Coats For Men Around Notting Hill
It was in 1999 when a film called Notting Hill turned the now famous West London district into one of the most highly-frequented tourist areas in town. The movie – which turned out to be a rather mediocre one in Julia Robert’s career but one of the better ones of Hugh Grant’s film catalogue – managed to dust off Notting Hill’s shoulders and turn it into the youngest, most vibrant quarter of London’s rich West end. Doubtlessly, this new dynamic brought along a new style. If you’re thinking pierced nipples peaking through mesh tops and a revival of late 90s Buffalos though, you’re thinking East London.
Something you immediately notice about Notting Hill is that it is a lot more grown up, refined and rooted in traditional British culture. This explains the vast amounts of knitwear to be found on Portobello Road on a Sunday afternoon. Hats, scarves, cardigans and whole sweaters made of the material are basically everywhere; predominantly in grey, brown or black tones. And talking about hats, it appears to be a must for a stylish West Ender to sport one – even if it’s just for a quick walk to their local M&S. Stumper & Fielder on Portobello Road is a safe bet if you want to get yourself a Trilby, a Melon or any other type of hat. They also offer a decent range of quintessentially British clothing including rubber boots which round up the spectrum of West London accessories.
Equally important to the style of the North Kensington area are jackets. After all, it is still London which means you will probably need a jacket on any given day in November, February or – let’s face it – July. To stay warm throughout the winter, many men have opted for Bomber jackets this season. Always a favourite with people who are in good shape, it is important not to underestimate their actual size when you still haven’t worked off those pounds gained from all the sugary and fattening treats your mum made you eat at Christmas. There is nothing chic about looking like the Michelin man’s lost brother.
Furthermore, if you really want to stick to the Notting Hill way of dressing, get your Bomber in a nice, subtle colour. While there is (technically) nothing wrong with bright orange and neon green shades, those would probably fit to Camden Market much better. Uniqlo offers a good deal of Bomber jackets from understated to unusual colours and it thus always worth a trip.
You will also spot many coats and jackets inspired by army and hunting attire. There is practically no way to avoid bumping into someone with a corduroy collar at some point while strolling down Westbourne Grove, one of the quarter’s more exclusive shopping streets. A Burberry trench – many of them second-hand, bought at RETRO Notting Hill – also forms part of the typical West Ender wardrobe and is often combined with thick sweaters and even hoodies. Army jackets are usually a lot warmer and can be worn with a t-shirt or a long sleeve shirt underneath. They mostly come in a range of different green tones and are determined through loose waist belts and even epaulettes.
It is safe to say that Notting Hill has its very own charisma as an area based on traditions and yet influenced by youth culture which is perfectly mirrored in the window displays of the quirky shops on Portobello and in the way people dress. There is a longing for the old and the real but it is a far cry from being boring. Notting Hill is no Dalston. It is no Chelsea either. And it is definitely more than just a mix of these two. Maybe this is what makes its street style so appealing and maybe, after all, we have something to praise Hugh Grant for.