A man should look like he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, then forgotten all about them,” said the late great Hardy Amies, the English fashion designer and tailor. Timeless, effortless elegance, is the hallmark of the modern gentleman…
This is not fast and fleeting fashion, but a wise investment in well-chosen pieces. And London is where the world comes to shop.
King Charles III leads from the front, a long-time champion of British designers and craftsmanship, wearing impeccable Anderson & Sheppard double-breasted suits and sustainble wool Balmoral tartan, with handmade shoes from Crockett & Jones.
While Jermyn Street and Savile Row – known as The Row – remain the spiritual home of the gentleman, there are outfitters across London, from Mayfair and Piccadilly to Belgravia and Chelsea, where you can go for sound sartorial advice and precise measurements. Here, we round up the best addresses in town and wise words of those in the know on men’s style, both this season and beyond.
While casual dressing dominates 21st century life, for an important meeting or gala event only a suit will do. Savile Row has been the world’s favourite address since the 1730s.
“Here at Dege & Skinner, my family-owned 157-year-old bespoke tailoring business, we firmly believe it’s The Row’s unique, well-earned and global reputation for being the place to come for the finest quality bespoke tailoring,” says William Skinner, managing director at Dege & Skinner.
“Being able to glance down from the pavement, directly into the workshops where these stunning clothes are being made is something truly special.”
A bespoke suit ensures the man wears the suit, and not the other way around. There are still misconceptions, from the difficult to style, to a looser fit being better.
“Sometimes people believe that a suit has to be tight to fit,” says Colin Heywood, managing director at Anderson and Sheppard on the corner of Old Burlington and Clifford Street, just off Savile Row. “A suit that’s very fitted may be flattering when the wearer is standing completely still but will pull across the buttons and shoulders when he moves making him look heavier.”
Each designer has their own unique ‘house style’ that sets them apart on The Row. “As a tailor, it’s my job to make gentlemen look the best they can, accentuating their strengths. Individuality comes in the selection of cloth and any additional tweaks from our house style,” says Richard Anderson, founder of Richard Anderson. “My advice for investing in a bespoke suit for an evening occasion would be to consider the climate – this will help inform their cloth choice.”
Savile Row celebrates Wool Month via the Campaign for Wool until 31 October, led by global patron King Charles III. Through a cross-sector initiative, the campaign promotes the importance of wool, both as a material and environmentally.
Need advice deciding between an Oxford or a chambray shirt? At Emma Willis on Jermyn Street, they understand the importance of picking the right one. Emma Willis MBE, the founder says, “A well-made shirt is the very foundation of a gentleman’s wardrobe as they can be worn for so many occasions, in a fine cotton with a beautifully structured collar which can be worn open or formally with a tie.”
Cordings in Piccadilly has offered elegant styles since 1839. “A gentleman not only wants to be well-dressed but also comfortable, which is why our shirts are tailored not only for style,” remarks Hillary Bacon, marketing director at Cordings. “Tattersall country shirts have been the heart of the Cordings collection for more than 100 years, and our shirt wall in store has more than 20 patterns in tattersall, as well as our popular Oxford.”
Head to Harrys of London on Motcomb Street, where the perfect shoes await. “Our autumn/winter collection is about sharp, intuitive footwear that’s a pleasure to wear, anchors your outfit and elevates your look,” says creative director Graeme Fidler. “Kudu loafers, lace-ups and chukka boots are supple yet hard-working, ready to be lived-in. The colour palette of concrete grey and chocolate brown reflects the specific tones of the collection.”
Crockett & Jones on Jermyn Street, founded in 1879, embodies the craft that goes behind making shoes. Celebrating its 25th anniversary on this famous street, here you’ll find precisely made shoes.
“The manufacture of high-quality Goodyear welted shoes remains very labour-intensive, requiring a highly skilled workforce to carry out more than 200 separate operations during an eight-week period. This method, originated by hand-makers centuries ago,” says James Fox, brand director at Crockett & Jones.
This year sees Johnstons of Elgin celebrate 225 years of excellence. With an emphasis on provenance, it is proud to be entirely made in Scotland. Visit its New Bond Street flagship store for this season’s padded cashmere fleeces and plaited cable patterns in soft cashmere and merino wool.
But as every stylish gentleman knows, when it comes to fine knitwear, the Italians wrote the rulebook. Head to Brunello Cucinelli’s branches on New Bond Street or Sloane Street for chunky polonecks or crew-neck cashmere.
As we edge towards winter, British brands are equipped at designing outerwear. Barbour’s rich heritage has crossed generations with its signature design on Regent Street. “Barbour continues to design great utilitarian products, reflecting its long manufacturing history and authentic approach to classic style details,” explains Gary Janes, senior menswear designer at Barbour. “In these challenging times our outerwear represents stability, value and relevance and balances modernity with timelessness.”
At Richard James on Savile Row, whose clients include George Clooney and Daniel Craig, cinema has inspired its latest collection.
“The autumn/winter 2022 collection is inspired by the 1978 film The Deer Hunter. The wardrobe switches between great eveningwear and utilitarian outdoor clothing,” explains Sean Dixon, founder of Richard James.
“The outerwear is classic in style, workwear that’s refined by using the best quality fabrics and subtle use of colour. Cashmere and fine quality wool for knitwear, organic cotton for the sports jackets.”
At Hackett London, there’s a country feel to its outerwear this season, found at branches in Regent Street, Sloane Street, Jermyn Street and Savile Row. “The autumn/winter 2022 campaign embraces the brand’s British heritage and showcases seasonal items with its signature sense of sophistication,” says Gianni Alberto Colarossi, creative design director of Hackett London.
“The campaign features Jenson Button enjoying autumnal nature and the rural lifestyle, the collection also harkens back to its London roots via its colour palette and sartorial expertise. Comfort, versatility and quality are a priority for this season, emphasising the need to adapt to a modern urban life.”
Connolly on Clifford Street, founded in 1878, offers a warm-as-toast herringbone coat in its winter collection and superlight down quilted shirts. Brilliant too for leather goods, belts and accessories. Finish with a flat cap or bakerboy from Lock & Co. of St James’s, which has been supplying hats to gentlemen since 1676.
Reinvent your lounge look at New & Lingwood on Jermyn Street. Creative director Tom Leeper has taken a playful, approach, combining tailoring with loungewear.
“As we head into events season, we encourage our customers to be creative with their outfits. Instead of a dinner jacket, pair a suit with one of our lined silk robes,’ he explains.
“The peacock woven-silk gown continues to capture attention, or if you’re looking for an understated-yet-still-impactful look, opt for replacing the traditional dinner shirt with a silk pyjama top.”
For perfect PJs, shop Desmond & Dempsey at Liberty, or up your game with a trip to Turnbull & Asser. Arsenal legend Ian Wright admitted on a recent podcast that he headed straight here after sharing a room with former teammate Dennis Bergkamp and suffering serious pyjama envy.
After all this shopping, relax with a trip to one of the finest barbers in St James’s. Jason, a master barber at Truefitt & Hill, has noticed that his clients are increasingly asking for a clean fade between the hair and the beard. This tapering from the sideburn and along the jaw into the middle of the beard gives gents a clean, smooth and polished look.
When it comes to knowing where to stop the beard along the neck, Jason notes that a skilled barber will be able to offer specific advice based on a client’s face shape and proportions. For example, higher on the neck creates the illusion of a sharper jaw and slimmer face, whereas lower on the neck can minimise the appearance of a double chin. “Most people shave wrong,” he says. Even for those with beards, knowing how to properly shave one’s neck is the most important piece of advice he can offer.
For classic grooming products, pop into Floris. Its No. 89 range, named for its famous Jermyn Street address, was a favourite with Ian Fleming and his literary creation, James Bond.
FOOD & DRINK
There’s something supremely stylish about knowing your whisky. The Whisky Exchange, with branches in Bedford Street, Borough Market and Great Portland Street, should be on every gentleman’s radar.
Billy Abbot, its Whisky Ambassador, recommends impressive bottles to give as festive gifts, such as the Talisker 25 year old (£465), and for something a little different, the Japanese Yamazaki 12-year-old single malt (£150).
Finally, no trip to Jermyn Street is complete without a visit to London’s leading cheesemonger, Paxton & Whitfield. We recommend you sample the Hercules Strong Cheese collection (£42).