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Mr Porter's Glossary of Men's Style

Cable Knit

A subtle self-coloured pattern woven into woollen sweaters and cardigans that resembles vertically orientated chains. The cable-knit sweater was developed at the turn of the 19th century as a rugged garment for fishermen and seafarers. The cable knitting technique is as functional as it is decorative: the weave is more durable and insulating than standard knitted fabric, and in its original incarnation when it was woven from untreated wool with the natural lanolin oils preserved, was almost water-resistant. Read more about cable knits

Calvin Klein Underwear

Mr Calvin Klein launched his eponymous label in New York in 1968, selling a small collection of coats from inside a hotel. Astronomical growth followed, with Mr Klein launching a series of product lines, from jeans to fragrances to - perhaps most famously - underwear. When Mr Mark Wahlberg appeared on billboards in the 1990s advertising Calvin Klein Underwear, the line soared in popularity and has since remained a key component of many men's wardrobes.

Canada Goose

The bracing Canadian winters have been a little more bearable - and stylish - since 1957, when this local company was founded to create high-performance coats with a sleek look. The outerwear has since become popular around the world, from Antarctic researchers and pilots through to the streets of New York and Stockholm. Each jacket is designed in response to a particular need, so you can be sure that practicality, comfort and warmth will always be taken care of.

Good Italian tailoring never goes out of style, and Canali produces some of the best. Everything is crafted in the label's own production centres, which have been in operation since 1934. A truly impressive amount of work goes into making sure each item is of the highest standards - from rigorous quality checks throughout production to the expert fully canvassed construction of its tailoring, Canali takes enormous pride in its garments. The company only uses Italian-woven cloth, and each of its factories specialises in a different aspect of production. The label's sportier casual pieces, meanwhile, will see you stylishly through to the weekend.

A durable woven fabric, typically in cotton or nylon, which is used for everything from tents to tote bags. A very tightly woven canvas is sometimes known as duck canvas.

Car Shoe

Car Shoe was established in 1963 by the automobile enthusiast and cobbler Mr Gianni Mostile, who was awarded a patent for his innovative leather driving moccasins by the Italian Ministry of Industry and Trade. Quality, innovation and craftsmanship have always been hallmarks of Car Shoe, which has found favour over the years with eminent figures including President John F Kennedy and Mr Giovanni Agnelli.

In 2001, Car Shoe was acquired by the Prada group, which set about reviving the brand's iconic 1960s logo and reissuing some of the original designs, all of which are still produced in Italy to exacting standards. There are more than 800 manual operations involved in the production of each pair, and only the best naturally tanned leathers are used. The cushioned insoles, dimpled rubber soles and soft leathers all ensure that a pair of Car Shoe loafers are just as comfortable and practical as they are enduringly stylish. Read more about Car Shoe

A collarless, button-front knitted sweater. It takes its name from the Seventh Earl of Cardigan, who was famously in command of the cavalry at the Charge of the Light Brigade (and infamously parodied as Lord Haw Haw in Mr George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman at the Charge ). Legend has it that the earl invented the style because he wanted a sweater he could put on without mussing his coiffure. Read more about cardigans

The fine, soft wool made from the Kashmir goat's downy, thermoregulatory undercoat. Man has been sourcing this exquisite textile from the cashmere goat since the 3rd century BC, but it was a French revolutionary general stationed in Egypt who helped set the trend in motion in Europe when he sent a cashmere shawl to his wife in Paris. By the 19th century it had gained traction across the continent (helped, no doubt, by Queen Victoria being a fan), when the wool was imported from Tibet, spun into yarn in France and woven into sweaters in Scotland. Neither monarch nor revolutionary, it seems, can resist this timelessly tactile knitwear - and neither can we.

Founded in 1927 by Mr Luis Castañer in Catalonia, Spain, this family-run business took off in the mid-1960s when Mr Yves Saint Laurent featured a pair in one of his collections, giving what was essentially a practical country shoe the status of luxury fashion footwear. The surrealist painter Mr Salvador Dalí was a fan of Castañer footwear, and today its signature espadrilles are a good, stylish alternative to flip-flops.

A suit fabric featuring a vertical stripe that is meant to be the colour of tailors' chalk. The chalk stripe looks a little fuzzy on the edges as opposed to the thin, crisp line of a pinstripe.


A fabric, mainly used for shirting, made by weaving white threads together with coloured threads. This produces a mélange, which gives chambray its informal feel.


Charvet, the venerable Parisian style institution, was founded by Monsieur Joseph-Christophe Charvet in 1838. Monsieur Charvet, whose father oversaw Mr Napoléon Bonaparte's wardrobe, introduced a new idea when he set up shop in Paris: customers were measured, and selected a fabric, in the shop where their shirts were duly made. Previously, customers had to supply their own cloth to their tailors. Monsieur Charvet's following quickly grew as he pioneered closer fits with curved armholes and collars as well as shoulder yokes - all hallmarks of dress shirts today. By the turn of the century, Charvet's reputation as the best shirtmaker in Paris (and, according to many, the world) was firmly established.

Since 1965 Charvet has been owned by the Colban family, who introduced the ready-to-wear line and increased the range of fabric and colour options for which Charvet is renowned today. Charvet's core values of quality and service have been preserved, with all items carefully made in France. Illustrious customers over the years are numerous: Mr Marcel Proust wore Charvet shirts and ties, and mentioned the label in his Remembrance of Things Past; King Edward VII, Mr Robert de Montesquiou, Mr Édouard Manet, Mr Nelson Rockefeller, President John F Kennedy and Mr Yves Saint Laurent have also been patrons. Read more about Charvet

Charvet's director, Mr Jean-Claude Colban, talks about the pocket square

An overcoat with lapels and fitted sleeves. Named after the Earl of Chesterfield, who also lent his name to a style of sofa.



Based in Brooklyn, New York, this new brand specialises in artisanal pocket squares with a heritage aesthetic, all of which are handmade in the US using carefully sourced fabrics from Japan.

Light-coloured cotton-drill trousers that were first worn by British soldiers in 19th century India. Chinos were also worn by American soldiers stationed in the Pacific during WWII, and they went on to become a staple of menswear after the war as de-mobbed GIs wore to college the trousers that had been issued to them by the army. The word chino derives from the fact that much of the fabric originally came from China, while the word khaki comes from the Persian word "khak", meaning dust or dirt. Read more about chinos

Mr Charles Finch is a man of many talents - already a film producer and entrepreneur - so with the hope of adding a touch of old-school style to the wardrobes of adventurous men around the world, he launched his own line of leisurewear in early 2011. Inspired by his mountaineering grandfather - the inventor of the down-filled jacket and Everest explorer Mr George Ingle Finch - and a childhood spent in the Caribbean with actor father Mr Peter Finch, Chucs now has a superb range of clothes for the sea and the mountains. The company's motto of "Stand tall, live well, give freely, explore often", perfectly captures the easy-going but adventurous style the clothes represent. Read more about Chucs Dive & Mountain Shop

An ankle-high boot that is held together with two high lacings. It takes its name from the sport of polo, where a chukka is a measurement of play similar to a set in tennis. These boots can run the gamut from dressy in a black kid leather to casual in suede. The desert boot and the brothel creeper are technically chukkas of the casual variety.


The quintessentially British shoemaker Church's was founded in 1873 by Mr Thomas Church and his three sons, whose family had been producing handmade men's shoes as far back as 1675. It was one of the first producers to begin making differently shaped left and right shoes, and has established a reputation as one of the world's finest men's shoemakers. Church's shoes are still manufactured by hand in the UK, and they transcend fashion and trends. Read more about Church's.

Cire Trudon

Cire Trudon, the world's oldest surviving candle maker, has produced candles since 1643 and has supplied French royalty and Mr Napoléon Bonaparte throughout its storied history. We particularly like the firm's scented candles, which are presented in hand-blown glass jars.

Comme Des Garçons

Ms Rei Kawakubo (pictured above) studied literature before launching Comme des Garçons in 1969. Her intellectual, radical collections have revolutionised the world of fashion, and the global Comme des Garçons empire now embraces menswear, fragrances and accessories.

Common Projects

Minimalist, utilitarian design is combined with superb Italian construction for this line of covetable sneakers. The only branding visible on this label's shoes are small golden serial numbers on the heels, but with superior construction and slick style, you won't easily forget whose sneakers you're in. Founded in 2004 by art director Mr Prathan Poopat and creative consultant Mr Flavio Girolami, the label already has some near-iconic styles under its belt, with the low top Achilles model quickly becoming a favourite with stylish men in the know.

The nature of the various layers of fabric that go into a tailored jacket and the way they are put together. Ideally, a jacket will have a hand-sewn interlining made of natural fibres (known in the UK as a floating canvas) but the cheaper alternative is a fused (meaning glued) synthetic lining. The disadvantage of this is that the glue melts over time, particularly with dry cleaning, and the layers of cloth come apart, which gives the appearance of bubbling in the chest of the jacket. Very lightweight jackets are made with a skeleton lining, which has nothing in the chest and very little padding in the shoulder.


Founded by Mr Marquis Mills Converse in Massachusetts in 1908 - and made famous in the 1920s by basketball player Mr Chuck Taylor - Converse has strong associations with sport, music and youth culture. Today, the brand's iconic rubber-soled shoes are considered design classics. The Jack Purcell Converse shoes were launched by the Canadian world-champion badminton player in 1935, and are distinguished by their relaxed vintage look and signature "smile" marking across the toe.

A heavy, shiny waterproof leather made from the skin over a horse's hind quarters, used for shoes.

A ribbed cotton fabric that is reminiscent of velvet to the touch. The material, known as corde du roi, was originally used on the hunting livery of the French king's servants. It comes in both wide wale and thin wale styles (the former being dorkier than the latter).


Established in 1893, Corgi holds a royal warrant as supplier of fine knitwear to the British royal family. The family run business is based in Wales, and specialises in top-quality, fine-gauge socks. The bright colours and striped designs can be worn to add a vibrant touch to formal and casual outfits alike.

A fawn-coloured, straight cut, single-breasted country coat in a twill fabric that is now acceptable for city use. The coat has four lines of stitching at the cuffs and hem. Occasionally, it will be finished with a velvet collar in dark green or chocolate brown. It takes its name from the thicket where game birds often lurk.

Cutler and Gross

For more than 40 years, Mr Graham Cutler and Mr Tony Gross have run their highly acclaimed London-based eyewear label, bringing originality and design flair to sunglasses and optical glasses alike. Eschewing logos, letting the bold designs and outstanding quality speak for themselves, Cutler and Gross sunglasses are the last word in stylish eyewear.