Mark Williams, Creative Director of Ben Sherman, often looks back to the past for inspiration for the future. Fortunately, the brand, founded in 1963, has its own rich heritage. “When you choose the Ben Sherman brand,” he says, “you are buying a piece of heritage and history.”
He often starts a collection with the thought of a fashionable trendsetter or a youth subculture – this season it was British post-punk and new wave styles from the late 70s and early 80s – and then revises them with a contemporary twist . “There are always new ways to twist and reinvent topics with modern trends, but you have to be grounded and stay true to what your brand values are about.”
This fall there is a mix of formal pieces and more casual sportswear that can be combined in different ways. Most impressive, however, are the elegant versions of classic clothing that you will want to wear again and again season after season. These clothes are easy to wear and versatile enough to work with many personal preferences. It feels like it’s been hanging in your closet for years – and that’s what it’s all about. Here we’ve rounded up just a few of our favorites (trust us, it was hard to choose) and Williams pondered what makes them so special.
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Signature Harrington jacket
Lightweight outerwear is the best part of fall, and this classic Harrington jacket is no exception. It hits the waist like a bomber and features Ben Sherman’s iconic plaid lining on the inside for a low-key flair. Fit is the key to such an iconic piece. “You should have shoulder space to move comfortably,” advises Williams. “And when in doubt about how to choose your size or how to wear it, just take a look at how Steve McQueen wore his.”
Short-sleeved Supima polo shirt
Few things look cooler than a polo shirt for the perfect amount of retro flair. But Williams emphasizes that fit is crucial here. “I like a tight-fitting polo that sits neatly on the shoulder and cuts straight through the body,” he advises. “When you button the polo shirt up, the collar should also be neat and close to the neck. you don’t want too much space otherwise, the look will lose its sharp appeal. “Wear it under a jacket (maybe the Harrington signature) on days when temperatures go from hot to cold to hot again.
The robust yet elegant quality of a fisherman’s sweater makes it a versatile piece that can be styled up or down. “Depending on how cold it might be, I usually wear it with a t-shirt and relaxed chinos with a tapered fit,” says Williams. “On colder days, it’s great to throw in a nice chambray shirt underneath and layer it.” The Ben Sherman version is made of a wool-acrylic fabric that makes it warm, but breathable and, above all, itch-free.
Heavy brush check overshirt
An overshirt is the ultimate layered piece of autumn. While it looks like your regular plaid shirt – a Ben Sherman signature – this one has a heavier, brushed texture, meaning it can look almost like a light outerwear but can still be worn under a jacket. “We went for an oversized plaid with a twill construction,” says Williams. “That means it has an authentic texture and character of the fabric.”
Turtlenecks are a traditional style for Ben Sherman and can be worn with practically anything: jeans, khakis, dress pants – what you call it. We know some men dislike style (something about it feels too “stuffy”), but Williams begs you to give it a try. “Some of the most stylish, confident men in history wore them,” he said. “It’s an effortless way of getting dressed that also makes a huge impact. If you can find a well-fitting turtleneck, nothing feels and looks better on these winter days. “
These pants are a new silhouette for the brand – they call it the relaxed taper – and they have become Williams’ personal favorite. “It’s nice to have an alternative to the regular straight or slim fit options that are flooding the market,” he says. “And because it narrows a little towards the ankle, you have a contemporary silhouette that looks modern and yet very wearable.” The fabric consists of vintage military pants and is made from medium-weight cotton, which is perfect for transitioning from warm to cold weather.
Slim taper vintage wash jeans
There’s nothing more essential in a man’s wardrobe than jeans, and this pair with its worn-out vintage feel is a must. “It’s important to have jeans that look and feel like you’ve owned them for years and they have become your old believers,” Williams says. The cut is also restrained, but stylish. “The fit is quite modern, a bit loose in the thigh, but narrow enough to see your trainers when you roll them up.”
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