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Smash Hits – British Fashion Classics

Some things just never go out of style, that classic trench, or well-tailored white shirt for example, or that stylish cashmere knit that’s served you for decades and still kept its shape.

And we Brits have something we can be proud of style speaking, as British fashion designers can definitely claim the credit for some major style sensations that have endured throughout the years. From Pringle sweaters to the Punk look, our designers have created some of the most memorable fashion classics the style world has seen.

Among the vast pantheon of style classics out there that British designers have contributed to, there are some some design ideas are so legendary they undoubtedly deserve a special mention. Let’s take a look at what these extra special style sensations have been…

Pringle Cashmere Sweater

Scotland has given birth to some pretty impressive inventions, there’s the telephone, the television, and not forgetting of course, a wee dram or four of whiskey. Fashion wise too, Scotland has always had plenty to say, with its bold tartans and clansmen’s colours, oh and of course Pringle.

Pringle’s Scottish heritage can be traced back as far as 1815 when the iconic brand was first founded, and it swiftly became one of the first ever luxury knitwear brands, with its distinctive designs being sought after by eager buyers globally.

The brand’s signature cashmere knit was first produced in the 1870’s, around the time the company created the unique “intarsia” Argyll design, with which Pringle is synonymous today around the world.

From Hollywood celebs, to pro golfers, a cashmere Pringle sweater is a hallmark of style and quiet luxury, and will go with absolutely anything, whether it’s accessorized with a pair of jodhpurs, or thrown casually around your shoulders as you waltz down the red carpet in that premiere worthy dress.

Burberry Trenchcoat

One of Britain’s oldest labels, Burberry started out by supplying soldier’s uniforms, and manufactured the ground-breaking fabric called Gabardine, a fabric so durable it was utilized in military clothing throughout the nation.

The label’s most iconic creation though, is unarguably the iconic Burberry Trench, which first debuted in the 19th century when Thomas Burberry added metal straps and rings to his officer’s trench, and an instant design classic was born.

The Burberry Trench has been acclaimed globally, and its worldwide popularity shows no signs of abating, with the classic style being sported proudly by celebs from model Cara Delevigne to HRH Kate Middleton.

Turnbull & Asser Shirt

Established in 1885 Turnbull & Asser are well known for their hallmark tailoring and attention to detail, and have dressed celebrities and royals alike, from Prince Charles to screen hero James Bond.

The flagship shop, located on London’s prestigious Jermyn Street, holds a Royal Warrant, but the company’s most celebrated design has undoubtedly been its classic tailored shirt design, which has been the preferred choice of stylish politicos and celebs who like to dress smartly for decades.

From Charlie Chaplin to artist Pablo Picasso, and more recently actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Turnbull & Asser’s iconic shirt has seemingly never been out of the style spotlight, and the label has also made its mark overseas, with its designs sold in illustrious stores such as Barneys, and the launch of the New York flagship store in 1997.

Mini Skirt

The miniskirt’s short and cheeky style literally revolutionised the fashion world when it first debuted in 1966. British designer Mary Quant began dressing her models in the thigh skimming design, which sent shockwaves throughout the fashion world and became an instant British style smash practically overnight.

The mini achieved global coverage, appearing on the front of acclaimed style mags from Vogue to Nova, and was sported by uber models Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy, becoming an essential part of their waifish, gamine look.

Today the mini skirt is a go to classic look that’s never been out of style since its introduction in the 60’s, and the short length is worn by everyone brave enough to get their pins out all over the globe, from WAGS on a night out to Hollywood actresses on the red carpet.


Punk style was made popular in Britain by Vivenne Westwood and Malcom McLaren, who opened the shop SEX, in Chelsea, selling the pair’s avant garde designs as well as vinyl showcasing bands like the Sex Pistols, which McLaren helped put together.

The clothes McLaren and Westwood sold were in direct contrast to the glossy glam rock look popular in the seventies, the new style featured slogan t-shirts designed to shock, bondage elements, such as straps and leather, tough bovver boots, tattoos, and gritty styling.

Punk soon exploded on the scene as a major trend, making a unique global phenomenon and McLaren and Westwood famous, with everyone from teacher’s daughters to rock stars soon adopting the look.

Even today, elements of the punk look are heavily borrowed by mainstream artists like Pink and Jessie J, and the style is still a major street trend, with variations of punk becoming popular every now and then, such as the heavily pierced and tattooed alt rock look, with its haphazard styling elements and colour clashes.

So do you agree with these British style sensations, maybe we’ve missed something out?

Five Brit trends rocking the fashion world in 2014

British style has always been at the forefront of fashion, but lately, to look at media coverage, it almost seems like our goal is to achieve world style domination with the sheer amount of Brit inspired trends and stylish British celebs out there right now.

From Cara D to the Dandy revival right now the British fashion scene has never been so hot. Let’s take a look at the five top trends currently rocking the style scene in 2014.

Tomboy inspired casual cool
The trend for uber casual as the ultimate badge of fashion cool has been driven by the popularity of celeb model/ actress/ it girls such as Cara Delavigne, Alexa Chung et al. These girls and their laid back, rocked up, I just threw this on then borrowed my boyfriend’s sloppy joe kind of style is currently setting style mavens and fashion editors abuzz, and has spawned millions of copycats throughout the globe.

The trend for casual cool is now so popular Hollywood celebs have got in on the act, and are rocking the grungy look, due in no small part to all the global coverage given by eminent fashionista bibles such as US Vogue and iD magazine that celebrate the style of Ms Delavigne and her pals.

Dapper Dandies
Traditional tailoring is back in style big time, you only have to look at dapper dandies David Beckham and uber male model David Gandy to see that getting suited and booted has never been more on trend.

Savile Row style is now being sported by everyone from actors George Clooney and Ryan Gosling, to Olympic cycling hero Bradley Wiggins, and the demand for the dapper look is so firmly back in fashion that traditional Brit gentleman’s outfitters are reporting a huge upswing in sales of bespoke tailoring, and dandyish accessories like cravats and cuff links.

Hipster happening
Love it or hate it hipster style is definitely here to stay. The often debated style is still a huge trend for men in 2014, with celeb hipsters Nik Grimshaw and Russell Brand sporting their trademark drainpipe denims, beanies, grungy boots, and skinny ties.

Though it had its origins in arty East London districts Shoreditch and Dalston, the looks now gone global with Hollywood actors like Jared Leto and Johnny Depp going all hipsterish and adopting a bit of London indie style, despite the vast amounts of negative criticism the trend’s attracted from those opposed to all things hipster.

Urban trends
London’s always been a huge player in the urban music scene, and this, combined with the city’s status as a capital of style is what has enabled the Brit urban scene to really influence fashion and music on the global stage.

Stylish acts like Tine Temper, Dizzee Rascal, Rita Ora, and Emili Sande, have long set the stage for Brit world domination within the urban music scene. But London’s special brand of street style has followed hot on its heels (or Nike Air Jordan trainers) and is now influencing the world, due to the sheer number of fashion bloggers and street style photographers capturing the look, and bringing it to the attention of style watchers throughout the globe.

Vintage sweetheart
The lifestyle trend that has seen us move away from mass production and demand more authentic and ethical goods has bled into the sartorial arena too, with the revival of retro styles inspired by the 40’s and 50’s.

British WW2 1940’sweetheart fashion has been seen on everyone from Kelly Osbourne to Katy Perry, and retro style shows no sign of slowing down the pace in 2014, with a proliferation of homegrown Brit retro labels like Tara Starlet and Lindy Bop making it affordable to create the perfect retro look.

Purchases of both vintage inspired clothing and genuine authentic pieces from the 40’s and 50’s eras are soaring, as more and more style conscious women want to take up the trend and don a little bit of vintage glamour for themselves and look fabulous and original.

And as we all become more eco-aware, genuine vintage clothing not only helps to create a glamorous look that most modern clothing could never achieve, but it also seems to make more and more sense, after all why waste something that you can reuse again?


Do you agree, or disagree with our picks for the Brit fashions trends for 2014, maybe we’ve missed something you think has made more of impact this year, let us know in the comments!