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Silver Foxes: Chester Barrie and Fox Brothers & Co.

17.11.17

Fox Brothers is a prestigious name on Savile Row. It’s an English woollen mill based in Somerset, and its the home of an iconic tailoring fabric, the best ‘West of England flannel.’ It’s called West of England flannel because the majority of British suiting fabrics are made in Yorkshire. Fox Brothers’ has always been the ‘black sheep’ of the family, if you’ll pardon the pun.

In fact, Fox is the inventor of flannel – the first ever woollen mill to think of milling it’s woollen cloth to raise a nap on it – and to soften its fibres for a luxurious feel. Its archives date back to the 16th century, making it one of the oldest traders of wool in the world. Around five years ago the mill was close to closure, but it’s been revived by the efforts of its current owner, Douglas Cordeaux, who’s transformed the mill and its cloth into some of the best (and most fashionable) fabric available to tailors today.

The result is a modern product with a rich history. Churchill was wearing a Fox flannel suit when he made his famous ‘we shall never surrender’ speech and Fox proudly supplied the English cricket team with its original cream cricket flannel for decades. It also supplied the British army with the largest single order of original cotton khaki in 1900 – 30,000 yards for troops fighting in the Boer War.

Naturally, we’re delighted to be working closely with Fox Brothers this season. A number of our autumn/winter collection’s key pieces benefit from Fox Brothers’ fabric. Perhaps the most striking design is our Prince-of-Wales checked flannel Kingly suit. The Kingly is our signature low-buttoning double-breasted cut, which lends itself to a glamorous look. Mr Richard Biedul models it perfectly in our campaign, worn with an understated navy tie and pale spread-collar shirt. It’s a look that’s great for captains of industry and city slickers alike. We’ve also cut a Kingly suit in a classic navy Fox flannel chalkstripe, which feels particularly sartorial – great for when you need to impress clients or make the right impression at a board meeting.

Then, we have a contemporary take on a wardrobe staple, the charcoal West-of-England flannel suit, cut on our Elverton block with notched lapels, straight pockets and two buttons to fasten. This is an indispensable piece, easily dressed up or down, to be worn right through the cooler months.

Fox also creates a number of worsted cloths, suited to year-round wear, one of which is used in our new Clifford suit. This is cut in an understated charcoal and navy check, which makes a subtle point of difference from a plain grey or navy suit. Ideal if you’re looking for something different, but still classic.

For the weekends, we’ve also cut two pairs of trousers in Fox Brothers’ classic flannel. One comes in a rich shade of navy, that pairs easily with pale blue, pink or white shirts and knitwear –great for a relaxed look. The other comes in versatile charcoal grey. This is a great option to wear with one of this season’s sports coats for a chic smart-casual outfit that feels suitably put-together. Try it with a jacket and merino rollneck or polo.

Running through all of our Fox flannel garments is an important Chester Barrie sensibility: respect for our tailoring heritage with a modern look and feel. Our Fox Brothers’ suits and trousers are designed to compliment different aspects of the sharply dressed man’s life, while being contemporary and wearable. These pieces are luxurious, but versatile, so we hope you’ll agree there really is no excuse not to treat yourself this season.

Silver Foxes: Chester Barrie and Fox Brothers & Co.

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