I was unaware of that. I shall stick to my Smedleys then.
British workwear / heritage brands - Page 6
A knitwear label, by the manufacturer who produces knitwear for Nigel Cabourn. Seems a bit pricy but might be worth it.
Looks rather interesting. I will have to check out the Aran Jumpers in a store.
Darcy Clothing: http://www.darcyclothing.com/shop/
A shop in Lewes, specialising in British workwear and historical replicas. They provided the shirts for Guy Ritchie’s two Sherlock Holmes films and other movies. The only place I know that sells high quality spats. I’m quite tempted by their Fair Isle Slipover and the Old School Cricket shirt.
Edited by Bullitt - 2/19/13 at 4:23am
Outerwear tends to be very slim fitting - I'm typically a 42 in most brands and I'm a 42 in some of his stuff, but a 44 in other pieces. Oddly with his shirts I tend to size down from a 17" to a 16.5".
I wasn't really too sure where to post this, but thought this might sort of work out...
Part 3 of my longwinded "What I did on my holidays", or "A long weekend of walking in London"
Part 1 contained mostly musings about Cabourn (http://www.styleforum.net/t/209255/nigel-cabourn/2730#post_6148411)
Part 2 was about my visit to SEH Kelly (http://www.styleforum.net/t/277070/s-e-h-kelly/90#post_6149752)
This one will be about the rest. I'll start by going back to friday.
One of the places I'd been wanting to visit in London was Savile Row. Having seen first the 3-part BBC doc about Harris Tweed, then the 3-part doc about the Row itself, and then read Richard Andersons book (http://www.rippedandsmoothed.com/, actually a pretty good read), I was really curious.It's not too hard to find, being between Oxford Circus and Picadilly Square, just the other side of Regent Street from Carnaby Street, but having located the street itself, I was surprised to find it wasn't the heaving hive of sartorial snippage I was led to believe! In fact, most of the buildings on the famous Row have nothing to do with bespoke tailouring. I found the famous places, Huntsman (a lot of info about this one in Andersons book, though their website makes no mention of the serious blips in their historical heritage in recent years), Norton & Sons (home of the charismatic Patrick Grant), Richard Anderson Ltd (where I could see Richard himself busily cutting inside) and more. The most exciting part of walking down the street was being able to look down into the basement workshops and see the tailors busy at work. So I stood for a while taking it in. My girlfriend warned me when I was leaving that I wasn't to order a bespoke suit from a Savile Row tailor. Tempting, in a way, but not really me. Still a fascinating insight into one of the remaining classic British traditions, though today probably no more relevant than stationary steam engines, yet cool in a similar way.
After Savile Row, I crossed over in to the Covent Garden area. I always muddle a bit before finding the Seven Dials bit, but lucked out this time and immediately found the exact street I was looking for. I bought the book published by Vintage Showroom (http://www.thevintageshowroom.com/blog/) for myself this Xmas. Quite an interesting and comprehensive book about vintage clothing, showing many examples of garments that are hugely influential in current times. You can almost play "spot the workwear" (or even "spot the Cabourn"). So, the guys behind the book run both a showroom, where they house their collection, and a shop, where they sell their surplus. I was headed to their shop. First impression was "wow, a whole shop full of old, checked shirts?". There was a lot of them. To my eyes, much the same all the way. I did spend 10 minutes or so browsing though, and found more interesting things here and there, but nothing that made me want to buy it. Most of the good items looked like display pieces. I recognised one of the guys behind the book there, but there was no attempt from the staff to engage in conversation, so I wandered off. A bit disappointing really.
After this, I went to Trunk Clothiers, already mentioned in part 1. Then I headed off to another new area for me, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It's easy to get this impression, as hopping from place to place using the underground, just poking your head up in interesting places, you don't get much of a feel for the layout of the town. And London is a large town. The mission this time was to find Universal Works, Folk and Oliver Spencer. The first two I just happened upon a couple of years ago, seeing there was potential, but not followining very closely. The latter I added to the list as it was in the same street.
Folk? Shop was underwhelming, a quick browse and exit. The same for Oliver Spencer, tried two of his shops there, first the ladies one (an obvious mistake on my part, but it wasn't clear from the outside) and then the mens. Like Folk it was a small, quite sparsely filled shop. Staff at least said hello, which always helps the impression. Anyone find it hard to warm to a place where the staff are just too busy or cool to even acknowledge you? Didn't see anything worthwhile there, so continued on.
Univeral Works make some nice stuff, quite subtle, workwear inspired, dashes of colour. I like some of their stuff, but have never bought more than a couple of shirts on sale before. I found their shop though and was immediately greeted by David, who runs the shop. Superb first impression, really helpful and chatty. I'll admit, being a sale-hound, I was hoping they'd still have the Harris Tweed (ok, another fetish of mine) Bakers Jacket on sale in the shop, but I missed that by a few days. I was curious about their sizing though, so I tried on the Ferryman jacket in various sizes (http://www.universalworks.co.uk/universal-works-grey-ferryman-jacket-in-twill-1). Nice workwear inspired jacket, with decent details. Noticed a cool waistcoat (they saw me coming) and decided to get that. And the matching Ferryman jacket. Even at full price I thought these were a decent deal. 85 for the waitcoat and 120 for the jacket. I can think of another brand where these prices would be x3 at least. Anyhow, after a good chat with David (and he was in fact the second to comment on the Cameraman), I moved on. I can quite easily see myself buying more from Universal Works in the future, full credit for that is thanks to David.
On to the next point of the tour. Having bought a fair amount of stuff from One True Saxon in last years closing down sale, I'd come across the name Garbstore, started by the guy that had initially started OTS. Apparently one of the true gurus of cool British clothing. From their website it looked like the shop would be a pretty special place, so definitely worth a visit. They do a number of oddball brands, including Engineered Garments, in addition to their own brand stuff. Another bit of tube-hopping and a pretty long walk and I found the place. Menswear downstairs, in a pretty pokey, but nice, basement. Quite a bit of stuf still on sale, but generally not a huge selection of anything. Nothing at all like what the website gives the impression of. A few nice items from the erratic EG selection, but nothing in my size. The Garbstore brand stuff wasn't hugely impressive, to my mind very like what everyone else is doing, so not really very interesting. I didn't stay long, but did wander around the neighbourhood a while longer, as Portobello market was in full swing. Lots of stalls up and down the road, all kinds of junk. Also a lot of military clothing on sale, cheap. It was late in the day though and I was tired, so I caught the necessary tubes and trains back to base.
Now, back to Saturday. We've already talked about SEH Kelly, but I didn't mention that while I was hanging about there, a number of other visitors came by. Some of these turned out to be from a shop around the corner, Labour & Wait. Now, I'd heard about this shop before, as it was mentioned in an article about the brand Old Town in a Norwegian magazine a while back, and that reminded me that they also stock a limited range of Old Town items. The lads were also talking about their fantastic Irish Cottage socks, so a visit was in order. Labour & Wait is an odd shop (have a look at their website http://www.labourandwait.co.uk/). All sorts of odd things for house and kitchen, situated in a fantastic looking corner building. Quite an old-timey feel to the place, though they insist they're not trying to recreate any period. Quite a hip place, I guess, for things you probably didn't realise you wanted until you found it there. Or stuff your mother or significant other wants (I had to go back the next day to get a butter dish for my SO). I did get a couple of pairs of cottage socks, which seem good (whereas SEHK's new socks are better than what your granny would knit, the cottage socks are almost exactly what a granny with good eyesight and sprightly hands would knit). And I did browse the small selection of Old Town items, and couldn't resist buying a pair of khaki Vauxhall trousers. Well made, in stout material, buttons ready for braces, high rise, true to size. Proper stuff.
Almost right over the road from Labour & Wait is a Brew Dog pub. I recommend stopping there for a pint of Punk IPA. Quite refreshing.
And that concludes my brief holiday! Thanks for reading :-)
Edited by NickJohannessen - 2/21/13 at 1:27am
The couple of bits I've picked from Garbstore's own brand have been decent but unexciting - made in China, but well made.
I'm a big fan of Universal Works - it's a solid and reliable brand and very reasonable prices, although sizing can vary a bit.
I must take a trip up to London some time - it's only an hour or so away, but I never get round to it. I'd like a look a Cro'Jack's shop - their web site makes the best of their garments look bad, but I've been very happy with what I've bought (avoiding the obvious Barbour rip-offs obviously).
Great thread, was about to start one myself before I found this one.
I would add Wolsey in your list of heritage brands, and they do have a royal warrant as well. Have recently purchased a waxed jacket, wool blazer, moleskin trousers, checked shirts and knitted jumpers from them.