Tea Break Chat with Haydn Stokes

Tea Break Chat with Haydn Stokes

Haydn Stokes part of the retail team at Budd Shirtmakers in the Piccadilly Arcade

Haydn has been a member of Budd's retail team since November 2022. This last six months have seen him learning from the best. A keen menswear enthusiast, we caught up with him on his top picks for the Spring Summer season.

Where do you hail from?

I grew up in South East London - but my parents are Irish/Welsh and Scottish so I have a good mix of British blood.

How would you best define your style?

Dress style - I'd say Refined Classic British. I avoid softer shoulders popular in European tailoring and collegiate styles and I'd never wear (nor do I own) tracksuit bottoms. I've been told they are extremely comfortable on numerous occasions, but they just look and feel like bags  for  your  legs.

What would you most like to wear or see worn more often?

I most like the look of morning wear and white tie - there's something so elegant and debonair about how they wear. If I could, I'd like everyone to go back to wearing it day-to-day. I think in today’s more relaxed looks however, a well cut shirt, flannel trousers and a blazer can be just as elegant if done right - and will make you look less like you're in the midst of  a costume drama.

Haydn shares his hobbies of ballroom dancing

Tell us about your hobbies.

Ballrooms a big one. I started my first year of uni having promised to go with a group of new classmates as they wanted someone they knew to dance with - in the end I was the only one of the five or six to stay. I've been competing from the start and have done fairly well, coming 2nd in Latin and 6th in ballroom at the last national competition I went to.

I go at least twice a week - which is as much time as I have now I've left university! In terms practice, I still wear a nicely tailored pair of trousers and a good shirt, I think it's good to practice in something similar to what you'll be competing in (which is often White Tie, a ballroom lounge suit, or trousers and a waistcoat) whilst also staying relaxed.

Favourite dance has to be foxtrot. It looks effortless and cool to watch when done well - if you could manifest James Bond into a dance, that would be the one.

Most interesting things you have learned since joining Budd?

I think the history and details behind the different products Budd does and have done. From the Budd stripe, sized bows and Charleston bows, to the story behind our store on Piccadilly Arcade; there's just so much knowledge and so many stories its hard to pick anything more specific than that.

Most interesting thing in Budd’s repertoire?

I think Id have to boil it down to two. Our Budd Stripes have a really interesting story, from being introduced in silk in the 30s to its current formation, but the most interesting to see has to be the madder silk ties. There's something so stunning about the feel and colours you get from them, and they add a bit of intrigue to any outfit- without being too garish.

What is your taste in music and what would be your favourite music at the shop?

My personal taste is an odd mix of Country, Classical and Crooners, with a bit of Funk/Soul sprinkled in. For Budd I think Classic or Crooners suit - Country may be a bit far off the mark (unless we add some cowboy boots into the range).

Favourite Event of the Summer Season?

Ascot has to be up there, especially to see the sea of gentleman in morning wear and ladies in their hats, but Wimbledon is close behind it as there's no better reason for strawberries and cream, and a glass of Pimm’s.

Most eye-opening discoveries since joining the Budd?

I think the most eye-opening discovery is the amount of people still going for formal shirts, ties and accessories. So many articles nowadays talk about "the death of men’s suits" or "death of business wear" as if people have stopped wearing formal clothes. But I haven't seen it - I think since covid more and more people have come into themselves in style, It's not all jeans, t-shirts and trainers, men are still dressing well, it's just they're no longer doing it for business they're doing it for themselves instead. So, there's more interest in colours, patterns, fabrics and things outside your standard blue and white Poplin shirt and plain tie. There's certainly a lot more creativity in style, and more alternatives to the suit, but it's still a highflyer and it's certainly not dead!

Menswear enthusiast and retail member of Budd shirtmakers in the Piccadilly Arcade shop, Haydn Stokes

Haydn's Budd Favourites

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