On first glance, little connects the sartorial style of James Bond, David Hockney, Pablo Picasso and Prince Charles. But delve deeper and you’ll discover all have an appreciation for the pleasures of a well-made garment, and know that one of the first stops should be Turnbull & Asser.
In fact, when The Prince of Wales was granted the power to bestow royal warrants in 1980, his first issue went to this iconic Jermyn Street clothier. And it’s little surprise, given that the brand’s expertise in tailoring goes back more than 130 years.
It is shirts where the brand really comes into its own, and whether opting for off-the-rack or bespoke, you are buying into decades of knowledge of cut, fit, and fabrics. The materials, whether Egyptian cotton or the more recently introduced West Indian Sea Island cotton, have been carefully chosen to find the balance of strength and softness, and come in a variety of different weaves. The rougher Oxford makes for a practical everyday shirt and the V-shape of herringbone lends a more textured look, while tight poplin weave creates an anti-slip finish that resists abrasion.
They come in a host of options for collars, cuffs and shapes. Smaller frames demand a slim fit, while the informalist – falling between that and standard – should be the go-to for casual weekends. Likewise, the cuffs can dictate the formality of the situation; the double, with its exaggerated turn-back, lends a flamboyant feel and is ideal for wearing with cufflinks, while the classic three-button gives a more structured and fitted look.
Whichever combination you choose, as a first investment piece you can’t go wrong with a classic white shirt. This most versatile of wardrobe essentials can be suave and smart, worn with a suit and tie as Sean Connery did in Dr No, or casually thrown on with separates, top button undone. And while here we’ve styled it with blue, it provides the perfect blank canvas for experimentation with eccentric accessories and bold tailoring, should you desire – Turnbull & Asser are known as the ‘peacocks of Jermyn Street’ after all.
Photography: Roger Rich; fashion director: Jo Levin; photo assistant: Matt Foxley; fashion assistant: Marina Hambro; location: Modus PR. turnbullandasser.co.uk