The clientele of Redwood and Feller have always been an eclectic bunch. From recording artists to aristocracy, 89 Rochester Row is always excited to welcome new faces in search of sartorial style crafted by a true artisan. Recently, head cutter Elliott Rowland had the pleasure of measuring up Test and ODI cricketing legend Phil Tufnell for a new 3-piece suit. The former king of the Jungle was after a classic British fit and fabric. He came to just the right place.
Cricket has always had an affinity with classic British style. Sure, today’s game incorporates more lightweight synthetic fabrics, designed to wick moisture and offer more freedom of movement through the use of more elasticated fibres. Sports brands like Under Armour and Nike now dominate the field of play. There was a time however, when cricket was at the forefront of cutting edge sporting technology and style – even playing a part, along with other traditional club sports, in the development of the blazer and, of course, the cable knit jumper.
If you dig just below the surface, you’ll see just how indebted sartorial style actually is to cricket whites and British club sports in general…
Perhaps Crickets greatest gift to menswear is the classic cricket jumper. Beginning life in 1932 when it was introduced by Kent & Curwen of Savile Row, the jumper was soon being supplied to major sporting events and clubs as far and wide as the Hollywood Cricket club. K&C even went on to supply kits for both sides when England faced Australia in the 1972 Ashes. Not so much worn on the pitch today for obvious reasons, the iconic cable-knit cricket sweater can still be found taking centre stage casually draped over the shoulders of both ladies and gentleman at many a summer party.
And it’s not just Cricket that’s helped pave the way for notable, quintessentially British styles. The ‘Blazer’ was born when the members of Cambridge’s St John’s College Lady Margaret Boat Club adopted gentleman’s sports jackets in which to row. The jacket’s vivid scarlet cloth helped to distinguish the rowers as part of the same team. Because of its bright shade, the term ‘blazer’ evolved; not quite a suit jacket, designed as a stand alone piece, worn to add a dash of formality. By the time the annual Henley Royal Regatta rolled around in 1839, lavish stripes as part of the uniform had become part of the blazer’s DNA, with each team’s outfits designed to be easily distinguishable from one another.