Bow Ties Sydney, Australia - Le Noeud Papillon - Specialists In Self Tying Bow Ties

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

There's No Substitute For Quality - 2 Recommends - John Smedley And Sunspel

The Australian biscuit company Arnott's still runs with the slogan 'There's no substitute for quality' and in the face of international competition throughout the 1980's the company remained true to their word and the business survived. To this day I still love Arnott's biscuits and I will seek them out on the supermarket shelf though I haven't done any research into the company of recent and I wouldn't know whether they still make in Sydney or not. Their Tim Tam biscuits can be used in what is known as the Tim Tam Rush, where you bite the end off both ends of the chocolate biscuit and suck hot tea until it reaches your mouth. By this time the chocolate has melted giving you a rush of melted chocolate. Mmmm memories. I can still remember the first time my then flat mate Bonnie showed me the technique. My point, which I don't mean to stray from, is that holding some core values in what you do will keep you upright even when your competitors are bent.

Such is the case I feel with two English brands that I recently bought from which make me have hope for the future, not only in English made products, but in my own company which faces adversity every day as more and more brands try to join the bow tie movement and men's accoutrements etc etc. I can't really blame them of course, I only started my company because I could not buy Charvet bow ties on the internet, as when I first began making here in Sydney it was because mostly I was in shock and awe by what David Jones passed off as a tie your own bow tie.

The two English brands I bought from are John Smedley and Sunspel.


Recently I took up an offer put to readers on a Permanent Style where author Simon Crompton offered to sell you a collaboration jumper with John Smedley called the Dartmoor which was a long sleeved polo in navy merino wool. The jumper, which is pictured below, is absolutely superb. I put it on the first day and three days later I still couldn't take it off. It was a big success for John Smedley and a big thank you for Crompton for organising this. I could not be happier.

Photo source: Permanent Style

Recently whilst shopping at Henry Bucks I noticed that they had a range of Sunspel in, which was particularly well crafted. The cottons seemed to be the real deal. So many polos are made with very average materials and there really is a difference between the various menswear labels offering them. Whilst you may find that Gucci or Christian Dior will use an exceptional quality cotton from time to time, you quite often don't want all the hoo ha they throw in with the designs nor the price tags. Sunspel is a particularly low-key, typically English inverted snobbery brand which I think deserves your attention. I now own one of their Riviera collared t-shirts and a round neck striped t-shirt. Both are exceptional, stitched well, no big labels, made from great cloth. This is a killer combination. Whilst I used to love the long lasting quality of Paul & Shark t-shirts, it's not often that you can find one that hasn't been marred by embroidery or over done on the colours or pattern. The difference with Sunspel is that they know how to hold back - but not on quality.

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