The Sunspel Classic T-shirt:
An Icon of Luxury and Craftsmanship

With roots dating back to the early 1900s, the Sunspel Classic T-shirt was the world’s first luxury T-shirt and combines the finest materials with over a century of expertise.

Sunspel played a significant role in the history of the T-shirt. We were among the first to produce the style in the early 1900s, and we used Sea Island cotton – the finest and rarest cotton in the world – to create the world’s first luxury T-shirt. Since then, as the style evolved from underwear to outerwear, we have refined every aspect of our T-shirt here in Britain.

Today, the Sunspel Classic T-shirt is crafted from the highest quality extra-long staple Supima cotton, sourced from a single family-owned Californian farm dedicated to environmentally responsible practices. This cotton is then spun and knitted into our unique two-fold Q82 fabric, a hallmark Sunspel innovation that’s lightweight, durable, and exceptionally soft.

We handmake our T-shirts in our factory in Long Eaton, England. Each T-shirt undergoes 12 meticulous steps and 15 quality control checks, performed by skilled craftspeople, many of whom have been with us for over 20 years. Every T-shirt is finished with a sticker bearing the name of the artisan who performs the last product inspection – a final mark of quality.

“Sunspel is to plain white T-shirts what Rolls Royce is to cars. This is an English brand steeped in history. Ask any seasoned menswear buff to point out the perfect plain white T-shirt and they’ll no doubt show you something with “Sunspel England 1860” stitched into the collar.”

– The Independent

The Riviera Polo Shirt:
Tailored for the heat of the Mediterranean and Daniel Craig’s James Bond

Designed for the heat of the Mediterranean and famously worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond, the Riviera Polo Shirt is a blend of heritage, innovation, and timeless style.

While on holiday in the French Riviera in 1955, Peter Hill, the great-grandson of Sunspel’s founder, felt that the dense piqué polos of the time were hot and uncomfortable. Drawing on Sunspel’s lacemaking heritage and long history of fabric innovation, he invented a unique cotton mesh perfect for the Riviera’s climate. Named Q75, this lightweight and breathable fabric remains the defining feature of the Riviera Polo Shirt today.

Fifty years later, Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming asked Sunspel to help dress Daniel Craig for his debut performance as James Bond. The Riviera Polo Shirt’s British heritage and classic yet contemporary style made it the perfect piece to bring Bond into the 21st century. We tailored it to Daniel Craig’s exact measurements, slimming the chest and shortening the sleeves. When ‘Casino Royale’ was released in 2006, it became an icon of modern menswear.

“There have been so many different characters in film and theatre that I have dressed in Sunspel vests, T-shirts and underwear because they are classic, timeless, and beautifully made. This time, dressing Daniel Craig as the new James Bond, I thought that it would be a perfect collaboration of quality and Britishness to ask Sunspel to create all his T-shirts, polo shirts, and underwear, which they duly did so excellently. He looks very sexy and happy in their clothing.”

– Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming

The Sunspel Boxer Short:
A British Classic

We introduced the Boxer Short to Britain in 1947. In 1985, it featured in the iconic Levi’s laundrette advert.

Sunspel has been crafting luxury, innovative underwear since our founding. In 1947, John Hill, the great-grandson of Sunspel’s founder, discovered the Boxer Short while on his honeymoon in the US. He brought it back to Britain and improved the design, adding a back panel, smoothing the seams, and using the world’s finest long-staple cotton. In the process, he turned a functional piece of underwear into a luxury garment.

Though initially sold in luxury department stores like Harrods and Selfridges, the Boxer Short was not widely adopted in Britain until Levi’s released its iconic laundrette advert in 1985. To the soundtrack of Marvin Gaye’s 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine', actor and model Nick Kamen removed his jeans to reveal a pair of crisp, white Sunspel Boxer Shorts. The style became an overnight sensation and has been popular ever since.

With only a few minor improvements, we still make our Boxer Shorts to John Hill’s original specifications, using the finest cotton for ultimate comfort.

“Having pristine, unopened two-ply white cotton underwear, made by a small, very traditional company in Derbyshire, unopened in your drawer, piled neatly, waiting – well, that’s a sign to yourself. You’re doing all right, you’re not in a mess.”

– Writer, broadcaster and author Robert Elms in his autobiography The Way We Wore: A Life in Threads

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