Britain’s new King, Charles III, has enjoyed a long and illustrious history with fashion. From his youth, through middle age and into these later days of his reign, the monarch’s menswear has run the gamut; whether he’s hiking in the grounds of Balmoral, taking to the polo pitch or buttoning up for a black tie gala.
And every elegant ensemble has hinged on the same curated collection of labels. Chiefly British, these brands count outfits from Corgi Socks to Ede & Ravenscroft robes among their number, and have kept the sovereign’s wardrobe in fine fettle over the years. Here’s a handful of His Majesty’s favourites…
For tailoring, Gieves & Hawkes
Throughout history, plenty of princely tailoring brands have been buttoned up by the royal family. King Charles alone has issued his fair share of warrants to such suitmakers; from Campbell’s of Beauly and Johnston’s of Elgin for his more tweedy tailoring, to Kinloch Anderson for his kilts. Anderson & Sheppard, on Mayfair’s Old Burlington Street, is also particular favourite of our monarch.
But Gieves & Hawkes, nearby on the neighbouring Savile Row, is perhaps King Charles’ most-patronised tailoring house. The institution has held a warrant since 1809, and suited sovereigns from George VI to George V. The King’s chosen style, a double-breasted, wide-lapelled suit in either a dark grey or navy blue, will likely see a rise in popularity after his ascension to the throne.
For shoes, Crockett & Jones
As with his tailoring above, the King has laced up and doled out warrants to several shoemaking brands. Largely British-based, these range from London-based Benson & Clegg to the Northampton-made Tricker’s — the oldest shoemakers in Britain. But the most highly-regarded of the King’s kicks? The fine footwear of Crockett & Jones.
Also based in Northampton, and founded in 1879, the celebrated shoemaker has specialised in creating ‘Goodyear-welted’ boots, loafers and shoes for over a century — and has provided several pairs to the King. In 2013, whilst visiting the brand’s factory, he was gifted two pairs of ‘Tetbury’ boots for Prince William and Prince Harry, and also had a pair made for himself.
For outerwear, Barbour
Crockett & Jones is not the only British manufacturer visited by the King. Just last year, the then-Prince of Wales took a trip up north for a tour of the Barbour factory. Since 1987, our monarch has awarded the outerwear brand a royal warrant every five years, to supply him with ‘Waterproof and Protective Clothing’.
And that’s what Barbour does best. Since 1894, the South Shields-based luxury lifestyle brand has kept scores of loyal customers warm and dry. The King himself favours one of the classic waxed jackets from the outfitters, with a corduroy collar and iconic deep green cotton construction. He even learned to how wax a jacket during his recent visit.
For hats, Lock & Co. Hatters
From Panama to top hats, the King has worn plenty of products created by Lock & Co. Hatters. Founded in 1676, the British institution is based on St. James’s — and invented such iconic styles as the bowler hat. Lord Nelson wore a bicorne of the brand’s at the Battle of Trafalgar, Winston Churchill commonly wore a Homburg and Oscar Wilde a fedora.
The King’s most common Lock & Co. hats, however, are his tweed flat caps. Often pulled on alongside his Barbour above, the British hatmakers stiff-brimmed styles include the ‘Gill’ and the ‘Turnberry’, and are fully-lined, and stitched from Scottish cashmere tweed.
For shirts, Turnbull & Asser
Not everyday calls for a kilt. Nor are top hats or Tricker’s patent dress shoes daily duds. But, for the King of the United Kingdom, a well-stitched, well-starched shirt forms the foundation of most every single outfit he owns.
And Turnbull & Asser is the brand our monarch turns to for these shirts. The company was founded in 1885 and, since 1981, the royal has maintained a warrant with the Jermyn Street outfitters for his bespoke shirts. Made from 34 individual pieces of fine cloth and at least ten iridescent mother-of-pearl buttons, each shirt is a work of well-cut, trimly-tailored art.
For knitwear, John Smedley
The Campaign for Wool is a cross-industry coalition that officially began in October 2010, when a heard of sheep grazed on a pop-up pasture on Savile Row. The organisation’s patron, our now-King, has been passionate about sustainable, ethical materials for decades — and this is one reason he relies so readily on the knitwear of John Smedley.
Despite only being awarded its royal warrant by the monarch last year, the brand is aligned with the King’s environmentally-minded outlook; sourcing only the finest fabrics and creating timeless pieces that have turned the heads of customers from Sir Paul Smith to The Beatles.
For accessories, Dents
Founded in Worcester in 1777, luxury leather label Dents has had royal connections for generations. Since Queen Victoria slipped on pairs of fine gloves crafted by the brand, most monarchs have depended on the fine, fur-lined wares of the British company. Dents even produced the gloves worn by both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II during their respective coronation ceremonies.
King Charles, back in 2016, awarded his first royal warrant to Dents — doubtlessly to enhance his outdoor wardrobe, where capable, cotton-canvas brands such as Barbour already hang.
For jewellery, Bentley & Skinner
Another brand that has had a regal connection since the reign of Queen Victoria (when it traded as Skinner & Co.), Bentley & Skinner is another of the company’s that holds a royal warrant with the King. Purveyors of bespoke and antique jewellery, the shop joins Mappin & Webb and Asprey on the list of our sovereign’s appointed jewellers, and specialises in signet rings.
Worn on the little finger of your non-dominant hand, a signet ring has been part of the King’s everyday outfit since the mid-1970s. Stamped with his official heraldic insignia — a coat of arms featuring a golden lion, a silver unicorn and the motto Ich dien, German for “I serve” — it’s a signature piece all modern men should look to imitate.
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