A Connolly tonal outfit: cream, grey and brown

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This outfit, worn on the last Saturday of our pop-up shop, is a good illustration of the kind of clothing that excites me at the moment.

It could be defined, perhaps, as casual but luxurious, muted but refined.

Casual, in that there’s no jacket, shirt and tie - and that the shapes are all relaxed and comfortable. Nothing is sharp or tight.

And yet it’s no less luxurious than more formal clothing, with thick cashmere knitwear, Fox flannel trousers, and top-end leather shoes.

The colours are muted. Yes, cream is quite bold, but there are no strong colours anywhere, and the most pleasing aspect is probably just the tonal combination of cream, brown and grey.

An alternative menswear uniform to white, navy and grey, perhaps.

And I call it refined because there is such close attention paid to those colours - as well as the materials that hold them.

The brown flannel trousers have to be dark and cold - Fox calls it char-brown. The grey of the coat can’t be too similar to either the brown or cream, but sit somewhere in between. And that coat needs pattern - otherwise nothing in the outfit would have any.

The coat and knitwear, being from Connolly, both have some fashion-forward details.

These appeal to me at the moment. Each has a slightly dropped shoulder, the coat has a big, rolling collar, and the sweater has an unusually long cuff (which is very cosy on a cold day, but can be folded back too).

The scarf at the neck (the ‘PS Square Scarf’, which I designed with Begg) is also a dandyish detail.

But these details are not the central appeal of the outfit, and are easily changed.

If you remove the scarf and replace the sweater with a classic design, you retain all the sophistication of the colour combination with none of the fashion.

Pick a blue oxford shirt, a cream shetland over the top (Trunk has some nice ones), brown flannel trousers and dark shoes, and you have something suited to a casual office, yet a little different to standard menswear combinations.

I can even see the loafers (Belgravia model, Edward Green) replaced with a black equivalent, given the relative coldness of the outfit.

I’ve got my eye on black-cordovan ones (EG Greenwich model), though Alden would be a lot cheaper, even outside the US.

The sweater is the Gigi model from Connolly, bought two seasons ago. Unfortunately cream isn’t currently available, but navy is. The coat is also not available, although again there are others in different colours.

The trousers were made by Whitcomb & Shaftesbury and the cloth is Fox CBT5/R1285/39 (13/14oz). PS Square Scarf in grey here.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that my other two trouser commissions in the works are grey Spring Ram from Harrison’s, and brown covert cloth from Holland & Sherry.

Both should slot into this tonal wardrobe nicely.

Photography: Buzz Tang

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