British fashion is a world leader. But British manufacturing has become rarer in recent years. It may take a little extra effort to find, but buying classic British menswear is well is well worth the time and investment. Not only do you get to show your support for British craftspeople, style and industry, but you can populate your wardrobe with products that have history and provenance, as well as offering individuality, quality, and style. Where do you start? From wool scarves to heritage shoes, here are some key items to consider if you’re looking to add a little handmade pizzazz to your wardrobe.
Tweed is the quintessential British fabric, so what better place to start a handmade British menswear collection? This instantly recognisable herringbone fabric screams sophistication and is surprisingly easy to wear. As men’s fashion website Fashionbeans says:
“One of the simplest ways to incorporate the fabric into your sartorial arsenal – and one that’s guaranteed to see your personal style score soar – is to take tweed to your tailored outerwear. A black or grey herringbone tweed overcoat will make a statement while still working with most of your wardrobe.”
With the winter months well and truly upon us, this is the perfect time to overhaul your knitwear collection. From lightweight jersey to chunky cable knit the options are endless, allowing you to easily incorporate classic British jumpers into your daytime or evening looks.
It’s also an ideal way to add a pop of colour to your wardrobe according to fashion blogger Michael84:
“Create a more monotone and minimal style by choosing black, greys and dark blues, which work well in both a casual and more formal situation. You can brighten up your look by adding colour.”
Feeling brave? Try some patterns and prints too. Just remember to keep the colour palette simple. Overdo this, and you’ll end up with a loud, very un-British look.
Wool scarves are the perfect accessory for those who want to experiment with timeless items while on a budget. And with temperatures plummeting, it’s the perfect time too.
A woollen scarf gives a dash of colour, keeps you warm, and adds interest to your outfit. But how do you tie it? Do you use the Parisien, the Reverse Drape Tuck, or even the Toss? Fashion blogger, Adam York, at Your Average Guy gives us four cool ways to wear a scarf. He says:
“Till you delve deeper into all the different variations, you don’t realise how many unique ways there is. Some are admittedly over complicated and need a map to navigate the loops and threads, usually resulting into something quite unsatisfactory at the finish line anyway.”
Start practicing your scarf tying by shopping from Samuel Windsor’s collection of wool scarves.
The joy of hats
Britain has a long-standing love affair with the art of millinery. From the 1850’s bowler to the 1960’s pillbox, much of our history can be told through headwear.
Many people today are daunted by wearing hats, but there’s no need to be. Prolific hat wearer Mr Hat gives us the lowdown via fashion blog GarconJon:
“Firstly know your hat size and get your head measured. A lot of the time people go into hat shops and just try on the first couple of hats they see and give up when the first two hats don’t fit them.”
According to Mr Hat, this means lots of people wrongly think that hats aren’t for them. But all you really need to do is grab a tape measure first.
Shoes of distinction
There’s nothing quite like the feel of soft leather shoes and the art and craft of cordwaining is well and truly alive. A well-made pair of heritage shoes will last for years with the right care and maintenance and are an excellent investment.
Men’s style blogger Permanent Style agrees:
“…pretty much always worth the money you pay for them…buy good shoes, don’t wear them every day, put shoe trees in them and brush them down after use.”
Whether you’re a fan of Oxfords, Brogues or Derbys, there’s a traditional British style for you.
Make sure they’re well-polished, and you’ll be well on your way to a classic, sophisticated British look.
What items of classic British menswear do you have in your collection? We’d love to see you share photos of your cosy wool scarves, dapper tweed jackets and shiny shoes over on our Facebook page.