The best part of running this site is discovering new brands that are doing things well.
Because of our focus on a Lean Wardrobe, I really only pay attention to well-made, modern interpretations of menswear standards… classic men’s clothing silhouettes—shirts, trousers, knitwear, jackets—that have been worn for decades.
When I find a brand that’s doing exactly this, creating these contemporary versions of classics, I pay attention.
Ledbury is a brand that’s been on my radar for a few years now, but I’ve only recently had the chance to check them out firsthand.
The clothing’s aesthetic is best described as Southern Trad influenced by English and Italian tailoring… a mix of American prep, British sharpness, and Italian sprezzatura.
Back in 2008, Ledbury’s founders, Paul Trible and Paul Watson, learned the trade firsthand from a Jermyn Street master tailor, which, if you’re unfamiliar, is a block in London known for its fine shirtmaking. Turnbull & Asser, Thomas Pink, and Hawes & Curtis are just a few who call Jermyn street home.
Their first round of shirting launched back in 2009, and since then, the brand has expanded into a full offering, including pants, knitwear, blazers, and accessories.
Checking out the goods
I requested a few samples from Ledbury’s current collection: blue chinos, several check shirts with both regular spread and button-down collars, one washed oxford shirt, a cashmere and wool half-zip sweater, two sport coats, and a few accessories. (Just FYI, these were all sent for the article but went back afterwards.)
The shirts are beautiful, and I wouldn’t have expected any less, of course, considering Ledbury built the brand off their well-made, better-fitting shirting.
VIDEO: Go behind the scenes and visit several fabric mills and factories where Ledbury’s garments are made.
Ledbury sources their shirting fabric from well-known Italian mills such as Albini and Thomas Mason, and have incorporated slight tweaks to their shirting that may not be noticeable to the naked eye, but make a world of difference to the wearer.
My favorite is the lower positioning of the second button. I typically wear the top two buttons undone, because I hate when the shirt is fastened too close to my neck if I’m not wearing a tie. Most guys just grin and bear it.
Ledbury sews their second buttons slightly lower than normal, which is much more comfortable, and creates the ideal V shape that frames your face while giving your neck more breathing room.
They also fuse the collar from the outside in, a process that apparently keeps the collar from collapsing underneath the lapels of your jacket when wearing them without a tie.
The stitching is tight and precise (around 18 stitches per inch, in case you’re curious), even around the curved cuffs, with consistent spacing throughout. The buttonholes are sewn neatly and symmetrically, and the buttons themselves are mother of pearl.
Regarding fit, their shirts come in two styles: Classic and Slim. I opted for the classic, which fit me perfectly with minimal excess fabric. I imagine their slim option is better for a less meaty customer, or those with a more-defined, athletic V-tapered torso (if I’m not mistaken, this style uses darts to slim out the shirt).
The chinos are soft yet have a nicely tailored fit, perfect for the business casual office. I am usually a 32″ or 33″, but I decided to size up in Ledbury’s regular fit chinos since they don’t offer a 33″. The 34″ fit well.
The inseam is a 33″ across all sizes, so you may need to take it to a tailor for the perfect length.
The sport coats were probably my favorite out of the bunch. The Huxley is made from 100% wool with a grey ground and flecks of bright blue, burgundy, and brown, mostly unseen from afar but noticeable up close. The jacket has a soft construction, is unlined, with no shoulder padding.
RELATED: How to buy a suit (or sport coat) that actually fits
If you’re going for the slim style, it’s possible you may need to size up one; I usually wear a 40 but went with a 42. It fit well in the shoulders, although I’d have to shorten the sleeves and take in the waist just slightly.
Ledbury’s jackets come in regular lengths only. I usually prefer a 40S, but luckily these didn’t feel too long.
As far as sizing, Ledbury does a great job of posting the garments’ measurements in their fit guides. So if you’re unsure of your correct size, you could always talk to a shirt specialist directly on the site via chat, or just measure your best fitting shirt and find the closest match by reading their charts.
All in all, I loved seeing the clothing up close. I know shopping online with unfamiliar brands can seem a bit daunting. Luckily for us, Ledbury has forgiving return policies and free shipping.
They also have a Shirt Stylist program, where you can work with one of their style and fit experts for free.
They provide you with personalized recommendations after answering a few quick questions, and best of all, you get to try on their selections in the comfort of your own home.
Just keep what you love, and return what doesn’t work out. Shipping’s free both directions. Pretty convenient, right?
Any questions about the brand?
Happy to try and answer any questions you may have… maybe I can get someone from Ledbury to assist as well, in case I’m not able to answer specific inquiries.
Hope this preview gives you yet another option to add to your short list of quality, Lean Wardrobe-worthy clothiers.