Certainly, I’ve found myself using this one from Jean-Manuel Moreau more than I expected since I received it earlier in the year.
This post describes, and illustrates, three ways I’ve liked it in particular.
A nice side effect to this versatility is that it makes a full cream-linen suit easier to justify.
For while the suit is unlikely to be worn at anything but a wedding or garden party, both the trousers and jacket are more useful. You can see examples with the cream trousers here. (And a similar pair in Florence, here.)
Outfit 1: Formal
The easiest partner for a cream jacket is a pair of lightweight grey trousers.
They can be a high-twist wool, cotton gabardine or (if you like the cloth) worsted flannel. But grey is always an effective foil for something as bright as cream.
And once you have the cream and grey together, almost any shirts look nice: a blue linen, a butcher’s stripe, even madras or denim.
Indeed the choice of shirt pivots the whole look, given how much of a blank canvas the cream and grey are. It can be wedding-formal (with a white shirt), playful (a bright pattern) or much more casual (perhaps denim).
My favourite is pink. Pink’s always nice with grey, but I think it is especially attractive with the grey and cream together.
This particular shirt is the pink PS Oxford, which is really a little heavy for summer. But I don’t have a pink-linen shirt yet. (I’m currently in the process of correcting that, with D’Avino.)
The grey/brown handkerchief helps tie the outfit together, I think, reflecting the colours below the waist. In fact this is a good example of where adding a pocket handkerchief really enhances the outfit, rather than being a default (see our recent discussion on the rarity of hanks).
On the feet are black-suede loafers. Dark brown would work too, but black is often nicer with a bright colour like pink.
Outfit 2: Tonal
The best alternative to grey trousers, I find, is brown.
Particularly a pale brown, like the cotton gabardine shown here (they’re the trousers from my Elia Caliendo suit).
The advantage of brown over grey, of course, is that it looks less business-like, and formal. There is less suggestion here of a wedding or some other daytime event.
The lighter shade (café au lait?) also feels more summery than a dark one.
I liked this jacket and trouser combination when worn a white shirt and dark-brown loafers. The result was pleasingly tonal, contemporary even. Tortoiseshell sunglasses help too. It feels earthy, natural and relaxed.
The loafers are the Sagan Classic from Baudoin & Lange. The sunglasses are from EB Meyrowitz.
Thanks to the lovely Spinach cafe for letting us shoot outside.
Outfit 3: Colourful
I’d describe that previous outfit as very me. It achieves my persistent aim of looking subtle and understated, in tailoring.
The third outfit is a gear change. Here, I wanted to show how well a cream jacket can work with strong colours – if that’s more your thing.
So the shirt is a broad awning stripe, the trousers a dark olive and the handkerchief a hot pink. Even the sunglasses (from Bryceland’s) have a coloured lens.
It would work without the handkerchief. It would also be smarter with the grey trousers shown in outfit one. They’d both be nice combinations.
But this shows how nice a playground the jacket is for colour. Even a bright tie wouldn’t be amiss.
The shirt is a cotton/linen, made by D’Avino. The handkerchief is from Anderson & Sheppard – a souvenir from a event years ago they did with LimoLand. The trousers are ready-made from Paul Stuart (I have yet to find the same dark olive as cut-length linen.)
Dark-brown suede loafers serve to ground the outfit, and send the eye back up again to the colour up top. They are, like the black suede, the Belgravia from Edward Green.
As I said, I was surprised how often I wore this jacket, and the different styles it could accommodate.
I commissioned the suit as a replacement for an old one from Kent Haste & Lachter, which was too structured (and on which I made poor design decisions) to work well as a jacket. But I never expected it to be this useful.
I’d go as far as to say it should be in the top three or four jackets for summer – alongside a brown or green wool/silk/linen (like my Solito), a navy hopsack (Ettore de Cesare) and something in the tan/oatmeal area (Caliendo).
Jacket part of a made-to-measure suit by Jean-Manuel Moreau – review here
Photography: Alex Natt @adnatt
Perhaps it’s the fact that these looks do without a tie, but I’m finding the jacket of the suit works much better in these outfits as opposed to the outfit in your original review of the full suit. Do you think this sort of jacket would work as well dressed down with chinos (say olive or stone) on the bottom half, or is that too casual?
The make of it should be OK for that casual use, yes. Though this material is perhaps a little smart for that, and I’d hesitate to say so definitively without having tried a more casual cloth
Thanks for the response, Simon. I see what you mean regarding the cloth – perhaps having the jacket in a darker colour, such as tobacco, would offset the formality of the cloth? It would also possibly pair more effectively with jeans as with Mark Cho’s outfit below. Incidentally, and apologies if this has been addressed but I’m not seeing it in the article, but could you provide details of the grey trousers in the first outfit?
Yes, perhaps. It would be nice to have the cloth a little slubbier or in someway more casual in texture too. A lighter weight of linen would do that a little too, given how much more it wrinkles.
The trousers are from The Disguisery, in Crispaire
I’ve been looking at a cream jacket or suit for a long time, and this just reassures I should really get one.
Above all all great examples of how to wear it. I’d also recommend Mark Cho’s styling tips of his cream/ivory suit here https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_fjOLMH158/. He shows it with jeans and a madras style shirt, as well as different shirt and tie combinations, quite useful.
I also really liked the combination Dag wore in your recent talk, with a brown polo underneath. Then again, it’s hardly surprising the Saman Amel team wears this look well.
Yeah, Mark does that really well. Personally I wouldn’t wear it with jeans and trainers like that, but madras is great with it. That shirt of his would look nice with grey trosuers or olive
At the end of last year I bought an (unstructured canvas ) cream jacket for just the sort of weather we’re enjoying at the moment. The colour really does make me feel good and one striking option is pairing it with jeans and a plain navy casual shirt. Quite dramatic but lots of fun.
Thanks Daniel, nice suggestion
All very nice but don’t you think it resembles one of the waiters at Gran Caffe Gambrinus just down the street from Solito’s atelier?! Gennaro usually calls one of those guys in a cream jacket to bring up the espresso!
Yes that is a disadvantage of the cream jacket, and a lot of broken up pieces of black tie in general. But in reality I don’t think many people would really make that association, given how few actually go to places that have waiters like that.
The difference in how its worn (and made) probably separates it from such a lot even more in a cream jacket than with black tie too.
Fair enough. Where would be your top place to wear that jacket?
I’d wear it most days I was going to the office or town, and in fact wore it with the tonal combination on Monday this week to appointments in Mayfair.
It felt lovely, particularly on such uninterrupted sunny days.
In Italy the standard color of a waiter’s jacket is white (on black trousers) not cream. I’m sure you can find every possible variation these days but that’s the traditional color.
The jacket is lovely and the brown and olive trousers are a great match. To my eye the grey looks too dull for such a summery look. I find that it basically looks off kilter. I’d have likely gone for a silvery grey insteadm but even that wouldn’t have anywhere near the interest of the other two – especially the brown.
Yes I know what you mean. Perhaps a grey cotton would be nice there
The cream/grey combo is the most understated of the outfits which is the point. The pink shirt looks fantastic here and adds just the right amount color, love it!
Totally agreed on the grey, despite grey and cream usually complementing each other perfectly. The outfits with the brown and dark olive trousers are lovely, but the grey trousers and black loafers just look totally at odds (to me anyway) with the summery top half.
Another extremely useful article, you’re on a roll! A cream jacket is something that never crossed my mind really, but these examples show the usefulness of this color for a classic subtle and understated Summer look.
What do you think of pairing a navy linen trouser—or even chino—with a cream (or tan/oatmeal) jacket?
I’m not a big fan of navy linen to be honest – it’s not a great material for the colour, as it takes away all of its richness. The end result often looks a little dusty and tired.
Cream could look nice with a navy chino though, if the jacket were unstructured enough.
What about navy linen shirt though?
That can certainly look nice, yes. I was talking more about tailoring. It’s natural for guys to go to navy as a first colour for linen, but it’s usually not the best
As a suit, this works with all the attendant limitations of cream (£ per wear).
As a jacket, it doesn’t do it for me, it’s just too formal.
If you are going to do cream in a casual jacket, it has to be something completely louche like Anglo-Italian’s fabulous tennis blazer. That way it can go with jeans and covers all be the most formal bases (great £ per wear ). Something that the late, great flaneur and cream jacket addict, Lee Brilleaux would probably have sported, had he been with us today.
Wonderful to see the late, great Lee Brilleaux referenced here. He embraced the cream suit with all its limitations and “owned it” in the same way he “owned the stage”.
I find that I wear my cream jacket less than I would like, so this article is really helpful. I wonder, though, how you would add a tie to these outfits.
I’m not sure I’d wear a tie with the jacket, just because it would make them both stand out one level more. Still, if I did, a navy solid would work with most
I vastly prefer the tonal look to the others, cream being a warm color to my eyes. And the difference in formality between the first and second looks seems not practically significant: I can’t imagine a circumstance where one is appropriate while the other is not. (It’s not like you’re wearing cream to the law firm anytime soon).
Also, for a man who goes to Pitti, your interpretation of ostentation (look 3) seems rather restrained.
Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say look 3 was ostentatious. But most people that go to Pitti don’t dress like peacocks. And even that majority don’t necessarily dress like that at home.
You’re probably right on the difference between the first two. It’s a small difference – the colours are a tiny bit more corporate, but the cream makes everything rather less formal
Excellent article, Simon! I’m a big fan of cream in jackets, trousers, and suits and find it a useful shade, in various fabrics, more or less year-round. I do like your styling ideas and will have to see if they work for me (especially the pink linen–I have a pink linen shirt, but the collar is not the best at standing up under a jacket).
Also, that the third look is your idea of a colorful outfit did make me smile a little 😊
Thanks Andy – yes, it’s only a little but it’s enough colour for me!
I do hope the pink linen works out well for you. It is lovely with cream and grey I think
I think these are the best examples of differing jacket and trouser combos you’ve done .
Normally no matter how hard one tries differing combo one comes off looking like a ‘newscaster’.
In this case the differences do not seem as stark.
With regards linen ,if one is doing a different combo linen jacket and trousers , should one go with a non-linen trouser (as you appear to do ).?
Or is a linen jacket and different linen trouser acceptable ?
Different materials are safer, but if they are both going to be linen, it helps if they’re different weights, or have some other texture to help separate them better
Frankly put…..and no matter what you pair it with……or indeed spend on the jacket or any number of trousers……. you look a fool when you don’t wear any socks.
The clown …..or clowns …..who came up with ‘….no socks….’ related to any fashion ensemble have nothing to offer us….
Perhaps the only thing worse than ‘no socks’ is the British males penchant for black socks with shorts……..
It’s a close run thing as to which is the daftest of the two………..
In reality they both deserve to be laughed at………
Thanks James. Obviously we disagree: in more casual ensembles I think it can look chic as well as being practical in high heat. But good to have the alternative view.
Just a brief suggestion – it would be good if you said why you think they don’t look nice, as in because ankles are unattractive, it breaks up the leg line etc etc (lots of reasons!) rather than just call people fools, clowns or daft.
It just helps elevate the level of the conversation, and make it more interesting for everyone.
I’m with James on this one, Simon, and I understand his inclination to ridicule this deplorable trend.
There is a time honored rule about properly dressed men not showing ankle and foot skin, and, yes, feet and ankles are not the most attractive parts of a man’s body. What next, exposed midriffs?
, I’m even of the opinion that men over twenty-five shouldn’t wear shorts in public – think of the children!
To be honest, I think a blanket rule like that is a little misplaced – as with all traditions in dress, the important thing is to understand why they’re there, and then break them with the knowledge of the effect it creates. Here, it makes complete sense that exposing your ankles is a lot less smart than not doing so. But I’m happy to appear a lot less smart by doing so.
It also doesn’t really win over anyone to the side of traditional menswear – which is a shame – but just calling it deplorable or being emotional about it. Just explain why it looks better.
But that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s not traditional menswear. Neither is wearing shorts with a suit coat (unless you’re in the Bahamas, and even then…).
And aside from exposed ankles not being the most admirable part of the male physique, breaking up the leg line, etc. , it makes the outfit look incomplete and draws attention from your face, which is where you always want it.
I’m certainly not “emotional” about this point. It’s just clothing, after all.
I save my outrage for tuxedo jackets with notch collars.
Pleased to hear it. Abominations.
No, wearing shoes like this is not traditional menswear in most respects (just more sportswear, Ivy etc). But my point was that you’re not going to win anyone over to traditional menswear, if that’s more what you favour, without explaining more of why you think something doesn’t look good.
Anyway, I think we’ve covered all the reasons in the back and forth now.
Happy to see the pop of color in the jacket top pocket.
Was suggested when I commented on the suit a week or two ago.
Thanks Roger. Yes it works well there, doesn’t it?
Hi Simon. Looks good if you ask me. Funny… I have a cream jacket with a large grey check for years and after trying several things I came up with pretty much the same combinations. I wear it with grey and brown trousers. The grey that I wear with it is a wool and the brown is a heavy cotton linen. I have worn it with a pale olive too but for some reason the whole thing turned out looking very dull. I guess it’s about having the right shade. The darker green that you are wearing seems to be working better. Thanks for the post!
Recommending worsted flannel in option 1 is interesting. Is that because worsted flannel can be relatively light, making it a comparably-weighted foil to a linen coat? I’ve always viewed flannel–worsted or otherwise–as exclusively a winter fabric.
Well, I didn’t exactly recommend it! Personally I don’t like worsted flannel that much – it loses too many of the characteristics that make flannel attractive. Hence the caveat in parentheses.
However, yes if you like worsted flannel it can be pretty light. And in Spring and Autumn (not Summer) it could be a nice partner to a heavier linen like this. You might wear a heavier shirt, or even layer something under the jacket, but there will be weeks when the two could work well together. Also, there isn’t really a summer equivalent of flannel, in something that goes so well between smart and casual.
maybe an unpopular opinion but i have never seen how “cream goes with everything”. to me it always looks horrible unless you are a tax evasor chilling in a caribbean island
It’s certainly a colour with lots of potential associations, which I guess are more regional and subjective.
The colour itself though certainly harmonises nicely with lots and lots of colours. I think that’s a separate point to what it denotes for you or people around you.
I’m considering commissioning a suit in Fox cream cricket flannel. Do you think that material/color could be used to the same effect as the jacket here? Many thanks.
Probably not, no. In general flannel doesn’t make as good a material for separate jackets. I’d stick to trousers in that and another jacket – maybe one of the great Fox Tweeds
Could you wear some tailored navy shorts with a cream jacket?
I wouldn’t personally. A completely unstructured jacket might look OK, but it’s not a style I’d wear myself
Nice! I have an unstructured cotton jacket in this shade and the slightly more casual cut, structure and fabric make it work really well with all kinds of chinos (“cafe au lait” is a favorite but olive, navy, mid blue, old pink, burnt orange, lots of options really) and lighter shades jeans, I think. Excellent summer weekend evening gear!
I too struggle with the sock-less look (in leather shoes that is, it’s a no brainer for espadrilles and cotton sneakers) but I think it makes perfect sense when you wear white or cream on top – not sure if it’s the summer association or the skin colour, could be both
Simon it looks as if your Sagans have a rubber sole in the photo.Do you prefer them over their leather counterpart?Personally,I like the look of the full leather sole.
I think the full leather does look a little better, yes. But the rubber is more practical – a little more cushioning and lasts longer
I always thought that keeping two shirt buttons undone is too bold a statement and that a man is not supposed to show his flesh, or his chest hair for that matter. You clearly appear not to bother, but it would still make ME feel uneasy to go about town showing my chest. Could it be that I’m old-fashioned and that we are just redefining a somewhat macho mentality whereby it’s ok only for women to show their flesh so that we can take a peek? I’m thinking aloud.
Interesting. I think I’ll leave a woman to comment on the last point maybe.
On leaving two shirt buttons undone, I think it’s more flattering on most men, as the V shape better frames the face and matches the lines of the lapels. It shows more of the chest, but then when most people aren’t wearing a jacket anyway, and would often have their sleeves rolled up, I think it’s a pretty small consideration.
I’ve actually seen that color in an overcoat. It was a bit darker, but the same general idea. What do you think of a cream overcoat?
I think that would be rather showy and rather impractical, to be honest Scott.
It would also look a little odd, given (at least in most countries) it’s unlikely to be sunny while also being cold enough to wear a coat.
If you wanted a paler coat I would be more likely to go with a pale-grey herringbone, or a pale-camel polo coat.
Yes, showy and impractical are excellent descriptions. Dark overcoats in whatever color look fantastic and flatter any man so much better than lighter shades I think. Every time I wear my dark brown or navy long, almost ankle length, overcoat I get compliments. Interestingly, the ratio of comments is at least 2 to 1, probably higher, of women to men with the women being very vocal about how much they like a long coat on a man. I’m considering a dark olive color mixed with black or brown which I think would look very sharp and be very versatile. What do you think about this idea?
I think that would be nice Scott, yes. Though I’d suggest a mid- to dark grey above that probably
Actually I have a grey cashmere db herringbone, but a dark grey solid would be a wonderful addition and more versatile than olive I think. Outerwear is one of the most underrated and under appreciated aspects of menswear. It’s such a pleasure to wear a beautiful overcoat and other more casual pieces like a pea coat or a raglan sleeve coat.
Simon, I’d say a cream jacket screams for a denim shirt, such as your Everyday denim or even something a bit more blue. I say this with your posts earlier this year (or late last year) on contrast. A white or pale coloured shirt without a tie doesnt provide enough contrast to the cream. Also, a denim would go very well with either olive, brown or grey trousers.
I am planning to get one of these cream suits for next year, with the fact in mind that they can be separates. Is there any other fabric than linen that would do the trick? Perhaps something to contrast linen shirts, that I love and have much use for in hot weather like now.
I think you’re right that denim would be great with this Nicolas, yes. It would create contrast and subvert the formality a little.
I know what you mean about the lack of contrast between white shirt and cream jacket, but I think you just need to create some contrast and interest elsewhere – like the glasses in the top pocket.
The other good option on cream would be a cotton, a heavier workwear one, almost like a denim. Even corduroy perhaps. I don’t have experience with wearing either of them though I’m afraid.
No doubt a good pairing visually but to me a cream jacket is a Summer look (at least in the UK) so a denim shirt seems a little incongruous.
Really, you’d only wear a denim shirt in colder weather?
I never thought about that. I feels fine in warmer weather to me, presuming it’s actually cool enough to be practical. Particularly versions of denim in lighter cottons or even linens.
I only have one denim shirt in a rather heavy cotton so a very small sample group. I will investigate alternatives…thanks!
Great article as always, Simon, but I must ask: why no socks?
I’ve seen this time and time again in wearing everything from suits with dress shoes, to less formal looks.
Perhaps I’m showing my age, but unless it is no socks with boat shoes/shorts, or very, very casual summer wear – which would not include jackets – the whole no-socks look seems, well…misplaced.
I think it shows your age a little bit Dave, but at the same time, people often wear that look inappropriately too. It’s much more suitable with a summer jacket and open neck than it is with a suit and dress shoes.
See more comments and thoughts above on being sockless.
The degree to which age affects one’s judgement in aspects of dress is interesting. In terms of the “no socks” look, my personal preferences tend to align with Dave’s. I was discussing aspects of dress with some friends and colleagues recently and it’s certainly true that the younger ones were much more comfortable with the look than the older ones. However, the views on number of shirt buttons to leave undone was interesting. One or two older colleagues were fine with having two buttons undone when wearing a jacket, most were not. Older colleagues tended to feel that it looked a little untidy, whilst younger ones felt that it was redolent if that “trying too hard”, macho image that has been much derided in the past. I wouldn’t necessarily have predicted that and I have no judgement to offer, but I found age-related split in reasons for disliking the look interesting.
Very interesting, thanks
Cream and grey don’t seem to look particularly well together. Pure white and grey may work well, but cream/beige and grey don’t. Dark blue trousers (perhaps, in a shade slightly lighter than navy) would’ve been better, but I know that You and the vast majority of readers here, dislike blue trousers with sport coats, although, dark blue trousers actually do complement cream, grey, and brown coats very well. What’s important is the proper fabric of the trousers that won’t create a dissonance with the jacket.
I’m amazed at the amount (and tone) of comments against the sockless look, I have only recently started doing it myself and it’s super practical for this time of year. I probably wouldn’t do it if I was required to wear a suit to work, but for the use I make of them, it’s more than fine. And remember that some time ago, the “standard” was white tie and morning suit.
Which brings me to the next point: why do you, Simon, find the chances to make use of the full suit so limited? with such a fabric, cut and colour, you can’t really call it a formal look anyway.
You’re right Dario, it’s not that formal, but it is very unusual, and smart enough as a full suit I think that you’d expect to be wearing it for an event or something similar.
Tailoring that doesn’t have business associations can be hard in this respect. It’s either very casual (eg cord) or it can look like it’s meant for some smart, non-business event
I really like the cream and grey combo and don’t object to the sockless look. However, I’d be inclined to be sockless only with a grey cotton on linen pant, never wool.
These are great combinations Simon! Long overdue a perspective on the cream linen suit everybody here secretly desires (even if some never admit it).
Grey trousers with the cream jacket, from mid grey to light grey is a staple – just look at AA/Esquire images from the past. The mid brown trousers looks amazing – right at home in Tuscany during the summer! A great context for all your combinations Simon.
Twenty years ago, which to me isn’t that far back unfortunately, you would spot more people wearing the cream linen suit with tie around town and in business settings. Today, the full suit would be hard to feel comfortable outside a particular wedding environment. And still, I enjoy my two cream linen suits by mixing the trousers and jackets. So, I love these combinations you display Simon.
I would suggest an evening/dinner summer combination with a dark navy light worsted trousers combo and black shoes (the slightly more formal loafers from EG or CJ) with mid calf socks! (Yes, i said it! When it’s 30+ in the evening you’ll understand). With a simple white shirt and pocket square, it harkens back to the summer black tie evenings with cream jacket look, which some of us secretly wish was more prevalent. And I think it works remarkably well as a contemporary look. It is also the only time worsted navy trousers work in an odd jacket combination.
On the sockless look, I would just comment to those who are so emotionally charged about it to consider a few points:
1. It’s a Mediterranean summer look. It’s about surviving the oppressive heat. So, yeah, I wouldn’t wear it too much in Northern Europe …
2. Having a little tan on your ankles does help. Blaring white or blotchy pink skin screaming out would be something to consider before you try it.
3. Bare ankles no tie is best, but don’t go bare with a suit- better mid calf socks.
4. It’s about surviving oppressive heat and keeping your jacket on – so please keep that in mind. Italians seem to fear the effects of air conditioning more than the plague, and this look works better in outdoor environments anyway.
Simon, I think you had a great article about surviving the heat which I thought was spot on. Ankles and wrists bare, no tie and you can keep that jacket on!
Great points in there, and well explained.
I like the idea of the inky-navy worsted trousers with the cream in the evening. Definitely.
And well put on the sockless look. It’s something I’m wearing today, but it’s 30 degrees in London and most would never wear a jacket in these temperatures.
I feel going sockless with leather lined shoes being justified as beating the heat is stretching it a bit! Your ankles may feel cool but the feet would be sweating and sticking uncomfortably to the lining. It’s your choice if you like the look.
When I say sockless, and when people usually do here, they mean with an invisible sock inside the shoe. So your feet don’t stick to the lining.
Love the dark olive. Would like to see other combinations you may have with those. Thank you for article and the photos!
No worries Jay.
This outfit shows that colour nicely too.
Great outfit. That tan jacket is fantastic and must be so versatile.
Excellent, Simon, right down to the pocket square! Thank you very much.
Simon- What are you thoughts on dark trousers showing through an open-weave fabric? You mentioned this jacket is only half lined and surely the olive or gray would be slightly visible in back. I have it engrained in my mind that such a thing is a faux pas but also feel that I’m over-thinking. I’d love to hear if your thought on the matter.
I don’t think it matters much – if the jacket is unlined in back and an open material like this, the seams and the lining at the top of the back are going to show through as well.
It’s also a question of what style you want. If you want the jacket to be smarter, just have the back lined.
I’ve played with the idea of such a jacket a long time and finally commissioned it in the oatmeal 12ounce linen from Dugdale’s Lisburn bunch. I was always looking for a summer equivalent of your oatmeal cashmere sport coat. Do you find that you wear this linen jacket in a similar way?
Perhaps not quite as versatile as that oatmeal – I’d wear something more like my Caliendo jacket here for that
What a versatile combination, the only issue I would have wearing a cream linen jacket in London is keeping it clean of the general grime, but it is otherwise the optimal Summer jacket.
I think a combination of decent stain knowledge and care (eg brushing down) is enough. And learn to accept that the odd scuff will happen. It’s not meant to be perfect
I’m liking all of these outfits. I think, in this colour, I would have to scrub that wall before leaning against it.
Very nice jacket.
Do you think a peak collar on a casual jacket like this would work, or would it look “bastardised” in a way?
Peaks can look nice, but not on a jacket you want to be more casual, no
Simon, could the cream be paired credibly with dark brown cotton or linen pants both in terms of colour and formality?
Yes, I think so. Perhaps ideally a tailored cotton, rather than a casual washed chino
I would add that a blue/white-striped seersucker shirt with light grey linen trousers would look rather dashing and be perfect for weather > 80F.
How do you feel about a cream jacket in flannel, or about carrying such a colour in not so warmer months?
I don’t mind it in colder months – see post here on breaking the rules
I would avoid flannel though – go for another wool
Definitely a pink shirt looks fab inside a cream jacket but then to accentuate the cream, a dark maroon or burgundy trousers look a lot more elegant, even without a tie.
Thanks Uday. Not my look, personally. I think the pink and maroon would be a little strong, particularly if the jacket were taken off. But thanks for the idea
Do you think a cream jacket in, e.g., a Fresco or Crispaire would be as flexible as linen? Are there other fabrics/blends you think could satisfactorily replace linen for cream jackets/suits?
Fresco and Crispaire are not jacket materials. Avoid them except for suits and trousers
There are lots of other materials that could replace linen, mostly mixes of wool, silk and linen, or just wool and silk, or sometimes just silk. Have a look at the other article on summer jackets here maybe.
Hi Simon, lovely piece! I am recently engaged and am planning our wedding in Italy. As I’m thinking through what to wear, I wanted something that evokes classic vibes but with a modern touch. I was thinking a cream/ivory wool/silk sport coat (notch lapel, welted chest and hip pockets, no vents) with white shirt and black bow tie (or regular tie), and black/very dark charcoal trousers with black shoes. I was wondering if you thought a combination like this would look a little incongruous, particularly the bow tie over regular tie?
I think that sounds wonderful. At the very least, I would go with the rest of the outfit, and you can always decide nearer the time to swap the neckwear.
For example, you could wear a black or dark grey tie with a a little pin dot, and it would look more convention but still very chic. Or you could go tieless. Or you could add something floral and bright as a handkerchief in the breast pocket, to lift the whole look. Lots of options there on a really solid base
Thanks Simon, really appreciate the feedback! I like the idea of adding a subtle pattern to the tie and maybe a pop of color, too.
No worries. Let me know how it goes
Hi Simon, looking at the first outfit a question came to my mind: I will be attending a wedding in August, setting formality aside, do you think that a cream linen jacket with mid grey prince of Wales trousers could work? For the shirt I’d go for either plain white or at most a light blue stripe, but I’m still unsure about the shoes.
Thank you very much
Those colours sound very nice, but I would really avoid the checked trousers. Patterns like that just don’t look elegant on separate trousers, sorry. I would do a herringbone at the very most. But pattern is better in everything else apart from trousers really.
Hi Simon, I am curious to hear your take on the recent upswing in attraction towards off-white and cream suitings in general. Do you believe there is a place for them in the office?
I love how they look in stylebooks but remain apprehensive of remarks to the tune of “oh, you’re going to a wedding later today?”.
Would double breasted or materials like flannel offset some of that association?
I’m not sure I’ve seen that upswing personally, but no I wouldn’t think they’re great for the office. Go for oatmeal instead
Sorry, just to add, even then I’d only for a separate jacket. To wear with grey trousers.
And flannel or a DB would only make them more unusual and unbusinesslike, not more.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I suppose I should have said a slight upswing from nigh-zero.
It seems to be coming up here and there in look books. Saman Amel obviously. Even SuitSupply had featured a double breasted off-white flannel suit in their recent promotional round. I completely agree with your thought on how that would be less business-like but also felt it might be less wedding-like.
I always admired off-white and cream in summer suits. Things you see in period movies and what might be called a “riviera style” that some Italian brands and Purple Label used to promote some times. But beyond that it always felt hard to pull off. Perhaps a crinkly, wrinkly linen adds to it. Any thoughts? Do you find that also to be a little odd.
Yes, I can see it in those looks, but it’s not really intended for conservative business use.
Being crinkly helps, certainly, but makes it less business-y probably. Better for something a little formal on a sunny Summer’s day.
If you haven’t seen it, this is how I like to wear my cream jacket in that situation. And even though it is part of the suit, I never wear the two together.
Yes, of course, I had a good look earlier. And thought your stylings here work very well and I also loved the whole suit but I suppose it’s tough to push it’s usage much beyond the garden parties as you mentioned.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts again. I am actually a designer who work in a setting where nearly no one wears suits and hardly anything tailored. Still some of the looks I find hard to pull of reasonably. They look great in photos but I think might look rather strange in the physical world.
In that case definitely don’t go with the cream Ram!
It sounds like simple jackets and jeans, or even fine knitwear and tailored trousers, might be a good route to go down
concerning the material for a cream odd jacket – I’m pretty desperate about choices available to be honest. I discount anything not woollen (linen, cotton etc.), because I don’t like it. Cashmere is too expensive for me (and if more versatile oatmeal colour is available, it’s in heavier cashmere), and even flannel, not so great a choice for an odd jacket, is widely available in (natural) white rather than in cream. The remaining wools seem rather too formal for a sport jacket, but I’ve found this cloth I like a lot: https://shop.dugdalebros.com/burlington/product/bur045dug14491/colour/cream_twill. Could such a twill carry an odd jacket in your opinion? Worn with grey gabardine trousers, I believe it could at worst look bit more formal.
Thank you for your advice.
It’s very hard to say from just pictures online John, but I would suspect that would be very smart
OK, Simon, thanks for taking the look. As for the smartness of cloth for an odd jacket in general: if worn appropriately and intentionally, e. g. always with a tie, smart shirt, and gabardine trousers, is that such a problem? Maybe interest will only lay in colour difference, not texture, but nothing odd about it, I think, if one only wants separates and not a suit.
To be honest John, I think it’s just too hard to tell from an image like that. At the very least, I’d suggest trying to get a swatch.
In general, though, smooth worsted twills make much better suits and trousers than they do jackets. Jackets are usually a little softer and a little more open. The risk being therefore that if not they can look like an orphaned half of a suit.
Decided to get my first ever MTO Jacket made in a beautiful cream linen like this jacket. I am going through this process all online and know my measurements fairly well, but wanted to ask you if you would increase some of the jacket proportions slightly for a linen jacket? Mainly sleeve length and jacket length since linen wrinkles and it will probably get a tiny bit shorter as a result.
Thanks so much as always!
I don’t myself, to be honest. Particularly if it’s an Irish linen like this one. I don’t find the length changes that much
Just rediscovered this excellent post again on your beautiful cream jacket. Can you please tell me, if at all possible, the bunch and swatch no. of the cream jacket you’re wearing and the bunch and swatch nos of the trouser fabrics as I can envisage these beautiful coat and trousers combinations being suitable for a lovely Al fresco dining experience on a sunny summer afternoon be it in the UK or a stroll around a smart boulevard in the Mediterranean…. think or Florence or Capri for instance.
I personally would go for a robust cream fresco or hopsack cloth with good drape and fairly hard wearing but with good breathability or stick with heavier linen. What’s your take on a suitable fabric and what weight is best?
The linen isn’t available any more – the new H&S is a different shade.
The grey trousers were featured here.
The taupe ones are from this suit.
Personally I don’t like cream high-twists that much, but then I’ve also not had one made, so it’s not that much of a view
Are there any news on your attempt to bring back the cream linen?
I’m afraid we’re not going to be able to do it, Manuel. Holland & Sherry haven’t been able to reproduce the original colour.
What a pity! Do you have an alternative propsal? I want to get a cream linen trouser and maybe an overshirt.
Only the cream linen I showed here last summer, but that is a little more transparent
Thank you, Simon.
Do you have a contact number or e mail for Jean-Manuel ? There doesn’t seem to be an active web site for the shop.
This is a fantastic post. I’m trying to figure out the occasions that a jacket like this would work for. As a young father in London in tech, I can’t find the excuse!! It looks too showy for the office, too fancy and stain-prone m for weekends with kids/friends. Perhaps too bright for evenings out with friends.
Maybe occasionally for the cricket?!
I’m wondering when, apart from daytime visits to menswear suppliers, someone in the non-fashion industry would actually use such a jacket. Thanks!
It’s a good point, and I think goes to a lot of tailoring today. If you don’t wear it for business, and it’s not super casual like a chunky tweed or unstructured cotton, then wearing it is about events, dressing up for something special. We should try and do a summer equivalent of out cocktail dinner at Christmas maybe – that’s the kind of thing
Hi Simon, I’ve got a lovely irish linen cream jacket and a pair of mid brown brush cotton trousers. Do you reckon these two materials should go well enough together?
They’re not natural bed fellows, as brushed cotton is more of a colder-weather material. But if the texture wasn’t that pronounced it might look fine. You might be a little warm in them too…
This is another post I have recently re-read to help me build more summer outfits. I have a vintage 1930s cream double breasted jacket made of palm beach cloth (some sort of wool blend that has a hopsack like texture). The jacket has a very light structure and patch hip pockets. I’m wondering whether you think that a DB jacket could work for the kind of outfits in this post? I appreciate that’s a bit subjective but I’m interested in your thoughts (or any of your readers’) given that you have DB summer jackets in other colours.
I think it could work for all of them, yes. Helps if the jacket is more casual in other respects, but it sounds like yours is
Hi Simon, I know this is late, but I want to ask what do you think of the Irish Linen by Caccioppoli (in the special cotton & irish linen book). Also, which colour for irish linen do you think is more versatile, ivory or cream? I’m planning to get a suit but wear them seperately. Thank you very much!
I haven’t looked at that bunch for a while Andy, sorry, I can’t remember what it’s like.
On ivory and cream, I’d probably say cream but we’re talking a very small difference as both avoid being too stark white, which is the main thing
Hi Simon, I really love the look of the cream jacket with olive pants. I’m looking for a great olive trouser to match my wool/linen blend cream jacket and I was curious what type of fabric those olive trousers were? Thank you
It’s a linen, Christopher. Linen jackets and trousers together can be a little tricky, but it helps when one is lighter than the other in weight. It creases more or less and there is a difference in texture
Thank you Simon, I agree that linen on linen can be tricky. I wonder if it can work if the trousers are 100% Irish linen and the jacket is a 58/42% merino wool/linen hop sack.
That would certainly work Christopher, yes
Hi Simon, I’m planning to make a cream Irish linen suit from W Bill, but not sure which color to choose between 61312 and 61317 (61317 is a bit more yellow-ish). What color do you think is more versatile to use, since I’m planning to wear them seperatedly. Thank you.
I don’t have a bunch to hand, but from what I can see online they both look quite grey – is that fair?
Yeah that’s the picture online, but they are not too accurate, so I asked them to take some pictures for me. 61312 is a little bit more on the white/cream shade, while 61317 is closer to a light tan. I want to ask which one do you prefer?
Probably the former in that case
Hi Simon, regarding to Irish Linen sport coat (heavy fabric like WBill), do you prefer your jacket to be fully-canvassed or unstructured? I live in Hong Kong, so summer here tend to be really hot, and unstructured linen sport coat is really helpful. However, I’m just a bit worry about no canvas, because I’m afraid it might shorten the jacket’s life.
I would have it very lightly structured, rather than unstructured. Eg a Neapolitan make with a very light lining and light or no shoulder padding.
For this cream jacket, did you go with a fairly Natural Shoulder? Or is there a little roping?
I am also getting a cream linen sport coat made right now, and deciding which would be the most versatile.
It’s fairly natural, and I think something like that is good – fairly clean or just a small amount of roping