Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Well Dressed Englishman

The London men’s clothier Austin Reed was founded in 1900 and set up shop in Regent Street in 1926 as one the first men’s department stores. The clothes were aimed at the upper middle class male, and the firm commissioned some of the best illustrator-designers of the day to promote its brand.

Austin Reed currently the holder of two royal warrants was the perfect place to be outfitted for all of the occasions an upper middle class male might find himself in. From travelling to the far reaches of the Empire, a journey by Wagon Lit, weekends in the country or an evening on the town these were the perfect clothes.

Sports were well catered for, whether you were playing tennis or Hunting, all could be obtained at Austin Reed’s.

The posters used in advertising captured each situation our man with style might find himself in. Highly indicative of the era in which they were created in, the illustrations give us something to aspire to. Life was full of an elegance that was not forced. This was a style of clothing and illustration that seemed to be innate and bred into the gentleman who was completely outfitted at Austin Reeds.
Well known for their impeccable tailoring and clothes that quintessentially defined the English man at a fraction of the cost of Saville Row, they are still in business. Whenever in London, I always pop into Austin’s.
It is also reassuring to see that none of this elegance has left Austin Reed through the subsequent decades, as they still promote a well-dressed gentleman who has not got a personal tailor.

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