In the world of fashion, certain countries have carved out enduring reputations for their unique styles. Italy is renowned for its luxury, France for its chic elegance, and the US for its street style. Yet one country that’s consistently a cornerstone of classic style is the UK.
Regarding menswear, the United Kingdom has been a trailblazer for centuries. Since the Victorian era, it’s set the standard for tailoring and design. It’s built its reputation on innovation and commitment to quality, so it’s no surprise that the UK menswear industry is worth nearly $12 billion.
British menswear brands have something for everyone. From the sophisticated Savile Row tailoring to the durability of heritage outerwear brands and the modern styles of London’s street fashion.
But it can be tricky if you live in the US and want to update your wardrobe with iconic UK clothing. International shipping can quickly get expensive, and not all brands offer delivery abroad. Luckily for you, we’ve put together everything you need to know about the most iconic British menswear brands and how to get them in the States.
Few British brands are as iconic as Burberry. It’s a name that echoes throughout the history of British fashion since it hit the fashion scene in 1856. The brand was founded by Thomas Burberry, who had a passion for the outdoors and created a gabardine fabric to protect explorers.
Burberry’s iconic trench coat and tartan pattern have become known worldwide. But the brand isn’t limited to its classic outerwear. Its collection includes everything from formal attire to casual, and the brand bridges the gap between timeless elegance and modern sophistication.
Speaking of iconic British outerwear brands, few brands can compete with Barbour. Not too long after Burberry, Barbour was established in 1894 by John Barbour, and today it defines British country style. Their quintessential waxed jackets are timeless and are popular with everyone — including the royal family.
But while Barbour focused on outerwear to start with, its collection now includes durable knitwear, versatile trousers, and functional accessories. Each piece combines the style, comfort, and longevity that Barbour has built its reputation.
Today, many sports stars are brand ambassadors for iconic fashion designers, but that wasn’t the case when Fred Perry was founded. In the 1950s, Fred Perry, a Wimbledon-winning tennis player, launched the brand’s iconic tennis shirt, which was an instant success.
The polo shirts are a staple of British fashion and are intrinsically tied to a vast range of subcultures from the 1960s onwards. Mods, skinheads, and punks all wore Fred Perry despite their distinct and very different styles. While the brand is still known for its laurel wreath polo shirts, Fred Perry now offers a wide variety of menswear fashion, including jackets and footwear.
If you look at the history of many British menswear brands, you’ll find a link to sports or outdoor activities, and Paul Smith is no different. The now globally-renowned fashion designer left school at the age of 15 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional cyclist. After an accident prevented him from his cycling ambitions, he turned to fashion.
Paul Smith (the brand) was launched in 1970 and quickly became synonymous with a unique blend of traditional British tailoring and playful irreverence. The balance between old and new is what continues to set the brand apart today. Alongside tailoring, Paul Smith’s collection includes jeans, accessories, shoes and, of course, a cycling range.
Many iconic British brands have been established for decades, some even centuries, but that doesn’t mean new brands don’t have a chance. Oliver Spencer is a newcomer that’s quickly rising in the ranks of iconic British menswear brands. The brand emerged in 2002 with an ethos based on environmentally friendly, handcrafted clothing.
The brand and its collections are designed to harmonize style with sustainability. Its lines take inspiration from traditional menswear and reinterpret them. Their collections include everything from tailored blazers and well-crafted shirts to relaxed knitwear.
So there you have it, five of the most iconic British menswear brands that will never go out of style. If you’re looking to update your wardrobe with some quintessential British styles, there are few better places to start.
But if you’re not in the UK, getting your hands on the latest collections from these brands can be tricky. While many offer direct shipping to the US, there can be a few blockers, like excessive shipping costs. Plus, some British brands only offer exclusive and special edition products to UK customers.
The good news is there are ways around it. Parcel forwarding services, like myUKmailbox, can be a lifesaver. These services work by providing you with a UK shipping address to use when you’re shopping online. Once your items are delivered to the UK address, the company puts them together and sends them to your home address.
Alongside giving you the option to shop anywhere in the UK, these services also:
- Lower shipping costs
- Simplify customs and duty
- Offer flexibility with shipping
The best of British menswear is at your fingertips. With some navigation, preparation, and assistance from parcel forwarding services, you can don the UK's finest wherever you are in the US. Explore the timeless, the classic, and the avant-garde from across the pond — your wardrobe will thank you!
Image source: depositphotos.com