Creating Made in Britain clothing for Men? Make it affordable, oh and casual!

In the last few years I’ve taken more of an interest in Made in Britain mens clothing, but I often struggle to find anything that is either in my price range (e.g middle to lower) or that isn’t a f***ing suit!

I’m all for as many people/companies making mens clothing here in Britain, but why oh why, do so many of them have to be so bloody expensive, and what is it with all these bloody suits and trousers for men?

As far as I am aware we’re not stuck in the Victorian times, this is 2014 and the right pair of jeans and a properly fitting top can make any guy look good. I just don’t get this whole suit look, it’s just plain boring to me.

I know manufacturing here in Britain costs more, and I believe one of the reasons is partly because there are fewer factories capable of making the clothing, but even still, there are companies who are making clothing here in Britain, and doing it at an affordable level.

We even offer a few over on our website, and we’ll be adding more as and when we come across affordable ranges.

Hawick Knitwear Jumper at Riley & Silver

As an example Hawick Knitwear and Wizard Jeans are a couple of brands offering what I call affordable casual menswear.

Hawick offer great jumpers for around £60-£80 and Wizard Jeans offer great jeans for around £90.

Both price ranges are what I would call affordable. And both companies clothing is what I would call casual, although the Hawick jumpers wouldn’t look out-of-place with a nice shirt underneath somewhere more formal, but I digress…

What I’m getting at is that there seems to be a lot of new made in britain clothing lines that are popping up that offer just smart shirts and suits, and I don’t understand why.

Casual clothing is a massive market, and yes I know, just as suits are. But surely there are enough suit manufacturers in britain. I know it’s something we’re really good at, but we don’t need any more right now surely.

To me the whole point of wanting to manufacture in britain is to ensure skills and jobs are kept in this country, therefore benefiting the whole country because it will have a knock on effect not just felt directly by the people making the clothing.

So let’s make something here that isn’t already being made here, that being casual clothing.

Wizard Jeans at Riley & Silver

For me an example of great looking casual clothing is the stuff that Jacamo offer. They’ve got such a wide range of mens clothing, and pretty much all of it looks great too.

It’d be nice if some of it was made in britain or from alternative materials, but hey I’m sure it will be one day, right Jacamo?

One thing I haven’t been able to find made in britain as yet is a decent affordable top, shirt or t-shirt.

Something to wear underneath a jumper when it’s cold, or something to wear on its own when it gets warmer (it does happen occasionally here in Britain you know).

I haven’t yet been able to find a made in britain casual t-shirt or shirt at a decent price, which for me would be around £10-£20 for a t-shirt and £25-£50 for a shirt.

And yes it’s doable, it’s just a case of taking less profit when you make a sale. And don’t worry about the less profit bit, because you’ll sell more, if you make a great product.

That’s what I don’t get about high-priced clothing. It can cost exactly the same to make as a lower priced piece.

If a top costs say £20 to manufacture in britain (all costs included, shipping etc.), why does a company then sell it at £60+?

Why not sell it at £40? You’d still be covering all your costs, plus you’d be making anywhere between £10-£20 clear profit. And best of all you’d probably sell a lot more because more people would be able to afford it.

And that’s one of the worst things I have experienced so far having gained more of an interest in made in britain clothing. People do actually want to buy more of it, but I constantly hear ‘but it’s so expensive’.

I know we’ve all got used to buying cheaper imported clothing, but still, the British made clothing is on the whole very expensive.

Again, I know it can be due to the lack of manufacturing facilities here in britain, but it’s also to do with companies being too f***ing greedy in their profit margins.

It wouldn’t be so bad if these companies were open enough to show that the extra profit was being used to provide training for their workers, or even more factories being built etc, but a lot of companies prefer to give this extra profit to their shareholders, which are often foreign and they then invest it in their own country.

Yay, great. Yet more money taken out of Britain.

Meh, I’m going off on one here, perhaps I shouldn’t have started writing after drinking my third rum n coke this evening.

But my point has been made, I think.

So please, pretty pretty please, if you’re thinking of creating a Made in Britain mens clothing line, make it casual, and for f*** sake make it affordable too!

Cheers

Mike

Posted on January 26, 2014, in Made in Britain Clothing, Mens Clothing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I used to sell vintage clothing years ago so a lot of the clothing was from a bygone time when Britain had a booming textiles industry and much of the menswear did consist of suits. Needless to say they were very well made but it’s true that style wise we haven’t come that far with suits made here for men, other than in the higher price brackets. Suits are probably still at the forefront of what’s left ofmanufacturing here because 1) casual clothing and fabrics are simply cheaper to import plus all the big highstreet and many of the couture labels buy from Asia and then everything they decide they don’t want on orders ends up on the market as ‘knockoffs’ and since those factories have the original templates anyway they can reproduce them again as ‘knockoffs’ even though the design and fabrics are the same or similar, just the label is missing. (Like you said with higher priced clothing costing the same as less – that links into the question, why aren’t highstreet and middle-upper brands fair trade? Answer – they make more profit than cheaper shops who sell cheaply.) 2) Unfortunately we are corporatized to hell with the massive office culture suits are necessary but the ‘corporate’ look has spread like a plague to all kinds of other industries and jobs even including non-customer facing and back office jobs, it’s ridiculous how going to an interview is like going to a modeling agency nowadays.

    Your point about smart casual is spot on – mixing and matching smart casual pieces can make any guy look good and we see a lot of inspiration on catwalks and in the media but it doesn’t seem to translate to streetwear. Even having grown up in London I’ve never seen that many guys really carve out a nice smart-casual look for themselves or personal style. They miss out on all that gorgeous layering, complimentary colours and textures – and tend to go for the trendy or suit alternatives instead, one or the other rather than in between or experiment.

    x
    http://fashionthatpays.wordpress.com

  2. Thanks for your comment DapperDolly! …. I agree, not enough guys experiment with their look.

    It’s from one end to the other, some don’t even try and go with tracksuit bottoms and a baggy t-shirt (hello, you’re not 17 anymore or at the gym!) and some just stick on a pair of smart trousers and a shirt (hello, you’re not at work anymore!).

    I think it might also come down to a lot of men not looking after themselves physically.

    I’ve noticed that the guys who put effort into the clothes they wear, on the whole seem to be the one’s who also look after themselves more physically.

    I know I like to wear proper fitting clothing, I exercise a lot and there’s nothing I like more than to wear good fitting clothing to show it off!

    Maybe thats just me lol, but then I’ve got a right peeve about suits anyway, I just hate them with a vengeance. If I had my way I’d burn em all and make every man wear something else.

    But hey ho, we live in a free world lol

    Cheers

    Mike

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