iStyle: Mod operandi
Ben Sherman is celebrating five decades of innovation with a collection inspired by the Sixties Jazz scene. Lee Holmes looks back at the British brand’s rich history
Thursday 09 May 2013
If you were to think of an item of clothing that best reflects the label Ben Sherman, the button-down shirt – or Oxford – would likely spring to mind. With a rich, varied sartorial history this shirt has, over the years, become almost synonymous with this very British brand.
Originally, though, it was worn by the polo-playing moneyed classes of the US Ivy League college system; the two buttons on either side of the collar stopped the material from flapping into the faces of the players when they were bouncing around on their horses. Ben Sherman, who lived for a short time in America, decided to introduce this style to the British. Its success was assured when it was quickly snapped up by the Mods, becoming part of their signature look.
In the five decades since then, the button-down has been reinvented and reinterpreted by each successive youth culture. However, the Ben Sherman line is much more than just a one-trick pony. This summer sees the label’s Plectrum collection – named after the humble guitar pick – offer the very best of the brand distilled into a capsule collection. Taking as its inspiration the Jazz scene of the 1960s, fabrics and fits are of a high quality and standard. Art Deco geometric printed shirts sit alongside sharp modern tailoring, while the knitted zip cardigans and washed out T-shirts provide the collection with relaxed and informal pieces.
What’s especially attractive about Plectrum is its potential to introduce the label to a new customer, who ordinarily wouldn’t think to shop here for such high-end design. Of course, Ben Sherman will always play on its nostalgic roots, and with such a rich back catalogue this is as it should be. However, this fashion-savvy collection ensures that it’s more than just the sum of its parts.
Life & Style blogs
McDonald's is finally trialling all-day breakfast
Apple expands reuse and recycle scheme, letting Android phones be swapped for iPhones
Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
When did the Eiffel Tower open to the public? Six things you didn't know about iconic structure
Pacman Google Maps: company offers chance to play classic arcade game on real streets
- 1 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 4 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 5 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...
£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...