The History of the Cufflink

Although historians have observed the presence of cufflinks in ancient Egyptian paintings, the cufflink as we know it dates back to the 17th century, before which time sleeves were buttoned or tied at the wrist in bows. When they first emerged they were exclusively worn by the aristocracy and were predominantly made from gold and adorned by ... More

A Short History of the Dinner Suit

It is an intriguing reflection of our times that the dinner suit, currently the most formal of two-piece suits, was originally the least formal form of attire in a man’s wardrobe. Indeed, it was conceived as a casual alternative to evening dress, for smaller, more relaxed engagements and still to this day is very much seen as an ... More

Famous Dandies through the Ages

This month at King & Allen we’re focusing on ‘Dandyism’ – specifically on how the etymology of the word has dramatically changed over the centuries. From the relatively conservative (but painstakingly attentive) understated elegance of Beau Brummell to the modern day peacock Andre 3000, we take a look at our favourite Dandies from ... More

What is the true definition of a Dandy?

From its origins in early 19c regency England to present day pop stars like Kanye West, the word ‘dandy’ has been bandied around with equal parts respect and derision. However, fashion historians would argue that much of the negativity stems from ignorance of the true meaning of what it is to be ‘dandy’: “Contrary to what many ... More

King & Allen celebrate: Linen

History Linen is one of the first products known to civilised man, dating back 30,000 years. As well as clothing, it was used for sails, rope, fishing nets, linseed oil and even currency. Indeed, the Latin for flax (the plant from which it is extracted) is linen usitatissimum (extremely useful!). Linen is also extremely hard-weari... More

The History of the Necktie

"A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life" - Oscar Wilde As with so many fashions across the centuries, the necktie has its roots in military history. Evidence of the tie as military uniform dates back as far as 210BC and China’s first emperor – Qin Shih Huang. The emperor had originally wanted to be buried with his entire ... More

Icon of the Month VE Day 70th Anniversary special – Winston Churchill

As well as Prime Minister, Winston Churchill lead an extremely eclectic life. He was a painter, a historian, a bricklayer, a prisoner of war, and a nobel prize laureate. He was also a champagne connoisseur and fashion icon – conceiving and popularising the ‘Siren Suit’ – a zip-up ‘onesie’, to be worn when seeking shelter during ... More

How to wear a power suit like Michael Corleone in The Godfather Pt II

This month “the greatest sequel of all time”, The Godfather Pt II, will be 40 years old. But rather than waxing lyrical on the inevitable release of the digitally enhanced 5.1 commemorative blue ray edition of the cinematic classic, we thought we’d focus on the Michael Corleone’s suits… From his first scene, Michael’s light ... More

The History of the Suit Jacket

Practical, comfortable, smart and flattering, no other garment has impacted menswear quite like the humble suit jacket. In the following article we trace the steps of this hugely important garment, from the work attire of 15th century peasant farmers to the two buttoned, single breasted style icon that hangs in your wardrobe… The jacket ... More

King & Allen ‘Icon’ Special – The Suits of Salvador Dali

One of our favourite smaller stories of this month was about a man called Tomeu L'Amo who spent 25 years proving that an artwork he bought in an antiques store for €150 was a Salvadore Dali original. Dali’s dressing style was almost as original, flamboyant and creative as his art. As well as his trademark chalk stripe double breasted ... More