What are some good clothing brands from the UK?
The fashion industry has always had a strong presence in Britain. From the early 19th century, when tailors began producing their own designs, to today, where British designers continue to create unique pieces for the global market.
There are hundreds of great British clothing brands out there, but only a handful stand out from the crowd. These are the top 35 British clothing brands worth checking out.
The brand was founded in London in 1924 by Eli Belovitch, a man who had been working as a tailor when he discovered that his creations could withstand being soaked in water. He patented his invention – the waterproof waxed cotton fabric he used to make the garments – and went into production. His first product was a raincoat called the ‘Trialmaster’, named after the trial run he conducted to test out his creation.
Over the next few decades, the company grew rapidly, opening stores across the UK and exporting around the world. By the 1960s, the company had become one of Britain’s leading manufacturers of clothing, and in 1969 was acquired by British Aerospace.
Today, Belstaff produces over 200 different items, including hats, shirts, shoes, jeans, coats, and accessories. Its products are sold in over 60 countries worldwide, and there are now four Belstaff stores in New York City alone.
A brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Clarks’ iconic shoes are worn by everyone from royalty to celebrities like David Beckham, Tom Cruise, and Katy Perry.
With iconic silhouettes including the Desert Boot, the Desert Trek, the Wallabee, and others, it’s no exaggeration that the brand is known worldwide as a purveyor of comfort and quality.
The brand was founded in 1825 when John Clayton began making leather boots for his employees. Today, the company employs over 7,500 people across 25 countries and sells products in over 100 markets.
The British fashion brand is known around the globe for its signature checked coat and tartan plaid. However, historic high-fashion houses like Chanel, Dior, and Givenchy have long been synonymous with luxury and class. And Burberry has long since surpassed those labels in terms of recognition and success.
The famous label has been recognized the world over for its beige trenchcoats and iconic check pattern. And now, with former Givenchy creative director Riccardi Tisci at the head of the design team, things only look to get better.
The world of menswear is changing rapidly. The rise of athleisure, casual dressing, and street style are all contributing factors to the evolution of how we shop for clothes. But while many brands have responded to this shift by offering simpler silhouettes and less fuss, few have been able to offer something truly unique.
That’s where L’Estrange London comes in. Based out of London, the brand is on a mission to change the way men dress. They aim to simplify the male wardrobe, stripping away the excess and focusing on the basics – like shirts, trousers, shoes, and accessories – to create a modular system that can be used anywhere and anytime.
Founded in 2010, Percival is one of the most exciting labels to emerge out of the UK in recent times. A collection of simple, timeless pieces designed to make you look good every day, it’s the perfect antidote to our current obsession with over-designed clothes. In addition to its main collection, Percival offers a range of casual shirts, sweaters, and jumpers.
A brand bridging the gap between sport and leisure, Pelota offers clothes designed to be worn after sports activities, which are often accompanied by partying. A brand founded by three friends who met whilst studying design at Central Saint Martins, Pelota’s collections are crafted from sustainable fabrics sourced from around the world, including organic cotton, recycled materials, and vegan-friendly sources.
The label launched with a carefully curated debut capsule collection of six items, featuring relaxed yet stylish garments that would look just as great on the court as they do in the bar afterward. With a mission to offer comfortable clothes that feel like a second skin, Pelota’s designs are both functional and fashionable, offering a versatile wardrobe that can easily transition from the gym to the beach to the pub.
In 1958, a small English firm called Baracuta launched a collection of leather jackets. It was a big deal. In fact, the launch party was attended by none other than Elvis Presley himself. The King had been invited to London by fashion designer Stephen Webster, who’d spotted him wearing a similar jacket while filming in Italy. The next thing you know, he was sporting the Baracuta Harrington G9.
Today, Baracuta still makes some of the best leather jackets money can buy. Their designs are timeless classics, and the quality is second to none. If you’re looking for a classic leather coat, you really can’t go wrong with a Baracuta.
From humble beginnings as a market stall on Portobello Road in Notting Hill, London, Oliver Spencer has grown into one of the most respected labels in British menswear today. With a knack for creating timeless pieces that fuse the quality and craftsmanship associated with tailoring with a laid-back, contemporary feel, the brand has quickly become a go-to for smart casual staples like shirts, jackets, and trousers.
David Reiss opened his first shop in London back in 1971, selling tailored suits and shirts under the name “David.” He soon expanded into shoes and accessories, and today he offers a wide range of men’s clothing, including suits, sportswear, footwear, outerwear, and underwear.
The brand is synonymous with quality and style, with a reputation for combining timeless design with cutting-edge technology. With over 50 stores worldwide, it is one of the most successful independent British brands.
From the woolen bathing suits worn by women throughout history to the budgie smugglers popularised during the 90s, swimwear has always had a certain amount of class about it. But that all changed when Orlebars burst onto the scene in the late 2000s.
The British resort wear label pioneered tailored swim shorts, giving us all a miracle garment capable of transforming effortlessly from beach to bar. With flattering cuts, eye-catchy designs, and even some truly impressive prints, you’ll find something to suit every occasion. Shop now at MATCHESTORE
Gieves & Hawkes
The original two separate businesses, founded in 1784 and 1771, respectively, joined together in 1974 as two of the capital’s oldest and most respected tailors. In fact, it was one of the very first companies to establish itself in what today is known as Savile Row. Over the years the company has served everyone from royalty to the greatest names in showbiz. Today, Gieves & Hawke occupies no.1 Savile row, where it has been based since the early 1900s.
The brand is known for its understated tailoring and classic silhouettes. Founded by designer Jonathan Anderson and his brother James, Folk was born out of the duo’s desire to offer something different to the fashion industry. They wanted clothing that was both timeless and relevant, and they found inspiration in the world around them.
Anderson says he likes to keep things simple. “We want our customers to feel like we are friends,” he explains. “If you come into the store and see someone wearing one of our pieces, I’d love it if you could tell me how much you liked it.”
Britain’s certainly not short of historical shoemakers, but none can compete with Grenson. Founded in 1866, the brand is widely credited as being one of the first shoemakers in the world to use Goodyear welting – a process where leather is stitched together using rubber rather than thread.
Widely regarded as one of the most iconic British brands, the 150-year-old footwear label is known today as being somewhat quirky when it comes to traditional shoemaking. Expect to see classic styles such as Derby shoes, Oxfords, loafers, and even some chunky sneakers here too.
The brand has been around since 1992, and it’s based out of London. Its name comes from the founder, Mark Maharishi, who wanted to make clothing that reflected his love of nature and the outdoors. He named the company after the Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
His designs are inspired by the world around him, and he uses sustainable materials like cotton, wool, linen, hemp, silk, and bamboo. He even sources some of his fabrics from local artisans in India.
David Keyte cut his teeth working at Paul Smith for ten years and spent another five at Maharishi before deciding to launch his own label. His eponymous Universal Works is a contemporary workwear brand known for its utilitarian style and relaxed fits. Its signature piece is the Baker’s Jacket, which is hailed by those in the know for being one of the best over shirts you can buy.
Founded in 1970 by Margaret Howell, Margaret Howell is a London-based luxury men’s clothing brand known for making high-quality shirts, trousers, suits, ties, and accessories. The label has become synonymous with classic tailoring and elegance and has earned a loyal following among style setters and celebrities alike.
Margaret Howell took inspiration from the simple, unfussy style of the English countryside and her designs became known for being both elegant and comfortable. In fact, many of her pieces are still worn today.
Private White V.C.
The story behind the brand is one that many people can relate to. Growing up with parents who had a strong passion for design and style, it wasn’t long before Nick joined forces with his father and sister to form Private White V.C., a label that quickly gained popularity among young British men.
Today, the brand continues to expand, offering everything from T-shirts to socks, bags, and even underwear. And while most of the items are still designed in England, the brand now has a presence across the globe, including Australia, Japan, Germany, and Hong Kong.
Crockett & Jones
Since 1879, Crocket & Jones has been producing some of the finest footwear known to man. In fact, it was founded by the same family throughout. Specializing in timeless, quality shoes using Goodyear welted construction as standard, the brand rose through the ranks over the past century to become one of not only Britain’s but the world’s most respected shoemakers. Today, the brand continues to grow under the ownership of the third generation of the founding family.
The Fred Perry brand began as a simple polo brand, but tennis legend Sir Fred Perry turned his attention to fashion following World War II. He founded the company in 1947 and launched his iconic shirt design in 1952. By the mid-’60s, the brand had become synonymous with British style and culture.
In 1969, designer John Stephen introduced the Laurel Wreath logo, a stylized laurel wreath, to accompany the brand’s growing popularity. Today, the brand is still owned by Perry family members and continues to grow, having recently been acquired by luxury group Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.
The history of trickers goes back to 1823 when John Tricker founded his eponymous shoe shop in London. In 1846, he moved to Northampton where his son took over the family business. By 1900, Trickers had become one of the most well-known names in men’s leather goods.
Today, the same high standards of craftsmanship that made Tricker’s famous throughout England are still at the core today. They continue to make the finest bespoke shoes and boots in the world and remain true to their original values.
Johnstons of Elgin
The Moray-based firm Johnstons of Elgins produces some of the most sought-after knitwear in the world. And it does it all on one site.
Established in 1797, the family business is the oldest continuously operating textile manufacturer in Scotland. It still operates from the original buildings where it began – a former cotton mill in Elgin, Morayshire.
And it’s no ordinary mill. Every aspect of the production process takes place there – from knitting to weaving to finishing. In fact, it’s the only vertically integrated mill in Scotland – meaning that everything is done on-site.
Turnbull & Asser
London’s Jermyn Street is undoubtedly one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. Known for its exclusive boutiques, the street is home to some of the best-known brands in fashion including Burberry, Mulberry, and Hugo Boss. However, one of the lesser-known shops located here is Turnbull & Asser.
Founded in 1892, the British shirtmakers are considered to be one of the oldest established companies in the entire industry. Among the well-heeled clientele that frequent the shop are members of the Royal Family, royalty around the globe, and celebrities such as David Beckham, George Clooney, and Tom Hanks.
The brand was founded in 1806 and is one of the oldest brands on Savile Row. Over the course of 200 years, it has established itself as one of the world’s leading suppliers of custom-tailored clothing to the royal family, heads of state, and celebrities around the globe. Today, the brand continues to uphold the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship.
The brand began life in 1887, founded by John Smedley, a former apprentice tailor from Nottingham. In his spare time, he developed a knitting machine that could produce sweaters and jumpers at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. He opened up his first factory in London in 1910, where he employed 60 people producing around 10,000 garments per week.
Every stylish man needs to have his wardrobe underpinned by a solid collection of high-quality basics, and Sunspel delivers just that. From classic shirts and polos to casual trousers and denim jackets, there are plenty of options here to suit every occasion. And while the brand isn’t known for offering up some of the most fashion-forward outerwear around, you’ll find plenty of smart coats and trenchcoats, too.
From humble beginnings in London, Palace has grown into one of the most influential brands in contemporary menswear. Founded by designer James Long in 2005, the brand quickly established itself as a cult classic among young men, thanks to its iconic logo – a black square with three white dots inside. Today, Palace is known for its sharp tailoring, clean lines, and timeless aesthetic. From there, the brand expanded to include women’s wear, accessories, and even fragrances.
The eccentricity of Drake’s is one of the cornerstones of British style. This London label known predominantly for its striking yet tasteful ties, offers a range of off-kilter tailoring, upscale Casualwear & even the odd Streetwear-inspired collaborations.
For Spring/Summer 2020, the label introduces a collection inspired by the streets of London. With a focus on denim, leather, and sneakers, the collection includes everything from high-waisted jeans to baseball caps, bomber jackets, and more.
The British brand Nigel Cabourn is known for its unique take on clothing, combining classic styles with modern twists. Its founder, Nigel Cabourn, has been creating his own designs since 1996 and has become famous for his collections inspired by military history, sports, music, and pop culture.
Cabourn is no stranger to collaborations either; he’s worked with some of the biggest names in fashion including Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, and Gareth Pugh. He’s also collaborated with high street retailers like H&M, Topshop, and Zara.
The brand began life as a small-time sporting goods store in the town of Bolton, Lancashire. But now, nearly three decades later, Reebok is one of the most powerful brands in sportswear. Today, it sells shoes, clothing, and accessories under the names Reebok, Puma, and Adidas, among others.
In fact, the company is such a force that it’s become a subsidiary of German giant Adidas. And while there’s been a definite trend towards performance over style, those old school classics are still around – including the iconic classic model, the Classic shoe.
The Barbour name evokes images of rugged men out hunting deer or fishing in the Scottish Highlands. But the company behind the label, founded in 1884, has long since transcended those roots. Today, it is one of Britain’s leading outdoor clothing brands, known for creating high-quality garments that are both stylish and functional.
Blackhorse Lane Ateliers
London label Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is changing the way you think about menswear by producing some of the world’s most coveted denim. Founded in 20176 by designer James Brown and textile engineer Matt Williams, the brand focuses primarily on creating premium denim using only the highest-quality materials. With a focus on sustainability and craftsmanship, Blackhorse Lane Atelsier’s collection includes everything from denim jackets to shirts and trousers. To learn more about how the brand works, check out our interview with founder James Brown here.
Sir Paul Smith is probably best characterized as the maverick among British menswear designers. His clothes combine classic tailoring traits with the unexpected – something that often manifests in the form of colorful stripes or eye-catching patterns. And his collections are always distinctive.
His designs are inspired by different cultures and eras. He likes to mix old and new styles, and he loves to play around with colors. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why he’s been awarded the prestigious Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II.
England doesn’t have many mountains, but it does have plenty of hills, and that’s where Rab came from. Founded in Sheffield in 1993, Rab grew up alongside the city’s industrial landscape and quickly became known for making quality gear that could withstand tough conditions. In fact, the brand’s name stands for “Really Awesome.”
The UK-based company now has offices in both London and New York City and sells everything from waterproof outerwear to sleeping bags to technical base layers. And while some companies might shy away from getting into the outdoors market, Rab embraces it wholeheartedly, saying that it wants to make products that are useful and affordable for everyone.
Aspinal of London
The brand Aspinal of London is synonymous with luxury leather goods. The family-owned firm produces some of the most iconic items in the world including wallets, handbags, belts, briefcases, and travel products. The company prides itself on crafting high-quality leather goods using traditional methods such as hand stitching and waxing. Its products are distinguished by their attention to detail, impeccable craftsmanship, and luxurious materials.