Menswear is always moving. For a long time there, the pace was glacial. It’d take a decade or so for lapels to get skinnier, or for trousers to get shorter. Now, all that’s changed. Like the world of fashion at large, menswear’s trajectory has shifted. Things are going faster, more influences than ever are entering the fray, and, frankly, it can all get a little exhausting sometimes.
Thank the sartorial gods, then, for a brand like Drake’s. The London-based company manages to feel fresh season after season, but never goes so far afield that you have to recalibrate your expectations entirely. Each new collection, to me, feels like catching up with a good friend after a while apart: Things have naturally changed, evolved, and updated, but there’s still a core set of values that keeps the whole enterprise grounded. Or maybe good clothes just make me sentimental.
Either way, the latest collection from Drake’s has me happy that the streetwear/high-fashion nexus hasn’t extended into every single aspect of the style landscape. The clothes are eminently wearable, even when they’re leaning into brighter colors or bolder patterns. The quality, as always, is something you don’t have to worry about (which is just another way of saying that it’s impeccable), and the general vibe is at once put-together and easygoing (which is just another way of saying it’s effortlessly stylish.
It’s enough to make a guy want to shove his graphic tees to the back of the closet and (gasp) maybe even knot up a tie. I caught up with Drake’s creative director Michael Hill to talk about the Ivy-meets-England look of the new clothes and accessories, the state of proper dressing in the world today, and how a guy can extricate himself from the tedium of the trend cycle.
He doesn’t think proper dressing has gone anywhere.
I don’t think proper dressing ever really went away, but it’s certainly true that dress codes have become progressively more casual since the 1960s. However, I do think that tailoring is becoming more and more relevant as we continue to learn how to wear it in relaxed, casual ways. It’s about reinterpreting the key principles of what we think of as classic, tailored clothing—holding onto a sense of elegance and timelessness—but doing so in a way that feels modern and unstuffy.
Developing a keen sense of personal style is crucial here, rather than being beholden to trends. Really it’s about knowing which shapes and silhouettes work for you, and which sort of color palette you gravitate towards, while not taking yourself too seriously. If you have that, then you’ll never be out of style, no matter what the trends of the day are.
Outerwear fans should be excited about this new collection.
We’ve expanded our outerwear offer quite considerably, including a few pieces that followers of the brand might not expect from us, but that feel distinctly Drake’s. It always feels exciting to do something unexpected. We have also had some fun with suiting, offering a series of relaxed garment-washed tailoring in corduroy and moleskin.
Hill has a few under-the-radar hits he doesn’t want guys to miss.
We have our point-collar shirt made up in a beautiful Japanese chambray, which is definitely an essential from this season. Also the knitwear is not to be missed, particularly the sleeveless Fair Isle jumpers, and the brushed Shetland cable-knits.
The latest collection and lookbook are all about staying true to the brand.
[The lookbook was created by] just looking at classic ivy and collegiate style, but from a very British perspective, and giving it that playful injection of color and pattern that Drake’s is known for.