Panic, spite and satisfaction: My job now

Wednesday, August 21st 2019
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The memory that comes back vividly is cycling over to the Drake’s office, on a Boris Bike. I was going to see Matt and Nathan for some reason, and then going for a drink afterwards.

I had a moment of sheer panic. Riding along, I started freaking out about what would happen if this all went wrong: if I had quit my job for irrational reasons; if I was irresponsibly risking my family’s future just because I really like clothes.

The experience ended well. It led to some minor revelations and resolutions which I jotted down as soon as I arrived. And in a way, I miss those existential moments. They’re stimulating in a way nothing else is.

Eighteen months on from quitting my job, it’s easy to feel that this new life is normal. 

Both readers and friends have asked (frequently, actually) what it’s like now Permanent Style is my full-time job. So I thought I’d try and put something down about it.

Actually, the impetus for writing it now was a reader who recently asked for my advice about starting his own business. I realised it could be useful, rather than just interesting.

Today, I have constructed something akin to a 9-to-5 existence around the process of running Permanent Style.

I work out of a club called Mortimer House in Fitzrovia, just above Oxford Circus. It’s part of a new breed of workspaces, which includes a restaurant, a gym, yoga classes and frequent events.

It was a luxury choosing to be a member here, rather than WeWork or similar. But I genuinely miss it after being away for a week. Which I can’t say of any other office I’ve ever worked in.

Half of the building is small offices. The other is flexible space where I pick a desk, take my laptop from a locker, and sit down to work.

Permanent Style publishes a new article every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and has done for over 11 years now. 

I’d say roughly a third of my time is taken writing, researching and illustrating those articles. It takes anywhere from 2 to 5 hours each, depending on the combination of calls, visits and photography.

I tremendously value the articles and what they represent. They are what I’m proudest of – the body of work, 2105 of them now – and they feel like a unique resource.

A lot of the rest of my day is less satisfying. Publishing and answering comments is worthwhile, as it adds to the value of those posts. But answering emails is a pain, and social media is far from fulfilling.

Instagram is a necessity. I know from the analytics that it’s the biggest source of new readers for the website. But the transient nature of it (how do you search old posts?), superficial content (all image, often just republished) and puerile comments (what’s the point of an explosion emoji rather than a strong arm?) is very off putting.

I just keep telling myself it’s cheap marketing.  

The rest of my day is spent visiting people – tailors, factories, shops – or doing the more serious work of running a company, such as writing a media pack and sending invoices.

Somehow, this manages to fit neatly into a five-day, 50-hour week. Or more probably – the work has expanded to fit that time, and no more.

Fifteen years of working in a corporate office has given me good self-discipline. I find it hard to take time off or go home early. But on the flip side, I also don’t really have the passion of a start-up entrepreneur – enough to work long into the night.

The only thing that’s significantly different to my old corporate schedule is the fact Permanent Style never stops.

So while I don’t work at home in the evening, I feel bad that readers have commented on the site and I haven’t published them. So my first task every morning is moderating. And it means I can’t completely switch off at the weekend or on holiday.

At the weekend I try to spend no more than an hour each day doing comments and Instagram. And I find it helpful to go to a specific room to do that – a physical as well as a mental separation.

But it takes discipline to keep up. So much easier to do it on the sofa while the kids are playing.

On holiday, I write articles ahead of time, so I save myself that third of the work. But again, separation is hard – particularly as I have a tendency to get bored on holiday, missing the stimulation of work.

That tension between work and family I would classify as stress. The feeling I had on my Boris Bike last year wasn’t stress – it was panic.

It still happens. Usually when there’s some fundamental question to consider, such as whether anyone will actually be reading websites in 10 years’ time, or whether suits will soon be as outdated as frock coats.

One way I deal with this is through an informal board of directors.

Every six months, five friends give up their evening to let me talk to them about Permanent Style. I give a presentation, I update them on the numbers, I set out our objectives - and I ask them to throw rocks at it.

We’ve done two so far, and it’s gone pretty well. They come from different backgrounds – menswear, media, marketing, finance – and all have a surprising number of views on what PS should be doing.

As with many things, it’s as useful to reinforce opinions I already have as it is to suggest new ones.

I really recommend it to anyone in a similar position. And keep the numbers small. Five is a lot, three is fine, but more than just one – that’s a mentor, and you need to be absolutely sure you want just one voice.

 

The finances of PS are pretty healthy. Advertising continues to grow, and the shop overtook it last year as a share of revenue.

It also feels like a good combination: advertising is steady and highly renewable; retail is profitable but volatile.

As I’ve always said, I never want the shop to get big – it should always be a minor offshoot of what Permanent Style does. And having the two revenue streams makes it easier to do that: there’s no pressure to get a product out early, or even a big problem if one doesn’t work out.

It’s all helped by the fact that traffic continues to grow slowly. A million visitors a year, up 8% on the previous year, up 11% the year before that. I’m sure some of it is down to the fact there are so few good websites left.

So it’s all healthy, in other words. Indeed I could and perhaps should hire someone to help me. That’s still something I’d like to do in the next year or so.

There’s one other thing: I was talking to Daniel Wegan at Gaziano & Girling about it recently.

Whenever I meet people and they ask how it’s going, they frequently use the phrase ‘living the dream’. As in, ‘what’s it like, living the dream?’

It doesn’t feel like that.

I’m incredibly fortunate to be doing something I love, and in particular to produce something that people appreciate so much. There are few jobs where someone – every now and again – will tap you on the shoulder at a bus stop and say how much they like what you do.

But most of the time it feels like a job. Daniel put it well - he said, “I love making shoes, but if I spent every minute of my 70-hour week ecstatic about how beautiful shoes are, I’d be a crazy person.”

You can do that when it’s a hobby – when it’s the exception. Not when it’s the rule.

Daniel again: “Every day you have work to do, and you have a set of problems to solve. A good day is when you solved them all, and you made what you knew you were capable of: a beautiful shoe. But you knew you could do that, there’s no surprise. It’s satisfaction, not thrill.”

I still get thrills and inspiration – products (our white oxford), photography (the current cover of Esquire), or people (Gauthier Borsarello). 

But not every day. And that’s how you get the sad situation that praise from readers seems normal, but spiteful comments hurt. (Though that might also be the evil of social media.)

Most days, when I get into Mortimer House, get my laptop and sit down, the feeling is of doing a job.

So it’s nice to write something like this and remind myself how well it’s all going – eighteen months on. Thank you for indulging me – I hope you found interesting at the least, and perhaps even useful.

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Fu Pei

Maybe I havn’t writen long enough, I love doing it, I use every minute I have to research and write. I feel I am pushed by passion.
But after 11 years, I guess you are right.

Anonymous

What’s the cover of Esquire!?!
But mainly…
Thank you Simon. Thank you.

Felix VL

Thanks Simon

Christopher

Dear Simon,

great and valuable article! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and panic and the honest and reflective words!

JDV

I can really relate to this.
I too had a hobby that was bringing in more money than my mainjob. While I liked my job, my hobby was so much more fulfilling. So after 5 years juggling both occupations, I decided to focus on my hobby fulltime. But the truth is, that once your hobby becomes your income, it somehow stops to be your hobby. I think it’s mainly because now it’s something you have to do, rather than something you can do. Anyhow, once you had the joy to make a living with your former hobby, going back is basically impossible. So in the end it’s still a major win.

P.S. Image No 4; Do I see a green tweed, or is it just the light that makes your Caliendo seam that way?

Raffles

What I always say to people – and I have two employees now on my frequent flyer site – is that the problem with turning your hobby into your job is that you need to find a new hobby …..

Erik

Keep up the good work Simon!

Anon (as always...)

Simon,

Very interesting article, thank you. You should know that as someone who is very time poor (demanding job, tedious commute, nocturnal baby…) yours is the first website I check on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I consider it an indulgence and I enjoy every new article. Perhaps more so, I really enjoy the comments and the discussion that each article provokes. PS continues to challenge me not only to think about how and why I dress for work and every day life, but also those things that might not be so obviously associated to these things, such as manners, gentility, provenance of goods and trades.

Genuinely, thank you (and sorry you’ve had to waste time moderating this comment!).

Sartorius

Great post Simon, and very interesting. I left full-time employment 8 years ago to set up on my own, so continue on a similar journey. I love the flexibility but I can never really switch off, and I don’t think anyone in self-employent can ever feel ‘comfortable’, which you draw out nicely in your piece. I also like the board of directors idea – must look into that myself. Glad, anyway, that PS is going well – good luck and keep it up!

Oliver

Interesting piece Simon.

This intrigued me: “It led to some minor revelations and resolutions which I jotted down as soon as I arrived.”

What were they?

Carl

Great and relatable article. You mention that there are few similar webpages today and I really agree. I wonder why you really have no good competition. Parisiangentleman is so snobbish and Bespoke Dudes too irregular. Your closest “competition” is dieworkwear and Manolo here in Sweden. Unfortunately Manolo has been changed in a way that makes it much less reader friendly (even if I still very much appreciates the articles that Andreas is writing there). I think it is rather strange actually.

Andrey

Thank you Simon! It’s a great and inspiring read, as usual. And also no questions via emails – duly noted 🙂

Another Alex

Thank you for sharing this insight, Simon. As somebody who is coming up to 12 months since quitting full-time employment and going self-employed, it’s nice to see so much of my own experience echoed here. I’ve also tried to maintain a 9-to-5 structure to my work day, albeit with the caveat that it inevitably goes out the window during crunch points throughout the year as clients in my line of work rarely adhere to deadlines. Having spent this first year working from home, I’ve come to miss my daily commute to work (which consisted of a 45-minute walk along the Thames into the City – I doubt I would have missed a sweaty and cramped tube journey nearly as much), so am considering finding a space to work out of during the week.

Apologies if this all sounds rather self-obsessed, but I wanted to share my appreciation for the article. It has been interesting to watch the site grow from when I first started visiting it, and to see you take a more personal approach with your writing in some instances.

Robin

So it’s not a “get rich easy” story !?

Very well written and honest in a English way .
Particularly like the honesty about spiteful comments . A less honest response would have been “water off a duck’s back …. I look at the positive etc “.

Just one question . PS is very much you and only you and you are the brand .
So as time passes what’s the legacy plan ?

Robin

In the meantime please do look both ways when crossing the road, cycle carefully and keep your distance from London buses !

Anonymous

Simon
Side note – have you heard of Natalino? Looks quite good easy style but havent seen many reviews.

JH

The thing I can’t work out is how you ever managed to do the third of this full time job (writing 3 articles a week) on top of a full time day job for so long? Presumably in that period it really did take a good chunk of late nights and weeekends? And I’d guess that factory visits, Pitti and so on had to come out of annual leave? Do you feel like there was a significant cost to pay (in work-life imbalance) in the “ramp up” period before getting to your current point of balance?

JH

By the way, kudos for doing it that way. It’s refreshing to see someone who’s made sure that their business is going to work financially before committing (or I guess, in reality, increasing your commitment to it over time with going full time just being the last step on that scale) rather than going all-in with no sense of whether or not it would support you. Some good lean product management principles put into practice there 😉

Mak Takahashi

It’s great to hear about your journey in turning Permanent Style into your 9 to 5. Wishing you continued success in curating this excellent resource

Caustic Man

Another insightful piece. Thank you for taking the time to let us in on this aspect of the business. You know we menswear junkies love reading about all the minutiae of, not only the clothes, but the business of being in the business. That said, I think your assessment of social media is a little off the mark. True, it can be an unsavory place since it is, essentially, a rolling comment section. And we know how bad comment sections can get. But, instagram in particular, can be a very stimulating place if you interact with people in more than a “drive them to the website” kind of way. You are correct in saying that there are many evils within social media but perhaps you are also not using it to its best, most positive, ends. Just a thought to chew on if you care too. Cheers.

Nicolas Stromback

Hi Simon,

I find it interesting that you managde to do all this work before while you still had a dayjob. That must´ve been a challenge to say the least.

Fernando

Feels so good when someone talks about this. Thank you for the honest comment, I’m glad everything it’s working out fine

Samuel

I’ve read your blog pretty much from the start and it’s been fascinating following your journey, Simon. Your style and quality of writing combined with your values is very rare and you certainly deserve the success you’ve achieved which allows you to work on this full-time. The work you’ve put in to it must be considerable, let alone without a full-time job and young family. There will always be spiteful comments, unfortunately, but I think your success and reputation speaks for itself. Keep doing what you’re doing. Look forward to where you go with it in the next ten years!

Chancellor

Thanks for sharing. I’ve always been amazed at how frequently you get comments moderated and responses done, so I hope you don’t feel too guilty about unmoderated comments.

You mention two revenue streams: advertising and the shop. What about freelance writing fees? Or do you consider that to be separate from Permanent Style since it isn’t part of the web site?

Daniel Cooper

Thanks, Simon. This all rings very true! I set out my own shingle 7 years ago. I’m mostly no longer in a regular office and only with clients a few times a week, but I’ve found it’s best to still dress in work mode to feel in work mode. Hence I do love a good PS ‘office casual’ piece. Haha. Mostly good times, but anyone who says, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” has not just come from a session with the accountant!

Johannes

Very nice and interesting article, thanks! Noticed the mentioning of a white oxford, will that be similar to the blue and striped oxford cloth? And will it be available soon?

Mark

Keep up the great work, Simon.

I don’t agree with everything you write. However, there’s no denying that your website has been an invaluable resource for me over the last few years, and it pleases me enormously that your business is thriving.

Ronald

Thanks for your great work, Simon.

Evan Everhart

Hi Simon,

I’ve been reading yr blog intermittently for some years now, and more regularly including any missing backlog of yr excellent and informative articles for the past year or so. I think I’ve only recently begun to comment or correspond, but I may have thrown in a straw comment in years prior – I couldn’t speak to that though.

Long and the short of this, is this; I’ve immensely enjoyed Permanent Style over the years, especially yr excruciatingly polite and level headed responses to even the most egregiously rude and inappropriate comments. I salute you upon that, and also upon never participating in the bandying about of nastiness and cattiness that is unfortunately so very prevalent on this internet which we all seem to inhabit for part of every day.

I might add that the calm and friendly and courteous demeanor and candor which you have shown throughout is one of the things which I have appreciated most, particularly upon such subject matter where demagogy, pandering, and high handedness and back biting have sadly become the norm.

I am quite familiar with the subject matter, having grown up in a family which has made clothing for generations, and who are known as veritable clothes horses, but I always enjoy yr perspective and conduct.

In short, thank you, Sir. I pray that you have continued success in yr endeavor and that it continues to bring you joy and satisfaction. I salute you!

REUVEN L LAX

My main hobby for main years has been Lindy Hop – a type of swing dance that was popular in the 1930s. Daniel Wegan also comes from this world – I remember him as a presence at a dance camp in Sweden years ago. I have many friends who became professional dancers or dance instructors, with the same idea of “living the dream.” Invariably their experience has been that it becomes a job, and sometimes a grueling one. The same has been true with friends who became writers, photographers, singers, etc. Doing what you love involves a lot of regular work!

Michael

Thank you, Simon. Nice post.

Apologies if my question is a bit personal, but i’d curious to know. How do the economics of PS compare to your previous job? Was your decision to commit to PS a trade off between leaving a more stable, corporate role to pursue something with more growth and where you had a passion, but less well-paid and uncertain, or did/do the economics of PS even now stack up more favourably?

Thanks,
Michael

Nick Inkster

Good evening Simon

I wrote to congratulate you and wish you luck when you took the plunge and launched yourself fully into your PS world.

Many congratulations of the continuing success, which doesn’t come by chance.

Whilst I don’t post much these days, I am a regular reader and, as has been said, whilst some of your articles have greater broader appeal than others, it is nonetheless a great achievement that you should be rightly proud of.

Keep it up; when I went from employee to homeworker, the separation between working hours and non working hours was the biggest challenge to a stable private life. Good if you have found that balance.

Kind regards

Justin FitzPatrick

Great read and story Simon. You have a tremendous job at it. And I know just how it feels. Be proud of what you have achieved!

Anonymous

It’s 30 years of self-employment for me now…. there are a few things I’ve found out along the way – you need to work with really smart collaborators some of the time to shake you out of the routine way of thinking that has the potential to become ‘normal’ driven by the constant need to meet deadlines; you need to find another hobby that has nothing to do with work, something that just every so often you can bury yourself in to get away from every other pressure but not something that demands routine attention (which then becomes just another pressure); you need to give time to the family – Simon I’m glad to see you’ve got that particular message already – I got there very late.

Michael

Very interesting. Thank you, Simon

Robert Giaimo

Simon first off I would like to thank you for the work you are doing. I have many interests–fashion, food, contemporary art, music and vintage sports cars to name a few. My friends and wife are always suggesting I take these avocations and turn them into something more, but then it would all change and it would become work. You are fortunate to do something you enjoy, but never the less it is still work. Again thank you for letting us benefit from your labors.

Peter O

Dear Simon,
Since you haven’t published a natal horoscope, no astrological advice.
Are helmets obligatory for cyclists where you ride?
I think your big problem is clarification of what you want to have achieved in ten years, not what you call fundamental questions. You are overqualified and too intelligent for PS as it is now – you need higher goals?

Joe

Thank you for what you do, Simon. As an American who’s read (and learned from) your site for years and has just relocated to the U.K., I hope to be the random stranger on the bus to thank you in person!

Michael

Thank you. Very interesting, Simon.

I enjoy these more reflective posts that you write from time to time and hope that you will continue to include them. They add a more human touch to the reviews and other more technical themes on the website.

Ben

As you know, your engagement in the comment section is a substantial reason why I regularly visit this site. I very much appreciate your managing the inevitable unpleasantness that comes with the work.

I’ve walked around the Mortimer once and really like that space. No standing desks though.

Vaibhav

“You can do that when it’s a hobby – when it’s the exception. Not when it’s the rule.”

Couldn’t agree more. This emotion though, is not limited to creative fields of work only. My fiancee, who is a PhD scholar, finds a dip in her scientific temperament, every time there is a strong push to churn out research papers.

Appreciate you not putting up a facade of passion into building PS.

Mike Wedge

Fantastic article Simon – great work for taking the plunge!

Sam

Simon,

I think the consistency of the update schedule is one of the big reasons I come back to your site. So many blogs fall to content droughts or increasingly erratic lengths between posts, so it’s definitely to be commended.

It’s interesting you mention spiteful comments – did you find it easier to deal with them when the blog was more of a “hobby” than a living? I’ve always been impressed with how equitably you respond to them, I’d be much less charitable if I got that level of criticism about something I was ultimately putting out for people to enjoy for free!

Nigel C

Simon, Great to read this. I know many have been asking you about these points. As well as reading your and others’ blogs I find also on my morning drive to work I pull down podcasts from, amongst others, some of the menswear guys: Blamo!, Aleks Cvetkovic, Pedro Mendes et al. The style comments are interesting but the whole concept of the journeys of those they talk to and also the interviewer’s own input is the fascinating thing for me.
It makes me realise that not only have you been on this journey since you started but you’ve brought many of us on a journey too – well, certainly me. The life philosophies and experiences shared have had an impact – not to mention the odd costly clothing purchase idea and nudge! The concept of what a life well lived is has been broadened by what I’ve read and heard. The comments from readers usually have something to offer and they make you think.
Thank you for your part in this. It’s been great so far and much more important than the odd whiffy comment from someone with an axe to grind.
Best wishes N

Oliver

Lovely insights Simon.

Limekiln

As usual, a nicely written and open piece. I am very admiring of the many people, like you, who work for themselves and, largely, by themselves. The existential uncertainty hovering in the background surely can’t be easy, even when your métier is something successful that you’re also passionate about.
I just wonder, how do those at Mortimer House who know what you do view your “line of work”? As we know, this domain remains extremely niche and I imagine many must scratch their head and wonder “honestly, you make a living writing about…liking clothes” (or similar)?

ANM

Simon,

I believe some clarification on labeling is required. You don’t have a ‘job’ , but are an entrepreneur.

Congratulations are in order, you are succeeding, and all of your readers are thankful that you are.

Tom in New Hampshah

Simon, I thank you for the remarkable candor. All of your writing reflects the same genuine spirit. I think clothes are for living in, not showing off, and I get that sense from everything PS produces. On the self-employment front, my wife does not think I have had regular employment since I left the all encompassing bosom of the big multinational in 1990, but we have prospered, and more importantly, we have had fun – and still do. I advise many younger folks to do what excites them, as they will likely be good at it, and as a result, be able to make a go of it.

RUSS

24 years ago I left a large professional services firm to start up my own practice. I have experienced everything from working in major international firms to being on my own (where I have always made a decent living: usually better than if I remained employed) to having 14 staff (then downsizing because I was severely buffeted by the last recession). In between (after the recession) I tried working again for a few years for a couple of firms, but each time soon returned to working by myself or with one or two staff. Once you’ve been an entrepreneur with a customer base of your own it’s difficult to work for a boss.

A few thoughts, Simon, from that experience:

1. Some weeks you’re so busy you don’t know how you’re going to cope. Other weeks, work/orders fall off a cliff and you panic as to whether you might have to close the doors. That’s just business: you get used to it;

2. The uncertainty of working for yourself is better than the challenge of working for and pleasing a boss . As long as the customers seem happy, the direction is right and the customers usually aren’t as difficult as a boss who is greedy or has personality issues or a career axe to grind;

3. Mentoring is really important (working all the time ‘in’ the business stops you working ‘on’ the business). Do consider joining a “Vistage” type group. Vistage benefitted me enormously and was well worth the yearly (tax deductible) cost. The ability to share hopes, fears and ambitions in a confidential forum with a group of intelligent people who also have set up businesses is invaluable and will also give you new ideas of how to expand the business and realise future value from it;

4. Be really careful in whom you employ. Don’t skimp (as too many new bosses do) on a good employment contract and related paperwork from the start and make sure there is a performance trial period built in. Do consider a terminable consultancy arrangement as an alternative to taking on someone you aren’t sure of. Do consider employing staff in a different company from your main trading company. From your writing, you seem a fair and balanced chap, but don’t procrastinate about firing someone you are uncomfortable about or who doesn’t respond to training. And always “recruit for attitude” because a newbie you can train – as long as he/she has a desire to be the best and believes in the work. Don’t make promises to staff you’ll later come to regret, because they’ll hold you to those, whether or not you are in a position to deliver on them. Do consider an employment law package which has an insurance back-up to pay the costs of defending a claim. Be really careful before you take on a business partner and always negotiate a shareholders agreement on day one.

5. Taking the work with you does get in the way of family (I regret the times I wasn’t there for my kids because I had some work issue) but that’s the way of modern working and its no different for anyone working with mobile technology, whether you have your own business or not. I found that leaving the phone in the hotel safe for the day and spending an hour only on it before dinner doing urgent stuff was a good holiday compromise.

6. Ignore the crappy adverse social media comments. Most come from opinionated, rude tossers who probably wouldn’t have the guts to risk setting up their own businesses. Years ago I met Denis Thatcher who told me his wife would sometimes get really upset by the media criticism. His said his advise to her was “Margaret, keep your mouth shut in response and sod the lot of ’em”.

7. Finally, enjoy the journey. It’s far more fun than the end point, where most entrepreneurs I know (even the ones who sold out for millions) say “So was that it?” and then start another business because they would otherwise be bored propping up the golf course bar.

Felix vL

Great post – enjoyed the growth percentage numbers in particular…

Are you still in touch with your old colleagues, to see how they are doing? At what point did you decide that PS had enough potential to go for it?

Michael Dobbs

Thank you for posting this. I left a job I worked at for fifteen years last month to move to a new city. I hated the job for the past eight years and am so glad to be out of it even though I currently am doing some freelance work for my sister’s company to earn a little money but nowhere near the amount I made at my last job.
You have given me hope that things will work out even if I have to work harder than I had previously. Thanks again for the inspirational story.

Joe

Very nice piece.

Iadbound

Simon,

Glad to see it’s going well.

Question for you: much like your office, my office is business casual (some still wear suits & ties most days) and I’m planning on commissioning a bespoke sports coat and a pair of grey flannel pants. Any suggestions on a fabric for the coat — ideally a nice fall-winter-spring fabric and a color I can wear with most anything? Perhaps something like your oatmeal Loro Piana fabric?

P.S. I’ve got a navy bespoke suit already.

Thanks.

Iabound

Thanks. I’ll look for the new fabrics.

Sam

I liked the article. I see where you are coming from; a hobby can only really be a hobby so long as you don’t have to do it.

On the topic of comments don’t feel bad about not getting to them right away. It’s wonderful having some so knowledgeable and experienced about bespoke tailoring answer your questions.

My favorite part of your site is your ‘tailor styles’ series. I love seeing all the different styles of bespoke tailoring, reading the write-up and looking at the pictures. I hope you do more of them, and do ‘Tailor Styles’ articles for some other tailors you’ve commissioned pieces from, like Whitcomb & Shaftesbury and Dege & Skinner.

Your wardrobe must be getting pretty full, but I hope you keep commissioning clothes if only to review them for your audience.

Michael Samorzewski

It’s not correct to say “I’m incredibly fortunate to be doing something I love”. The reality is; you took a big risk and it’s working, congratulations.

Hello Simon,

thank you for your post. Very interesting.
Have you experimented in writing more with pen and paper and then finalizing in a digital format?
I think one of the worst things in modern office jobs is that we are forced to spend unhealhy amount of time infront of a computer. And now that you are your own boss, maybe you have found a way to reduce the time spent infront of a display.

Joseph

A fantastic telling, Simon! This article conveys the reality of your situation so vividly, while providing solid nuggets of advice and inspiration.

For lack of a better word, I’m hyped. I seriously have to put in more time for my writing. Thanks for sharing your experiences and the practical wisdom you’ve built up along the way.

Patrick Bateman

Simon, Another interesting piece and a great insight into your commitment to the website.
I’m a keen supporter of British business and try to buy British where ever possible. With the impending Brexit deadline is there any mileage in a focus on where to buy quality items that are designed and manufactured in the UK?
I’ve bought smedley and sunspel for many years. From your recommendation I have developed a passion for private white . I’ll hopefully order the ps bridge coat in the next few weeks.
Thanks keep up the great work

Matt Spaiser

Hearing your story is fascinating, Simon. I have my own menswear blog but it’s just a hobby for me. I can easily understand what is involved and how social media isn’t much fun but how necessary it is. But I know people who love it, which I don’t understand. I am committed to my blog and posting regularly, even though I don’t always want to. I enjoy it, but having a life outside of it makes it difficult to do what I want to with it. Still, I push myself to do what is necessary because I care. How you put in this effort before you quit your old job I can’t even understand! You have always done an incredible job with this site.

Anonymous

Simon, i’m wondering how PS started to gain traction (i.e. readership)? I’m currently writing on shoesavante.com and am trying to write consistently (twice a week). Was your writing consistency the main reason? It’s a fun hobby and I enjoy following what people like to read.

Bradley

Dear Simon
What a lovely, honest article and how kind of you to share it.
With an increase in small businesses and the desire to get out of the corporate world, i should think you are the envy of most of us who read your articles. All that can be said is – well done.
Love your new office – good choice. Incidentally, I do not see you anymore in the park or around Bellenden Road shops – does your success mean you have also moved house?
Again – well done
Regards
Bradley

Jackpot

It’s great to hear about your journey in turning Permanent Style into your 9 to 5. Wishing you continued success in curating this excellent resource

Michal

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience.
Great idea with ‘board of directors’
from different background
I keep my fingers crossed! Good luck!

Anonymous

Does PS run on WordPress? How long did it take since you started writing in 2008 that your site started to get 100+ views a day?

Anonymous

Hi Simon, for PS how did you make the settings on WordPress so that only certain brands like A&S and Edward Green, etc. advertise on your front page? I want to start monetizing my blog, but I don’t want random ads to pop up — I want specific men’s clothing advertisements like the ones you have listed to be at the forefront.

Anonymous

Did you hire your own developer to tweak the CSS, or did Word press offer their services? I’m not sure what steps I have to take. Thanks~

Russ

Simon, when you next do a website rejig could you take a look please at the order in which comments appear? Right now I find I have to scroll right down the relevant blog page to read the latest comment via my iPhone, then scroll all the way back up to the start to add my own comment. It should be relatively simple to have the latest comments on each topic appear at the top of the list.

Russ

All good ideas, Simon. Will leave it to you to decide, but everything in one place, rather than at either end of the scroll, will help.