This feels like me
I get a lot of joy out of wearing this outfit, though I’m not quite sure why.
It might be that it’s clearly dressed up – tailored jacket, tailored trousers – but not that stuffy. No tie, and not even a proper shirt, just a polo.
It might be that it’s obviously deliberate, conscious, a personal style – yet fairly subtle. There are no bright colours, patterns or dandy touches (spectators/braces/waistcoats etc etc).
Or it might be that it feels like a classic mode of dressing, something drawn from another era - a Ralph Lauren advert even - and yet the tonality makes it feel more modern than that.
It’s obviously not what everyone else will be wearing around me, and it will stand out. But it’s also not drawn from some fantasy world.
There are ways you could make it subtler still. Swap the bone-coloured trousers for a navy or dark brown; swap the polo for a regular shirt.
There are also ways you could give it flourish. Add a pocket square; swap the shoes for something more unusual, like a Corthay last or Berluti colours.
But this combination feels the most personal to me, right now.
It’s a kind of look I identify with and that I wear often, so I feel very comfortable in. It also does the job I want it to do – projecting who I am and the attitude I take (tailored but not fussy, serious but hopefully not staid) for a working day among tailors and shops.
Of all these reasons for liking an outfit, the most important must be that it feels like me. Most other things lead from it.
After a few years of wearing good clothes and attempting to dress well, I think you gradually get to a point where you can achieve any particular look you want to. Something a bit older, or a bit younger, a bit more modern or more traditional, more formal or casual.
The question then becomes, what look do you want? Are you trying to look more fashionable, or less? More experimental and perhaps interesting, or more understated? Also how smart during the week, and how casual at the weekend?
I know plenty of people in the menswear industry who are driven – through some combination of personality and profession – to be more experimental. Who want to express themselves more strongly and become restless when there’s nothing new on the horizon.
This is completely natural, and probably inevitable in an environment of new seasons and collections. But frankly, I’ve never been able to be that imaginative, which probably makes me highly unsuitable to be a creative director or someone similar at a brand.
I like, rather, settling into something low key and personal. Which – after 500 of words of working it through as I type - is probably why I enjoy this outfit so much.
By the way, a reader commented on this article on Oliver that some of the things he favours could be seen as ‘menswear tropes’ and common around social media.
The first response to that is, sure, but frankly Oliver does it much better than most. And before a lot of others.
And second, I don’t live on social media. I live in a suburb of London - and no one here is wearing white socks with loafers or caps with tailoring.
Maybe you’re more likely to see yourself coming the other way if you live in Stockholm. But not in London or most places around the world.
Where I live there are certainly lots of people dressing similarly – every woman seems to have bought an oversized coat and a pair of big black boots over the winter – but there are precious few classic-menswear fans around.
So I wouldn’t worry about taking direct inspiration from people you admire, in New York, Stockholm or Seoul.
Most readers will be familiar with the clothes pictured here, but for those that aren’t they are, with brief reflections:
A grey-herringbone tweed jacket from The Anthology, which is now my most worn piece of tailoring. Although much as I love the cut, the biggest factor is the cloth.
An Armoury polo shirt under a Luca Faloni crewneck – a look I stole directly from Rubato and wrote about here. It still makes me happy, though I wish Colhay’s did knitwear in this colour.
Trousers from Pommella in a beige wool twill material, offered in the past by Zegna but now not available by the cut length. Although Gianluca at Pommella does have a roll of it, so it can be ordered from him.
A PS olive cashmere scarf (currently restocking those for autumn).
And my favourite pair of shoes, the mink-suede Belgravia from Edward Green – which we recently launched together in an unlined version, as a collaboration. I’ll go into the process behind those in a separate post.
Photography: Alex Natt @adnatt
“I wish Colhay’s did knitwear in this colour” How come ? what do you like about Colhay’s over luca faloni?
The fit is a little slimmer and the quality is Scottish rather than Italian – detailed here
Colhays has a grey crewneck. Do you mean you wish Colhays’ grey was slightly lighter, like Luca Faloni’s? I feel like Colhays’ grey could still work with this outfit. Also, you mention the trousers are beige here. Do you think this (already great) outfit could be even better with cream rather than beige trousers? Might help make the outfit even more tonal and cold.
Yes, I wish it was a lighter colour.
The Colhays one would still work, but you would lose the pleasing similarity of the tones of the grey jacket and the grey knit.
Cream would certainly look good. More showy, less ordinary, and it lose something of what I like about the outfit as a result. But it would look great.
It’s interesting because when I first read the article I thought the trousers were cream, and they didn’t seem showy at all.
Yes, they are pale – I’d call it a ‘bone’ colour perhaps, a very pale beige. Covered before here.
They would be punchier in cream.
What do you think about this as a navy odd trouser to pair with a grey jacket like this? They’re more casual than serge or flannel, but then again a grey herringbone tweed is fairly casual, too. It’d be a different look but I still think it’d look good and not mismatched. And the trousers seem to fit the “deep, dark navy” bill.
The colour does look good. I haven’t tried that particular Casatlantic material, but in general I don’t like cottons so much with jackets personally
Could you elaborate on that last comment? Your Dalcuore cotton trousers look pretty good with a jacket as far as I can tell, but I wonder why you went for cotton in that particular instance.
They do, you’re right, though the vast majority of the time I’d prefer wool, and probably increasingly so. I also haven’t been able to find a cotton as nice as that since!
It’s probably worth a separate post at some point. I just find I always prefer wool or linen, if I can, as it looks more elegant and drapes better.
This is an interesting comment, Simon. I have also started wearing wool trousers in Fresco or similar more textured materials recently instead of cotton chinos, including on weekends.
I find that with (Belgian) loafers, or even white canvas sneakers (a la Moonstar or Doek) and a denim or rolled-up long-sleeve polo shirt, they look more relaxed than chinos because they indeed drape better.
Reactions are usually positive, although have had some ‘are you going to the office’ comments.
Thanks TS. To be honest, I personally wouldn’t wear fresco like that at the weekend, I’d find it too smart. Certainly with sneakers. I’d prefer linen or chinos – my comment was in reference to cotton trousers with jackets.
But it sounds like a nice look you’ve thought through
What about the grey knitwear you have by Rubato which is on the lighter shade of the spectrum, that would certainly work?
Yes it would, but it’s too thick to wear under a jacket
Simon, just reading this thread and wanted to +1 this request for a more detailed explanation of why most cotton trousers don’t work as well with jackets, but some of your chinos do (eg your post on drakes chinos, dalcuore cotton trousers), and how those compare to cotton twill and wool twills in terms of drape and overall appearance. Under the same one or two jackets maybe? Would be such a helpful “which smart/casual trouser are you” post given the decline of the suit, and the lack of “try-on” options in these fabrics when commissioning. Thanks for considering
OK sure Tim, thank you
Fantastic bit of insight. The ability to dial up and down as required but ultimately have a level that suits you and makes you feel comfortable is I think what we should all be seeking here.
Nicely summarised CJ
Good morning..could this feeling of joy be because of where you are at????? PARIS…Simon you are always well dressed..peace
Cheers Kenneth! I’m sure that had something to do with it. It’s also particularly nice travelling in clothes that you feel so comfortable and at home in. Nothing worse than being on your feet all day in anything that feels uncomfortable or out of place
Some credit probably also goes to how easy tonal combinations are on the eyes, which contribute all the more to a sense of ease rather than tension. I could meet you in this outfit out on the street and despite how smart and luxurious it looks, not even the smallest possibility that you were fussy and difficult to get along with would ever cross my mind.
(Although I do recognize that some would perceive strong color and contrast as more indicative of an open and lighthearted personality.)
I hadn’t thought about that Joseph, yes
I’m getting a strong harmonisation vibe from this outfit, with the trousers providing the pop of, muted, colour. Also the grey on grey reminds me of school days. The polo collar definitely lifts the formality up while adding contrast.
Quite a contrast between shoe tone and trouser, I reckon I’d not go for that level of contrast and go for a darker hue. Although sunnier climes could convince me.
Is there a reason why you prefer this jacket to say your cashmere Caraceni which is of a higher make ?
I think it raises the question of a hierarchy among style, fit, make, cloth, etc.
Someone with such an extensive collection of high end bespoke as yourself still wears predominently good MTM. Same with the shoes, you favour RTW eventhough you have plenty of bespoke options.
Would be interested to hear your thoughts
That is a good point. I’d say cloth and style choices usually come above fit and quality. All can undermine a piece to the point that you don’t want to wear it, but a jacket in great cloth and style, but only OK fit or quality will look better than the other way around.
The Caraceni jacket certainly suffered on the style and a little on the material, which is why I haven’t had another SB from them since.
However, it’s not true that I predominantly wear high end MTM, at least in jackets and suits. Most of what I wear is bespoke.
But shoes certainly, I’ve said before that bespoke is less of a factor there than with tailoring.
Sorry my formulation was not clear. I was only referring to the article, in which you said that this jacket is your most worn piece of tailoring. Or maybe you consider this jacket bespoke, I reckon you refered to it as high-end MTM.
Aha, sorry, that makes sense. I refer to this one as bespoke too
As a fabric, would you trump the tweed vs over the cashmere? I assume the former, but I think in a mid grey herringbone the cashmere could be almost as versatile.
I would, but not because of the fibre (wool v cashmere) but because of the yarn and weave. That cashmere I had was fine and woven as a smaller herringbone. If the cashmere was more like this one, then it would be just as good.
I’ve been looking out for a similar cashmere to your Eduardo jacket that you link, but there is just nothing out. the Loro Piana cashmere herringbone looks quite narrow at 6mm.
Do you think the LP fabrics fall into the trap that you mention?
If you mean would those LP herringbones be quite smart and not be able to be used as this Anthology one or that Eduardo one, then yes I think so
Thanks, Simon. Whose does a cashmere book that would be better matched to the likes of the anthology/Eduardo?
Good question, I haven’t looked in a while actually. I’d look to W Bill first though perhaps
Although not cashmere, I find Harrison’s Moonbeam has an almost cashmere-like hand and could possibly be an option?
Yes, true, good point.
I think that’s the problem with discussing cloths – it often comes to a small number of fibres and weaves, but there are so many other combinations out there. It’s more the principles that are important – less of a hard, smooth finish as you’d get in most suitings.
On the herringbone (Im assuming the grey one) from LP that was in the bunch, I believe the contrast between are very strong and thus I believe it wouldn’t give the same feeling of the tweed from Simon. I believe that the sensation achieved by the jackets partially comes from the hairiness decreasing the contrast and softning the look, while still keeping the interest when one comes closer.
Of course, this is jusy my perspective. Would like to hear Simoms opinion
Joshia Elis has a cashmere there that may be what yoi are looking for (though I dont knoe the scale of the fins)
Found the link: https://www.joshuaellis.com/product/p986-9a/?v=d2cb7bbc0d23
Nice. That looks lovely, great colour and great size of herringbone. Not that heavy, but I’m sure it would be good
I really like this look, today I have cream chinos, a grey sweat over a white shirt and chocolate desert boots. I think the PS influence is strong! My wife thinks it a very classy(and smart) style.
It’s funny that this comes right after one of your articles on rules and how to break them, because “grey odd jackets are hard to wear” is one of those rules you see floating around. But I break it routinely, and grey odd jackets have become a staple for me, and It probably shouldn’t even be a rule! A look like this makes much more sense in an urban environment than a thick brown tweed jacket, covert cloth trousers, and heavy brogues.
Also agree on Faloni’s shade of grey, it’s really great.
I wouldn’t really say grey jackets being hard to wear is a rule. It’s just hard for some people if they wear predominantly grey trousers?
I agree with you. I think this quasi-rule propagated because grey trousers are so common, and newcomers to menswear are told to focus on grey trousers when building their wardrobe, as they are fairly easy to pair. And newcomers are also told that grey jackets can look like an orphaned suit jacket. Which they can, if the jacket is made out of fabric more applicable to suiting. So maybe not a rule, but a commonly held false belief. Once people branch out from grey trousers, and get a feel for what fabrics look better as odd jackets, grey jackets make much more sense.
Exactly. I think it depends a lot on what else you have in your wardrobe. And, once you have two or three good jackets, chances are you will have more than just grey trousers, so a grey tweed like this makes sense.
I think this has to be my first ever “I have nothing to say, I just like this” post anywhere. This has to be my favourite outfit I have seen for a long time – although it’s a bit different from what I’d normally wear.
It’s so powerfully stylish. Everything works perfectly together, yet nothing looks put together. For me, this is a perfect example of what actual menswear should be like.
I have several jackets similar to the one you are wearing here, and I too like the mid-to-light grey herringbone cloth. I think the most distinctive aspect of your ensemble is your adoption of light trousers (white, off-white, light beige). The use of light-coloured trousers even in winter makes you stand out, I believe, from others. I commend you on this.
Most of my clothes are vintage pieces and that’s because I like the Trad style as it was developed here in the US. I do have modern pieces sold by a very small number of shops who still make clothes in this style: J Press of New Haven and Cambridge (Mass), O’Connell’s of Buffalo, NY, and last but never least, the Andover Shop (also Mass). Finally, at 71, I am completely comfortable wearing whatever I want to wear, regardless of how people around me are dressed. It may be a privilege of age, LOL. I wore a 1960s-vintage blue herringbone jacket in the classic Trad style (and a bow tie) when giving a talk to a group of philatelists at the Collectors Club in Chicago and got some very positive comments about my clothes!
This is a great look for you! And great pieces. How dressed up it looks might depend on many circumstances. I live in a pretty young and trendy neighbourhood, but I could easily see myself wear a variation of that outfit, swapping the jacket with an overshirt, or the trousers with denim.
funnyBecause on my doorknob is an almost identical outfit – with a Grey herringbone jacket and a pair of AI shaved chinos (khaki) , but I think I will wear a blue reverse striped shirt.
Hi Simon,nice combo.How would you feel about wearing ecru jeans with this outfit?
That would be nice
I find the upper part clashes with the lower part. Grey combined with tan or beige looks dull in my eyes. Also, the herringbone reminds one of Scotland. It looks robust & substantial. The colour and fit of the trousers makes one think of the riviera. All pieces are beautiful without any doubt. It’s just a combination I would try to avoid myself. But I do not live in London and I only judge based on a little picture on a computer screen.
Hey Simon. Love the unlined Belgravia concept. Are the actually for sale as of yet? Thanks.
Thanks Alan. Yes they are – Edward Green have them in the Jermyn St store now. They’re not on the website yet though, I think official launch is in a week or two
Will you be selling them here or only through EG? Thanks.
Good point – only through EG
It’s an interesting combo .
It’s worked when logic would suggest it shouldn’t .
A grey jacket with a strong herringbone , matched to light ,beige coloured trousers against brown suede shoes.
I would guess it works partly because the colours are tonal (nothing too strong).
The cut and tailoring makes the outfit bridge over to formal whilst the jumper, separate Jacket and trouser combo keep it casual.
Question …. Isn’t grey a ‘difficult’ colour to work with ie. Match other Color’s against ?
I don’t find grey is, no. I would even say it’s the most versatile colour of all – the only issue being that it doesn’t go with grey trousers, so it’s an issue if you wear lots of them. Hence why it isn’t at the very top of my suggested starting wardrobe for jackets.
I can see why you like the outfit. In addition to the reasons you mention, it also seems to be an easy outfit to modify: you can add a coat (I can imagine it would work well with the PS donegal raglan, but what DOESN’T look good with that coat?), remove the jacket, or replace it with something less formal if needed.
I’m a bit surprised that so many people consider braces to be “dandy”; to me it’s a matter of practicality. They are simply superior to belts for their functional purpose (braces are better at consistently keeping your trousers up), and feel better to wear for extended periods of time (I realise some may disagree on this). Obviously they can be worn in a dandy way, but it seems odd that things which are purely ornamental (like pocket squares) are often considered less dandy than something as practical as braces.
I think it’s largely because they are so unusual Sam.
I disagree on the fit points about braces, but we always seem to get into this argument whenever they are mentioned! So I’ll just link to the article setting them all out instead. Here.
I can see you’ve had this argument before! I can’t argue with anything in that article, Simon. I think your conclusion is spot on: braces have their pros and cons, and based on those, they’re not for you. I feel two of the cons are rather minor to me personally, so they are for me. Your explanation about braces using up all the room to experiment with an outfit also makes sense, with the reservation that I think it depends a lot on how the braces are worn: worn under knitwear and a jacket they barely show, worn without a jacket they become the focus of an outfit (and if worn that way, you should be aware that it becomes a very distinct, old school look).
I mostly react to the fact that braces got lumped together with spectator shoes and waist coats as “dandy touches” (though I acknowledge you never claimed they were equally dandy) – there is a practical case to wear braces (some people find belts as uncomfortable as you find braces), there’s no practical case for spectator shoes, and the jury is still out on the waist coats. I guess when I think of “dandyism”, I think of things worn only for a certain type of appearance. I’ll agree braces are unusual (and if worn to overtly, risk looking old school, possibly even fuddy), but I disagree with the dandy aspect.
Thanks Sam, very nicely put and I can see all your points of view.
I certainly agree braces are more practical. I think unfortunately they have become so unusual that most people don’t see them as something practical, perhaps, just from lack of understanding, so they seem just like a style choice.
You mention you could make the look more ordinary with navy trousers. If you were to wear navy trousers with this jacket, what fabric would they be? Navy flannel? Cotton? Would you go for something like a French navy, or a deep & dark navy? Thanks! I’ll admit I still struggle with navy trousers, particularly with grey jackets. The difficulty is that navy is so rich while grey is not, so grey jacket + navy trousers makes me feel oddly bottom-heavy, if that makes sense. Thanks for any pointers in this regard.
Flannel or serge, deep deep dark proper menswear navy.
My ones here from Fox. The darkness stops that kind of contrast.
What kind of fabric are those Fox trousers? They’re beautifully deep. I find that my navy chinos would wash out a look like this too much
It’s a serge, but a vintage one. I’m not sure Fox do it any more. But a very dark navy flannel would be just as good
Often I find myself questioning my outfit if the top (or bottom) half is monochrome.
I am very curious if you ever think about this?
For example brown footwear and blue-ish trousers with a white shirt and grey jacket – or black footwear and grey trousers with pale blue (or pink) shirt and brown jacket.
Luckily I’ve found that either socks or a different accessory might be the thing helping me to tie the outfit together.
Is this relatable to anyone?
I know what you mean personally Fenvig, and can see why you would be concerned. I find it’s only an issue for me when the colours in the other part of the outfit aren’t that dark and cold.
This is one of my favourite outfits of yours. I like the simplicity and the way it looks elegant without being dandyish (nothing wrong with that but it’s not what I try to go for). I have a similar grey herringbone tweed jacket that’s one of my favourite jackets. I might try it with bone coloured trousers if you don’t mind me copying your look.
Where I struggle is how to wear my jacket when I want to go for a more subtle, professional look. Charcoal trousers is the only thing I have found that works. Beyond that I find brown and beige are not urban enough, and navy odd trousers are hard to get right. I’m on the fence with olive and imagine it depends on getting the exact shade right. Can I ask if you have any suggestions?
Charcoal sounds good. I think brown and beige can look good too, as can green, but they need to be muted or dark – so the very dark navy I linked to in the comment above, or a very pale beige. A really dark brown like this one, and the same with green.
A great article about a somehow unique style. Here you managed with very simple stuff to make a style that looks good, doesnt scream well thought and can easily changed a little bit if wished( for example it can be easily converted to afternoun wear with brown trousers or to jeans for more casual or other shoes would also change it a little bit). Id wear something like that on a first date to have an elegance, feel good with my clothes and also be ready for everything from bar hop to festival-museum or also a good restaurant.
Simon forgive me for dissenting a little, but aren’t we going a bit kindergarten here?
Of course your outfit looks nice, but this jacket (mid gray herringbone) is so versatile that most anything worn with it would look good. Swap the shirt/knit for pink shirt/navy crew, white shirt/pink crew, white shirt/camel crew, sky blue shirt/burgundy crew, leaving trousers/shoes unchanged, and you would end up with an equally relaxed/unfussy/smart/casual look.
For me, this kind of “analysis” could lead to anxiety and doubt, whereas putting this type of look together is really very straightforward.
Just my thoughts.
Thanks Andy, I appreciate them, but I disagree.
Most obviously, most of those combinations would remove the tonal aspect of the outfit that I like and feels, to me, particularly modern and urban.
Second, the article does not say that this combination looks good and no others would. Rather, it explores why I like this particular combination, and find it reflects what I like about clothing.
On the suggested combinations themselves, I like most of them but a blue shirt isn’t as nice with these trousers I find unless with a navy crew. And I don’t like a burgundy crew with this kind of tonal outfit, myself. That would be better with some stronger colours.
Sorry, I didn’t register up anything in your piece that picked up the tonality of the outfit as being a key part of its appeal to you.
I guess I was kinda just saying that the cloth and color of the jacket would easily support a variety of shirt/knit combos which, without swapping out the trousers or shoes, would still give you the relaxed vibe.
No worries Alex, and yes you’re right they certainly would
Simon I can see why, it is great look!
Dear Simon, great look. Already digged the „polo under knitwear“ article.
Could you advice the size you are wearing for the Armoury Polo?
This is a Small, but really I’m a Medium. The Small is just a bit nicer on the collar (being a touch small, it stays open at the to of the crewneck, where the Medium collar overlaps)
Hi — I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but (with Simon’s permission), I’m looking for recommendations for custom tailors in Hoi An, Vietnam. This summer, my children are vacationing in Vietnam and will be spending time in Hoi An, a town known for its tailors.
I’d like my son to purchase a suit and some dress shirts and my daughter to purchase a suit with skirt and pants, along with some blouses. Both children are in their early twenties, thin and stylish.
I would appreciate any recommendations for the best tailors they should patronize.
Many thanks in advance.
There are many but two or three of the very best are https://bebetailor.com/
then there is https://www.yalycouture.com/ and perhaps https://www.kimmytailor.com/
For hand made shoes https://fugashinshoemaker.com/
These tailors will make a coat up with floating canvass and horsehair or half canvass if you wish. If you have a very good idea of what you want in terms of garment, cloth, cut and details I would suggest purchasing at least the fabric here (UK) and taking that with you.
In Hoi An you pay for the fabric and the labour is free, almost the opposite of here. Expect to pay ~$400 for and suit.
Do you find that wearing a scarve or an ascot under a crew neck stretching out the neckline? I have not been able to think about wearing anything except a t-shirt under a wool crewneck.
No, I don’t find it stretches out the neckline, unless it’s a really thick scarf, but that would look odd anyway
This is what those Take Ivy kids wore once they started making money.
It’s interesting, there’s definitely touches of that here, though I suspect they’d be more in sack suits and pin collars! I like to think this has that influence, alongside some of the more tonal, Scandinavian influences of recent years?
Yes I can see that, and one wonders how much Scandinavia was influenced by ivy prep as well. The crew neck grey sweater over a soft collar, in particular, is reminiscent of rowers tucking towels under grey sweatshirts.
Absolutely, good point
Hi Simon: great look. Who made the silver cuff bracelet? And were you wearing a watch, if so, details please. And while we’re on the subject, carrying a phone too? As you well know, it’s the details that count. Best,
The bracelet is from Harpo – covered recently here.
I was wearing my gold Cartier with mid-brown strap. Probably the only colour apart from the scarf actually.
And I have a white iPhone – not sure that’s really part of the outfit though.
Hi Simon. In the current sartorial climate, and especially in my line of work (healthcare R&D), I am needing more and more justification to buy a suit – which is a pity – so versatility is key in that i could use parts of the suit in other settings. Can i ask if you would would consider a grey herringbone in a softer cut to be a ‘3-way’ suit in the manner you’ve previously described corduroy suits? Thank you!
Hi Simon – did you write a version of this article seven years ago, or ten?
If not, what do you think it would have been about if you had?
And, harder to answer: what do you think the pictures you include in the version of this article in ten years’ time will be?
Good question. No I didn’t, but I think it’s interesting to look back through the lookbook and see how my outfits have changed over the years.
Also, I’ve reflected on this a little in articles like this one on mistakes I’ve made in the past, or this one on how I’ve changed as I realise what suits me more.
this cookbook is amazing, I always forget that it exists.
I think one important point that comes across your description of your outfit is the importance of the fabric. We live in an era dominated by the visual and we tend to forget that dressing is a fuller sensorial experience.
Nice point Ramon. I think that makes a difference to buying more quality clothing as well – often the look can be similar, but the feel and appreciation of the clothing is not
Being myself while dressing is for me for example: wearing my PS-denim or PS-oxford shirt with grey trousers and navy blazer. Very boring when you compare it to the content of the #menswear bubble. But still: nobody in my environment wears it like that, I like it because I know it is different and still it is not loud or dandy. That is why I am hesitant about ordering the pink PS-oxford. This might be normal business wear in the UK. But I guess not in Italy for example?
It depends a lot on your business environment – I’ve seen Italians wearing pink shirts, but also many things are much more relaxed than they used to be. It’s also a pretty pale pink.
This combination looks great on you for all the reasons you mention, Simon. I believe it also benefits from having a harmonious level of value contrast and color contrast. Your coloring ranges from light to medium; the value contrast in this look ranges from light to medium. Even the shoes are medium in darkness. The colors themselves suit you. Your coloring is mostly neutral — hair, skin — and suits the neutral colors here.
These colors are classically masculine, which suits you.
I think off white is better for you than white, but when it’s just a small amount near your face, it has the effect of throwing light on the features.
The quality of each element is of course excellent, so you feel comfortable that way.
I wish more men would dress like this. If a guy doesn’t have to wear a suit for a job or wedding or funeral, today’s look is perfect. It is bizarre to me, a California woman, how awful most men make themselves look. I’m not saying it’s not the duty of a man to look good for anyone else, just as it’s not the duty of a woman to look good for others. But it’s strange more men don’t take the opportunity to feel good about the way they look.
We are trying to spread the word, as much as we can!
Thank you though, and nice points about the contrast level and the white ‘throwing light on the face’. I never thought about it that way before
It’s a great look and fits you very well Simon. I find that about 3/4 of the looks that are appealing to me feature a combination with lighter or at least similar tone bottom and darker jacket. As this is most often the case with your outfits I suspect you must feel the same and so do a lot of others. I wonder what’s the reason behind it? Classically men would want to present athletic masculine upper body and and you’d think having lighter colour on top would help with that. One reason I can think of off is that darker jacket gives you more contrast to pair with shirts/knits and ties but that doesn’t seem to be it. Another reason could be that lighter colour trousers create a longer leg and thus make you appear taller and slimmer. Can I ask what’s you opinion Simon?
I’m not sure it necessarily always looks better M, or even usually does. I think it is more practical though – it’s easier to combine with shirts and ties underneath, as you say, and also easier to combine with shoes at the bottom of the trousers
That’s the thing. People should dress as themselves (even if it means being a lot less low-profile than, say, Simon’s style). Everyone else is already taken.
Very nice. Just wondering how you would change it for warmer weather, when it is too hot to have the knit under the jacket?
I’m not sure to be honest Stamos, I might wear a different combination entirely. The tonality of the knit and jacket pleases me particularly
At first glance, I felt a little unsure of the outfit, mostly the combination of grey jumper and grey jacket. But it grew on me throughout the article and honestly, with the beige trousers, I’m not even sure what alternate jumper colour would look so good without being too strong. Definitely feels fitting with you erring more towards cold colours.
More fashionable? Less fashionable? No, simply classic, well-presented, and appropriate for most situations in cooler seasons or climes.
Hi Simon, off-topic but I’m having some trouble with the Donegal cloth preorder. I need 4 meters of the light gray fabric, but the website says it’s out of stock. That seems strange, as for example I’m able to preorder plenty of copies of the RTW coat. Is there a way you can shed some light on this? Thanks a lot!
Meets expectations haha. After being a reader of yours for a bit of time there is nothing unexpected from this outfit nor this article. It has great quality, is deliberate, comfortable, versatile, and netural.
For the Donegal preorder, Lucas figured it out, so it’s all good now! Thanks!
Oh good. Thanks Gabriele
Special thanks for the last photo, which conveys the general atmosphere and environment, where you can see ordinary people who do not care about clothes, the main thing for them is to sit closer to the window and look at the street. But you three in a jacket and carefully tailored trousers…
I find this article very interesting.
I am lucky to have a varied and complete wardrobe. I have noticed, at least in my experience, how the more clothes I acquire, the more conservative I become when choosing the garments on a day-to-day.
Obviously the experience allows us to get to know ourselves better and realize how we feel more comfortable and confident when dressing.
What I find particularly curious is the difference between the criteria we use when buying a garment or accessory (more experimental and risky) and the criteria used when choosing the garment on a day-to-day (much more conservative).
I think maybe this happens because when buying clothes we rarely take into account the context where to use them and how it is properly integrated into our wardrobe.
Clearly those are issues that are overcome with experience and I think they are the basis of “buy less, buy better”
I think your look in this post is a good example of that.
I like this outfit a lot. Perhaps because it “feels like me” quite a lot too, in terms of its tonality, colours, textures and styling, the exception being the beige twill trousers. I might hesitate to buy wool trousers quite as light in colour. I’m not sure that there’s much logic to my hesitation though, as I have plenty of corduroy and other cotton trousers in very similar shades. Perhaps it’s something to do with the relative formality of wool trousers and the relative informality of such a light colour? I might substitute my light cords for the wool twill trousers. I guess that would tip the outfit in a more casual direction. Anyway, a really great outfit.
I wanted to ask how you would compare and contrast (apologies for sounding like a GCSE essay question!) the Anthology jacket with your recent softer tailored Whitcomb and Shaftesbury one and, perhaps, your Saman Amel one. I’d be interested in your thoughts.
That last question is perhaps best answered on one of the articles that reviewed those jackets, as the reviews contain a lot of the information – on make, style etc. Hard to repeat it all here?
For the discussion on the trousers, maybe your feeling for the wool trousers not going well for something so informal could be coming from how shinu the cloth is. Wool (especially worsted) can be quite shiny and cotton is more matte, so maybe a light color intensify this the “brightness” and this is what put you off?
Just my thoughts though, and Im particularly interested in it since Im thinking of getting light colored trousers myself
lovely combination. Might I ask ur take on variants?
white chino, pale green chino.
medium brown herringbone for jacket. Would navy blazer be just too common?
I think have a look at comments above on this. Many variants would work here, including lots of colours of trousers and shirts – because the pieces are so plain and tonal.
But, my point is that with those combinations much of the essence of why I like the outfit would be lost.
Hi, this is a very nice outfit! I have decided to commission a grey herringbone jacket, as I feel it’s formal enough for the office on a more casual day. I would just like to get you advice on cloth. Would you go for this exact cloth if you were to do it again or for an alternative from W Bill or Fox (although fox is a bit heavier)?
I would do, yes
The tweed jacket is superb.
The dye lots, cut and soft texture make it very wearable and smart and easy to coordinate with some glorious undertones and fine layers. A classic.
Would you agree that this looks like a nice RTW spring/summer version of the classic grey herringbone jacket, which could be used for a spring/summer version of this outfit?
Darn, sorry, I meant to include this link:
Yes, that looks nice
Turnips wrong Simon
Assuming you mean turn-ups Scott, could I suggest you leave comments that a little more interesting or constructive. There’s more to all of this than just saying things are right or wrong
I tend to arrive a bit late to these discussions since I wait for some comments’ worth to add up in order to ponder different points of view.
I see what you are doing here (no big feat since you do a good job of spelling it out) but apparently contrary to most cannot come really to like it.
You mention at a certain point that it draws from the “tonal Scandinavian influences of recent years”. I see it as a prolongation of a trend we have been seeing for much longer years in interior designs, at least in continental Europe. Tonal all around, utterly subdued, not a splash of colour anywhere to give a contrast. You will usually see it used to modernly depict Heaven in films (characters will dress equally tonal there).
I have always liked better the approach to interiors I found in British publications, with bolder elements in colour, often from colonial inspiration or origin, at the least to provide measured contrast. I am realizing I feel rather the same with dressing. Without at least some accent these outfits easily risk to look lifeless to me.
A reader went the length to assert that “this is how actual (false friend for ‘current’ I guess) menswear should look like”. But why should it?
Thanks for the thoughts Nico.
Completely agree on the look being longer in interiors. Maybe in clothing it’s only come to become most obvious in the last couple of decades.
When the other reader said this is how modern menswear should look, I think he meant it would fit seamlessly into anything smart today, unlike for example an old business suit and black oxfords, with a white or blue shirt and no tie – the current dominant office look.
Ah yes. Without the tie it is pitifully worse. Will never miss it enough.
It seems crazy to buy tailored clothes and not work on your posture. You are never going to look brilliant in any clothing with forward neck posture. Plus it’s terrible for your health. Just something I have noticed from all the photos.
Well thanks for the comment and for the advice Oliver, but I do quite a lot there, both yoga and pilates, and have done for years. I’m afraid a little natural stoop is inescapable
Lovely article Simon. You mentioned your favorite shoes at present are the EG Belgravia. May I ask how these compare to the G&G loafers, specifically the model that was made in your name a few years ago?
Looking forr my first pair of loafers, so any advice would be most useful. Cheers!
They’re both great. If we take out of the equation the fact the Cromptons were bespoke, I’d say which you prefer depends on whether you personally like more of a rounded or squared toe, and how you feel about tassels
I’m curious, how often would you actually wear that favourite outfit? Once per week? More frequent or less?
Less frequent, but that’s very much a reflection of my circumstances – I have a lot of clothes, and often what I wear is driven by things like shoots, trying out new samples, or particular appointments. Eg I wouldn’t wear a polo shirt to a fitting with a tailor for practical reasons
Do you think this same outfit would work if you swapped the sweater and polo for the grey Dartmoor and left everything else as is?
Yes it would still work, but it would be more tonal and I’d want something else potentially. Perhaps a white handkerchief in the pocket
A question regarding the trousers, if I may. Love this look and actually own an Orazio jacket made up with the same grey herringbone fabric. It has been much worn and I’m always looking for ideas to use more. I did wear it last season with Fox Bros cream Calvary twill trousers I had made up some time ago. Same fabric as I have seen you wear in other posts. Can you describe how this Zegna “denim” fabric compares to the Fox twill? Would owning trousers in both be redundant in your opinion?
They are similar in colour, and are both wools. However, these are rather smarter I’d say, and I find them much more wearable than the Fox
This is an indeed a great look and strikes a very good balance on the smart/casual spectrum.
Do you have any recommendations on a tailor to make the jacket (who is based in or visits London)?
I’d say The Anthology most obviously, given they made this one. They are starting to visit London again, and Buzz who runs it is based here most of the time.
Great thanks! I had not realized they are visiting again (their website still says postponed until further notice).
It appears that they aren’t sure when they will visit again (they are waiting for the quarantine in HK to drop which could be a while!). Would you have alternative recommendations?
Thanks again for your advice.
Yes, I’d suggest a roomier Neapolitan like Ciardi, Zizolfi, or perhaps Pirozzi too. Look at my reviews of all of those and see what you think you like the most
I’ve been inspired by this post to look for some cream wool trousers – I find my chinos quickly bag and rumple with jackets, taking smart-casual too quickly into scruffy. I wondered if something like these would be a good place to start experimenting and would love your thoughts https://natalino.co/collections/trouser/products/single-pleat-trouser-cream-wool-cavalry-twill?variant=32349819535395
Yes, they look nice. You’ll find they’re considerably smarter than chinos, but they will look great
Amazing thanks Simon. Are there certain pairings or stylings that they won’t be right for? e.g. are there some shoes that will be off-key with these (common projects? suede chukkas?) I’d be so grateful for a bit of a pointer on how to style tailored wool trousers as compared to Rubato-type chinos – I am struggling to understand the flexibility (or lack thereof) before shelling out. It would be so interesting to see how ecru jeans versus stone chinos vs. tailored wool cream trousers and cords each compare in this type of article exploring the sliding scale: https://www.permanentstyle.com/2016/02/which-office-are-you-or-a-sliding-scale-of-formality.html
Yes, these are pretty smart so I wouldn’t wear them with trainers at all, and only a slimmer, smarter suede chukka. They’re closer to a suit trouser than most other things you own – I’d stick with smarter shoes as a result, such as nice loafers and boots at the least.
Good point on the trousers, that would make a nice piece. I’ll work on something.
Thanks as always for such a fast and thoughtful response Simon. So helpful – and very generous of you.
Pleasure Tom. I know it benefits thousands of other readers too
I just wanted to report back here in case this is indeed useful for others…
Ordered the trousers and they are more of a beige khaki tone than a cream/ivory/ecru. I think there’s a bit more “old-mannish” sense to them in this darker/muddier khaki, not quite the pop I was looking for. Is that a sensible reflection? Ie that for a more modern look, a brighter/lighter cream is useful rather than a darker beige khaki?
Yes, a brighter cream could look younger or more modern, but also risks looking a little flashy. A big part of it is what you wear it with, but sharp wools like this will always have a little of that old-fashioned feel to them too
I’m wondering if there is any way to get the advantages in clean line/ drape that wool trousers have over chinos, but without the old-fashioned feel.
Something like your Rubato officers chinos or something with some denim in the mix like the civilman? https://theanthology.net/shop/trousers/civilman-trousers-white-denim
I recall you’ve mentioned that cream cords are often too far on the showy side too.
Seems a very tricky one to nail!
True. The Rubato ones are certainly the best I’ve found in that category. The Civilman in white didn’t work that well for me, quite bright.
This article speaks to the bottom of my heart.
I’m struggling with odd trousers for a grey herringbone like this. Do you ever pair it with charcoal flannels?
Yes, now and again. I’d just avoid wearing a white shirt so it wasn’t too monotone. Maybe a pink or a blue stripe shirt.
It’s nice with navy and with beige, as well as dark brown
You mention that the thing you like about the jacket is the cut and the cloth. A couple of questions on cloth for a mid grey jacket; would a wider herringbone than this be too wide for a jacket, i.e., more suitable for a coat? and would the similar pattern in Harris Tweed also have the same appeal?
I think you could go a little wider, but not much. You’re right it would start to look like an overcoating after a while.
And, in Harris Tweed it would also be great. A touch thicker, a touch more casual perhaps, but then you might want that.
Hi folks, where might I acquire a same/similar jacket? I don’t think it’s offered through the PS shop anymore. I see Anthology offer same/similar in their rtw range. Thanks in advance, Simon W
The jacket shown here was made bespoke for me by The Anthology. It’s not something we ever sold on the PS Shop.
We don’t cover RTW tailoring that much I’m afraid, as the site is mostly about MTM and bespoke. However it’s not that hard to find grey herringbone tweed jackets around – I know J Press has one, and maybe Boglioli at Trunk too.
Hello Simon, is the jacket the same one currently offered on The Anthology website (except yours was bespoke, course). Mainly curious if it is the same cloth, to your knowledge.
I don’t believe it’s exactly the same material, no, though it looks very similar
Thanks for your reply, Simon. That’s helpful