This one is slightly different from my usual outdoorsy / military kit reviews, but stick with it.
This week I've been lucky enough to review some bang tidy menswear from Quantock Clothing.
Who dey and why do we care?
The blurb on their website has a nice dit about where the idea spouted from and what they're all about. The general gist of it is that they saw a gap in the market for some good quality English made clothing and decide to jump right in.
It's a fair point, even bastions of Britishness like Hackett, Burberry and Fred Perry all make their clobber in Far Eastern sweat shops. I can think of few, if any clothing brands who exclusively manufacture in the UK.
In a bid to get the word out there, Quantock have kindly sent me one of their polo shirts and a merino wool zip up jumper.
It's a good idea on their part. Their target audience is obviously blokes and they're obviously trying to appeal to the more patriotic among us, with the whole made in England thing. Some genius in their marketing department has spotted the link between their customer demographic and the readers of this website and members of the Forces in general. I'd definitely describe the style of these clothes as "Squaddy friendly." Nothing that's gonna get you thrown out of the mess, but still trendy.
Well done them.
Clever marketing strategy and Englishness aside, what we really care about is the quality. I'm not sure I'd buy something purely because it is UK made, it needs to stack up against it's rivals in all areas to be a contender. Thankfully Quantock have got this base covered. The quality of these clothes is absolutely sublime.
At 55 quid for the polo and £85 for the jumper you can hardly describe this gear as cheap. But compared to the extortionate prices Ralph Lauren charge for a polo shirt, I don't think this is a high price to pay for clobber this nice. Anyone can go out and buy a Primark polo shirt for a fiver, or even an M&S polo shirt for £25, but this gear is in a completely different league.
When my grandfather rolled a seven a few years back, I had first dibs on his clothes. He was a stylish bloke and had some sweet garms. I was impressed to find some vintage YSL, Lacoste and RL polos amongst his stuff. Ancient shirts, form the original European factories, that he'd probably had since the 70s and 80s. They are still in fine fettle after all these years, if perhaps a little faded.
By comparison I've got some modern big brand clothes with "made in Vietnam" on the label. Apart from the logo (and the price), it's no different to the shite you get in Primark, H&M or Matallan. It all probably comes from the same factory anyway.
Quantock's stuff gives me the same good feeling of quality that I get from those vintage European made polo shirts. I know I'm gonna be wearing this jumper and polo shirt for years to come. Even the sewing on the buttons is solid and feels like it's made to last.
I just like everything about these clothes, the subtle branding, the little union flag on the back of the polo shirt, the fit, the cut, the stitching and materials. It's all somehow better than what you get from something that's been slapped together by a 12 year old kid in Cambodia.
I'm not sure there is much else to say to be honest. I can't fault this gear at all. I look forward to watching them grow as brand and expanding their range. Presently it's just polo shirts, knitwear, jeans and T shirts in a limited selection of colours, but I'm assured that Oxford button down shirts and some other bits and pieces will be joining the range shortly.
I'll slap some pics up in daylight. The weather has been pump up here the past few days.