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Quality and value of the "second tier" of British clothes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Holdfast, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Couldn't think of another way to describe them though it's a completely unsatisfactory term - not your A&S and Huntsman, but with long traditions and some rough patches in their histories.

    The Dunhills, Burberrys, Aquascutums and Hacketts of the world. I suppose you could just about include Austin Reed in that league, though they're a definite step down.

    What do people think about them nowadays? Price, value, quality, style? Which brands do you feel have come through difficulties well, which are still struggling, which are on a downward trajectory? Any stories of cherished past purchases? Or nightmare buys?

    Basically, anything you want to say about these grand names with long histories!
     


  2. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    Dunhill: mediocre, it could be so much better. Everything now has to have a logo on it somewhere. Driven by its Far East clientele, and it shows.

    Hackett: bastardized "English look" made just about anywhere and sold rather expensively. Used to be a lot better -- one of their tailors is now at Huntsman, for Pete's sake!

    Aquascutum: striving nobly... to be Burberry.
     


  3. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    How about Paul Smith and Paul Smith London? Anybody has a learned opinion on them?
     


  4. Mookie

    Mookie Active Member

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    I have a Burberry suit that I like pretty well. It has a more "American" cut to it than some of the other British brands, which isn't surprising given that they contract out to Hickey Freeman in the US...

    Quality is a notch below HF mainline in my opinion, but a step up or so from labels like Hugo Boss. Worth it on a sale down to around $600 or so, not at full list.

    That said, its probably currently my favorite suit for court.
     


  5. flatfront

    flatfront Senior member

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    I think if you can find some Dunhill without the logo plastered all over it you get a nice quality garment, some of which are nicley designed too. They are far too expensive for what they are at retail but some good bargains are to be had at sale time.

    Hackett suffers from the staff that work in the stores IMO its either snotty young blondes who think they are something special or young guys who think they are something special becuase they work in Hackett. Strangley this seems to be universal to every one of their stores I have ever been in in London.
     


  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    There's also Daks.
     


  7. modmica

    modmica Senior member

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    I have a Dunhill sportcoat that I bought from Ed (quality seller). It's made it Italy and is very nice quality. It's my only piece of Dunhill clothing so I can't comment on how representative it is.
     


  8. yfyf

    yfyf Affiliate vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    I think if you can find some Dunhill without the logo plastered all over it you get a nice quality garment, some of which are nicley designed too. They are far too expensive for what they are at retail but some good bargains are to be had at sale time.

    Hackett suffers from the staff that work in the stores IMO its either snotty young blondes who think they are something special or young guys who think they are something special becuase they work in Hackett. Strangley this seems to be universal to every one of their stores I have ever been in in London.


    I've never been tempted to go in and have a look at Hackett though their stores seem like any mid-tier luxury label. Everytime I pass one it just seems to project "By rugby players, for rugby players."
     


  9. RichValentine

    RichValentine Well-Known Member

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    Paul Smith do some very nice stuff, one of my favourite brands. Hackett doesn't have the greatest reputation any more, not so much for quality but the kind of people who are now wearing it. Like yfyf mentioned above it is either rugby players or the kind of person who hangs around bus stops late at night plastered head to toe in fake burberry and harrassing old ladies.

    I am fortunate enough to live near Nottingham where Paul Smith is from so I can visit his original flagship store/city house which is, not surprisingly, very well decorated and a very cool store.
     


  10. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    I bought the Dunhill coffee-table book for song a while back. It's got a lot of pretty pictures and text by the infamous dandy Nick Foulkes. In the pictures of their goods and their ads over the years there's a sharp turn in the 1970s when logos began to festoon everything, and as items got less whimsical, creative and luxurious.

    Paul Smith is wonderfully creative, although it feels insulting to be offered a Chinese-made t-shirt for $100.
     


  11. yfyf

    yfyf Affiliate vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    I would have never guessed Dunhill had more of a sense of humour back in the day. These days it just seems to try to look really expensive and not always successfully.
     


  12. Merlino

    Merlino Senior member

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    I can only comment on the Burberry trenchcoat since that's the only garment of these brands that I own. I love it and it's very sturdy but the price is ridiculous @ €1200 retail here. Mind you, I got it a fair bit cheaper. The quality is excellent but I suspect that about €800 of those 1200 euros went into the label.
     


  13. Get Smart

    Get Smart Don't Crink

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    How about Paul Smith and Paul Smith London? Anybody has a learned opinion on them?

    I bought my first PS mainline suit in 1996, made in England, full canvas, amazing fabric for $1000

    Now his mainline suits are $2000+ (inflation is a bitch but 100% increase in 10 years??), still full canvas, but made in Italy. Fabrics are still cool, but not as good as they used to be.

    Even Sir Paul has had to shift production abroad to stay competitive with the other brands in his spectrum. Which is too bad, but a part of doing biz these days.

    His London line is ok, a bit conservatively styled...the "luxury" London line is half canvassed afaik...tho the regular London is a normal fused suit, albeit a very soft and light fusing which most fashion brands employ these days. Not the end of the world.
     


  14. whnay.

    whnay. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I find about 20% of Dunhill's range are a good buy on sale. There leathergoods including gloves are a good buy at sale time as well as there sportcoats and trousers. I'm not as fond as I used to be about there suits.
     


  15. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Paul Smith is wonderfully creative, although it feels insulting to be offered a Chinese-made t-shirt for $100.


    Do you feel less insulted by $100 "˜Italian' made t-shirts?

    Jon.
     


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