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.
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.
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?
It’s that time of year again. The time when the nights start to draw in and the days grow colder, not cold enough to warrant a full on Artic style cover up but cold enough to make you shiver if you’re not wrapped up properly.
Transitional time, when autumn meets winter around early November and the two shake hands for a brief moment, is the time our minds begin to turn to the often stressful task of Christmas shopping and the looming festive season, but we should also give half a mind to our sartorial choices as it can be tricky to dress right during the crossover period.
It’s definitely far too cold for that lightweight linen summer jacket, but it’s not quite warranting bringing out that faux fur-lined Parka yet. Le sigh. Mr Guy Fawkes didn’t have to worry about such fashion difficulties, well at least not after he had a nice toasty bonfire underneath him.
Speaking of which, Fireworks Night marks the ushering in of that time when a cup of steaming hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkles starts to sound like the best idea ever, but it’s also the time we crack open our sweater drawers and examine whether or not those moth eaten sloppy joes will be viable again this year.
But there’s no excuse for trotting out the same old tired fashion choices, we Brits have a lot of experience with dressing for bad weather, and as a result Brit designers are renowned for offering up some of the most stylish and iconic transitional season fashion to be found globally. Think comfy Pringle sweaters, Burberry Trenchcoats, Barbour jackets, and Hunter wellies, then toss in a wacky Zandra Rhodes print overlong Dr Who style scarf for good measure.
November can be an unpredictable month, with weather ranging from the fairly mild to full on downpours and freezing winds from one day to the next. If you’re going to be attending a Fireworks Night event outdoors this year, why not wrap up warm in a chunky knit arran sweater, the Arran knit sweater being yet another Brit design classic of course.
When Guido Fawkes was discovered under the Houses Of Parliament with enough gun powder to blow up an army, the people celebrated saving the political establishment with wild parties in the street and much rejoicing, burning effigies of Mr Fawkes on bonfires.
And while we might not quite have so much enthusiasm for today’s political elite, the tradition still lingers, with the 5th of November seeing more people turn out to watch rockets, Roman Candles, and Catherine Wheels than most other outdoor events see on these shores all year round.
A chilly spell doesn’t have to mean sloppy dressing though, especially with the myriad of design choices currently available for snappy dressing during the cold snap. Now, no matter what your style. turn the cold weather to your advantage by investing in some quality knitwear that will keep you both snug and stylish.
Whether your style epitomizes laidback cool, you adore the vintage look, or you prefer to dress up rather than down with more tailored knits, our massive pool of home-grown design talent ensures there’s something for everyone.
For something truly innovative this season, try out some of the exciting new recycled or ethically sourced knits that are slowly beginning to be seen on the shelves of British stores both offline and online.
Take it from us, eco fashion is set to be one of the big trends of 2015, so get a sartorial jump-start by warming up to ethical style during the transitional period, before the trend becomes huge fashion news next year. And while you’re about it, why not take the hassle out of some of that Christmas shopping and avoid the crush by snapping up some on trend eco fashion online, both as a stylish treat for yourself, and for the perfect gift for someone special?
No, our bamboo socks have a 1cm loose rib at the top of the sock to hold them up, and also have 1-2% elastane in which helps them keep their shape without being overly tight too.
We’ve found that the large majority of our customers who have had problems with overly tight socks from other companies, have had no problem at all with our bamboo socks. In fact they often contact us to say how wonderful it is to be able to wear a pair of socks all day without the circulation being cut off to their feet!
We must also mention that bamboo is a great fabric for wicking away sweat from your skin, keeping nasty smells at bay with it’s natural antibacterial properties, as well as being able to regulate your skin temperature far better than most other fabrics too.
So if you dislike overly tight socks, then try some bamboo socks, we’re sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Being British we’re used to being quite self-effacing types who typically downplay our own greatness, but when it comes to fashion, there’s no doubt that through the decades Britain has shaped the style world in a major way.
Take the mini skirt for example. Invented in the 60’s by iconic British fashion designer Mary Quant, the mini came to embody the spirit of 1960’s London and was subsequently adopted by style conscious citizens throughout the world.
At the time the mini skirt was cheeky, a little bit shocking, and was considered totally edgy and fresh, which is why it became the skirt of choice for the hordes of fashion conscious women prowling up and down the length of the heart of Swinging London, Carnaby Street.
But British fashion had been influencing and shaping the sartorial world decades before the 1960’s. Did you know that the man universally considered to be the father of haute couture was actually a Brit who came from Lincolnshire, who worked in the drapery shops of London before he moved to Paris to open his salon?
In his day, Charles Worth was an absolute fashion behemoth, and was so revered he even dressed royals such as France’s Empress Eugenie, not to mention famous society beauties of the time such as actress Sarah Bernhardt, and uber courtesan Cora Pearl. Women flocked to him from around the world to be draped in his expertly cut designs, and to this day he remains an eternal fashion icon, remembered throughout the world for his tailoring and use of luxurious fabrics.
It’s not just items of clothing that has put Britain firmly on the fashion map either – we invented mass production – essentially paving the way for every retail outlet from Primark to Prada to hawk their wares. The Spinning Jenny, which totally revolutionized the clothing production industry, made producing large volumes of fabric possible, and it was invented by a British carpenter called James Hargreaves.
The device, named after Hargreaves daughter, was so successful it became one of the key instruments behind the Industrial Revolution, and in fact is the reason why the high street fashion industry that exists today is in existence at all!
And let’s not forget that quintessential fashion staple – black. The trend for the monochromatic shade that’s so vital to any self-respecting fashionista, and is found making up a large part of the wardrobes of the style conscious throughout the globe, actually started with one of our own – good old Queen Victoria.
Though typically when we think of black, we think of Coco Chanel, who popularised the Little Black Dress, the shade first became en vogue after the death of Prince Albert, when Victoria took to wearing all black.
Before Queen Vic went back to black, practically no one wore the shade apart from widows in mourning and members of the clergy, but afterwards everyone from pauper to princess was kitted out in all black garb complete with matching jet accessories. It’s probably one of the biggest influences Britain has ever had on the fashion world, and it’s a trend that continues today, though it often goes uncredited.
British fashion designers hold a major sway in the global fashion scene and are praised throughout the world for their excellence, innovation, and creative expertise. From the edgy and boundary pushing late Alexander McQueen, to the eccentric surprise of Vivienne Westwood, right through to the eco-conscious tailored cool of Stella McCartney, all of them hold the fashion world in thrall with their unique and highly wearable designs.
There’s no doubt that in the future British fashion will be one of the front-runners in setting new style trends, as from producing exciting new ethical fashion to creating cool and edgy street wear, Brits continue to lead the way, blazing new trails in the sartorial stakes and continuing a trend that’s gone on for centuries.
How do you see British fashion shaping the future, do you see Britain continuing to set new trends or perhaps you think the opposite and you feel Britain has lost it’s creative fashion heart? Let us know in the comments below!