Double brown: Just a touch less subtle
I think there's a useful variable in considerations of how we dress that we haven't talked about explicitly before: how subtle or showy clothes are.
I might write a longer piece on it at some point, but I think it's essentially a spectrum from the very understated at one end to the very in-your-face at the other.
It implies nothing about genre of clothing, or execution. Streetwear can be subtle or showy too, and you can do showy outfits better or worse. It's more a question of style, and it's there clearly when we say outfits are loud or quiet, or more of 'a look'.
Permanent Style has generally stayed down the subtle end of the spectrum, while trying to become neither dull nor archaic.
Today's outfit is intended to illustrate a very small move away from that subtle end of the range.
If you were to wear a white shirt and brown knit like the V-neck pictured, the more expected trousers with them would be charcoal, mid-grey or beige.
This would be more harmonious, subtle - the kind of combination someone might not even remember in detail, merely recalling that you were smartly dressed. It's the kind of simple style that business clothing aims for, because your clothes should not really be the focus.
Wearing trousers in virtually the same brown as the knit, as shown, is a little more unexpected. Not a lot, by any means. Again most people may not notice. But it is a small step away from the orthodoxy.
I think it's a look worth highlighting because some readers may like something a little more interesting, a little less classic. I certainly do sometimes.
Paler colours - say white on white - are also a step along the showy spectrum, and usually look best with a layer over the top (as shown here).
A more similar combination would be double navy, or double charcoal. Though navy is a touch more ordinary.
I particularly like a charcoal rollneck with charcoal flannels.
Separating the two blocks with a belt helps a lot. In this outfit, a black alligator belt from Rubato that goes with the black Piccadilly loafers.
It helps so much that you’d be forgiven for making sure that belt buckle is on display most of the time. Personally I wouldn't tuck the knitwear into the trousers (one more step along that spectrum) but I certainly understand the impulse.
The polo shirt, while we're listing everything, is from Trunk. I increasingly like long-sleeved polos like this and of course the Friday Polo under knitwear. The glasses are Eyevan from Ludovic Lunetier.
And the coat is of course the PS Donegal in light grey. Only a couple of those left, though there's still good stock in navy.
Often when we feature less classic clothing on PS, readers comment that the looks are more 'fashion'.
That's sometimes true, but I think it can conflate being more showy with being trend-driven.
It is possible to dress a little less classically, perhaps with more personality, and not be connected to what designer brands and their high-street copycats are selling.
Fashions are of course insidious, seeping into our consciousness from everyone and everything we see around us. But this doesn't feel particularly fashionable to me.
Oh, and when it comes to tailoring - a jacket and trousers - I'd want more difference in the browns on top and bottom. Otherwise it could look like a slightly odd suit.
Photography: Christopher Fenimore