My desk

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Many readers said they liked the personal, behind-the-scenes approach of Plaza Uomo's cover story on me last year. 

Here, then, is another angle. My desk, where I write most of these posts, and therefore probably the most important Permanent Style-related thing in the house.

The antique slant-fronted desk is both beautiful and space-saving, though I've always meant to get an equally finely shaped chair to go with it. 

On the top of the desk is a variety of items - often a lot of clutter, but today (happily) a relatively small selection of pens and related items.

My antique cigar case in brown alligator, which I've written about previously here. Sitting underneath the personalised green alligator glasses-case that Dunhill made for me a few years ago (again, covered here). 

A beautiful Sailor pen in walnut and gold (top right), and then an old wooden pen, spare nibs and a spare shoelace.

Beside the desk sit a stack of old Lodger shoe boxes (Lodger was a British shoe company that I worked with several years ago, since sadly closed) that operate like drawers. 

And on top of the boxes, a pile of recently worn sweaters. From top to bottom:

  • Ralph Lauren Purple Label charcoal cashmere hoodie
  • Cream Loopwheeler cotton hoodie (featured in this Plaza shoot)
  • A navy Johnston's cable-knit cashmere crew neck 
  • Sleeveless V-neck wool sweaters from Anderson & Sheppard in navy and grey (perhaps the most useful knitwear I own)
  • Ralph Lauren Purple Label cashmere crew neck, in a jersey knit and sweatshirt style

Above the desk hang three Hermes scarves. 

I love Hermes scarves and have accumulated a small collection. As written about here, I like to wear the classic 90cm silk squares with crew-neck knitwear, but I also wear them with jackets and inside overcoats. 

As with many menswear pieces I write about, the Hermes scarves are works of art in themselves, and it always seems a shame to have them fitting folded in boxes. 

I therefore constructed this set up, with three hooks in the wall that scarves can be hung off. The central scarf is a larger silk/cashmere design and so hangs lower. 

And finally, tucked in at the back of the desk you can see the boots I had made with Ludwig Reiter last year. 

They haven't had much use yet, but I have high hopes for winter. 

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My Wardrobe …. to follow soon?
With lots of photos , please.

Dave Carter

I’d imagine that your wardrobe is the size of most people’s houses Simon!


What notebook and pen do you use? Or is it straight onto the MacBook/iPad?


Disappointed not to see a Pirelli calendar!

Kev Fidler

Delighted to find out you have notebooks and a pencil. I use the same for travel and photography notes; there’s a timeless pleasure about putting things down on paper rather than on a laptop or whatever. Seems entirely. In keeping with the ethos of this site somehow.

Caio Silva de Castro

Dear Simon

For your information the silk used in Hermés scarves are produced by Bratac in Londrina, Brazil

With kind regards

Caio Silva de Castro, MD, PhD

Adam Harvey

That’s a beautiful desk; the inlay is especially nice! I do most of my work on a Mission-style library desk; I tend to prefer the American Arts & Crafts style (mostly due to its ubiquity in the Midwest). Around here it’s usually much less expensive to purchase a well-crafted antique than something of lesser quality and greater expense that is more contemporary. It’s a nice spot to be in.


Simon, with all of those fine fabrics left ‘out’ do you not live in mortal dread of that most terrifying of foes… the clothes moth!

After a couple of incidents I have now taken to using freezer bags for knitwear and scarves.

Keep up the great work.



you don’t write straight onto a laptop Simon? how does it get onto the inter web?

I’m curious about your life outside of PS now Simon. Are you a Batchelor or a family man, a lifestyle expose could be interesting. See how the clothes fit into your life. Cheers.


Simon, nice article, as always, thanks. Do you mind my asking what the paint on the walls is? Looks similar to, but a bit deeper and nicer than, F&B’s Lamp Room Blue.


Thanks, I like their paints and wallpapers


lovely wall paint too. F&B?


Hi Simon….how do you find the purple label knitwear vs the other brands you wear?


Doesn’t it make you feel a bit queasy when readers start asking you personal questions?


Too contrived.


I’m pretty stoked that you are writing using a Sailor, could you recall the specific model of the pen, and your nib size? I am a big fan of Sailor as well, and so are quite a few well-dressed gents Down Under

Have you also considered writing an article on fountain pen and style too? I suspect that there will be quite a receptive audience for that as well.



I don’t believe I have seen (nor could I find) anything on:

1. What is in your closet – it must be immense (you add a “lifetime” bespoke piece at least once a week, or so it seems)

2. How to organize a closet

3. How you pare items for sale, donation, disposal, etc.

I would find any/all of the above quite interesting…


Simon, great idea to show the desk where it all happens. I must say there is nothing wrong with a good Windsor chair with an antique desk. Whether your Windsor chair is a good one is hard to see on the photo, but have a look at the Curtis Buchanan chairs made in the States. Not associated with European high style but very refined nonetheless.


Lovely post Simon. Why do you write in pencil rather than ink?

Peter B

Simon, I don’t know how much you’re looking to spend on a chair to complement that beautiful desk, but maybe you could look at Lennox Cato.



Simon – interesting article, as always – but don’t you worry about the possibility of moths when leaving items made from natural fibres out?


Hey Simon, Just stumbled on this in the archives and really enjoyed reading it. And the month advice at the end was a bonus. Not sure you’ve done anything comprehensive on moths before but they are such a nuisance. They just seem to appear from nowhere and have stopped me buying anything they like. Loved your desk too, but wondered if writing on the slope for long periods was convenient. I have been working from a bureau that opens up into a small desktop throughout the lockdown, and felt I was too old-fashioned until I saw your set-up. Happy now!