SimonCrompton_Bespoke_174 CROP 2

Navy and grey are the kings of colour. They should be your first choice for almost every item of clothing – suit, jacket, trousers, overcoat, knitwear, even ties. Navy in particular for jackets and ties; mid-grey or charcoal for trousers. The combination is just easier that way round.

But what should you turn to next? For that next V-neck sweater; for the first non-trouser-matching pair of socks; for the alternative overcoat.

There are several contenders, including brown, tan, green and burgundy. But for me, green wins. Brown is too often the colour of your leather accessories; tan is not versatile enough; burgundy works well with navy suits but less so with grey.

Green is the third colour. Wear it deep and dark, as a cardigan under a suit or socks under trousers.  

Among my favourite greens:

–       Long-sleeved polo shirt by Zanone, pictured

–       Flannel suit by Brian Smith

–       Upcoming overcoat by Sartoria Vergallo

–       Every other pair of socks I own

Flannel trousers by Anderson & Sheppard, leather jacket by Gieves & Hawkes, Cartier Tank Francaise chronograph watch.  Out of shot: Brown slip-ons by Gaziano & Girling

As previously, click on the image to enlarge. Photo by Khalil Musa

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
jon di blasi

Hi Simon what is the fit like on your zanone polo? Are they part of the “slowear” label? Kind regards


I was under the impression that brown is always spot on next to blue / navy. I’ll give green a pass, in my opinion it’s hard to ‘pull it off’.



I’m fond of purple for accessories – socks, ties, etc. The socks go well with navy and I find with lighter greys. The ties go wonderfully with mid grey suits and navy too. I’m not sure I could pull off a sweater, though, unless it’s a very deep purple.


Third colour is going to depend a lot on skin tone I think.

That said, I’m just not sure where you go after green….with burgundy, you can also add flashes of pink and purple fair easily. Green feels like a bit of a dead end.


Excellent suggestion. One of the purchases I made recently was a pair of olive gabardine odd trousers. What is your source for green socks? I would love some!


You mention Brian Smith who I believe is the in-house tailor at Fox. I can’t find any other reference to him on your blog. Have you used him and if so what was the experience like and how did things turn out?


I find green hard to pull it off for a precise reason : I have grey (light blue) eyes, dark blonde hair, and a red beard.

If I added green, I have the impression I would cross the harlequin line – too many different colours.


Great to see your approval of green! As a country dweller I have worn greens and browns as background colours almost exclusively, reserving greys and blues for the rare formal occasions I attend.


This was an interesting post, Simon.

I have a dark green Dorset jumper from JS. I’ve worn this with a mid-grey sports jacket and brown flannel jacket nod it looks good. However, when are tried it with a blue Solito cashmere jacket I wasn’t sure it worked. Do you think dark green goes with blue?


Thanks, Simon. In this case the jacket is dark blue (midnight-ish) and the jumper is forest green…


It’s a lovely coat. Dark blue cashmere. Nicely cut by Luigi. Took him (and Luca) out for dinner on Fri to thank him


You use the word , but you specify later . So you don’t really mean green, but only some shades. It’s not clear how you mean deep and dark. Do you mean deep must be dark? I don’t think you are a lighthouse keeper here, but hope you become one, because otherwise, we remain in the dark and drown.


I will have to try green then. I’m white haired so grey washes me out and my entire wardrobe consists of navy, white, blue or combinations of stripes and checks from those options, stuck in a rut apart from a single mid grey cardigan…


Hi Simon! What do you think about dark dark green corduroys? I’ve found a nice pair of Incotex.

I usually wear light blue shirts, midnight blue jackets and brown or burgundy shoes.


“brown ties are relatively rare because …….. and can clash with brown leather elsewhere”
Can you clarify this point?


I would like to know what shoes I should wear with a brown jacket and white trousers or light grey flannel trousers. I have mid brown brogues, dark brown penny loafers ( very similar in color to the jacket) and dark brown suede derby.


oh ok, I thought a brown jacket could clash with the brown leather shoes.
I guess only accessories ( ties, belt, shoes) might clash with each others. Am I correct?


I have a pair of green wholecut Edward Green’s but I’m having a hard time figuring out what kind and color of pants to wear with them. My initial thought is to pair them with grey wool trousers. Also, would these green wholecuts be too formal to pair with chinos or jeans? Appreciate your feedback.


Simon, what is your take on a bottle green blazer? My tailor says bottle green is more versatile (e.g. daywear and evening wear) than a lighter shade of green.
I am looking for an “all year” kind of green, so olive might be too autumnal.


Any guidance on colors that can pair well with a olive green jacket?


Good morning, Simon.

Can I ask you about your opinion of bottle green/racing green (a blue-green shade)?

I am interested in something like a linen or a cotton-linen or even wool-cotton-linen sports jacket in precise colour and I am not sure whether I should grab something like or this

Or should I go for a more classic dark green linen sports jacket as or ?

I‘d really like to have a versatile sports coat for spring/summer and I am very grateful for your answer!

Lindsay McKee

The Zanone polo is referred to as “ice cotton”. Is that correct?