A British marque called John Smedley came across our sale radar today with 30% off at their online shop, and we were a bit surprised to peruse the selection. Unlike Anglo designers like Paul Smith, who occasionally seem like they’re making Britishness up as they go along, this is what well-dressed, comfortably middle class Brits actually wear—which can make it quite the statement for an anglophilic man of style.
Smedley’s popular enough to make it to their third century—eat your heart out, Brooks Brothers—and they didn’t do it by being fashion-forward or taking any more risks than they had to. That means some of the gear is a little questionable, but there’s good stuff if you’re willing to dig. Our pick is this Gideon polo, which manages to make Mr. Smedley seem like Fred Perry’s older, less chavvy cousin.
The henley can be tough to pull off without a touch of skeeve creeping in, but as usual, it’s all in the details.
Most henleys tend to be perilously close to pajamas, but with a little heavier fabric and a few superfluous buttons running up the neck, this one's slowly becoming our favorite collarless item of the day.
The shirt in question comes from the British firm Junk de Luxe, which specializes in precisely-cut slacker garb—which is a pretty fair description of henleys in general, now that we think about it.
The latest example is from a small London studio called Leto & Ariadne. They claim to pay most of their attention to drape and texture, but their approach to color is what caught our eye. The scarves blend simple colors in a way that’s equal parts Scottish plaid and Southwestern quilting, all with nothing more than fancy loomwork.
We’ve been a little hard on plaid lately…but maybe it’s because we haven’t seen anything from a real Scot.
This Tartaned trench comes from one more of J. Crew’s impeccable collaborations. This time, it’s the Scottish brand Mackintosh: the company more responsible than any other for protecting the Britons from near-constant rain. Their first collab showed up at the Tribeca store in a flat navy, but they just updated it into a plaid that gives it a little more cultural charm.
They call this a peacoat, but it couldn’t have less in common with the nautical woolies you see in coming in with winter. This looks more like something you’d see on an 18th century foot soldier…provided he’s on the British side.
The Britons have many fascinating customs, but few are more sartorially lush than hunting. American hunting outfits tends to be waxed canvas, flannel, and the occasional silly hat, but the Britons are a bit more stylish.
For instance, this Stansfield Hunting Jacket. The patches give it a military look, but it’s never less than noble, and the off-kilter pockets and exposed buttons are icing on the cake. Of course, that beige plaid isn’t for beginners, but it’s probably the shortest path to looking like the Duke of Windsor.
Apparently the limited edition trick isn’t just for t-shirts. Like anything, the trick is thinking big…
Aston Martin just launched their One-77 model with a production run of only 77 cars for the entire world. Of course, just getting an appointment to see one requires a 200,000 pound deposit, with an extra million to buy the thing, so they probably aren’t sweating the numbers.
NotCot is raffling off a tour of the factory where the car was made if you don’t have 200,000 pounds lying around, but we’re more interested in the business end. If you’re going after the high end (and Aston Martin has never been after anything else), why make more than 100 of anything? That is, as long as there are still enough millionaires in the world.
We’re always looking for someone bucking convention, even if the convention wasn’t so bad. For instance, we love a good pair of Ray-Bans, but there’s always someone out there with a new idea…
In this case, the idea comes from Alexander Hi Tek, a British subject with an uncanny knack for steampunk-inspired frames that you could actually wear on the street.
We knew it was only a matter of time before someone took this mainstream, but it’s not quite there yet. So far, Hi Tek is an eBay-only proposition, but hopefully someone will get this into a store some time soon.