Dapper Deep Dive: English Laundry

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Dapper Deep Dives

As part of my ongoing effort to help guys develop sharp style and strong confidence, I occasionally do deep dives into brands and products that can help you look sharp and feel sure.

In this edition, we’ll dive deep into British menswear brand English Laundry.

The Brand:

What is English Laundry?

English Laundry logo

English Laundry is a British apparel and fragrance brand founded by designer Christopher Wicks (on whom more below).

The brand started as a line of menswear when it launched in 2010, but has since expanded into a wide range of other offerings (see below for more), all with a distinctly British look and feel.

Wicks drew inspiration for the line from his hometown of Manchester, England – which is partly why English Laundry has such a distinctly British aura (in addition to the name, of course) – and from his interest in music and fashion.

The brand describes its styles as ranging “from Mod to Hippie Floral and beyond,” though I think that description fails to capture the full range of their offerings.

While some of their stuff fits that description, a lot of their pieces look more mainstream and remind me more of a polished modern gentleman than the 60s mod scene of swinging London.

Who is Christopher Wicks?

English Laundry founder Christopher Wicks (photo via YouTube)

Somewhat weirdly, I couldn’t find much information about Wicks when I went looking.

Which seems strange considering that he’s the founder of what seems to be a pretty large brand, and his personal story is apparently quite crucial to the brand’s aesthetic.

The most information I could find about Wicks came from the website for English Laundry Fragrance (which for some reason is separate from the main English Laundry site).

It says that Wicks grew up in the 1960s in Manchester, where he used to sketch “shirts, shoes and guitars” before growing up to pursue fashion design professionally.

In an interview on English Laundry’s YouTube page, Wicks says he felt called to become a designer from the age of seven.

He mentions that he was inspired by The Beatles, who he says “really started fashion for people who didn’t want to wear what their parents wore.”

At 22 he apparently became a designer “for one of England’s largest gentlemen’s shirt manufacturers,” though the manufacturer’s name is never mentioned.

If Wicks is a child of the 60s, then he would have been 22 in the 70s or early 80s.

The main English Laundry site says the brand launched in 2010, but I can’t find anything about what he was doing in between.

Other than those few biographic details (and the fact that he’s apparently friends with Charlie Sheen?), the only info I could find about Wicks is that he apparently won a few fashion awards, though again the details are pretty scant.

Is English Laundry a good brand?

Based on the reviews I’ve seen online, English Laundry seems pretty legit

English Laundry’s prices are quite reasonable for what seems like quite good-looking menswear.

That kind of discrepancy always causes me to look a little closer at the quality of what they’re offering.

Brands like Zara and stores like H&M have trained me to be suspicious when really good-looking clothes are sold for prices that seem too good to be true, because often the sharp styles come at the cost of good quality.

The good news is that, while I haven’t tried English Laundry yet for myself, the reviews I’ve found online seem to indicate that their stuff is up to snuff.

(I’ve ordered some pants online, so I’ll update this post once I’ve tried them out and had a chance to write a proper English Laundry review.)

Much Loved Colognes

Their colognes, in particular, seem to be pretty well loved.

Their Signature Eau de Parfum has 4.5 stars on Amazon after 80 reviews, most of which were glowing.

Here’s a typical example from a user named Derek Tisdale:

“This is my favorite cologne. I started wearing this cologne back in 2014 and I have been wearing it every since. The smell is amazing and the scent is lasting. I have also started using English Laundry Tahitian. I truly enjoy both colognes but signature remains the favorite.”

Pretty Well Reviewed Clothes

Their clothes are likewise pretty well loved.

Their five-pocket pants have also earned 4.5 stars after an impressive 175 reviews. Here’s one from E.Williams that’s pretty typical of the reviews I read:

“Since I first found these at Costco I have truly enjoyed wearing them and purchasing many more pairs of them. While they are easily used for day-to-day work they can also be used to dress up for a night out. The fabric is soft and they hang perfectly for my body. I definitely recommend them.”

Normally when you see a combination of a high star rating and a high number of reviews, it’s a good sign.

I’m looking forward to trying a few English Laundry products out for myself and reporting back on the results.

Who owns English Laundry?

BlueStar Alliance Logo

Since 2011 English Laundry has been owned by Bluestar Alliance, a “brand-management company” (whatever that is).

They also own a few other brands you may have heard of, including surf/skateboard brand Hurley and electronics/home accessories brand Brookstone.

Is English Laundry cologne good?

English Laundry Signature Eau de Parfum

The short answer seems to be a resounding yes.

Cologne is obviously a subject thing and opinions can vary, but all of English Laundry’s colognes seem to have 4-star ratings or above, with the Signature Eau de Parfum being particularly well loved.

In addition, the YouTube cologne review channel TLTG Reviews called English Laundry “a very underrated housed” with a lot of hidden gems, saying that they offer both some fantastic scents and “some of the absolute best deals you can have on a fragrance.”

What does English Laundry smell like?

English Laundry Signature Eau de Parfum
Image via Amazon user Viren Dial

English Laundry describes the smell of its Signature Eau de Parfum as “captivating,” “classic,” and “elegant,” among other adjectives.

To be more specific, its aromatic notes include bergamot, lemon, lavender, and cedar, with middle notes of nutmeg and coriander, and a base of sandalwood, vetiver, musk, and amber.

If you’re not sure what any of that means (scents, after all, are famously difficult to describe with words), one user on Amazon attempted to put this into plain English (pun very much intended).

He wrote that the Signature Eau de Parfum had “a spicy and slightly floral note.”

Another user said it’s “sweet, not over baring, manly but not musky.”

The Products:

Where to Buy English Laundry

English Laundry sells a pretty wide variety of men’s clothes and lifestyle products.

As their corporate website puts it, what “started out as an elaborate shirt line, has grown into a full lifestyle selection of suits, tailored separates, neckwear, footwear, headwear, outerwear, sweaters, dress & sport shirts, denim, hosiery, cufflinks, watches, fragrances, eyewear, underwear, and accessories.”

While the list of products English Laundry sells may be long, the list of outlets where it’s available is even longer. You can find the brand’s offerings at just about every major retailer, including:

To make things a little easier, below are some of the best-looking and best-rated English Laundry pieces and products I came across while researching this post.

English Laundry Pants

English Laundry Cologne

English Laundry Shirts

English Laundry Suits

English Laundry Watches

English Laundry Shoes

You’ve Dived Deep into English Laundry

Now Learn How to Become Your Most Stylish Self

Doing deep dives into brands like English Laundry will help you learn which lines of men’s products can help you look your best.

But knowing where to find sharp-looking men’s clothes is one thing; knowing how to wear them is another.

I like to say that the handsome devil is in the details, which means that if you want to out-dress the other guys, you need to know how to nail the small-but-crucially important things that add up to make a big difference on how dapper you look.

Fortunately, you don’t have to look very far to find out which details are most impactful. Enter your email address below and I’ll send you a checklist that outlines the Nine Details You Need to Nail in order to look like your most stylish self.

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More Men’s Style Advice from Irreverent Gent:
More on English Laundry from Around the Web:

About Dave Bowden

Dave Bowden

Irreverent Gent founder Dave Bowden is a style blogger whose advice on how to look good and live well has been featured in some of the world’s most trusted publications, including New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider and more.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found spending time with his wonderful wife and sons, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.

Check out Dave's Style Story to find out how a chance encounter with his friend's step-dad taught him the value of looking good and living well. (Don't worry—it's less creepy than it sounds!)

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