Some brands have been around since loincloths came into fashion, others are more recent entrants to the jostling world of menswear. One of the latter companies, and one I only came across quite recently, is Harry Stedman. The company takes it’s name and inspiration Harry himself, father and grandfather respectively of the two guys behind the company.
Born in 1934 Harry experienced Liverpool during WW2 and the war torn years afterwards. As the middle child of 7, he followed in the footsteps of his older brothers and enlisted in the army in 1951. This was the starting point of many travels, taking him to NYC, Libya, Argentina and beyond. And all the time picking up influences, clothes and music on his way. And this was how music and fashion travelled before more modern times.
Setting up a clothes company based around this idea actually works well, and the range of garments is clearly inspired by the 50’s and 60’s, though in a way that works equally well today. If you’ve read Josh Sims “Icons of men’s style”, you’ll nod your head to many of the styles, such as the varsity jacket.You may also notice that a few of the styles are also ones that are typically being reproduced by US-obsessed Japanese companies today, and you’d be correct about that. The Pea-coat is one of those staple items of menswear that is always hovering between fashion and un-fashion. Always variations over a theme, I reckon Harry’s version has details that set it apart from most. Another iconic piece is the Deck Jacket, a design from the US Navy that has lived on and on, much like the classic duffle jacket. Again with a few tasteful upgrades, such as the blanket lining, this one will never look out of place. And like denim it will just keep on improving. A third classic shapes comes by way of the blouson, or the Harrington, or the Drizzler from the 50’s. The basic boxy shape of the jacket has been around for ages and is still a popular jacket. I fell for this one that actually feels more like velvet, but is a milled Scottish waxed cotton. Lined with a quilted jersey and done up with a Riri zip. The Pea Coat isn’t the only offering inspired by the maritime, there’s also a great yellow smock jacket. Perfect to deal with the sort of foul pseudo-winter weather we have these days. Weatherproof fabric, fully lined in wool blanked, full length zip, ribbed cuffs and big pockets with drain holes for your maps. As yellow jackets go, this is a great one. It’s not all jackets though, they do a full range of garments from shoes to hats, via trousers, underwear and shirts. Speaking of shirts, this one looks really nice. Inspired by 50’s worksheets it has two large cigarette pockets, made from a decent weight cotton/wool Japanese twill.
Oh, and one gem I found in the discount section of the website is this, the workwear jacket, currently at half price. Typical chore jacket workwear in style, but made in a very nice brushed cotton twill. Corduroy lining in cuffs, collars and pockets. Three pockets on the outside and two on the inside. Very decent.Something about Harry Stedman that also sets it apart from many companies operating in the same waters is that their outerwear is handmade in East London by quality maker Grenfell. This bodes well both for the craft involved as well as the longevity and design.
I see there is a generous 15% discount on a first order if you sign up for the newsletter. More info at Harry Stedman.