The Richard James Index
September 29, 2014
Our five top selling AW14 socks to date.
Blue is (predominantly) the colour, you could say.
From top to bottom:
1. Navy contrasting top, heel and toe.
2. Aqua herringbone.
3. Black and lilac dogstooth.
4. Racing green and turtle big stripe.
5. Petrol blue contrasting top, heel and toe.
It’s the time to think Merino and cashmere and refresh your sock drawer in readiness for some chillier times ahead.
Richard James's top selling shoe - the black Walton
More of our in-house survey of what the natty man is wearing, and today it’s our five top selling shoes.
At number one, and up from number two on the year, it’s the black Walton. This represents something of a shoe sea change, for it is the first time a shoe without laces – a loafer – has been our top seller.
At number two (just), it’s last year’s number three, the brown two-eyed Derby.
And then, in third, fourth and fifth positions respectively, come the brown suede unlined Walton, the black two-eyed Derby (down from last year’s number one…), and the tan two-eyed Derby.
So, to sum up, two styles of shoe are dominating and we are seeing more brown and fewer laces.
Of our own exclusive designs, we make these shoes by hand in Northampton, England’s shoe making town par excellence, using the tested Goodyear welt method on lasts that were designed with an elegant fit in mind. The process – for each pair – can take up to eight weeks and involve two hundred separate operations. Shoes to stand you in good stead.
From left, going clockwise: the beige two-eyed Derby, the black two-eyed Derby, the brown two-eyed Derby and the brown suede unlined Walton.
Top 5 - Richard James's best-selling shirts
More of our in-house survey of what the well dressed man is wearing and how he’s wearing it, and today it’s shirts. Our number one selling shirt, and still our number one selling shirt, is – you might have guessed – that mainstay of every man’s wardrobe, the single-cuff white cotton poplin.
Not the most exciting shirt, perhaps, but where would we be without it? Wear it with black tie, any tie or, indeed, no tie. Ditto suits. And likewise less formal dress. While there’s no doubting that a well pressed, pristine white shirt looks sharp, the secret of its ongoing success is without doubt its adaptability.
Next come four more, almost equally adaptable (you might discount wearing them with black tie) single-cuff, plain colour shirts: sky blue, cream, pink, and black. And, save for the cream, they’re all made of cotton poplin, which, famously, makes for a hard wearing easy to care for shirting that does not crease easily and retains something of a virgin sheen long after the first flush has passed.
Our cream best seller is made of a high quality Two Fold 170s cotton. Two Fold basically means that the cotton has been spun twice and 170 indicates a high cotton count which makes for a particularly fine fabric. Richard James shirts are made of 120s to 200s cotton.
Richard James’s five top selling shirts:
1. White cotton poplin.
2. Sky blue cotton poplin.
3. Cream Two Fold 170s.
4. Pink cotton poplin.
5. Black cotton poplin.
Richard James Air Force blue sharkskin suit
The first part of an ongoing commentary on what the man at Richard James is wearing and how he’s wearing it. Today: What colour ready-to-wear suit?
If one was to own one suit, it would probably be blue. And if it wasn’t blue it would almost certainly be grey.
Not so long ago, the two colours were level pegging in popularity with our Savile Row shop selling an almost equal number of ready to wear suits of each colour. But recently we’ve noticed that the blue suit has nudged ahead of the grey as our biggest seller and become something of a wardrobe must have or, as Richard himself puts it, “The gentleman’s little black dress.”
Why so? Blue is a touch dressier than grey and, we’d venture, slightly more adaptable: blue will do for work as it will for play and even more formal evening wear. “A grey suit,” as Richard James Bespoke’s resident man of suiting wisdom Chris Foster-Hicklin once memorably put it, “doesn’t have the ‘social properties’ (our quotation marks) of a blue suit.”
And then there’s blue and there’s blue. Navy is ever popular, as is our lively ‘ink blue’. But our most popular ready to wear blue suit at present is the just-in, two button, sharkskin Air Force blue suit (seen above with a white poplin shirt and an AW10 ‘circles’ tie) that comes with a flat fronted, straight legged trouser. This, conspicuously, is a blue suit with a touch of grey, a two birds with one stone of a suit.
Richard James Top Selling Ready to Wear Suits August 2010
1. Air Force Blue Sharkskin
2. Navy Blue Twill
3. Air Force Blue Voyager
4. Blue Sharkskin
5. Grey Sharkskin
6. Ink Blue Flannel