Coles Details

Coles London’s leading Internet Shirtmaker offering an outstanding Range of Men’s and Ladies’ Shirts

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    About Coles

    William Coles, born in 1854, was the thirteenth child of a farming family and sent to London to make his fortune in the retail trade. He started by being apprenticed to a haberdasher and eventually saved enough money to go into business in 1878 with Mr George Parrott. They had two shops, one of which was at 25 Brompton Road. The shop started by trading with the servants of the big houses in the area. In 1882, William Coles married Eliza Pring, daughter of a Brompton Road greengrocer and she, presumably, brought enough money to enable him to dissolve the partnership and work on his own.

    There are practically no documents now, but at some stage the shop was displaced by the Knightsbridge Tube Station and moved to 147 Knightsbridge. There is an advertising brochure, unfortunately undated, carrying the logo which then included "Shirts and Pyjama Specialists" and on the cover "Makers of Shirts since 1878." The prices of the essentially masculine shirts described as Ladies' Sports Shirts seem to date from the twenties: "Best Zephyr 15/6 - collars 2/3", although "Taffeta All Wool" and "Cashmere All Wool" are 29/6.


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