Reillo cotton bespoke suit green

In my review of Spanish tailor Reillo’s cotton suit last week, there proved to be only room to analyse the fit and make.

Yet a reader rightly pointed out that green cotton-gabardine is hardly an everyday cloth option. I’ll explain the style aspects of the outfit now – but essentially, it was chosen for the versatility of green and casual nature of cotton.

Regular readers will be familiar with my views on green. After the menswear foundations of navy and grey, it is the most useful colour for everything from ties to knitwear.

Cream is barely a colour; brown can suffer from similarity to other, leather elements in the ensemble. Green, in all its tones, should be a man’s third choice – yet it rarely is.

Green suit close-up

A green suit goes wonderfully with different shades of brown shoe or belt; it works with both blue and white shirts; and the harmonious colours for silk accessories are manifold – pale blue, burnt orange, navy, yellow, even purple in some cases.

In the outfit shown here, the grey wool tie is pretty conservative, but the deep orange of the handkerchief is a real pleasure. The colours are largely spring and autumn ones – indeed, we chose this background for the photo to demonstrate that harmony, with fallen leaves and bright blue skies.

Of course, not all greens are the same. It’s hard to go wrong with navy or grey, but certain greens are far too strong and saturated to work sartorially.

I’d generally recommend going for a dark green, which means strength of colour is less of a problem, and the suit overall will be more wearable. I have one other green suit – a deep, dark flannel, made by Brian Smith at the Fox Brothers mill.

But if you go for a lighter colour like mine (Caccioppoli 340307), make sure it’s not too strong in tone – a little faded, a little greyed. Cotton (gabardine) is a help here too, because it will fade quicker than any other material, particularly around wear points like the front edge and cuffs.

Elsewhere: brown, hatched grain slip-ons from Gaziano & Girling; white spread-collar shirt from Luca Avitabile; and reversible knitted-wool tie from Hermes.

The latter is a recent acquisition and fantastically useful, with a slightly different shade of grey on each side. I confess I like the fact that the knit is different to 99% of patterns out there as well. (Though avoid the silk ‘4 temps’ line – the colour contrast is too great.)

Photography: Jack Lawson

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I always think that green might look a bit too ‘military’. In fact I think I only have to green items in my wardrobe. Navy, grey, light blue and burgundy red tend to be the most common colours that I wear.


Thanks Simon. I think it is quite easy to slip into a habit of wearing the same or similar colours. Navy, grey, light blue work for practically everything don’t they? Formal, informal, summer/winter etc.


Once again a really interesting post Simon. I have to say I have enjoyed trying to add more green to my wardrobe as per your recommendations. My British racing green socks are now worn regularly and a dark green Charvet silk knit tie is also a hit. Unfortunately there have also been casualties – a pair of ill-chosen apple green socks which ruined everything I wore them with and an olive green scarf which gave my face a ‘light green glow’ making me look permanently nauseous have both been consigned to the spare bedroom wardrobe. As you have often said green is a great colour to wear, but I must agree with you that a darker green is a safer green!


That deep green flannel suit sounds very interesting, Simon. It would be great to see some images of it, if you hadn’t already planned this…


Hello Simon,

Following green, would you say a burgundy suit is a conservative choice? Or would you stick solely with a burgundy jacket and odd trousers?


Hi Simon,
Thanks for providing these additional perspectives on this lovely suit.
The G&G loafers aside, I would be interested in knowing what your views are as to shoes styles and colors that might go well with this suit. As you know, this is also part of the equation. Could you figure out, for instance, how to scale up or down its level of formality while merely focusing on your choice for shoes and their colors?


Hi Simon, very interesting article. Are you able to expand on the suit you had made directly by Fox Brothers? Was it up to the standard one might find on the Row? Thanks so much.


Actually, a wide range of possibilities. This sounds very appealing too!


It strikes me that like a lot of people that read your site on a regular basis how important your view is. I don’t always agree with it but I always think that the reasoning behind it is interesting. And sometimes I change my mind- green being the obvious example. I still don’t think I would have a suit made in green but I am surprised how often I wear my Mazarin green socks and I am going to but a Harris tweed jacket which is predominantly green – though with lots of burned orange, purple and blue in it. A nice pair of grey flannels with (probably) purple socks – again thanks to this site – could be an interesting combination.
Thank you so much for what you do and I look forward to (dis)agreeing with you in 2015!



A bit off topic, but I hope you don’t mind. Did you ever get around to do that post about Graham Browne’s new “factory” in Essex?


Nicolas Stromback

Hello Simon!

I am a Swedish gentleman soon to be living in New York. During my last visit I visited the Armoury and was quite pleased with the store, the range that they have and above all the staff. I was serviced by Jeremy (I think) and he was very glad to answer all my questions for future purposes.

My question to you relates to my transitioning into the world of MTM and eventually bespoke, having been in the world of RTW up until now. Being a young man with a youthful appearance (I can’t even grow a proper beard!) I wanna make sure that as I progress into the sartorial world that I dress the part and don’t end up looking like my dad (nothing wrong with that) but maintain the look of a young, yet well dressed man. Do you have any recommendations for me to consider in terms of what to look for and where to find it in NYC (apart from the Armoury)? I am also thinking of getting my first pair of MTM shoes, and I am thinking of Alfred Sargent for the purpose.

I think I should start with buying a base wardrobe and get good value garments that lasts. I should also mention that I am an artist so I am not a stranger to giving a bit of a twist to my outfits though stayin as well tailored as possible.

Thanks for a great site!


what would be the most versatile colour for a grenadine tie?
Burgundy? Dark green?


Sorry for going off topic, again.

I’m getting more confident in my adventures in (business) suites but still uncomfortable when it comes to odd jackets.

I had one made in a heavy tweed which is great but a bit country and too warm for indoor wear. I’m looking to commission my second jacket and want something more universal, dress down with jeans or be semi formal (by normal standards) with flannel trousers etc. Will want to be able to wear it indoors year round and outdoors in summer.

I think navy for colour but really not sure what type of fabric will give the broadest use. Before learning about fit I used a RTW mid weight linen jacket but always thought it was a bit summery for indoors in winter.

Suggestions would be appreciated


I would say the fabric depends al lot where you live. A cashmere is imo impractical ( for example)in South Italy because of the warm climate. For a first jacket I would go for a navy hopsack. You can wear it during winter too because your are wearing an overcoat anyway.
For a second jacket I would opt for a brown jacket which works with grey, cream, white trousers.

Steve Bradley

I am still surprised by how infrequently green is used. I believe most men are still a little too conservative with color selections.


Fully agree to that. Green ist just so wonderful, and it’s a choice even for those men who shy away from bolder pinks, yellows and what have you. It’s not that far away from blue on the color-wheel, after all. And some, let’s say, bottle green sweater and olive chinos can really go a long way in a man’s wardrobe.
On the other hand, there is no denying that green with it’s casual tendency is still more difficult to handle than grays and blues, as Simon has well pointed out. And those of us under a tight dress-codes may dare a lot with a suit as the one shown here, however undeniably drop-dead gorgeous it is.

By the way, dear Simon, keep up that great blog. I’m a reader on a tight budget and I sometimes sigh over your reviews ( no bespoke for me….), but there is no beating you with regards to style generalities that everyone can profit from. Keep up the good work.


Dear Simon,

I am an avid reader of your blog and enjoy reading it very much, it is very much educational as it is interesting. I have read your posts about how jackets should fit and I have a particular question regarding the fit around the neck. I recently had a bespoke suit made in my city and while the collar of my jacket holds tightly to my shirt collar while I am still. When i move my arms, however the there is a neck gap. is this normal or does this issue require addressing? Thank you!


Dear Simon,
I love your website and have learned a lot from reading . I am Indian and brown skinned (wheatish is how I would be described in matrimonial ads). I wonder if you can say a bit about how applicable the green advice might be to some of my skin color? I used to wear a lot more green before I got married and my wife began steering me to brighter colors.


Will the cotton suit lose thire shape at elbow or knee area over the years? If i choose h&s garberdine 7oz weight, i fear it will lose their shape.

Bertie Wooster

Simon, what are the mills/merchants you would recommend for a cotton suit e.g Caccioppoli, H&S, and what sort of weight…250-300g?



For a cotton suit, apart from cotton gabardine, what other cottons might work? I’m thinking especially of ones that might be a bit rougher than gabardine – cotton drill?


I just bought an olive custom suit with a beautiful Holland and Sherry wool – medium weight with a slight sheen. Any suggestions on what to wear with it for a dressed-down wedding?


Hi Simon,
I’m deciding on a cloth for a new suit for my wedding. I’m thinking about this Fox Air Olive check as something a bit different to the ubiquitness navy and grays. What do you think?


Many thanks for replying, Simon.

I thought you may say that, one to think about. I’m leaning towards a pale or mid gray flannel SB instead, taking into account your advice.

An unrelated and potentially silly question – would this Fox’s hopsack (a limited drop) be suitable for a suit? It’s hefty at 16oz –

I know you’ve suggested going for heavier cloths in the past, is this too much though…


As hopsack seems to be recommended for warmer weather, what would be the benefit to a heavier weight hopsack like this. Would it just be the better drape and durability?