10 timeless wardrobe essentials

Brummell selects the timeless transitional pieces for men that can take you through winter, into spring and beyond

Style 15 Jan 2020

Edward Green Belgravia loafer

Edward Green Belgravia loafer

1. The shoes

Edward Green has been making fine English footwear since 1890, and over the years its styles have been worn by prominent customers including Ernest Hemingway and the Duke of Windsor. Today its shoes are manufactured in the same Northampton workshop guided by the same principles they have adhered to for more than a century. These dark oak Belgravia loafers were created with antique calf leather on a classic penny last and feature side plaiting and a tassel for a distinctive twist, and look great when paired with a tailored navy suit.

Belgravia Loafer, £1,020, Edward Green; edwardgreen.com

2. The jacket

Italian brand Fay has been the champion of workwear-inspired style since it was launched in the late 1980s by Diego and Andrea Della Valle. Last year, the brand launched the Fay Archive, celebrating the history of the brand with pieces designed in collaboration with men’s style expert and vintage clothing collector Alessandro Squarzi. Highlights in the collection include down-padded parkas and long, padded trench coats for winter, but it’s the original 4 Ganci jacket, featuring cord collar detailing and hook clip fastenings, inspired by the working uniforms of American firefighters, that is our standout piece.

4 Ganci jacket, £935, Fay; fay.com

3. The attaché case

Luxury British leather goods manufacturer Ettinger has been creating refined attaché cases since 1934 and today offers four attaché case options including the St James model, which is based on a slim, lightweight version designed by the brand’s founder Gerry Ettinger back in the 50s. Made using traditional English bridle leather and featuring brass locks and a plush suede lining, it perfectly combines form and function to hold everything the discerning gentleman requires.

Attaché case, £2,790, Ettinger; ettinger.co.uk

4. The belt

A refined leather belt in brown or black is a wardrobe essential that can provide the perfect finishing touch to an outfit. Not only does it complete an ensemble perfectly, it adds definition to any silhouette. This hand-plaited leather belt  from Hackett with hand-polished silver-toned buckle reflects the British tailoring house’s classic aesthetic perfectly, while being versatile enough to complement any look, from jeans to tailored suits.

Belt, £85, Hackett; hackett.com

5. The casual trousers

When Levi Strauss arrived in San Francisco in 1850 at the height of the Gold Rush, he capitalised on the miners’ need for durable work trousers by hiring a tailor to create them from tent canvas, which was soon substituted for copper- riveted denim. By the 60s, the workwear jeans were popular all over the world and remain so to this day. Keen to retain its rich heritage, the brand often reaches back into its archives. These tailored cords from Levi’s Vintage Clothing are an exact reproduction of the brand’s 1919 cords and look just as refined when worn with a shirt for a casual dinner with colleagues or a sweatshirt and sneakers for an off-duty weekend look.

1919 Cords, £175, Levi’s Vintage Clothing; levi.com

6. The waistcoat

Whether it’s for the annual trip to Ascot or the raft of summer weddings, a well-structured waistcoat is a wardrobe essential. Established in Jermyn Street in 1993, Favourbrook offers pieces that combine the traditional with the modern and its take on the classic double-breasted waistcoat in patterned Ikat silk does exactly that. This waistcoat looks equally dapper worn with or without a morning coat, and its pistachio green shade and smoked pearl buttons make it ideal for a variety of occasions.

Waistcoat, £220, Favourbrook; favourbrook.com

7. The timepiece

Every sleeve needs a good watch at the end of it and you could do a lot worse than adding a hardy Bremont Argonaut to your horology wardrobe. The luxury British brand – founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002 – is renowned for its British craftsmanship and appreciation for innovation. Its 42mm military dive watch is a perfect example of such values, with a hardened-steel case housing a three-handed chronometer movement, and an internal rotating bezel operated by the crown at 4 o’clock. Its bright orange minutes dial reflects the importance of minutes in the marine world, while its name is inspired by Greek mythology and synonymous with naval history, having appeared on commissioned ships for more than two centuries.

Argonaut watch, £2,795, Bremont; bremont.com

8. The blazer

For more than 200 years, luxury Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes has created the finest bespoke garments, renowned internationally for their quality. This elegant tailored jacket is a versatile wardrobe staple made from Italian cloth that blends cashmere and silk for a lightweight and super soft finish. With understated notch lapels and two buttons, it’s simple and refined and can be easily dressed up or down depending on the occasion. And having counted Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, two of the most important commanders in British history, as clients, you know your wardrobe is in good hands.

Charcoal cashmere and silk superfine jacket, £695, Gieves & Hawkes; gievesandhawkes.com


9. The fragrance

You might not be able to see it, but a carefully selected scent has the power to elevate any outfit. After 20 years in the fragrance industry, perfumer Nick Steward created his own label Gallivant in order to ‘go back to basics and make elegant compositions that are sophisticated to wear’. Gallivant is a collection of eight fragrances handmade in Britain but inspired by some of the world’s most diverse cities. Named for the German capital, this scent captures what Steward calls ‘the sober, Germanic notes of Berlin’ with fresh and zingy top notes of grapefruit, a spicy black pepper and black tea heart, and woody undertones of cedarwood and Haitian vetiver.

Berlin fragrance 30ml, £65, Gallivant; gallivant-perfumes.com

10. The T-shirt

Founded by Thomas Hill in 1860 with a vision to create simple everyday clothing from beautiful fabrics, Sunspel remains the brand of choice for quality separates. Having been credited with pioneering the first ever T-shirts for casualwear, Sunspel is still known globally for soft, durable garments that won’t lose their shape over time, thanks to the use of Sea Island cotton. Grown and handpicked in the Caribbean, it is the finest and most sought-after cotton in the world. Available in a variety of colours, including this chic navy version, the Sunspel T-shirt is an essential that should be present in every wardrobe.

Sea Island cotton T-shirt in navy, £145, Sunspel; sunspel.com