iStyle: Preppy boy made good

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Tommy Hilfiger is known as an Ivy League label, but as its relaunch will show, it can dress men for almost every social occasion, says Lee Holmes

There are not many men who are known the world over simply by their first name, but Tommy Hilfiger, the man behind his eponymous label, can claim just that. Mention the name Tommy and most people will think of the quintessentially Ivy League fashion label. It’s the go-to brand for American prep if you’re on the hunt for classics such as chinos, button-down shirts or jersey polos.

Hilfiger – having brought American East Coast wholesomeness to the masses – is now interchangeable with everything that has come to epitomise the preppy way of dressing.

And this, for the most part, is where the label seems to have become stuck in the public consciousness. But this would be to underestimate, and pigeonhole, the designer. Dig a little deeper and you’ll soon unearth a tailoring range – which relaunches this autumn – that is a world away from East Hampton or Nantucket, the epicentres of that preppy universe. Instead, you’ll discover a collection of suits ready to take on Wall Street.

Tommy in this guise is sophisticated and upscale in comparison to the casual side of the label. It has a very European feel to it and this will go some way to explaining its success in the UK.

Designed to sit alongside the suiting are separates such as knitwear, smart shirts and luxurious cashmere coats.

It treads a fine, yet successful line between contemporary and informal, providing staples for the preppy boy made good

So, Tommy really is a label that aims to dress men for almost every social occasion. A night out? A fancy Sunday lunch? Your wedding?

You’ll find all your sartorial answers here. Whatever you opt for should, of course, be finished off with the unbeatable penny loafer.

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