Centuries-old fashion houses catering to the modern gentleman abound in London. The area around Piccadilly Circus is arguably ground zero for dressed up fashion. Follow in the footsteps of Winston Churchill, Sean Connery, Cary Grant or David Niven and head to Savile Row for the perfect bespoke (suit designed and made for you) or madeto-measure (fitted to suit your body) suit at Henry Poole, Huntsman, Kilgour, Gieves & Hawkes or Norton & Sons. Count eight weeks and four fittings for a bespoke suit and not much change from 4,000 pounds. And that’s on the cheap end; for the scope for personalization is endless: from secret pockets and rare Andean cloths, to one’s name or initials woven into the fabric’s pinstripes. Hosni Mubarak, who had the pinstripes on his suit spell his name “Hosny”, had his suits made in Savile Row out of Holland & Cherry’s finest. He was arguably a better fashionista than statesman.
Henry Poole Store
Next, saunter over to nearby Jermyn Street, known for its quality shirts and tie makers such as Turnbull & Asser, Budd, Hilditch & Key, New & Lingwood and Harvie & Hudson. These decades-old manufacturers are offering quality, contemporary cuts, colours and patterns at reasonable prices (less than 100 pounds). This street, where Isaac Newton once lived, also houses several grooming and toiletry boutiques such as Geo F. Trumper, Penhaligon’s, Taylor of Old Bond Street, and Floris - the revered 18th century perfume house which supplied the Royal Court, legendary dandy Beau Brummell, and fictional secret agent James Bond.
And now, for the accessories. The dandies of you will head over to Liberty, “the chosen resort of the artistic shopper,” as Oscar Wilde once called it. This beautifully restored 19th century fashion emporium, an antithesis to Harrods’s brash and bold behemoth, is renowned for its delicate and beautiful silk prints (scarves and ties) and its arresting jewellery section, halfway between art and fashion, man and woman. Those of more practical disposition will head over to Swaine Adeney Brigg in Piccadilly Arcade, purveyors of leather goods (including gloves and business briefcases), whips (if that’s your fancy) and umbrellas to HM the Queen and HRH the Prince of Wales. Quality and prices, are sky high.
Hilditch & Key Store Left: Liberty Department Store Right: Penhaligon’s Perfume House