Marks & Spencer Best Of British
Far from the first name that springs to mind when you think of high-end formal wear, Marks & Spencer has released its highly anticipated ‘Best of British’ line.
Marks & Spencer menswear has been making steady strides forward of late. Recent marketing campaigns using the faces of David Gandy, Ryan Reynolds and Oliver Cheshire have no doubt helped the 129-year-old company’s credibility, but it is the launch of the ‘Best of British’ collection that really announces their arrival as a serious go-to menswear retailer.
The collection of suiting, sport coats and fine woollen knitwear, amongst other items, is a 44-piece showcase of all that is great about British fabrics, craftsmanship and, ultimately, style. When questioned about the stores exciting new venture, Tony O’Connor, M&S’ Head of Design and the creative mind behind the project, hinted that the line will attempt to engage the otherwise forgotten mid-to-early-twenties market.
With wide-lapeled, slim-fit jackets and narrow-legged trousers, the 1960/70s-inspired suiting will no doubt transcend age groups and firmly catch the eye of those fully embracing the industry’s continued move towards a smarter, tailored aesthetic.
The collection certainly boasts a level of detail unprecedented for a high street retailer. Each suit is individually cut by hand and the time taken in its development said to be four times more than that of your standard off-the-peg two-piece.
The handmade double-monk-strap shoes give further insight into the pain-staking detail M&S have gone through to put this collection head and shoulders above anything they have previously released; a matter of weeks is spent refining the finish of the leather alone at the established Northampton shoemakers where the shoes are crafted.
So before we conclude and give M&S a big pat on the back for their new venture, there is one small detail we have so far eluded to cover: cost. Whilst there is no denying the level of craftsmanship that has gone into the range, the pieces certainly don’t come cheap. To some, parting with the best part of £800 for an M&S suit may seem slightly excessive, but having said that the key word that surrounds the collection is ‘investment’ – and there is no doubting that these exceptionally well-crafted, classic items will stand the test of time.
Available now at MarksandSpencer.com.