Minimalist Wardrobe Basics With Farnol

When I discovered Farnol my instance reaction was, “ this looks familiar .” It’s remarkable how similar Farnol’s website and clothing ...

Minimalist Wardrobe Basics With Farnol

When I discovered Farnol my instance reaction was, “this looks familiar.” It’s remarkable how similar Farnol’s website and clothing look in comparison to a very popular fashion brand in the US. It got me thinking, is this the UK’s answer to Everlane?

Farnol offers 'a thoughtfully curated collection of high-quality essentials for every day’ providing high quality clothing with simple and clean designs at an affordable price. Farnol is clearly aiming for the ‘minimal basics’ market with their 16-piece clothing range. It’s an everyday collection of modern wardrobe basics from outerwear, t-shirts and dresses, to loungewear that clearly draws inspiration from the capsule wardrobe. There’s almost everything you need for the foundations of a strong minimalist wardrobe.

With Everlane’s frustrating and sporadic international shipping, I wanted to test out Farnol’s clothing to see how the two compare. I went for three wardrobe staples: the Everyday Twill Jacket*, an Everyday Crew Neck Sweater*, and an Everyday Long Sleeve Pima Cotton T-Shirt*



Minimalist Wardrobe Basics With Farnol


Quality

Farnol mostly uses cotton for their clothing although there are a few pieces made from polyester, poly-rayon, and cashmere. All three pieces I ordered are made from 100% cotton although different types. They look good and they feel good to wear.

The Everyday Sweater is made from exceptionally soft long staple cotton, has a traditionally bound-on rib neck, and is finished with flat lock seams for extra strength and durability. The simplicity of the design means it doesn’t look overly casual making it a versatile piece. I appreciate the thick band at the bottom of the sweater, which helps keep it in place without being too tight or distorting the fit. It’s a basic sweater that looks classic and smart.

The Long Sleeve T-shirt is made from pima cotton, has a lovely smooth feel and close fit. I especially like that the t-shirt is lightweight yet not at all see-through. The fabric has a good weight to it that makes it exceptionally comfortable to wear. It’s a classic quality t-shirt that’s a great wardrobe staple.

The cotton twill used to make the Twill Jacket gives it a stiffness, which helps to hold the jacket's shape yet feels comfortable to wear. The jacket is designed with welted chest pockets, panel detailing, twin needle switching and classic button fastenings. It’s a great modern alternative to the classic denim jacket and I can tell, after a few wears, the material will soften giving it a more relaxed appearance.

Farnol’s quality quality is on par with Everlane. The jacket has a very similar handfeel to a couple of Everlane pieces I own and I actually prefer Farnol’s t-shirt (both in fit and quality) to the Everlane ones. Overall, Farnol’s clothing has a little more structure in the designs helping the pieces look less basic and more put-together but with no extra effort.



Minimalist Wardrobe Basics With Farnol


Size & Fit

Farnol offers sizing in XXS-XL with no garment measurements on the product pages, which means you have to rely on the model photographs and ‘Find Your Fit’ guide to guess at your best choice. You can also email them any questions you have about size; I’m certain they’d be able to help you find the perfect fit and in fact, I’d recommend doing that.

With new brands it’s hard to tell if clothing will run small, large, or true to size so I relied on the ‘Find Your Fit’ guide to make my order. It recommended a Medium size for everything. I’m usually a Small but since Farnol was a new brand to me, I went with the recommendation. For a true fit, I should have ordered a Small in everything. Saying that, I can happily wear two of the three pieces, the third I returned for a smaller size. The T-shirt and jumper in a Medium fits loose on me giving them a nice comfortable fit, which I’m OK with. The jacket was far too big. With its boxy style, the Medium swamped me so I requested an exchange for an XS and it's a perfect fit.

It’s always going to be tricky to find the right size and fit when shopping online, it’s just one of the pitfalls of making online purchases. Farnol’s sizing is in line with what I expect from most UK brands. If you’re usually a Small, you’re most likely a Small with Farnol too. The ‘Find Your Fit’ guide isn’t a great way to figure out your size so I’d recommend emailing them for measurements and more reliable size and fit information if you’re unsure what size to order.

Farnol has a noticeably more classic approach to clothing when compared to Everlane. While Everlane leans into trends more with their boxy, oversized, relaxed shapes; because of their focus on minimal basics, Farnol’s clothes have standard cuts allowing them more versatility in style. So, when it comes to fit, I’d choose Farnol over Everlane.



Ethics

Unfortunately there is nothing on Farnol’s website about their supply chain, manufacturing methods, environmental policies, or worker’s rights. It’s the one thing I would criticise them for, and it’s quite a big issue.

Finding somewhere to shop in the UK for minimal basics that are affordably priced and ethically made is almost impossible. It often feels you can only have one or two of those things, never all three. Does that make it OK? No. Do we have a choice? Not really.



Minimalist Wardrobe Basics With Farnol


Final Thoughts

Farnol has impressed me. The quality, fit, and style of the clothing is wonderful. The pieces are well made, feel good, and look great on. The 16-piece collection covers pretty much all the basics you could want for your minimal wardrobe, with a couple of extra ‘modern classics’ like the Twill Jacket and Stretch Pants.

I can’t help but draw comparisons between Farnol and Everlane. Farnol’s clothing has the potential to be more long-lasting than Everlane, at least when it comes to the style of their clothing. Everlane has slowly introduced more fashion-forward pieces that aren’t necessarily timeless unlike Farnol, which is dedicated (at least right now) to classic basics.

I’m happy to be adding these pieces by Farnol to my wardrobe. In terms of quality and style, I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of them and I know they’ll last. There’s a lot to like when it comes to these pieces. The jumper and t-shirt are essential basics and the jacket is a great modern interpretation of the classic denim jacket, but the simpleness of it helps maintain its longevity as a piece. Farnol offers my ideal ratio of style to comfort; each piece looks good and feels comfortable on, I don’t have to compromise on either.

Would I buy from Farnol again? I would - if I had more information on their ethics and sustainability. Would I recommend them? Yes - with a caveat about the (lack of) transparency. The quality and price make Farnol pretty irresistible. There are very few (none that I’ve found) offering minimalist basics at such an affordable price in the UK. So if you’re seeking wardrobe essentials and you’re fed up of waiting for Everlane’s sporadic international shipping, Farnol is a good brand to keep on your radar.



What do you think of Farnol?
Let me know if you have any questions about fit, style, or quality, in the comments.


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Minimalist Wardrobe Basics With Farnol


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