Function versus Style

This time of year, function can become a big challenger to style. So many times, the long fort battle between function and style is won by the former. Commonly those desirable items within the fast changing fashion industry are considered impractical and unwearable, and even more commonly, those clothes which are to be considered practical and useful hold little aesthetic quality.

In the winter, and especially now with forecasts predicting that temperatures will hit figures lower than we have experienced in more one hundred years, we are even more pressed to prioritize warmth and comfort in our endeavour to escape frostbite.

It is of course a false dichotomy between function and style. That aesthetic qualities mutually exclude strength and practicality is a misnomer to which the few and special brands lead us to question.

Often it is the more traditional and long running fashion houses which strike the perfect mix between the two. Crombie is a perfect example of one of these, creating luxury menswear since is began in 1805.

Using the finest wools, tweeds, cashmeres and merinos, Crombie is an archetypal brand which caters for the discerning man who wishes to ride, shoot and lounge all in the same afternoon. Function definitely prevails in the Crombie world, whose raincoats can evidently withstand all the weather winter chooses to throw at it, made of Melton wool and 100% cotton. The high quality allows for hardwearing usage, and yet where Crombie really stands out in is in their design. Subtly distinct from other brands, with special touches for example the red lining of the men’s winter coats, it has travelled steadily with the changes in men’s fashion and yet held onto its elegance and timeless collections.

There is no real reason to have to go for practicality and exclude style. Function and style can and should be perfectly united. Inspiration to designers and architects everywhere, American architect Louis Sullivan stated “That form ever follows function. This is the law.” We can see that in the best of British clothing design, this remains so.


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