Visiting Jermyn Street

A fortnight ago, a meeting in the South West meant that I had a little over an  hour to burn waiting for a train in London.  As usual, if I have some time to burn in Central London I prefer to burn it on Jermyn Street.

For a variety of reasons, partly because of my Clothing Fast, partly because I’ve not sent very much time in and around London recently, it’s been a while since I’ve been on The Street.  If you’ve never had a reason to visit this Mecca of gentlemen’s tailoring, I can recommend it highly.

Along this single street there is opportunity to visit shirtmakers, tailors, hatters, shoemakers, many of whom have pedigrees which stretch back generations.

On this occasion I had opportunity to pop into Hilditch & Key. There I discovered that the H&K ready to wear collection does not include my size. I need a 16.5 inch collar and 36in sleeves. H&K’s 16.5 in shirts only come with 35 inch sleeves. So if I want an H&K shirt I need to go for their bespoke service. Interesting to know…..img_0676Across the street was Italian styling house, Boggi. For some reason I’ve never actually ventured into Boggi, though I’ve looked into their shop window on numerous occasions.

Boggi’s window featured a very attractive copper coloured blazer and a rather fetching denim double-breasted waistcoat. It required further investigation. So off I went. I have to say that I’ve never thought that my wardrobe was particularly lacking because it lacked a red blazer and a denim waistcoat. However, I now recognise the error of my ways…. img_0675-1My next stop was Hackett. I confess I’ve never bought a thing there. Their price points are a bit high for me. But their window displays are second to none and have provided me with much inspiration over the years. On this occasion I was especially taken by the Green Blue Window Pane Blazer below.

Made from a blend of silk and linen, and partially lined, it’s designed to keep you feeling cool in the summer and looking cool whilst you do so. However, at £500 it’s not cheap….img_0665However, it was whilst I was in Hackett that I saw a crowd gathering across the road at Barker Shoes, which led to my most intriguing and informative visit of the afternoon.  More about that in a later post.

My final two stops were Thomas Pink and Charles Tyrwhitt.  The key items that caught my eye in Pink were their Traveller shirts.  These are non-iron shirts designed to remain crinkle free even after having been packed in an overnight case.  Unusually, Pink charges less for its Traveller range than for its regular range.  Most other shirtmakers charge more for a non-iron finish.

In Charles Tyrwhitt the key items that caught my eye were new season non-iron chinos. Tyrwhitt’s Weekend chinos are already firm favourites. However, I’ve begun to appreciate the merits of their non-iron range.

The non-iron range is slightly less informal than the Weekend, a look achieved in part by neater stitching and a slightly higher cut waistline, it seems to me. In addition, their non-iron finish means that they are less likely to look crumpled.

Even better, the new season range has a better range of colours. In some cases even where some of the colours are a continuation of the previous season, the colours seem richer hued than I remember.

I also discovered that the Tyrwhitt flagship store is set to expand in coming months.  Next door neighbour, DAKS, have moved to another location so work is underway to convert their former store space into additional floor space for Charles Tyrwhitt. So in a few months time the Tyrwhitt flagship should have even more of their stock in store.

I didn’t spend anything on Jermyn Street on this visit.  However, before the end of that week my Clothing Fast was under threat. Jermyn Street: Enter at your own risk…..


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