Men's cult fashion classics

 

‘Classic’ is a term we don’t like to bat around lightly. It should be reserved for the (actual) classic film (The Godfather), the food combination (steak and ale) and, also, a handful of iconic menswear pieces. From the Barbour wax jacket to Timberland’s 6-inch boots, we’ve taken the liberty to round up the classics of menswear, the stalwarts that have long had a reputation for style. But we also want to highlight the new kids on the block, the cult-worthy pieces that have decked our Instagram feeds of late and so deserve a spot in the sartorial hall of fame. Think of these the classics and the future classics…

 

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The classic: C.P. Company Goggle Jacket

Take one look at the C.P. Company Goggle Jacket and you can see its story. Sponsoring the Italian car race Mille Miglia in the '80s, company founder Massimo Osti (of Stone Island fame) sought to make a piece of clothing protecting the racers. Inspired by army anti-gas goods, he sewed lenses into the hood of a jacket and an icon was born. No car race needed now. 

The future classic: the Napapijri Rainforest Jacket

Napapijri has been caught in a wave of menswear trends. From technical outerwear being seen on the runways, to typical dad items becoming high fashion, to outdoorsy brands becoming street, Napapijri is now the label to outfit your weekend drinking plans as much as your annual ski trip. With the kangaroo pocket, the Icelandic flag, the pop of primary colours… the Rainforest Jacket is recognisable a mile off.

The classic: Timberland 6-inch boots

Designed as a salt-of-the-earth New England work boot, Timberland’s Style #10061 (as they are sometimes known) gained an unlikely group of fans on the streets of ‘90s New York. Said to first be adopted by the city’s drug dealers (keeping feet toasty all night long), they were then picked up rappers and hip-hop subculture. Today, they epitomise that same cool, worn from London’s Soho to SoHo across the pond.

The future classic: Caterpilar Intruder trainers

One of the world’s leaning construction equipment manufacturers seems an unlikely place to birth a cult-worthy shoe. Yet at the same time that the fashion world lit up with bulbous trainers, Cat Footwear – makers of work boots and the like – saw an opportunity to revamp one of their ‘90s, archival shoes. Combining a utility aesthetic, supersized sole and a street-meets-trail upper, it’s no wonder the world has become hooked on the Intruder.

 

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The classic: Barbour wax jacket

Since its humble beginnings outfitting mariners in 1894, the Barbour wax jacket has been a stalwart in the men’s fashion portfolio. Whether it’s your granddad wearing it fishing, said celebrity at Glastonbury or Daniel Craig in that Skyfall moment, the Barbour jacket transcends locations, time zones and generations. So classic it’s simply called ‘a Barbour’, it’s pretty hard to picture a corner of the country without a Barbour jacket being worn somewhere.

 

The future classic: The North Face fleece

The North Face means different things to different people. It is the quintessential outdoorsy brand (you know the one your dad wears rambling), but it is also the uniform of the coolest followers and subcultures of menswear – from the brand’s hype-inducing collaborations with Supreme to their highly in-demand Japanese-only Purple Label. Still marketing to the mountaineering demographic it was designed for, the brand seems innocently unaware of their cult following which, like all the trendiest things, makes them all the more cooler. 

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The classic: Fred Perry polo shirt

To talk about the Fred Perry polo shirt is to talk about the history of British subcultures. Adopted by the mods, skinheads, punk, Perry Boys and Brit-pop, who would have thought the brainchild of football player Tibby Wegner and tennis star Frederick Perry would be so woven in to the fabric of our country?

The future classic: Champion t-shirt

Over 100 years old but still as relevant, Champion has had a resurgence. With ‘90s style taking over fashion, collaborations with the likes of Supreme and Wood Wood and celebrities consistently pulling on the hoodies and tees, we have all fallen in love with the bold colours and iconic logos of this throwback sports brand once again.

The classic: New York Yankees cap

It’s no understatement to say that the Yankees and Spike Lee changed headgear. When the American director and actor requested New Era make their Yankees baseball cap in a personalised colour at the same time that the baseball team rose to great success, the hat became seen everywhere. The cap is so cemented in society, it’s not so much an item of clothing as a piece of culture. And that's no mean feat. 

The future classic: Columbia beanie

The beanie has become luxury menswear’s most coveted accessory. Where once the beanie was saggy and worn at the back of the head (David Beckham-style), today’s beanies are short, textured and unassumingly cool. Columbia is part of a wave of outdoor brands that have become the new streetwear and as such a black beanie is your new cult item. We say get one in your repertoire stat...

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