Tag Archives: London

Fashionably British

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Don’t get me wrong I adore American fashion and American designs, but there is something so debonaire about British fashion that I absolutely adore. One of the most endearing qualities of British menswear is how true to tradition it remains; British design elements very rarely change or evolve, which is a characteristic that some may criticize, but their designs are traditional and unique from the rest of world, and quite honestly, don’t need to changes.

Their muted, neutral color palettes are neither drab nor are they attention-seeking; they are a total reflection of Great Britain’s climate and culture.¬† Britain’s foggy, often rainy, maritime climate doesn’t lend itself to bright cheerful colors, and the British “Keep Calm and Carry On” attitude doesn’t allow for pompous fashion and bold look at me palettes. Navy blue, hunter green, and shades of grey dominate British wardrobes, which might make one think that British fashion is dull or just more of the same, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

For Brits, distinction in fashion lies in the design: the fit, the cut, the quality. Men’s formal and ready-to-wear shirts, sports coats, and blazers traditionally slim-cut and fitted to the body, cutting in slightly at the waist. Trousers, too, are typically very slim cut and taper down the leg, which differs from traditional American designs, which usually have a straight leg. Outerwear diverges from the other ready-to-wear items I have mentioned in that the designs are typically less fitted, but remains in sync with the rest of British menswear in its color palette. Outwear is made of durable textiles, almost always lined, and designed to endure all weather conditions.

Idiot’s Guide to Buying British:

  • Knickers: Underwear
  • Gilet: Vest
  • Trouser: Pants
  • Caban: Jacket featuring a cutaway collar; usually double breasted
  • Parka: lightweight, durable coat; typically lined and meant for rainy or windy weather conditions

Here are some of my favorite pieces from each of my favorite British brands and retailers…

Jack Wills:

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 Burberry:

TopMan:

topman

Barbour:

barbour

Paul Smith:

PaulSmith

 

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Style Spotlight: Grosvenor

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I usually prefer to promote designers and brands that are sourced, created, and/or produced in the United States, but I am making an exception with this Style Spotlight piece, which focuses on a luxury shirt company from across the pond.

If this is the first time you’re hearing of the Grosvenor brand, that’s because until recently their custom and ready-to-wear shirts were only available in their two store fronts in London and Picadilly, but now these luxury items are available online to preppy professionals around the world, and they’re totally worth the cross Atlantic shipping costs. When you first look at their products online, they might not immediately strike you; at first glance, they look like something you could walk into any department store and pick up…With Grosvenor, the unique quality is in the details: alternating buttons, patterned trim, complimentary colors, carefully selected fabric. Grosvenor does such a great job of creating unique color combinations that appease the eye and favor the preppy man’s tastes.

Here are a few shirts from the Luxury and Casual collections, which range in price from $140-$160, a steal considering the quality and sense of elitism that comes from owning something that is made in limited quantities and is imported from Europe, and not found at your local Macy’s.

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Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the shirts to appreciate some of the details I mentioned…

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What I love so much about the Grosvenor collections of both casual and luxury shirts is that each collection is cohesive and tells a story. This is something that is highly valued in the women’s ready-to-wear division of the fashion industry but is not stressed as much in classic menswear. When it comes to men’s dress shirts and button-downs what you find is that either a prominent menswear designer creates maybe one or two of this style shirt in a basic, neutral color, or you find a brand that creates the same shirt in 8 different colors, but there’s no motif. With Grosvenor it is obvious if you see two of their shirts together that they came from the same collection, either because of a repetition of pattern, color, and detailing amongst the designs.

In addition to excellent shirts, both ready-to-wear and custom designed, Grosvenor also offers accessories, including a wide variety of ties, several sets of crafted cuff-links, belts, and pocket squares- everything the well-dressed man needs, from the waist up, at least.

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Visit the Grosvenor site for more information and to purchase one of their high-quality ready-to-wear shirts or have them create a custom shirt, designed specifically to suit your body and your tastes.

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