English Boys Clothing Stores: Colts

Figure 1.--This boy in the Colts catalog models a trendy cord jacket with a stand up collar. It was available in traditional colors as well as very non-traditional purple. Another cord jacket offered by Colts was more like the cord jackets worn at prep schools.

A British merchant reports, "In 1965 I started in Hampstead, London, a shop called "Colts," which offered a selection of "the world's best casual clothing" for boys of school age. Colts catered solely for boys' leisure wear, largely imported from France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and the United States. The introduction to our catalog declared: `We're noted for the brilliance and sophistication of our sports shirts, the sumptuous variety of our corduroys, the tough-ness of our jeans, and the shortness of our shorts. The Continent shows us that school-boys don't have to be Just Williams or bedraggled grey mice; they can be quite shapely animals if their clothes give them half a chance'." The catalog shows a range of stylish clothes that were becoming popular in England, including cord jackets, bright polo-shirts, jeans, and suits with mod and traditional styling. There was even an American-style baseball cap--at the time quite novel in England. Colts operated in England between 1965 and 1975, with branches in Hampstead (London), Richmond (Surrey), Guildford, Chester, Bath, Reading, and Brighton. Colts did not do general outfitting and no school or formal clothes, they indicated, however, that "... most of our casuals are elegant enough to hold their own in any company."

Winter 1968-69

The Colts 1968-69 winter catalog offered both traditional and trendy styles. Many were sourced on the continent, but some were from America and Britain. The winter catalog of course included a lot of cold weather clothes like jackets and warm fabrics like corduroy

Summer 1974

The summer catalog included a lot of casual clothes like short trousers, including some foreign styles like American camp shorts.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: August 20, 2001
Spell checked: August 21, 2001
Last updated: September 27, 2001