Monday, 16 December 2013

The English Gentleman Returns: Heritage style

Making a slow comeback over the last year, high street retailers have now fully embraced the ‘English Gentleman look.’ Re-introduced by numerous designers in Milan fashion week over a year ago, Dolce & Gabbana, Bottega Veneta and Burberry showcased a more modern take on this trend, bringing it into the 21st century.

Recently, shows such as hit ITV series Downton Abbey have had a huge influence on this look and celebrities alike. Both Ben Affleck and George Clooney were recently snapped looking very dapper at this year’s BAFTA’s, showing off head-to-toe styling accompanied by very impressive beards.

Another fan of this look is Alex Turner from indie-rock band, Artic Monkeys. He is known to experiment with style and often is seen adding his quirky take on the heritage trend. Smart-wear is no longer just for special occasions, it’s time to pull out the Sunday bests from your wardrobe.

Men are just as fashion conscious as women and stepping into the world of the English gent will truly help to update your style-stakes and bring you right on trend. Right now almost all high street shops are doing their own take on this style and completely doing it justice. Topman, River Island and Burton are all, to name a few, where you can get your hands on key heritage clothing items.

Fashion blogger and store manager at Banbury’s New Look, Dave Hill says: “I have always been a fan of dressing a bit smarter and have always loved the whole ‘British’ thing.

“New Look at the moment has a heritage look which to be fair is pretty impressive and very reasonable. Topman are stocking genuine ‘Harris Tweed’ blazers and matching waistcoats which I would highly recommend to any man out there.

“As far as splurging on this look, I will always choose Holland Esquire. Founder Nick Holland’s tweed car coats and blazers are both stunning and eccentric!” He said.

Dressing as an English gent isn’t for the faint hearted and it is important to run the style all the way through your image. With Dave’s advice this look is easily achievable; “Fabric is all important to pulling off this look – imagine luxurious tweeds and silk, teamed with good quality cotton shirts and dark denim. 

“The five wardrobe staples I would recommend are; a tweed blazer, a classic formal shirt (Oxford or Penny collar style), a decent pair of un-ripped skinny jeans rolled up above the ankles, a good pair of tan brogues (I personally love Loake’s footwear) and a contrasting pocket square or bow-tie,” he added.

More than often the heritage style is teamed with varying styles of facial hair – a feature that can help to complete your image. With fundraiser Movember just out of the way and charity event Decembeard happening now, there is no better time to tackle this trend. 

Founder of Captain Fawcett, home to a delectable range of first class gentleman grooming products, Richie Finney says: “I think the style of experimenting with facial hair has been a bit of a comeback for four/five years, but the last couple of years has seen a real interest in beards. Now when actors are collecting Oscars, they all seem to have a beard. It’s one of the few things a man can do that a woman can’t; it’s an expression of virility.

“Fifty to sixty years ago if you had a beard or moustache you’d be classed as on the outside of society – non-conformists, bikers or poets perhaps. Everyone had to conform, but having a beard was a way of expressing individuality. How long the trend will last – I’m not sure, but it’s all fun whilst it lasts,” he added.

Their products have grown increasingly popular with professional make-up artists on TV and film sets. Poirot’s famous moustache, although made with yak hair, is styled using Captain Fawcett’s ‘gentleman stiffener.’ His wife Christine Greenwood, key hairstylist on Downton Abbey, won an Emmy Award in 2012 for her work on the show, using the Captain’s products. And if that wasn’t enough, both Jude Law and Aaron Taylor Johnson used their products for film Anna Karenina in 2012.

Grooming is just as key as the clothes with this trend so make sure to update not only your wardrobe guys, but your bathroom cabinet as well. 

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