The steamy social experiment that is a PS party

Friday, November 25th 2022
||- Begin Content -||

I’ve learnt a couple of things about glass-fronted shops recently. 

One is they magnify heat: even on a cold day, an hour’s worth of afternoon sun heats up the space to an incredible degree. I’ve no idea how this is workable in the summer, but even in autumn it means you need to constantly open and close the door to regulate temperature. 

There are no windows, being a shop, and the air con is little help. 

The second thing is that if you pack such a shop shoulder-to-shoulder with people - like some council-regulations experiment - eventually condensation starts running down the inside of the windows. 

It helps if it’s cold outside, and probably if it’s raining, as it was last Wednesday during our opening party. But the result is rather eye-catching. It looks like you’re running a heaving, sweaty club in this genteel corner of Mayfair. Or a hotbox yoga session. 

For most of the party there were around 100 people stuffed into 20 Savile Row, and another 30 or so outside. 

They stuffed themselves in because they wanted to be where the drink was, and because it was raining outside. 

The brave souls that stayed outside - like Jake below - had decided that rain was better than steamy heat, and had a glass full anyway. 

This was the ninth pop-up we’ve held and the first time it’s been raining during the opening party. So I guess we’ve been lucky up to this point. 

And the rest of the four days were lovely. A constant stream of readers, including many old faces and some new ones. 

I got to meet Joel, from South Carolina but in France on business, who deliberately flew back via London in order to come and see us. I’ve seen Joel’s smiling face on Instagram so many times wearing PS things, it felt like how people sometimes describe seeing me - like a digital image brought oddly to life. 

I also got to meet Jack, who is by some way the most prolific question-asker on Permanent Style right now. We established that the answers I was giving were helpful, and that I see all comments, no matter how old the post is. It was so nice hearing how useful they’ve been to him on his journey. 

Perhaps the most useful thing for me was watching people try things on. 

I now know, for example, that readers never cinch the back of the Trench Coat, unless you suggest it. And that’s kind of the point right? It’s a major contributor to the style of a trench. 

I also know they sometimes feel the Linen Harrington is small, because they have to pull at the zip to do it up. But that's also the point - there are elastic panels to enable it, and it’s what makes any blouson stay on the waist, allowing the volume of the body to blouse out beautifully above. 

I hope not that many people have returned or exchanged a Harrington thinking it was too small. 

The Permanent Style week of the pop-up has ended now, with Mickael from La Bowtique leaving with us. 

This week the shop has been taken over by Colhay’s, and if you pop by to 20 Savile Row you’ll find Ronnie and all his knits. He’s here until Sunday. 

Then next week, Tuesday to Sunday, is The Merchant Fox. I’m looking forward to seeing the full range of Fox clothing, from overshirts to tebas to forestieres. Quite relevant, given Wednesday’s article on all such jacket substitutes. We’ll be writing a piece on them soon too. 

Finally, pre-owned brand Marrkt will take the shop for three days the following week, December 7th to 9th. I’ll be there at the start of those three days because there will be a lot of my pre-owned clothing for sale, as well as a handful of PS samples. 

All the details on those brands, including their opening times, can be found on the pop-up update article here. 

The plan, by the way, is to have a break in January and then have another series of brands in February and March, culminating in the normal PS pop-up at the end of March. 

Thank you so much to everyone that came to the shop, and to those that braved the rain and the steam to wish us well at the party. 

The shot above, is of Mickael promoting his new book, which does look like it’s going to be excellent - over 400 pages on black tie and evening wear, the most comprehensive book there’s probably ever been on the subject. 

Details on the La Bowtique website here

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Peter Hall

That looks fun! All the excitement of a 90s rave but with fewer bucket hats.

Love the black and white photography.


Given the rapid spread of flu viruses at the moment, staying outside was a safer choice too. I did not attend because I had early symptoms that, over next few days, turned into the “Flu Monty”!

Btw, will Marrkt be accepting items for sale in the pop-up? Does the firm buy items from sellers or act an agent on commission?


The pictures look more like a mini pitti than something a normal customer/reader would “pop” into to have a look for some goods 😉

Peter K

And add some hand and foot care products? “Come to Mini pitti for a mani-pedi”.


Always happy to help!


Surely, “Pitti Petite”?


It’s masculine 🙂


Aaah! The problems of success !


Sad to have missed it! But then again, is there anything more distressing when garbed in layers of tailoring than a humid room? Glad it was another roaring success


Fun article.
love my Harrington – no issues with sizing.

Il Pennacchio

Ain’t no party like a PS party ’cause a PS party don’t have a dehumidifier.


I was hoping for some more social analysis based upon that title. Demographics, social dividers or common themes amongst guest. Alas that was not he case


It wouldn’t have been much of a drinks reception if Simon was there with his clipboard gathering data.




I’m sure he, and everyone else were making these observations throughout. It’s impossible not to. I’m not suggesting that he should have necessarily written that article but that the title was misleading.


Funny to see the picture of the guy wearing “Irish handcuffs”.
(I am part Irish for all those PC readers.)




Might just be my own Covid trauma in its slow abatement, but it’s startling to see a room without masks; a crowded humid little chamber that may once have felt snug or merely heady in a claustrophobic way now also seems like a place for spreading more than good cheer. Blithe spirits are some of what we need, and yet at what point does blithe veer into cavalier? Not sure. To each their own, to be sure…! I’ll take a windswept piazza, for now.


It’s healthy get sick — builds our immune system. Part of our current problem is we’re much too clean. So go to the event!


Will you be reviewing the new Rubato branded polos? Have you got one yet?


Hi Simon,
A great event! I think time has come to move beyond a mere experiment. At some point, a community such as PS’ readership would require some sort of gathering – whatever its form – to remain a trully living one.
I also think that involving makers would be crucial in the long term, as they belong to this very community too.


For the time being, what I have in mind are the following things: 1) They shouldn’t be a Pitti’s type of event, where anything goes; 2) PS’s educational dimension should remain intact on such occasions; 3) Makers (from shoes to hats and fabrics) and, say, groups of readers could work out sorts of projects together to set out on those occasions. This could feature the educational side of these events. In that regard, your seven levels of formality could be useful, perhaps; 4) These kinds of events should be financially sustainable. I mean, they could involve, for instance, participations equivalent to going to a pub, even if sponsoring would be envisageable.
Of course, fun should also be part of such gatherings!
Just few ideas to start brainstorming!


Thank you for saying that about the Harrington… I have the Ralph Lauren Suede bomber you had featured on the website a few years back but I have to pull a bit to get it to zip and I wondered to myself if I should have sized up on it. Glad to put my mind at ease!