Autumn/Winter picks 2022: J Press, RM Williams, Aimé Leon Dore

Share
||- Begin Content -||

L’Impermeabile gilet, at John Simons

£435

This lightly waxed gilet, particularly in the pale beige colour, is reminiscent of the Eddie Bauer style that has become popular in recent years. It’s 100% cotton on the outside though, which means it will age a little quicker and perhaps more elegantly. 

John Simons offers a navy too, but the beige is surprisingly versatile, suiting jeans and flannels equally. It’s not a dressy piece, more workwear than luxury, but makes a great weekend option. 

The Real McCoy’s country socks

£30

The biggest problem with this guide every year is that by the time everyone has received their stock, some of the best pieces from the beginning of the Autumn have sold out. This is the case with these new socks from The Real McCoy’s, but apparently they are more coming. 

The socks are pleasingly thick and slubby, pure cotton yet strong. The only downside to not using synthetics in the fibre mix (as most brands do) is that they aren’t as good when or if they get damp. But apart from an old AnonymousIsm pair that I’ve yet to find again, these are my favourite Ivy-style socks. 

J Press rugby shirt

$165

I never really joined the rugby shirt bandwagon, but in retrospect I think it was because they were often shown with tailoring, as some kind of sporty high/low look. On their own, a great rugby shirt suits me well: it has a collar, it’s flattering, classic in a plain colour, and you can wear the crap out of it at the weekend with the kids. 

I tried a Real McCoy’s one, which was an amazing weight but I didn’t like the hoop design. I’ve yet to get hold of a Barbarian one as they don’t ship outside North America. But I found this one in J Press and it’s very good for the price - not quite as heavy as the others, but lovely to wear, and with the proper collar, rubber buttons and so on. I bought size small, in navy.

RM Williams Craftsman boot

£399

I’m profiling RM Williams soon, spurred by the idea of exploring a traditional menswear manufacturer in a different country and culture. And so ahead of that I tried the whole range of boots - and I was pleasantly surprised by the classic Craftsman style. I didn’t think I’d like a square-toed boot, but the shape is subtle and actually appealed to me more than the rounder toes. 

Of course this is not a make on the level of most brands we cover (plastic toe/heel puffs, stitching fineness etc), but it’s not designed to be - it’s designed to be durable, and from those I know that wear them, it seems to fulfil that objective. 

Colhay’s painter’s shawl cardigan

£595

*Update: I just heard that the Colhay's shawls arrived this afternoon, so they are available on their site now*

This season Colhay’s have a finer shawl cardigan, which is more a piece you’d layer under a coat or even a roomy jacket. It’s a four-ply cashmere, densely knitted as all their Scottish pieces, and in a plain stitch rather than the normal rib.

The thing most worth highlighting, however, is the little design details - something I haven’t talked about so much in the past in reference to Colhay’s. The wider placket, for example, which gives the cardigan a slightly collegiate feel, and the side-entry pockets that are cleaner that patches on a design like this, and stay nice and flush with the body. 

The majority of the stock is arriving in a couple of weeks, by the way, rather than being sold out already.

Aimé Leon Dore shaker-stitch cardigan

£325

This is the first piece I’ve bought from ALD, and it pretty much met my expectations. On the one hand, the design is perfect - the shaker stitch gives the knit bulk; the trim is cream rather than white; the depth of the opening is great, as is the fit through the body. It’s well thought-out.

But it’s a straightforward make, in China, and is 6% nylon and 1% elastane (despite the website saying it’s 100% cotton). There’s nothing necessarily wrong with being China-made and synthetics can help with cottons in particular. But it’s not as nice as, say, an A&S cotton knit  and feels like it should be a chunk cheaper. 

Ralph Lauren trench coat

$1,298

It’s often the case that if you want a traditional style of coat, you’re more likely to find it at Ralph Lauren that at some of the heritage makers, such as Burberry or Aquascutum. With trench coats this has certainly been true, given how short others have become. 

The only problem is that the standard trench Polo offers was made in a stretch cotton, which felt odd. Fortunately they’ve now introduced one without stretch - which I tried in New York recently. It’s only available currently on the US site, but I was told it would be elsewhere too. It’s Polo rather than Purple Label, which is reflected in the price and materials, but the cut is perfect.

Drake’s brushed lavender shetland

£195

There’s no shortage of shetland sweaters out there, but I highlight this one for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a lovely shade of purple, with little wisps of yellow and pale blue in there. And second, it’s brushed to a fluffy texture, which I think readers who find shetlands a little scratchy will prefer. Not as thick as a Shaggy Dog, but just as soft. 

I like bright knits like this as a layer under a coat  - as shown here - and this lavender would be great under a navy. But I also think that if you’re the sort of person that wears a sweater around the shoulders, a bright colour can look great. A pop of colour not unlike a scarf or beanie.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

158 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Felix

For rugby shirts I can recommend the brand Black & Blue 1871 (https://www.blackandblue1871.com/black-and-blue-1871-rugby-shirts/). They have a classic series without club logos and the quality is very nice. As for the vest, my recommendation would be the deep powder vest by Holubar, looks better imo, also from cotton, and somewhat less expensive.
Trench coats, I don’t know, they look very unfashionable to me. I think a duster coat coat in a wider cut fits current silhouettes much better.

Felix

I wouldn’t know the exact weight, but definitely “heavy” (like a dense, somewhat stiff sweatshirt, not like a thick t-shirt, if that helps). Also a very solid, reinforced construction. Very good for any kind of abuse from carrying around/playing with small children etc.
“If it looks easy on the wearer, and not fussy” – that’s what I mean. With a lightly oversized duster coat it’s much harder to look fussy even if the rest of the outfit is on the classic side. I can see a beige trenchcoat would (maybe) look cool with light jeans and beaten up sneakers, but with decent trousers etc. it quickly goes into Inspector Clouseau territory, at least for me.
Btw, since RM Williams is now LVMH and they have played their usual BS of increasing prices and introducing unnecessary extra product categories, maybe you could also provide some alternatives like Botte Gardiane etc.

Peter Smith Wright

LVMH sold RMW back into private Australian ownership back in 2020.

Andrew Watt

Saved the fate of Church’s (Prada)…Berluti…etc.

Let us pray Edward Green does not succumb.

TCN

Those Black and Blues look great; is the collar a bit of a spread? It appears that way.

Gary

The website says that the one that interests me, the Mohicans 1971, is 380 gms, heavy enough for most.

Felix

Yes, and it fades nicely. I am btw usually not a fan of vintage logos but some of those actually look quite cool too.
I am just a little annoyed that they all have an “1871” embroidery at the back of the neck and that there is always a narrow black and blue grosgrain ribbon at the inside of the collar. This is overall very subtle though and otherwise it’s the best classic rugby shirt I could find.

Felix

Well, it’s very easy to ask a tailor to put a little dark navy cotton patch over it (it’s small) – or, if you’re me, to use a black marker to make it invisible 🙂
As for the grosgrain ribbon, with the dark navy (which I have) it doesn’t stick out. I just think it looks off on clearly different colorways.

Peter Smith Wright

There are any number of suppliers of real rugby shirts in the UK. The J Press item here is a pure copy (collar, rubber buttons etc), and the real ones are less than half the price quoted here. So why bother?
I have owned a pair of Craftsman comfort RM’s for about 15 years. Sturdy and comfortable. I wouldn’t refer to RMW as a “menswear brand” though, as their ranges outside footwear are quite limited, and all fit in with the “outback” heritage of the brand.

Peter Smith Wright

Certainly. These are businesses that supply rugby shirts to rugby players, rather than as “fashion”. Think Ragingbull (Phil Vickery), Cotton Traders (Fran Cotton), Classicrugbyshirts, Rugbystore. These are “old school” and I think the J Press item is just a copy of them.

Peter Smith Wright

Fair points Simon, but my view is that a rugby shirt has got to be sufficiently well made to withstand the rigours of the game. However well made, I doubt the Press version would survive for long.

Jason

For me the distinction is clear. Some companies make shirts that are specifically intended to be worn whilst playing rugby(Canterbury, RagingBull etc), whilst others make shirts which look like rugby shirts but are fashion items.

Gary

The J Press website estimates duties and taxes (VAT) for UK delivery at a whopping £88, giving a total of £245. Then there’s the shipping costs to add on too so the total cost will be close to £300!

Gary

Ralph Lauren and Gant sell heavy rugby shirts and some have the logo hidden. They should be readily available in the US. My Gant rugby shirts are still going strong after 12 years regular wear. Whether those brands are now worth the money is another matter but they are often discounted substantially in the winter sales.

Robert

Even the smaller brands provide web based merchandise for global shipping. As a US reader I enjoy coverage of the UK/Eu shops. I have purchased from North Sea Clothing, Merchant Fox, Clutch, Natalino, Haulier, Bleu de Chauffe as a direct result of PS.

Stephan

If I may add on the more affordable side, I was taken aback by the amazing weight, thickness, and rigidity of a Cos rugby in nice light-blue navy that a friend got recently. Nice straight cut, shorter in the body. For 70€ I just said wow and plan to go and see how it fits on me.

José

The Colhays cardigan, the socks and the shetland are the ones that interest me the most. Particularly the shetland, since most of my knitwear pieces are neutral colors. But I think it the color pop in the post you linked there (the yellow shetland) is great, particularly with dark colors! Which color do you consider more versatile, yellow or purple?
Also Simon, do you still own the Liverano purple jacket? If you do, it would be lovely to see how you like to style it! The color is lovely and looks close to the shetland in the pictures.

José

Thank you for the advice Simon! Also, have you tried anything in the new Riviera colour from Rubato? If so, how is it in person? In the pictures looks closer to yellow (reminds me of egg yolk), and far from their ecru, which I have. I was considering it as an option for a color pop with smart chinos and flannels, do you think it is intense enough for that?
The pictures look great and I think it is a great addition to the colour palette.

RT

I can recommend the purple Shetland from William Crabtree. It’s quite a similar shade (as far as I can tell from the photograph) ad is slightly cheaper. It has a cable pattern, which may or may not appeal and, I think a slightly higher collar, which I like.
My knitwear is almost exclusively navy, grey, brown and a little green, but I was seduced by the Crabtree Shetland in this shade and I absolutely love it. Part of that may be because it is a little novel for me and adds a more strongly coloured option for occasions when I feel like wearing a little more colour.It looks quite good with denim and, as you say, Simon, good with navy.

RT

It’s not brushed, as far as I can tell, at least not as much as the Drakes one, but is still quite soft. No doubt James would be able to provide more accurate information. I’d probably prefer it without the cable too, but it wasn’t really a major issue for me, compared to the desire for a higher collar and the price. At £145 I thought it was good value and £50 cheaper than the one from Drakes. Having said that, I notice that Drakes are also offering theirs in black. I haven’t seen anyone else offering a black one, so I’ll be quite happy to pay the £195 for it.

Gary

Bosie.Co sells a Shetland in Midnight Black by Harley of Scotland. The price is a very reasonable £99 compared to Drake’s £195. It is seamless, has a traditional saddle shoulder and is brushable, a service that Bosie offers for a small extra charge.

RT

Thanks for the suggestion, Gary. Much appreciated. I’ll check it out. Do you know what the collar is like? I have found the ones from Bosie/Harley to be a little low for me, in the past, but I’ve only ever tried one or two.

José

Hi RT, thank you for the recommendation. I will consider it, for sure. I also prefer without the cable pattern, but it is not a dealbreaker for me!

RT

Cheers Jose. I’ve found the Shetlands from William Crabtree to be good value and they suit me well. They have quite a number of different colours without the cable knit – in fact, I’m wearing a grey one today – and they’re even cheaper. James Priestley, who runs Crabtree, is extremely helpful too.

Kevin

My experience with Polo is that the quality is very low. If it had been $129 instead of $1,298 perhaps I´d buy it.

Gary

Did you consider Grenfell’s Windsor trench? It’s still made in London and is available in gabardine and Grenfell cloth. At £775, it’s a bargain compared to the Polo and would be top of my list if I need a trench coat.

Gary

Grenfell needs to improve its customer service and size guides. There are few stockists where you can try on in person. My Grenfell golf jacket (bought from Cordings), is a 46 rather than my usual 44. My chest measures 42 inches but I generally need 44s due to broad shoulders. The quality is very good for the money so it’s worth the effort to find the right size.

m

I had a look on RL website and there is also similar coat in Purple Label line that probably has better quality, also ~3x the price.
Simon can I ask if you own, have covered or have any thoughts on lightweight, in appearance not necessarily in weight, coats, made from worsted wool or some blends. I mean designs that usually come with trench coats, dusters, rain coats and the like where traditional materials are cotton and synthetics.

Georgios

Simon how do you find the heavier shawl collar from colhays ? I cant decide between wool and cashmere and im also not sure about the fit..

MBB355

I own and love the Colhays painter cardigan, so I’m glad to see it highlighted here. Interesting that you mention layering it under a jacket—I’d thought about that but worried that the shawl collar would look incoherent under tailoring. And, just like you’ve noted elsewhere that you don’t like wearing a collared shirt under a collared knit, I worry that it might look odd wearing a shawl collar (the knitwear-equivalent of lapels) under the lapels of a jacket. Seems to me the shawl cardigan works better on its own, while non-shawl cardigans are better for layering.

MBB355

I’ll give it a whirl someday. The painter cardigan is great, though. Do you own the ecru colorway? I chose that one too and am seriously considering the dark brown as well. I like the original Colhays shawl cardigan, but it always seemed too bulky and slouchy for the office. The painter cardigan is a better tailored-jacket alternative, while still providing loads of warmth and comfort.

V

Barbarian does ship outside NA: https://barbarian.eu/

Carl

Hi,

The british retailer All Blues Co do stock rugby sweaters by Barbarian.

Rodrigue Ayotte

You should try to get your hands on a Barbarian. They are the genuine article, meant for playing actual rugby on an actual field, not a homage made by a designer with an excellent eye for historical associations and a keen business sense for romanticizing them, and therefore suffering some loss of fidelity.

Rodrigue Ayotte

I’m generalizing, of course. I was thinking of a blue and white stripe Polo rugby shirt I wore in high school. I loved it, but it wasn’t quite up to Barbarian’s quality, and it was a bit off in some of the details, for entirely fashion-driven reasons. As a rule, I think it’s hard to go wrong by seeking out the original that the designers are referencing (or faithful reproductions).

I’d put J. Press into the category of things that Ralph Lauren references, although I don’t own any of their stuff.

zo

Simon, I think Burberry have a perennial full length, traditional fit, raglan sleeved trench coat they carry, no? How is this RL one different in design?

zo

thanks, follow up question. how do you style that trench without looking like inspector gadget or humphrey boggart? i know trench with sweatshirt is one way, but to me it feels kinda done.

Zo

Ooh shawl cardigan, didn’t think of that, good idea will give it a go. Thank you Simon

SteveB

I must say I still have my khaki gabardine Burberry from the early 1990’s & it’s a perfect trench with a zip in wool liner; they don’t seem to have those old school styles anymore but seem to be looking to a younger fashion trend & more standard. But if I needed another trench I’d go for the PS one or Grenfell – I have their Shooter & it’s well made & utilitarian. But their customer service seems unresponsive to enquiries & limited outlet access.

Jack

Looking forward to the RMW Craftsman review soon, interested to see your thoughts – are you reviewing the leather or rubber soled ones? The uppers are slightly different.
Here in Australia, RMs are so commonly worn by men of all ages that there is a certain element of wearing them to just feel comfortable blending in. I’m 38 and associate the old leather sole style with my grandads generation of farmers who highly polished them regularly for wearing to nice occasions, but there’s also the more daily beater user who completely neglects them and have a scratched up look. The ‘comfort’ rubber sole version is actually such an easy thing to throw on for anything, like going to the supermarket or walking to the playground with kids! Haha, sorry I could write an essay on the topic. Very different quality to my pair of EG Galways though!

Hamish

Hi Simon,

Not the most exciting run down this year. I must say reather uninspiring. I wonder if this is a refoection of the market offering in general or if its down to the choices specifically?

I note there are a couple of pieces where you have stated ‘its not as nice as’ an alterntive which makes me wonder why the garment has made the list?

Jim

Hmmm, I think we ask for more affordable pieces rather than lower quality… though that may be the consequence of affordability. An unusually snobbish choice of wording

Craig

Columbiaknit makes nice rugby shirts, in a wide variety of colors, for less. Personally I think going with a striped one is better, and more associated with rugby. If I were to get a solid one, I’d just go with a long-sleeved polo. Though I don’t really like wearing my rugby shirts under a tailored jacket.
I recently picked up a trench coat (from Coherence), with all of the bells and whistles: double breasted, belted, flaps, etc. I was afraid of it looking like a costume (the same reason why I have never cottoned on to military-type jackets like the M65) but I like it so much I don’t care! Agree that these are just better in plain cotton gabardine, no stretch. It just feels, and drapes better. I think going a bit looser is better than tighter with these anyway so stretch fabrics aren’t needed.

Prince Florizel of Bohemia

Coherence makes few trench coats. Is the one you are both praising Al coat inspired by Albert Camus? I’m in search of a classic trench coat and I’m considering Coherence Al and something from Grenfell. Do you have any thought on Grenfell trench coats, please?

Hugh

Simon,
Rugby shirts are a major part of my weekend uniform for exactly the reasons you laid out (collared, flattering, robust). My favorites are Columbia Knit from the Pacific Northwest . Good colors, and 8-10 oz with the rubber buttons. They even do a “fun” rugby shirt where they take scrap cuttings and make them up to reduce waste
http://usa-wear.com/ostore/index.php?route=product/category&path=64_59

P.F.

Wow, would I have known the vintage value of my old, battered, 100% cotton heavy rugby shirt, I would have certainly kept it. It withstood 5+ years of training and playing every week.
The fades by now would be amazing!

Peter Hall

Community Clothing have a heavy rugby shirt in block colours. A real tradition rugby shirt. As you say,most modern shirts are sleek and synthetic
https://barbarian.eu/. Do ship to the UK but postage is expensive.
I wear my rugby shirts for grandad duties at the weekend, usually with a cardigan jeans. Much smarter when tucked in.

CJ

Will jump in on the socks predicament – very happy with my Ivy Ellis pairs, would recommend.

Joel

Got the J. Press rugby in orange and purple (my school colors) in a large and it really fits a little big, but not excessively so. They seem to be a good make even after several washes. Also they have the traditional dropped shoulders.

Oliver Price

I know you didn’t like the colour hoops, but I’ve got two of the Real McCoy’s rugby shirts and they really are much better quality than anything else I’ve had. Drakes are doing a nice one this season as well (https://www.drakes.com/collections/shirts/products/navy-olive-pink-and-blue-colour-block-cotton-rugby-shirt) but it’s not in the same league as the RM’s.

Alistair

For rugby’s, Rowing Blazers are the best I’ve found, coming in at 14oz. Although most of the designs are quite bold, they do have a range of plain colours too. https://rowingblazers.com/collections/rugby/products/rugby?variant=40482674769954&primary=clothing&edit=

john kalell

Agree with Alistair on the merit of Rowing Blazer’s rugby. It’s the most substantial and best executed that I’ve encountered.
I take Simon’s point regarding the absence of covered placket (and the omission of rubber buttons), but we embrace any number of derivative items not pointed towards original concept and use. Precise details aside, it’s a marvelous garment. With my compliments, I’d be pleased to send one to you for a road test, Simon.

Brett

Coming up on 7 years with my RMW Comfort Craftsman boots. I have put them through hell and they still look great. Can’t recommend them enough.

James

Although I see from the preceding discussion that you are opting for a rubber-soled pair of RMs, Simon, one rather unique option with RMs that you might keep in mind for future (or just be interested in as a curio) is their brass screwed soles. Rather than being welted at all, the soles are attached to the upper with a coil of brass and then tacked, leading to a profile that’s equivalent to a Blake stitch or even slimmer. You could easily mistake them for being glued/cemented, since there’s no visible stitching. A traditional method, there’s apparently only around five machines still in existence which make this style of sole, and RMW is one of very few who apparently will still do so.

Eric Michel

The traditional trench coats work well with suits, but in the current environment when you would wear them more casually, directly with a turtleneck or a cardigan, I tend to prefer the shorter versions from the heritage brands. They are a really good compromise in between a jacket and a coat. I find myself wearing 3 times more often my shorter version over my traditional trench-coat (same heritage brand, 30 years older than the new one…).

Stefan

I think Burberry and Mackintosh have trench coats that come to the knee or lower. Burberry’s is called the “long Kensington heritage”. It is very nice – and twice the price of the PS trench, which is just as nice, if you don’t have short arms… Simon, have you perhaps considered changing the design of the, cuff flaps, to put the coat within reach of those of us who’d need to have the sleeves shortened by more than 1.5cm? It wouldn’t take anything more than replacing the snap with a button, would it?

Aaron

Burberry also do one in a more classic fit called the Westminster in a ‘tumbled tropical gabardine.

Grenfell also do quite a classic trench coat.

Markus

Simon, I understand your opinion very well from your perspective (I think I have read that you are quite tall). But I find that long coats do not look that well or even outright bad on shorter guys. They make you look even shorter and somehow lost in the bulk of textile.

Dario

While true, with outerwear I think you can compromise a bit on looks for practicality.

David

And of course the very practical reason that a longer coat is more functional in the rain. A Barbour jacket is great, but your trousers get wet in a downpour.

Eric Michel

Fair point, this may be clearly less of a trench coat and more of something different, like the illegitimate child of a trench coat and a peacoat…

Peter Hall

The leather coat. IMO.

AH.

Hi Simon, may I know which size did you get for the gilet? Thank you.

Gary Mitchell

Ah a list from my own heart. I have a white Colhays shawl cardigan and fantastic it is, also by coincidence I picked up 2 x Eddie Bauer gillets on ebay exactly as shown (one red one beige – bargains both) RM Williams are great boots and I agree they are more work than show, my original pair are still going strong after over 20 years wear and one repair back in Australia (apparently they no longer do the same construction now as then and so they had to be returned to maker. Quality (march quality) rugby shirts a rare beast these days…

Oli Greenaway

As Peter mentioned Patrick Grant’s Community Clothing do some really fantastic rugbys with all the details and quality you’d want at an extremely reasonable £59.
If you want a rugby with a more sporty style or have a particular affiliation to a national team then I would recommend The Rugby Company. They have some really lovely vintage details and embroidery.

Tim

You had me at « you can wear the crap out of it. »

Dan

Great picks, Simon. The Colhays cardigan reminds me of a classic Dehen cardigan (but in cashmere rather than more rugged heavy-gauge merino). I picked up a black collegiate cardigan with stripes on the arm from a vintage shop near me last fall – from the 1940s, with the original owner’s name stitched into the tag. Beautiful and sturdy, with a bit of bagging in the hip pockets and a stray hole, but mostly very well-kept (no pilling to speak of).
Curious if they still make to a high quality. Looking back it seems you might’ve perused some of their goods at John Simons last year.

Josh Felman

Thanks for this post. Speaking just for myself — but perhaps for other readers — I am always on the lookout for items that are new but not so trendy that they will appear silly in a few years time. Such items are difficult to find, which is why your guide is so helpful.
While going through the list, I was struck by something: the absence of any Italian brands. And once I started to think about this, I realized that there is actually very little discussion of Italian brands on PS nowadays. Just to take one example, if you search for Kiton on the website, there are almost no recent articles, in contrast to a decade ago when mentions of Kiton were reasonably frequent.
So, I thought I would drop you a line to ask why. Does this say something about the evolution of Italian brands? Has their quality diminished? Or have they become too trendy, moving away from the precepts of “permanent style”? Or have they simply stood still while UK/US brands have passed them in terms of quality or durable style? Or is it something else entirely?
In any case, many thanks for this post — and for your invaluable blog, more generally.

Scott

You raise some very interesting and important points to consider. What are your current thoughts on Luca Faloni garments in the context of this discussion?

And

unfortunately I agree, here in Italy everything in fashion/most RTW is still about stretch fabrics and excessively slim silhouettes.

Josh Felman

Makes sense. You are certainly right that Italians are now going in for stretch and processed garments. But as you imply in your last sentence there are surely exceptions. It would be wonderful if you could ferret those out for us!

Scott

I really like that Colhays cardigan. I bought my first Colhays piece about a month ago, the brown mock neck, and the quality is stunning. I’m definitely focusing more on UK/USA companies these days,such as Private White and Billy Reid, that provide very well made, well designed, and very functional clothing. Thanks for this post!

Alex

Simon – on the subject of trench coats, have you tried or have any knowledge of Grenfell?

Alex

What do you make of them?

Potential subject of a future article?

Sigurd

Always good to see a beautiful shetland – my favourite knitwear. But my impression of the plain Drake’s shetlands on my recent visit to their new Copenhagen store was not great. They seemed a bit flimsy and loosely knit compared to my Harley of Scotland (which is half the price).
However, the Drake’s colour palette is great. Personally, I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable in a purple like this. Or get enough use out of it to justify choosing it over a navy or grey.
Seeing that you often wear brighter colours these days, I would be interested to know how much use you get out of them? Is it just that when you already have enough basic colours you can experiment more?

And

Have you tried Mazarin’s Ivy line from e.g. Mes Chassetes Rouge? I just bought 2, as I was desperately looking for non-dressy, sturdier but still nice socks, and they were proving impossible to find locally. Only tried them on but so far really liked them, they are a surprising mix of cotton-linen-synthetic. They even seem to stay up fairly decently considering they are mid-calf.

And

Regarding trench coats, I fantasized them for a long time, eventually bought a vintage Burberry’s from Ebay in size 48 (which is my size in theory, but they were huge really) since it seems impossible to find a 46, and ended up almost never wearing it. In part because it is in fact too big for me, but also I found it a bit too dramatic, and the huge double breasted closure was more a hassle than practical as most of the times I don’t need to use it. I think I should have gone for a more simple single breasted style.

J Melluish

Spot on re: RM Williams. I’ve had my Craftsman pair for 14 years now and use them as rain beaters. I had them resoled with brick red colored Dainite soles a few years back by B. Nelson in NYC. I was likewise initially skeptical about the toe shape but learned to embrace them with time. Looking forward to your deeper dive.

Dennis

I’ve had a Barbarian rugby shirt in the past (300+ wears over 13yrs), and I’d be hard pressed to tell my new JPress replacement from my recollections of it. I think the JPress one is a bit softer and lighter weight, but they don’t list details on their website.

If being worn as collegiate gear, they seem to target slightly different markets. Barbarian has better matches for big Midwestern schools from what I’ve seen but doesn’t have JPress’s coverage of southern ones.

PXL_20221102_020247091~3.jpg
Cltzhrs

How did you size in the ALD cardigan? And are you happy with the size?

Jake

Barbarian are stocked by AllBluesCo in Leeds. I also like Columbia Knit but they don’t have a UK presence.
100% Cotton UK made Rugby’s can be had from Community Clothing, but I don’t like their current designs. Interested if anyone has any other leads on UK Made rugbys that aren’t a poly cotton blend.

Raj

Looks like a good selection what I found interesting is that you picked a Ralph Lauren trench coat , you looked into their knitwear as well as I hear it’s good quality and has a classy preppy aesthetic about it?

Carlo

Dear Simon, I am interested in the boots. I often deal with clients and people who wear jean and white sneakers. I am currently looking for an alternative in leather (like the LHS I wear in warmer months). Would the boots fall into this category? What other options could I consider?
Second question, if I may: What do you think about the boots in black?

Mr. P

Simon,
What is the ideal length of a traditional Trench Coat? Obviously, the length varies on each person’s height and I’m wondering if I should have mine hemmed being a shorter guy? My coat is sitting just a hair past or right at mid-shin. Thank you.

Mr. P

Thank you, appreciate it.

Charlie W

Without having read all the comments – I would be interested to know if you thought/tried rowing blazers offering of rugby shirts?

They seem to have a traditional heavy cotton. At least marketed as the real deal.

When I was at school in the UK we had heavy cotton rugby shirts that was reversible – red one side, black the other, with a white collar. Some nostalgia in these pieces for me, but generally too hot to wear in Australia most of the year.

MBB355

Yeah it’s not the most versatile but I think it would also look good with grey denim and dark olive chinos

MBB355

Simon, your Drakes’ shetland selection reminded me of this piece from Mallochs:

https://www.mallochs.co.uk/collections/knitwear/products/wreay-shetland-crew-neck-pink-haar

What do you think of this? I’m drawn to it. The dusty pink gives an interesting pop of color, yet seems easier to wear than the stronger Drakes’ purple.

Andrew Tait

Can testify to the durability of the RM Williams Craftsmen boots. I’ve worn mine for 27yrs and are my main weekend and evening shoe so they’ve seen some use. They fit gloriously almost like a leather sock now as they have adapted to my feet.

Amazing pair of shoes and nothing comes close

Moe

Hey Simon, have you tried this Website for Barbarian Rugby Shrits?
https://barbarian.eu/
It says that they ship EU-wide.

Lachie M

Interested to see your breakdown of RM Williams. I’ve owned two pairs for quite a while now and love them. In recent years black RMs have become a staple of business wear, and the dark brown. When I bought my second pair in dark tan, they had to be specially ordered and the quality is much higher, however that’s no longer an option I believe.

Lachie M

Same model, yes. The dark tan leather has moulded to my foot and aged better with wear. I’m not a shoe expert but I also feel the welt (connection between sole and leather upper) is sturdier and better stitched. Both pairs are many years old now and have held up beautifully though.

Yash

Hi Simon,
On the L’impermeabile gilets. Is there a case to be made for having both the taupe and navy?
I ask because I am still in two minds on that Real Mccoys deerskin – I suspect it is quite heavy and while the quality is not in doubt, still not sure on the style (I am finding it difficult to get past the the western inspired “pointed” suede shoulder inserts for reasons I cannot fathom. Love the rest of it).
Back to these, the taupe is clearly unique in look due to the waxed cotton etc, but is the Navy equally unique in look or does it look like other Navy alternatives? I am guessing though, that the way the Navy ages is what will set it apart.
Thanks in advance.

Yash

Hi Simon, no not yet. I might start with the taupe and see how we go. Thanks.