Simon Compton_4

Several readers asked what I was wearing in the video we produced recently for Begg & Co scarves. So here they are, one by one. 

In the jacket shots, above:

  • Navy cashmere jacket by Solito.
    • Not a great level of finish, but one of the most useful jackets I’ve ever commissioned. One to keep in the office. 
  • Blue spread-collar shirt by Luca Avitabile
    • Still my go-to-guy for shirts, and the spread collar style is what I wear most of time, give its ability to be worn with or without a tie, with a jacket or knitwear
  • Grey cashmere tie by Drake’s
    • One of the aims of the outfit here was to be a classic but unremarkable background, to enable the scarves to stand out. A grey wool tie, with blue shirt and navy jacket, creates just that. A nice everyday office combination
  • Coffee-coloured linen handkerchief by Paul Stuart, with white border
    • A slight variation on the classic white linen hank, adding a touch of personality
  • Pale-grey flannel trousers by Hardy Amies
    • As mentioned before, my favourite shade of flannel – probably even more useful than the classic mid-grey. The jacket effectively separates the grey tie from grey trousers. If I thought I’d be likely to take the jacket off regularly during the day, I might have swapped for a dark tie
  • Crocodile dark-brown shoes from Gaziano & Girling
    • I rarely wear exotic-leather shoes – these are my only pair. But the deep, deep brown of the leather prevents them being showy 
  • ‘Army’ green scarf from Begg & Co
    • As frequently mentioned, green is the third most important colour in male clothing after navy and grey. Given it hasn’t been used elsewhere, it makes a great accessory to the rest

Simon Compton_2

As above, with the addition of:

  • Cifonelli navy-cashmere overcoat
    • Previous shots of this wonderful overcoat didn’t show the lapels folded down. Here you can see the horizontal, great-coat style lapels, which prevent the points from poking into the chin when they are flipped up
  • Pale-brown gloves from Bill Amberg
    • I have three pairs of these, splurged on years ago when I finally found ready-made gloves that fit me well. Although not as well made as the Merola ones I now prefer, the colour of these is lovely (even if they do rather resemble an old banana poking out of my breast pocket, as one reader pointed out).
  • Grey and white reversible scarf from Begg & Co
    • A very formal colour of scarf, particularly in the brushed, ‘ripple’ style finish. But also quite versatile

brown shetland sweater and washed scarf (1)

Lastly, with the same flannels and shirt but adding:

  • Shetland crew-neck sweater from Anderson & Sheppard
    • My favourite knitwear at the moment. A bit rough to wear over a T-shirt, but lovely with a shirt and with a riot of colours in it
  • Grey washed ‘Kishorn’ scarf from Begg 
    • As mentioned in the video, a washed finish is a good way to make a scarf more casual, giving as it does a more uneven surface. Pattern is another
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Dear Simon, in general, what type of short collar would you recommend to wear without a tie and/or with knitwear? Thanks, Timo


That overcoat! As to the jacket, don’t you think a more structured shoulder would flatter more? I have sloping shoulders and am tall too, I just feel that my soft tailored jackets are “minimizing” and get the eyes down to the torso rather than to the face given the low shoulders and long neck.


You mentioned in response to a comment a few weeks back that you buy RTW branded items when the cut/ style justifies it.
It would be good to know what RTW brands you have brought and why .
Possibly an article on this ,


Dear Simon, I recently read your informative post on Italian Mills from 29 July 2013 (I see that people are still commenting on it). My question is whether you can recommend any vertically integrated cashmere mills in Biella who will work with a small start up producing small quantities of cashmere scarves to a bespoke design? Any tips would be gratefully received. Thanks.


I think you mentioned it in relation to a pocket square .
Although on a more general point do you ever buy or would consider non-bespoke ?
If so what ? And which brand?

Apologies if I’ve misinterpreted .


You look cool, Simon. I lost my Johnston’s ribbed cashmere scarf, but found a ribbed cashmere scarf replacement new in ebay for £20. Luck in unluck.


As with others I’m always impressed but the cut of your trews. Could you please comment on the two important aspects of length and the width of cuff. I’ve looked at earlier posts (2008) where you suggest for formal trousers 16 inches circumference and 17 inches for jeans. Given the date has this changed? I note also the length of the (beautiful) flannels that barely have a break. I’ve had most of my trousers cut a little longer but am now beginning to rethink this…By the way congrats on the splendid, masculine colour palette of grey, blue, green and brown as shown in the first image. Excellent!


I much prefer a 2 inch cuff with flannels. Personal taste – but these are a touch too long and too wide.


Apologies for going off topic, yet again.

I was curious on your approach to shirts, your photos suggest that with jackets you almost exclusively wear solid white, blue or grey shirts in oxford or poplin weaves. Based on the number of suites you commission I am assuming you also have wardrobes full of shirts, do you just have a multiple number of each of these options? Do you have/wear check/ herringbone/ stripes etc? Or am I over estimating the number of shirts you own?


Actually similar to question I was going to ask at some point. I am having shirt made slowly by both Luca and Simone. I have had 2 made late last year (one each) and about to have 2 more at the next round of visits. I am buying them slowly and picking carefully. I am actually at a loss what to pick next. A capsule shirt collection like Ties would be more than welcome. (although i suspect more than 5 would be needed)


Must have forgot to sign in there..

I have asked Luca to bring a sample of the light blue chambray that he has made you before, i have never been able to get a good look at the pictures, always just zoomed in snippets under jackets etc. this seems less “denim” like than most chambray’s, which i think will mean it goes better with jeans (trying to avoid the double denim) Obviously i have not seen this cloth for myself how does it compare in the flesh.

Wes wp

Hi Simon – I need your personal take on this one. I bought an OTR suit from a mid-range maker (L.B.M.). It’s a prince of wales pattern, and there is a lack of pattern matching where the outside side pocket flaps meet the body of the suit (it’s mis-matched), and along the length of the body under the arms (again – very poor pattern matching – but it can’t easily be seen when the arms are down). This suit retails for about $1250. I got it for about $400. I like the fit – as it’s 100% unlined (save for the sleeves). I don’t usually buy mid-range suits with so much machine work, but do you think this is a waste of money (even at $400) given how poorly these seams are matched? On a non-hand-made, non-bespoke suit, how important should pattern matching be — or is this just a matter of personal, aesthetic taste? Does this seem like shoddy workmanship – or is it standard for a suit in this class? Many thanks for your input, as I feel like this question is relatively obscure. w


Simon, can you share the maker and perhaps code # of this chambray? Thanks.


Simon – can you provide a link to an example of your wearing this spread without a tie? I’m sure in the past I’ve read that you generally tend to wear spread with a tie and button down without as it will tend to stand better under a jacket. I have found that to be true most of the time though prefer the look of a spread. Many thanks


Simon – this is a question about scarf lenght.

It seems that nowadays scarfs run rather long and one needs to pass them twice around the neck in order to avoid the ends of the scarf to show below the end of one’s jacket’s quarters. (Which, for me, is rather unpleasant since it has a “phallic” undertone to it…). Your first picture is an example of the ends showing when the scarf is passed only once around the neck.

Does Begg, or any other quality scarf manufacturer, makes a “short” scarf that would avoid this situation? Thanks.

Wes wp

Thanks Simon. Is there a real chance that we’ll get a look inside your walk-in closet (or towering armories) at some point soon? I’d love to get a virtual tour (perhaps a short, or not so short video)!

Wes wp

I would relish seeing your collection – divided or otherwise!

ps – Your four “essential questions” to your accessories panel were thoughtfully crafted. Well done.


A shallow question: Drake’s sale just went from 30% off to 40%. Looking at previous years is there a chance it may go further down or is 40% the end of the line?


Just picking up on the wardrobe… what might be of interest to all would be a short video re. how you piece together an outfit choosing from the different elements in your wardrobe, simple but interesting. The image atop, as stated is an excellent example of the process of choice. On another subject as above, could you elucidate on ideal dimensions for trouser drop and cuff size. Many thanks.

Cid W.

The scarves here are solids as are the squares you designed. What would your take be on patterned scarves? Not as versatile?

Cid W.

Thanks Simon. Love that particular check scarf.


What is your opinion on buying a 100% cashmere overcoat?, I am in the UK, I am worried about the weather and the rain, do not want to spend huge amount of money to find that it is ruined quickly.

Is it worth spending a vast amount on this type of overcoat?

The brand I am looking at is Johnstons of Elgin, is this recommended for an overcoat?

I tried it on last week and it feels so good but I want to be really sure I want it and it is not going to be ruined by our great weather hear bearing in mind I use public transport a lot.

Cashmere Overcoat

Thank you Simon, useful comments, especially the one about lasting as long as wool, think based on that you have made my mind up to look for a wool overcoat, Pity but for the price it is I would like something that might last a while, although I do not expect I would wear this overcoat on a daily basis. When you say last, if worn 2 maybe 3 times a week and kept in excellent condition how long do you think and of course cannot hold you to his, haha just an idea!
Thanks for taking the time in answering my queries.

Cashmere Overcoat

Hi Simon, does 500 GMS mean anything? JofE said that that is what the weight is, does help with anymore advice? Thanks for your patience with this.


Hi Simon, I have another question, what is your opinion of a merino wool and cashmere blend overcoat, 90% MW and 10% cashmere? Will it last longer than a pure cashmere as you mention above.


Thank you again Simon you have been really helpful, this merino blend is £350. But what do you think of this one is this a better option?
(If you would like me to stop asking for advice I won’t be offended if you ask)

Jonas E

I can only afford one Begg scarf. Which should I chose? I would mainly use it with my olive Barbour or with my navy peacock.


Hi Simon,
Wearing one of my Friday Polos today, I stumbled across this old post when browsing your site, and I’m curious – is the collar on the friday polos based on/the same spread collar as your dress shirts by Luca? I can imagine the collar looking quite nice with a tie, but based on pictures I’d say the polo has bit wider spread than your shirt collars?


Simon- I’m a big fan of Begg scarves but to date the only ones I’ve picked up are their lighter weight cashmere. I wondered what you wear for the very coldest months. I see that Begg do a slightly heavier line but am not sure just how much warmer they would really be. I’m also not a fan of the traditional tassel finish.


Thanks Simon – do you recommend anyone in particular for shawls?


Simon, I’ve a lovely light grey Begg scarf that I wear with a dark blue wool coat. The issue is, every time I wear this combination, the Begg sheds considerably. Is this something you’ve encountered in the past and how do you tackle it? Do you simply accept that through the day it’s going to look as though a cat fell asleep on you?


So do you actively look to avoid such combinations, ie retire a combination that results in this or do you simply accept this happens?


hi simon, a styling question – I have a lot of brown/khaki/beige jackets…what kind (in terms of color/texture/pattern) of scarfs i should buy?



Now, would you still say that light-grey trousers are more useful than mid-grey trousers (as stated above)? If you had to pick one, which would it be? And cuffs, or no?

Clifford Hall

Simon, just looked at the Begg web site, they have a silver grey and flannel grey Kishorn, could you comment please on which one you used in the article.


Hi Simon,

What scarf colour would you recommend to wear with a navy peacoat in a casual outfit? I am thinking that a solid colour like grey would look formal.
Any recommendations on size as well?



When you say solito is not at a great level of finish, what do you mean by that?