St James’s, London celebrates White Shirt Week from 11 February
St James’s is home to the famous Jermyn Street, which boasts the highest number of world renowned shirt makers on one luxury shopping street, offering the best quality shirts worldwide. During St James’s White Shirt Week, from 11 February, Jermyn Street will be celebrating the definitive white shirt. According to Richard Harvie, owner of Harvie & Hudson, “The white shirt remains the best seller in St James’s”. At Turnbull & Asser nearly half of all shirts sold, both ready to wear and bespoke, are white.
Popularised by the likes of award winning films James Bond, The Great Gatsby and television series Downton Abbey, the St James’s shirt makers offer a huge variety of white shirts, in the highest quality of cloths. Every design element of the shirt including collar, cuffs, buttons, shape and fit can be created to the specification of the most discerning gentleman. The secrets to many celebrated icons’ stylish looks come from their visits to the area from all over the world to have their shirts personally crafted.
A white shirt is synonymous with a message of virtue, precision and power; a bespoke white shirt from Jermyn Street can enhance and define the physique, allowing the shirt to fit all proportions perfectly, even taking into account the size of your watch. Customers often discover that after experiencing a made to measure shirt for the first time, they continue to invest in bespoke.
Each St James’s shirt maker has their own signature design, for which they are known. A shirt exhibiting a three-button cuff is a trademark look of Turnbull & Asser; a ready to wear version of this shirt costs £145. Mother of Pearl buttons complement Emma Willis’ signature look for £290. Emmett’s signature shirt, at £95, is made using Baby Twill White, a weave known for its soft texture that becomes even more supple over time. In contrast, Budd’s distinctive shirt, £115, is made of white poplin two fold cotton with a classic Budd forward collar. New & Lingwood’s signature style involves a curved collar ending in a point, allowing the collar to lay properly on the upper breast bone, and costs £95. Harvie & Hudson’s iconic shirt is the plush and luxurious white Herringbone and a white ready to wear version costs £64.50. Favourbrook’s 1850’s Victorian Morning Wing Collar Dress Shirt at £90.00 has an accentuated high collar and emphasised wing lapels that create a stunning effect when paired with a silk cravat. Along with the medium weight white cotton poplin, covered buttons and French-cuffs, the straight cut tailoring creates an elegant profile. Hilditch & Key’s bestseller is the Carlton with their classic collar and double cuff, made with the finest two-fold cotton poplin and real shell buttons.
Royal Warrant holder Stephen Quin from Turnbull & Asser believes that “Every man should have at least three white shirts in their wardrobe”, with the best accessory to complement the white shirt being a silk tie.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Turnbull & Asser ties range in price from £85-£105. Stephen Quin recommends a pale blue tie in summer and for winter favours a navy blue polka dot. All Hilditch & Key ties are hand slipped and feature the distinctive Hilditch & Key tipping. However for something different to the standard tie, a Favourbrook pure raw silk dupion cravat is the perfect accessory. Emma Willis’ handmade gold acorn cufflinks at £1,200 are also a popular embellishment for a white shirt. Nigel Milne is another retailer offering high quality cufflinks in the St James’s area.
Whether you want to embrace a classic style or the preppy look, Smart Turnout sells nylon striped weave braces, beautifully finished with leather ends for button or combination fitting.
On the first day of White Shirt Week, Monday 11 February, local restaurant Francos will be celebrating on Jermyn Street, with staff sporting white shirts and offering customers who wear a crisp white shirt 10% off their final bill throughout the day.
The oldest white shirt in history dates back to 3000 BC, found in a First Dynasty Egyptian tomb. In the Middle Ages a white shirt would be worn underneath layers of robes as an undergarment, however by the 18th Century it was a piece of clothing in its own right. By the 19th Century gentlemen who wore a white shirt showed others that he was not engaged in manual labour for a living, like his “blue-collar” counterparts, and could employ servants to launder these shirts
St James’s is a popular shopping and lifestyle destination, world renowned for high quality menswear and accessories, and for its stylish bars, cafés and restaurants, such as new Italian restaurant, Cicchetti – the first London location for the San Carlo group. Shops in the area specialise in producing bespoke collections. World famous heritage retailers in St James’s include: Turnbull & Asser, shirt makers by Royal Appointment; London’s leading cheesemongers, Paxton & Whitfield; Floris, perfumers since 1730; and the “Queen’s Grocer” Fortnum & Mason, all holders of Royal Warrants.
For more information on St James’s visit:
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