The SIRPLUS Story
SIRPLUS is founded by Henry Hales. While plotting to take over the men’s underwear market, Henry leads to a chance discovery: that shirt-makers often end up with a surplus of fabric, not enough to make a shirt but plenty for a few pairs of boxers. Said fabric is snapped up, boxer shorts are made, and a pun-tastic name is given.
SIRPLUS meets the world! Henry moves to London armed with suitcases of boxers, and heads straight for east London’s Spitalfields market sure of success. On day one, his takings total £0. Day one is a fluke as it turns out, Henry soon makes the pilgrimage west to Portobello, and word of mouth begins to spread.
The SIRPLUS website launches, complete with questionable cabbage logo. Years later and we're still asked about the reasoning behind this – the simple answer is that cabbage is industry-speak for surplus. As for the top hat – we’ll get back to you.
From boxer shorts, the logical next step is, of course, formal waistcoats. Made from surplus and fitted in Henry's front room (a spacious east London studio is still a few years away at this point), they quickly grow in popularity. Nehru waistcoats come next, kick-starting a collarless complex still evident today.
An upgrade, from trestle table to custom-built market cart. By now SIRPLUS is a regular fixture on Portobello Market, with a regular spot outside of No. 306A.
Our first magazine cover. A lesser-known tennis player is drafted in to wear our Nehru jacket, but of course, the focus is firmly on SIRPLUS.
The shop on wheels arrives: a custom-built, state-of-the-art rolling store, made possible due to the massive generosity of friends and family. Over £19,000 is raised via a Kickstarter, which remains humbling to this day. A huge thank you continues to go out to each and every one of the 166 who contributed.
Our distribution centre opens, allowing us to pick, pack and post orders faster than ever before. Never again will Henry get stuck on a lawn while hand-delivering a package, disturbing a rather grand Christmas party in the process. Orders are now expertly shipped anywhere in the world within four days, with next working day delivery available throughout the UK.
We're handed the keys to 306A Portobello Road, after years of pitching on the market directly in front. It's a small, unassuming place, but one with more than enough room for our full collection which by now includes jackets, trousers, coats, knitwear and more.
Sees the team behind Brooklyn Flea Market, New York's answer to Portobello, invite SIRPLUS to join them for a one-off weekend. While there, we also run a special trunk show with our friends Turnbull & Asser. A very special relationship is forged, as we introduce our American cousins to the Nehru collar and grandad shirt.
Brings a new addition to the SIRPLUS family - 49 Camden Passage opens its doors. Five miles east and ever so slightly north of Portobello, it's a bright and spacious store which counts among its neighbors a delectable Austrian cafe, an uproarious comedy club, and a brilliant antique market (on Wednesdays and Saturdays!)
Meant brushing up our GCSE french, as we became the nouveau guys in town. For nine weeks we opened the doors to our new maison in Le Marais, on the right bank of the Seine. Known for its rich cultural history and high-low mix of galleries, eateries and emerging brands - of which our SIRPLUS pop up was the latest addition. We brought over some of our favourite pieces in the hopes of winning over the locals with our British charm. We like to think we left a certain je ne sais quoi.
Nestled between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street, our pop up store in Princes Arcade opens for the Christmas period. Yet did we know that pop up store would become a permanent home of ours. Surrounded by 'Christy's Hats' and the ever so sweet 'Prestat', visiting our PA store is always a treat.
Saw some big changes. We all make questionable style choices in our youth - the cabbage and top hat were already a thing of the past. But towards the end of 2018, we started thinking about updating things again. Wider kerning, no more lines, and no more space between the words Sir and Plus. Sir Plus is dead, long live SIRPLUS..
Perched along King’s Road 2 mile stretch, SIRPLUS opens another set of doors to the Savoir faire shoppers of London.
Is a time for gifts of joy, so we partner with international charity SolarAid, who combat both poverty and climate change by providing solar lights in Malawi and Zambia. With every purchase of the super snazzy limited edition, Orange Wind Turbine Tie £10 was donated to a better life and a better planet. A pretty good stocking filler we think.
Tears are shed and champagne is drunk as SIRPLUS celebrates a decade of dealing much more than just boxers. Our new collection features the latest addition - the textured polo - which proves to be a smash hit. Plus, after years of our customers finding their favourite pieces on sisters, wives and girlfriends, we launch our unisex range. Proving SIRPLUS pieces look great on any body.
Sees SIRPLUS make the leap into the bustling centre of town, with 85 Marylebone High Street becoming our most exciting shop location yet. Nestled in the city’s beating heart, next to some rather wonderful bookshops, it appears we really have grown up.