The Permanent Style Watch Cap is finally available again, in the popular navy and mid-grey.
Although the grey we did originally was well received, a lot of people commented that something a shade darker - more the colour of classic flannels - would be more versatile.
So we've tweaked that this time, to the colour you can see above and below, shot in the rain a few months ago.
The nice thing about both navy and grey, of course, is that it is possible to wear them with similarly coloured clothing. A grey knit under a grey jacket can work, as can a navy watch cap with a navy coat.
The outfit here demonstrates this in a way, as the top half is a layering of navy.
It's a navy-cashmere roll neck (Edward Sexton) under a dark-denim Type 1 jacket (Bryceland's) under the navy wool/cashmere Bridge Coat (Permanent Style/Private White VC).
I could even have worn the navy watch cap as well, but went with grey, largely for variation.
I particularly liked the contrasting textures in this layering, mixing classic, more luxurious pieces with stiffer workwear.
The Bridge Coat is sold out in everything except XXL, unfortunately, and there won't be any more until next Autumn/Winter. We will operate a waiting list though.
For those not familiar with the story of the Watch Cap, it re-creates the design of a pair I got in Naples years ago.
They're smaller than other cashmere beanies, which means they can sit higher on the head and look smarter as a result.
Personally I find most cashmere hats like this are too big, covering the whole head from neck to eyebrows. That's warmer, but looks very casual and ill-suited to tailoring.
These, by contrast, look great with a sharp overcoat - which is particularly useful for those that don't like wearing brimmed hats or a flat cap.
So while the hats are made for us by Johnston's in Scotland, the shape and make is unique.
And we upped the quality in a few ways from those original inspirations, including tighter knitting and flatter pressing, both of which emphasise the clean look.
Another small design aspect is that we fold them up, twice, and sew them down in this position. It replicates something I did by hand with my original pair.
The hats cost £65 (ex-VAT) and are available on the shop site now.
I've put a few Watch-Cap photos below from PS over the years, both to show the different ways the hats can be worn, and for styling more generally.
That includes the choice - not my style but certainly that of others - of wearing the hat on the back of the head. The smaller size helps with that too.
There are close-up product images on the shop page.
All photography, Jamie Ferguson, except the one below. Because, well, he's in it. I took that one.
I had already one in blue – now I finally ordered the grey one. By far my favorite PS-product. Thank you for making them again. And I hope for some new colors next year – maybe some muted red or subtle donegal?!
Oh good, that’s so nice to hear Jeldrik.
Red would be nice yes – and the cream we did last time is so useful.
… that was quick. Thank you for the fast delivery. As last year: My favourite watch cap/ Beanie. The grey is also lovely.
Just a quick question , all be it irrelevant to the current article .
What should be the distance from bottom of sleeve to first button opening on a jacket ?
Also is this a feature that a customer can specify on MTM ?
Personally I find closer to sleeve (about 3cm ) is better than further.
The general rule is around 1 and a 1/4 inches so 3cm is on the money. This is from the end of sleeve to centre of 1st buttonhole. Whether this is available to be varied would depend on the MTM outfit. As 1 1/4 inches is normal then it may just be a question of confirming that the particular company use this standard.
Hi Simon, are there any plans for another run of the cream watch caps? Thanks!
Not currently, no
Really like the look of this. Is there any branding of either Johnstons of Elgin or Permanent style on the hat such as an inner label?
No, just a small care label
Just another shout out for the ‘ PS/PW Trench’.
What a sartorial masterpiece it is. I’m now into my second season with this and on the $ per wear barometer, it’s off the Richter scale.
I just wish other flaneurs would desist from stoping me in the street and asking me where I got it.
Any feedback from those with big heads (62cm)? Overstretching etc.
Mine’s 60. I wouldn’t worry about it getting too big to be honest. I’d worry about very small heads if anything
Does a 56.5cm head size fall into the small category?
It’s borderline. I think you should be ok, but worth trying. There are free returns so hopefully that makes a trial process easier
What about my Archibald London comment?
Apologies, missed that one.
The Archibald ones look nice, but that’s the same mainstream design that these are aimed to be different to
The Archibald caps are 4 ply cashmere made by Johnstons in Hawick.
Thanks, yes. And I’m sure they’re great – just a different shape/style
Although it seems like mid-grey was in demand, I’m very happy with the cream. The cream color provides a nice bit of contrast, which I find quite nice in accessories. E.g., although I have black and dark leather gloves, my favorite are a tan color – they provide a nice pop of color. Same goes for the cream colored hat. Horses for courses, I suppose. That said, I will probably buy another one in navy as alternative to the cream (which I usually keep in my PS bridge coat)
PS – for those who are concerned, I have an average sized head and have no trouble having it cover my ears if it’s particularly cold. All you have do is make the “cuff” on the hat slightly smaller.
Caps look sharp
What jackets are you wearing in the 5th (Reddish Brown Jacket) and 6th (Green Jacket) photos? Both look great. Are there more photos of either/both elsewhere on the site?
The 5th is my Cordings raglan coat and the 6th is my Zizolfi tweed jacket. Yes info on both if you have a search
I like the styling of the watch cap with, rollneck and denim jacket under the bridge coat. Is this an outfit you would wear/have worn outside of that shoot Simon?
Yes Colin, absolutely. I’d always only show things is be happy wearing every day.
Its only limitation, I would say, is that you need to be also happy with how it looks without the bridge coat – so just the denim jacket and the roll neck.
just bought one from Archibald London.
If you could mention the circumference and length from tip to bottom of the sides of the watch cap, that would be immensely helpful! I’ve found I quite like Johnsons beanies since they tend to fit a lighter tighter than most brands and work well for a smaller head, and I was wondering how much smaller these would be. Thanks!
Hi Simon, you mention a waiting list for next year’s run of Bridge Coats, how does one put their name down?
PS I am very happy with my watch cap – which is now on it’s second winter. An excellent product – thank you.
Oh good, that’s nice to hear.
With all waiting lists you just need to email [email protected]. Maria (my wife) looks after them.
That XXL should have my name on it but haven’t had chance to speak to Russell/Graham Browne on the cost of alterations to know the total cost
As you do more and more selling do you feel, ever, at all conflicted with reviewing?
Yes, that’s always something I have at the back of my mind. It’s one reason I try to keep the shop pretty small.
But it’s also a more basic question of integrity, and over time that’s been shown and recognised by readers I think. Reviews of other products that might be similar to PS ones are still extremely enthusiastic, and some are even recommended above PS ones (eg recent post on polo shirts and those from the Armoury).
It’s also good to be open about that and talk about it, so thank you.
Bit late to this and the grey have all sold – I know you have a returns policy, so do you run any kind of reserve list for if any come back?! Would love to pick this up finally….
Yes Ant, you can email [email protected] in case any come back
Hi Simon, your grey cap went on sale this Monday. By Wednesday sold out. Is that it ? Thanks
Yes Harry, sorry. Except for those on the waiting list, who got an alert about them coming into stock a couple of days before.
Sorry, we didn’t anticipate them selling them that quickly
Hope next time you do a run of these you’ll do the grey again–clearly a popular choice!
I have one of your watch caps, in cream, it’s lovely. My favourite beanie is about 10-15 years old by Johnston, but is in bad shape now and Johnstons have no plans to make it again.
Can you recommend or just know of someone/a company who can make one for me like a custom piece?
I’m also looking to get my current one repaired if you can advise?
I’d really appreciate your help and any help other readers have to offer.
Best wishes for Christmas and the new year,
Custom is going to be unlikely Joel – an order with any factory is going to require a minimum, say 50 pieces.
If you want a custom one, maybe try and find a hand knitter? Perhaps even someone in your family that can knit.
The only repairer I’ve tried is Love Cashmere, if you haven’t asked them
I’ve had good results in getting custom knits from Anne Stewart in Campbelltown.
The top 2-3 pictures are a great everyday look.
I received my Watch Caps last week. The are really stylish and exactly what I was lookning for. They fit me very well. Well done Simon!
Lovely to hear. Thanks Stefan.
Just wondering if there are plans for another run of the watch cap in grey (or a different colour) before winter 2020?
Watch caps are coming back in late October. There will be grey, cream and a new colour.
Will there be a restock in navy?
Not with this batch, no, but we’re just getting confirmation for another one early next year
Guess I’ll just have to go with the grey one, then. 😊 The cream one I ordered arrived this morning and it’s even better than I was expecting.
Well that’s always lovely to hear
Hi Simon, I’m extremely tempted by a your cream watch cap, when it is back in stock. However, I wear glasses and I often worry that: 1) glasses and a hat are too busy together I.e. too many accessories, and 2) the arms of the glasses tend to change the form of the hat around the temples, causing it to bulge out. I know you wear glasses sometimes; do you encounter these issues with your watch cap? Many thanks.
I know what you mean, but no I don’t have that issue. I guess because it’s a little smaller than most cashmere hats like this.
The cream is back in stock now by the way – it came in last week.
Hi Simon. Sitting outside nursing a coffee, in Covent Garden this afternoon, I was chuffed to receive ( from an adjacent table ), an unsolicited compliment on my cream PS Watch Cap. It has made my day!
Lovely! Thanks for letting me know Daniel
I know these beauties are coming back shortly, and when I heard you mention a black version coming recently, My ears went up immediately. Especially after seeing you in yours, in the recent Wax Walker article.
That being said, as someone purchasing their first watch cap, what colour would you recommend out of the 3 (or sorry 4? forgot red)? I’ve narrowed it down to navy, grey or black, however I know you’ll have a recommendation as a first one.
Cold colour capsule wardrobe, outerwear wise, it will be worn mostly with a brown Chapal bomber or the upcoming donegal raglan (occasionally a charcoal Herno down parka, when absolute practicality is required). Something tells me, black might provide a nice edge?
Black would be nice, yes, though I think grey or navy are always going to be the most versatile. I’d go with grey, even if the Herno is grey. Navy would be a bit smart for the Chapal I think
Hi Simon, to add to Chris’ question, I am planning to pick up two watch caps.
The first being grey, what would you recommend for the second between navy and black? Worn mostly with a navy peacoat and the upcoming Donegal coat. Alternatively, how would you compare the navy and black stylistically?
I’d go with navy rather than black. Again, I just think you’ll find it more versatile – better with the navy pea coat certainly
Hey Simon, hope all’s well.
So, I went with Navy for my first watch cap, love it. In fact, I’ve probably worn it a bit too much and naturally that means, I need another! Without a doubt you were correct, Navy is great with everything, except a bit too smart and rich for the leather bomber as you rightly said. Grey next to solve that problem.
One question I have and you may have faced this at some point. The stiching that keeps the fold on each side, has come unstitched on one side. Wearing it as we speak, but still would like to get it repaired. Now, I don’t particularly want to pay cashmere circle prices just for this very minor repair, although I do intend to use them at some point in the future. Do you reckon a competent seamstress could handle this one?
Absolutely. In fact, you could do it yourself very easily. I’ve done it myself. You just need a small stitch the same as the other side
Thanks for that. I’ll give that a go, being so minor and considering I might need to do it again in the future. Confident it’s within my capabilities.
How big is your head?
60cm, but there’s a lot of give in these – I find they can fit down to a 56, and certainly up to 61 or 62.
When you try it on, if you do, please make sure to wear it as I do in the images – low in the front, high in the back. Otherwise it’s too small on everyone, and that’s the style it’s meant for.