It's widely acknowledged that London is the fashion capital of Britain and that it is a great place for spotting trends. There is always someone to look at or something to admire. Shops like Burberry on Regent Street are more like theatres. A clever tie in with their massive and influential social media presence and innovative online store. It's a brand that is adept at blending youth culture with an established heritage that spans 150 years. There are also many newer brands all around the city. Particular favourites include Nigel Caborn in Covent Garden and Blackhorse Lane Ateliers in Walthamstow.
Down from London
But it is not just London that is leading the way when it comes to menswear. Just look south. In and around Margate on the Kent coast, there is an emerging scene of artists, students and entrepreneurs who are putting their money where their mouths are and reanimating this seaside resort. These pioneers often from other parts of the country have been drawn down to Margate by its resilient spirit and stunning panoramic beach. They have opened shops, renovated derelict houses and built studios. This town is built on sweat and blood. They show up on wintery Monday mornings as well as the busy joy filled afternoons of the summer. And they do it with a sense of humour and a wry smile. Dress for these men is both practical (warm and hardwearing) as well as bohemian and eclectic. You won’t find any clothes horses here, just self-made men.
Dave – Just Jane
Dave owns Just Jane vintage shop with his business partner Jane, a treasure trove of items and well worth a dig around. Dave can often be seen strolling up and down the main streets of Margate. His style is English gent with a twist – orange sunglasses.
Mike – The Light Keeper
Mike established the Light Keeper in Margate’s old town in 2016. A darkly atmospheric shop, the Light Keeper mixes lighting fixtures and fittings with other home accessories and tools. Mike likes to keep it simple in an open-necked shirt and brown tweed jacket.
Tim – Margate Retro
Tim is always working hard at Margate Retro on Fort Road. He deals in Hollywood Regency Furniture. Margate Retro is a large open cavern of furniture, fairground surplus and various hand-me-downs. We spotted Tim in the neon lit backroom, wearing a brown dust coat and paint splattered brown boots.
So if you need a break from London, the crowds and the congestion go visit Margate. There is salty sea air, a multitude of taste-making shops and stunning sunsets. We recommend a visit to the Turner Contemporary and venturing into neighbouring Cliftonville.