Joseph's

Portland Maine's oldest & finest men's shop

Feel swell in Sunspel.

1822

SUNSPEL’S FOUNDER

Thomas Arthur Hill founded Sunspel. He was born in 1822, the 11th of 12 children, at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. His father, John Pinkerton Hill, was a hosiery maker in Nottingham and Thomas followed his father into the hosiery and lace trade.

Steam power was about to usher in a period of enormous worldwide change. The textile industry was one of the earliest manufacturing sectors to embrace this change and Thomas Hill found himself at the heart of it.

Thomas Hill was not only one of the great early British industrialists but also a fabric innovator. His vision to create simple, everyday clothing from beautiful fabrics continues to be the Sunspel philosophy to this day.

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THE SUNSPEL T-SHIRT

EVERY MAN HAS THE CLASSIC, WHITE T-SHIRT IN HIS WARDROBE. NOT EVERYONE KNOWS WHY IT’S SO COOL.
We’ve been making and refining cotton undershirts since the mid-19th century. By the 1950’s, the Sunspel white t-shirt had reached its iconic simplicity. The buttons, which had originally featured below the neck were gone. Long sleeves had become short. Cuffs, pockets, collars and any kind of decoration were removed.

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THE SUNSPEL POLO SHIRT

ALWAYS UNPRETENTIOUS, THE SUNSPEL POLO STRIKES A PERFECT BALANCE BETWEEN FORMAL AND PRACTICAL, CASUAL AND ELEGANT.
We began making polo shirts in the 1950’s. And when it comes to design, we focused on simplicity and comfort. We resisted adding fussy extras and concentrated on the essence of the polo – a short-sleeved shirt with a soft collar and three buttons.

SUNSPEL DEVELOPS RIVIERA POLO SHIRT FOR JAMES BOND IN CASINO ROYALE

In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig wears several Sunspel shirts. Award winning costume designer, Lindy Hemming, explains why:

“I have dressed so many different characters in film and theatre in Sunspel because they are classic, timeless and beautifully made. With Daniel Craig as the new Bond, I thought it would be a perfect collaboration of quality and Britishness to ask Sunspel to create all his t-shirts, polo shirts and underwear. He looks very sexy and happy in their clothing.”

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THE SUNSPEL BOXER

WE ALL TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED, BUT THEY DIDN’T EXIST IN THE UK UNTIL 1947, WHEN JOHN HILL ON A TRIP TO THE STATES, NOTICED THAT MEN HAD BEGUN WEARING THEM AS UNDERWEAR.
Until the 1940‘s, the boxer short was only available in America. It was Sunspel’s own John Hill who saw the opportunity in bringing the innovation back to the UK in 1947.

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