Clothes for the Fayre – James


That’s me on the left!

I struggled with my wardrobe for the British Family Fayre and, while arguably not as important as MrsB’s outfit, I was keen to look as good as I could. I stress that our money is really tight at the moment so I was reluctant to spend huge amounts on new clothes. I began by looking for a British made shirt but simply could not afford the £90-£150 that they average in cost, so decided on finding a polo shirt. I felt that whatever I wore it must have a collar.

The first port of call was John Smedley but at £100 for a polo this was not going to offer the kind saving I needed. After a lot more searching I found Coeur de Leon online, who seem extremely patriotic about their British made clothes. Most of their range is very well priced. For instance they have a wax jacket for just £79.99 which, I think, is remarkable value. However, their polo tops at £50 still felt a little steep. With little time to do any more searching I bit the bullet and ordered from Coeur de Leon. I had not realised that each item was made to order, so when the polo did not arrive in time for our shoot with The Telegraph about 4 working days after ordering I was a bit worried that it might not arrive in time for the Fayre itself.  After a couple of emails exchanged, the guys at Coeur de Leon pulled out all the stops and got the shirt to me in the nick of time for the fayre.

The next drama was trousers. I found a pair of Barrington Ayre cream chinos in the sale and at £50 that seemed like a reasonable solution. Again, when the trousers did not turn up after a few days (again missing the Telegraph shoot) I put in a call. There was some issue with my order and the bottom line was that I would have to go back to the drawing board. However, the gentleman that I spoke to at Barrington Ayre could not do enough to rectify the issue. It transpired that they had very little in stock that would suit but there were two possible options, a brown chino and a blue chino. They sent me both to try and I settled on the brown for the day as my new polo was navy blue.

I then finished the outfit with an obligatory pair of  Marko John’s socks and Barker slip on shoes.

Special mention must made to Josery who heard about my plight and sent me a white polo (which can be bought from their website for just £28). I will let you into a secret here – I did actually see these but the images on the website put me off.  However, when the shirt arrived it should not have been originally put off. It is fantastic quality and looks great. It just goes to show that you can find good quality, high street priced clothing… if you know where to look.

All in all, I find buying British clothes the most hit and miss part of buying British. Because it is all on line you cannot try anything on and there are the standard variables with distance buying such as delivery times and not actually knowing what you are going to get. Cost continues to be a pet gripe too. Cost effective British made clothing is available but it takes some research. On the up side the customer service, even when things go wrong, is fantastic and the desire to help is there.

The long awaited run down of MrsB’s fayre outfit will be coming later.




  1. Hi, This is a good site with links to British manufactures
    I’ve brought quite a bit from the sites on here and have yet to be disappointed.
    Currently waiting for delivery of a polo top from Wadsworth and Browne and a T-shirt from The Orphans Arms both which offer value for money.

  2. I’ve taken your advice and ordered from Josery.

  3. Hey James – we have some fab men’s casual clothes from ZZ Menswear on our site and ZZ is a great young British designer who I’m really keen to support – chinos, t-shirts & hoodies! I wish you’d said!!

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