The History of the Budd Stripe

The History of the Budd Stripe

There are some things at Budd that never change, reassuring constants if you like; amongst them are the sound of the bell as you enter the shop, the insouciant chimes of Mr Rowley, a glorious collection of bows and braces, a gruff hello from Mr Butcher and the ubiquitous presence of the Budd stripe.

The Budd Stripe has played a significant role in Budd’s bespoke, custom and ready to wear offering for almost 100 years. It was first woven in silk, with an example of a 1920s original framed up and hanging in the shop. Our very own Mr Rowley’s father was a merchant for Vavasseur, the tie merchant that supplied it. It was not uncommon for tie suppliers to also carry silk shirtings in those days. The silk was kept in warehouse in the aptly named Silk Street, close to London’s Barbican. During the Blitz, an incendiary bomb was dropped on the building, and given the flammable nature of silk, it sent the whole lot sky high. Fortunately, an example of the original silk stripe remains. It comprises of a charming silk neckband shirt and shorts set, cut for a small boy, allegedly one of Mr Budd’s sons. The shirt and shorts combo had sat in a box stored deep in our old cupboard under the stairs, where it had remained for a good few years until our (albeit small) refurbishment of the shop in 2012 (time machine anyone?).

The 1980s thankfully saw Andy and Mr Butcher decide to revive the stripe. This time round it was rewoven by the then British mill, Thomas Mason. In fact, Andy recalls that the cloth was the subject of our dear friend and esteemed writer, Nick Foulkes’s first article for GQ Magazine and Budd’s first foray into the press!

A new delivery of Budd stripes arrived into the shop in 2000 to commemorate the millenium. This time round, the claret toned red stripe was lightened, making it a little jollier and more relevant to people’s wardrobes. The cloth has remained a constant ever since and was given a little more vigour and investment with Budd’s new owners in 2011. Today it is still woven for us under the Thomas Mason name, but on the sophisticated looms of the mill owner, Albini in Italy.

Over the years, little has changed in the design, with the exception that we now weave our Budd stripe to a 2 fold 100s cotton poplin quality; more practical and hardy than the silk of yesteryear and perfect for day to day wear. The design itself comprises of a coloured stripe running parallel to a satin white stripe, both of which are finely edged with black. The black is hardly noticeable to the discerning eye, however, it really elevates the stripes, providing a vitality to the design.

Two key colourways prevail in our Budd Stripe collection. These are Edwardian Blue and Sky. The shades are enduringly popular and have a regular place on the cutting boards of our bespoke shirt cutters above the shop and throughout our ready to wear ranges both online and in store. Every couple of years, we refresh our colour palette, with limited edition lengths of the The Budd Stripe presently available in pink, lilac, red and navy.

Of course, we may be a shirtmakers, but our nightwear is perhaps as synonymous to Budd as our shirts. Our Budd Stripe pervades this collection too and looks magnificent when made up into a robe, be it a dressing gown or nightshirt. Generously cut, they are cool to wear, the cotton’s natural properties enhancing the experience and the piping adding a complementary contrast. These are gowns to get caught short in at the weekend or on jaunts away.

New for 2018 - Shop Manager, Christopher Mundy is as big a fan of our house stripe as he is proud of Budd’s carefully curated braces collection. With this in mind, he could not resist bringing his two passions together. Behold, Budd Stripe braces! Available by limited edition, and naturally exclusive to the company, these cotton braces are available in Edwardian blue, sky, navy and red.

Shop the Budd Stripe here.

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