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.
In This Story…
Savile Row Suits
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 Luxe Streetwear
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 Jackets
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.
Heritage London Hipster
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.
Needing no introduction, Burberry invented the trench coat and continues to impact men’s wear. Its latest collections embrace block colours and tailoring with interesting prints making it still very ‘London’.
Another icon, the designer creates superior off-the-rack suiting, understated florals on shirts and now, a great range of customised jeans.
The design newcomer is London’s answer to urban luxe, offering premium casual wear with a sports inspired aesthetic. The brand is big on satiny fabrics and comfy shapes – and the boldest of colours. Use in moderation.
A fashion veteran, VW is attributed to starting the punk look in fashion’s main stream circles. Her work is out-there but pick out her heritage tartans and leathers to liven up your wardrobe.
Gieves & Hawkes
Located at No.1 Savile Row, Gieves & Hawkes has dressed the wealthiest and most powerful in London from Royal Dukes to the aristocratic. They makes the best bespoke suiting for tailoring that fits like a glove.
A staple London brand, Reiss offers affordable luxury with wool coats, slacks and smart casual shirts that work easily into the modern gent’s style canon. And just look at their luggage.
A maker of leather shoes and luxury shirts, Oliver Sweeney is an artisanal brand known to every Londoner. Their home-made shoes are worn by both the hipster and the Savile Row gent.
Tailor to celebrities, a Tom Ford suit is one of the most sought after items in today’s fashion world. Then, there is his eyewear and fragrance; making you a high-end Londoner from cloth to scent.
The talk of the town, Green’s oversized silhouette, both muted and patterned colours, and perfect blend of sports and structured looks mean he is the one-to-watch in seasons to come.
Founded in 2008, Mr. Hare specialises in contemporary gentleman’s shoes. Creating a dress shoe for every man, Mr. Hare uses fine Italian leathers from a place called Santa Croce sull Arno in Italy. Hop on in.