Style / April 2019

TURNBULL & ASSER: MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

Eveningwear and shirting, in particular remains a bastion of classic mens style, even as our sartorial codes have been loosened in the 21st century. Here, Savile Row stalwarts Turnbull & Asser helped The Rake’s editorial team select their perfect formal shirts. 

It would not be an exaggeration to say that when it comes to shirtmaking, Turnbull & Asser is king, and if that is the case then a Turnbull & Asser evening shirt is their crown. Winston Churchill, Robert Redfords Jay Gatsby, and multiple James Bonds have all turned to Turnbull when the occasion has called for them to look their very best; the results are some of the most iconic examples of evening attire in history. Pulling on a freshly pressed T&A cotton shirt is one of lifes pleasures, says Steven Quin, Turnbulls royal warrant holder and arguably Englands finest shirt cutter. The coolness of the cotton and crispness of the cloth is the perfect way to begin an evening, and gives the wearer an added confidence. 

Turnbull & Assers history with formalwear stretches back to the foundation of the brand, although formal shirting as we know it today made its debut in the 1930s. By then, Turnbull was nearly 50 years old, and already firmly established as Britains premier shirtmaker. Those early dinner shirts featured stiffly starched bib fronts and detachable stiff collars, although, in the decades since, the firm has explored everything from the patterned fancies of the sixties, under the guidance of Michael Fish, to the fine voiles and silks of the seventies and eighties. While they will perhaps always be known as masters of the classic codes, the houses boundary-pushing zest remains evident today. Owner James Fayed has always had a natural talent for balancing the elevation of Turnbull & Assers incomparable heritage with a streak of sartorial daring, and their evening offer remains no different in that respect. Indeed, their recent evening collection has offered a bold and exciting selection of shirts running the gamut from subtle twists on the classics to a stunningly successful resuscitation of the ruffle-front no small task. 

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