Established in 1989 after working alongside expert craftsmen, the vintage British menswear label Workhouse England takes inspiration from the old-fashioned. The company uses talented freelance manufacturers and is focused on making carefully tailored garments for men, using traditional silhouettes and fabrics from the Victorian period. Their renovated workshop located in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, is open to visitors who can see the production of their clothing in person.
If you were to imagine historic sepia and white images of Victorian England and the people who frequent these images, there will no doubt be a formality to the style of the fashion you recall from the period. Regardless of social class the Victorians wore flat caps, top hats and well tailored garments that portrayed a certain amount of swagger that was indicative of the era. Jackets, shirts, waistcoats and trousers had a well made, robust, and (what we may now describe as a) rustic feel to them.
Inspired by images of Victorian street culture, Workhouse England have conceptualised the apparel of the period to create a label that is befitting of the modern day style conscious gentleman.
Inspiration from the period is not just reflected in the design of the garments produced by Workhouse England, but it is in the very fabric of the building that they produce the clothing in. Their workshop is a period property that has been painstakingly restored precisely for the purpose of creating their authentic designer menswear. Sustainability and environment are at the heart of Workhouse England’s brand ethics.
The materials and textures used to create a modern take on the fashion of the time are expertly crafted from British (and more often than not unprocessed) cloth. The patterns are actualised by a trained Saville Row tailor whose experience allows for the seamless fusion of old and new. Workhouse England deliver unique designer menswear that incorporates quality with well made tailoring that has a long lasting, enduring appeal.