Edward Sexton grey flannel suit3

My apologies to readers that have been waiting for these shots of the Edward Sexton suit. Books, corrupted photos and other things seemed to consistently get in the way. 

I’ve always wanted a double-breasted mid-grey flannel. I had one made years ago in Hong Kong, and although it was poorly made, I loved the cloth and its classicism. 

This is one shade darker than a real mid-grey. (It is an 11oz flannel from the Smith’s Luxury Flannels bunch.) The advantage of this is that it can easily be worn with both black and brown shoes. Any paler, such as my Anderson & Sheppard SB (pictured in this post next to Pat Murphy) and other things have to help the suit towards formality – in general, a white shirt and dark tie. 

In the shots here – from the Margaret Howell store in Florence – I’m wearing the suit with a grey shirt and burgundy tie. As mentioned previously, I like a grey shirt for its ability to soften an outfit and remove any ‘business’ associations. Burgundy goes particularly nicely with it.  

Edward Sexton grey flannel suit bespoke

Edward Sexton grey flannel suit  

The style of an Edward Sexton suit can best be described as super-structured. The shoulder padding is substantial – heavier than anything I’ve had elsewhere. If there were a ranking for such padding, by the way, Chittleborough & Morgan would be next on the list, then Huntsman, and then Gieves & Hawkes. Poole and Richard Anderson come some way further down. 

The roping of the shoulder is also heavy, which gives the suit breadth and quickly draws the eye up and out. It is probably the element that most drives the style of the overall suit. 

The lapel is wide, but not as much as one might suspect for such a 1960s influence. Perhaps more significantly, it also has little less belly than Chittleborough & Morgan, which makes it slightly more modern and the lapel not appear as broad.

Edward Sexton suit buttonhole

Edward Sexton double breasted suit

Elsewhere, Edward is keen on a long jacket but not at the expense of a long leg. The jacket always ends at or before the fork of the trouser, therefore, so the maximum amount of light is seen through the legs. 

The trousers have two-inch cuffs and side tabs on the waistband. As with most first commissions, by the way, I opted for the house style in pretty much every respect. I had the trousers a half inch shorter than Edward would normally cut, but that was about it. 

Edward Sexton flannel trousers turn-ups

Edward Sexton savile row label

Edward Sexton flannel suit

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Simon – fabulous in every respect. I especially like the 2″ trouser cuff and slim leg (not great when you are short with large calves). You said it had 1960’s inspiration – from where did you get that thought/image? Pity that the close up of the shirt and tie is in b/w as i would like to have seen the shade of grey shirt and burgundy tie as i would never think of wearing a grey shirt – especially as i have grey hair!

Harry Morton

Hi Simon,
Interestingly, after your post on Monday, I don’t recognise the bag (folio?) you’re holding from the previous article. Could you tell us about that one?


Simon, I think it’s a very classic and confident suit. No silliness. This is proper bespoke tailoring for grown-ups. It’s the exact opposite of gimicky fashion-led ‘tailoring’.

I don’t think the shoulders look highly-padded. I actually think your normally sloping shoulders look less so here. Difficult to see the fit properly but I’ll assume it’s very good.


This is a lovely suit, Simon. The nicest of yours I’ve seen on here probably since that navy Cifonelli. I particularly like the heavy roping. My one worry with a double breasted would be that it would look old fashioned or even costume-like, but the slender trousers and slim waist of this seem to have avoided such pitfalls.


Double-breasted. Costume-like?


Lovely suit. I appreciate the aesthetic; though the jacket is a tad too long IMO.

Re: Trousers, for my eye, it fits very very well. Interestingly, you only altered the length but didn’t touch the loci of the side-adjusters as i know like me, you are fond of the ‘on-seam’ side-adjusters.


Beautifully cut, taut lines. Much more personality than a A&S DB, I guess that’s the Rock and Roll heritage at play.


I agree that the silhouette is distinct, however, personality is deeply subjective. Although I like the look of the suit on Simon, I’m not sure if I would feel comfortable donning this style.

Paul W

I like it. Am curious about the weight. I have a 13 ounce flannel DB in the same color with a white chalkstripe, and it wears beautifully. Interesting choices with the single buttonholed lapel and flap pockets. Did you consider besom pockets?


Nice suit.
What does belly mean for a lapel ?

nick inkster

Re the buttonhole lapel, I’ve never been able to get a definitive answer on one or two, so I guess it’s down to personal preference.
Interesting to see Savile Row London on the label. I thought Sexton was in Beauchamp Place.
Lovely style; plenty of snap in the waist and slim through the leg; looks great.


Edward Sexton’s got more right to put ‘Savile Row’ on his label than most of the shops actually in the Row nowadays. He trained there, worked there and started a firm there that made all the fashion world look on with envy. If he’s not Savile Row, who is? Carlo Brandelli?

nick inkster

For sure. Nutter’s windows were extraordinary when he was on the Row. I meant more that it is quite rare to see a Row tailor sew a label into their coats; more often it is inside a pocket with name, date etc written in biro.


To be honest Nick, I dislike visible brand labels in the lining of a bespoke garment. It’s a r-t-w thing. I prefer discretion.

Paul W

The arc of the sartorial universe is long, but it bends toward Trad.


Very nice Simon. Are the lapels particularly wide?


If I may resort to the idion that corresponds to the time that most influences the look – ‘smashing’.


If I may resort to the idiom that corresponds to the time that most influences the look – ‘smashing’.


Could you explain to a relative beginner, why you chose to only have a button hole for the upper button, but no buttonhole for where the lower button should be? In single breasted suits, all buttons usually have corresponding holes, no matter if they’re to be used or not.

reuven lax

I believe there is a buttonhole there. Looks like he buttoned the jacket backwards (right over left) in that one photo, which is why no buttonhole.


Simon- a really nice suit, especially in combination with the brown horn buttons!
I was inspired by your idea of wearing the suit with grey shirt. I have a flannel suit in a similar colour, but often avoid wearing it with a white shirt and used to wear a blue one. But grey seems to be a really good choice….I guess I have to order a grey shirt 😉

Currently, I am thinking about a jacket for the spring/summer time and keep the idea of a Harrington jacket in mind. I have searched on your blog, but did not find an entry. I guess the Harrington jacket is a really versatile garment, it can be worn with shirt, tie, chino and loafer, as well as with jeans and sneaker. I know this does not belong to the suit topic, but maybe you have an idea for a good one?



Thank you for your recommendation, I will check it…

Matt S

Do the trousers have a flat front or darts? I don’t think I see any pleats.


Hi Simon,
This is definitely a superb suit!!! As to bespoke, there is a teaching moment here for all those who can afford it while still hesitating to make the jump. The shoulders, the padding, the lapel, even the length suit YOU perfectly! These are obvious gains with bespoke.
Thanks for sharing, Simon!


A second question (I’m very intrigued by this suit!):
On the fourth picture, it looks as if you’ve buttoned the jacket right-over-left: is the picture reversed, or is this something you choose to do on occasion?


The architecture of the suit is excellent. But on the first photo it looks as if the padding is wearing you.


agree with the previous posters about preferring not to have visible labels. a bespoke suit should be an advertisement of me, not vice versa.


+1 on the request for more detailed pictures of the grey shirt. Haven’t worn one since school (paired with a badly fitting polyester blazer) and never really considered getting one until seeing your posts.


A very nice suit indeed but I quite agree about the vulgarity of Sexton’s name being sewn into the inner jacket!


Simon, I can’t remember you ever wearing a striped suit! Only plain cloths. Do you own any?


Nice fabric Simon. What is the swatch number for this fabric?

Stephen Dolman

Fabulous suit. I still have a couple o suits which Edward made me 30 yrs ago which are still admired and worn regularly. I think it’s time for a new one. I agree about the label.


Dear Simon
That suit looks perfect for the cold I’m in now. Nice idea with the grey shirt too. I now realise why my grey shirt doesn’t go well with my grey flannel suit- because my suit is a too light grey. Move never worn a double breasted suit. Do you just leave buttoned all the time?

Stephen Dolman

Hi Simon, I forgot to point out that what Tom Ford et al, are doing now , Edward did 30-40 yrs ago.


Stephen Dolman

Hi Simon, is this the first bespoke suit you have had from Edward ?
Stephen Dolman

Stephen Dolman

I’m sure it won’t be the last!
Stephen Dolman


Looks sick. Are the armholes high?

Emanuel Lowi

I had a very similar DB charcoal grey suit done in Fox flannel by Kent & Haste (John is my cutter), lined in pure marine blue Chinese silk. As I am bigger shouldered than you, there is a little less roping and belly but similar slim fit.

Very cosy, especially on cool winter days in Canada. Even if slightly an older-fashioned cloth, it’s the tailoring that keeps this firmly contemporary I too prefer to wear mine with white shirts and burgundy ties, with either brown or black footwear.

John McDonald

Hi Simon. This is a fabulous looking suit. I recently had my tailor make a pair of grey flannel trousers and am thinking of adding a DB jacket to make up a two piece suit. The cloth is a Scabal super 100 flannel (the lighter of the two greys in the bunch). I was wondering what your thoughts are regarding whether it’d be too light for a suit if using it for business? And if so whether wearing with polished black shoes, white shirt, navy tie etc would help create a conservative business outfit? John


Although this one suit does not seem to have pagoda shoulders, I find it to be flattering on you (shoulders looking less slopy). But as I see more pictures of you with more sloppy looking shoulders, I guess this is not your favorite choice. Is it just a style issue or are there drawbacks with highly padded suits that turn you off? Personally I noticed that when someone wears a highly padded/ropped suit, the trick is revealed as soon as one raises one’s arm sideways, even just a little bit: a gap appears just below the rope. Is it always the case with such suits?


hallo simon,what about johnhitchcock who worked in anderson sheppard,mr hitchcock and mr sexton,they who has better Cutting technique ,in other words who is good at english gentleman vintage housestyle like Vitoria times and the Edward Era, i want to bespoke a double breasted over knee guncollar men overcoat,Who am I supposed to be visiting


thanks for you patient answer,r Simon,yes,super structured English cut, i think mr hitchcock and mr sexton is the most experienced outstanding and best cutter who is alive in the world。so i want to ask them to bespoke,Actually does not necessarily have to Vitoria times and the Edward Era ,tradtionol english classical gentleman housestyle, large lapels, nipped waists and strong shoulders is ok. or British Royal Navy Uniform housestyle like Pierce Brosnan’s uniform in the 007 movie is also nice,You suggest me to go to who of them to bespoke?looking forward to your reply


if i come to john,he will not make bespoke for me?if john are still working,what is your advice of those two,i have seen a artical in therake com it said ‘’ six of the world’s greatest living tailors gathered together for a roundtable discussion on the transformative power of their art form,Lorenzo Cifonelli, Edward Sexton, John Hitchcock of Anderson & Sheppard, Antonio Panico, Richard Anderson and Antonio Liverano‘’ only edward richard and john is from england another three is Italian , during this meeting,i learn from the artical you also take part in this meeting


if john are still working,Reasons for john retirement are not considered.yes,do not think about the retirement of john. Lorenzo Cifonelli, Edward Sexton, John Hitchcock of Anderson & Sheppard, Antonio Panico, Richard Anderson and Antonio Liverano, those six great cutter,which one is best at traditional structured English classical cut ,like large lapels, nipped waists and strong shoulders ,looking forward to your reply,thank you very much,simon


sorry ,Simon i am not english,so my english is not very good,Forgive me for my long winded ,do you mean that Only thinking about from the perspective of their cutting techniques and housestyle ,do not consider t the retirement of john. Lorenzo Cifonelli, Edward Sexton, John Hitchcock of Anderson & Sheppard, Antonio Panico, Richard Anderson and Antonio Liverano, those six great cutter, edward is best at traditional structured English classical cut ?


thank you for your answer, i want to bespoke a vicuna black double breasted over knee guncollar men overcoat,Is edward better at overcoat bespoke than the other five cutters?which brand is the best vicuna Provider?scabal loro Dormeuil or others.in other words,what is the difference between vicuna they provide?What is your opinion


ok looking forward to your artical about vicuna brand on permanentstyle.com ,i hope it will come out as soon as possibly,just from the perspective of overcoatbespoke cutting techniques Is edward better at overcoat bespoke than the other five cutters? Lorenzo Cifonelli, John Hitchcock Antonio Panico, Richard Anderson
Antonio Liverano,thank you for your patience with me


ok,i will visit savile row and look at images of their styles.and my favorite style is traditional structured English classical cut as you said,of those six cutters,edward is the best at my favorite style. Is not it? finally,looking forward to your next article about vicuna,Express my gratitude again


Simon, how have you found the performance of the relatively light 11oz flannel in terms of holding its crease, wear and tear and warmth?

Your pieces on flannel seam to suggest heavier weights but you seam to frequently have garments made up in the lighter end of the spectrum.

Do you have an opinion on say Harrisons 14/15oz or Hardy Flannel?




Morning Simon

Hope you’re well. Please excuse the fact that this is a three part question!

Firstly, lovely suit. A classic. I love the fact that proportionally it fits really well and it’s too over the top in any respect, therefore becoming timeless. I was just wondering if, after wearing this suit numerous times, you would do anything differently now if you were going in for your first Edward Sexton suit?

Secondly, where would you suggest somebody goes for their first Savile Row suit (or just off Savile Row, like Edward) if they wanted a classic cut but not something that borders on too extreme, like Chittleborough & Morgan? Where would Edward sexton fit in?

And finally, the mid-grey flannel is a classic cloth, a must for any collection of suits. What about a navy blue – what would you suggest is an absolute must-have in any collection in terms of a navy blue cloth that can be worn all year round?

Many thanks as always!


Simon – would you suggest flannel can only we worn in autumn/winter and is not a summer cloth? Many thanks!


Simon – your thoughts please on turn-ups on a formal DB – would I be right in thinking that it is slightly more formal not to have turn-ups?

(I saw Edward today and commissioned a 6×1 DB suit in a HS wool/silk – it is to be a formal suit for evening wear and my instinct is to not have turn-ups which Edward seemed happy to accommodate – but now see that this is going against his house style so am somewhat nervous!)


I wouldn’t worry about it. The presence or lack of turn ups does not make any difference to the cut of the trousers – it’s largely a stylistic concern. I wouldn’t go to Edward and request an Anderson & Shepard suit (even if he was willing to do it, that’s not why you go to Edward Sexton), but changing little details like turn ups should not make much difference.


Thanks both.

Malcolm B

Simon. First – great web and instagram sites. I’m currently trying to build a business wardrobe (but also generally smarten up as I get older) and have a navy three piece suit, sports jacket and trousers and overcoat being made (bespoke) at Huntsman. In addition I have an existing charcoal 2 piece MTM from Gieves and Hawkes. I would like to have something with a little more drama that is possible to wear in the office, but also looks great on a night out. I wouldn’t wear it for a meeting with a CEO, so it can be a little more edgy. I’m drawn towards that 60s style for this, and I’m torn between C&M and Edward Sexton. I really like the recent 3 piece flannel suits I see on the Edward Sexton instagram pages, but also love the attention to detail of C&M. Overall I think I prefer the straighter lapels of the Edward Sexton and I’d want house style from both, although perhaps I’d go for the less extreme end of the roping spectrum. From what I’ve read, it seems that the quality of finish is perhaps a little better at C&M (lining details you don’t see, buttonholes etc), but that Edward Sexton might look a little more “modern” in interpreting that 60s style. For a three piece, single breasted flannel suit in either a mid grey or a lighter than navy (maybe RAF blue plus) – is there any advice you would give me (other than the fact that C&M is right next door to Huntsman, so I could pop in after my next fitting) 🙂


Hi Simon,

I’m now finishing the process of making my first bespoke suit with a local tailor. I wanted the “full, swelling chest”. Since I knew that nothing such as a “drape cut” is expertise of my tailor I’ve not been pushing him into this and instead let him make it his way. What he did was that he somewhat “sculpted out” the breast area, so it appears more rounded, and he insisted that the swelling of the chest is then accentuated through use of darts (my suit is rather soft). There really are no side wrinkles and my suit is slightly and cleanly round form the armhole to the lapel and in this aspect is very similar to your Edward Sexton DB suit. With no previous bespoke suit experience it feels to me still like a close cut but my tailor repeatedly assured me that the proper close cut is different, practically feeling “as close to the chest as a shirt.”

I wonder if in your experience tailors who pursue rather close cut , as is Edward Sexton or Chittleborough & Morgan (or Cifonelli) , still maintain the chest neatly sculpted to not appear too tight. Such a chest seems to me to be a standard on all of your suits, even those considered to be “slim”. And after my experience with my first suit, I’d say that the proper “full chest” cannot be really made without some drape at all.

And I’d like also to ask you about your term “super-structured”. By this you mean dramatic, extremely padded shoulders with expressive sleeve roping or also the strongest canvas possible (by English standards) in the chest (and even some in the skirt)?

Thank you very much for your reply!



Hi Simon,

(apologies for my obsession with this topic, but I’m simply interested and I’m also trying to find better terms to enhance my communication with my tailor)

Concerning particularly the Edward Sexton cut, his chest is described on his website as “cut-full and expressed beautifully”.
According to the pictures of you wearing his suit in this article and also in the most pictures of his bespoke DB suits I’ve found around the net, there is not even a bit of drape in the chest below the armholes (whereas in the pictures of your Chittleborough & Morgan suit from the style breakdown series (and that is a “close cut”), there is clearly visible a hint of drape below the armholes). What does then the “chest fullnes” mean in the Sexton’s cut? Could you please expand on this? Is the chest “expressed” by heavy canvasing rather forward than to the sides (as per a standard drape cut)?

Thank you very much!




I really thank you for your explanation and apologize for my overthoughts concerning the photos. I think it just stems from my curiosity and simultaneous lack of options to see different tailors’ cuts in person (and in motion).


Evan Everhart

Hi Simon,

When I was younger (in my early 20s), I had quite an obsession with lilac tinted palest gray shirting…..I used to wear such shirts in various cuts, typically with pink tinged MOP buttons, and with either assorted golden, dark chocolate brown, or charcoal gray or charcoal brown suits, typically in worsted heavy twills or flannels, and with maroon or burgundy or even purple figured ties and saturated pink cashmere hosiery and russet or tan shoddings. Wild days indeed. I’ve moved past that, or rather returned to the true faith of American traditionalism…..I do still appreciate the look of these gray shirts with gray suits, but I don’t really feel that it is necessarily for me, at this time, anymore. I did however find one of my old almost lilac gray shirts in a tab collar model the other day while sorting some sealed crates of shirts in my garage. It appealed, but not enough to withdraw it from hibernation. Perhaps in another 10 or 20 years.

The flannel is quite handsome!


Hi ! What’s the shoulder width of the suit ? ^_^

Shawn Ailawadhi

Hi Simon,
What are your thoughts on overseas bespoke offered by Edward Sexton?
Appreciate the help.

Shawn Ailawadhi

Thanks a lot for your help. I have Grey Flannel (12-13 oz DB or 3PC) with peaked lapel in mind. I was just concerned if offshore bespoke dilutes the quintessential Sexton style in any way.
Thanks and Regards

Shawn Ailawadhi

Appreciate the help. After Sexton I am thinking about going for midnight blue Cigonelli 6 on 1 DB.
Hope you agree. Thanks


Hi Simon, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to compare the handful of overseas bespoke options from the Row (eg, from Sexton, W&S) to see which hews closest to the Row option and for value for money.



Would you say the main trait on a Edward Sexton suit is broader shoulders. If you already have bulky broad shoulders. Do you think one should skip Edward Sexton ?