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A few readers last week asked about this outfit I included in our 'High/low dressing' post.

It's a combination I love, and shamelessly copied from an Italian gentleman I saw in Milan a few years ago.

Men should never be afraid of taking inspiration from others, primarily because it's what everyone always does and has always done.

I remember a friend saying a couple of years ago that he wore purple socks with his brown-suede shoes in honour of Michael Drake, who is often seen in that combination.

But then Michael told me a few months later about the older, French friend he had copied it from.

On the day we shot this outfit, I was going to be in our pop-up shop moving around boxes and furniture.

I needed clothes that were comfortable and could be worked in, but still looked chic enough for seeing people around Mayfair.

I therefore went without a jacket, but stuck with the classic menswear combination of grey trousers and navy top - just a rollneck sweater instead of a blazer.

The rubber-soled, brown-suede Saint Crispin's boots are very comfortable and good for lots of walking, but again quite smart.

And the vintage M-65 field jacket on top rather than, for example, a suede blouson, was driven by that memory from Milan.

The M-65 is from The Vintage Showroom in London, and I prefer it to the simpler M-43.

The room provided by the pleats in the back is also helpful if you're wearing bulky knitwear underneath.

In the same way, I generally don't like modern versions of these cotton field jackets that strip away all the pockets and details, as it removes all the character of the jacket.

The Saint Crispin's boots have become one of my absolute favourite pairs of shoes in the past year.

We had an initial problem with the fit where the narrowness I need for my ankle (they are made on my personalised last) made the sides rub painfully on my ankle bones.

But some discussion over email and a couple of pictures was enough to explain the problem, and they came back fixed perfectly. (The sides were moulded outwards to curve around the bones).

Given Saint Crispin's don't currently visit London, being able to do this remotely is very important.

Style-wise, like many of my favourite things the boots look simple and classic (and are therefore very useful) but are elevated by beautiful, subtle craft.

The Classic Last shape is so elegant, the welt so thin, and the narrow waist cut in so sharply.

The latter two points in particular make a non-menswear-nerd admire the shoe without quite knowing why.

Lastly, the tote bag from Connolly was a purchase I was unsure about, but have come to love in the past couple of months.

It is made from an extremely soft nubuck, and is entirely unlined and unstructured.

This makes it wonderful to hold and feel, but I was afraid it would be rather impractical.

So far it's been OK but I do find it's easier to use when there is something substantial inside it, such a chunky sweater or a box. It wouldn't be the design I'd recommend to someone for a first good bag.

I've also sprayed the nubuck with a water repellent, and it hasn't become noticeably soiled despite regular use.

The hat, by the way is a Permanent Style piece I made with Johnstons in Scotland - remaking the exact style of an old one I bought in Italy and haven't been able to find elsewhere.

It's just a question of small tweaks to size, thickness and rib, but these small things make me happy.

I hope to put it on the shop in the next couple of weeks, when the pop-up calms down a bit.

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

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Phil

And the green socks? William Abraham?

Gus

Peculiar that London doesn’t feature on their trunk show schedule. Perhaps you can shed some light on this…

Colin

Great that you are considering putting the hat on the PS shop again, will it be one size or multiple sizings available? I always struggle with most of the one size options, usually being somewhere between a small and a medium.

Mitch

Hi Simon,
Is the roll neck from A & S or elsewhere?
Its difficult to fins a nice roll neck cable knit. Thanks.

David

N.Peal also do a fabulous classic cable roll neck in cashmere @ £299.
I’ve had a couple for a year and have worn them to death.
Can’t recommend them highly enough.

Anonymous

New & Lingwood do a lovely cashmere rollneck at £299. Lovely slim fit and a great choice of colours.

Janik

Hey Simon,

Great post as always! I am learning so much from Permanent Style. Its one of my few go to Blogs about style. I am looking for a rollneck right now myself – something heavier, not a fine merino one and find it hard to find something good.

Can I ask you where the rollneck is from? Do you have some brand recommendations for rollnecks in general? That would be amazing!

All the best from an avid reader from Berlin!

Michael Spencer

Hi Simon,
What product do you use to dye your beard?
I like you am in my 40s and have thinned out on top but don’t yet want to sport grey whiskers

Many thanks

Michael Spencer

You’re a lucky man then, Simon – you’re moving thru your 40s with no grey hairs! We are not all as blessed…

rups

wow same age as me but your sartorial wisdom goes beyond your years Simon.

on this roll neck love, what do you guys wear underneath one? you cant wear a shirt I assume as the collar would get squashed under the roll neck. If its just a t doesnt the collar of the roll neck get a bit grubby brushing against the neck?

Guillaume

Try John Sterner at Trunk. Swedish brand with some lovely mid-weight merino, and heavier weight Swedish wool. I have a couple of the Öland turtle necks and the rolled hem and cuffs lends a nice casual vibe.

Tristan

Sorry Simon you remind me of Raffles

Barry Pullen

In the past I copied more shamelessly than anyone, and I’m proud of it. It’s a marvelous cycle: first you are the guy who copies, then you become the guy who is copied. When that happens, you can be original when you feel like it or you can copy if it strikes your fancy. For my part, I’m still trying to channel Bruce Boyer (for anyone who hasn’t seen it–and Simon I’m sure you already have–Google ‘Bruce Boyer-Armoury’ and you should see a magnificent photo of Boyer standing in front of the Armoury wearing a field jacket similar to Simon’s, on top of a full jacket and tie rig, with a brown trilby).

The suede boots are fab.

Anonymous

Hi Simon

A question.

Why do you not publish on your site comments from those who have some significant experience in the fields which you choose to cover which highlight the fact that your knowledge, whilst ever growing, is actually pretty superficial?

If you want to contribute to the seemingly limited understanding of a lot of your readers, why don’t you allow others to do the same?

DKP

Simon – is the hat cashmere?

Anonymous

Hi Simón, this is a lovely combination.

I use rollnecks quite frecuently, and Cruciani is a good option.
Cheers

M

Hey Simon
Are the St Crispins boots lined or unlined? Would you say they are more comfortable than your bespoke Oxford shoes and if so how much of that is because chukka boots are generally more comfortable than “normal” shoes vs. St Crispin having done a great job in your opinion?
I have a pair of snuff suede chukka from Edward Green which I cherish for their comfort (and versatility) but always thought the comfort bit was because they were unlined !
Cheers
M

Adam

Cool but personally would prefer some sturdy brown country brogues. The shoes look too delicate for the rest.

Adam

To be honest, you could wear a pair of high heels with that M65 and still look brilliant. Really jealous.

Joseph

As someone who also has sloping shoulders and loves carrying bags slung over the back, the photo of you from the back is comforting.

Lovely ensemble, Simon. Endlessly practical without sacrificing character.

Carl

Beautiful outfit. I think it also would look great with jeans if they are in dark indigo.

I am thinking about buying an M65 and wonder if you have any recommendations. Alpha, Aspesi, vintage et cetera?

Martin

Aspesi has cotton ones too, but I think all are a lot shorter than the original ones. Same problem with Incotex´s Montedoro.

Anonymous

I would worry about the rubbing / chafing of boxes etc against the wool. Jeans really are the only “pragmatic trouser” for this type of thing, no?

Anonymous

Fair. What is a good alternative to Flannel if I wear my clothes seriously hard? I will constantly boris bike, lift things, occasionally move furniture etc etc. Even my jeans only have a shelf life of 2 years as I like having a few capsule clothes and am pretty frantic in my day to day… Still, however, want something that can bridge that smart / casual look more than jeans (and have a bit of texture!)…

Burt

Perhaps moleskin might be an option too? Hard wearing and lovely texture. It won’t hold a crease though 🙂

BespokeNYC

I recently discovered whipcord as another good option. Looks a bit like corduroy in terms of casualness, but much harder wearing, and doesn’t have quite the same “country squire” associations. I do like cotton twills but think they can look a bit too smooth when they are not garment washed (i.e. if you get them made bespoke)

NY

What’s the bottom width on those pants? I’ve been venturing into custom pants and getting the hem width and length absolutely perfect has been a challenge.

Reuven Lax

Interesting – with all the pairs of bespoke shoes you have, the ones you’ve cited as favorites are RTW (EG) and made to measure (Saint Crispins). Any comment on why? Definitely seems to say a lot about the relative value of Saint Crispins!

REUVEN L LAX

Interesting. While the waist on the SC shoes are great, my impression is that the heels are not pitched quite like a bespoke shoe (though the heels are made by hand, so this might be a choice on their part). Also many bespoke shoes are made with square waists, especially for traditionally stouter designs such as Norwegians.

John

Hi Simon,
A very interesting piece! At first sight, this way of dressing seems quite easy. But it isn’t! To me, one of the great masters of it is Jake Grantham (now at Anglo-Italian). I thought of him when I saw the title of your previous post and this one. Unfortunately, I have to confess that I can’t ever be at ease with this style as he is.
And yet it is a very interesting area absolutely worth exploring! Perhaps, the main lesson I’ve learnt from Jake is that to successfully dress that way, it is imperative to opt for muted colors, the ones you like. Simon. Why? Because the point of this style has nothing to do with bright bright colors, the kinds embraced by Pitti Uomo folks!
John

Oskar

What size of the M-65 do you wear, please? Do you size these down given they are not originally designed from a style perspective? I assume the army sources from a lot of makers but would still have some consistency in sizing, and I’m just looking at one on offer. Thank you Simon

Anders Lindén

Hi Simon,

Do you know anyone offering m65s in style similar to yours as MTM? I’m 204cm, so guess Alphas, or Aspesi or similar, will be difficult to get in a good fit. I know Private white offer MTM but don’t think they have a good m65..
Thanks in advance!

Simon

Simon, what do you think about wearing a technical (i.e. cotton/nylon blend) down parka over a suit? I spend a lot of time outside, sometimes on construction sites and wanted something which would work in terms of weather resistance (waterproof, warm) and can also be worn casually on the weekend (mostly for the football).

I’m thinking of a Scandi one and not one of the more ubiquitous brands that you see EVERYONE wearing!

FIDELIO

Simon,
Good post. Nice jacket. May I ask what size is it and how old? I understand the vintage versions are quite large. Also how does one clean a vintage jacket like this.
Thanks

FIDELIO

Thank you. I saw your piece on the Drake’s D-43 and was cobsidering getting one. How do you compare the Drake’s to this vintage D-65 in terms of versatility? Would you wear any over a suit or off jacket and trousers?

David

One has to be careful with one’s environment when it comes to this ‘high-low’ or louche dressing as I prefer to call it.
This jacket and hat are not at home in Mayfair. They are simply way too casual next to the beautiful imposing buildings. The seaside or the mountains maybe – but then with jeans and rugged boots.
There are a multiplicity of coat options that would be infinitely preferable to the field jacket and with regard to headgear- a fedora or a cap yes, surely only a tourist would wear a watch hat in Mayfair ?
As a total look, this outfit commits the sartorial sin of trying too hard and mixes the apples with the oranges. Also, personally I hate to see men carrying bags in this way. It makes them look like they are either going to school or a building site.
But to end on a positive note – yes, the trousers, sweater and shoes are great and nice to see you getting with the roll neck evolution. They’ve been a staple of mine for a while and are so versatile.

rob

Simon, I have a Howlin’ roll neck and find it bunches up at the front, just below the neck at the top of the chest. Is this something you experienced with yours or should I return?

rob

Thanks Simon. Think I’ll return it and ask them to take a look.

Nick Inkster

Just reflecting on the comments from Art, I think it is quite wrong to post gobby comments with nothing to substantiate them and which are very personal (and potentially defamatory). Chapeau Simon for having the confidence to put it up.

We may all agree to disagree from time to time on what is always a wholly subjective topic (taste, style, etc.), but insults really have no place on an open forum such as this.

Sunny

Nice post Simon,I love the hat.I intended buying one of the hats on the Johnston website,but I may as well wait for yours.When do you intend putting them out and at what price point?

sunny

Thanks,I will wait till January,see you then.

James

Nice outfit Simon, reminds me of Frank Serpico. Thoughts on wearing a heavyweight cream rollneck sweater instead of the navy? I’d likely wear jeans rather than flannels and navy knitwear with navy jeans is a little dark and monochromatic I think.

Joseph

Hi Simon,

Has your M-65 been alter at all (slimmin down sleeves or taking in chest for example)?

Keith Taylor

No need for alterations unless you have a difficult shape, but I’d definitely recommend trying before you buy. I wear a 40-42 chest and usually grab a large of whatever I see on the peg, but the M65 is quite absurdly oversized (intentionally so, to allow for the liner and a bulky uniform beneath).

The M65 has been on my mind ever since I saw this post months ago, and I’d been thinking about it as a replacement for my Belstaff Trialmaster since my wife loathes the cold waxed fabric and it’s a little too heavy to carry around the world. Yesterday I found myself in a vintage shop with a few excellent examples in various sizes, and I was positively swamped by the large. The medium was OK but a little shapeless. The small-short – without the removable liner – was a perfect fit, just large enough for a shirt and a fine sweater, but probably a little snug for chunky knitwear. I haven’t worn anything in a small since sometime in the 90s.

I’d planned on buying online and sizing down to a medium, but I think that would have been a mistake. I’m a little bit in love with the small. Great ego boost, too 🙂

Gordon

Hi Simon,

Nice bag there!
May I know which tote bag will you recommend for daily wear?

Thank you!

Clifford Hall

Simon, were the green socks a particular color from Bresciani? Have a loden pair from Bresciani, they are a little to dark vs my old M65. Also any advice regarding on-line stockists.

Thanks as ever.

Cliff

Cliff

Clifford Hall

Simon, thanks appreciate the stockist name.

Cliff

Yassin

Hey, Simon,

Which brand would you recommend for the M-65 field jacket and above all why?

The Real McCoy or Alpha Industrie

I think The Real McCoy is “the real deal” but the price scares me off a bit and I don’t know what size I’m going to need…

With Alpha Industrie it would be a Small Regular since it is already oversized from the construction and I would have to take a number smaller (I know because I also had one), only I do not know if it is with The Real McCoy also so and what justifies the price so…

It would be nice if you could give me an answer.

Thanks

Paul

Hi Simon,

I’m looking for a lightweight field jacket for the spring / summer. I like the look of the Anglo-Italian summer field but are there any other options I should consider? Many thanks.

Stefan

Nice outfit! Who is the maker of the cloth for the flanell trousers and what colour? Mid or light grey?

Stefan

Thanks! I have ordered a pair of mid-grey A&S trousers in Fox 11 Oz flannel cloth.

Anonymous

Hi Simon, would appreciate your thoughts on Private White’s new “Revere” field jacket (https://www.privatewhitevc.com/products/revere-jacket?variant=31499021942845). Thanks very much!

Anonymous

Hey Simon,

BETWEEN THE REAL MCCOY‘S M-65 FIELD JACKET AND THE REAL MCCOY‘S M-65 ‘1ST MODEL‘?

Which model would you recommend?

DKP

@Simon – my impression is that M-65 are generously cut. I’m looking for confirmation of this as I’m on the hunt for one but most of the genuine articles I’m finding (that don’t cost the earth) are online so I have no way of trying one on. Thankfully, authentic pieces have measurements sewn into the interior of the jacket so going by that, think I should go with a “Small” but am unsure. What’s your experience?

Hugh

Simon,

I’ve got a similar jacket which I’ve bashed up and repaired more than once. The main difference is mine has buttons instead of snaps. I’m thinking about replacing the buttons with matte horn. What color (or other considerations) should I be thinking about?

Thanks

hugh

That’s helpful. I had been thinking that darker would have been more formal, so I was looking at lighter horn which stuck out is a way I couldn’t quite get my finger on. You’re right, the darker horn is closer to the olive plastic buttons

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

The Real McCoys offer 2 versions of the M-65, their “standard” or OG107 model and their “First Model”, supposedly a reproduction of the very first model that came prior to the one that became definitive (the OG107). Between these two, do you have a preference? Pictures in links below. Thanks in advance.
OG107: https://thearmoury.com/collections/the-real-mccoys-for-the-armoury-westbury/products/m-65-field-jacket?variant=32744179630151
S
First model: https://thearmoury.com/collections/the-real-mccoys-for-the-armoury-westbury/products/m-65-field-jacket-1st-model?variant=32744179236935

Anonymous

Thanks. I get your point – differences are minimal. For one, the First Model does not have epaulettes. And then more significantly the First Model is ever so slightly lighter in color. Recognizing that I’m splitting hairs here, would either or both of these sway you in either direction?

Yassin Chaaban

I love the m65, not the 1st model, but honestly, I start to like better the 1st model, because it’s a bit slimmer. Also the color is really nice.

but both are very useful.

Stefan

Hi Simon,
Is the M65 jacket wearable during early spring? It looks kind of lightweight.

Thank you

Josh

This is one of my all time favourite PS looks, the epitome of high-low dressing. I thought I’d share a recommendation here for those looking for an M65 but struggling with either the uncertainty of vintage or the price of The Real Mccoys. Buzz Rickson’s, the Japanese repro brand stocked at Clutch and previously recommended by Simon, offers their own reproduction of this iconic style at about two-thirds the price of Mccoys’ versions. Mine arrived today, and the quality and details are exceptional. Though I can’t be sure, I believe the reproductions benefit from an updated cut compared to vintage editions. Certainly, the length is more than enough to cover a sports jacket – and my long arms to boot. I’ll now be shamelessly riffing on this outfit for weeks to come!