In the fifth part of our regular series, in which we chat to the folks in charge of our favourite menswear stores, we speak to the guys at Pockets’ flagship store

Located in the heart of the historic market town of Shrewsbury, Pockets’ flagship store boasts five floors of premium designer apparel. From Italian heavy-hitters like Stone Island, Moncler & Canali, to streetwear kings, Y-3 (not to mention British heritage mainstays, Crockett & Jones and Paul Smith), Pockets have become a dab hand at balancing streetwear chic with understated sophistication. We sat down with Pockets founder, Paul Platt, to discuss recent trends, the Shrewsbury fashion scene, and putting an age on style. EJ

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and the shop.
Here at Pockets, we love fashion and we’re passionate about our stores. 24 years and five stores later and this enthusiasm has only grown. We love serving our customers and making them feel special from the moment they walk in the door, even if it’s just for a little browse of the wares we have on offer. 

What sort of brands do you stock? What can customers coming into the store expect?
Oh, we have such a vast range of brands and styles: Moncler, Stone Island, Acne Studios, Dries Van Noten, Paul Smith, you name it. There’s a light theme running through our selections, but there’s also enough scope and choice for any style-conscious individual. 

Here at the Shrewsbury store, our customers can expect to see a beautifully-merchandised collection of these brands over five unique floors. 

Any personal favorite brand picks from your staff?
A personal favourite at Pockets has to be Dries Van Noten, his use of some pretty luxurious fabrics and out-there prints and patterns make the brand a firm favourite with customers too. And, of course, there’s Stone Island. Another staff favourite that can really do nothing wrong. Their stuff is always a great combination of high-spec and urban cool.

Would you say that Pockets has a particular type of customer?
Absolutely: Anyone of any age who loves fashion, style and quality. We could go on about having a particular customer in mind, but we like to keep ourselves approachable to all walks of life. Pockets is a space to satisfy that fashion-conscious itch without ever having to worry about pigeonholing yourself. 

What is the retail scene like in Shrewsbury? What sets you apart?
Shrewsbury is a small but beautiful, historic little town on the border of Wales, but it’s lucky enough to have a great selection of independent businesses. We’re very proud to be considered a part of such a rich and rewarding little group. That said, what really sets Pockets apart is our five floors set in the very heart of the town square.

What’s the age range of your customers?
We don’t really put an age on anything, to be honest. What is it they say? Fashion fades but style endures? I think that’s a great ethos to live by.

Say a guy walks in and he’s new to the Pockets style of dress; how do you guide him? What are
the essentials?
We always think that making a new customer comfortable at Pockets is the best place to start. We try to get to know them and the kind of lifestyle they lead and what they like. From there we start to build a wardrobe that is right for them. After time the customer trusts us and will then be more willing to try something different.

Personally, do you have any key style moments or influences? Are there any watershed moments?
We love the Italians. They never fail to inspire when we go to the shows and buying trips. Just the regular chap on the street – young or old  – has a great style. They just make everything look so effortless, maybe that’s why the Italian brands that we stock are so popular: they tap into that effortless Italian elegance.

What trends do you see shining through at the moment?
Sportswear is obviously key right now. But we’re also looking at an upsurge in long overcoats, interesting trousers and sneakers. Silhouettes have changed a lot over the last year or so, with people experimenting with wider fits and boxier looks.

How does the store fit in with the style scene in Shrewsbury?
After 24 years, Pockets has become so well-known in the town and surrounding areas. So I guess we’d like to think we are doing our bit to improve the whole town’s style in some way! That’s the great thing about this industry: Everyone pushes everyone else. We all benefit from that kind of environment. 

Stop by the Shrewsbury store to check out some of Pockets’ top picks for the season ahead

Moncler Genius Project 2 ‘Apremont’ Hooded Down Jacket

Moncler’s ‘Genius Project 2’ range sees the ever-popular French-born brand reinterpreting their trademark classics with pop colourways, and it doesn’t get much more classic than this ‘Apremont’ down jacket. The down-filled panels give the garment a classic ski-jacket silhouette and an all-weather functionality that sees Moncler transcend its mountaineering roots to become a firm streetwear favourite.

Stone Island Dyneema® Bonded Leather Ice Jacket 

Easy-wearing luxury meets cold, hard science with Stone Island’s first ever heat-sensitive leather jacket. Luxurious leather is bonded to a base DYNEEMA® layer, the world’s strongest fibre, creating a highly structured piece that remains surprisingly lightweight. This material has been treated with a thermosensitive agent that holds microencapsulated pigment molecules, causing the outer to change colour from stone to black as the temperature drops. Fashionably utilitarian and undeniably cool.

Paul Smith Striped Wool & Mohair Knit 

This luxurious wool knit from Paul Smith – the undisputed master of vibrant multi-coloured stripes – is defined by the contrast between the navy base colour and the abstract striped pattern in mohair across the chest, back and along the sleeves. Pair this update of a cosy classic with washed jeans and boots to create an indie-inspired casual look. 

Pockets, 7A The Square, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1LA

Words by Will HALBERT
Image Credits, Courtesy of Pockets & Thomas SUMNER