My name is Tony Warren and my nickname is Bunny. I live in a small village on the border between Essex and Suffolk. By profession, I am a decorator. In my personal life, I like to wear 1930's fashion and collect vintage clothing from the Edwardian period up to the 1940's.
How did you become interested in vintage fashion and classic menswear?
I’ve been buying vintage pieces ever since I started buying my own clothing. I would always choose baggy trousers and old fashioned shirts, especially as in the 80's lots of old fashion styles were incorporated into popular trends, promoted by the pop groups of the time.
I have always loved the smartness of old fashioned clothes; I found the 1930's style especially appealing. I discovered a need to have similar beautiful clothes in my wardrobe, and found comfort in the thought that I could have something appropriate for any occasion – formal wear, morning wear, evening wear, tweed suits or sport suits. With time, collecting evolved into a long-term passion, and the clothes that I found formed and defined my daily wardrobe.
Within the community you are known as Mr Bunny. Is your nickname in any way related to your hobby?
'Bunny' is a nickname popular amongst people with the ‘’Warren’’ surname. It was the nickname of my great grandfather and my grandfather, so I inherited it, naturally.
Having been collecting vintage for many years, I realized that I would love to share my passion with other people and have a place to show my pieces. I found out about Instagram and decided to teach myself how to use it, even though I have always been very old fashioned and didn’t really care to keep up with the quickly changing technology. That’s how ‘’Bunny’s Vintage Wardrobe’’ (@bunnysvintagewardrobe) on Instagram was born.
How big is your collection at the moment? Is it always growing, and are there still pieces that you are looking to add to it?
I think my collection can be considered rather large, I have a 22ft by 8 ft wardrobe, which is pretty much crammed. I am always looking for new pieces; the ultimate find would be a four piece tweed 1930's suit. It would be fantastic to find a full suit, and not just separate bits and bobs. You can never stop collecting, can you? My collection is constantly growing, I go shopping, or ‘’vintage hunting’’, as some call it, pretty much every week. I might find a jacket or a pair of trousers, and then build the outfit using separate pieces. For example, when it comes to formal wear, I am building a set for the Edwardian period, then a similar one for the 1930's, but in a slightly different style. When I find a nice piece, like a jacket, I can spend years building the whole outfit around it, until it’s spot on, perfect. Usually, there’s something that can be added, so the process of collecting never stops. I might eventually decide to let go of some of my older pieces, the ones that don’t fit perfectly or that I’ve got tired with over the years, having found better quality equivalents already.
How would you describe your personal style? Is your interest in the past limited only to clothing, or is “vintage’’ more of a lifestyle for you?
I’m no dandy; I don’t consider myself to be the sharpest, snappiest dresser. There are much smarter dressed men out there; I like to wear my suits as natural as possible, in the end, these are just clothes. When you see an old movie from the 1930's or 1940's, the suits worn by the actors look just right, comfortable, and that is how I like to feel in them too. One shouldn’t be self-conscious in their clothes or feel the need to worry about other people looking at them. I would like to think of myself as a gentleman, one can never say they are, but that is what I aspire to. I would say that my style could portray a 1930's typical English gentleman living in the countryside. I prefer smarter, well-tailored clothing than workwear; even though I dress more casually to do work in the garden or around the house. I also love 1930's sports style: perfect for hiking, cycling and camping.
I have always valued old things, the modernity has never been of much interest to me. For me and my wife Mandy, it’s a whole lifestyle. We do live rather slowly and in an old fashioned way. Our house is furnished using only antique pieces, we value good quality things, that are beautiful and feel precious. My wife loves country style, decorating the house, cooking and baking using traditional recipes, gardening. It’s impossible to live in a completely ‘’vintage’’ world, going back to the 1930's or any other historical period. But I try to create my own happy space, where everything is beautiful and everyone gets treated with respect. I have always been the odd one out at school or in the family, they used to call me ‘’posh’, just because I liked visiting historic sites and old manor houses. I have always admired the older generation and felt fascinated by their stories. Visiting their homes would often feel like travelling back in time. That kind of environment makes me feel comfortable, I’m not into the fast modern world that feels aggressive.
Who has been your biggest style influence? Why?
My biggest influence has definitely been my Grandfather from my Dad’s side. He lived in Ealing, where I was born, and as a child I would often go to stay in his beautiful Victorian house.
He originally came from Aylesbury, but the family moved into Ealing in the 1930's, and that was when the house had been furnished. It stayed almost unchanged until my grandparents’ death. The place made me feel really safe and comfortable, I loved seeing my Grandfather smoking his pipe, always dressed very elegantly, and wanted to be like him more than anyone else. The rest of my family was into a more hippie, bohemian style, which was fun, but as an old soul, I enjoyed the stability of my Grandfather’s house and lifestyle.
I am also inspired by my Instagram friends who wear vintage, I like to see what they do and how they put different pieces together. Many of them are young, handsome chaps that dress very smart and snappy, so their style may be very different to mine, more mature, but I always find it very interesting to see.
What are your favourite looks?
I love tweed. I live in the countryside, so that is the style that suits me best. I think tweed suits were the first items that I have fallen in love with when I started collecting classic menswear; I also love plus fours and fair isle knitwear. If you ever see me about, I would usually wear a ‘’tweed sports jacket and flannels’’, a hand-knitted fair isle pullover and a nice pair of brogues in Oxford style.
I also love formal wear: stroller suits, morning suits, evening wear. White tie ensemble is probably the most elegant thing a chap can wear.
What are your most treasured pieces?
My most treasured pieces are probably some of the first ones I found. I have a pair of Harrods tailored three-piece suits, one of them, made of flannel in white pinstripe, is dated to 1938. It is very beautiful, I never came by a similar one again. The other one is a dark blue double breasted suit in chalk and red pinstripe 1939. It’s stunning, I haven’t shown that one on Instagram yet.
How did you discover SJC?
I think I met Simon for the first time at the Chap Olympiad a few years ago. We teamed up in one of the competitions, making a paper suit for someone on stage. Afterwards I got introduced to his brand and SJC.
What’s your favourite SJC Garment?
I wear almost exclusively vintage, but one of the things that I really value about SJC as a brand is that they produce pieces that are very difficult to find on the market. My favourite items from SJC are the grey Ellington wool trousers. I wear them all the time as they match many of my outfits, but also because they are new and made of strong fabric, which makes them more durable than original pieces.
I really appreciate the research and work that goes into SJC clothing, and especially the use of natural fabrics that look very authentic and are a rarity nowadays.
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