At Gents of London HQ we know how important it is for a modern-day gent to have the right clothes to match his image. Being stylists ourselves, we can help with the haircut styling, but what about the clothes complete the look? Over the summer, especially with the amazing summer we've had, keeping cool and looking cool can be quite hard to do. Something as simple as a nice polo shirt can make all the difference though. This month we thought that we would run down a top 5 polo shirts list to help you decide which is the best purchase, or at least send you in the direction we might go ourselves. We'll base our list on comfort, style, heritage and durability. Categories we think you'll need to consider when purchasing a new item. So here it is, in no particular order...
The first thing that comes to mind when you think iconic British clothing is Fred Perry. The laurel wreath label is instantly recognisable around the world and has been a staple polo in British culture for many years now. For those of you who don't know, Fred Perry was a tennis player, a very successful one, who won Wimbledon on three occasions. Created as a tennis shirt in the 1950s, the polo became popular with 'mods' throughout the 60s and has since grown to be a global brand. When you buy a Fred Perry, the product is always well made, very stylish, classic but contemporary and will last you for a long time. You can wear a Fred Perry today and still look cool in 20 years' time wearing the same polo, which is why it has lasted the test of time.
Very much the new brand on the block. Created by Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and named after a song by the Jam, Pretty Green has been a massive hit on the high street and catwalk since 2009. Pretty Green focuses heavily on the whole image of what it is to be a mod. From browsing the website to walking into a shop, music and fashion seem on a level par of importance. The clothes, and especially the polo, are classically designed but often have a clever modern twist. This could be in the form of the design on the polo, the collar or the materials used. As with a Fred Perry, the polo will last a long time as it's well made and classically fit. For £45-£55 it may seem a bit pricey, but it's well worth the effort considering it'll still look good and fit in 4-5 years' time.
If it's quality you're looking for, and the price isn't an issue, John Smedley polos are the one to go for. Dating well back to the 1700s, the company still produce their knitwear on the same site, making it the oldest manufacturing factory in the world today, which is very impressive. So much so that they have been granted 'Manufacturer of Fine Knitwear' by no other her majesty Queen Elizabeth II herself. Popular with famous faces such as the Beatles and Audrey Hepburn throughout the 1960s, The products they produce are still of extremely high quality. You pay a little extra for the heritage of the brand, but the clothes are immaculate and have a real 'feel-good factor when you wear them. You can feel the quality in everything they do when you hear it.
Originating in the south of the United States, Farah has been around as a brand since the 1920s but didn't hit the UK shores until the 1970s. It's famous for having more prints and signature designs, but also for being a high quality make but at a low price compared to some of the other brands on this list. A polo will set you back £45, with long sleeve polos costing £50. It's a brand you will see being worn at Gents of London Barbershop often, with many of our male barbers favouring the polo.
Merc Clothing was a staple visit on Londons Carnaby Street from 1967 until it closed its doors recently and moved solely to online sales. Originally the shop would also sell Fred Perrys and Farah Vintage clothing before focusing entirely on its own sales. It focuses heavily on the 'mod-inspired market fusing music, heritage and fashion. Again, the price is very reasonable for the quality of the make, not to mention the iconic nature of the brand. Merc has a great range of designs and conditionally look to make something different from the norm, while always still producing classic designs. The polos always fit well and are very durable, and the logo is instantly recognisable to a certain clientele. Merc are a close friend of Gents of London barbershop, which we are proud to say having been a fan of their clothes for a long time.