The Origins


Established in 1898, Arthur Bowden and Ernest Wright set up a tailors shop at number 10 Grand Parade Epsom Surrey.

Arthur Ernest and Co traded until 1903 when the partnership was dissolved and Arthur Bowden went on his own.

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httpswww.thegazette.co .ukLondonissue27602page6050data.pdf
Extract from The London Gazette 1903.


The shop was renamed Bowden`s. It claimed to be the “best value in the world” as can be seen from this advertisement in the early 20th Century.

Arthur ran the business until the 1930s when Lester took over from his father

Bowden 1898 history
Arthur Bowden
menswearonline history arthur bowden
Arthur Bowden and his wife Edith

Lester bowden

Lester was ambitious and successful. In 1931 he moved to a larger premises in 109, High Street Epsom and purchased the freehold to ensure the family’s long term trading future. 

Aside from bespoke men’s and ladies’ fashions, the business also prided itself in supplying quality riding wear, as well as providing school wear for many schools in the area.

Bowden 1898 history shop

Famous Customers


Over the years the Bowden family business proudly served many famous customers such as The Prince of Wales, The Sultan of Oman and Sir Winston Churchill.

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Next Generation

In the 1950s and 1960s two of Lester`s sons Warwick and Richard took over the running of the business. The two brothers worked hard together until 1990 to ensure the business went from strength to strength.


lester bowden shop photo 1

More shops were added to the family business when Warwick’s sons York and Blake Bowden expanded by taking over local menswear shops Wakefields of Horsham and Weir Rhodes in Guildford. This was followed by the opening of Warwicks in Windsor.

menswear online

In 2019, as the pandemic and a nation-wide lockdown hit the high street, the decision was made to create a digital presence for the business. The transition was made possible by Thomas Bowden, who is the son of Blake Bowden and effectively the 5th generation of the family business. 


menswearonline website