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Why Sunspel swimwear far transcends James Bond

Those with even the most basic familiarity with the luxury clothing of the venerable British brand Sunspel (http://www.sunspel.com) tend to know of its strong links with another undoubted UK icon: 007 himself, James Bond. Every few years, the world's most famous fictional secret agent flashes across the world's cinema screens, with Daniel Craig being no stranger to Sunspel's impeccably well-engineered polo shirts. Such a high level of craftsmanship might not be surprising given that the company has been making classic polo shirts since the mid-20th century. But it is far from experience alone that gives Sunspel's highly wearable luxury basics their distinctive combination of traditional craftsmanship and the exacting standards of manufacture of 2013. That much is clear when one looks at a garment that has only very recently joined the Sunspel range: a pair of distinctly Bondesque swim shorts. That resemblance is no accident, given the extent to which Sunspel drew upon its longstanding relationship with Academy Award-winning Bond costume designer, Lindy Hemming, in their creation. But the inspiration for the luxury swimwear presently being showcased in the Sunspel online store can be traced back even further than Lindy's National theatre career, to Thunderball in 1965, when one Sean Connery stepped out in what would quickly become one of the most admired Bond sartorial ventures - a striking pair of pale blue swim shorts. But by the time of Connery's iconic pose, it was clear that swimwear had already come a long way from the decade in which Sunspel had been founded, the 1860s, when swimwear had yet to really exist as a concept. The heavy woollen one-piece undergarments that generally had to be used instead, understandably led to their evolution into more comfortable dedicated swimwear

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early in the following century. And yet... it still seemed that the exposure of flesh was too great a concern for wider society. The 1960s and 1970s saw a drastically different attitude, and it was this that provided an invaluable template for Sunspel when it was asked by Hemming to come up with a replica of the unforgettable Connery swim short, for the 50 Years of Bond Style 2012 Barbican exhibition that she curated. But even the resultant exhibited garment was only a loose inspiration for the designer swim shorts that are now being offered by Sunspel in royal navy and classic black. In creating a designer swim short that pays as much heed to contemporary clothing needs as it does to traditional techniques and aesthetic sensibilities, Sunspel (http://www.sunspel.com) made the most of its expertise gathered over generations of making mens underwear. Tested and refined for month after month, the final short combines a superfine mesh lining with a contemporary fast-drying performance fabric, adding up to a supremely comfortable garment that represents the finest in versatile Riviera chic. In the 1960s or now, even Connery himself may have wished he'd worn them.

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Why sunspel swimwear far transcends james bond  

Sunspel – classic English clothing manufacturer since 1860. Shop here for the finest cotton and wool wardrobe basics, beautifully made to la...

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