Curating luxury for the discerning traveller


Made in England

It’s not often one can date a new style so precisely, but the three-piece suit was introduced on October 7, 1666 by Royal decree. The foppish French fashions of King Charles II’s court were unpopular with the masses,
particularly after the Great Fire of London, so he insisted his courtiers adopt a Persian-style waistcoat, and switch from French silk to English wool. Bespoke suits are still made in ultra-traditional style on Savile Row,
though many people now prefer the ‘classic with a twist’ style pioneered by Paul Smith. His Byard suit in teal wool and mohair-blend cloth (pictured, £990) is a stylish choice.

The bowler hat was designed in 1849 as hard-wearing headgear for gamekeepers, and soon became a working-class staple: think of Charlie Chaplin’s tramp. It was only in the 1950s and 1960s that it became an Establishment symbol of commuter-belt conformity. Recently crowning the fashionable heads of supermodels, as well as actor Matt Smith (Doctor Who) and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, the bowler is back: Christys’ of London, hat-maker since 1773, tells us sales have increased by 30 per cent in the past two years, and its brightly coloured ‘Fashion’ line (pictured, £45) has been particularly popular.

What would be more British than a garment named after the earl who led the Charge of the Light Brigade? The cardigan, originally modelled on a military wool waistcoat, soon became a woolly jumper with buttons. In the second half of the century, it was shunned by youths and seen only on their grandparents, until Kurt Cobain made it the uniform of Grunge. It has recently had yet another new lease of fashionable life, on both Hoxton beardies and catwalk cuties. Alexander McQueen does an achingly trendy version in asymmetric wool and silk with skull-print interior (pictured, £595).

Feb 3rd 2014

In the 17th century, when silk started flowing in to England from the East, it became fashionable to have one’s portrait painted while wearing a silk dressing gown: Samuel Pepys records doing so in 1666. The gown shortened, and became something gentlemen donned when they retired to smoke cigars after dinner in order to protect their clothing from ash. Later, Hollywood stars embraced the trend: Fred Astaire loved his jacket so much he was buried in it. The fashion, along with smoking, may have waned, but Favourbrook still does a particularly good range, including this version in navy velvet (pictured, £690).

Designed by and named after the British general who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, the Wellington boot has insulated feet from the British climate for two
centuries. Hunter has been making ‘wellies’ for 150 of those years, including 1,185,036 pairs for the soldiers of World War I, and several pairs for The Queen. With Kate Moss
and other trend-setters wearing their Glastonbury Festival wellies with  pride, Hunter has been branching out into more fashion-forward hues such as Aubergine (pictured, £85) and shimmering Nightfall. Available in Original Tall or Original Short styles.

Most people think of trainers as an American invention. Not so. The forerunner was the heel-less plimsoll shoe, originally developed in the first half of the 18th century as beachwear when working-class families started to take holidays by the seaside. The first spiked running shoe was made by Joseph William Foster in Bolton, Lancashire, in 1890, and the company he founded five years later, renamed Reebok in 1958, is still going strong today – though Foster might not recognise such rainbow-coloured, high-tech creations as Reebok’s CrossFit Nano 3.0 training shoe (pictured, £95).



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