Prince William turned heads with his new look, appearing on the Earthshot Awards red carpet again wearing a green velvet jacket and turtleneck – a surprisingly stylish ensemble.
Unlike other members of the royal family – including father Prince Charles, who is a supporter of a expertly made Savile Rowe suit, and of course his late mother Diana, one of the greatest fashion icons of all time – the young prince isn’t exactly known for his sartorial daring or his fashion appreciation.
But perhaps the tide is changing, as William (and likely his royal aides) realize the power of clothing, and good tailoring, to assert a sense of authority and reinforce the royal brand – something that his wife the Duchess of Cambridge is kissing, and brother Prince Harry with his recent style change.
We asked local menswear designers to share their verdict on Prince William’s stylish new look – and what he has to say about current menswear trends.
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Murray Crane, founder of Crane Brothers
“There are a few things we can take from this. The most obvious being the color: green has been showing very strongly in menswear for two seasons and works great as a velvet when paired so well with a dark midnight navy.
“The turtleneck is pleasant to the touch and, together with the soft texture of the velvet, creates a very modern take on formal dress. My only criticism is of the patent leather shoes which (to me) seem a bit dressy for the rest of the I would have paired it with a polished calfskin loafer or even something like a single monk strap.
Thom Sussex, founder of Thomas Morisson
“To me, the way you dress is an opportunity to show your personality and showcase what’s important to you at any given time – in this case, the environment. I really appreciate the willingness to the prince’s audacity, his play with textures, subtle proportions and use of color to tell the story of the occasion.
“The two things I love the most about this outfit is that it’s quality pieces that have come out of her existing wardrobe and I’m still a huge fan of all kinds of turtlenecks! So hats off to him, of course.
Paul Doran, founder of Doran and Doran
“Love it, modern and clean, appropriate for the occasion. The green is perfect – such an amazing tone. All he has to do now is shave his head…”
Steve Dunstan, founder of Huffer
“I love the deep green and the amazing effect that velvet gives. Very flattering, with the turtleneck giving a slimming silhouette.
“It’s something I could imagine wearing to some extent, but as many of us in Auckland are on home order, I could only dream of a tracksuit in this fabrication in a 90s relaxed fit. Come on Prince William; well done.”
“I have enjoyed seeing the recent changes to Prince William’s approach to clothing; this jacket is a wonderful example of a single fabric texture, like velvet, creating a complete look. Shades of green in tailoring will always be timeless and are a chic alternative to a classic navy, gray or black.
“Dadelszen lives up to its name Prince Shawl Lapel Tuxedo Jacket in moss green velvet reminds me of this look and works well over a turtleneck, as Prince William showed, as well as a crisp cashmere t-shirt or white shirt.
Chris Dobbs, founder of working style
“A velor jacket looks so good and stays effortlessly cool. The fact that it’s a British racing green is also quite special.
Daniel Craig wearing pink velvet at the premiere of the new 007 movie is another clue that velvet is in fashion. What I personally love about velvet is that in 35 years of tailoring in New Zealand it has always been cool and has never gone out of style. It really is ‘crossing into your children’s territory’, as I witnessed firsthand with starving nephews and a son.
The only condition being a summer wedding in New Zealand, where it’s just too much. We always use two shades of velvet in our winter collections: plum and inky blue recently; often black too. Interestingly, we just made a green velvet canvas jacket for our W by WS collection (our women’s collection). We also do a regular business in bespoke velor – meaning you too could have a British Racing Green velor jacket, like HRH.
Jordan Gibson, founder and designer of Downtown vouchers
“I personally think it’s great to see Prince William breaking the traditional stuffy royal look.
“The velor jacket does a lot of work, and if I was wearing it, I would probably have paired it with other items that had a similar level of personality. But I get that it’s probably a bold look for William!