Lockdown looks: What I really wore at home
Every day, when I get dressed, there is something new I’m interested in wearing.
Not necessarily new clothing, but a new outfit, a new combination of colours, perhaps a mixing of styles. And sometimes just a combination that feels new, because it’s been a while since I’ve worn it.
What shorts could that knitted T-shirt go with? Does a pink oxford work with paler shades of green? What polo shirts have I just got out of storage?
Perhaps I’m unusual in this respect, but it’s a big part of the pleasure of wearing clothes, for me. It’s creative and stimulating.
And I was pleased to find it persisted, even during two months of lockdown.
For nine weeks, I barely went anywhere other that local shops and parks.
At the beginning of the lockdown in England, I wrote a post describing what I normally wear when working from home. But that was just for the odd day - would it be the same over such an extended period?
Fortunately, yes. I didn’t resort to a T-shirt and tracky bottoms. I didn’t stay in pyjamas from morning to night.
Partly because I needed to work still, the same hours, every day. And getting dressed does keep me motivated - as described in that post.
But also because getting excited about clothes was stimulating - when it was sorely lacking elsewhere. With no travel, and no shops, it was great to be able to play with my wardrobe.
In this post, I’ve highlighted some of the outfits, in order to illustrate what I found interesting.
They are all mirror selfies, taken unceremoniously in the bathroom, and would normally only be for my own reference - or perhaps a short-lived Instagram story. So please forgive the quality and lack of details.
My normal working-from-home wardrobe could be summarised as a shirt, jeans or other cotton trousers, and some kind of knitwear/overshirt.
A jacket feels too out-of-place at home, and even tailored wool trousers seem odd.
Knitwear was where it got interesting. In fact, most outfits revolved around combinations of shirt, knitwear and trouser. Those were the variables.
The absolute standard, the stone-cold classic was jeans, blue oxford and navy crewneck (pictured top).
But I discovered I particularly liked a pink oxford in that combination (above). And black-suede slippers worked, then, where they didn’t with the navy. I guess because of the sharper contrast between pink and navy.
I also found the looks tended to divide into a few genres - a few paradigms - of casual style.
Although there were mixtures, most could be categorised as either Ivy, workwear, or modern/tonal.
These are categories I suggested in a previous article here, of course, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that this was how they worked out. But I usually started by wanting to wear one piece, or two pieces together - only realising later that it fell into one of these camps.
For example, I’ve written before about why I find the idea of a polo-shirt under knitwear attractive. It can look sloppy with the wrong polo - but if done right, it is a very relaxed yet chic combination.
The first look above is a classic example of that. White polo, grey crewneck, smart brown chinos (from The Armoury, Luca Faloni and Stoffa respectively).
As the weather warmed up, I played around with variations on that involving shorts. The second image was a nice combination: white polo, navy cotton crewneck, stone-coloured shorts (Armoury, Dunhill, Permanent Style). All quite cold and tonal still.
And the third outfit plays with the same colour palette, just with a white shirt instead of a polo. This time the chinos are taupe (Stoffa) and the knitwear charcoal (Faloni), with the latter making those black slippers very suitable (Baudoin & Lange).
With the looks that tended towards Ivy, the trousers and the colours were the main things that changed.
Trousers were more khaki than chino - coarser and wider-legged - while there was more colour elsewhere.
The first image above was pretty standard there: blue-striped oxford, green shetland, khakis and tobacco moccasins (Permanent Style, Trunk, Armoury, Ralph Lauren).
On a fun day, and to show my love for RL, the crewneck might be a teddy-bear sweater (second image).
And although it’s not strictly Ivy, jeans could easily be substituted for the khakis (third picture). They have the same practical rugged cotton, after all. And the pink/green pairing is certainly Ivy, as are the cordovan Alden loafers.
Workwear could involve the same khakis and jeans, but with more T-shirts and denim shirts on top.
A standard here was my Bryceland’s Sawtooth Westerner shirt (another pleasure being how these clothes wear in a little more, each time) with those same Armoury chinos and a lambswool shawl-collar cardigan from Colhay’s (first picture).
Sweatshirts would usually replace cashmere or shetlands, with a T-shirt underneath. But I do like something at the neck, hence the collared grey sweat in the second picture (Full Count via Clutch Cafe) and the brown bandana in the third (Anatomica).
Cream features more prominently too, whether it’s the chore coat in number two (Bryceland’s) or the denim in number three (Levi’s Lot No.1).
A lot of the fun, of course, is playing around with these different genres, and finding alternative combinations.
I couldn’t say which the three looks above fit into. The first is certainly Rubato-inspired, with their short knit requiring high-waisted army trousers, mixed with a smart shirt. (Trousers vintage, shirt Permanent Style).
The second is very tonal, but really centres around the cotton collared-knitwear from Margaret Howell, which I found I liked with cream trousers, despite it being black (admittedly a rather faded black). The jacket is shearling from Connolly.
And the third was also driven by one item: the olive needlecord shirt, which looks particularly nice with denim, but not much else. Fortunately, cream goes with almost anything.
It’s fun looking back on them all, and indeed makes me want to wear many of them again.
That’s why I take these selfies normally, and file them away on my phone. It’s a reminder of all those creative combinations you liked last month, or last year, and would enjoy trying again.
Here’s hoping you’ve found similar creativity during your weeks of lockdown. And perhaps some ideas here as well.
- Jeans in top three images, vintage Levi's
- Navy crewneck in top images: Harley via Dick's of Edinburgh
- Green sweatshirt: Merz b Schwanen, via Trunk
- Second outfit: Overshirt and shearling, RRL
- Bottom outfit: Cardigan by King & Tuckfield, jeans from Levi's Lot No.1
My dad’s got that same RL sweater. Not sure if he’s had the temerity to wear it out, but he has been hunkered down since March and now it’s probably a bit too muggy in the UK to be wearing it out. Then again, I’m seeing him tomorrow for the first time in March, so he may surprise me.
Hi Simon. Some really cool looks. I have also been recently finding some new looks from existing items, which for me anyway, might not have been the case if not for the current circumstances. I like the King and Tuckfield cardigan in the bottom photograph. Is that still available?
Thanks again for all the articles and this one especially, which are something to look forward especially at the moment.
The cardigan is here. It’s only available in XXL still I think.
For work motivate in home just dress well.
Hi Simon, great post as always. A bit surprised to see a teddy bear sweater given your strong opinion on christmas knits, which I thought extended to all « fun » clothes!
Yes, it’s rare that I ever wear something with a logo or such decoration on the outside. When I do, my thinking is that it should be something I actually want to support or feel strongly about. And I feel that way about RL.
With Christmas knits, the issue is that they are seen as disposable, and not valued as clothing.
Hi Simon. What size are you wearing in the King & Tuckfield cardigan? I hope you don’t mind my asking , I am just looking online to buy one and I think we are a similar size. I would like it to be a slightly loose fit. I had seen it before, however it’s not until I saw how you styled it that I realised its full potential.
It’s a Small, but from what I can see on the website, it’s only available in XXL
One of your most useful posts Simon! Reminds me of the value in playing around with different colours and combinations in one’s existing wardrobe and likely pulling out some forgotten items. This for me is a very human, relatable post and the casual angle makes it completely relevant for most days, for now and likely for some time to come!!
What a delightful mini gallery! My creative gears are already whirring from one readthrough.
The olive needlecord is a fascinating color/texture combination, Simon. Was it easy enough to slip into the sleeves of the shawl-collar?
No, not that easy to be honest. But I’m prepared to do it now and again, at least while I like the texture so much
Would you say that the lockdown has caused some permanent changes in the way you dress now? I, for example, have not touched any of my collared shirts during lockdown, and now that I’m back at work, I find myself favoring polos (with a proper cutaway collar) over classic shirts to wear under a sport coat or even with a suit.
Not that I’ve noticed, but then I’m not fully back at work yet. Just doing the odd day back in town – London doesn’t feel like it’s completely opened up like that yet.
I don’t think I would ever turn away from collared shirts, they are so fundamental for me. But it might push me further away from suits and ties, for instance, and more firmly into sports jackets and trousers or jeans.
Interesting. One of the only times I’ve seen blue denim and black loafers work together.
Also, the second shot looks like the before pic in a Prozac commercial.
Lockdown had just begun. I was very low.
I’ve been thinking about that third ivy look with the black cordovan Alden’s as well, trying to piece together why it works.
I have resisted buying black tassel loafers because I have a wardrobe about the size of the most recent capsule collection. And no matter how I do the math, black tassels just can’t go with everything which reduces the value/utility of the purchase. But this gives me serious pause for thought.
What do you think it is that makes this work, Simon? Perhaps something in the casual nature of cordovan and Alden lasts? Or the contrast with the pink oxford and dark green sweater?
Ah! Disregard. I see that you’ve answered this question and clarified in the comments below.
Thank you as always,
Where would I look for a hard as nails pair of Cavalry Twill trouser? I want something a bit more casual, hence why I don’t want to go for W&S or someone similar. Hoping to have something I might be able to wear with doeks as well as loafers & tweed jacket… Just don’t know if what I am looking for exists!!
Hope all well, as ever you provide fantastic food for thought
(btw a pale pink oxford and a v pale vintage green military jacket, similar to your rabbit lined one, with blackhorse lane jeans is probably my favourite look that I own! pink and pale green certainly works!)
Nice point, yes, I hadn’t thought about that. I’ll try the pink oxford with my vintage field jacket maybe.
On cavalry twills, to be honest I’m not sure they’d ever look right with trainers. Even something heavier and tough, with a rougher finish and a really dense weave, would keep a sharp crease and look smart as a result. Have a look at country outfitters for example, like Cordings. You’ve got whipcords and cav twills in there which will be pretty tough. Built for country walking. But they’re not really casual in the way jeans are.
Thanks Simon. Maybe I will get Luxire put together a pair of trousers in some more casual measurements with turn ups in a rough whipcord fabric! Tough is what I need, riding on the weekends and cycle in the week puts strain on any trousers!
I think you’re better off looking at tough cottons in that case, rather than wools?
At least for the weekends, if this isn’t something to be worn with a jacket. Tough cottons from workwear-type brands and ranges (like the Armoury Army chinos, or Bryceland’s) are made to be worn and worn, and get better with age. More like jeans.
The army chinos are a great shout? What size do you take? I’m the exact same size as you and prefer how they look on you, rather than the really ott oversized look some people give then
These are the old old run of Army chinos I’m afraid, which are a different rise and leg line to the current ones. The newer ones aren’t as rugged, are higher rise, and wider leg
Nightmare… Are the armoury / brycelands still the best best for something similar – yours are exactly what I am hoping for. Are the Buzz Ricksons going to be decent quality?
Buzz Rickson will be excellent quality.
Armoury and Brycelands are both very well made, but both higher and wider.
On the plus side, several brands I know are working on more casual washable chinos. It’s definitely a growth area
Great, thanks for the advice simon. Helps that the BR are much more affordable and sold online in UK!
True. Be aware they are a more workwear, less dressy style though. Look out for workwear details, like darts in the knees for example, that make them less suitable to tailoring combinations.
Would you still recommend BR? How about compared to Pherrows? Brycelands are superior/more formal than both?
Yes I would, and like Brycelands they’ll be a small step up on Pherrows. Brycelands more just a different style, wider and higher. But similar quality level
Interesting considering that Bryceland is like 2x the cost!
it is also funny to see so many clothes after a complete capsule wardrobe post!
simon, more styling pieces thoroughly focused on one garment or colour would be useful as well. this could complement both having a variety of different clothes or palettes and appreciate them so as to consider all its uses for a potential capsule wardrobe
Nice point, yes.
That is how the style posts tend to work – eg three ways to wear a Valstarino, or a pair of linen trousers. Also the posts about product launches are always good in this regard, as I try to show 2 or 3 different ways to wear the new thing.
There will be a good one next Wednesday on the cream jacket as well.
How refreshing to see children’s toys and a backpack laying around in your mirror shots. It’s a nice contrast to the perfectly edited shots that are normally to be found in Instagram and in menswear in general. And it reflects more with the day to day of most readers, I guess.
Very nice article to contrast the ideas we have about how we intend to dress and how we end up dressing. In my case, I haven’t put a jacket on since beginning of March and with the “new normal” I doubt that I will do it again as I will most probably work only from home.
Keep up the good work!
Thanks PF – that is how I tend to present Instagram stories and so on, very much warts and all, at home, with the detritus of family life. I think it’s nice to have both aspirational, inspiring shots and more real ones. Nice to know you agree.
Gents, he’s just like us!
I always assumed your lifestyle was like your clothes; luxurious and exclusive, and that you lived in a fancy home.
Pleased I can burst that bubble
Is that the Baudoin Sagan Lune in 3rd pic?
Curious as to how you feel they would hold up outdoors on pavement if I had a cobbler just apply thin rubber sole to the bottom like how the original Belgians are done?
Also, are they more comfortable than the regular sagans since the sole is softer?
Yes it is, and they’re maybe a little more comfy.
But I definitely wouldn’t put a rubber sole on there. There isn’t even a proper heel
This is nice thanks! Perhaps this could become a monthly thing? For example, do a round up of your 5-10 favourite looks of the past month… as you say, you enjoy thinking about what to wear with what and as someone for whom men’s clothing is a day job you do it better than most, could be a great resource for inspiration and debate! I also think it would be a nice way to see if your clothes ‘live’ after they have been formally presented to us is your write ups. Thanks a lot and best wishes!
Another excellent article with some interesting outfit ideas. You say that wearing a jacket or tailored wool pants at home feels odd. Why? If you’ve seen the first Godfather movie, recall that those folks worked from home and wore suits. So they commuted downstairs to the office, but in a suit. Fast forward to today and consider the writer Gay Talese. He has a downstairs office where he conducts his business affairs and he dresses for work, in a suit. What’s wrong with that? With such an extensive and wonderful wardrobe as you have why not enjoy the whole gamut. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a suit or a sharp jacket and wool pants along with a nice shirt and tie at home. That way you’ll have the pleasure of changing to a more casual outfit once the work day is done. This idea may sound strange in modern times I know, but it was once common for men to dress sharp at home.
I agree Scott, but I guess two things feel odd about it. One, that attitude is of a different time, one I don’t live in, and I want my clothing to be relevant always. I don’t deal in period.
And two, I just feel odd in such formal clothing in such an informal environment.
So it’s partly personal, partly social.
Yes sir of course I understand that, but I would suggest that your clothing is modern, thus relevant. I realize that was a different time, but in terms of style I think I prefer it.
Of course the home environment is informal, but wouldn’t it be an interesting experiment?
To be honest, it is how I have sometimes tried to dress in the past, hence why I know I dislike it
Very interesting to see this “other side” of Simon.
I can tell from the layering that these pictures were taken in the spring when the temperature was still pretty brisk. I find smart casual much harder in the summer time than in the colder months. In the spring, you can easily pair an Kxford shirt or a polo with a sweater and either jeans or chinos and look relatively smart without looking to dressy. But it’s harder to pull that off in the summer. I generally opt for polos rather than T-shirts, but if I’m wearing shirts, there’s only so much you can do. Some people manage to pull off long sleeve polos or long sleeve linen shirts over shorts, but I find it’s a hard look to get right.
Do you have any suggestions for smart casual when the thermometer gets red?
Overshirts would be my key one. Also easier layering with a linen shirt.
And cotton knitwear, not wool
Dressing smartly during the lockdown is especially challenging if you have young children. I’m working from home, so I need to look smart enough for video calls, but I also have a 2 and a 4 year old running around the house. Although we have a nanny (my wife also works from home), one of the nice things about being at home is that I do get to see the children throughout the day. On the flip side, toddlers are incredibly messy, and have a way of spreading their mess to others. Inevitably, if I’m wearing something expensive they’ll stain it, but if I’m wearing something cheaper they don’t…
Since you have 3 kids, do you have any suggestions in this department?
Principally, things that look better the more they’re worn and washed. So denim, heavier shirts like oxfords, and sweatshirts over the top. Swap for a jacket or overshirt for the zoom call?
That RL teddy bear jumper is amazing. My friend and I were admiring it and my wife got as a gift.
I have to confess, I team it with a brown Cashmere and wool blazer, brown cords, and mimic the style. So style within a style.
Strong look, but have got more compliments on that than any other!
Simon, out of curiosity: what size did you take in the olive green Merz b Schwanen sweater? Many thanks, Jan
That’s a boat load of washing! You must keep the local dry cleaners in business 😉
Ha! Well, not really given this is clothes over a three-month period.
On the dry cleaning front, I’m guessing you’re from the US? People in the UK, and in fact most places, don’t use dry cleaners unless necessary for the materials etc.
A veritable smorgasbord of at home flaneuring.
That said, aren’t you a little warm in some of these outfits. Particularly given the great weather we’ve been having ?
Personally, unless I’m wearing tailoring, I’ve given up on collared shirts with the exception of polos and linens. They just seem to look wrong .
However I do like something around the neck and am enjoying sashaying along in summer scarfs and neck squares. Normally worn with a crew neck T – shirt or sweater. As a trailblazer in this area, have you any plans to examine summer use ?
These outfits go back to March, Jason, when it was pretty cold.
I do wear a bandana or scarf under a crewneck fairly often, yes, as with the Begg squares we do
Unusual that you’re wearing a formal lasted black loafers with jeans. Have you changed your view on last shape?
I’m not sure I am. There’s one image with black slippers, another with colour 8 cordovan loafers.
But black can still work with jeans, it’s just harder. What did you mean on last shape by the way?
The picture of you in the lift wearing agreen jumper, jeans and black sleek shoes. Maybe the shoes look more smart than they actually are?
Yes I think they do. Those aren’t black, they’re colour 8 (dark burgundy) cordovan from Alden. I think the glow of cordovan makes them look smarter than they are from a distance.
Ah. I see. Do you think cordovan works with denim? I’ve always avoided the combination due to the shine that cordovan has.
I think so, with dark denim, yes. There is that shine, but usually it’s more of a subtle glow if you don’t polish it a lot. And the creasing makes it look more casual
Hey Simon, lovely to see your Lockdown staples. Loved the vintage green cords, especially the pockets. Can I ask when you might stage the cancelled pop-up shop? I had been looking forward to attend for the first time before the pandemic struck.
Thanks. Presumably you mean the army trousers – they’re not cords?
We hope to run the pop-up again in September or October, but it depends a lot on how Covid plays out in the next few months. It wouldn’t be so bad if we were just UK based, but because so many brands and customers come from abroad, travel restrictions need to have been relaxed consistently
I’m always trying things on and finding new combinations. Sometimes I’ll dig out something I’d forgotten I own and find new enthusiasm for it. It might pair perfectly with something bought more recently. My three-year-old will go, “daddy’s playing dress-ups”.
So I can relate.
I’m surprised you’d need a jumper indoors, even in March.
I guess we don’t have the heating up that high. I like an inside temperature during the middle of the day that requires a knit. Also like windows open and fresh air
Simon – enjoyed this series as well. Could you share where that faded olive needlecord button down shirt is from?
It was made by Luca Avitabile for me – cloth from Thomas Mason
I like this a lot, particularly the Ivy style looks. Simon, what kind of casual jacket would you suggest to throw on over these outfits for a trip outdoors? A field jacket is surely too rugged and I find Barbours unpleasantly heavy and oily.
Over the Ivy set? A suede bomber jacket or a wool raglan coat would be good. I would wear a field jacket with the first two, as well, were it not for the fact that the knitwear is green
Has anyone tried Luca Faloni’s new line of linen jersey polos? If so, how would you describe the quality? How do they compare to Smedley’s?
Thank you Simon.
Moving forward when times are normalised, please consider articles now and then on “my wardrobe rotation for a week” – maybe one per spring, summer, autumn and winter.
It would give me and hopefully, others a look at the combinations (including footwear) worn for a whole week/weekend, covering business and casual, new and older clothing with your thinking behind the outfits.
OK, nice idea Richard.
I was actually thinking of adding filters to the ‘Lookbook‘ page, so you could just see the outfits there that are for each season. Would that be helpful too?
A ready reckoner of season vs outfit is a powerful resource.
Its a definitely worth further thought Simon.
I greatly appreciate your content, which I have discovered since being on “lockdown” here in New England. I have found that this time at home, coupled with the change of season, has provided an interesting opportunity to reimagine my style, and the lack of normal public interaction for me seems to be an opportunity to change habits and get out of old ruts. To that end, I’m grateful for your insights on the site!
I have been curious how you have been dealing with masks or face coverings as part of your life? I sewed up a few white cotton masks when this all began, but have recently been trying out a few masks from various companies in different fabrics and colors, as it has begun to sink in to me that I will be wearing one whenever I am in public for some time to come. Most recently, I received a three pack of Proper Cloth’s indigo chambray masks, which I have found to be both comfortable, and decent looking. I would be interested to hear your take on incorporating masks in a way that complements the rest of one’s attire.
Thank you, and be well!
I’m so pleased you’ve enjoyed reading it during these difficult times.
On masks, before I actually started wearing them, I was in two minds. Would this be a lovely opportunity to wear another accessory, a bandana, one of my Hermes silk scarves? Or should it be simple and practical?
The latter has won out, after a few trips requiring a mask. Anything patterned or showy seems too much for me. I’m preferring plain colours, and particularly in silk (from weavers Adamley) as it’s a little cooler on the skin than cotton.
Thanks for the reply Simon,
I have also found that simple and practical feel best for masks. Anything even slightly showy becomes extremely showy when placed directly in the center of one’s face…
I may be the only one, but I would be interested to see an article on masks. Not just which ones perform well, but as a potentially semi-permanent new staple of men’s clothing. I’m sure others have been thinking about this, I mean, how often does an entirely new category of clothing suddenly become ubiquitous? Those who care about their appearance will certainly be looking for guidance and inspiration in this largely uncharted sartorial territory!
Thanks Jeffrey and yes, nice idea.
Unfortunately I think most of the science shows it’s only the medical-type ones that really stop a good number of particles. Simple cloth ones don’t stop that much – still better than nothing, but mostly a social thing
I work in public health, so I feel the need to make a gentle correction.
First, a mask’s primary protective capability isn’t of the wearer but rather from the wearer – it protects those around us.
Second, masks are about risk reduction not elimination, and they lie on a spectrum. You’re correct that medical grade masks (n95, and surgical grade, melt blown masks with a yellow interior) are superior (through the level of protection is really only needed If you will be in close, extended physical contact with medically vulnerable people), but even a simple cloth barrier (either a blue and white surgical style mask or a cotton mask) is extremely effective at eliminating the spread of droplets for the majority of people in the majority of situations.
My analogy is covering our mouths when we sneeze in an elevator. It’s not perfect and some droplets still get out, but it’s better than having a stranger sneeze right in your face.
Thank you Hugh.
I was aware of the first point, but had forgotten the point about proximity with the medical masks.
Is it possible to put a number, or compare the effectiveness, of the two types of mask? In the same way some compare the level of risk between different distances of social distancing?
I would hesitate to put a single number on it, because the science is in progress (often with small samples or not yet peer reviewed). I’ll attach a URL to a Meta analysis, a method which pools studies to boost sample size, which has been published in the Lancet. These analyses will not give single answers but rather multiple authors’ results to similar questions. In this analysis, they vary in degree rather than conclusion
Main take aways are 1) masks (all types) are generally effective at reducing risk of infection and infecting others; 2) respirators are most effective, followed by surgical, followed by cloth; 3) there is an additive protective effect of masks + hand hygiene + physical distancing; and 4) 1 meter is the distance that a protective effect begins to appear, and it is stronger at 1.5 or 2
Great, thanks Hugh. Always helps having someone informed and professional supplying this kind of information
Recently reviewed is a mask with filter capabilities: https://shoesavante.com/2020/05/22/review-airnum-urban-air-mask-2-0/
Hopefully that helps for further reading
I also wear a mask primarily for whatever amount (small or large) of protection that it affords others from me. My worst COVID fear is of unwittingly infecting others, and I would go to great lengths to mitigate that risk. Luckily, wearing a mask seems to be effective at at least reducing that risk, and at almost no cost or risk to myself by wearing it. It’s for that same reason that I wouldn’t wear a mask with an exhalation valve, as that allows my particles out.
I wasn’t intending to start a mask debate, but rather to express my thoughts about masks as a category of clothing.
One of the reasons I greatly value Permanent Style over the other one or two men’s style blogs I have read, is that Simon encourages pro-social dressing, whilst many other sites seem to advocate styles that are so out of step with the rest of society as to be anti-social (I don’t need any help being anti-social).
Now, at least where I live, masks have become the primary indicator of pro-social behavior, and their absence that of anti-social behavior. Even if masks are just social (as with the rest of our clothing) they have become a very powerful part of one’s attire at this time and place.
If dressing well is about putting those around one at ease, then there is currently nothing more important in my neck of the woods than a mask, and I guess I have a desire to see them represented in the men’s style world in a way that makes them look good, cause I don’t think they are going away in the next few years.
Thank you Jeffrey, and I’m very pleased PS comes across in that way – it’s always the same.
I also applaud the sentiment as regards social behaviour.
To be fair, the wearing masks has become less about prevention and more about signaling. Based on what I’ve read, there MAY be some benefit to wearing masks indoors, particularly in confined environments. Since the cost of wearing masks indoors is low, I’m willing to oblige out of comity, even if it’s just to make other people better.
But I’ve seen zero evidence that wearing masks outside has any prevention benefits. And yet, where I live (in the DC area), you see people wearing them outside in the summer heat, even when nobody’s within 20 feet of them. Or you see people wear them around their chin, and then move them to cover their face when someone walks by, as if that’s going to do any good. I’ve even seen people jog or bicycle with them, which can be dangerous as it restricts inflow of oxygen. I’ve even seen people wear them in their own cars. I see plenty of loose fitting bandanas which are completely pointless. And based on how grungy many of the masks are, it’s obvious that people are reusing them numerous times, which again, defeats the purpose.
Are you wearing the colhays 40/m or 42/l. I think we are similar posture and I am not sure which size to go for. Really cool look.
Thanks. The 40. I was a little unsure at first, but the 40 was definitely right
Hi Simon. Interesting post; thanks.
On the subject of more casual clothes I’m considering getting a Harrington-style jacket made up – if the project goes well then more than one in a few colours and maybe weights/insulation, as an alternative to the growing collection of single-breasted jackets that I have – something much more casual to throw on when it’s getting warmer but not quite shirt-sleeves weather outside.
I use Henry Poole and Anderson & Sheppard for my SB jackets (still trying to decide between them after trying a total of 5 now and getting my shortlist down to these two) but I have this nagging concern that they are both a bit too traditional and might be uncomfortable going outside of their particular more formal boxes when it comes to this project.
Are there any London tailors who you would recommend for such a commission? I know you had a bespoke leather jacket done in 2013 by David Taub at Gieves & Hawkes but a lot changes in 8 years; I’m not sure if DT is still there and whether G&H might be a possibility and/or what other most appropriate options there might be. I don’t really want to go RTW because most stuff off the peg doesn’t fit me and I want flexibility with colour, material, lining, pocket placement and other fine details on style (e.g. I don’t like the scalloped back seam on a genuine Harrington preferring a straighter seam). I am not particularly concerned about price. Or maybe my reservations about approaching H.P. and/or A&S for this project are unfounded?
Also, what material options would you recommend? I have a Harrington jacket from M&S (no, not a Savile Row tailor that you haven’t heard of, I do mean Marks & Spencer!) that I would take in since it’s a reasonably starting point for the style, weight and material that I want to go for and at least an approximate fit but annoyingly it was a limited edition item from a couple of years ago and I can’t find a materials label on it. I do remember from when I bought it that it did have some linen in it but it doesn’t crease so I’m assuming it’s some sort of cotton/linen mix that’s very light (maybe just a few percent) on the linen.
You’re right, Poole and A&S wouldn’t really make something like this.
Davide probably would, and he’s still there.
However, my overall recommendation would be to not go the bespoke route, and try to find a MTM or MTO option from a manufacturer.
Because my experience is that for all the extra options you will have with bespoke, on pocket placements and so on, there will be just as many things which you will not be able to specify with the maker, or will in some other way get wrong. That’s universally been my experience with these things, such as the leather jacket.
It can be exciting to do something like this, but I think only if you’re happy to accept that you’re not quite sure what the end result will be like. Not if you want something that is almost RTW, but with some tweaks.
Talk to manufacturers – perhaps Private White for example – about whether they can do a MTO with the changes you want. It will be a lot more predictable – and a lot cheaper!
Thanks so much for the very honest and helpful reply. I’ll do as you suggest and look more to RTW/MTO..
Another option that I had been considering was Magloli Clothiers since their Quantum of Solace Harrington (https://www.magnoliclothiers.com/product_info.php?products_id=257¤cy=GBP – originally done by Tom Ford I believe) is very close to (or maybe even exactly) the style I want to go for. Getting the fit right at a distance is obviously tricky but then again the price differential would be so huge vs Savile Row bespoke that, if I could come to terms with the waste, I could iterate over at least 10 attempts to dial in a fit (not that I hope it would take that many) and probably still come out cheaper, or maybe I could deliberately over-size slightly and then go to someone like Graham Brown to get fit adjustments done (are they still one of your go-to tailors to get RTW adjustments done?). Magnoli will also make in own fabric so, if I do get a decent fit dialed in, then assuming quality is acceptable and sizing is consistent over multiple orders it might be a good base to build on in terms of other colours/material. And of course I’m then all set up to order some Darth Vader clothing 😃 – OK, maybe not that last bit.
Yes I think that’s a good call. And yes, Graham Browne or Pinnas & Needles could do some good alterations to get the fit exactly what you want. Quite easy on a cotton piece like that.
Where did you get the blue and grey round necks in the pics above? I have a blue from JS but find it’s very flat whereas yours seem to have more texture
The Smedley ones are a finer gauge – smarter and drier. These are heavier gauge, wools like shetland or cashmere.
They’re from Harley, Luca Faloni and Colhays
Simon, what size did you take in the Bryceland’s chore coat? I am a tad larger than you are it seems from other examples so debating sizing. Have you washed yours? What’s the fit like? Thanks very much.
I took a 40, and I’d say it’s pretty true to size in the chest etc. I always struggle a little on body length, being a bit taller, but it’s fine
Thanks Simon. Was that an unwashed 40? Brycelands says they shrink a whole size upon washing…..
Yes it was. It has shrunk a little, though I’m not sure it’s a whole size
I went with the washed 40. Let’s see how it goes! They are selling washed ones now and even though I am a 41inch chest, have to assume 120cm will be more than enough room. It’s always a debate of how loose a chore coat should be. Thanks Simon.
I really like idea,Simon. I am going through lockdown and ‘dressing daily’( still at home!) Knitwear has been my saviour,(along with 501s and chinos). I certainly wear a collar under it.
It would be a good exercise to repeat for each season.
Well Simon, you seem very fussy at home LoL
Just kidding, your outfit look so nice, i like it
Did you size up to a 7/L in the Merz sweatshirt, and if so, did you find it was the right size? I can’t try it on anywhere in LA and I’ve read they run small and shrink a bit. Thanks.
I actually meant 6/L and see you answered above you are wearing a 5. Given that, did you find it shrank much or was too slim? Thanks.
No, I didn’t find it shrank or was noticeably slim. The 5 worked well on me
Simon, with respect to colhay’s shawl collar cardigan. I am planning to pick my 1st from Colhay’s. For a 1st color would you recommend blue or cream in terms of versatility?
Blue (navy) definitely
Can you write something about your laundry regime?
Maybe it’s because I am doing it wrong – but my feeling (and experience when I have tried it) means 2 things would be true if I tried to be “well dressed” at home every day.
One – I would be permanently doing laundry. This in itself isn’t a huge problem, and like most other families of 4 it’s something we’re used to. But I’ve found that wearing primarily jogging bottoms (swapped and laundered every 3-4 days or when they need it) and t-shirts (generally swapped and laundered daily) it cuts down the laundry loads significantly.
Two – I would have piles and piles of clothes that have been worn once or twice lying around my bedroom. Because they aren’t dirty enough to justify laundering but I only put freshly cleaned clothes in my wardrobe (perhaps this is something I am doing wrong? Does everyone else follow this same practice?)
So for the last 8 months I’ve mainly just worn jogger bottoms around the house, and a t-shirt, as I said. When I need to go out, which these days is basically for shopping, school run, a random wander in the countryside or a very occasional lunch or dinner with my wife or a mate, I throw on jeans, a shirt and a sweater – very similar to your “around the house” outfits here. But when I get home, they go back on the clothes stand until I head out again, and I’m back in t shirt and joggers.
Besides, I find jogging bottoms are simply far more comfortable for lounging on the sofa, or dashing around in the kitchen – but I assume that is a matter of personal taste!
Anyway so yes, sorry for the longer-than-planned post. The gist is really that I’m interested in the practicalities of trying to be better dressed at all times (largely because, as I think is true with you, I relish the opportunity to wear my nicer items of clothing and enjoy them as much as possible, regardless of where I am). But I am genuinely interested in hearing how you deal with the logistical practicalities of it, particularly when it comes to keeping my wardrobe clean and organised.
(Slight aside – do you even worry about keeping your wardrobe organised? Not sure if you’ve ever posted pics of your personal clothes storage operations – I imagine for some reason your bedroom looks like the Drakes shop on Savile Row with everything beautifully arranged on shelves and rails. But maybe you just have piles of clothes all over your room like the rest of us?
Thanks, very interesting.
On 1 – surely, if you wear wearing tailored trousers or even good jeans, you wouldn’t have to wash them that often? Neither has to be washed anywhere near that much, unless your children spill things on them.
And surely that’s the same amount as a shirt? Indeed with any heavier cloth, like an oxford or heavier denim, every other day is OK if you wear an undershirt.
I put clothes away in the wardrobe that have been worn once – certainly knitwear, and chinos, jeans etc. Otherwise, as you say, it’s a mess. It’s not that hard to work out when one of those pieces needs washing.
As to jogging bottoms, it is a question of taste, but frankly I find jeans or chinos just as comfortable, in particular because they wear in, becoming softer and more comfortable over time, until they’re a real old favourite. Jogging bottoms are never like that.
So to be honest I’d just wear a shirt and either chinos or jeans, and I don’t think your washing would be any greater.
My wardrobe certainly doesn’t look like a shop – I’ve done a post on it here. You just need to fold things and don’t stuff too many in. It’s not that hard – and would have been absolute routine to a previous generation.
Hi Simon, and thanks for your reply.
A couple of points in response – yes, my children spill things on them! And wipe things on them, and eject things from every bodily orifice onto them (my youngest is just two – hopefully this is a temporary issue). On occasion I spill things on them myself. I’d say it’s rare that I can wear a shirt or jumper or pair of trousers more than two or three times at home before they acquire some form of soiling that means I want to wash them before I wear them again.
I also never wear an undershirt (is this a classic error?) – I haven’t worn anything under my shirts since my mum used to force me to wear a vest under my school shirts, which I hated!
This brings me to another point of slight confusion. In your article about avoiding moth damage and other storage hazards, you raise the issue of oils and sweat excretions posing a hazard to stored clothing. Is this not an argument against putting non-laundered clothing back into a wardrobe? Particularly with trousers (unless you are also going to wear long-johns as well as an undershirt)?
Even with that level of soiling, I think good jeans or chinos and shirts would be just as robust and require as much or less washing.
No, you certainly don’t have to wear an undershirt, and I don’t. A lot of Americans do though, so I mentioned it just in case.
And no, oils and sweat are not a problem with storage except in the long term – it’s good to put clothes away for the summer, clean. But no problem being there for two or three weeks between wears, not entirely clean.
Very good to know, thanks! I might start being a bit less fussy about what I put back in the wardrobe.
Also been meaning to get an “out-of-season” wardrobe for the spare room or loft, which should help me with organisational issues.
Funny how clothes are really the only thing I am this fussy about. I also do a lot of home electronics and carpentry and my workshop looks like the most disorganised tip you could imagine, and I like it that way!
What do you think about Anglo Italian jeans? How is the fit and what colour do you recommend as a first pair,the mid wash or dark wash?
To be honest, I prefer my jeans that have been worn from raw (or one wash) rather than these pre-faded jeans these days – the latter just look a little artificial. And there’s the environmental element as well of course. But the AIC cut is nice, as are the alterations they do. I prefer the mid-wash of those colours
You once recommended a mid blue pair of jeans.Any brands to look for? And what do you recommend to start with,a pair of jeans or a pair of chinos/cotton trousers in a casual settings?
To be honest, you’re probably going to want both chinos and jeans, and it doesn’t make a lot of difference which order you get them in.
On mid-blue jeans, no not really, sorry. I’m not great on RTW jeans, as I have mine made mostly, from Levi’s Lot.1. I would suggest looking at Blackhorse Lane though
And what chinos and cotton trousers would you recommend for casual wardrobe, with loafers, chukka or a chelsea boot?
That’s a fairly big question and depends on what style you want – I’m going to do a wider post on them soon.
Could this jeans work with a navy peacoat or a navy bomber jacket?
Yes I think so, that looks a little light and like it would lighten up more as well
A casual wardrobe, knitwear, Oxford shirts,no sport coats,just a peacoat,bomber jacket maybe a safari jacket or overshirt ,I like the Donegal overcoat PS but it’s not available anymore on grey colour
One more question Simon, did you took you regular size on NW1 Black Horse Lane jeans ? I normally wear size 34 waist but checking the measurements it seems I should size up to size 35-36…
No, I did size up, to a 34, and then had the waist taken in
Happy holidays. Question for you regarding the sizing of the Rubato v-neck. I’m 5’10 with a 39 inch chest. Do you think I should go for the medium? Do you mind if I ask how tall you are? I’m a bit worried it will be too short on me as I generally only wear mid rise trousers.
I wear the Medium and I’m 6 foot. To be honest if you don’t wear high-rise trousers I’d think is unlikely it’s going to work though, to be honest.
Simon, would you consider/buy a Sagan Lune in dark brown deerskin? https://baudoinlange.com/products/sagan-lune-in-dark-brown-deerskin?variant=33239434068045
Sure. Personally I prefer them in suede, and they’re not to be worn outside, but if you like the deerskin then yes
I found the Colhays cashmere crew (40) a lovely sweater but a little short in the sleeve, so I’m trying the shawl cardigan as per your photo in ecru, hope it looks as good as it does on you. Ronnie has been very helpful over email.
Oh good. Nice to hear
Are the “smart brown chinos” from Stoffa in their basketweave cotton? How versatile do you find them? Thank you.
I find them useful, though the olive and cream colours and more so.
The material I like, but it does lose its shape very quickly. It’s nice and soft, but something with a little more body might suit my use better.
Hello Simon: would you use your cream PS Indulgent Cardigan in lieu of Colhays’ lambswool one here? Thanks
Yes, absolutely. Only a slightly different look
The Colhay’s lambswool apparently is a 6-ply, 3 Gauge. Is this unusual and chunkier than the standard ones from Drake’s etc? Does that mean it is almost as thick and heavy as the PS Indulgent Cardigan 12 ply cashmere? Or is the PS one still noticeably chunkier? I could not tell by comparing the pictures. 12-ply cashmere probably doesn’t necessarily feel twice as thick as 6-ply lambswool? I guess a typical cashmere yarn is finer than a lambswool yarn, so it needs more ply to “catch up”? Thank you as always.
The Colhay’s is similar to the Drake’s ones, but the PS is chunkier.
Interesting. I was looking at pictures of you wearing all three and I would have guessed the exact opposite, also because the Drake’s is only a 4ply (at least their cashmere is). Maybe a reminder of how limited fotos can be.
It’s hard sometimes to quantify precisely, because of the combination of gauge and ply – the gauge meaning it might be chunky hard but it’s more loosely put together. Our shawl is a little like that.
It is really useful to reread old posts and the comments. There is always some reader question and Simon answer that helps me, whether it’s about colour combination, sizing or whatever. Anyway, keep up the good work, Simon. And keep answering your readers’ questions. Cheers.
A real pleasure to hear that, cheers. Nice to know all the effort every day is worth it!
Hello Simon, can I ask which size of the Harley crewneck you are wearing in the photo? I have a 38-inch chest and 34 inch waist but not sure how the Harley fits. Thank you!
I wore a medium
Simon, what’s the suede overshirt/chore you’re wearing in the second picture with the red watch cap? Struggling to find anything like this in my searches.
It’s a western shirt rather than a chore – an old one from RRL.
In the 6th picture (middle outfit), can you tell me anything regarding the white overshirt?
It’s a Bryceland’s chore coat
In the first trio of pictures (for the tonal category), in the first photo in the grey Luca Faloni crewneck sweater, it’s the Dolomiti Grey Melange colour you’ve got on, correct?
You mentioned that a standard was your Bryceland’s sawtooth westerner shirt and that one of the pleasures was that it wore in a little bit more every time you wore it. I was wondering if you would be able to expand a bit more on what else it is about this shirt in particular that you like so much? Why do you find yourself reaching for it more than your other clothes?
It’s probably a combination of the quality and the style. The quality is great, the perfect heavy denim, and the style is suited to wearing with tailoring, which of course I do a lot, given its long tails.