Now, a century and a half since they began, they remain fully established as the choice for quality casual wear and undergarments for the modern discerning gentleman in the 21st century. How has this longevity been achieved?
There is something unmistakable about the clean, modest aesthetic of Sunspel clothing. From the outset, their design ethic has been one that has moved towards simplicity. You will not see any unnecessary design features or embelishments on a Sunspel garment. They edit out the unnecessary.
Equally, their focus has always been geared towards the quality of the garment. They source only the finest fabrics and utilise traditional techniques in the manufacturing of their garments. Their factory is based in Long Eaton, England where they have the benefit of a deep 150 year heritage of pattern cutting and sewing techniques.
The cut of a Sunspel t-shirt or polo is close to the body and flatters the male physique. Even the length of a short sleeve is designed to flatter the upper arm. Even with this intricate meticulous approach, the clothing remains unfussy; masculine. This style approach is what made the Riviera Sunspel polo the choice for Daniel Craig to wear in the James Bond film Casino Royale in 2006.
During 2012, an exhibition has been held at the Barbican to celebrate the style of James Bond. As part of the exhibition, Sunspel have worked alongside award winning film costume designer Lina Hemming to recreate the iconic blue pale shorts which were worn by Sean Connery in the Bond film, Thunderball in 1965. An artistic endeavour which utilises their conscientious design ethic as they research the archives and recreate the style of James Bond retrospectively.
Sunspel boxer shorts famously appeared in the iconic 1985 Levi’s TV commercial. Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ plays while a young Nick Kamen strolls into a lauderette. He strips down to his underwear and stone washes his jeans in a machine, revealing a pair of pristine white Sunspel boxer shorts.
Susnpel can also be spotted in this summers Batman Film: ‘The dark Knight Rises’, worn by Christian Bale portraying Mr. Wayne.
These are just a few of many film appearances which begin to conjure an image of a man that Sunspel garments might frame. Even with all this understated design, Sunspel does not project the image of an unadventurous man. Choosing Susnpel implies that the garment has been purchased with intelligence. The garments accentuate a man’s natural sexuality. Something, it would appear, men have realised for almost 150 years.