It wasn't just the Levi's that did well out of that iconic 80s commercial. If you can call a boxer short a design classic then Sunspel's crisp white version (as modelled so well by Nick Kamen in that laundrette), is most definitely that. They were the company responsible for introducing the boxer short to Britain in 1947 and with only a few refinements since, they have the perfect design all sewn up. No one makes them softer or more comfortable. The cotton is as fine as it comes while the seams are double-folded and 'feld locked' to eliminate itchy edges. They even feature a back panel to avoid an uncomfortable central seam.
This winter, if not every winter, is all about a chunky knit and while there are many respectable efforts out there, none manage to steal the crown from SNS Herning for a serious sweater. Theirs will always be the genuine article, descendents of the original fisherman sweaters that Soren Nielsen Skyt (hence SNS) knitted for the fishing communities of Denmark back in the twenties; his trademark chunky ‘bubble’ construction developed to provide added insulation against the elements. Today they’re still being made to the same patterns in the same factory in Herning, and continue to insulate fishermen, but now many a discerning knitwear connoisseur too.
No gimmicks or surprises here. Just more immaculately constructed classics from MHL.
This season we're seeing a picture of traditional rural England, all ruddy cheeks and hardy knits.
Margaret’s girl feels very outdoorsy but in a Balmoral fashion. Relaxed slacks and gently pleated knee length skirts are paired with cotton shirts and thick jumpers. Colour is a particular highlight. The staple greys and navys giving way to cornfield yellows, burnt reds and washed out pinks. We even have stripes and a spot of fairisle.
Meanwhile the boys are facing the elements in a navy wool melton hooded jacket and working the land in a heavy duty khaki wool rib sweater and brushed twill utility pant.
Cotton socks. Cashmere socks. Stripey socks. Fairisle socks. Socks for him. Socks for her. Great quality socks from Pantherella. You won't poke your toe through these any time soon.
New to menswear we have another of New York's finest. Both the genetics and aesthetics bare a close resemblance to basement favourite, Engineered Garments, but when it's as good as this, more is definitely a welcome thing.
Like Engineered, Post Overalls is led by a Japanese designer and based in Hell's Kitchen in close proximity to some of America's finest garment manufacturers. Takeshi Ohfuchi developed his obsession with workwear from America's golden era of production as a teenager; wanting to wear the 'real stuff' from the American movies he grew up watching back in Japan. Today he is dedicated to producing the same 'real stuff', replicating every stitch and every button while subtly tweaking a design here and there to fit the character and frame of today's slightly rumpled modern man.
Highlights from our first buy include the royal traveller waistcoat in navy wool melton and the triple-stitched, bar-tacked engineer's jacket, available in navy wool melton and tabacco duck canvas.
Daiki Suzuki's Engineered Garment's continues its artful reconstruction of 20th Century American workwear. This season's showpiece - a field parka constucted from NyCo ripstop, a fabric which features heavily in the uniforms of the US military. Then there's the four button Baker blazer and updated CPO shirt made from the same navy wool melton that goes into the iconic NYPD uniform. Also hard at work is the Andover suit - a grey wool flannel blazer and cynch-back pant which must be worn with the chambray workshirt and an obligatory tie. Not that we mind. This is the kind of uniform we don't mind wearing.
It's a classic tale. Italian family-run factory manufacturing clothes for everyone else spots a little gap for their own range of failsafe dresses. The kind of dress that you pull out of the wardrobe when your room is strewn with clothes and nothing else seems to work. The kind of dress you don't have to think about or even iron because the super comfortable jersey clings only in the right places and instantly looks great. It's 2(4)1, at your service.
Cash Ca. For great cashmere basics in lovely colours, you simply can't beat them. They wash and wear like no other, and the round neck cardigan wins every time.
It's official. Life will never be one long, glamourous beach party. Not even if you're Collette Dinnigan and live in Sydney. Yes, our favourite Australian designer has gone back to work in smart silk and tailored shapes with her AW/12 collection. That's not to say we've lost the intricacy we love her for. The silk dress, skirt and blouse carry a series of bold and colourful prints, while the beautiful crochet pieces return, heavier yet perfect for prettying up the winter months.
There's a lovely story behind how Colenimo came to be this season's star newcomer to womenswear. It all began with a recommendaton by our favourite style guru, Miss Moss which led Victoria and Lucy to designer Aya Nakagawa's brilliant Hackney flat/studio/workshop. There they placed an order in hushed voices while Aya's new baby slept through the appointment. Luckily, there wasn't need for excess noise for the clothes were simply exquisite.
Aya is passionate about detail and garment construction (everything is UK made) and it clearly shows. Meanwhile the aesthetic is firmly rooted in the early 20th century, as she puts it "a fictionalised take on the wardrobe a traditional country lady" mixing traditional fabrics and vintage quirks. So off we go riding in a beautiful velvet collared shirt, taking tea in a luxurious knit and full tartan skirt, and dressing for dinner in a beautiful silk crepe dress and cape.