Autumn/Winter Top 10: Wax, Ivy and secateurs

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This year’s A/W Top 10 list includes a sprinkling of new names, but a lot of familiar ones too. 

I don’t think this is unexpected or unwelcome. The world of classic, crafted menswear is not large, primarily because men still don’t spend that much on clothing - they buy more, perhaps, but still don’t seem to have the knack of buying the same but better. 

Still, as large men’s brands have largely been the ones to struggle or go out of business in the past year, I do wonder which of the small names we know can grow to fill that space. Who can be the new Aquascutum, J Crew, Daks, Brooks Brothers etc? Are any of them that scalable, or progressive? 

Something for a future post. In the meantime, here are my favourite things that came out this Autumn/Winter, with brief explanations why. 

Colhay’s long-sleeved polo


There’s nothing that unusual about this cashmere polo from the new collection at Colhay’s - Lockie and others do similar two-ply polos, which I also have and love. The point of difference is the colour: other makers never do this dark, dark brown, or indeed the dark olive that Colhay’s does some of its other pieces in (see shawl, top). 

I’m also interested in the shirt cardigan, though I suspect I will only use it as a collared cardigan over a T-shirt or shirt, rather than tucking in as a shirt on its own, as is suggested. 

The Anthology ‘Civilman’ trousers


The lovely thing about having so many new, young brands in menswear is that they often come up with combinations you wouldn’t have thought of: like these Civilman trousers from The Anthology. They have jeans pockets at the front, flapped ones at the back; they’re classically cut but use a denim-type material; and the finish inside is more akin to jeans or chinos. 

The fit is high rise, with a slightly more generous thigh and seat, as tailoring tends to do but chinos often don’t. And the leg line too is straight but not baggy.

The only thing I’d say is, the material is as soft or coarse as denim, it’s almost half way between that and a smarter cotton twill. It’s also definitely white rather than off-white or ecru. So I see them as a really nice, smarter trouser, that happens to have jeans-style pockets. 

Wythe jacquard overshirt 


Most of the Wythe collection isn’t at the level we normally cover on PS - deliberately, as Pete wants to keep it more accessible. But of the few pieces I tried earlier this year, this overshirt felt a step above. 

Using a undyed, unbleached cotton yarn, the material feels very natural and slubby. But it’s also beautifully soft with nice body too. The pines design won’t be for everyone, but it’s great over a heavyweight white T-shirt with jeans and boots. 

Uniqlo cream ‘Ivy’ socks 


Uniqlo doesn’t call these Ivy, but I do. Because I’ve been looking for a good style here for a while: off-white, wide rib, chunky and hard wearing. The best I’ve found was actually from Anonymous Ism, at John Simons, but they’re no longer in stock. 

So Uniqlo, as is often the case, is a good fall back. Not the best quality by any means, and annoyingly they shift into a ‘Heat Tech’ version for winter that has a lot more synthetics. But the colour and style is perfect. 

John Simons still has a model without the chunky rib and with a Harvard ‘H’ on it by the way. And End Clothing also does some solid Anonymous Ism options. Just not quite as nice a rib as the Uniqlo. 

Mazarin dress ‘Ivy’ socks, via Mes Chaussettes Rouges


In that hunt for Ivy socks, I also tried these from Mes Chaussettes Rouges. They're also the perfect colour and rib, but they’re fine and dressy, not no much a sports sock. 

But there will be people who prefer a luxe feel in a sock like this, no matter how casual the effect is supposed to be. And for them these are the best I’ve seen. 

Sunspel fisherman’s knit


I’ve wanted a good fisherman’s knit like this for a while, but all the new ones are too luxe, and the vintage ones too baggy and coarse. The current Sunspel version strikes a good balance: not too coarse to wear over a T-shirt, but still with that rugged feel and faint lanolin smell. 

It also has a nice, high collar and a slimmish fit - a far cry from the really bulky ones that were traditionally made so you could layer absolutely everything underneath. 

Edward Green waxed-suede Govan boot


Edward Green recently brought out a small range of shoes and boots in a waxed suede, which is the first thing I’ve seen in a while that’s similar to an old Lodger pair I loved (here).

This kind of suede is water-resistant and tough, in my experience, and also ages really nicely. It’s a perfect bad-weather winter boot, but more elegant than, for example, an RM Williams Gardener style. 

There’s a grey and a dark brown, in a derby, chukka and chelsea boot. Personally I prefer the dark brown (‘iron’) and the chukka or chelsea. In the end I chose the chelsea, because although I often feel that style is a little slick for me, it’s less so in this boot and last. The chukka would have been great too. 

RRL sweatshirt 


Two things to note here. Most importantly, the cut of this sweatshirt is more ‘V’ shaped than anything else at this quality level. A bit shorter, narrower waist, slightly dropped shoulders. Appealing to anyone that wears higher waisted trousers. 

Second, it’s a grey melange with more black in it than the classic sweat you see from Merz b Schwanen and so on. This makes it look less clean-cut, less smart. It’s not an uncommon colour, but worth noting as an alternative. 

Drake’s ecru jeans 


I’m not that much of a fan of the washes on the Drake’s jeans, but the ecru pair is the perfect shade of off-white, and it’s a great cut: medium to high rise, generous leg without being baggy, and a subtle taper. 

I’m a little in between sizes, but I actually prefer the colour of the ecru to my bespoke pair from Levi’s. So if the fit works for you, they’re a great choice. 

Niwaki Higurashi secateurs


Niwaki is a Japanese gardening shop that has just opened on Chiltern Street. And it’s run by a reader, Jake, so it must be good.

The products are beautiful, with a real focus on craft, and not all just for gardening - there are kitchen things, a bit of stationery, and some pocket knives. 

I bought my wife a pair of the Higurashi secateurs, which are a joy. The same feeling I’ve had from things like my knife made by Sasuke when we were in Japan: it just performs beautifully, and you feel it every single time it’s used.

The Higurashi set count as mid-range, below the pro level but above the starter options. If you’re worried about looking after them well, it’s worth reading the ‘About’ section of the site. 


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Misbah Siddiqui


Niwaki is on Chiltern Street, am sure it’s a typo.



Great to see the recommendation for the EGs. I was after a pair of winter boots and was undecided between the Lanark and a pair of Connemara. The waxed seem a better fit with denim for the winter would you think?


Simon, do you think the waxed Chukkas would work with tailoring, flannels etc?


Can I check – would normal dark brown suede Chukkas be more easily worn with tailoring and therefore more versatile?


Believe there are also Galways coming out as part of the new collection in waxed suede (someone on Styleforum scraped an image from the EG site).


I have a cashmere shirt from Stòffa (similar to the one Colhay’s offer) and I highly recommend it. In the way you describe it, untucked and over a t-shirt, it offers a great balance between smart and casual.


Yes I agree that it is delicate, but since it’s never in contact with my skin I’m not planning to wash it very much. And I like that it is lightweight, I tend to reach for it when it’s not cold enough for a warmer cashmere sweater.


Got it! Keep us posted if you end up trying one, I’d be curious to know if you like the colors they have available now.


Hi Simon,
A note to say that I bought 4 knives recently from Eric Chevalier ([email protected]) who was the apprentice to Sasuke in the initial article you wrote and have referenced here again. Eric currently promotes artisan knives from this website:
I cook alot at home and I have some friends who are professional chefs. In our opinion, the knives I got from this site through Eric Chevalier are works of art.
And any queries I had in relation to their keep and maintenance were expertly answered. It was a pleasure to deal with him, so I would heartily recommend him to anyone who might be interested in acquiring products from artisans of such calibre.


Great article Simon. Quick question regarding that lovely Civilman trouser by Anthology. Is the denim they use prewashed or will these trousers shrink quite a bit? Just asking since their website doesn’t say anything other than it’s Japanese denim.


Dear Simon

Can you give us a tutorial on how to produce such a stylish, cheesy grin?




Hi simon, i saw this cool vintage piece from broadway which may be great for winter ( and toyed with the idea of getting it but the patterns seems very loud. What are your thoughts on the pattern and on versatility?


Thanks Simon are buffalo checks an inherently country thing? I live in a humid asian country and will only see myself using this in a more urban environment for overseas travel use in colder climates. I love the design but I’m not sure of the connotations. Are they something you wear while chopping wood in the winter country side to build a fire or can I wear this walking in town in Tokyo?


I think these larger checks, weights & if brushed cotton or flannels need a chill in the ai.


Wasn’t expecting to see secateurs!

By the way, I don’t know if it’s just me but the Instagram stories section seems to be very out of date – last one I can see is the Duke of Windsor tying a tie.

Justin Givens


Can you speak to the fit of the Colhays polo? I’ve been eyeing this in brown for awhile but was concerned just how slim it would be given your previous description of the brand. I hoped erring on the next size up may do the trick but was curious of your experience. Thanks.


Justin, I got Colhays’ short sleeve cashmere polo earlier in the year. I am pretty slim, wear a 38 jacket, ordered a 40 in the polo, and it works, but barely. I think they mean it when they say they design for slimmer men. The next time I will probably order a 42 from them. I hope this helps. More generally, I really like the design of the polo and the quality, and I will definitely be ordering from Colhays again.


Hi Simon, A useful article, especially in as much, for the introduction to new ideas and brands which you do so well. I can also recommend the Uniqlo socks and whilst I see your point on the synthetic in the Heat Tech winter version, I have found them very good in cold weather with boots (yes a different look) and my toasty toes do appreciate them! Also the Heat Tech vests are a good practical purchase for the colder months.

A quick question, what is your view dark brown suede (ordinary or waxed) Chelsea boots with dark grey flannel trousers say when worn with a tweed jacket or blazer?

Finally was informed by email the 45R store in London is closing. Sad as I don’t like to see businesses closing premises. I think their price point was simply too high for the type of product they were selling. Whilst prices likely reflects their costs, £400 – £500+ for oxford and indigo shirts respectively does not suggest any USP , say compared to for example Clutch Cafe or Nigel Cabourn.


Thanks Simon. Any views on a tobacco shade of desert boot or Crocket and Jones Latimer Snuff suede derby shoe. Thanks again.


Thank you.


Would you consider that waxed suede chelsea suitable for wearing with a business suit on a day with bad weather?

  1. I assume the benefit of waxed suede is that it would look smarter than an oiled leathers but be similarly weather-resistant?
  2. Would a waxed suede need to be regularly re-waxed? Could that be done at home easily?
  3. The Colthay shirt cardigan is interesting. I’m thinking it’s almost more versatile than a polo—can be worn like a polo, or a shirt, or a cardigan.

Thanks. Does the waxed suede provide similar weatherproofing to oiled leathers? Living through Canadian winters, I’m always looking for footwear options that are smart enough that I don’t have to change them once I get indoors for at least smart casual outfits.

Timothy Kermode

I loved the look of the pines overshirt, so I just went to buy it. Idk if it was bc I connected from this site, but when I went to pay, it was half off.

Evatt Gibson

It’s from their Spring/Summer collection which is heavily reduced right now but only until Friday when all S/S stock is removed from the site. Don’t hang around if you want one!


Thank you for posting this! It is indeed 50% on sale right now.


Thanks for the article, Simon. I’m a great fan of Colhay’s, and the shawl collar cardigan is one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe. I have the ecru one, and considering to add the olive or dark brown to my collection. Quality is top notch.
How would you compare the Sunspel fisherman’s knit with those from A&S?


Now on the other end of the spectrum, how would you compare the sunspel one to this one from Ralph Lauren? My own sense is that I may like the RL one a bit more aesthetically, just not as sure if it works as well over a t-shirt alone.


What have you got against the washes of the other Drakes’ jeans? I have the stone wash and think they’re great. Great cut and dark enough to be smart-ish, but light enough to go well with navy on top.


Did you also mind that kind of washing with your mid wash jeans from anglo italian? If I am not confused they are very similar in the washing style to Drake‘s or Berg & Berg etc.


Hi Simon,
A few seasons ago Drake’s collaborated with BLA for their jeans, then launched their own which I felt weren’t as good in colour, tone or feel – I never tried them for fit. In the end I found BLA had more styles, colours & weights of denim. That’s where I bought my Ecru jeans from rather than Drake’s as in the list – & they’ll repair them free of charge should there be a need later. It seems to me to be a trend to collaborate for the cache of a brand then later to do an inferior version possibly manufactured abroad; I’d rather keep it local with an artisan.
As for the waxed suede Chelsea boots I’ve bought a pair & they’re a great alternative to suede boots when the weather is rainy & the fear of salt marks arises.
Nice surprise regarding the secateurs, where I am in need of a replacement pair; but are they too smart for my gardening gear;-)


Hi Simon,
Agreed it might not be their intention but it can be perceived as such when they then try their own styling only to be found wanting. They perhaps want it branded if they think they can undertake it themselves. I’m all for collaborations & recognition of artisans like BLA as new variations appear as with the Turnball & Asser/BLA jeans- hopefully they will carry on the association with recognition of the artisan rather than their own attempted copy which might turn out to be inferior.
As for trends is there a move of manufacture of some clothing items to Portugal & away from Italy?
As for the secateurs & our clothes it always pays to look after them & then they will look after you in long service, besides what could be better than polishing our shoes, ironing our shirts or keeping our tools honed.


At a different level I noted that Cordings corduroy trousers, which have been of good quality & and reasonably priced & made in Italy are now produced in Portugal. I dare say this is cost driven although not perhaps with the same cache.


Hi Simon, how would you compare the boots from eg with the boots from c&j ? The price difference is almost 1 pair.


On this point, I bought a pair of Alan McAfee ( of Cork Street but no longer trading I think) scotch grain monk shoes 40 years ago. I still wear them now & they are in good nick & I still get pleasure in wearing them & admiring the patina of the leather.


I was delighted and surprised to see the brand “Niwaki”, having bought two of Jake’s books on pruning. Far afield from classic men’s clothing but still well within the “craftsmanship” tent.


If I may: how do the Drake‘s ecru jeans compare to the Anglo-Italian ones in terms of colour and cut?


On a similar note, do you know how Drake’s ecru jeans compare to Blackhorse Lane’s NW1 ecru jeans in both cut and colour? The Drake’s model does look good but I know you’re a fan of the NW1!


Two quick observations. First, I have many pairs of Anonymous Ism socks (including the off white, which I’m wearing like now) and love them. However, they can occasionally shrink in the wash (at 40 c), which is rather irritating. Secondly, I cannot for the life of me understand the cult appeal of RRL. The style of most of the pieces is him-hum to outright dorky, and their prices make even The Real McCoys look cheap. I can’t help but feel that one pays for a designer mark-up, which strikes me as very un-Permanent Style.

Stuart Miller

Hi Simon

Great post , as always.
As a keen user of Niwaki gardening tools for many years, it’s a great pleasure to hear that you’ve also discovered this fantastic seller of some of the finest tools, gardening or otherwise, available.
Not sure if you’ve seen it, but there’s an interview that Gardeners World’s Monty Don had with Jake, maybe a couple of years ago?
Worth checking out if your interested in his back story etc.



What would you say is the use case for a fisherman’s sweater? How would you style it? What pants/shoes would you pair it with? In what types of events and/or situations would you wear it?


I’ve got some more questions about the fisherman’s sweater.

  1. Do you think it would be appropriate to wear with a pair of white sneakers like some Common Projects?
  2. You mentioned that you would pair it with jeans/chinos. I can see the jeans working with the off-white color, but for a pair of khaki chinos would the off white color still work or would you go with another color? If so, which one(s)? I don’t know if there would be enough contrast between the top and bottom?

What other colors would you recommend for the fisherman’s sweater or would just just stick with the off-white? What about a fisherman’s sweater in navy? Sunspel also has a navy variant of the one you linked.


Would you also consider a shetland a casual sweater? Do you think a shetland and a fisherman’s sweater would be interchangeable in terms of where you could wear it and what you could wear it with?


Dear Simon,

maybe you should expand your hunting area. Arket has some ‘ivy’ socks with good value for the money (around 10 €).
Speaking of autumn… do you have any experience with the Heimat rollneck?

Best regards


Dear Simon, atteched the link to the the socks from Arket
@ rollneck
I have seen your Brycelands rollneck, but I am bit scared of ordering in Hongkonk in terms of sizing and possible additional shipping costs, despite the fact of increasing my carbon footprint. The Heimat rollneck seems to be thicker, but with a similar cut. So I am interesting, if you have any experience with their products in terms of sizing, cut, etc.


Dear Simon,

thank you for your response. My source of inspiration for the Heimat rollneck was from L’Etiquette (last year) and Clutch Cafe. ..


For what it’s worth, I really like the Kamakura vintage Ivy socks


Mind if I ask what size you wear in the Colhay polo? I’ve been interested as well but the measurements look pretty small


Hello Simon.

I see your love for cardigans continues. Im in the market for one and have seen the versions of Drake’s, Colhays and Anderson&Sheppard. They are lovely but might also be expensive due to shipping cost. Ive also heard good things about Sctt and Charters but cannot seem to find their version for sale. Or even other brands that (ive heard) use their version. Do you know where they are still to be found? Also have seen a version by Timothy everest at quite a lower price. HAve you seen that one? It seems the offers for good cardigans all come from the UK.

Patrick Cassidy

Hi! first time poster, love the site. Do you have any recommendations for a fisherman’s knit that is oversized? I really want something that isn’t super baggy but I can wear it while relaxing around the apartment. Thanks!

Patrick Cassidy

Yeah, it looks exactly what I’m looking for but I’m not really looking for anything fitted. I would like something looser to be worn casually.

Patrick Cassidy

No worries, I appreciate the response. Have a good one!


Hi Simon
what do you wear your cream ivy socks with. Ecru jeans? Faded jeans? Stone (or similar) chinos?
thanks Malcolm


Hi Simon. You mention Colhay’s shawl neck, and use it as the article’s top image, but you don’t include it on your list! What are you thoughts on it? Is there a reason it didn’t make the Top 10?


Simon, if you’ve tried them both how does the Colhay’s shawl compare to Begg’s? The two cashmere models have similar measurements (though sizes are labelled differently), so is it just down to the colour palette and pockets as the difference between them or are there finer, less apparent details in fit/construction/finish?


Ah of course, yes I noticed that too and thought that made it perhaps slightly less of an outerwear shawl should the wind get in..
Did you notice any difference in fit between the two, given Colhay’s USP in slim-fit knitwear with its tapered body and smaller armholes vs Begg’s squarer (well, from the photos anyway) body?


Thanks Simon for taking the time to reply to those of us who aren’t in London to try either!

Ian Leslie

I like the Edward Green range…did you have anything against the derby?


Re ivy socks how would you say these look, maybe too white?


Colorful Standard have brought out what they call ‘active socks‘, which have some nice ribbing and in solid colours


I’ve been impressed with the Kenia waxed suede boots by Sanders. An option for those on a budget.


How does the Colhay polo differ from the Lockie one? Is it just the color or is the fit also significantly different (slimmer or shorter maybe)?


The standard Lockie cashmere polo (Oxton cashmere sport shirt). In the description of the Colhay’s it sounds like you own one of these standard lockies, too.


Simon, the Crabtree one states that it is 21 gauge, while the Colhay’s one says it;s 12 gauge. Can you notice this difference? Is the Colhay’s thicker? Thanks


Are the Colhay’s polo featured in the article and the Lockie one referenced in the comment thicker and more suited to be worn over a shirt than instead of one? And would that rather make them knit rugbies? They do appear quite thicker than e.g. Smedley and PS knit polos.


On the ivy socks: I can recommend the Japanese brand RoToTo. Nice colour, thickness and quality. Trunk have them, but not the same style that I own, I think.


Simon, apropos of one of your recent IG stories on the EG Camden boot, I thought I’d put in a word for George Cleverley’s MTO offering. I recently collected a pair of MTO boots based on the Robert Chelsea boot but with a Dainite sole and in rough out suede. I’m fond of the square-ish toe and find the rounded toes a little ugly – hence my choices.
The cost and lead time compared very favourable to other makers too.
All the best.


The price was £850 and the lead time around 8 weeks.


Hi Simon, may I ask what clothing(jackets/trousers) you wear these days? For instance, do you wear corduroy or still wear high twists? It’s September, but it feels similar to summer.

Many thanks,


I see.
Do you think the linens could still work in September, although it is still warm?
On the other side, if someone wears around 12oz wool cloth jacket and mid-weight corduroys/flannels trousers these days as it’s ‘autumn’ regardless of the temperature, would they look out of place?


Understood, thanks.


Seriously considering the Colhays cashmere polo, do you still recommend it? I recall you mentioning that it doesn’t look good under a jacket–does that make you regret purchasing it? Do you wear it over a collared shirt or just on its own? Thanks!


Hi, Simon! On the fisherman sweater front, I bought in late 2020 (or was it early 2021?) an amazing one from The Merchant Fox that I cannot recommend enough, it’s just amazing. Don’t know if they still make it, but it is so great. Mine is navy, and a very nice deep shade, but if I recall well they had a natural/beige one too. Strong, sturdy, not too prickly, thick and warm, and slightly fitted. Kept me amazingly warm in the icy Vienna winds. It had a bit of a scent to it, my wife claims it is the sheep scent, which I hope is true 🙂 Plus they shipped it with a complimentary bar of soap on a rope from an English brand, which was a nice and thoughtful gift.


Ah so that is lanolin, thanks.

It seems The Merchant Fox don’t stock the same model now, but a different weave fisherman knit that seems to be cut more straight. The collar is higher and tighter on mine too, and the wool a bit more shiny. And the new one must be a more expensive/luxurious material as it now costs quite a bit more than mine did. You can check it out in 3 colours here:

Mine is actually just like this one, the same model:



I’m in the market for some new boots, ideally that I can slip on easily for nursery runs in bad weather (I’m in Geneva and the weather is like glasgow over winter) but that I cam dress up a little.

I was eyeing the EG Govan but I’m struggling to justify the prices tbh. I own a fair few EG but they are becoming increasingly out of reach.

have you looked at other options such as the C&J? Or any pointers for other brands with a similar wax suede?

Thanks in advance


Hello Paul. I don’t know how easy it is to physically see C&J in Geneva so here is a close up of their rough out suede leather in brown if that helps, as sometimes official website pictures are met that helpful. I haven’t owned them long enough to comment on their usage. Cheers!