There’s something very seductive about altering the way you look. I don’t mean in the sense of a disguise. Just changing the impression you make by way of clothing. At a time when much of what is offered in menswear is slim fitted, spare or just derivative, Margaret Howell makes clothes with the opposite affect. Her work has an English feel with a contemporary Japanese vibe. Her men are modern but with a look that’s vaguely 20’s working class England. There’s something decidedly humble about trousers sitting above the waist and cropped shorter at the ankle. The fuller leg and higher waist make you look longer and taller which never hurt.
These clothes are like the sartorial equivalent of comfort food. The charcoal double breasted wool suit has a shorter boxy jacket and single deep pleated trousers. Even though your perfect body with a six-pack and arms and legs you’ve suffered for are more obscured in this cut, she creates an interesting tension. Your perfect body is now a mystery.
Margaret Howell has been around for a long time and consistently makes essential clothes free of tricks but on the front end of fashion. She’s like a too well kept secret here and in the larger US. Barneys carries the collection here and at their Beverly Hills store along with Union Made in San Francisco. Otherwise, Mr. Porter online is another option. I like how easy it is to wear with what I already live in. Really, what’s not to like?