New and exiting brands are literally blooming with more alternatives than ever. Finding well made menswear is no longer a full time job, both well established stores and e-commerce shops offers this worldwide. The challenging part is to find menswear that are affordable, and well made. Today we will take a look at one of the newcomers within this category, a company called Natalino.
Natalino is a London-based brand that were founded after getting tired of only finding garments with high price tags and margins. The aim for the company was clear, to offer exceptional value without compromising on the design, quality or detail. A tough vision to live up to, and something that I will try to look closer in this article.
The company’s core foundation is to create a cost efficient and optimized way to offer classic menswear to affordable prices. To be able to do this, they work directly with the manufacturers across different countries, which to date stretches from the UK, Portugal and Japan. As they go directly to the manufacturers, they are able to offer products to a lower mark-up than other companies do within same area of expertise. As an addition and to keep the costs to a minimum, everything is distributed online where wholesale and physical stores are completely excluded from the equation.
Natalino draws inspiration from an era consisting of the preppy Ivy League, classic English aristocracy and the nonchalant Italian Riviera in the 1950’s. The design and purpose is to offer a timeless, yet recent feeling to it, which can be seen in the choices made for fabrics and details. Let us take an example with the trousers that they offer. Instead of creating a trend and season based collection, they take classic and timeless inspiration and merged them together with a more contemporary use of fabrics and models. From the current collection, they offer four different alternatives: grey wool flannel, green and grey cotton corduroy and cream white cotton. All the choices comes with classic details which includes a high waist, single pleats and 5 cm turn-ups. Except the trousers, Natalino offers polo shirts, turtlenecks, shirts and even a raglan coat to competitive prices.
With that in mind, the company also makes it clear that they are serious about a presenting classic and environmental friendly collections. They will offer a continuous stock of their products, which are not based upon temporarily trends such as the fast-fashion brands do. This will the end leads to less wastage and unnecessary sales just to get rid of old stock products. The company will add seasonal products throughout the year to their already established models, building up a smaller collection of classic garments that can be used season after season.
I took the opportunity to try two of their trousers from the fall and winter collection, a pair of green cotton corduroy and cream white cotton trousers. Both of them are versatile and can easily be added to anyone’s wardrobe. I ended up choosing my normal size (32R) and the measurements that are provide on the website are accurate. In terms of fit, I do believe that these trousers qualifies to one of the best fitting ready to wear trousers in my wardrobe. They feature a high waist, a roomier fit for the thighs and a slightly tapered leg, an uncommon sight in today’s market. I normally experience issues with the thighs on ready to wear trousers, but these one’s of the of the few’s that actually works straight out of the box. The only concern I have is that the trousers are a bit too tapered below the knees, something that is more visible on the softer corduroy fabric compared to the heavier cream white cotton fabric. This is something that I sent as a feedback to Natalino where they confirm that they will do some adjustments to the pattern, and already to the upcoming spring and summer drop.
Both trousers and fabrics feels great, where the green corduroy have a soft touch to it and the cream one feels dense and heavy. Thanks to more dense and heavier cotton fabric for, the cream trousers drape better, where the green corduroy sits more comfortable. In general, I had no issues wearing them or finding outfits for both trousers and they have their own area of usage. Overall build quality looks and feels great, and are matching with other premium brands that costs way more.
I believe that Natalino have showed that they qualifies into the list of affordable menswear brands, and something that they should be proud of. They show that they mean serious business when they are staying active on social medias and listing to customer feedback such as mine. And with the whole mindset to create less seasonal and trend sensitivity products is a welcome sight among the growing fashion companies that are mass producing garments, season after season. So let us give a warm welcome Natalino to the world of affordable and sustainable menswear.