Style is not a number, at least not when it comes to age. It's more a question of attitude and personal discovery, two things that should never cease to be given time and energy, whether you're 18 or 80. Of course, fashions shift from one decade to the other, but great style always seems to be timeless, elevated by one generation and appropriated by another, with a few tweaks here and there.
There is no better example of this than the Albert family, whose collective ability to look great at any age is only matched by their love of Arsenal Football Club. Zach, Paul and Stan share an aesthetic that they personalise in their own unique ways. Paul has been a customer of Oliver Spencer for about 10 years and is a great example of how to wear classic silhouettes in a relaxed and casual way. Stan was the General Manager at Arsenal for many years, hence the family's fervour for the Gunners, and presumably the smiles on their faces at the time of shooting (Arsenal top of the Premier League).
What's really refreshing about the Alberts, all three generations of them, is that they have borrowed elements of style from one another and made them their own. You can see a similar aesthetic vein running through them, topped up with individual quirks and preferences along the way. Each one has been able to take Oliver Spencer garments and amalgamate them into their wardrobes in unique and contemporary ways. We caught up with them recently to ask them about how they approach style in 2022...
Judo Trousers Kildale
Brook Shirt Camden
We've all got our wardrobe favourites, tell us about yours Paul…
I have a vintage US deck jacket that is in incredible condition. It was hard to find one that was so well kept. It’s one of those pieces of clothing that I will always keep and one day Zach will have it.
What style pointers do you steal from one another?
Trouser length and how to correctly button up a jacket from Dad - he has always been strong on those. I can’t steal any from Zach, he has a younger person’s take on how to wear certain things that work well on him, but I could never pull them off.
We're big into corduroy this season - what's your favourite thing about corduroy?
I love its durability and how good it ages and softens. I have a vintage pea coat with cord-lined pockets, it’s weirdly reassuring when I put my hands in them.
New York Special Shirt
You’re all passionate about football, how have you seen the style on the terraces change over the years Stan?
It really changed when clubs begin to realise that they weren't simply football clubs but brands, too, with a logo in the shape of a crest, and the most loyal fanbase you could ever wish for. You started to see club-branded products being worn on the terraces and not just the playing shirts. Terrace style is more individual now.
You worked at the Arsenal for a long time and got to know a few of the players there. Any interesting anecdotes on style?
Well there was a general lack of style to begin with. Most of the players tended to wear tracksuits all of the time. It wasn't until the overseas players began to arrive that everyone upped their game! They really brought a sense of style to English football, on and off the pitch.
Do you have any style icons?
I used pick up styles from from lots of different people, but eventually I just decided to do my own thing. Don't get me wrong, it's great to be open to new ideas, but really knowing yourself and what you look good in is priceless.
Linfield Bomber Jacket
Hey Zach, what are the worst fashion faux pas you can recall in your family?
In all honesty, I can’t recall either my dad or poppa stepping out in any clangers. I know I have been guilty of poor taste in the past! I was especially influenced by ‘hype’ brands worn by people in school; bad quality, usually ugly clothing deemed cool by the big brand logo stuck on for everyone to see. Thankfully I grew out of that phase with the help of both dad and poppa, who were my first fashion idols. Being able to fit into some of my dad's clothes helped me transition to finding higher quality, timeless pieces, and discovering many of the brands I like buying from today.
Have you been able to inherit any of your dad's Oliver Spencer pieces?
I haven’t managed to inherit many Oliver Spencer pieces from dad, he’d like keep them for himself I think. He did give me a very nice military inspired olive green Oliver Spencer poplin over shirt which I’ve worn quite a lot. I am a big fan of any military inspired clothing, reproductions of military wear or vintage pieces, so this shirt fit straight into my wardrobe.
Any style advice you would give the other two?
This is like giving advice on how to finish one-on-one vs the keeper to Thierry Henry! I don’t know if could give any style advice that either of them don’t already know or incorporate into their fits. All I think I could really say is thank you to both for having an impeccable dress sense, and make sure it never changes.Shop Corduroy