By Royal Appointment: The Style of Prince Charles
“In every photo you see of HRH, he has great style. The shirt, tie and pocket square combinations are put together so well, with a great eye for detail,”
says Steven Quin our Royal Warrant holder and Bespoke Director.
“He’s not afraid of colour and he clearly wears what he feels comfortable in and does not follow trends. HRH has always worn a double-breasted jacket. I remember reading a quote from him where he stated that ‘his style comes back into fashion every 25 years’. That still rings true. His elegance is timeless.” Writer, Andrew Williams delves into the personal style of our patron HRH The Prince of Wales, in the hope that we too can emanate a calm authority of colour and style.
In 2009, he was named GQ’s best-dressed man of the year, but long before this recognition by the official sartorial commentariat, Prince Charles has been a source of inspiration and discussion among clothing enthusiasts.
While coming from a family blessed with a high proportion of great dressers, such as TRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Michael of Kent, not since his late uncle, the Duke of Windsor, has a Royal demonstrated such a flair for the art of dressing well. By his style, the Prince of Wales demonstrates that necessary trick of monarchy: to always be on show without being showy. His chosen method to convey his personality and his character have undoubtedly been his clothes. Much of the recent admiration stems from the fact he has been a consistently stylish man.
PRINCE CHARLES HAS BEEN A LIFE-LONG AMBASSADOR FOR THE BEST OF BRITISH CRAFT, FOR WHICH HE IS NOW BEGINNING TO RECEIVE THE CREDIT HE HAS LONG DESERVED.
His style has evolved over the years. As a younger man, it was possible to detect his father’s influence in his classic two-button, single-breasted, notch-lapelled and crisply cut suits; later, we see the adoption of the now-ubiquitous double-breasted number reminiscent of his uncle. Back then, the shoulders and silhouette were still quite ridged, but, approaching his late-sixties, both have softened – although, interestingly, the semi-spread shirt collars and small, tightly knotted ties are a constant. But those ties, while usually sporting regimental stripes, have become bolder and brighter, the pocket squares more visible and you can often see both a flower in the buttonhole and a lapel badge of one sort or another. We can think of these, however, as tasteful flourishes, the main method for conveying his personal style throughout his life being a commitment to owning and wearing clothes that are bespoke and genuinely crafted. In so doing he has been a life-long ambassador for the best of British craft, for which he is now beginning to receive the credit he has long deserved. And this is where, of course, his 35-year-long association with Turnbull & Asser comes in. The brand received the Royal Warrant in 1980 for shirt making, recognising decades of dedication to the craft and the expertise that goes into every one of its creations. In February 2013, he visited the company's shirt factory in Gloucester as part of a tour celebrating the ‘Best of English’ craftsmanship and the tradition of manufacturing, even going so far as to try sewing a shirt.
In 2012, he was the host of the first-ever London Collections, and whether it is the shoes of John Lobb Ltd, the leather goods of Ettinger, the cashmere and woollen cloths of Johnstons of Elgin or the bespoke suits of Anderson & Sheppard, his patronage is akin to a Kite Mark when it comes to excellence and traditional craft. The great benefit of a constitutional monarchy is continuity – the seamless link between the past, the present and the future. HRH The Prince of Wales is surely a man for all times, and that is certainly worthy of note and admiration.
71 Years of Style
Image Credits: The Tweed Pig, The Guardian, Hello Magazine.