for a smoking jacket in silk or velvet – but stick to rich, dark hues for this time of year. Pair your suit with black socks and dress shoes. Perhaps consider a shoeshine beforehand to ensure you look polished from head to toe.

Black tie requires a silk bow tie – in modern-day, many will don a colorful or patterned bow – however, it’s called ‘black tie’ for a reason. A Barathea will sit wonderfully with a Marcella dress shirt, it’s then your decision whether you purchase a self-tie or ready made.

black bow tieDon’t forget the accessories. Cummerbunds and braces are optional but are added detail guaranteed to smarten your look. Finally, add a pocket square – typically white, to complete the outfit.


black tie accessories

Get Your Downton On Posted on 18 Sep 11:41

To truly immerse yourself in to the world of Downton Abbey, proper dress code is required. The standard dinner code is white tie, precisely tailored.


If you are in the United States, looking for white tie dress, your options may be slim to none. For that matter, sophisticated and proper black tie may be almost as difficult to come by. Enter Sterling & Burke, your premier destination for Budd's formalwear. Refined and revered for over 100 years, they are the go to for black and white tie formal attire.


budd black tie

We personally appreciate the black or white tie code, there is no question or ambiguity. Shopping with Sterling & Burke you'll look your best and be able to wear these items for years to come. 


The traditional evening suit (black or dark blue with silk lapel facings and silk braid down the trouser leg), white dress shirt, plain oxford shoes (often patent leather) and black silk bow tie (preferably self-tied rather than pre-tied) is the default. However, there is room for adding color.

Now, with our growing selection of Budd formalwear, Sterling & Burke will be able to properly outfit you for your next black or white tie event. A personally selected package including shirting and the best accessories of your choosing, cufflinks & studs, bow ties, braces, silk scarves, and socks. A visiting tailor may even be of assistance with the suiting.


Evening shirts can be kept simple; Budd's tailored marcella shirt is a favorite, but you may prefer a pleated front.

budd marcella black tie shirt


You can add personality and interest with color, an excellent selection of sockspocket squares and cufflinks.

Shop Budd's Black Tie and Formalwear here.

Ghurka Leather Goods Posted on 1 Nov 16:25

We have had the pleasure of selling Ghurka leather goods for some time now, and enjoy the history and craftsmanship that the brand provides. 


It's hard to miss with a Ghurka leather business accessory - a classic Docket No 7 Portfolio or Examiner business bag, the same style your father carried, that breaks in with grace; or a completely updated profile, suited to a new generation. 

ghurka docket portfolio

When it comes to travel - weekends away or daily trips to the gym, the Cavalier II is the bag you want to carry. Versatile and can really take a beating, while only looking better for it. The brass hardware keeps the look updated with a classic silhouette. 

luxury leather duffle

Don't forget the No 101 Classic Wallet to round out your collection. A billfold built for everyday use, in a wide variety of classic and contemporary seasonal colors.

classic leather mens wallet



Since their founding, Ghurka has set out to manufacture the highest handcrafted leather goods available. This has always begun with using only the finest hides in the world. While there are endless varieties of leather available, only a handful pass the rigorous selection process required to bear the Ghurka medallion. Likewise, signature solid brass hardware and trademark stitching process ensure that their bags deliver an unparalleled owner experience and lifetime of use.

European Travel Notes Collection Posted on 12 Jul 15:41

A special customer wanted a special gift. A notebook for each country where he and his girlfriend intended to travel. 


Our team personalized each book with a country or city, as requested and a travel log for additional travel notes together.


Pocket sized leather notebooks are a wonderful way to keep a written record of your adventures abroad. Keep on your bookshelf, desk drawer, bedside, or siply a keepsake for years to come. 


It's wonderful to see how creative our customers can be. We are always here to help with the creative process as well!


leather travel noes books labeled country and travel log

The History of the Bow Tie Posted on 7 Jun 14:44

It is said that the bow tie originated during the 17th century during the Prussian war where Croatian mercenaries used a scarf to hold their shirt together around their neck. This style was then adopted by the French, that they called 'Cravats' (from the word Croat), by the French Upper Class. The fashion then flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries.



There is a historical gap between whether the cravat evolved into the bow tie, or into the neck tie and then in turn the bow tie. However, the traditional bow tie is sized and of a fixed length although adjustable and ready made styles are also widely available but less formal.


types of bow tie:

- Batwing

- Thistle

- Single-ended


top tips:

1. When wearing a wing collar, if you want to look smarter than the average Joe, go for a batwing collar. This style that originated in the 1930s will give you that extra touch of class.

2. When dressing for White Tie, where a detachable wing collar is required, it is advised that you wear a sized, self tie bow tie for a more polished look as you cannot see the clip if you were to wear a ready made or adjustable bow tie.

3. Always tie your bow tie yourself, a self tied bow tie looks so much smarter than a ready made, and if you can't it's a skill that all well dressed gentlemen should have. Check out our 'How to tie a bow tie' video below if you need a helping hand.

4. And finally, have fun with them! Bow ties are a great way to add colour and flair to any day to day outfit.





Premier Custom & Bespoke Shirt Service in Washington DC Posted on 29 May 12:55

Sterling & Burke is making a name for itself as the premier destination for custom and bespoke shirts in Washington DC. Men's dress shirts continue to be the focus, however, new options are now available including more casual linen and chambray in addition to women's bespoke! We are thrilled to offer women this service as well.


This coming Friday and Saturday, June 1& 2 we again welcome Darren Tiernan and James Macauslan from Budd Shirtmakers, taking Bespoke appointments in their permanent showroom space at Sterling & Burke in Georgetown, Washington, DC.


Please reach out to us directly to schedule an appointment or stop in to preview the offering and shop the entire accessory collection. 


We look forward to seeing you!

mens custom dress shirts washington dc


formal wear accessories shop dc suspenders cufflinks studs bow ties


wedding clothing, summer pink floral tie white shirt

Graduation Gifts Posted on 22 May 15:09

We are not shy to declare we specialize in business accessories and gifting. One lifetime milestone where this specialty particularly resonates is graduation time. In Georgetown, we enjoy being adjacent to two incredible universities - Georgetown University and George Washington University. 


These Universities have sophisticated undergraduates and graduate students alike. 


Keepsake items such as fountain pens, original art of DC and Georgetown, University desk boxes, and logo items such as needlepoint belts and wallets are very special indeed.


If you are looking for something more practical as the student enters the work force or goes on to the next adventure, we have you covered as well with briefcases, portfolios, wallets, travel bags, leather notebooks and more.


Don't forget, almost any item we carry can be personalized, feel free to get creative!



DC Fashion Fool Visits Budd Shirtmakers at Sterling & Burke Posted on 7 May 17:09

We were delighted to host Barnette Holston, the DC Fashion Fool in our store during Budd Shirtmakers USA Tour while he was measured and received his Budd Shirtmakers custom shirts.


Read about his experience in his blog post.

 custom shirt georgetown dc


He answers the question of what it is like to have a custom shirt created for you by world renowned cutters at Budd Shirtmakers out of London. We are fortunate to offer their custom shirting range all year round out of our store in Georgetown in addition to their full range of accessories.

The steps followed in the made to measure process include:

1. Taking measurements

2. Trying on three styles of shirt in your approximate size including custom, tailored and slim. 

3. The shirt that accommodates your size and style preferences best is selected as the starting point and adjustments are made for the proper fit.

4. Collar and cuff styles are chosen, we have 6 styles of each to offer.

5. Fabric choice, there is a dizzying array of the finest fabrics in the world.


custom measure shirt


collar and cuff selection custom shirts


Once you have made these choices, the shirt is cut my master cutters James Macauslan and Darren Tiernan and expertly sewn by the women in the Andover location.

A few of our favorite images from Barnette's visit and his very handsome finished product.



dc fashion fool custom budd shirt sterling burke dc


dc fashion fool made to measure shirts dc sterling burke georgetown


Call or email our store to make an appointment with our shirt specialist, Alistair.

202.333.2266 or 

Photography by Jennifer Jean Pierre & Tony Gorga

Vintage Flags Posted on 26 Apr 16:34

Most of our customers are not aware that we have a treasure trove of vintage flags. These very special pieces are for enthusiasts and true collectors alike. Rare antique flags, handkerchiefs, pillow cases and more. They are waiting to be framed for your home or office! 


With our store in Washington, DC, many of our customers like to hang flags in their office, especially when they work in a government building. These items are perfect! They also make a wonderful gift, ranging in size from a few inches square to many feet wide for those extra spectacular spaces.


Let us know if you want to come look through our chest of flags and pick one for your empty wall. 


vintage american flag 49 star rare