Sunday, 3 May 2015

Summer jackets 8: Hardy Amies

The final two of my spring and summer jackets features will look at a brace of contemporary labels, one British and one Italian. You will be able to read about Brunello Cucinelli in the next post, but today I focus on what has become a classic British label, Hardy Amies.

Indigo linen fine weave single breasted jacket by Hardy Amies £595
Shirt, Milton Green

We received three jackets from Hardy Amies for our summer jackets and blazers feature. The brand that needs no introduction at all, other than to say that the cool tailoring, beautiful construction and gorgeous fabrics made these a delight. 

The indigo fine weave linen jacket (above) was crisp, lightweight and sharp; the two chevron linen double-breasted jackets (below) with peak lapels were soft, cool, comfortable and fun to wear. I'd sum up as describing them as classic yet very contemporary.

Yolk linen chevron double breasted jacket by Hardy Amies £595
Pocket square, Age of Reason

Grey linen chevron double breasted jacket by Hardy Amies (right) £650
Shirt, Th
omas Pink
Pocket square, Deji George

Hardy Amies
Milton Green
Thomas Pink
Age of Reason
Deji George

With infinite thanks to:
Styling - SartoriaLab
Photography - Nick Maroudias

This feature is not sponsored.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Summer jackets 7: Two from Thomas Pink

Thomas Pink not only sent us two summer blazers to try, they also sent some very stylish shirts which were ideal for summer. They have an impressively stylish range of menswear, from suits, shirts and blazers to accessories such as underwear, ties, cuff links and belts. 

These jackets were well-made, cool and comfortable; the navy blue Breakspeare was slightly more formal in cut than the casual cotton of the pale green Hepper jacket. We loved the slub silk navy and cream silk scarf from Marwood, perfect for cooler spring and summer days and evenings. Suppliers' details below.

Thomas Pink Breakspeare linen jacket £425
Thomas Pink shirt

Thomas Pink Hepper cotton jacket £295
Navy & cream slub silk scarf Marwood
Shirt Thomas Pink



With many thanks to:
Shaun Cole
Styling - SartoriaLab
Photography - Nick Maroudias

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Summer Jackets 6: Two from Oliver Sweeney

Oliver Sweeney is in my good books. Its use of an older model for the current spring/summer advertising campaign shows a creative, confident and cool approach to menswear. This is a brand that sees its clothes on men of whatever age and is not afraid to be open about that. I like its products and attitude and urge you to support them.

Oliver Sweeney Beaumont Redwood cotton blazer £295
Shirt, Dundas
Chinos, Spoke London
Egyptian cotton summer socks, Pantherella
Shoes, Cheaney

We were sent two jackets to try for this feature. A neatly-tailored cotton unlined blazer and a navy water-repellant cotton and polyacetate cycling jacket with reflective trim, action back and a number of details such as an attachment for a bike light; ideal for that ride across town for a meeting. Both were nicely-made and well-designed.

Try Oliver Sweeney's new store in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London if you are visiting the capital. There's much to see, enhanced by delights like a bar, interesting collaborations and a display of vintage watches for sale.

Oliver Sweeney Langton navy cycle jacket £295
Jeans Made in England, Quantock
Trainers Made in England, Norman Walsh
Socks, Pantherella

Cycle jacket back detail


With infinite thanks to:
Styling - SartoriaLab
Photography - Nick Maroudias

This feature is not sponsored.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Summer jackets 5: linen blazer from award-winning Without Prejudice Menswear

Without Prejuduce. No, this isn't a letter from a firm of lawyers. Without Prejudice Menswear manufactures stylish and quality menswear in Europe. A few weeks ago they showed me round their collection, which is an impressive mix of styles suitable for all ages of man, from business suits, casual jackets and blazers to shirts, ties and pocket squares. Here I feature one of their summer jackets.

Linen jacket Without Prejudice
Shirt & pocket square Tripl Stitched
Jeans Quantock

This linen jacket is cut slightly on the short side, although not too short for my tastes. It has an action back, neatly-detailed buttons and lining and pockets are well-finished. With its patch pockets and sporty style, this is the closest to what I would define as a genuine blazer of all the jackets I feature this week. The bright pale blue linen is good quality, looking nicely crumpled but not cheap. It is half-lined, making it cool to wear on hot days.

I was able to preview this jacket, which will be available soon on the Without Prejudice website and at stockists later in May.

Without Prejudice started small in North West London and is now stocked in many countries around the world and in various shops around the UK, or you can buy online (details below). Their success was recognised when they won Drapers Menswear Brand of the Year Award in 2014 (Drapers is a professional journal for the industry).

They pride themselves on their customer care and are a lovely bunch of people, so give them a try.


I was given this jacket by Without Prejudice before this feature was planned. 

Personal styling, Sarah Gilfillan, SartoriaLab
Photography, Nick Maroudias

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Summer jackets 4: tailored in England from Favourbrook and Susannah Hall, Tailors

The jackets featured today have a more tailored structure than some we have featured this week, giving a slightly squarer, more shaped look than the softer jackets from Richard James, Hardy Amies and Brunello Cucinelli, featured throughout this week. In the latter, the shoulders and chest are unpadded and often unlined too, giving a more casual, Italian style and look. 

Favourbrook Hertford jacket (left) organic cotton £560
Shirt (left) Tripl Stitched
Shirt (right) Thomas Pink
Chinos Spoke
Shoes (right) Ohw Footwear
Socks Pantherella

Something of the difference can be seen in the image above in which I (on the right) am wearing a Hardy Amies jacket (to be featured later this week) of unpadded and soft-shouldered look, while Shaun wears a Favourbrook jacket which is more padded and squarer in chest and shoulders. 

The jackets featured today are from Favourbrook (where they can form part of a suit) and Susannah Hall, Tailors. All are tailored in England (suppliers' details below). They would be more suited for use at a wedding or warm weather business use than more casual styles. Clearly padding and lining will make the jacket warmer to wear, but lightweight cloths, like linen, cotton or fine wool, will alleviate that.

Summer jacket from Susannah Hall, Tailors
Pocket square Age of Reason Scarves

Favourbrook Hertford jacket organic cotton £560
Pocket square Dancys

Tie Augustus Hare

Favourbrook Trevelyn jacket, 100% linen £590
Shirt Thomas Pink

Spoke chinos

With infinite thanks to:

Styling - SartoriaLab
Photography - Nick Maroudias

Monday, 27 April 2015

Summer jackets 3: keeping cool with Richard James

I tried very hard to think of ways to sneak away with these three items from Richard James, but I suspect they would have noticed their absence rather quickly. I loved all of them. 

The cool pink check linen suit, below, would need (for me) a little courage to wear, but it fitted like a glove and on holiday somewhere sunny it would be an essential for the cocktail bar.  It was fun to wear, made me smile and I was reluctant to take it off after the shoot. This suit made me realise what a genius Richard James is. Clothes are to enjoy, not be serious about. I guessed its price to be some £1800; it's actually £825.

Richard James pink check linen suit £825
Linen shirt Dundas London
Brogues Loake
Socks Pantherella

This pale blue cotton gingham jacket (below) is light and comfortable. It would be ideal for beach or pool-side party and is casual enough to wear with shorts. I liked this one very much. Sarah Gilfillan's genius styling and sense of colour, pairing the Marwood tie with tan trousers and pale blue Dundas shirt, are clear from this photograph.

Richard James blue gingham jacket £595
Shirt as above
Tie Marwood

This sand lightweight fine wool poplin jacket (below, part of a suit) would be equally at home worn while thrashing out a business deal in a Bahamian boardroom or helming one's classic 1965 Riva across Lake Como; its crisp, tailored shape is perfect. On reflection, this is the one I would keep (the whole suit preferably).

Richard James sand fine wool suit jacket £825 (for two-piece suit)
Shirt Smyth & Gibson
Tie Marwood

Jackets like these are versatile. They may be part of a formal suit, or be worn with lightweight trousers, chinos or genuinely-faded denims. They go with t-shirts, cotton tops and linen or more formal shirts, with or without a tie. Here I wear a light blue linen shirt from Dundas (a brand to watch), a cotton shirt (made in Northern Ireland by Smyth & Gibson) and two ties from a favourite made in England brand, Marwood. Bright summery socks in fine Egyptian cotton from Pantherella. Brogues from Loake.


With infinite thanks to:

Styling - SartoriaLab
Photography - Nick Maroudias

This feature is not sponsored.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Summer jackets 2: Marks & Spencer - one budget, one made in Britain

As ever, Marks & Spencer gave us an interesting selection of summer jackets to choose from. We tried one that is the lowest price of all the jackets we tried for this feature and one that is made in Britain as part of their excellent Best of British collection.

M&S Collection slim-fit cotton jacket £69
Shirt Tripl Stitched
Pocket square Age of Reason Scarves

Both jackets are comfortable and well-made. They represent good value and, in the case of the second jacket, give access to British manufacture and a luxurious silk/linen blend at a reasonable price.

Many of our accessories are made in Britain as well. The lace pocket square From Marwood is a thing of exquisite beauty and the Liberty print shirt is for the man who likes to express his personality. Age of Reason pocket squares and Tripl Stitched shirts are personal favourites of mine. A list of suppliers and links is provided below.

I will be featuring summer jackets all this week, so please call back.

Linen/silk blend Best of British collection at M&S £299
Liberty print shirt from Susannah Hall, Tailors
Pocket square, Marwood

Suppliers -

Photography - Nick Maroudias
Styling - Sarah Gilfillan, personal stylist of Sartoria Lab
With thanks to Shaun Cole, Course Director at London College of Fashion for modelling for this post.

This feature was not sponsored.