Style Hub: Men in Mayfair
In the quiet backstreets of London’s Mayfair a new men’s style DESTINATION is emerging as Discrete boutiques, bookshops, hair salons and cologne stores open their doors. The area has witnessed dramatic change over the past decade, yet the W1 postcode remains synonymous with exclusivity and well-groomed guys
Mayfair’s style roots can be traced back to Georgian times when it became a popular dandy hang-out. Luxury traders and social clubs sprang up to cater for a discerning clientele. By the mid-19th century, Savile Row had become the epicentre of bespoke tailoring. In 1846 Henry Poole created the dinner jacket here. But it wasn’t until the late 1960s that Mayfair changed from stuffy squires’ playground to cool style hub. The Beatles moved their recording studio to Savile Row and it was on the building’s rooftop that they gave their final live performance in 1969. In the same year, Nutters of Savile Row breathed new life into suiting with its modern approach to cut and colour and in doing so, paved the way for the likes of Ozwald Boateng and Richard James in the 90s.
Today, Mayfair has evolved yet again thanks to Paul Smith’s Albermarle Street boutique, the Comme des Garçons concept store, Dover Street Market and Toni&Guy’s new Curzon Street salon. Jonathan Pryce, style commentator and founder of blog garconjon.com, is a fan of the quaint shops and drinking holes of Shepherd’s Market and the surrounding streets. ‘I love Mayfair as there are so many types of men who frequent the local stores and pubs. One thing that unites them is their considered approach to style,’ he says. Whilst there are no signs of Mayfair shaking off its high-end reputation any time soon, it is now openly welcoming a fresher type of customer. ‘You still get men in three-piece suits but Dover Street has opened the location up to new blood,’ adds Pryce. ‘I see as many fashion kids as I do older gentlemen now.’ As long as men’s style continues to evolve in the capital, so it seems will Mayfair
Whatever your wardrobe needs, W1 has style in spades. Grab a slice of Savile Row tailoring at outfitters Anderson & Sheppard who specialise in traditional suits with a twist. For a laid-back vibe, head to Folk with its colourful knitwear and graphic Tees. If travel is on the agenda, make a pit stop at Simon Carter. Famed for his cufflinks, his latest luggage offering has gained something of a cult following in the area. But no trip to Mayfair would be complete without visiting John Lobb to get measured for a bespoke pair of leather shoes at this artisanal cobblers.
There are plenty of cafés to kick back and relax in comfort in, but none quite as charming as the quietly unassuming Caffe In. It’s also the perfect place to people spot. Grab a coffee and a pastry and watch the world go by. A special occasion may call for brunch at The Wolseley. Order the Eggs Benedict with trimmings to truly sate a healthy appetite. Round off a relaxing afternoon at Shepherd’s Bookbinders on Curzon Street. They have a great selection of titles to choose from and you could easily lose an entire afternoon in there.
For the very best of contemporary British art, head to the White Cube Gallery; the first new freestanding building in the area in thirty years. Those keen to add to their own collection should check out private dealership Bank Robber, which boasts a niche selection of contemporary pieces. Kick back in style with a cocktail at The Connaught Bar where the new signature serve is a whisky and chocolate tasting. If you’re after somewhere a little more relaxed, get a round in at Ye Grapes, an archetypal British boozer with cosy corners and traditional pub grub.