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Mr Porter's Glossary of Men's Style

Founded in 1950 in Nice, Façonnable enjoys near-legendary status in France for its immaculate preppy- and formalwear, which has been worn by countless silver screen stars and Côte d'Azur high rollers. The brand is classic in spirit, with a distinctly Gallic twist to its sophisticated designs.

A knitwear pattern that originated on Fair Isle, an island off the north coast of Scotland, and which was originally created using natural dyes made from lichen. It first became popular in 1921 after the Duke of Windsor (who was Prince of Wales at the time) wore a Fair Isle sweater to play golf at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Scotland, and has recently enjoyed a fashion renaissance.

Read more about Fair Isle

Falke was established in 1895 in Germany as a knitting mill, and is still owned by descendants of the founder. In the early 20th century the firm began producing the superior quality socks for which it is still renowned.

A non-woven fabric created by exposing woollen fibres to conditions under which they bond to form a sheet. In menswear it is most often used for making hats, and is characterised by its fuzzy, napped appearance.
Usually a tightly woven, but soft feeling, woollen fabric that has a fuzzy, brushed finish, although it also refers to cotton shirts with a soft fuzzy finish.

The legendary designer Mr Charles Eames once said that "the details are not the details, they make the design". This ethos inspires and infuses the collections from this London-based brand, founded by Mr Cathal McAteer in 2001. Always fresh but never outlandish, and with everything from shoes to shirts and bags, Folk's clothes can form the backbone of any considered weekend wardrobe. Read more about Folk

Apart from the morning coats that British people still wear to the better sort of daytime weddings, "formalwear" (involving long jackets and white bow ties) doesn't exist any more - it's important to understand that the dinner jacket (AKA tuxedo, or "black tie" dressing) was invented to be worn for private dinners given at home.

As such a dinner jacket is meant to feel relaxed, so that you can party wearing one, although the minimal detailing does allude to its relative formality - traditionally they have neither pocket flaps nor vents on the jacket, nor turn-ups on the trousers. In its classic style, a black or midnight-blue suit, the jacket can take many forms (single or double-breasted, with a peak, notch or a shawl collar with silk facings, and two or three piece) while the trousers are fairly unwavering - they should have a single stripe of silk (grosgrain or satin, to match the facing on the jacket's lapels) running down the outside of the legs. The bow tie is black silk (again to match the lapel facings), the shirt is white and has studs rather than buttons, the socks are black, and so are the shoes, which should be highly polished, or patent leather, Oxfords. A cummerbund is an optional extra, which has somewhat fallen out of favour lately.

However, these days a broad range of options counts as formalwear. The obvious variant is simply a black suit, worn with a white shirt and black necktie - as frequently sported by young Hollywood actors. However, if the occasion allows for a degree of personal expression a more stylish option is to swap the tuxedo jacket for a velvet jacket (which originated from the Victorian smoking jacket), and the leather shoes for velvet slippers.

Learn more about the tuxedo

A thin, flexible silk used for ties, suit linings and pocket squares. It can also refer to the jazzy patterns in which a block, lozenge or a protozoa-looking shape repeats itself.

"A producer of crafted goods & purveyor of fine antique watches, jewellery and other such objects" is how Foundwell's proprietor, Mr Alan Bedwell, sums up the company. We particularly like the cufflinks, rings and tie bars, all of which are one of a kind, created from precious metals and stones.

When a shoe's tongue comes up behind the laces and folds over the top of them, with the resulting flap cut into thin strips. The style is closely associated with golf shoes because the fringing was used to prevent the rain getting into the shoes through the laces. It's now primarily used as a decorative element and appears on slip-on shoes as well as laced shoes.