Celebrating Craftsmanship At Turnbull & Asser

Turnbull & Asser are celebrating their 130th anniversary. Quite a legend of craftsmanship. It is perfect for those peacocks who want to stand apart from the pigeons.

I must admit, we've always been fans. So will you once you cross the threshold of their Jermyn Street store. It has that clubby feel in which London excels. Their clothes and accessories are steeped to the gills in tasteful English eccentricity. Mundane was never the trademark of this house, thank goodness. Their shirts have more bold stripes than an admiral's coat. You can count on Turnbull & Asser for just about anything. Just in the sock department allow you will find lavender, English phone box red, kelly green, and canary. They even have sober colors for those board meetings.

Currently, Dean Gomilsek-Cole heads the design team. He has infused this menswear stalwart with an updated fictional account of an English gentleman shipwrecked with a trunk full of breath taking shirts Turnbull & Asser shirts. Makes me think of dinning in a DJ and a brace of Turnbull shirts somewhere in the Hindu Kush. Very Kipling, don't you think. The great explorer and travel writer, Wilfred Thesiger would have approved as long as there was an accompanying truck of vintage port and another featuring a traveling library worthy of noblesse.

Last year, Turbull & Asser unveiled its new Global Headquarters set over four floors. Situated at 14 South Street in Mayfair, the building encompasses the brand's design studio and showroom. Although it is splendid in every way, I have particular weakness for their original digs on Jermyn Street.

This hallmark institution has been making shirts for luminaries such as Frank Sinatra, Robert Redford, and dare I say, yours truly. The walls in the bespoke room are covered with signed photographs of a Who’s Who in shirts. Its trademark for vivid colors and patterns in dress shirts and ties make them easy to spot on proud chests while toddling around London.

The big joke here continues to be how they identified Winston Churchill. Not by name or the cigars he smoked, you understand, but by his shirts size. Another doyen of fine clothes, “old collars and cuffs”, the raffish Edward VII couldn't resist popping into Turnbull & Asser whilst strolling around London on a perfect spring day.

I know this feeling when I am in the Metrop. Their shirts really are irresistible. Best of all is the craftsmanship, styling and attention to detail. When you pass by the shop front on Jermyn Street, don't be surprised if your inner toad doesn't drag you inside for a bit of a splurge. When I grace their premises fresh from the Eurostar, I am pleased to state that there is a cup of tea quickly placed at my elbow as I examine the latest shirts. For vintage buffs, you'll love the old school charm.

However, don’t let that bother you if you are a modernist. To shop here is an immediate delight. Staff is professional and cordial. Nobody here could be taken for one of the stuffed shirts seen on parade in the streets. Just ask my dear colleague, H.M who collared a brace of silk dressing gowns to go with his black velvet slippers acquired at a nearby establishment know for its impeccable footwear.

Turnbull & Asser is the type of establishment that Bertie W. savored like fine claret. Jeeves might not have appreciated his master’s taste for the violet socks, but he would have loved the probity and value for quality. Since bespoke shirts have a limited audience, the firm also excels at ready-to-wear shirts and sportswear. They even do velvet smoking jackets that would have made Lord Byron green with envy. Their selection of ties and scarves are second to none.

Considering the origins of the illustrious clients of the firm, it is quite something that the Swinging London set of the 1960s fell in love with Turnbull & Asser. The Beatles weren't the only Sixties icons to frequent these premises. Sean Connery wore T&A shirts. In pursuit of excellence, Daniel Craig continues the tradition. He has all his dinner shirts made here as well.

Not to be undone, this menswear institution is also favored by Prince Charles. The store holds his royal warrant. So why continue to look like a pigeon when you can feel like a prince!

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Article Title: Celebrating Craftsmanship At Turnbull & Asser
Photographs curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at RedHerring, a digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand.

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