IWC and Orlebar Brown show us how to dress down and still dress well.
IWC was heavily involved in the aviation scene last year with the launch of the Silver Spitfire’s Longest Flight. But this time around, it’s the nautical line that’s getting some attention, and the partnership with Orlebar Brown seems like a natural fit. The brand’s tailored approach to resort wear gives off a similar energy to IWC’s sportier watches: elegant classics that aren’t afraid of a little dust and seawater.
With most of us staying indoors, that probably won’t be a problem, but some classic leisure wear might just help ease us into the new normal. If anything, it’s a good deal more comfortable to work in. Here’s a look at some of the standout pieces in the collection:
IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Edition Orlebar Brown
This is the star of the show, and like most other famous watches, the Portugieser has an interesting story behind it.
In the 1930s, two Portuguese businessmen decided to approach IWC to have a watch made for use at sea. They wanted one that could withstand the varying temperatures and conditions of maritime travel, and could keep time like a marine chronometer.
The watchmaker came up with a timepiece that used a pocket watch movement, but was housed in a wristwatch casing. This was the beginning of the Portugieser line, and it’s one that continues today.
Given its history, the watch is especially suited to Orlebar Brown, and this particular piece does a fine job of representing the lifestyle. The blue-and-silver dial fits right into the nautical inspiration, and the blue rubber strap with a textured inlay is a nice touch. The strap also has a co-branded buckle, which looks like the slide fasteners found on the waistbands of Orlebar Brown’s shorts and trousers. A flyback chronograph, meanwhile, completes the maritime inspiration, adding a bit more utility should you decide to take it out to sea.
It’s a pretty bold size at 44.6mm, though the design manages to keep it wearable. And even if you’re mostly indoors these days, this casual piece will fit right in.
Halbert double-breasted jacket in navy
The navy blue jacket is a good go-to when you’re dressing up casually. And if you’re in love with the color, but want a dressed-down version, you can always look at something with a nautical inspiration.
This one’s quite a bit more casual than your usual double-breasted jacket, but given the looser dress codes these days (especially if you’re working from home) something like this can make its way into your rotation.
Edgar towelling blazer in white
The towelling blazer is a seriously cool piece of clothing. Originally designed as a way to keep a more composed look at the poolside, it was made with an absorbent fabric while being cut in the shape of a tailored jacket. Today, it’s become a choice piece to add to the leisure wear wardrobe.
The Edgar is made of cotton towel cloth, and while you can easily slip it on after a swim, it’s an easy fit for a laidback restaurant or seaside bar. And that also means you can wear it to your less formal online meetings. White is an easy match for most things, and the blue piping gives it a sartorial edge. This piece goes well with a polo or with a casual short.
Headley jumper in driftwood grey
If you want to switch things up and forgo the jacket altogether, the Headly jumper is a fine replacement. Made of lightweight, knitted merino wool, it’s highly breathable and will wick up sweat if it gets too hot.
The open resort collar keeps things from looking too casual, and is a great detail if you want to layer it with a shirt. The ribbing on the cuffs and the hem keep it looking neat, and adds some structure to an otherwise laidback design.
Griffon Linen Trousers in white
Linen and linen blend trousers are a summer staple, since these natural fabrics can let more air in and keep things comfortable. The Griffon is cut in a relaxed fit, and made with a cotton-linen blend suitable for warm weather climates. The waistband is adjustable using slide fasteners at the side, and will help get a comfortable fit. Given the heat these days, the Griffon might just serve as everyday trousers.
Norwich linen shorts in sand
Lastly, the linen shorts are essentially the same as the Griffon trousers, only shorter. It features the same tailored fit, the same slide fasteners on the side, and a cotton-linen blend that wicks moisture from the body. If you’re looking to go very laid-back (Zoom only shows the top half of your body, anyway) then you might want to own a pair of well-made shorts.
In any case, you can catch the collection in action in the video below: