salvatore piccolo

The comments section on each Permanent Style post is a good place to ask questions – ideally related to that post, but not always. 

On Friday’s post, for instance, a reader asked me where I had a particular coat made. On Thursday it was a discussion of the virtues of John Lobb. And on Wednesday I was asked why so few bespoke tailors are recommended between £1000 and £3000 (it’s largely Graham Browne’s rock-bottom pricing). 

Readers also send me questions by email, and that is fine if they are long inquiries that may justify a post on their own. But most can be answered in a couple of sentences, and so are better suited to the comments section.

I value all these questions immensely, as they highlight areas I should be addressing and  enable me to cover old ground in fresh ways. So thank you, and please do continue to comment. Even if you don’t, it’s always worth reading the comments yourself in case they answer your conscious or unconscious concerns. 

Top: Commenting to Salvatore on the size of his stitching. Photo by Luke Carby

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Mark Parris

Hello sir,

Speaking of bespoke in the sub-3k range, have you tried Tom Baker? I had a 3-piece grey flannel suit made by him and it is wonderful. The trousers are exceptional. I purchased a donkey coat he made from 32 oz. wool and it is superb. And heavy. 🙂

Love your site and have learned much from you!


32oz .. where do you live, Siberia?


After reading all the comments on the post below I have bee wondering on where to start my foray in dressing well. If it is so much better to have 3-4 MTM or good RTW suits rather than one bespoke suit where does one start? I know you have long since departed from the world of RTW but do you have any advice on a few outfitters that will give you a decent suit that can be altered for under the price of a Graham Browne, eg £500-800?


In the past you have recommended Reiss, do you stand by them?


Firstly, I love reading your blog and its really turned me onto dressing well, style etc etc., even though much of what you critique is beyond my budget.
So far you’ve changed my shopping behaviour by making me think before I buy and understand what I’m buying.
For example recently I’ve become a great fan of Walker Slater a small menswear outfit doing some quite unique (to me anyway) things.

In future I would love to hear your thoughts on things done by Cordings of Piccadily and Tom Ford (particularly given his partnership in the James Bond films) and a medium sized outfit called Clements Church (based largely in the Midlands).

Also, given the cost of your clothes , shoes etc I would love to understand the ‘psychological shift’ you take in wearing such expensive garments. It must take a while to forget it’s a £3/4000 suit and just enjoy wearing it.
For example I see men wearing very expensive watches very sheepishly as they’re afraid to get them scratched or knocked.

Finally , throw in as much advice as is feasible for those in the lower rungs of the bespoke /tailoring ladder.


Walker Slater has great style, I presume you must be up in Edinburgh as well. I have a wonderful pair of moleskin trousers that fit like a dream, were taken up and tapered to my specification and all for £80! Really a wonderful establishment!


hi Simon, thanks for offering to answer questions, its very kind of you to do so.

ive been on the lookout for a while for a portfolio case along the lines of the following from Fosters ;

they seem to be very expensive though, at about £400 which seems quite a lot for what it is, however I think it might suit me well as I usually only carry a notebook and some papers to and fro work to read on the tube. would you be able to recommend any good perhaps more affordable sources simon?


I loved your John Smedly polo. As a smaller guy it fitted me perfectly. Are you planning to do anything else with them? (A cardigan or V neck would be great) And are they thinking of bringing in a slim line?


Simon, thanks looking forward to seeing what you and JS come up with. I’m affraid I haven’t, funds are limited this month as I’m having a bespoke bike frame made. But will you still be talking orders in March?

As the chap above mentioned do check out Walker Slater of Edinburgh, they do some great stuff (also look at Peter Johnson) again in Edinburgh. Would be great to get your views on some of the tailors in the “regions”.


Simon, this seems like a good opportunity to post on an unrelated topic. I saw your interview with Viola Milano yesterday while I was choosing a tie and noticed that you have managed to obtain bespoke polo shirts. I have been looking for something like this for a while – may I ask where you get yours from?


Thanks for the tip Simon, sounds pretty spot on.


Simon, the reader above actually raises a really interesting point about weight of cloth when foraying into the world of bespoke and choosing cloth. Coming from buying RTW tailoring where cloth has become paper thin ~7/8oz usually, there is a tendency to think heavier cloths are better and this can lead to some extreme choices in terms of weight. As I understand technology in weaving has meant fibres used are increasingly small in diameter (hence the supers 100s craze) meaning the same weight of cloth will be increasingly warm, I assume this is why cashmere or vicuna having the smallest diameter of fibre is so warm. Therefore these days if you choose a weight of cloth similar to the old days are you in danger of literally boiling up in your suit? I have only gone up to about 13oz worsted and I found this quite a solid weight to wear even in London. I note that some of the other blogs such as LL promote cloth in weights like 16/18 and even higher .. is this not a recipe for disaster? What weights of cloth would you recommend for a newbie bearing in mind we all want cloth to drape well, be comfortable and of course last favourably. Cheers, Rups



I believe that one of the things that may keep people from commenting and asking is the concern, which at least I definitely have, that it’s all been asked and answered before, and I am just not smart enough to find it; but since you kindly encourage it, here goes my question: I am wondering about the combination of suits with suede shoes. The question actually comes from a rather weird angle: I find myself willing to put on brown shoes with my suits more often, but since I live in a rather damp area at least during the winter months I often revert to rubber soles (yes, I am aware that suits and rubber soles are not quite the right combination either, but …). Now for some reason decent brown oxford shoes with rubber soles to be seem hard to find (C&J, for example, have quite a few black models with a dainite sole, but the only brown I have seen is the (in my eyes slightly-too-squareish-and-pointed) Hallam), but it gets a little easier to find something when I include suedes. Plus I like them, plus the polishing aspects, etc.

Any thoughts on this matter?

Thanks & regards



thanks for the quick reply. And yes, I have read that note on leather sole performance; I shall reconsider …

Best regards


Hi Simon,
I am writting you from Spain, I am rather curious about the Ascott tie. I have one from T&A that I dont use a lot, mainly because I am not sure it is made to wear with a bottoned neck or with an open neck.

I am curious about your view and consideration of this quite unique british garment.




thanks Simon, thats how I thought it should be worn. My question is more on the topic, do you like it? do you use to wear it? or you find it a bit too much excentric?

Thanks again for your response!


Jake unless you are under 60 (or alan flusser) avoid wearing this at ALL costs .. its going to make you look like a ‘young fogey’ .. I like classic menswear but this really is referencing a form of neckwear which has become almost extinct amongst even the most conservative dressers.


hahhaha thanks Simon, thanks Rups

I enjoyed your post on how to wear a neckerscarf, it was what I was looking for.

Although I am quite conservative on the way I dress, I do have to say that you should never regret of the style as a way to express your personality.

And for some people the ascott or the necker scarf its an amazing combination.

Thanks again for your time!


Could you possibly write another post on RTW brands? In other words, a comparison/analysis of Austin Reed, M&S, Reiss and maybe Ede and Ravenscroft/New and Lingwood?



I recently had a Solaro suit made for summer evenings. The fabric is by Drago – it’s tan but with quite strong red accents in the cloth that give it quite a lot of colour and texture at different angles. It is two buttoned, with double vents and peak lapels. I’ve been wearing it with a white shirt, black knitted tie and black pocket square with a white border.

I’d be grateful for your views on the best shoe to pair with this suit. Since I’ve been dressing it up I’ve worn it with black leather Derby’s. This works well with the black knitted tie and white shirt, but I sometimes think the black polished leather looks a bit austere against the more relaxed tan fabric.

Thanks very much for your website, which I greatly enjoy!



Hi Richard, I am interested in the drago summer suit u mentioned. Is it all right if you can send me some picture of the made up suit if that is okay with you to [email protected]. Appreciate it! Alvin

Chris Minall

Any recommendations, I’m looking for a leather jacket, double breasted, distressed dark brown, something to age with me…