Whether you’re a smart-casual connoisseur or weekend shirt wearer, our AW21 Shirt Department has a shirt suitable for any man’s wardrobe. But if you’re truly looking for a symbol of quality, it could only be a Barbour Crest shirt. The signature motif originates from the Barbour family quest, and this year is featured across not only our classic Oxford shirts but also checks and tartans.
In celebration of the new Barbour Shirt Department, we partnered with classic car garage owner Merlin McCormack. Join us as we learn more about how he styles the collection, his favourite classic cars, and how the mark of quality that they possess is much like the Barbour Crest shirt collection.
What do you love most about classic cars?
Merlin: Without question, the character. Knowing they have lived many a life and survived to tell the tales. The quirks and charms that characterise them and almost personify them.
Do you have a favourite classic car you can tell us more about?
Merlin: It’s sort of like running a puppy farm, you can’t have favourites. Each has its own qualities and traits that make them special and unique.
Can you tell us more about West London’s Classic Car Hub, and how it came about?
Merlin: Duke of London was spawned out of sheer frustration of not being able to hang out locally with like-minded people. I wanted to create a venue that I felt catered to people sharing the same frustrations. We have built a space where there is no pretence or bias and all are welcome to pop in with cars or without, enjoy the space, eat and drink.
When heading out for a drive in a classic car, where is your favourite place to go?
Merlin: On a sunny day, there is no better feeling than roof or windows down, listening to the noise of the car under the canopies of tree-lined roads in the countryside. That said, I’m a Londoner at heart and driving through the deserted, illuminated city in the small hours is, for me, unbeatable.
Can you draw any parallels between the longevity and quality of classic cars and a Barbour Crest shirt?
Merlin: Just like a Barbour Crest shirt, classic cars represent a certain panache and timelessness that can only remain true decades on if the quality and craftsmanship were present when they were built.
How important is it to have a great shirt in your wardrobe?
Merlin: For me, an outfit is often dictated by a shirt, so having a great shirt is essential. Be it a formal button down for a night entertaining, or a plaid shirt with rolled-up sleeves ready for a blast to the Cotswolds.
What is your go-to style when wearing a shirt?
Merlin: Generally loose-fitting, untucked, a couple of buttons undone, sleeves rolled up. Something that is classic in its appearance and comfortable for a day of fun.
How would you describe your style? How have you styled a Barbour Crest shirt?
Merlin: My style veers more to a classic taste. I’ll often pair a shirt with a pair of straight-cut trousers and loafers.
When it comes to your wardrobe, how important is the heritage and quality of what you wear?
Merlin: I am a sucker for a story when it comes to buying clothes, providing of course the quality and design support the tale.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your downtime?
Merlin: What is downtime? In all seriousness though, a ride through the fields on an old oily scrambler followed by a pub lunch with loved ones is my idea of a perfect day.