Lyle and Scott seemed to come out of nowhere within the fashion industry around 2 years ago (even though they have been making clothes for 134 years!), and were picked up by those who love classic fashion with a modern twist. Their range usually consists of just plain classic cut v-necks, polo shirts, jackets, shirts and cardigans with subtle branding. The way they add flair is through their bold colour ways such as yellows, greens, bright blues and pinks. Where Lyle and Scott succeeded – and many other fashion brands have failed – was they noticed a gap in the market for great quality items in bold colours that are not “over the top”… these bright colours appeal to the younger generation but also the older modern gentlemen who wants to stand out, but without the in your face graphic prints, logo/slogan t-shirts etc.
I have noticed a lot more of the indie crowd picking up Lyle and Scott these days. The festivals this year were full of Lyle and Scott bright polos and cardigans rocked by the true fashion crowd, who paired them with muted plaid/check shirts, stripes and plain tees. It was a great look, especially for high summer because it really caught the eye whilst still keeping that classic modern gentleman feel.
Lyle and Scott seemed to notice this because they were giving away some amazing pieces to bands during the summer season, and many of them were snapped rocking the brand all through summer – with everyone from Razorlight, to Athlete to The Enemy.
Describe the inspiration behind the Spring Summer 09 collection?
“The Spring Summer 2009 Vintage range has carefully chosen reference points from our 1980s sportswear heritage with an Americana twist. The vibrant colours were influenced by primary Pop Art brights.”
Who is the Lyle & Scott man?
“That’s a difficult question. We have three separate brand categories under the Lyle & Scott business umbrella: Vintage, Heritage and Club – different looks for different consumers. Heritage is geared to the man who requires a considered, preppy, but classic look. The Club range is ideal for a fashion-conscious golfer. my-wardrobe stocks the Vintage collection, which offers its consumers a bold, confident, edgy and independent look. This collection has been instrumental to the resurgence of the Lyle & Scott brand, offering us the chance to expand our product offering and quality.”
Do you feel men are becoming more fashion conscious and open to experiment with their style?
“Yes definitely, men have developed better trend awareness and are also given extensive choices. In the high street there are affordable options, which are created from the catwalk at an accelerated time frame. The average man is being pressurised by the media and sometimes by his partner to keep with developing trends, which has helped them develop greater confidence in their image. This is mainly due to the historical stereotype of masculine references being broken down. In my opinion there hasn’t really been a prominent subculture since House music, circa the mid to late 1980s. Blended subcultures have diluted men’s fashion creating more awareness on style.”
What three style tips would you give to men to ensure they’re always looking their best?
1) Grooming, (but keep it simple – choose either rough and ready or neat and trim)
2) Always have classic basics in your wardrobe. You will need a wool v-neck, classic polos, a Harrington jacket, chinos, vintage denim, a peacoat, a white t-shirt, pumps and brogues. You can experiment and build an outfit around these staple garments.
3) Don’t own a mirror, confidence is the key
What do you attribute to Lyle & Scott’s success?
“Not every company can boast a rich 134 year history and draw inspiration from an extensive brand heritage or vast reference points. The brand’s heritage includes one of the original collaborations with Christian Dior on womenswear in the 1950s. The Yellow Eagle, which is an instantly recognisable logo, has driven trends on golf courses for five decades. It’s been a staple piece in the sub-culture of the terrace casuals in the 1970s and 1980s. In the past fifty years we’ve had an amazing array of celebrity endorsement. The most impressive is the Duke of Edinburgh, which handed Lyle & Scott the Royal Warrant. All of this, in addition to considered retail positioning, has considerably helped in raising the brand profile. This has enabled Lyle & Scott to develop a unique brand identity which has bridged generations of consumers.”
Some truly great advice and insights littered throughout that whole interview, and it really made me respect the brand a lot more. He has the same view as me that we are definitely in the evolution phase of men’s fashion, where trends are being accelerated from the cat walks quicker than ever, and it will only make for more stylish and fashionable males going forward. Plus it will increase our options when it comes to clothing which can only mean great things when it comes to developing and experimenting with our personal style.
This is one of the best pieces of advice I have seen for a long time: “Don’t own a mirror, confidence is the key”. This is what I have really been trying to ram home since I started this site, confidence will carry an outfit. You always have to believe in what you are wearing and know it looks good on you, otherwise you will always give off an uncomfortable vibe sub-consciously which other people will definitely pick up on. This is what separates your personal style from being ok to great. So be confident, believe in what you are wearing and wear items you feel comfortable in. Do NOT spend time second guessing yourself or choices in the mirror before you go out, it can be the death of your confidence very quickly.
The new season is just as good as ever. You will find classic v-neck jumpers and cardigans in bold colours that are made to an amazing standard of construction. The quality of the fabrics is always superb and really soft, which is a bonus for winter when you are layering up. Look for merino wools and lambs wool knits because they are true classic items and what Lyle and Scott does best. Do not shy away from colour in the Autumn/Winter seasons, it is a perfect time to mix monochrome items will bold stripes or colour ways – it will really set you out apart from the rest of the crowd. Take a look at some of the new collection pieces below.