The Prince of Wales is to host the inaugural London Men’s Fashion Collection at St James’s Palace, organised by the British Fashion Council. From George IV to Edward VIII, Princes of Wales have always devoted a good part of their lives to dressing well. Prince Charles holds the record of being the longest serving heir apparent in British history (the previous record, of 59 years, being held by his great-great-grandfather Edward VII). But he has shouldered all these years of scandal, divorce, chutney-producing and eco-idealism by always being dressed immaculately.
The Prince Charles look, although based on very traditional and classic gentlemanly lines, is still uniquely individual. His suits are from Anderson & Sheppard or Turnbull & Asser and always double breasted, including his dinner jackets. The fabrics he chooses are always classic English patterns: narrow pinstripes in dark fabrics for winter, lighter colours and Glenurquhart check for summer. The collars of his shirts (usually Turnbull & Asser as well) are always cutaway, which he twins, unusually, with a very small knot in his tie (usually Benson & Clegg). Charles never appears in public without a pocket square and his shoes and polo boots are invariably made by John Lobb.
While fashions have come and go, and trousers lengths have wobbled up and down trendier men’s legs (going through a painful period of genital constriction in the early 2000s), Prince Charles has soldiered on with his personal take on the Savile Row look. This sartorial consistency counts greatly towards his regard as a public figure. While he may have made a mess of his marital life in the 1980s, he has never made a mess of his neckwear. The fact that he has been asked to host the London Men’s Fashion Collection shows that the man who would be king has kept up a long tradition of excellently dressed Princes of Wales.