Charles Tyrwhitt opens new store on Jermyn st
Think of Charles Tyrwhitt and you may be forgiven for thinking classic shirts and a truly successful mail order business. That is all set to change as Nick ‘Charles Tyrwhitt’ Wheeler is moving the prestigious shirt makers into new territory. I had the privilege of being invited to the press breakfast for a first look round, have a taster of what’s to come with the AW11 collection and meet the man himself.
The latest move is into a new Flagship store at 98-100 Jermyn Street just a few doors down from the old location in the heart of London’s shirt making capital. At 4000 square feet it’s now three times the size of the original store. First impressions are of light and spaciousness; if you spend much time in Jermyn st you will know that this in itself is quite a luxury. Even with all the activity of the press launch, I still had plenty of room to take in the ambiance and details of what will be a great environment for the modern gentleman to buy his business and now weekend attire.
The layout is divided up into three distinct sections. The main area upstairs is for shirts with a suiting room just off round a corner. Downstairs is the new casual area which has been given a generous amount of floor space for something not synonymous with the Charles Tyrwhitt brand. It all works well together and shows off the new ranges as if they had been selling a casual line since day one along with the more formal offerings. The current spring summer wear has something for everyone, but I particularly liked the ‘preppy’ section which took centre stage with some neat ideas to make it accessible to all.
Part of the morning was to get a preview of what to expect for autumn winter 2011. My favourite of the four looks presented was focused on textures and details. Key to the look was its use of Harris Tweed. The term marriage made in heaven is an over used cliché but rest assured there is nothing clichéd about the range. With great fabrics and textures mixing classic designs and the modern cuts AW 11 will bring a whole new perspective for the modern gentleman who wants to look as dapper at the weekends as he does in the city.
Shoes! With only four styles from AW 11 on show (after all this was a just a taster of what’s to come) who would have thought I would get shoe envy for a mannequin? All four caught my eye but pair one pair in particular, a country brogue with fabric sides to contrast the tan leather, has gone straight on my wish list.
A man in demand on the day, but Nick Wheeler made time for everyone. His messages were evangelical in tone and clear in content. Customers want a tailored look and the slim fit shirts now make up 50% of all shirts sold. He was obviously proud of other great details. Surgeon’s cuff’s are details usually reserved for only the finest bespoke suits and adds that extra level of quality, something Nick seemed very pleased with. The Harris Tweed connection was also something he was keen to point out. When I quizzed him if we are likely to see any other collaborations in the near future all I got was a wry smile and a polite no, but I sense there is more to come so watch this space.
The changing rooms are fantastic with plenty of space, great furnishings and I really liked the Yes/No/Maybe pegs to hang your perspective purchases on. The Harris Tweed collaboration for the AW11 collation is a master stroke and you will see much more from this area over the coming months – but don’t forget the details. The models on display had great detailing. Great woven belts and the funkiest leather/canvas shoes I have seen for a long time all will be available in store.
Could be better…
As always I look for the items that would make a real difference if improved to give you a balanced view. It is still early days for the casual wear department, but it does feel the right products at the right time. When you walk past the store, it’s not obvious you can get any of it in store as it’s hidden from view downstairs. Of course these are minor observations easily fixed with some targeted window dressing and POS.
Charles Tyrwhitt are no longer the new kids on the block. They are well established as shirt makers par excellence with clients all round the world. The move into casual clothing will take time to build the same reputation, but they are approaching it just right and clearly know their customers very well. The detailing was superb on every item I looked at from clever linings to working cuffs. Now you can buy your whole wardrobe from Charles Tyrwhitt and everything will have that tailored look that is so fitting for the time, no pun intended.
For more information on Charles Tyrwhitt you can reach them at www.ctshirts.com or follow them on twitter at @ctshirts
English tailoring meets Italian tasteOctober 20th, 2015
Win a new Bellroy walletJune 25th, 2015
Dapper fun at the Jim Clark WeekendMay 5th, 2015
WOMAN CRUSH WEDNESDAY CLUBMarch 2nd, 2015