Jermyn Street is a special enclave that has long encouraged men to step out in style. If Savile Row is where true gentlemen go for their suits, Jermyn Street is the thoroughfare on which they buy their shirts, ties, accessories and footwear. The elegant road just south of Piccadilly is a destination for exquisite style.
Classic shirtmakers like James Bond’s favourite Turnbull & Asser (established 1885) and Hilditch & Key (established 1899) have been on Jermyn Street for more than 100 years. In recent years they have been joined by an intriguing bunch of contemporary fashionable neighbours like Sunspel, Grosvenor Shirts, Aquascutum and John Smedley.
Jermyn Street is named after 17th century diplomat Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans, who between 1661 and 1683 developed a residential neighbourhood in the district, one of the first fashionable areas outside the City of London. Jermyn is often credited as being the founder of London’s stylish West End.
Jermyn Street welcomes – even encourages – flamboyant dressers, so ideal footwear for a stroll down the central street of the St. James’s district can range from classic English welted shoe styles (highly polished, of course!) to louche suede slip-ons and on to colourful casual styles. The important part is to wear whatever you choose with swagger and attitude. Remember, you are continuing more than three centuries of stylish tradition.
And there’s not just fashion on Jermyn Street. Floris is a Royal perfumer that concocts some excellent men’s fragrances. Paxton & Whitfield is a legendary cheese and provisions shop. Wiltons Restaurant is “a bastion of Britishness”, serving seafood and game. Rowley's, at the other end of Jermyn Street, is the destination for lovers of steak. Or you can just pop into Fortnum & Mason for a proper English afternoon tea.
Once you've finished exploring Jermyn Street, head up to Piccadilly Circus and continue down Regent Street to the Dune London Argyll Street store to stock up on smart brogues and other accessories. (28 Argyll Street. London W1F 7EB)
About the author: Eric Musgrave is one of the best-known writers about the menswear business for more than three decades. He has been an award-winning editor of Drapers, the UK’s leading fashion business magazine and the launch editor of For Him Magazine (later FHM), one of the first of modern men’s style titles. Eric is the author of an acclaimed pictorial history of men’s tailoring called Sharp Suits. His blog, The Musgrave Manifesto, can be found at www.ericmusgrave.co.uk
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