At Gents of London Barbershop, we understand the importance of helping you look you’re very best. For the modern day gent, the right ‘clobber’ is imperative to match his a top-notch haircut.
This month we thought that we would run down a top 5 polo shirts 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 CLASSIC- FRED PERRY
There is not often a day at Gents of London Barbershop that one of the team is not wearing a ‘Fred’. The first thing that comes to mind when you think ‘iconic British clothing’ is Fred Perry. The laurel wreath logo is instantly recognisable around the world and has been a staple polo in British culture for decades. For those of you who that have been living under a rock, Fred Perry was a tennis player, a very successful one and won Wimbledon on three occasions in the 1950s. Initially produced as a training tennis shirt, the polo became the preferred choice with ‘Mods’ throughout the first wave of Modernism in the 1960s. When you purchase a Fred Perry you can choose your cut, they are hardwearing, classic in appearance but contemporary (much like Gents of London)
The iconic brand is shared with more than one subculture and loved by many. You can ‘rock’ a Fred Perry polo with a pair of boot or trainers, and for all these reasons, this is why it sits at the top spot.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK - PRETTY GREEN
Very much the ‘new kid on the block’. Part 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.
With inspiration taken from Mod culture and attitude (as you’d expect with Liam involved), Pretty Green has successfully secured and attracted younger festival revelers and the older “Fred Perry purists’. The clothes, and especially the polo, are classically designed yet often have a smart modern twist using alternative material. The polo’s last (basically they wash well – as your mum would say) and have a ‘high-end feel. Priced at £45-£55 we think is a competitive, certainly a worthy purchase for looking and feeling good on a Friday night.
KNITWEAR AT ITS FINEST - JOHN SMEDLEY
If it’s quality you’re looking for, and you have some ‘wonga to splurge’, John Smedley polos are ‘the one’. Harking back to the 1700s, the company impressively still produce their knitwear on the same site, making it the oldest manufacturing factory in the world today.
So much so that they have been granted ‘Manufacturer of Fine Knitwear’ by no other than 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. Popping on Smedly knitted polo is like slipping your hand into a silk glove – get it on your Christmas list.
FOR THOSE IN THE KNOW - FARAH VINTAGE
Although many may think of Farah as a Britsh brand, they originated in the south of the United States in the 1920s and didn’t hit the U.K. shores until the 1970s. It’s famous for having a variety of patterns and signature designs, but also for being a high-quality exclusive make. This one for us carries a surprisingly inexpensive price tag for the quality and compared to some of the other brands listed. A polo will set you back around £45, with long sleeve polos costing £50. It’s a brand that you see on the street a little less – but those who know, know. Indeed a polo shirt we like to wear while putting hair on the floor on a busy Saturday afternoon in the barbershop.
THE 60S ICON - MERC
Merc Clothing initially started trading in 1967 on the iconic Carnaby Street from until they decided to close their doors recently and solely moved to online sales, as many have. Initially, the shop also sold Fred Perrys and Farah Vintage, before focusing entirely on its own branded clothing. Fusing music, fashion and its London heritage we often spot the merc logo on celebrities, emerging new bands and visitors to our barbershop. With a reasonable price tag, great quality and not to mention the iconic nature of the brand. Merc’s polos fit well and give Fred Perry a real run for their money. The logo is instantly recognizable to a specific clientele and comes Gents of London approved.