Today, the question I get more than any other is: what cloth should I use for a sports jacket?
Selecting cloth for a jacket is not easy, at least once you’ve gone beyond the navy blazer. Compared to a navy or grey suit, there's a dizzying range of materials and colours.
Indeed, I’ve been told by a couple of mills that ‘oatmeal’ has become a popular category in recent years, which I like to think is partly driven by my recommendation.
The cloths I recommend to readers - in answer to that question - usually have a few things in common:
1. They’re muted and subtle, making them suitable for professional wear as well as casual;
2. They’re dark or light enough to wear with grey trousers (by far the most popular trouser colour);
3. They have some surface detail in either colour or weave, to separate them clearly from the trousers (and add some interest);
4. They don’t have big checks or other patterns, which makes them versatile enough to work with a plain shirt, and support a brightly patterned one;
5. And they’re practical. Not necessarily a hairy tweed but not delicate cashmere either - something that will last well
There are some options like this every season from the mills. But I rarely find a set together, and after a few months they're gone, never to return (like that oatmeal).
So I thought it would be useful - and certainly fun - to develop a small selection myself.
I decided to work with Joshua Ellis, who are probably the premier mill for luxury jacketings in the UK. I spent a good long time in the archive, with my criteria above. And I came up with a cloth and weave I absolutely loved, in three versatile colours: oatmeal, brown and green.
This is the result. I’m extremely proud of it, and love the little I’ve been able to wear it over the summer months. It will be a staple come Autumn.
[The cloth is available to buy, in 10cm units, on the Joshua Ellis website. Full details on purchasing at the bottom of this article.]
Our first choice was the fibre to use (cashmere, merino, shetland etc).
I decided to use Escorial because I’ve had it before (in my Drake’s collab jacket) and loved how it felt and performed.
Escorial is a very rare wool restricted to a few flocks of sheep in Australia and New Zealand. Its name comes from the original flock that was owned by Spanish royalty, and exported to Australia before dying out at home.
More importantly, though, are Escorial’s properties. First, it feels like cashmere but wears like wool: it’s wonderfully soft to the touch, but stronger and more robust than cashmere, and so better suited to a long-lasting jacket.
And it has two unique characteristics, which are its breathability and natural stretch, both created by the fibre’s natural curls. The stretch is akin to elastane or a similar synthetic: the jacket I’m wearing feels almost more like a chunky sweater than a piece of tailoring.
Next choice - the yarn and the weave. How would we introduce enough texture or colour variation without being over the top?
My favourite tweeds are usually from Harris, with their distinctive colour variation in the yarn. The colours are subtle, but distinctive: somehow both sophisticated and playful.
So when I found an archive piece at Joshua Ellis with a similar variation in cashmere, I jumped at it. This was a dark, soft brown, but with shades of orange and yellow in it that reminded me of Harris tweed.
So we used the same colours and finish, just in Escorial wool. The finish was particularly important, as the washing is what causes the fibres to burst and come to the surface, mixing the colours and giving the cloth a lofty, airy feel.
The only other change we made was to add texture more by using a thicker yarn (three ply) and a weave called a Russian twill - basically a tiny herringbone.
One lovely result of this is that the resulting weight (400g, 14oz) exaggerates the properties of the Escorial. It feels even softer and stretchier.
The colours (three)
Last, but perhaps most important question: what colours would we do?
Well, I always say that the two dominant colours in casual jacket cloths are brown and green. The problem is that these are usually quite strong and bright. So we would do more muted, urban versions.
And I had to add oatmeal, because it’s proved so popular with readers and I’ve found it so personally useful. It remains, for me, the best colour after navy for a business jacket.
The brown was the one we found in the archive; the green is the same as that Drake’s collab (as there was such good feedback on it too); and the oatmeal was a close replication of my Caliendo jacket.
So that made a capsule collection of three.
All of which work in a modern office; all of which go with grey trousers, whether flannel or high-twist; and all of which are strong enough to work with other trouser colours they don’t match - so beige, green and brown.
Frankly, I know a lot of readers that could do with all three, if they don’t have something similar already.
How to buy
The only downside of using so much Escorial is that cloth is expensive. It costs £165 a metre (with local currency prices set in euros, pounds and dollars by Joshua Ellis) - and that’s with me taking a lower margin than normal retail, as I do with most things we sell.
There’s also not a lot of it. Neither I nor Joshua Ellis could afford to put too much into stock. But then, if it sells out we’ll make some more next year. This is not just for Christmas.
Ordering is not through me, but through the Joshua Ellis website here.
We had to do it that way because the cloth has to be cut to order. I can sell set lengths of shirting on the Permanent Style shop, but if I did that with Escorial there'd be a lot of expensive wastage.
So you can order through the Joshua Ellis website, and request how much you need in units of 10cm. I need 2.1m for a single-breasted jacket, but it will vary with your size. Always safest to check with the tailor.
We also have a limited number of sample cards, with swatches of the three colours. If you would like one you can also do so through the Joshua Ellis site. There is a small charge that is refundable if you ever place an order.
If you want to send the cloth straight to a tailor, by the way, that is also possible (and saves on shipping twice).
Just put them down as the delivery address - but with your name - and please let them know it’s coming, to avoid any confusion.
Any questions, please let me know. As ever, it’s with a little swell of pride that this special cloth goes out into the world. Treat it well.
Jacket pictured on me, made by Sartoria Zizolfi. Oatmeal pictured in basted fitting, being made for Chris by Prologue Hong Kong. Images of the green being made up will follow.
Samples of the cloth will also be available to see (and touch) at the Permanent Style Presents pop-up from September 10.
Photography of me: James Holborow
Great looking cloths and I’m sure they will wear really well.
They all cry out for blue trousers Simon; not necessarily worsteds, but navy moleskin, cord, denim are all a totally natural fit with these.
I’ve never understood your aversion to blue, but hey.
Going by the pictures, the cloth looks great. Which colour do you think would go best with denim? I assume they’re sufficiently casual to go with dark denim?
Yes, all three were specifically designed to work with denim, dark or more washed. Personally I think the oatmeal would be nicest with dark denim, the green perhaps with a mid-blue colour
That’s quite a nice offer. Unfortunately I already have a brown and a green Sportcoat. But as you say these are not sharp enough for formal occasions like a nice dinner. Oatmeal might be my next choice, but I’m not sure yet, if it will go with my skin tone. Why did you choose not to offer a navy one?
Because navy is so much easier to find basically. Navy cashmere, wool etc is always available. There would also be less room for flecks of colour
Hey Simon, congrats on the lovely collaboration.
I understand the price includes VAT within the EU.
I’m trying to make a purchase from Singapore, however at checkout VAT is still charged – is that normal?
Good point, I’ll check with them
Simon this is excellent! I have never had an escorial jacket so I am primarily interested in its performance qualities. I am someone who travels wearing a jacket (I can never manage to fold them properly and the bins in airplanes aren’t always clean, plus it’s nice to have a layer) so how does the material deal with creases? If you were setting out to buy all three in which colour order would you do it? How are you fining the brown zizolfi jacket, would you use the same tailor again for this cloth? Sorry to bombard you with questions like this, but I think this may be the most exciting thing on the PS shop yet.
PS I really like the brown jacket, pink shirt, green tie combination in the photo above. All the colours are muted (as you like) yet it somehow feels brighter than what you usually wear, which is quite nice.
It’s good with creases I find, Nick. Because it’s quite spongey there are no hard creases, and being wool helps too.
If I had no similar jackets, I’d buy brown first. In general I think it’s marginally the most versatile.
I might use Zizolfi again, yes, but that wouldn’t relate to the cloth at all – I would say just use the tailor you like the style of most.
No worries on all the questions, do send any more you have. And so pleased you like the idea so much.
This is a beautiful cloth Simon, well done!
I was about to place an order but got confused by Joshua Ellis´s pricing. I am based in the US and their website shows $221 a metre, which is around 10% more than the £165 you quote as including VAT (which naturally it shouldn´t for non EU purchases). Note that their website natively displays prices in dollars (at least to me it does) and even when adding my US shipping address, the price remain the same.
Is there a deliberate price difference or is this a glitch in the website? Thanks.
I’m just checking this – I believe you’re seeing the price with VAT, when you shouldn’t be.
If you’re anxious to not miss out, do feel free to go ahead and purchase and we can refund the VAT later. No danger of running out today though probably.
Hi. I’ve checked and because Joshua Ellis operate internationally, they quote with VAT included but cover all taxes and duties on import – which of course other sites that subtract VAT would not do. So you shouldn’t pay any tax or duty when receiving the cloth. Do let me know if that doesn’t happen.
Thanks Simon, appreciate the prompt reply.
Hi. I’ve checked and because Joshua Ellis operate internationally, they quote with VAT included but cover all taxes and duties on import – which of course other sites that subtract VAT would not do. So you shouldn’t pay any tax or duty when receiving the cloth. Do let me know if that doesn’t happen.
Hey Simon, makes sense but VAT rates do vary from country to country, with the UK being 20%.
That would mean that if I were ordering from Malaysia, where VAT is 6%, I’d still be paying more than necessary.
Is there a way to re-look this?
Yes, that’s true.
It works that way because Joshua Ellis sets international prices for all their products, like scarves and cloth, at a single level in different currencies, so all retailers have the same price. That does mean that perhaps the dollar price could be lower, given the lack of duties, but do bear in mind that I’m also charging less than normal margin, as I do on all things I sell. So you’re saving at least as much there.
I don’t mean to be obnoxious, but Joshua Ellis is certainly charging shipping. Not a big issue and not a large amount ($20 to the US), but thought you should know.
While I appreciate that it has nothing to do with you and that it in no way diminishes how lovely this cloth is or how successful it is set to be, I do find Joshua Ellis’ practice a bit jarring. For instance, for US readers, there is no local VAT and sales taxes is not charged for overseas purchases. Moreover, for purchases under $800 there is generally no customs. I have ordered online from other British cloth merchants and can attest to that. So, effectively, Joshua Ellis is pocketing the UK VAT. Other companies, such as Private White, have a platform that allows them to calculate sales taxes and customs in the destination country and thus avoid this unsavoury result.
Still, this cloth is beautiful and versatile and you are to be congratulated!
Thanks. Sorry I didn’t realise shipping was being charged to some destinations, I must just have looked at the UK.
On taxes, yes I know what you mean. I think they’re trying to charger in local currencies to make things easier but the dollar pricer is a little high
I guess also worth bearing in mind that – as mentioned – we’re selling at below normal market price as I always do. So you’re saving more than 20% there.
How warm would you say this cloth is? Would they be too warm for inside?
Obviously it depends a lot on what the inside is like, the air con in your office etc. But no, I wear mine inside and it’s fine.
I presume no chance of RTW!
Wonderful project! Would you say the brown is similar to the Harris Tweed you had made into a jacket by Caliendo? I have a similar Holland and Sherry cloth and I’m wondering if it would be too much like your Escorial. I will most definitely get the green and oatmeal, though.
It’s similar in texture but a lighter brown. You would see a difference but it’s not large. Ask for a swatch if you’re not sure?
Congrats. I have a question about tone of the oatmeal cloth. In the escorial version there seems to be a pink hue to it whereas in the cashmere version it has light brown tone to it. Probably just the photographs but if can elaborate more that would be much appreciated.
Hi Peter. Just the photos, yes, there is no pink hue to it.
Simon would you be able to advise on using these cloths for a tailor to make up trousers.
Would they be appropriate.
They will be used primarily with casual knitwear in the winter.
Thank you for your time
Exciting. All three are colours I’m interested in getting in jackets. However, I would like to pace myself and have each made individually and wear it a while before deciding to move onto the next, rather than buying all of them at once.
I appreciate these will be rewoven if they run out; this won’t just be once and it’s over. That’s really important for us who want to be careful and patient with wardrobe building!
Great idea Simon.
It’s difficult to tell which photos are of you wearing these fabrics Simon — can you specify on the photos? Thank you!
I only have the brown jacket made up so far – so those pictures are of me. The green is just the cloth, and the oatmeal is in the process of being made up by Chris at Prologue. Does that help?
Simon – who made up the brown jacket for you? Apologies if I missed it.
Not worries – Zizolfi, same as my green tweed last year
Very nice selection and good to see the range on sale.
I always felt the best ‘brownish’ jacket you had made was the NEAPOLITAN TWEED JACKET – ELIA CALIENDO.
The oat colour is good but could you work it into a weekly rotation being as it’s so noticeable being light coloured ? Probably yes .
The green is the most interesting . Very different but very subtle and unique .
But the ‘elephant’ in the article is navy / blue . It’s many a man’s default but can result in blue on blue considering most men have ‘go to navy trousers’ as well.
However , blue/ navy is the colour that’s allows you to blend in .
Also I think brown and green compared to blue/ navy tend to be jacket colours for ‘older’ men (by older I mean those headings into their forties and certainly not ‘older’ in a negative conatation)
Personally I’d like a blue / navy recommendation as since reading PS most of my trousers are now beige, olive, cream, tan etc
Anyway good stuff and I’m sure it will be a sell out .
P. S. Might be worth mentioning what length average person needs and then some guide as to what various tailors may charge for making it .
Just helps with costing .
Thanks. As mentioned above in comments, I didn’t include a navy as there’s such a big range of them available all the time.
The green and brown do sometimes seem a little older or more rural, which is why I designed them with more muted colour and no big pattern.
On the length, I mentioned most people need around 2m. On the charges, it’s hard. It varies quite a lot between tailors, though you’re right it would be nice to something indicative?
Most tailors would be happy to give you a CMT price. Just ask.
I bought a length of Escorial to have made up into a classic Crombie Style overcoat. Cost was £228/metre. The weight was 470 gms/sq. m and at the fitting I had last month on the hottest day of the year, it felt not so much like wearing a duvet but the mattress as well. This is not light weight cloth. I’m not going to be cold this winter!
Thanks. The jacketing is woven a little less densely probably than the overcoating, so it shouldn’t wear as warm
Could navy Incotex or Rota chinos replace the jeans you wear in the second photo? Or a navy S. E. H Kelley´s proper pant?
The cloth is outstanding, all three, and each one very versatile. Well done!
Would you make these up in a Neapolitan (unstructured) or Florentine (lightly padded) style? Or something more structured?
I can wear pretty much anything to the office. Separates I tend to wear a little more casual (perhaps even with jeans), but might throw on a tie and charcoal or grey gabardine trousers for dinner at the club.
To be honest I’d make them up in both, and even an English drape – like my Hitchcock charcoal tweed – depending on what style you wanted
Interesting collaboration. I have a brown Harris Tweed jacket that I like very much but find too casual to wear in the office. Given that you seem to have tried to replicate the look of Harris Tweed will these fabrics be similarly casual or does the texture of Escorial makes the end result more like cashmere?
It’s more like cashmere. The idea is that it has that same feeling, but with a little of the colour flecks of tweed (but none of the texture)
this is great, simon! how does the brown colour compare to the popular holland & sherry harris tweed (892020)?
Very similar, just a touch lighter in colour
Hi, I’d just like to check if you know if there are any plans to resurrect the H&S 892020 tweed? Or if it already exists with another reference number or by another manufacturer?
I have a jacket in the oatmeal escorial cloth made by PrologueHK and it turned out great but it is really warm. And I read in the post on the Elia Caliendo jacket that the H&S cloth was 11oz while the escorial is 14oz. So that’s why I might be more interested in the H&S tweed instead of getting the brown escorial cloth as well.
Actually Johannes, we are looking at bringing it back, yes. It’s not currently available anywhere
Sounds great! Please put my on the waiting list for it. You know if it will happen already this season?
No, it won’t be that soon I’m afraid. But will do
Hi Simon, re. the green – is is close to keepers tweed?
Separately re. the index. Good to have one but in developing the site is it possible to construct one based on types; tailors, shirt makers, coat makers, cloth merchants, knitwear, accessories etc. Within the tailors (given the range) a grouping based on region; SR, Naples, Florence, Rome etc.
It has a little more colour than keepers tweed, and is more stretchy and luxurious in feel. Not as hard and hardy as keepers.
Ah ok, nice idea. So within the Brands section, have the ability to separate or filter all of them.
I think this is your second coat from Zizolfi now Simon? Are you as happy with this second commission as the first? Is the shoulder extended at all?
It is a little, yes, and I am happy with it. The two Zizolfis are a real pleasure to deal with, and have just delivered exactly what they said they would, in a good fit.
can’t fault Ciro or Andrea. Like Simon says, they are a pleasure to deal with. Very professional and the jacket they made for me is superb.
Tweed, there’s nothing like it! Many congratulations on some very nice cloth, I particularly like the green. I also particularly like Harris (as you do) but always have the problem that it doesn’t particularly suit an office environment. I can see how this would although I am not sure whether or not a Donegal would give that little bit more interest without being too casual.
Simon, forgive me this is a little off what you are discussing but the closest thread. I really like the look of the cloth, both colour and texture of the jersey cloth, sailing jacket you picture in you piece regarding your recent G&H linen suit. Could you please share the detail on the cloth. With grateful thanks, James
It was a Piacenza denim. The piece is a few years old now though, so I’m not sure it’s still available.
If you were to be the devil’s advocate, what occasions, what situations, temperatures would make you advise against this fabric?
A fine olive loden (Leichtfried), a good mottled beige twill or a hardwearing brown cheviot would be honest fabrics too , wouldn’t they?
I mean when would one really”need” this fabric? Just trying to find good reasons 😉 Thank you Simon.
Nice question. It won’t be great in the warmest countries or seasons – so not summer here in the UK, perhaps not six months of the year somewhere tropical like hong kong. But then, if you’re into cloth and tailoring enough to appreciate this cloth, you’re probably not at the stage where you expect something to be wearable 12 months of the year and still retain all its inherent qualities (eg light tweed, worsted flannel).
I think the biggest ‘need’ would be for a cloth that has colour and character, but isn’t the harder, coarser, rural fabrics mostly associated with them, like cheviot for example.
As always Simon, you do a terrific job for us all. Question is–how much material does one need for a sports coat? Should my tailor give them dimensions by which they can make a determination?
It will be around two metres, but your tailor will know how much. Just ask the tailor and then order that amount from the JS site
Simon, I was wondering why you chose a more muted green and brown rather than something darker and more saturated? The brown looks a bit lackluster compared to the rich, vintage tweed jacket fabric made by Elia. I don’t think it was too strong of a color. Just want to know your thinking behind that.
Another question: For sport coats combinations should the jacket be lighter than the trouser, or vice versa? Should there always be contrast? Can you achieve a subtle look with minimal contrast, along the lines of your dark shirt look, but in a combination?
The colour of the brown isn’t that much less rich than the Elia tweed really, just a little lighter. It’s also not possible to have quite the same amount of colour in there without it being a tweed, which is what I wanted to avoid and make it more urban. Hope that makes sense.
There should always be a decent contrast between jacket and trouser, yes, and it’s usually easier to have a dark jacket, light trousers. Of the light jackets though, I’ve found oatmeal to be the easiest to combine with a range of trousers, which is why I went for it
Yes, you answered my question about the light color, thank you. I just had a preference for a darker brown and green — but I didn’t know making it darker makes it more tweedy. Why is that?
Did you want to avoid the casual look associated with tweed, and achieve something that would be more appropriate for the office? Is that what you mean by urban?
No, I wasn’t suggesting that being darker meant it was more tweedy. Just that the other materials were more tweedy.
Yes, I wanted something that would be more appropriate for an office, but also for a city, hence urban.
Hi Simon, planning to purchase the Oatmeal and Brown colorways.
However, usually I ship these kinds of purchases to Hong Kong to save on the tax (VAT and Duties) and I have a friend bring them over here to Manila or I go to Hong Kong to pick them up at my friend’s place when I have a trip there every so often.
Does Joshua Ellis remove the VAT on purchases delivering to Hong Kong? If not, I will have it shipped directly to Manila since you have mentioned in a previous comment that Duties and Taxes will already be covered.
No, the VAT won’t be removed on shipments to Hong Kong, so do send straight to Manila.
What a great launch! Curious to hear how the oatmeal in the new Loro Piana Fall/Winter 2019 Cashmere Jackets compares to your infamous LP Oatmeal Caliendo jacket and also the Escorial wool version you just launched, thank you
Sure Bernie, I’ll have a look next time I see the current Loro Piana bunch
wow, what a beautiful range of fabrics – how coul one not love them.
The hand, texture and finish looks amazing – now hopping over to see if there´s a swatch left for me 🙂
Firstly congrats on what looks like a well received and necessary venture.
I think those three colours could prove essentials in a gents wardrobe.
My question is would those colours work with all skin tones ? Just thinking of oat colour on darker skin tones or brown on gents with brown skin.
Also, would be good to get a later feature article highlighting trouser and jacket combinations.
That would certainly shift a lot more of this cloth .
I assume you’ll follow up with summer cloths soon ?
I think all three would be good on all skin tones, yes. Even though I’m fairly pale, the oatmeal works well if a white shirt gives it enough contrast. And I’ve see that Drake’s green jacket we did on people with darker skins, and I think the brown would be similar. The fact they’re also all quite warm tones but not strong makes them versatile in that respect as well.
I can certainly do a follow up on potential trouser combinations. They were picked to be as versatile as possible though, so as mentioned they will all go with greys mid and dark, cream, and then the others of these colours that they are not – so brown goes with green or beige, green goes with brown or beige, and oatmeal goes with brown or green.
I don’t plan any summer cloths, just because I don’t see a particular gap for them. The aim is always trying to create something I want but can’t find, rather than creating a complete collection, if that makes sense.
On the trouser question, you might like to consider the fact that they will all go very well with navy blue, as somebody has mentioned further up this thread.
Great looking cloth – swatches duly ordered.
I was wondering if you’d given any thought to adding a version in grey and/or whether there was any prospect of the PS tweed being reissued.
Not soon I’m afraid, no. We had planned to redo the PS Tweed but Breanish haven’t had the capacity
All three cloths look good on my screen, but these are not strong colors and they are impossible to photograph with absolute accuracy even if viewed on a perfectly calibrated screen, due to a phenomenom called photomerism. Then there are all the other characteristics like feel and texture wich are even harder to show in pictures. Would you order an unusual jacket cloth like these solely on the basis of a few photos you saw on the internet?
You could order a swatch instead
I have for a long time been thinking about a brown neapolitan sport coat like the one Caliendo has made for you. This made me order the brown cloth for letting Saman Amel tailor it for me.
Would these cloths hold up as trousers? Would you recommend them for a full suit?
No, I wouldn’t. They’re designed for jackets and would be too open-weave and soft for trousers.
Re. the index…no, not a filter connected to the brands.
A separate column on craft types (tailors, coat makers, shoe makers etc.) that can replace the ‘bags, coats’ etc. There is an element of repitition within the menu – you have ‘Categories’ then a repitition of same content following on from wardrobe building – ‘bags, coats, jackets’ etc.
The eight categories at the top (‘About’ etc.) should be at the bottom (normal web layout to put ‘about’, ‘contact us’ at bottom – at present the menu is set up for advertisers first, readers second i.e. ‘Advertising’, ‘Media Pack).
Suggest menu order could be, in order of reader usefulness, as follows;
Then….separately or indexed under a title..
Accessory Makers (Belts, Socks, Ties etc.)
Why? As PS grows (1,000 + articles) the ability to search from the menu grows. It’s now a massive resource for readers. However, especially for new readers unfamiliar to brands, the ability to search be type (‘Neopolitan Tailors’ for example), would add an easier layer of access, particularly if considering a commission and in need of advice.
Thanks, very helpful.
I think it’s because you’re looking just on a mobile, which is a minority of traffic, but it certainly could be clearer there.
On that menu – which is repeated in the ‘hamburger’ menu on a desktop – there are three sections, with the third section a breakdown of some of the categories, as they are the ones most used by readers.
Perhaps I’ll look to make that clearer, and to change the order. The reason it’s in that order at the moment is that most readers do this kind of research on a desktop, and then the major areas are listed across the top of the page already, with the hamburger being an extra – for things like About, Media Pack etc.
I think it might make sense to break the Brands section down into the makers you mention, and then perhaps also include some of those in the hamburger menu. There will be a lot of overlap with the Categories sections of course.
You are 2m including patch pockets, Simon?
If I hope to use these fabrics with a tailor I haven’t commissioned before, what would be the best protocol? To have my based fitting with another fabric? Do bespoke tailors usually use the identical cloth for the first fitting?
What three (or 4) shoes would you wear with these fabrics? Please indicate color & material (i.e. calf skin or suede), please! Always appreciated.
The 2m doesn’t include patch pockets, no. But more importantly, it will vary more with your height and weight. So do check with a tailor how much you need first.
No, you will likely have the basted fitting in this fabric, and that should be fine. It doesn’t make much difference unless you think you’re likely to change your mind after the basted fitting and want to use another tailor.
Pretty much any colour of shoe could work with these, apart perhaps from black, and of course depending on the trousers. My top four would be something like dark-brown calf oxford, mid-brown suede loafer, mid-brown calf derby, mid-brown suede derby.
Would austerity brogues work well for the outfits above? You wouldn’t have your suede adelaides on this top 4 list?
For these shoes with these do you mind specifying the style (i.e. cap toe, adelaide; broguing or no broguing; how many derby eyelets?). Thanks~
1. Dark-brown calf oxford (captoe? broguing or no?)
2. Mid-brown suede loafer (penny, tassel, or plain like your G&G loafers)?
3. mid-brown calf derby (style, broguing (or not), how many eyelets?; like your Philippe Atienzas?)
4. mid-brown suede derby (style, broguing (or not), how many eyelets?)
I realize this is not a didactic list, but it’d be nice to see your thought process.
To be honest I think you’re trying to be too specific. Almost any style would work within these categories I’ve mentioned – adelaide or not, two three or four eyelets. They’d all work, it’s much more a case of personal style
I normally can’t tell if that’s the fabric I want until touching it. Just tried to order the swatches (I assume it’s 3.5pounds for all 3 colours instead of 1), but it charges 20pounds for shipping to Asia…Simon I hope you’re aware of that which would discourage people from making purchase decision.
Good point, I’ll look into that.
I guess the £3.50 is fairly negligible, but the shipping should be different if it’s just an envelope I would have thought.
You have made great choices!
The VIP mailing list (10% off) for Joshua Ellis is not working, I have contacted JE but no response so far, does it mean we cannot have 10% off?
ntl well understand it is sold at a very low margin. Just curious to know. Thanks Simon!
Good question, I’ll look into it.
But no, I’m afraid if we start taking discounts off the margin would be very narrow
Dear Simon, thanks for your discussion of cloths and colours for sports jackets. The brown suits you very well.
One of the aspects of your PS site that I appreciate a lot is the attention you give to the craft of different elements of men’s clothing. I wonder if you could reflect a little more on the craft and the making in future posts? I’m thinking particularly of the more backroom elements of the craft – of the men and women who put the stitches in, shape the leather and cut the fabric. The skills these artisans possess are impressive and subtle, and contribute hugely to the success of a finished piece. There is a certain classism in the way backroom skills, if not overlooked, are often not foregrounded to the same degree as front of house skills.
But there is patience, a fine aesthetic sense, and a discipline in the basic skills of tailoring, shoemaking, bag making and the like. I am a fan of Richard Sennett’s excellent book The Craftsman (Penguin 2009), and wonder if the way Sennett has discussed craft might add another dimension to your interviews and reporting on the makers you work with.
I enjoy your work, admire the way you have developed your niche, and send best regards.
Thank you Philip, that’s a great point.
I used to cover that a bit more, but will try to do so again in more detail.
I have purchased the sample cards and I love how the fabric feels in my hand and I thought I might purchase some fabric for a trouser. But would you recommend it more for a sports jacket?
Yes, its not suitable for trousers – it’s too open and soft.
Oh no, too late for the green! Any chance of a rerun of that?
Not for a while I’m afraid. Concentrating on oatmeal first
Possible to get on a waiting list for the green? Or are you not yet running a waiting list?
Not yet, it will be a while
Second the suggestion for a waiting list for the green!
I’d like to purchase the escorial to Moscow. How is the Non-EU VAT deduction issue solved?
Joshua Ellis prices as if selling locally. So the price you see is the landed price – without VAT but with all domestic duties and tax.
Green and oatmeal are sold out, by the way, but we’re building a waiting list for oatmeal if you wanted that one
Interesting that green and outmeal ran out first. My guess was that brown would be the most popular choice. Or did you make more brown?
Yes, there was twice as much brown (two pieces). It actually sold fastest
What type of green trouser fabric would work best/be most versatile for these brown jackets?
I’d go for a dark olive flannel.
Hi hi. The brown is sold out too. When do you plan to remake it again? Thx
Not for a few months I’m afraid. Do email [email protected] to be on the waiting list in case though. Most of the new oatmeal run has gone to the waiting list
Would you wear the PS scarf with these jackets or is the relaxed nature of the jackets more suited to open neck shirts, without scarves?
No I would. Tucked into a crewneck probably
I am absolutely frustrated with Joshua Ellis who don’t find it necessary to reply to customer service emails. That has happened twice already. First issue was that the discount codes of the green and oat colour samples weren’t applied and second was in my attempt to return the cloth. I haven’t had such an issue with any other company.
P.S. After having had the cloth for some amount of time I decided that I don’t see myself using it for my next 5 commissions, so I decided that if at a future point in time I need it and is available I would use it then. Anyways, if somebody is interested I am more than happy to pass on the cloth (brown and green) to somebody who will enjoy it dearly.
I would be willing to take some of the green off of your hands if you still have it.
Just following up. Thanks!
Why did you make your brown jacket with Zizolfi and not Elia, Simon?
How come you didn’t have a cute patch pocket made? Was it too informal? Can you describe the type of pockets did you opted for on the jacket and why?
I wanted to try Zizolfi again because I had liked the previous jacket. But the slightly larger style felt unsuited to a small patch breast pocket
I had a welt breast pocket instead, and patch hip pockets, which is say is pretty standard for a casual Neapolitan jacket
A bit of a silly question: I’ve ordered the oatmeal fabric and have now received it. It’s going to be a while before it gets made into a jacket. I was wondering if I should kept it stored in the plastic wrapping it came in or if it would be better to take it out so it gets aired?
Keep it in the plastic to avoid any chance of moths, Noel, unless it’s going to be a year or more before you use it
What if it’s going to take a year or more before you use it? How would you store it then?
Simon, when you re-run these fabrics will the people on the waiting list get them first? How will that process go? Should I waitlist now if I would like a roll?
I want to meet a tailor to make one of these jackets, but see that it would be a while before the fabric is available. I’m a bit worried that by that time, the cutter will have forgotten my measurements and how my posture looks by then. Should that be something I should consider? Should I get the cloth before going in for the first consultation/measurement?
Wrap it in fabric and then in plastic.
Yes, the waiting list will get first access.
Yes, I would wait to get the cloth first.
What do you mean by wrap it in fabric and then in plastic? What sort of fabric would you use to wrap the cloth?
What are the drawbacks of long term (1+ year) storage in the plastic packaging the fabric comes in ?
Putting it in any kind of fabric, cotton etc, though it’s not that important really.
The important thing is plastic to make sure it doesn’t get caught on anything, or have any moth damage.
The disadvantages to wrapping in plastic are the fabric not breathing and getting a bit musty. But that’s all.
Couldn’t you just have the tailor measure you and then create the pattern first before you acquire the cloth Simon?
Yes you could, there just wouldn’t be much point (unless it’s a tailor who only visits every few months, and you will buy the cloth between one visit and another, and want to then send it to them)
If you could only have one of your Caliendo Harris Tweed and the brown Escorial, which do you think would be more useful? (also, any news on when these may come back into stock)
Probably the tweed to be honest.
And we’ll do another run of the escorial definitely, but probably not until next year.
I purchased all three fabrics and recently got back a jacket made up in the brown. It came out beautifully.
One detail I noticed not only on your brown jacket pictured in the article, but also on the Drake’s and Caliendo jackets, is swelled edges. I didn’t think to specify this when I commissioned my brown jacket, and mine came back without it.
I have to say, I like the look of the swelled edge. What’s your take on having this fabric made up with or without it? Would it be risky to ask a tailor to add it to my completed jacket? Would the tailor have to remove the current stitching (about 1/16 inch from the edge), or just add another line of stitching a quarter inch from the edge? And would I want to specify anything about the stitch? I’m afraid the stitching could come out too tight, resulting in an unrefined look like a cheap pea coat.
Thanks in advance.
A swelled edge tends to be used on more casual suits and jackets, and more often on southern Italian ones. I wouldn’t necessarily include it if the make is English, though you certainly could.
I think it would be a big tailoring job though, yes. I wouldn’t do it at this stage.
The refined look would come from doing it by hand. A cheap pea coat would have it done my machine, so it would be tighter and have no ups and downs.
Thanks for the advice. The brown one is from b&tailor, and looks nice as-is. I think I’m going to have Anthology do the oatmeal one, and that’ll be a somewhat more casual cut, so maybe I’ll ask them to incorporate swelled edges. Thanks again!
I don’t understand what swelled edges are, Simon. Can you please explain and maybe refer to a photo? Thanks~
Sure. It means stitching a little way in from the edge of the jacket, such that the gap between it and the edge looks a little raised up, or swelled.
Look at the bottom photo in this post. You can see the effect around the notch of the lapel
Between Caliendo and Solito, which would you personally have make this jacket?
I’d probably use Ciardi today actually – I prefer the slightly looser cut. Between those two, Caliendo
I’ve had issues contacting Ciardi and hearing a response via email or Instagram (and I haven’t even started the process yet). Yet they still show new IG posts. Have you had those issues with the house Simon? When a tailor doesn’t respond it makes me hesitant because it gives off the impression of unreliability.
I haven’t, and they have always been reliable with me. But I know they’ve had a lot of new customers recently so perhaps they’re not being that fast to respond to requests from new ones
What is the status of the oatmeal and brown — is the waiting list really long for both? If we just sent an email to be placed on the list what are the chances of being called for the next run? I read somewhere that oatmeal will rerun in September. Is that the case?
No, it’s not that long, you would be fine if you emailed, even now.
However, we haven’t been able to finalise the timings of either yet. Just working through issues at the mill.
Ok great— I sent an email Friday to be on the waiting list for oatmeal and brown colors but didn’t receive a confirmation response. Can you please confirm if I am on the waiting list? Thanks
You’ll receive a confirmation soon, don’t worry.
Does Joshua Ellis sell a darker version of the Escorial brown? Or does anyone? I think slightly darker would look nice and a little more like your Elia jacket
No they don’t, sorry. This quality and colouring is unique. It’s good to have the feedback though, and maybe we’ll look at darkening the brown next time
The oatmeal looks very nice. Having looked at the swatches I do agree that brown and green would look even more wonderful if both were a few shades darker. I’d happily wait for the darker color change.
About oatmeal: Is that the next color coming?
I think that and the green will be next, but we’re just waiting to confirm
Simon, what 2 ties would go well with all three of these jackets?
Anything in navy, or probably dark grey, certainly.
What tie fabrics would you go for, for versatility? Navy grenadine and grey Cri de La Soie knit? Or both grenadines? Maybe something else?
Perhaps grenadine yes, and silk knit – either good, the knit just a little more casual
I’m a bit supposed you didn’t mention dark brown as a first tie color, Simon — since it would go well with with all three Escorial colors, which are earth-tones?
It would be nice, but I think it could struggle to be different enough to the brown jacket.
Is the next brown sale going to be made darker? Do you know when that might be, Simon?
And which fabric will come out first, the darker brown or oatmeal?
The oatmeal I think. And no, we’re going to stick with the same shade of the brown, because there are so many people that have asked for the same shade again.
I’m hoping the oatmeal will be available in around a month. We’re just looking at the finish, which we might make a little harder, slightly less fluffy
Harder and less fluffy sounds good.
Simon — that’s fine. If possible then, can the third run of brown be darker? That’d be something I would look forward to. Thank you~
We’re considering it now – the other side is that quite a few people are waiting for and specifically wanted that brown colour.
Hi Simon, would happily pick up the darker brown when/if made available.
I like the versatility of this tweed–at least based on the images. I find that office-wear requires a lot of versatility these days, with coat-and-chino or coat-and-flannel-trousers becoming a day-to-day norm that requires an occasional shift to something a bit more polished, like the images of you wearing the tweed coat with a tie and spread-collar shirt. I know you’ve written a bit about this kind of versatility in the past, but I’d like to focus on shirts for a moment. Are you able to wear a poplin shirt with this type of tweed (muted color, minimal nap), or does it do better with a twill, oxford, or brushed cotton?
You certainly could wear a poplin with this kind of jacket, I think, but I would keep most other things smart – eg a dark tie, with a simple pattern, grey trousers and so on. An oxford would be more flexible though
Would you ever wear a poplin without a tie, either to dress something up, or if the poplin was on the casual side (e.g., patterns, a color other than white)? I could imagine it being worn with a relatively smart tweed/Donegal coat, flannels, etc. for a dressier office casual look.
Yes, that could work
I was looking at the logbook (helps with escaping a bit from the current quarantine reality) and I get the impression that your newer jackets have slightly wider sleeves than earlier ones.
The jacket shown here being an example of the ‘wider sleeve’ style compared with those of Caliendo, Solito or Langa. Is this a fair assessment? What is the effect of narrower or wider sleeves?
Hope you and your family are doing ok during these times.
Interesting point. I wouldn’t say it’s a trend over time, more that I have used a couple of slightly more traditional Neapolitan tailors recently (Ciardi and Zizolfi), who would tend to a slightly wider sleeve than the others in Naples (Caliendo, Solito).
I actually prefer wider sleeves generally, because they are more comfortable and if anything make the arm look a little bigger. The only time I would not have them would be if the whole style of the jacket was to be slimmer, smaller and neater, and the sleeve size would be out of place.
I hope that makes sense?
We are all well, thank you. And actually it’s been lovely the messages of support from readers and customers on the shop, all wanting to make sure PS is ok.
Can tailors directly acquire the escorial fabric from PS instead of the customers obtaining the fabric? I’d prefer that — thank you
They can, yes, you can ask them to buy from PS (or rather, from Joshua Ellis).
Hi, I trust you are going to do another run of these? If that is the case, do you think the oatmeal would be suitable for a double-breasted jacket?
Yes we are. Just waiting for the mill to re-open.
It would make a lovely DB jacket. Perhaps rather thick though – that would be my only concern.
Will you be doing another run of these fabrics later this year?
That’s the plan, yes, though it’s a little dependent on when the mills all get up and running again in Scotland.
Hi Simon! Just wondering whether you might be able to share an update on the timeline here. I am pretty keen to commission a new jacket with the Escorial Oatmeal cloth. Thanks!
It’s coming next week Sebastian. Monday or Wednesday
Hi Simon, as per previous comment on this thread, you were considering perhaps making the next cloth run harder, slightly less fluffy and also making the brown a little darker.
Have there been any changes introduced?
Is the darker brown still something in the pipeline perhaps for the next run? How likely?
There won’t be a darker brown, no. It is a little more pressed in the finish though, a little less fluffy.
I haven’t tried the product, but I wanted to get someone with experience doing a different kind of product to what we normally cover – more process and volume-driven online. It’s the kind of thing bespoke makers were interested in learning small things from
In regards to NR’s question, is there a reason why there won’t be a darker brown in future productions of the Escorial, or the next lineup? Thanks Simon
Just because a lot of readers wanted the original colour, and missed out on getting it last time
I think your comment (“I haven’t tried the product, but”) is a repeated comment from your online symposium comment Simon?
I got a bit confused thinking that this related to the escorial cloth
Yes, thank you, sorry not sure how that happened
Any updated plans for the next Escorial brown be a deeper, darker chocolate-ty brown? Living in super sunny weather, the current brown swatch can look a little greenish/ambiguous in sunlight. Would be curious to hear your thoughts about how a dark chocolate would steer the look
No, we don’t have current plans to repeat the Escorial, and so not in a different colour either.
A dark chocolate might be more versatile, yes, though if it’s sunny a lot of the time, you might not want something too dark.
Just curious would something too dark not be advisable in constantly sunny weather?
It’s not a big thing, but often it’s nicer to wear lighter or more coloured fabrics in sunnier weather, as it compliments the light-filled environment
Hey Simon- Love the Sartoria Zizolfi tweed jacket. Is there a review ? Searched in archives to no avail. You’re great at providing links to reviews of prior commissions which is really appreciated. One of the great features of this site.
There was a piece here.
Thanks Simon. Hope to use the Zizolfi as inspiration for a new jacket ( using W Bill tweed fabric from the Shetland bunch stolen shamelessly from your WW Chan tweed commission). Lots of followers out here in cyberspace. Keep doing what you’re doing.
Hi Simon, I got a length of this cloth back in late 2019 and due to the pandemic I’ve been unable to put it to good use (I need to travel to Naples or wait until they start travelling again). It’s now been in storage for more than a year inside its original packaging. Is this a problem? Or is it fine to keep it in there until perhaps later this year or early next year ?
It will be fine Noel, don’t worry.
Hi Simon, do you think either the oatmeal or brown would pair with charcoal trousers?
Yes, both would. Do you have them already? Otherwise you may be out of luck as the cloth is sold out
I do have them (and think they’re both fantastic). I’m wrestling, however, with whether they could pair with charcoal flannel trousers. In particular, I’m thinking of the oatmeal, which might be a bit too much contrast to the charcoal, and also with whether a white shirt (which seems to pair best with the oatmeal coat) and the charcoal together would look too much like a waiter’s uniform. I’m likely over-thinking this.
I think you might be, yes. I think that sounds like a nice combination. There are always ways you can change it elsewhere. Eg boots rather than smarter shoes, or a western white shirt, or adding a scarf etc etc
Hi BC, if you don’t think you’ll ever use your bolt of brown tweed, I’d be happy to take it off your hands (sorry for the unsolicited message).
PS I have a sports jacket in oatmeal and have paired it with charcoal flannel trousers and a white shirt, I think it’s a great combo (the Escorial tweed definitely doesn’t look like a waiter’s jacket).
Sorry—it and the oatmeal are already active parts of my wardrobe. Both great cloths!
How are you finding your brown jacket is wearing? Has it proved as resilient as expected?
I really like it, though I have to say my tweeds in similar shades do get more wear. That might be something small like the cut or the shade of the brown