Reader Profile: Andrew

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This is the third in our series of articles meeting, and questioning, Permanent Style readers.

The first profiled Manish, who enthused about Russian watches and recommended that readers should start building a wardrobe with good trousers. And the second featured David, an Australian whose advice was that readers should seek out tailors who also offer good style advice. 

Today it’s the turn of Andrew, an American who currently lives in Zurich, and buys at perhaps at a slightly higher level than the other two. 

OUTFIT 1: FORMAL

Here I’m wearing a DB solaro suit by Ferdinando Caraceni, a striped poplin shirt from Siniscalchi, and a knitted silk tie from Charvet. The shoes and belt are from Stivaleria Savoia.

This outfit is indicative of how I like to dress this time of year for work. Solaro wears quite warm and I find it is the perfect fabric for spring and autumn, on sunny but not hot days. It’s too heavy to wear in the summer above 25 degrees or so, as is a gabardine so and doesn’t breathe well. 

At first I was worried solaro would be hard to wear, but I actually find it very easy as it goes with a very wide range of colors. I actually have to stop myself from wearing this suit too often.

What job do you do?

I own a restructuring and turnaround advisory business based in Zurich. My clients are mainly SMEs and mid-sized investment firms based in Switzerland, Italy and France, and I travel regularly to Paris and Milan to visit clients.

I wear a suit and tie to the office almost every day. In these cities, light-coloured and more casual suits tend to be more common than in London, where I used to live, and are considered acceptable business attire. As a result I wear a lot more gabardine, cotton, linen and flannel suits and a lot fewer blue and grey worsteds than I did in London.

Has that changed with things becoming more casual too?

Yes, I’ve made some subtle changes to how I dress to continue wearing a suit, but in a more casual way. I love striped shirts of all kinds, for example, and often wear a striped shirt with a solid knitted (in spring/summer) or wool (in autumn/winter) tie and suede or slip-on shoes with a suit, to take down the level of formality.

I usually only wear a solid white or blue shirt, printed silk tie, pocket square and black oxfords for an important occasion, like a board of directors meeting. Otherwise, that combination feels a bit too much these days. But these things go in cycles and I’m sure I’ll go back to solid shirts and the rest before long.

Who are your style icons?

My style icons are Sergio Loro Piana, Yves Saint Laurent, Carlo Caracciolo and John Stefanidis. These are all men who, in my opinion, dressed elegantly and had a certain nonchalant attitude that made them very chic.

For more current examples, I take inspiration from men I meet or see walking around on the street, mainly when I travel to Milan and Paris. They are usually older men who have nothing to prove, and as a result look perfectly comfortable and natural in their clothes. For example, my Russell Check jacket, loden overcoat, and yellowish cotton suit are all things that found their way into my wardrobe as a result of taking inspiration this way.

I don’t really follow anybody on Instagram, mostly because I use social media very little.

OUTFIT 2: SEMI-FORMAL

In this outfit I’m wearing grey flannel trousers and a brown jacket by Ferdinando Caraceni, a button-down chambray shirt by Siniscalchi, and a dark-green merino cardigan. The suede oxfords and the belt are by Stivaleria Savoia.

The outfit shows the benefits of visiting a tailor in their workshop, rather than selecting cloth from sample bunches during a trunk show. The cloth for the jacket is a vintage hazelnut and black grain-of-rice pattern from the 1970s or 80s (maker unknown) that I found digging through F. Caraceni’s archive of fabric. 

The flannel trousers are also from an old roll of Fintex flannel that’s at least 20 years old. I tend to prefer vintage flannels to modern ones, as they tend to be heavier and more compact. I find newer flannels can be a bit spongy.

How do you travel to work?

I normally walk to work, often dropping my son off at the creche and then continuing to the office.

In Zurich we have four distinct seasons: in spring and autumn it tends to rain a lot, summer can get quite hot, and winter is very cold. As a result, I have use for a lot of things that I wouldn't in a more temperate climate, like heavy outerwear to avoid getting too cold in the winter and linen and high twist suits in the summer to avoid overheating. 

It also means that for the sake of practicality I tend to wear things that, according to the textbook, should not go together, like my suede EG Galway boots with a suit on a rainy day.

Does the amount of light, and sun, make a difference too?

Yes, moving to Switzerland from London in early 2020 and setting up my own business had a

big impact there. The places I spend my time now tend to be sunnier than London, which lend themselves to wearing more and warmer colours.

During the week I wear a lot of light-coloured, more casual suits (for example, in shades of beige, taupe, brown and green), which I never did in England. We try to spend as much time as possible in the mountains or in Italy at the weekend as well, and I tend to wear warm shades of brown, green, burgundy, and yellow when I am out of the city.

What do you spend least money on?

Trousers, summer sports jackets, and accessories. 

Relative to the number of suits and jackets I have, I have few trousers. This is because I tend to use trousers as a neutral base to build an outfit around, a bit like Simon’s concept of the Italian Background applied to trousers.

I find that you can go a long way with only a few pairs of trousers: one or two grey flannels, grey tropical or high twist, blue jeans, and then a pair of cotton trousers or chinos depending on your taste and how formally you dress.

With a basic wardrobe of 5-6 pairs of trousers I can mix and match a lot and cover almost any occasion where I don’t wear a suit. My trouser wardrobe will probably grow slowly over time, but these will be more nice-to-haves than anything essential.

I don’t spend much money on accessories like bags, scarves or gloves because I have a few of each that I really like and have used for a long time, and I don’t have any need to replace them.

OUTFIT 3: CASUAL

In this outfit I’m wearing a russell-check jacket by Ferdinando Caraceni, Levi’s Lot 1 jeans, and a Barolo-coloured (I made this name up, it’s a dark red with more brown in it than Burgundy or Bordeaux, which tend to have a bit of purple) cashmere rollneck. The boots are suede Edward Green Galways.

I spend a lot of time in the mountains and countryside over the weekend, and this is how I like to dress when I am away from the city. The jacket is a 560g thornproof tweed from the Huddersfield Alsport bunch and is absolutely indestructible. I have no doubt it will outlive me.

The Galways are a masterpiece of design. I wear them like this over the weekend, as well as to the office with a flannel suit on a rainy or snowy day. The fit isn’t quite as good as my bespoke

shoes, but it’s good enough and these boots are otherwise so good that it makes no sense to try to improve them by asking a bespoke maker to copy them.

How long have you been reading Permanent Style?

I’ve been reading PS since almost the beginning, and I recall going back and reading through the archive of what was written before I started. 

What I like most about PS is that it has evolved over time as my knowledge has grown and I have built my wardrobe. Simon and I are almost the same age, and we were in very similar stages of our lives when he started PS and I started reading it. 

Early on, I really liked the reviews of tailors and other makers, as I was trying to find which styles worked for me and why and to find a tailor that fit that. Now that I have found that tailor and am no longer shopping around, I am much more interested in the thought pieces and interviews. 

I still read the reviews and technical pieces, though I tend to skim through them as I am not in the market for a new tailor and have never really been interested in the technical side of tailoring. I view that as my tailor’s job, not mine.

I like PS because Simon is genuinely curious about all kinds of tailoring, and that shows through in the breadth and depth of the articles. The articles are well written, thoughtful and cover a broad enough range of topics that they don’t become repetitive. 

I also find it remarkable that, unlike any other website or social media feed, PS has managed to keep the level of discourse in the comments section extremely civil, which is a reflection of Simon’s personality.

What’s your best piece advice for readers?

My tip for readers is based on great advice I got from my dear friend Gianluca Migliarotti, which is that tailors are made by their long-term clients. 

It is very hard to understand the style of any tailor without understanding the tastes, preferences and lifestyle of their clients. Those clients are the ones that keep tailors in business, and tailors become good at making what they order.

Based on my experience, you are most likely to be satisfied with the work of a tailor with clients whose lifestyle and taste most closely match yours, as they will be more likely to make you a garment that matches your own vision of how you want to look.

Everybody has that vision and it is worth thinking hard about it before spending a lot of money on clothes - bespoke or otherwise. That vision will be refined over the years as you develop your sensibility, but investing a bit of time and energy up front can help to avoid costly mistakes.

Photography: Mohan Singh @mohansinghphotography

 

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zo

Unmistakably American style! I saw the image on the website homepage and that’s the first thing I thought.
Andrew clearly has great style, and a good sense of mixing colours. IMO the super structured jackets shoulders look a bit dated (or maybe not, given they’re being revived by high fashion brands). Otherwise some good ideas here. I do wish it was easy to wear solaro, cottons, anything not grey/navy here in London.
Can you share where that black leather holdall is from in the casual outfit photos?

Andrew

Hi Zo. The bag is a very dark brown S-line bag from Valextra. I don’t think they make it any more.

John

Hi ZO,
“Unmistakably American style”? I don’t think so. I would rather say that Andrew combines “three different styles”: Italian, British and American. Even regardless of the pics featuring few outfits of his wardrobe, it simply can’t be otherwise for a longtime PS reader…
Fortunately, from what I have read so far, Andrew could help us decide whether his style were typically “American”.
John

Andrew

Hi Zo. I don’t really think of it as distinctly American. I would say my main influence is Northern Italian, but with more color than the very blue and grey centric wardrobe you often see. I add N American details with Pink and White/Lilac stripe oxford , and demin shirts for more casual occasions. In any case I am very flattered by the compliment and I’m not too fussed about definitions. As Nicoletta Caraceni often says, bello è bello.

John

Hi ANDREW,
Thank you very much for this clarification that also improves our understanding of what you mean by “vision”, which is a prerequisite for any process aimed at working out one’s own style.
John

Nick

This is great! Andrew might be a bit less idiosyncratic in the way he dresses than the two previous profiles, but to my eye he has the most elegant outfits (the two previous profiles were great too though). Simon, what do you think of the structured jacket with jeans look? From what you have written in the past I would imagine that it wouldn’t be how you would dress, but I just think it looks great.
Also, I would like to second Andrew and thank you for keeping this a place of civilised discussion.

Noel

Ultimately this is the key: If one likes a given style and feels comfortable, it will look good and others will appreciate even if they wouldn’t necessarily wear the exact same clothes.

Robin

The jackets don’t have a silhouette and the trousers appear quite wide .
Both things we don’t often see on PS.

Whilst this makes Andrew’s look appear less ‘tailored’ it does give him a timeless look .

Andrew

Hi Robin, thank you, I try to keep in mind the overall proportions of what I wear. I am fairly tall (6’3″ / 189 cm) and have big feet (size 45/46). If I wear slim trousers with narrow ankle openings with my jackets, which have a structured shoulder and generous lapel, to my eye the proportions wouldn’t work. There is definitely some room for playing around based on preference for slightly narrow or slightly wider, but the dimensions are mainly driven by the overall proportions and trying to create a suit that looks harmonious.

Dario

Hi,
Quite enjoyable article as usual. I’m curious about the knitwear brands, they are the only ones not mentioned.

Andrew

They are both Loro Piana, standard models and sizes ordered MTO as those colours aren’t available RTW.

Dario

Thanks for the reply and for taking the time to reply all of the other questions! It adds a lot to the article.

Gary

With these structured jackets worn with casual pants/jeans I think it really is down to Andrew being/feeling comfortable in the clothes he wears. It generally seems to work, if you are comfortable then the outfit works… I like his style

Andrew

Hi Gary, thank you very much. This goes back to my comment about defining your own style and how you want to look. I have tried less structured jackets in the past and they didn’t look right to me. I felt like I was wearing somebody else’s clothes. While wearing a more structured jacket with jeans isn’t what a lot of people would recommend, it fits more my style and how I want to dress.

Gary

I know exactly what you mean shipmate, some things work and some things don’t and there is not a lot we can do to change that. Good style is as much how you feel as how you look; much as I like the soft suit look I feel so much better in outfits with structure and oddly get more compliments when wearing them.

Andrew

Hi Gary, I am with you there. In a comment below I said that I knew I had found what I was looking for the first time I visited F. Caraceni. Nicoletta started by having me try on a few of her clients’ jackets that were in the workshop (a great sales technique, by the way) and I found that click with what I wanted to look like. I feel more comfortable in that style of jacket and I think it shows. I also get more compliments as well than when I wore softer tailoring. The solaro is pretty crazy, people have literally stopped me in the street to compliment the suit. I always send Nicoletta a whatsapp when they do, which I think she appreciates.

Shoddy

I really enjoyed this piece. I think Andrew’s taste is a little less “menswear” than the others in this series.

Andrew

Hi Shoddy and Simon, I think I would agree with that comment overall. Most of my references for style aren’t really “menswear” people. I use IG and other social media very little, so apart from reading PS I don’t pay much attention to what is going on in the menswear world.

I will try to reply to as many comments as possible over the next few days but it is very busy right now and can’t promise I’ll get to all.

Aaron

It always interests, and saddens me, learning how different some historic fabrics are. There’s definitely something pleasing about heavier fabrics.
Great style, definitely something similar to what I aspire to.

Andrew

Hi Aaron, I find that the weight is definitely a factor and I definitely prefer heavier cloths. As much as the weight, I also find that current clothes are finished different which seems to give them a different look and hand. I am not a technical expert but I find that most current cloths tend to be softer and a bit “sleeker” or more slippery (sorry I can think of a better way to explain it). Older fabrics tend to be a bit less finished, which I often prefer.

Stephen

Hi Simon,
Great to see the variation of styles in these articles. Always enjoyable and informative. In particular agree with point made around accessories. Sticking with a few you really like, rather than just buying more because you can.
I too support Andrew’s point and thank you for keeping this a place of civilised discussion.

Peter Hall

Very enjoyable and educational. Good point about the trousers-taking inspiration from PS, I’m down to half a dozen. Structured jackets are a PS rarity! I must dig mine out. Great to see use of brown.

Andrew

Thank you Peter. I absolutely love brown and would like to wear more. A lot of the future commissions I have in mind are for more casual suits and jackets, in shades of brown or green.

Jim

I like Andrew’s style a great deal. Here is a man that clearly wears clothes for the love of beautiful make and material, with confidence and a strong sense of personal style. I can completely see why the ensembles we see here would work well within the locales he frequents as he describes them. For me at least, this is what PS is about.

Andrew

Thank you very much Jim.

MBB355

I love Andrew’s style. Classic yet uniquely his own all at once. Exudes comfort and confidence. I also love his point that, unlike other online forums, the discourse on PS is always civil and pleasant. That’s a rarity these days. I wonder if part of the reason is that PS readers are especially interested in pursuing elegance, which, in addition to dressing well, means maintaining a polite and courteous attitude.

Andrew

Thank you very much. Looking comfortable in my clothes is super important to me. The number one thing I try to avoid when I get dressed is to look contrived or like my clothes are wearing me. That is one of the reasons I don’t follow “menswear” too much. I find a lot of the looks very contrived and have a hard time people ever actually dress like that.

Maxwell

Agreed, unfortunately.
I think when it comes to dressing well that it’s critical to be cognizant of how it affects people around you. The purpose of good style should be to elevate joy and beauty in the world, not just boast your own ego in relation to others. When it is executed effortlessly and with good intent, your clothing puts others at ease and makes them feel that you value their time and company.
Like you, Simon, I’m extremely reluctant to refer to or even think of myself as a gentleman since the term has become bastardized to the point where many regard it as little more than out dressing others.
As always, the goal should be to be the best we can be rather than be better than others.

Jason

This man dresses incredibly well and is the best example of ‘Permanent Style’ to haunt this hallowed cyber hall. He avoids all the cliches and has an absolutely uncontrived nonchalance. His point about older guys is absolute correct. We have nothing to prove and that’s why we do it better. He also understands his own colouring incredibly well and makes it work for him.

Andrew

Hi Jason, thank you very much for the kind words. I have learned a lot about selecting the right colors for my complexion from Nicoletta Caraceni. I tend to look better in warmer colors, as cold ones can make me look a bit washed out. I often find I get a bit lost, if you know what I mean, in cold colors. Being able to see a whole length of fabric, from a distance in a full length mirror when choosing is very helpful for that.

Peter O

Dear Jason,

Since you agree with Andrew’s theory of old age, please prove it by examples of colour selection.

Jason

I’m not sure I understand your question.
Colour choices aren’t driven by age. They are about skin tone and hair colour.

BB

Older chap nodding vigorously! On a lighter note I once stumbled on David Bailey, the photographer, slouched, sitted in a doorway opposite Selfridges in London many years ago. I had to do a double take to be sure he wasn’t a tramp. Went over to shake hands and he just had that ‘devil may care’ attitude. Now that was some serious ‘shabby chic’ if ever there was one.

Jason D

Unfortunate swastika on the column in the preview pic!

Hugh

It’s a form of Grecian key, an design ornament thousands of years old. Unfortunately, the end of the deign does look a bit swastika-y, but you can see the full design in some of the other photos

Manifest Architektura

But its just a harmless meander pattern, not a swastika.

Peter O

Excellent reply, Simon! It is claimed by some the principle of thinking is differentiation.

Anonymous

Spot on, Simon. Too much time on my hands today clearly. Not to ignore the potential for mis-association, it’s part of an architectural ornament called a “meander,” which is evident in several of the photos. The pattern is most likely from Ancient Greece or Rome. For architectural enthusiasts, more info here: https://www.craftsmanspace.com/free-patterns/ancient-greek-meanders.html

EL

That’s not a swastika. Each protrusion on a swastika has one right angle. Each protrusion here has two.

M L S

I liked your observation and comment when you were asked about your style icons: “ (O)lder men who have nothing to prove, and as a result look perfectly comfortable and natural in their clothes.”

Andrew

Hi MLS, one other thing that I should of mentioned is that I take a lot of inspiration from nature and places I travel, in particular for color combinations.

For example, a current combination I like is faded yellow, dark green and brick. This is a combination that is pretty common in houses on Lake Como: house painted in a faded yellow color with dark green shutters and brick shingles on the roof. I’ve interpreted that with my yellowish cotton suit, green tie and brown suede shoes.

This shoot was done in late Sept, when the leaves were starting to turn in Zurich. Hence the green cardigan with brown jacket.

REUVEN L LAX

Amused to note that Andrew has clearly lived in Europe long enough to adopt some British forms of expression. e.g. writing “at the weekend” which is nearly unheard of in the US (we tend to say “on the weekend”).

Andrew

Hi Reuven, I was born in Australia and grew up in the States but moved to Switzerland when I was 23, so my English is a bit mixed up now.

REUVEN L LAX

I’ve always been fascinated that there are grammatical differences – not simply word choice! – between British and American English. For example “the band are playing well tonight” might be heard in the UK, but would be considered odd and incorrect in the US.

Jonny

I really enjoyed this. Like a lot of people here, I’d consider my style very different to Andrew’s, but think he looks great – especially in the ease and confidence with which he seems to wear these outfits.
I was particularly interested by Andrew’s comment ‘I use IG and other social media very little, so apart from reading PS I don’t pay much attention to what is going on in the menswear world.’ I wonder how many readers there are like Andrew. In my mind, although entirely accessible (in terms of writing, not cost of items covered), PS has existed in the ‘menswear geek ‘space, but perhaps that’s just me projecting?
I suppose that whatever one’s hobby and interests are, be it clothing, art, photography, food, etc, I never considered that certain people may only read a single blog on the subject and avoid the proverbial rabbit-hole.

Andrew

Hi Jonny, thank you very much for your nice comment. I have a lot of other interests and am also quite busy with business and my family, which is one of the reasons I don’t go down the menswear rabbit hole. The other is that doing so isn’t really consistent with the way I learn about or study anything. As with all of my other interests I have learned most about tailoring from observation, talking to people and trial and error. I tend to learn more and better than way than by more structured reading and study.

Jason

I am with Andrew.
PS is absolutely the only sartorial publication I follow and I have no interest in social media whatsoever!

joshgtv

Plus one

Shawn

Hi Andrew,
Love your style and structured look. All jackets in the article are from Ferdinando Caraceni. Which other tailors do you use?
Thanks, Shawn

Andrew

Hi Shawn. I don’t use any other tailors.

Andrew

Hi Shawn, I thought it would be worth elaborating on why I don’t try others. I am very happy with my tailor, shirtmaker and shoemaker. Based on my experience, it takes a big mutual investment in time and energy with a tailor or any other artisan until you are really happy with the work and you and the tailor understand each other. It is hard to reach that level of satisfaction if the commission is a one-off and/or the interaction is not very frequent. Therefore, I find it better to concentrate on only a small number of makers that I am happy with, because that focus leads to better results long term.

Anonymous

I particularly enjoyed this well-written post for several reasons: 

a) As with your writing, Simon, the reader was left with a very clear sense of the intended message/point-of-view.

b) My uniform for a number of years has been chinos with a tweed sports jacket, a merino cardigan, and a polo shirt. A scarf doubles as an topcoat as the weather changes throughout the day. As Andrew appears to do, I enjoy having a variety of odd jackets with an emphasis on tweeds in my case. Many of these are older RTW with more structured shoulders (except those for summer, which is a limited season in my part of the world), which I thought looked fine originally when worn with flannels and gabardines, recently thought should have less structure, and thanks to Andrew will look at with a renewed eye. 

c) Although I understand, Simon, that you intentionally do not focus on dressing to one’s coloring, I have/had coloring similar to Andrew’s (red-headed I believe, although the remainder of mine has faded to what I am told is referred to as ash blond), and this is not easy to work with. I was advised as a young man that I should select colors that “got under my coloring” otherwise the clothing would actually be fighting me, and I have adhered to that. Whether intentional or not (e.g., “Barolo-colored,” that is red with brown vs. purple undertones) and based on these photos, Andrew does this particularly well. This is one of the key reasons he wears the clothes and they don’t wear him. 

d) Enjoyed the reference to the “Italian Background” from 2008, which I had not read. Have been subliminally aware of this for some time, and adopted the concept before that, but it’s great to have a moniker for it. 

e) The russell-check cloth is exceptional and was unaware this type had a specific descriptor.

P.S. Not sure if this paragraph spacing will transfer. Would a team member please check to see that there is a space between paragraphs? Thank you.

Anonymous

Apologies. I know this is my job, not yours, but in the “P.S.” I should have written “double space between paragraphs” as this comment started out. When posted, it morphed to single-spaced and is very hard on the eyes. Please edit if so inclined. Thank you. 

Anonymous

Much appreciated. My being less verbose could also help with readability! 

Andrew

Hi, thank you for the kind remarks. I made a commented above about dressing to suit my colouring. My hair is ash blond (gets a bit more yellow in the summer) and I have green eyes. I find that warmer colors go better with my complexion.

I am not sure if Russell Check is the official name but I’ve heard this used before so I went with it.

Jamie Berry

What’s the thinking on the last button on jacket sleeves being undone? To me it looks somewhat contrived and more often seen as a bit of a gimmick in high end off the peg clothes. Any thoughts?

Andrew

To be honest there is no good reason. It is something I’ve done so long it’s almost a reflex now.

Andrew

Your comment made me think about this and why I do it. I think it’s actually a form of nervous fidgeting. I looked at my jackets and some have no buttons open, some have one, some two, and on some the sleeves aren’t the same. I tend to fidget with the buttons when I’m distracted, opening and closing them. I suppose I just leave them open in most cases.

Peter O

🥳

Steve

I suppose the question might be why do we have buttons if they are not to be used; top & bottom buttons to some jackets; bottom button to DB; top & bottom button to knitted waistcoats under jackets. As for jacket cuffs being unbuttoned I find it useful for greater ventilation to the wrists with a tweed jacket should I overheat plus ease of access to a chunky watch. Buttons are utilitarian not just for show.

Brett

Stylish guy. Accessories are on point as well — love the Valextra bag and Patek Calatrava.

Andrew

Thanks Brett. I love the Valextra bag. I got it ten years or so ago and I’ve had it repaired many time. It is like black hole for the amount of stuff I can fit in it. In the picture you don’t see the wear and tear on the bag.

Tim

Very interesting article. I noted though that all three of your readers work in finance, in some form or other. While I am sure that covers the majority of your readership, given the investment involved, it might be interesting to have someone from a different sphere, offering a different take on style. Just noting that one of your contributors is lead singer in a Norwegian rock band, so I guess there can be real style beyond the Square Mile.

Charles

Interesting read and comments – very Italian industrialist. Would be curious to hear Andrew’s views on his preference for Siniscalchi and his experience with other shirt makers in the north of Italy.

Andrew

Hi Charles. I’ve had a great example with Siniscalchi. The service above all is fantastic and what sets them apart in my mind: we tweaked the first shirt over six months till it was just right, and only them did we settle on the model (and did I pay). There was no experience of buying shirts that weren’t quite right and having to modify them in subsequent orders. I regularly take shirts back if they need small repairs, cuff changes, etc. With the price of a shirt you basically get a lifetime service contract at no extra charge.

The shirt is simpler in a lot of ways compared to Neapolitan shirts for example. Less hand stitching, no shirring at the sleeves. I prefer that style though I can see that some people would say the shirts are expensive given that there is less handwork.

I’ve not tried other N. Italian makers. I’m happy with Siniscalchi so stuck with them.

Peter O

Dear Simon,

This interviewee is the most interesting so far, but because of what he doesn’t say.

Both previous phases North American somewhere and Savile Row have left no trace. Would East Coast preppie or Wild West cowboy forget his past?

His report on German-Swiss economic locomotive Zürich men’s fashion reality is completely wrong, presumably because his business fashion taste now is to adapt to his customers in France and Italy, and aside from a pair of shoes and some cloth he’s completely Italian and French.

Andrew

Hi Peter, as I mentioned above I was born in Australia (I’m actually an australian citizen) and moved to the US when I was young. I then moved to Switzerland before my 23 birthday. I lived in London for around 4 years. At this point I have lived most of my adult life in Switzerland for most of my grownup life. Since I was young I’ve always been most drawn to this sort of style, So it isn’t exactly the case that I’ve abandoned my East Coast preppie routes.

This is just my experience in Zurich. Most of the people I meet in the big banks and law firms seem to wear a blue suit and a white open necked shirt. Ties are pretty rare, as are any of the other fabrics that people wear more often in milan or Paris like linen, flannel, solaro. Maybe I’ve only seen a limited sample though.

Peter O

You live in German-Swiss Zürich and have lived in London home of Savile Row and USA home of prep and Wild West but you
dress like your clients in France and Italy, so your past and Swiss presence is invisible.

Aaron

I find this line of comment very strange. Just because someone’s lived somewhere for a bit why should there necessarily be a reflection of that in ones clothes?

Andrew

Hi Aaron, and Peter, I’ve been a bit slow to reply because I too have had a hard time understanding what to make of it. I grew up in Detroit in the late 1980s and 1990s. The prevailing style at the time was not east coast Ivy, but rather Michael Jordan and Berry Sanders jerseys. So not really a lot to keep from the style of my youth.

My grand father was well dressed and I’ve kept a number of his clothes (like the old Barbour I refer to somewhere in a comment) but he was smaller than me so most don’t fit.

As for influence from Savile row, I started going to Caraceni not long after I moved to London. As I’m happy there and use only one tailor, I wasn’t really interested in trying anyone on Savile Row because I don’t shop around any more. I also haven’t found too much that I could label as a specific Zurich or Swiss style to adapt, as most well dressed people I know go to tailors in Milan or elsewhere in Italy.

Andrew

Hi Peter, for what it’s worth I did pick up a love of English cloth. Almost all tailoring I own is made from English cloth.

Thomas

Very nice to see how you managed to pick up some styling cues from the different places you lived in and made it very effortless Andrew!
Curious to know which denim you used for your Levi’s jeans though, as they seems quite different from Simon‘s. (If you happen to remember)

Andrew

Hi Thomas, I don’t remember the name. It is a heavy Japanese denim they have at Lot 1. I can see if I can ask Lizzie if she remembers.

Andrew

Hi Thomas. I checked with Lizzie and it is called Barfly from Atlantic Mills and it weighs 17.25oz

Andrew

One additional thought: I’ve had these now for about two years and I’m really happy with them now that they are broken in. But it has taken a lot of wearing and lots of washing to get them there. I started washing them from the beginning, which purists would frown upon, and continue to wash them every other week as needed except in the summer because they are too heavy to wear then.

I wouldn’t recommend this denim unless you are willing to get it enough time to break it in, because it definitely needs time.

Damian

It’s fantastic to see the style exuding from Andrew’s portrait piece. I think that I am getting to that happy point when I can also say that I have ‘found my tailor’. Moreover, Andrew’s comments about the wearability of solaro have convinced me that this will be next spring’s, long overdue project. But would you say that solaro only works as a suit and not really as separates? My thinking is that any separate trouser you might wear with the jacket would need to be in a strong enough colour to offer a contrast with the top half, but that it would then in turn overpower the red in the solaro. Perhaps solaro is safest as a suit? Would love to know your thoughts on that. Thanks.

Max Alexander

I own a pair of Rota solaro trousers (Loro Piana fabric). They are indeed somewhat hard to pair with jackets but I find they actually look great with a navy blazer–a nice change from the standard uniform of grey trousers. I also wear them without a jacket in summer as a smart casual evening look, maybe with a black silk shirt and black loafers.

John

Hi MAX ALEXANDER,
I think Simon’s piece of advice holds up for you too when it comes to solaro trousers. See also Andrew’s comment below.
As to the Summer evening outfit you’ve mentionned, frankly, it doesn’t seem to look good at all. Somehow too contrived to even convey a modicum of a good style.
Look, for such an occasion, you have an opportunity to pull off your black loafers and your navy blazer to begin with. And then, according to the specific context you would be in, either a simple white button down shirt for a relaxed outfit, or a white shirt with spread collar and a black knit tie – if you still want that color somewhere. As to the trousers, you now know you’re going to ditch your Loro Piana solaro made by Rota for something darker that would help you avoid a clash with your lovely black loafers. And you will feel better even if you aren’t straying away from “the standard uniform” you seem to dread!
John

Andrew

For me it wouldn’t really work as separately. I am not a technical expert so Simon can correct me, but the weave and handle of Solaro seems to me close to a worsted for a suit. It is really more the color that makes it informal. Using it as a separate would create the same effect as wearing a worsted suit jacket as a separate, at least in my mind.

Max Alexander

Agree I wouldn’t wear a solaro odd jacket but as I mentioned above, solaro odd trousers can work.

Donk

Excellent posting…..Loved the vintage hazelnut and black grain-of-rice pattern on the semi-formal outfit jacket. It makes my medium brown and black herringbone look rather dull.
The last picture with the Rimowa luggage makes a statement.

Andrew

Thank you Donk. I got that suitcase 7-8 years ago when I was travelling to Africa frequently and needed something that could be carried on but was big enough for a 4-5 day trip. I have no idea how many thousands of miles I’ve travelled with it and I’ve had it repaired multiple times.

It’s a great suitcase. Unfortunately given the big price increases of Rimowa post LVMH, the case for buying something from them is a bit more difficult now in my opinion. Similar to Loro Piana.

Dr P

I found Andrew’s style very well thought through, but also spontaneous and very wearable, as exemplified by the “spezzato” in option 2.
This is the kind of forward looking direction for modern tailoring in my opinion.
Thumbs up.

Max Alexander

One might assume that a banking center like Zurich would have more formal business dress than Rome, but the opposite seems true. Maybe because I live in centro—steps from the Senate, the lower house and the PM’s Chigi Palace—all the men are in standard politician navy suits. I get no inspiration from them but instead forge my own path.
Pretty much every tailor in Italy is going to know who I am from TV here. But my regular Roman tailor, Andrea Luparelli, understands me as a person, not a “brand.” He’s met my friends and my sons. We talk cars and food. It can be fun to try an old master cutter in Sicily (at one third the price) or one of the storied shops in Naples but I always come back to Andrea (on my bicycle) and his sage advice.

Andrew

Hi Max. Thanks a lot. As a re read what I wrote, I think saying Zurich is more calsial than Milan isn’t exactly right. In the big banks and law firms here the normal dress seems to be blue suit, open collar white shirt and black shoes. Ties aren’t very common. In Milan, in my experience, most people I meet wear ties, but they also wear more color, flannel, linen, which people in Zurich don’t wear often. So which is more formal?

My experience with Nicoletta is the same. When I go for a fitting, the fitting is the fastest part of the appointment. Most of the time is spent chatting about family, the world, anything and everything apart from the business at hand. As a result we have built a very nice relationship over the years.

Max Alexander

Indeed the navy suit/white shirt/no tie look has spread worldwide and is now the standard executive uniform from Hong Kong to Hamburg. I suppose this coma-inducing trend was inevitable: told they no longer need to wear ties, most men simply took off their ties. Well yes of course they would.

Paolo Martorano

I enjoyed this story a lot. He represents a large segment of the bespoke clientele. The rest is made up of men who have no idea there are people who talk online about tailoring and think it’s hilarious (I’m sure you’ve met a few of those men at shops in your travels Simon). The remaining handful are people who dissect things like #menswear. Nice to see one of these more typical clients willing to pen a story about their sartorial journey. It’s not easy to get someone to do it and endorse their tailors publicly.

Andrew

hi Paolo. Thank you very much. I am very happy with all three of the artisans — F. Caraceni, Siniscalchi and Stivaleria — I work with and would like to recognise them for their work. They do a great job in my opinion and need all the support they can get, as do all capable artisans.

Fatih

Lovely and very tasty style. Refreshingly different than all the same Instagram aesthetics. And I bet he‘s resisting wearing white or beige socks as well!

Andrew

Hi Fatih, thank you!

I am not super adventurous with socks. I generally match them with my trousers or something else I am wearing. I don’t use socks as a statement or something that is meant for anybody to notice or jump out.

For example, in the semi formal and casual outfits I think I had dark red socks on. I haven’t tried white socks, that is a bit too “fashion” to me. As for beige, I really only wear them with tan/beige trousers or sometimes with jeans. I have a quite warm pair of beige wool socks that I sometimes wear when I go to the mountains over the weekend.

VincentL

I really like his semi-formal outfit, the cloth of the jacket is vintage but I think that it can work well today. It would be interesting to have more photos of Andrew’s jackets ! Semi-formal is the future !

Andrew

Hi Vincentl, thank you very much. I tend to agree with you on semi-formal, with the additional of casual suits, being the future. I tend to work in a more formal environment than most, and even I these days am finding wearing traditional blue and grey worsteds a bit much for most occasions. I think we would be much better off shifting to dressing in casual suits and jacket/trousers than jumping all the way to shirt and chinos/jeans, which is where many seem to be going. I’ll leave it to Simon to address your request for more photos.

Nick

Hi Andrew, the outfits you chose for these series are great! What are your go to pieces in terms of outerwear?

Andrew

Hi Nick, thank you very much. My thoughts on outerwear are similar to those on trousers: I have a small number of pieces that I find cover almost all occasions. I have a navy blue 50%/50% wool/cashmere DB overcoat from F. Caraceni that is what I wear the most. It can go from an evening at the ballet or black tie event to wearing with a jacket and trousers. At a push, it also works with jeans and a roll-neck. The second is a camelhair ulster from F. Caraceni that I wear with more casual suits, jacket/trousers and also almost any more casual outfit. That coat is mainly limited by the fact that is is very warm, so I can only really wear it when it’s below 10 degrees Celcius. That is pretty often in Zurich. Then I have an old Barbour Northumbria jacket from the 90s that I wear on the weekend. For example on top of the last outfit. I have one or two other coats, but I use those three the most.

In the spring, I mainly use two old Aquascutum A-line raglan sleeve raincoats, one in a classic beige color and one in a light olive color. These have the advantage that they are quite a bit longer than most current rain coats, falling slightly below the knee.

WCC

One of the better profile/article. Andrew’s interaction added context. IMO, a perfect example of what owning your style means. Thanks Simon/PS.

Andrew

Hi WCC, thanks for the comment and sorry for the delay. I was thinking about your very nice comment and how to reply to it. One of the things I hope that I was able to communicate is that when you have identified your own style, feel comfortable with it, and work with top notch tailors, you don’t need to overdue it or add gimmicks. That the wearer is comfortable and wearing a great suit or jacket speaks for itself, and people will notice and react positively, even if they have different preferences.

Hugh Firmin

Thanks for these reader profiles! Andrew has fantastic color sense. And I love how he wears the Russell-check jacket in a casual way. First I’d really seen someone do that. Thanks!

Andrew

Hi Hugh, I was introduced to the Russell Check jacket by Nicoletta, who said it is one of her favourites. I was a bit intimidated at first by the fabric because it is a big check, quite heavy, and the colors may seem quite strong (e.g, burgundy and orange overcheck). I only got comfortable with commissioning it when I saw the whole length of the fabric in her workshop and decided that, when worn, it isn’t as strong as it seems. But for sure, it is a jacket that you need to wear with a certain degree of confidence and nonchalance, otherwise it will dominate you and you risk looking a bit ridiculous.

Peter

Very enjoyable read. Andrew might you be able to talk us briefly through how you alighted upon F Caraceni as your tailor of choice? Who else you tried along the way, what ultimately sealed the decision for you, etc?

Andrew

Hi Peter. I had always been most interested in the Northern Italian/Milanese style since I got interested in tailoring in my late teens. When I started working in consulting and needed suits to wear in the mid-2000s and discovered A Suitable Wardrobe (which I really liked and sadly went downhill and closed after Will sold it) then PS around that time. I read both to start learning, but never got into Style Forum, which was also quite popular for a time.

My first foray into tailoring was with Isaia MTM, which I bought from a nice shop in the town where my wife is from in Italy. I was pretty happy with that but wanted to try bespoke but didn’t really have access since I was living first in Geneva then in Zurich. Few tailors travelled to either at the time, nor do I believe they do now.

When I moved to London in 2014, I had access to a lot of travelling tailors and I decided to try Solito, mainly because they visited frequently and got good reviews. That experience didn’t really work out, as I never felt the alignment of what I wanted to look like and what I got. In retrospect, I made a mistake trying them since they make a very different suit than what I was after. Ie, I wanted in my mind a Milanese look and went to a Neapolitan tailor. I didn’t ask them to do a Milanese cut, but their house style just didn’t suit me.

Then I went to Vergallo, as I thought it was the most similar tailor to what I wanted and they travelled to London. In reality, I wanted to try one of the Caraceni’s then, but didn’t because it was a bit out of budget and I rarely went to Milan. I tried a suit or two with Vergallo, but the relationship never clicked.

Finally, I decided to go for what I really wanted all along, which was Caraceni. PS helped me to choose Ferdinando vs. A. Caraceni. Almost as soon as I walked in, I realized that I found what I was looking for all along. Mainly in the service and the click in the relationship from the first moment. My first suit was a navy blue, herringbone DB worsted that is a workhorse. I was very happy and have been going there for about 4-5 years now. The results keep getting better and I have a great relationship with Nicoletta, and I can’t see any reason why I would change.

Peter

Really interesting and informative, many thanks Andrew. Just one final query if I may: what is it about the Milanese style that particularly appeals to you in comparison to the similarly sharp and classic Savile Row structured cut?

Andrew

Hi Peter, the Milanese style has structure but it is lighter. It is something that is hard to understand till you pick up and wear both jackets. A Caraceni jacket has structure in the shoulders but actually feels quite light. I don’t know how they manage to do it. Savile Row, in my opinion, feels heavier. Maybe Simon can elaborate as he is much more expert in this than me.

Max

I have no problem with structured jackets with jeans. Sometimes people get too stuck to these matters when reading blogs/articles. Ultimately the combinations of color and the matching of jacket, trousers and shoes is the most obvious and important part to get right. Good job Andrew.

Andrew

Hi Max, thanks a lot. I (obviously) feel the same way. For me, it is much more important that the wearer feels comfortable with what he’s wearing and the style matches his personality. When there is that match, the outfit tends to work and we can begin to talk about being stylish (rather then being well dressed) regardless if the combination doesn’t quite follow the rules or convention.

Adam

What’s that watch in the top photo? I like the look of it.

Andrew

It is a Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196g.

Anonymous

This is indeed an iconic watch. I believe Andrew’s version is white gold and if so, what is particularly striking is the use of a vicuña-colored, reptile strap. Pigskin would also work, but less smart, which I used on my father’s Girard Perregaux (although yellow gold) from the late sixties and his stainless steel Tissot, WWII army-issued, I believe, and sadly lost. The concept would hold with most white metal watches with a classic dial. Even if the watch is yellow gold, it looks great, just less unexpected.

For watch enthusiasts, below is a link (first in the series of three, no less) on the history of the Calatrava, which was apparently introduced in 1932.

https://monochrome-watches.com/history-of-the-patek-philippe-calatrava-part-1-reference-96/

Andrew

This watch was a gift from my wife when our first child was born.

I also think pigskin would be nice and I’ve looked for this in the past but can’t find one in the right dimensions. Patek don’t offer pigskin.

This strap is alligator, I think, with small scales. I prefer small scales to large ones on exotic straps.

John

To ALL,
I’ve been looking for a mid-grey heavy serge that would be suitable for a pair of trousers. Unfortunately, this kind of fabric is nowhere to be found.
So the type of dense flannel Andrew is refering to in this post seems to be a good alternative. Thus my querry: which mill still produces this kind of flannel?
Thanks in advance for your help.
John

Andrew

Of current bunches, I currently like the Huddersfield Flannel bunch. They have some nice ones in 420-450 gram weight in very nice colors. I find the finish of Huddersfield is a little more compact and dry than others you find today. Fox Heritage is also nice but heavier.

John

No, I haven’t.Thank you for this tip, Simon!

Andrew

Hi John, one other idea. You may want to have a look at Harrison’s PB Universal bunch. That (and Oyster, which is a little lighter weight) are excellent traditional English suiting bunches. In PB universal there are a few grey twills that would be nice for trousers.

John

Hi Andrew,
Thank you very much for these two additional tips! I’ll take a look at what they offer.
John

Andrew

Hi John, just to avoid confusion, PB Universal doesn’t have flannels. That was my suggestion for the Serge.

I also like the Harrison’s flannels bunch.

In general, I really like Harrison’s and the brands they own (Lesser, Smiths, W Bill).

JB

Another great reader profile! While I really dig how the first two dresses, Andrew is a bit refreshing as it’s clear he’s not as influenced by modern menswear (let’s face it, it’s all fairly similar looking), hence his choices are not as obvious.
And anyone quoting Sergio Loro Piana as a inspiration has pretty good idea of style in my book.

Andrew

Sergio Loro Piana was a man of rare elegance, in my opinion. Shame the family sold the company.

Maxwell

A great read and wonderful outfits. Very much in line with the sort of thing I enjoy wearing. My only suggestion would be to embrace the dome! I haven’t looked back since.

Andrew

Hi Maxwell, I’m hanging on to what’s left for as long as I can!!!!

Kenneth

Good article..andrew appears to be a very interesting young man..i wish him much success in his business and the best of health to him and his family..just curious..he is well dressed but no pocket squares???? This is not a knock but i am so use to wearing a pocket square….enjoy your weekend..peace

Andrew

Hi Kenneth, thank you very much for the kind wishes. I go in phases with pocket squares, based on little more than my mood or preference at the time. I’ve not been wearing them very much over the last 6-12 months, but used to wear one every day.

When I do use them, it tends to be a white linen square with a suit. I’ve never been than crazy about wool or silk squares with jackets. I always found them to be a bit fussy.

Andrew

One other thought on this: I sometimes just change things up, like not wearing a pocket square, just to do something different and keep things fresh. I find trying something differently every so often is helpful to avoid getting stuck in a rut with how I dress. We are though talking about very small and marginal changes.

Kenneth

Simon..I remember your article ..as always well written…you are one of the best dressed on this planet..I just love to see us guys beautifully dressed wearing those pocket squares..we know the world will not come to an end…enjoy your up coming week…peace

Tim Fleming

This is a very good article and all the discussion in the comments makes it even better. Thank you very much Andrew for all the replies. It’s just one of the many reasons why this site packs so much value and like others noted, is the only menswear site I continue to follow at this point.

I love the best piece of advice – terrific and something I hadn’t considered even though it makes a lot of sense. Thank you!

Andrew

Thanks a lot Tim. This is advice I wish someone had given me, and that I learned through experience. I think the vision was more or less there all along, but the alignment of the tailor that could help me fulfil that vision wasn’t. Had I thought about it more, I would have avoided a number of costly mistakes.