London has become a cultural melting pot in the last ten years, breeding an eclectic variety of stylish men who walk the city’s streets. We’ve got the inside knowledge on how to dress like a Londoner.
With an anything goes attitude to style, a man can wear whatever in London and onlookers won’t take a second look. But such liberties doesn’t mean that dwellers of the English capital are haphazard toward appearances; it’s more they have perfected several specialty looks. From the dapper to the outlandish, men in this city know who and what they are; showing just how important confidence is when it comes to style.
Our last stop was New York, now jump on our digital private jet to find out how the Poms get it done.
How To Dress Like A Londoner – Breaking It Down
Savile Row Gent
The Savile Row gent frequents London’s tailoring strip for a made-to-measure suit, as often as he gets his hair cut at his local barber. Knowing one suit is never enough, this London man founds his style on perfect-fit jackets – in single or double-breast – and isn’t shy on bringing in working traditional additions like a waistcoat, lapel pin and pocket square.
Breaking up the dreariness of typical navies and greys (and the British weather), this Londoner has a penchant for patterned ties and coloured socks – the latter tucked away in British leathered monk shoes and tassel loafers.
Urban Street Luxe
In a throw back to Nineties hip-hop, the urban look has infiltrated London (particularly in the east and south) with Londoners mixing the once shapeless, homey look with relaxed, luxury pieces for a modernised take. Working an immense amount of black and grey, the muted hues are often contrasted with macro-prints (think camouflage or cartoons) and textural accessories such as badges, pins and personalised logos.
How to dress like a Londoner? Bottoms are casual – from jogger pants to basketball shorts – and sneakers, in retro silhouettes, are key to maintaining the street urban feel. Accessories are the big investments here, with leather totes and folio holders taking pride of place under the arm, matched by equally sophisticated headwear such as felt hats in natural colours.
A ‘sloanie’ is a term that refers to someone from Sloane Square – one of the richest parts of London. This type of gent is big on luxury brands; the best of King Road boutiques displayed on his trim body like a walking mannequin. But, the sophisticated sloanie is understated about his extravagance; opting for non-logo items that show his appreciation for superior English wool, cashmere and silk, and British cuts and silhouette.
When not at black tie event in Chelsea, the sloanie is in a constant state of ‘smart casual’, meaning a morning coffee will require some form of leather footwear: tailored trousers (denim or chinos) and structured jacket or coat. He has a penchant for coordinating, too – be it tonal colouring blocking with outerwear, knits and pants, or matching his tan belt with slip on leather loafers in light chestnut.
Eastside Black & Leather
The pioneers of punk, East London holds true to its anarchic roots with lads rocking all-black looks, with leather and metallic hardware details. Not to be stuck in the past, today’s East London guy takes a fresh approach to style, layering sharply cropped biker jackets with chunky zips and clips.
An important style tip on how to dress like a Londoner, crew-neck tees, roll neck sweaters and plaid flannels add a Nineties Nirvana feel, on always-leather shoes – switching between super-comfortable creepers in patent leather and derby boots or Dr Martens. A scoop beanie or reversed snap-back crowns the off-duty model’s casual style.
It wouldn’t be a style review without mention of the hipster. In London, the trend-obsessed lad adopts a British heritage demeanour. A quirky step-up for Savile Row, the heritage hipster is a fan of tailoring – adopting silhouette references from past decades. The Twenties, Forties and Seventies are prominent with wide-legged trousers in post-war wool, through to high-waisted flat fronts in bold pinstripes.
But accessories make-up for most of the heritage theme: pocket watches, outlandish bow ties and vintage briefcases balancing out suspenders, straw fedoras with ribbon-trim and vintage shirting with club collars. There isn’t a lot of colour here – burgundy, at best – but everything else, from the traditional suit cuts to button details – make this look one to study for days.
Click through the slideshow to see the best London men’s fashion brands – new and old.