The menswear writer explores his favourite style and craft haunts in Seven Dials
Over the years, Seven Dials has gradually added to its repertoire of notable names in the menswear sphere. It’s got to the point where there’s such a rich and diverse offering that whatever your cup of tea might be, there’s always something there to pique your interests. However, for me, it’s the same small handful of names that keeps me coming back time and time again.
I’ve always been incredibly fond of Carhartt, which is a business that was founded in 1889 and is still family-owned. Worn by practically every single labourer in the US, when ‘workwear’ became fashionable in the noughties, it naturally enjoyed much success. Even still, the brand’s aura has not diminished whatsoever and it’s still the go-to for invisible clothing. There’s something to be said about Fred Perry, too, which has equal amounts of cult status. I’ve always been impressed with how attentive and knowledgeable the staff are about their employer and the company’s nuances, of which there are many. Whatever sense of style you subscribe to, Fred Perry is so indoctrinated in menswear it always seems to work.
Nearby on Earlham Street is Farah, another institution of British fashion that has its flagship in Seven Dials. The workwear and vintage inspired brand was founded a century ago in Texas but really found its groove when it was reinvented in Britain in the 1970s. Farah is as known for its reliable casuals and basics as much as for being unafraid of colour and pattern. While previously trousers were what the brand was known for, now Farah’s flattering knits, shirts and jersey are just as popular, and understandably so. Another must-visit in Seven Dials is The Vintage Showroom, which is a little treasure trove of a store helmed by two of the most knowledgeable people in the industry. Many leading designers start their creative process here and so if you need a reason to lose time, look no further.
In 2016, Duke + Dexter stuck its mast on Earlham Street and has established itself as a flag bearer for the area. In terms of aesthetics, it foregoes the traditional design aspects of a British footwear brand but it’s young, exciting and fresh and proudly boasts a Made in England approach to manufacturing. There’s an in-store customisation offer that’s fun to explore.
Moving on to something more emotive, when it comes to wearing fragrance I’ve always paired it with what I look like, rather than feel like. Shorts and T-shirt requires a floral or citrus scent, for instance. Luckily, for visitors to Seven Dials, there’s a Le Labo on Monmouth Street and there they compound (mix) everything onsite in the store – which is something you rarely see and gives it a luxury certification.
All in all, there’s so much to like about Seven Dials and when you take into account everything else like bars, coffee shops and quick and easy eats, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon in my view. From vintage to new, rugged to refined, it’s got it all.