When it comes to sophisticated spring dressing, the Brits get it just right. Think relaxed linen and cotton suits, fashion-forward featherweight outerwear, and breezy shorts—all done with the respect to classic tailoring that so many English designers’ aesthetics are predicated upon. The four breakout brands of the season range from stalwart luxury brands like Stella McCartney to London-born favorites like Drake’s and E. Tautz. Read on to discover why each gets it so right, and what you should be making room in your closet for this spring.
Founded in 1867, E. Tautz has helped shape the landscape of British menswear from its Oxford Street outpost in London. This season, the brand struck a delicate balance between this heritage—think country-house-ready linen field jackets ($870) and classically cut checked trousers ($406)—and a modern, easy approach to dressing. We are particularly taken with the slightly oversized striped blazer ($993) shown here—style it with flowing trousers like the ones from the brand to keep cool at the office, or throw it on with dark denim to smarten up more casual looks. Available at E. Tautz’s Duke Street boutique in London, or by calling +44.20.7629.8809
Since introducing her first menswear collection last spring, the Savile Row–trained Stella McCartney has taken a sustainable stance on menswear that has resonated with both new-wave mods and street-style stars. The brand’s take on 1980s-inspired oversized silhouettes is one of the easiest ways to wear some of the season’s biggest trends: the twill Bogart Venus Print Coat ($2,065), which is a slouchy (and playfully lined) update to your go-to trench, and the generously cut creamy suit (jacket, $1375; pants $625), a stylish alternative to the classic summer white suit.
Oliver Spencer’s laid-back, modern approach to dressing is guided by the principle that casual doesn’t have to read as careless. And his spring collection hits just this mark—with sharp linen shorts ($212) perfect for summer getaways and relaxed navy suits (jacket, $556; trousers, $261) that will take you from work to the weekend seamlessly. For a bold, weekend-ready twist on the suit, pair the pink suede field jacket ($1,213) shown here with trousers, a T-shirt, and shoes, all in the same peachy hue.
Another brand that gets the smart-casual mix just right is Drake’s—its expertly cut blazers always seem to have an easiness about them that we crave during the warmer months. This season, pair one of the brand’s cotton or linen blazers (from $995), done in timeless navy, olive, and a vibrant Madras check, with matching trousers for the office or with refined denim and tailored shorts for an afternoon garden party.