Best Menswear Shopping In London? – Piccadilly Arcade Travel Tour 🚶‍♂️ | Kirby Allison


I’m Kirby Allison, and I love helping the
well-dressed acquire and care for their wardrobes. Join me as we explore the
world of quality, craftsmanship, and tradition. Whenever I’m in London one of my favorite places to come visit in
Piccadilly arcade. Of the three arcades, Piccadilly, Burlington, and the Royal
Arcade, there’s no question that the Piccadilly arcade has some of the best
shops for men and whenever I’m here I love to stop by and say hello to some of
my friends and to see what they’re doing new. Even in these shops that
have been here for over a hundred of years there are always we discovering
and inventing incredible things that are fun to see. So the first place I always
visit to whenever I’m in the Piccadilly arcade is Budd Shirtmaker. They’ve been
here forever and are particularly well known for their white try and black tie
cut robots so let’s go in and say hi yeah Andy nice to see you yeah pleasure
you know it’s always great to be back here in London and of course mr. Mundy
thank you for having me so here we are we’re inside Budd shirt makers you know
probably you know one of the anchors of the Piccadilly arcade you know been here
forever well known for being the only shirt maker here in Jermyn Street right
they’re still cutting their shirts on premises but even probably better than
that they’re known for being a V destination for white tie and black tie
accoutrement and you know fine men’s accessories so you know here we are so I
mean one of the things that I think is really special about Budd is that you
know you guys as far as its concerned in London or the destination for a full
white tie you know gear so you know white tie
Kouta mont black tie i mean but is you know the purveyor of
those things here in london well we’re very proud unfortunate because a lot of
gentlemen from around the world we had a chat funnily enough from Texas said that
he was advised by twelve different people in Dallas that this was the only
place on the planet to buy white tie from this little shop it’s probably true
I mean there abouts I mean you always hear the story of the the American
that’s in London and ends up being invited to some white tie event at
Buckingham Palace and brings this tuxedo only to realize that that he won’t be
allowed in the door and then I’m sure you see those customers come running in
the door you know saying you know I need why a white tie fig I had a gentleman
coming and he’d been ill-advised and he came in with a morning coat telco to go
to the Opera Ball in Vienna he had no good advice I’m so I said look I cannot
let you go to the Opera Ball the first time he was going we need to get you
kicked out you need to go and see one of a number of tailors and get a tailcoat
suitable for white tie and we see that an awful lot white and black tie yeah
and you know one of the things that you know was told to me by a good friend of
mine is that you know even if you have to hire your your tails you know having
your own collar and your proper you know white tie self tied bow
tie and in shirt you know really can take that ensemble and elevate it above
everyone else in the room yes and it also makes you a lot more comfortable
absolutely something about wearing somebody else’s clothes which isn’t
quite as enjoyable as wearing your own because they become more comfortable
than more that you do rather well shirts originally were considered undergarments
so you know it’s like wearing someone else’s undergarments I mean even if
you’re hiring the the tails you know you’d still want to have your
own shirt you know your own proper collar your own bowtie and those are the
small accoutrements I mean you know the bowties of your you know proper white
tie collar or shirt you know isn’t gonna set you back like an entire you know set
of tails you know from a Savile Row table that’s very much the the the
better end of the deal ready by the shirt and the accessories yeah well mr.
Mundy thank you so much for I’m kind of holding you know such tutorial
traditions it’s a real pleasure we appreciate your passion and all the work
that you guys do to help keep us well dressed I am we right appreciate it so
thank you to you yeah Cheers well thanks for letting us
stop in everyone so as we walk down the arcade next we
get the Swain Adney Brig now Swain a Denis for the longest time was looking
at nun st. James and they specialized in bridles and other bridle leather goods
like hard grief cases and other weekender bags they were exceptionally
well known for that but then they teamed up with brig which was an umbrella maker
and now they do of course bridle leather leather goods umbrellas and as you can
see they’re expanding also into hats that they’re gonna begin making on
apprentices so if you’re looking for a traditional English bridle leather
wallet weekend bag or briefcase there’s a few better places in London than Swain
adne brick now right across the way we have one of my favorite shops that
actually isn’t traditionally English it’s from Paris genre so now John Russo
is particularly well known for their bespoke watch straps and other small
bespoke leather goods and one of the things that really differentiates them
is their incredible palette of colors but that they’re able to make their
watch traps with quick releases so that you can switch out your bands very
quickly as you all know I have my I love my show card for petrol calendar but I
have three or four different watch straps that John Russo’s made that I
switch out as I travel to fit the outfit I’m wearing let’s continue down and I’ll
show you some of the other incredible chef’s we have here at the Piccadilly
arcade next we have Vincent and Clegg the company branched out into a large
range of menswear accessories such as neck wear buttons badges and cufflinks
but today I’m excited to catch up with my friend Haulover cross head cutter at
Vincent and Clegg who is working to reinvigorate their historic bespoke
tailoring heritage so in 1937 when Benson Clegg flew the nest from halls
and Curtis and sets up their Club Lounge on their own they wanted somewhere where
their customers could relax they created a Club Lounge shop on Berry
Street just around the corner we moved here in the 60s late 60s early 70s and
over time we’ve just lost our identity as a tailor’s I think we’ve we’ve we’ve
concentrated a lot on the you know we’ve got the the raw Warren fall that the
ties for he’s wrought iron as Prince of Wales but we wanted to focus more on our
core which is tailoring which is where our skills line is what we can produce
you know it’s the best impeccable standard
so yeah so we wanted to create this lounge an atmosphere where we could have
customers come in greet their friend me the cutter and and we can we can chew
the fat chat away and and catch up talk about family you know so you saw you’ll
still have all the accoutrements and stairs I mean of course the ties and
cufflinks and socks and you know patches that everyone knows you guys for but
then upstairs will be the proper kind of bespoke salon absolutely so be a VIP
tailoring around will call it it with with a club atmosphere with with paneled
walls nice furnishings my beautiful bespoke cutting board which
I’m very proud of yes I’m very looking forward to working on that to my height
as well which is which is important and just you know treating customers as
friends and and and not rushing them with this process the bespoke process
that shouldn’t be rushed you know it takes time it takes time to get to know
your customers and it’s important to get into custom into the customers mind to
understand what they’re I feel like you get a better product whenever you have a
meaningful and genuine relationship with your cutter absolutely are you better
yeah you know you trust them more they trust you more to offer advice yeah
absolutely and that’s something I pride myself on
you know service comes at no cost whatsoever Oliver thanks for having us
early you know we’re not worried you know a new space indeed please and I’d
be nice to meet you suit one day may indeed absolutely lose Thank You Koby
thank you very nice to see so so as you walk down the Piccadilly
arcade towards German Street we get to one of my favorite coupling shops in the
world deacon and Frances they’ve been around forever but just recently I’ve
opened a shop here in the Piccadilly arcade so let’s go inside and see what
they have Coby hey Christopher nice to see you again welcome bye now so how’s
the new shop doing perpetually well I’m happy to say isn’t really good
well yeah it’s great to kind of see the entire collection in one place I mean
you guys have such a wider range of cufflinks and to see it all assembled in
this one shop and the Piccadilly arcade is really you know quite exceptional
it’s kind of you to say so enough we do have around about a thousand pairs here
unbelievable but if you go up to the factory in Burma and see over the 233
years really making them we have actually over 5,000 different designs of
cuff link really okay so you guys constantly reaching back into the
archive and kind of pulling things at heart and we introduce them all the time
we actually use under reusing some of the dyes from the 19th century really
cufflinks today I can show you some that we all do our lives are great yeah well
what do we have that’s new yeah let me get some things to show you thank you
yeah I’ve got a few few to see because they really show that the from and to of
what we’re up to everyone thinks again because we’re this
ancient company not just me but the company that we do only classic pieces
and we do the most amazing classic enamel work for example yeah and these
are made from steel dye stamped in silver you and the enamel is proper
molten glass fusing to the silver it’s not a painter or spray okay and we have
three amazing ladies to do all the enameling work in the factory so that’s
the muddy yeah classic you have on a chain which is nice that we were
learning about that over it yeah but a little tape yeah absolutely it’s
personal choice of whether you have a chain or on a hinge drum being the older
generation plant might prefer the look of the double sign it may mean you have
be a bit more patient in the morning all like me put them all the night before
but you know you were saying earlier that that you guys can do any of your
cufflinks either mmm we do absolutely and also you
can change the color we have over 107 different colors to play with an enamel
okay so if someone comes in and says yeah I really like this now what can you
do instead of the blue red you guys are hitting basically know that maybe we
only have problem with the the EU for who knows how much longer they have
funny laws regarding some of the enameling powders we use because they
have chemicals like lead or in them so occasionally suddenly will ban certain
glass powders and we can no longer do pink
so much on that’s the EU for you yeah absolutely so those are in silver we do
some chrome or funky ones not everyone’s taste with these that just happened to
be great fun yes you have a little battery inside but you can change
obviously grateful yeah I mean that’s what’s fun about what you guys to him
and you have the incredible kind of Heritage pieces you guys have been doing
for a long time but you guys have also certainly kind of reinvented yourselves
and are doing you know certainly much more kind of a modern fun kind of fun
and quirky cufflinks ed you know you kind of still see today I did you know
we actually are a seven generation owned family business still under the deccan
family and their two brothers at the moment actually no they are okay head
when you’re left James on the right around Henry on the
left as the he’s a clever one he’s a managing director so he’s good with
figures James and the ride is slightly more inventive and creative he’s the
crazy one who comes up with all the design work for us what else do we have
here these are my rather a real boys toy these are very good models of a sawn-off
shotgun okay they’re made of an alloy and not a
precious metal but treated like one so plated in rhodium
rose gold and silver and have a great so the shotguns actually break a lot of
little cartridges waiting to go look at that
they don’t so proper shooting that would be great to see if we could you did you
pick up all the yet we will happen that’s fascinating this is a you know
near to my heart this would go well and test yourself of course
you know any question okay so this is that’s great so you guys you know
certainly have you know you know I mean this is you have base metal with plating
how much would something like this wrap these are just over 300 pounds early
yeah and then going to the enamel the classics 250 K and then something all
the way to you know this incredible piece and 24 18 karat those all are 18
karat ones vary between about two thousand eight hundred five thousand
depending on the complexity yes these are just under three yeah that’s
beautiful the breeze hunter I mean proper heirloom pieces aren’t they very
much sir do you see cufflinks coming back in from family members that are
this needing a chain ripped or you know repaired or so insulting to and because
the shop is quite new people are still finding its nose break from so before
this how would someone have found that deacon in francis just through other
retail stores or just to make our living by being the brand behind the brand okay
so we used to make cufflinks as uniquely for cachet or a spray and Tiffany we
just make a huge amount of Ralph Lauren Catholic and independent jewelers around
the world will choose what they liked from our five thousand selection yeah
Wow and what about this piece this is another beautiful one I I think there’s
a good enough to eat quite literally a very simple cabochon Ruby set in yellow
and white gold so simple and yet the most amazing cuff link you know I really
enjoy a proper you know set of jeweled cuff links
I mean you know the enamel is nice and you know they’re great to have or even
you know not cufflinks I feel like every gentleman you know over his lifetime
should acquire at least a few sets of you know real proper jewelry mudgin that
would few isn’t quite expensive enough yes well many minutes but at least a few
but you know I mean a gentleman has so few opportunities to really kind of
embellish you know his his wardrobe with jewelry I mean because you know there’s
really not much seen I mean your wedding band your watch you know maybe a
beautiful watch chain like you have other than that though I mean your
cufflinks are really the only opportunity to really kind of
accessorize you know with proper jewelry for
yeah this is great well thanks for showing me the new stuff and that’s a
great plan nice to see you again always great to drop by and I’d see you
next yeah absolutely thank you Chris for Celia Cheers so as we approach to the end of the
Piccadilly arcade and we come up against German Street we arrive at new and Ling
wood who you pies both sides of this side of the arcade they’re particularly
famous for their absolutely incredible silk dressing gowns that you can find in
London and also as having supplied the old Etonian boys with their uniforms for
years new and lingual has two locations the one here in German Street in their
original location and even their location here on German Street is known
for being a full-service haberdashery and for their selection of silk dressing
gowns and the house quickly established itself as the premier supplier of both
scholars and masters at Eton College new and linguae really caps Piccadilly
arcades southern end and offers a beautiful facade as one enters one of
the most historic menswear arcades in all of London so here we are at the end
of our Piccadilly arcade of course at the bottom of the arcade we come out
upon German Street which in and of itself is another subject for a blocking
tour and of course we come to the Statue of Beau Brummel who many consider to be
the father of modern day menswear and what I love most about this statue is
the inscription at the bottom which reads to be truly elegant one should not
be noticed and isn’t that something we should all aspire to I’m Kirby Allison
thanks for joining me for this splendid tour of the Piccadilly arcade here in
London I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have and I look forward to seeing
you soon

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