The three wardrobes that define my week 

The three wardrobes that define my week 

Wednesday, September 14th 2022
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Broadly speaking, I dress in one of three ways during the week. They are defined quite clearly (to simplify the process, as much as anything else) and represent three general levels of smartness.

I know readers will be interested in having these set out, as capsule wardrobes are always popular. 

But I’m also aware that all three could represent office wardrobes for some people - whether it’s a case of being smart but not wearing a suit, or of adding subtle touches in an environment where everyone wears T-shirts and trainers. 

So this could easily be another ‘Which office are you’ article, and just as helpful. I can expand any of the three into fuller lists of clothing (and sellers) if helpful. 

1. Jacketed

During the working week, if I go into town I nearly always wear tailoring. 

This is both because it is appropriate - it is what is expected of me, and the impression I want to give - and because I enjoy it. I love my tailoring but the most I’m going to wear it is three days a week; I don’t want to miss the opportunity. 

The tailoring is more casual than when I used to work in an office, in the City. It is mostly a jacket and trousers - rather than a suit - and rarely a tie or pocket square. But it is still smarter than 99% of people around me. 

I also wear more brown, white and black than when I was in an office, with those three plus shades of grey usually making up my jacket, shirt and trousers. The outfit above with my Pirozzi dupioni is a good example. 

However, if you work in an office this could just as easily include business colours, most obviously as navy. As set out in the five jackets article, a navy, oatmeal and grey jacket would go a long way. Combined with some of the five smart trousers and your regular shirts.

Top: Shirt, or at the most a collared knit

Bottom: Flannels, cords, high twist wools

Outer: Sports jacket

Shoe: Leather or suede, tending towards smarter styles

2. Casual chic

This is a step down in smartness. Usually worn during the working week when I’m not in town (central London). 

I mentioned during discussions about dressing during lockdown that wearing a shirt makes me feel like I’m at work, and should be working. It’s a motivational thing: I just never work the same in shorts and a sweatshirt. 

This second category is in that mould. It is smart, but it’s not tailoring. The top is collared, but the trousers are not jeans. It is the area of menswear that I’ve referred to as ‘casual chic’ and I think has the most potential for the modern man - but in many ways is the hardest to do.

Why? Because it depends so much on subtleties. It’s less about wearing a jacket or not and more about wearing smart chinos rather than workwear ones, or wearing a knitted polo shirt rather than regular piqué. 

The item I reach for most often here is my Rubato chinos. A pair of those, plus a shirt or smartish sweater (like the Cashmere Rugby) and a pair of suede or cordovan loafers, and I’m done. 

The smartest I’d go with trousers is flannels, but it’s usually chinos or cords; the most casual I’d go is ecru jeans. Outerwear could be a suede blouson or a long raglan. 

This category can also step up or down sometimes. It is, for example, what I might wear into town if I didn’t have any appointments. And it’s what I would wear to something smarter at the weekend, like a friend’s birthday party. 

Top: Casual shirt (oxford, chambray, denim) or smart polo

Bottom: Smart chino or cord, occasionally flannel or white jean

Outer: Cashmere knit, blouson, raglan coat

Shoe: Loafer or boot, suede or cordovan

3. Workwear and sportswear

This defines my weekend. There might be the occasional exception or simple laziness, but this is how I usually think when I get up on a Saturday morning.

Trousers: workwear chinos or jeans. Top: T-shirt or oxford shirt, maybe a chambray. Shoes default to tennis shoes, a canvas trainer, though with the occasional loafer too, as we’ll discuss in a moment. 

This is where my Real McCoy’s sweatshirts live, my beloved old Armoury chinos, my vintage outerwear and leather jackets. 

It’s obviously casual, but it’s also heavily influenced by the Ivy take on sportswear - by old, more considered sportswear. And by smarter takes on workwear too. 

In practice this means I’m often working slightly smarter elements into the outfit. For example if it’s a sweatshirt and chinos, I might wear cordovan loafers instead of tennis shoes. Just to keep things interesting - to avoid everything sinking to the lowest common denominator. 

Another example: an oxford under the sweatshirt rather than a T-shirt. Or with a T-shirt and jeans, perhaps a luxurious-looking suede bomber rather than a vintage varsity jacket. Both are beautiful, but in very different ways. 

This third category is something I’d suggest to a reader whose office is a sea of big T-shirts and Air Jordans. Try just tweaking one thing: old trainers, but with a blue oxford shirt; a T-shirt, but with Alden penny loafers; or a shetland rather than a sweatshirt.  

One step of elevation, but no more. Otherwise it looks like you’re looking down on everyone.

Top: T-shirt, oxford, denim

Bottom: Jeans, fatigues, workwear chinos

Outer: Sweatshirt, shetland, vintage military

Shoe: Canvas trainer, suede or cordovan loafer/boot

With all three capsules, there will of course be exceptions. I still wear a suit; I still wear a tie. Sometimes I wear jeans with jacket, or workwear into town. But they are specific exceptions with specific reasons - these three are the starting point, default.  

Here are some more images by way of illustration. But please, please read the text as well - otherwise like the piece on My Ivy, half the comments will be misunderstandings. These are merely intended to illustrate what is set out above.


Casual chic:

Sportswear and workwear:

We’re coming to New York!

We’re coming to New York!

Monday, September 12th 2022
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So this is exciting. For the first time, Permanent Style Presents is coming to New York.

A mini version of the London pop-up shop, it will be led by Rubato and PS, with very special guest Fred Nieddu, aka Taillour.

We will be at 54 Mercer Street on the 4th floor (same building as Stoffa, two floors up).

Oliver and Carl will be bringing both Rubato stock to try and buy, and some new samples. I will be bringing a size run of every PS product I can, for customers to then order online (this worked well in London last time).

Fred will be seeing his bespoke customers, but as with having any bespoke artisan at one of the pop-ups, the nice thing is that anyone can go and see his work - examine it, try it, get a sense - without the pressure that comes from making an actual appointment.

We will be there for four days, from Wednesday October 19th to Saturday October 22nd.

There will also be welcome drinks, downstairs in the Stoffa showroom. But details of that and other little things like opening hours will be confirmed soon.

Those updates will be added here, on this post, as well as on social media. So if you feel you haven't seen anything, check back closer to the time and there should be a little note at the top.

As with the London pop-up shop, there is no requirement to make an appointment, please just swing by and say hello. Even if you have no particular product in mind, the five of us would simply like to see you. It is our first time after all.

Any questions about things I do know, but have forgotten to say, please do ask in the comments below. As per usual.

That's Carl at the top, by the way, then Fred, and Oliver at the bottom. But then you knew that.

New colours in the Arran scarf and PS watch caps

New colours in the Arran scarf and PS watch caps

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The popular PS Watch Caps and exclusive Arran scarves from Begg & Co - introduced last year - have just been restocked on the PS Shop, with two additional colours.

It was a real struggle last year to get things in on time, with delays not just with the mills but the spinners and raw materials. Everything stacked up, amounting to weeks of delay. 

So this year we’ve tried to get ahead of ourselves, and some of these Autumn/Winter PS staples are arriving now, rather than say November. We’ve also ordered more, so hopefully they’ll be available through into the new year. 

First to arrive was the Bridge Coats a couple of weeks ago, now the scarves and hats, and the Wax Walkers will be arriving soon too. 

I’m really proud of how popular the watch caps have become, and now see them regularly around in London.

The simple pitch of a smaller size that sits neatly on the head, and therefore looks more put together, seems to appeal to guys that need to wear something, but aren’t going to wear a fedora or a baseball cap. It’s nice that it rolls up in a pocket easily too. 

This year we’ve added black to the mix, which probably won’t surprise readers given how much of that (non-)colour I’ve been showing recently. 

I see the black as a direct swap for navy - one which will be smart and dark, but actually suit some colours more, such as the colder and more muted ones we’ve spoken about in the past (dark olives, cold browns, greys, taupes). 

You can see that particularly in the images above and below, where the black watch cap is worn with the very dark-brown Wax Walker. It’s better there than navy would be, and that’d be the same with the brown Donegal Coat too. 

The scarves were an interesting one. I wasn’t sure how well they’d do, given they were just colours in the classic Begg & Co ‘Arran’ quality that the company didn’t offer, or had discontinued. 

But we ended up scrambling a second order in January as the first batch all sold out in a couple of weeks. 

I assume that was partly because I’ve talked about and worn the Arran so much over the years, and readers identified with the lack of a darker navy or olive green in the rest of the Begg collection - which, to be fair, has to straddle a range of customers from everyday to high fashion, male and female. 

Inspired by that success, this year I spent a while going through all the other yarns that weren’t being offered in Begg’s collection. 

There were a few I liked, and perhaps some of them will make an appearance in the future. But my favourite was the ‘clay’ grey you see above. 

One issue I have with wearing dark, muted colours, is that everything can become a little washed out - too black-and-white. It’s one reason a cream shirt might look better with black tailoring, for example - as here with black cords

In shoes, Alden’s Color 8 cordovan does the same job. It can be worn in pretty much every situation where you’d otherwise wear black shoes. But dark as Color 8 is, it’s not black. There is some pigmentation in there, some richness. 

This clay colour does the same with grey. It still works in any situation where you’d normally wear a grey scarf, but it also adds warmth to those very tonal combinations. You can see this particularly with white shirts (as pictured).

One more way to put it - it’s like the grey high-twist suitings I like from Drapers. There’s some brown in that grey. 

The scarves are available on the PS Shop now in clay, dark navy and olive (last two pictured above). 

The watch caps - also made in Scotland, by Johnston’s of Elgin - are now available in five colours. Historical shots of those also below.

We have had to put up prices very slightly this year, to reflect our increasing costs. But as always, this is the only reason we put them up and we are always up front about it. 

Any questions on that or the merits of a particular colour, just drop me a line in the comments below. For the rest of what’s coming up, when, see last week’s Autumn/Winter summary.

Pressing: An unsung art of bespoke tailoring (video)

Pressing: An unsung art of bespoke tailoring (video)

Wednesday, September 7th 2022
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The first time I saw a tailor use an iron to shape cloth, I was genuinely surprised. 

You wouldn’t think material would be able to be manipulated that much, using steam and pressure to turn a straight piece of canvas into the shape of a collar (above). But it’s routine for bespoke tailoring, and is used in many other parts a suit, as Nicholas De'Ath of Dege & Skinner shows us in today's video.

It’s Nicholas's third example that most readers will probably be familiar with: shaping the leg of a trouser so that it becomes a slight ‘S’ shape, with bulges at the thighs and calves (below).  

Now I haven’t had this on all my trousers, and it hasn’t seemed to make a big difference when I have. But my body shape doesn’t necessarily need help in that area - and the important thing is that if a tailor feels it’s needed, pressing gives them the ability to do so. 

The reason I was keen to do this video is that pressing, as a part of the craft of bespoke, doesn’t get talked about that much. It’s a lot easier to show basted jackets covered in white stitches, or someone hand-padding a jacket on their knee.

Pressing is noisy, hard to see, and the results are often hidden - either because the result is just a smooth finish (as on the shoulder seam) or because it’s actually on the inside, as with shaping the inlay. 

So I asked Nicholas, who has cut me both a lovely linen suit and a summer jacket (worn here), to talk us through three major examples. We then run through a handful of others on a mannequin. 

Many thanks to him, to the tailors who demonstrate the work for us, and to everyone else at Dege & Skinner for their help. 



And thank you as always to the Campaign for Wool, who have supported all these videos. There is a dedicated channel for video on PS (see menu above) and other recent videos in this vein are:


Black tops and tonal combinations under

Black tops and tonal combinations under

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In many ways, today's outfit is a natural extension of things we’ve been talking about recently. 

There was, back on August 12, our discussion about wearing all black, which has some bearing here. The outfit is not all black, of course, but it is almost monochrome and features black more prominently than as a shoe or accessory, as we had discussed more often in the past. 

I think it’s worth restating than I have not, and am not, advocating black as a replacement for more classic-menswear colours like grey or navy. Those will always be easier to wear, more subtle, and flatter more men most of the time. 

The aim is to help drag black out of obscurity, and show how it can be an enjoyable alternative to those standards. 

You may want that alternative out of a desire to appear less corporate, to be more individual, or to just to evoke some of black’s connotations around fashion and music. Whatever the motivation, these are ways I like to do it. 

See also black polos here, black jackets here, black leather jackets here, and black shoes to wear with brown trousers here

The other reason this outfit is a natural extension of previous discussions is its tonality. 

The T-shirt (knitted cotton from Thom Sweeney) is white and the trousers (linen from Ambrosi) are off-white. You could call the latter a pale beige, perhaps even biscuity. I wouldn’t call it stone because there’s no grey. 

But it does its job, which is to keep the whole tonal while not being the same as the T-shirt. White and white would be bolder, perhaps in some ways less sophisticated; beige and white has a little something more to it. Something that draws you in rather than pushing you away. 

Of course, such outfits are slightly impractical, in that they look very pale if you take the outer layer off. But that’s more a problem when people do that look with an overcoat - similarly toned knitwear and trousers under a bold coat, for example. 

Here, the linen overshirt feels so much like a shirt, rather than outerwear, that it’s unlikely I would ever take it off. Certainly, on the two days when I did wear it in Italy recently I didn’t feel any need to do so, despite the heat. 

With the sleeves rolled back, and the front open whenever needed, it was always cool enough. And it had the practicality of five different pockets available to hold phone, wallet, keys and so on. 

Rather nicely, Milad and I received a couple of compliments from shop owners on what we were wearing - and not menswear shops either, regular shopping shops. 

With me in this overshirt, and Milad in a Bryceland’s towelling shirt, we were hardly smart. But it was remarked that it was nice to see people a little more dressed up compared to all the tourists in Rome at the time. 

I don’t think it was a coincidence that both times this happened in nice shops - a perfumery, a jewellery store - that clearly gave thought to their own appearance. The place, the packaging and the staff were all very tastefully done. It’s often in shops like this that flip-flops can look a little out of place.

Now, I’m always aware here that there is a risk of being judgmental, and I really strive to avoid that, no matter what my opinions. 

But I do think there’s a place for making these points in a way that isn’t personal or censorious. Complimenting someone else on being well dressed, as those staff did to us, is for example a positive rather than a negative way of doing it. 

And the most positive is to simply dress well - elegantly but relevantly - and inspire others by doing so. 

I saw a young guy walking down the street last week in a loose cotton suit, and the same evening, a female presenter at a talk in a tan suit and western boots. Both inspired me to wear a suit the next day, rather than jacket and jeans. It affects to us all. 

This linen overshirt is a prototype for a new colour of the PS Overshirt, for next Spring. As ever your thoughts on it are welcome. The shoes are black-suede classic Sagans from Baudoin & Lange. 

I wrote a separate post, this past Monday, on the main outfit I wore to Rome, which was smarter and led by my Caraceni double-breasted jacket. Today’s outfit was the alternative - worn for part of the travelling, for the less important of the three days, and for something to change into the evening if that felt like a relaxing thing to do. 

On a short trip like this I often bring just two outfits - one being worn, the other in the suitcase - that will cover most eventualities and be alternated. Then things to swap when the outfits are worn a second time (another white tee, another linen shirt) and perhaps something in case the weather turns (a sweater, an undershirt, a hat). But that’s all: it’s an easy formula. 

Photography: Milad Abedi

I should also have said that this outfit could fit into the category of Casual Chic - which I have personally and somewhat arbitrarily defined as dressing elegantly without a tailored jacket. More on that here and vintage inspiration for it here

Bespoke Anto shirt from La La Land – tucked and untucked

Bespoke Anto shirt from La La Land – tucked and untucked

Friday, September 2nd 2022
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In the continuing vein of exploring sports shirts - casual, vintage-styled, often rayon or silk - I chatted a couple of months ago to my friend Jack Sepetjian, who runs Anto shirts in LA

I first got to know Jack when he spoke at our Shirtmakers Symposium during Pitti, in 2018. Jack makes for many celebrities in Los Angeles, but also does a lot of film work. A large portion of his shirts are made for costume directors on films like Casino, Ocean’s Eleven or La La Land. 

It was the latter that sparked my interest recently. I was rewatching the film and noted Ryan Gosling’s sports shirt in it - cream, what looked like silk, worn tucked and untucked, with trousers and with a suit. It looked like an interesting take. 

I thought Anto might have made the shirts for that film, and it turned out they had. I then asked Jack to make me one in the same model. I took my own measurements and the result turned out well - perhaps helped by the fact that Jack and I had met in person previously. 

The shirt is interesting to cover as a product, as a review. But it’s also a good excuse to talk again about tucking and untucking, with a jacket and without, given that’s how the shirt was styled.

I’ve deliberately worn the shirt here in all those different permutations, to enable some discussion. 

The shirt itself is made in an unusual ribbed silk, with an almost crepe-like texture. But it is also densely woven, which means it holds its shape well - retaining a clean, smarter look when untucked. 

The latter, I’m increasingly realising, is a key reason silk or rayon are good for this style of shirt. They will always drape better than linen or cotton, and even if they have to have a silkier look as a result, it doesn’t have to be the satin finish people most commonly associate with silk: it can be more matte, and more textured, as here or with the rayon covered previously

The way of wearing the shirt above is how I would imagine most PS readers will prefer it: tucked in, with a jacket over the top. 

It’s certainly the easiest way to wear it, as the unusual aspects of the shirt are partly hidden. And it means the shirt adds a nice, subtle edge to the outfit, rather than being the focus: you might expect a white or ecru linen, but what you get is a slightly floppy-collar silk. It’s elegant and unexpected. 

I have struggled with the size of that collar, which was bigger than I anticipated (9cm). However, its shape is nice under a jacket like this, curling around the lapel before tucking neatly underneath it. 

And, when the jacket is removed, the light fusing takes on a little of that tucked-under shape, giving the collar a little roll and pointing it downwards. Both make the length of the collar less obvious.

Still, if I were ever to have another shirt like this made by Anto, I would take a centimetre off the length. I’d be more at ease wearing it on its own. 

Which is what I’ve shown in the second outfit iteration, above. 

You can see the size of the collar in this iteration - but with that roll, in an outfit that is clearly a little more dressy and perhaps even evening-y, I think it works. 

I always, always fold back my shirt sleeves when I’m not wearing a jacket; I feel physically weird if I don’t, and I do it in exactly the way I watched my Dad do it years ago. 

But there is also a case to be made that it’s flattering. Certainly, it helps this shirt look a little more relaxed. 

Now untucked. 

Let’s get the menswear rules out of the way first. Yes, it shortens the legs; less obviously, it narrows the shoulders (relatively); it also looks less neat, more messy, and you could say less elegant. 

But as with all the rules (which we’ve covered extensively here) the point is to respect these traditions, understand the benefits that mean they’ve been passed down, and then decide whether you are about other things more. 

In this case, you might prioritise the fact that an untucked shirt looks more relaxed; you might not place much importance on how physically flattering a shirt is; or you might just prefer the style - and that’s always the most important.

Another option, in order to look more relaxed still, is to wear a white vest or T-shirt underneath the shirt. In this case I’ve gone with a white T-shirt, because that’s what Gosling wears in the film. 

I think this is actually my preferred option with the shirt untucked. Perhaps because the collar is de-emphasised, and perhaps because I can still unbutton the shirt as far as I want, but don’t add chest hair to everything else already going on around the neck.

This feels like it might be a nice option for evening drinks somewhere, with friends who are unlikely to be wearing tailored trousers, let alone a jacket.

Last of all, the shirt untucked with a jacket. 

I can see how some people are drawn to options like this, as part of a desire to casualise the suit. But personally I don’t think it succeeds, and looks a little sloppy. 

Untucking under a jacket is an easy thing to do, but more subtle things are actually more effective, such as changing the colour, material or collar of the shirt. 

If you want to wear a shirt untucked, I’d wear something more casual over the top, such as an overshirt or knit. But as ever, let me know what you all think below.

We will cover Anto, the company, its history and clientele, in a separate article. 

Anto shirts start at $375, but any fine materials or even checks are more expensive, from $425. A silk shirt like mine is $525. 

They regularly do remote orders, as mine was, with clients taking their own measurements and fittings over video if required. Delivery time is usually eight weeks.

Other clothes shown: jacket from Brioni, linen trousers from Edward Sexton, Sagan Grand loafer from Baudoin & Lange

Coming up on the PS Shop this Autumn/Winter

Coming up on the PS Shop this Autumn/Winter

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At the beginning of each season recently (spring/summer, autumn/winter) we've been sending out summaries of upcoming products to PS Shop customers. These go to anyone on a waiting list for a product, and anyone that has signed up to marketing emails when buying something.

They have proved very popular, with people asking in advance when the summary is coming, so they can plan their purchases.

The problem is, Lucas on the support team then receives scores of (very polite) questions asking for follow-up information. I am also aware of a few readers that weren’t aware that this email existed, and were interested. 

So. From now on this summary will also be here on PS. It means everyone can see it, and it means any questions can be asked and answered in the comments. 

Please keep in mind that the release dates are a little vague, and can change. Particularly given how backed-up every factory is at the moment, following the demand wave after Covid. 

Also, if I or Lucas are a little vague with details on any product, it’s not because we’re trying to create our own little hype-machine. 

It’s just that some things are decided late, or we’re not quite sure how they’re going to turn out until we see a final product. And we don’t want to say anything that’s inaccurate, or leave anyone disappointed. 

Finally, perennial products like the PS Oxfords and Friday Polos are not included because they are being restocked regularly. They will certainly be available again sometime in this period. 

Please do leave any questions at all in the comments below. 


Bridge Coat - This has just been recently restocked on the shop (above)

Linen Harrington - Just recently restocked too

PS Harris Tweed  - Restocked last week

New PS Shetland Tweed - Launched last week (top image)

  • This is the oatmeal-coloured shetland tweed I made a jacket with previously with B&Tailor, but Holland & Sherry discontinued. I have brought it back as it was one of my favourites - so versatile


Wax Walker - Restock

PS Trench Coat - Coming in olive green (above) once again. And restock in navy

Donegal Coat

  • New navy colour
  • Pre-ordered coats to be delivered
  • Restock of some brown and grey herringbone coats (using cloth left over from pre-orders)

Watch Caps - Restock, with new black 

PS Scarves - Restock, with a new warm grey 


Reversible suede jacket - New version launching

  • I've worked with Private White to produce a new, improved version of the reversible suede jacket, taking some elements from the popular linen Harrington

Cashmere Rugby - Restock, and new navy colour (above)

Tapered T-Shirt - Restock of existing colours, and possible new colour, to be confirmed

Dartmoor - Restock and new colour to be confirmed 


Indulgent Shawl Cardigan - (Above) restock and new black

PS Oxfords - New stripes 

Shearling jacket - New version with Cromford Leather

  • A cool new development, building on the existing shearling jacket, but a slightly more casual and affordable design. RTW and MTM through Cromford as before

Tailoring for travelling: tough, comfortable, plain

Tailoring for travelling: tough, comfortable, plain

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In our recent articles on menswear destinations in Rome, a couple of readers asked about the outfit I was wearing for beating around the hot city. 

The individual pieces should be pretty familiar: 

The reason they were chosen, however, is to do with travel and work - working travel. 

All of the clothes had to be able to put up with a good amount of abuse. They were sat in while flying, they were worn two days out of four, and they received neither a press, a steam or even a brush along the way. 

The cotton jacket is particularly good in this regard. A vintage cloth that Nicoletta at Ferdinando Caraceni picked out from their archive, it is a little coarse, densely woven and tough. 

It doesn’t rumple in the way a lighter weight cotton would do, nor wrinkle like linen. It’s strong enough that you can wear it every day, and use the pockets perhaps a hundred times a day, to retrieve pen, wallet, phone, again and again. 

Dense cotton is not as cool as lightweight linen or wool/silk/linen, but neither would be this tough. I choose it for a working trip like this because it’s reliable, and I never have to think about it. 

The jacket’s other advantage is that it’s clearly smart, but not business-y. And while it clearly has some style, it’s fairly plain - the kind of thing people are unlikely to notice at the expense of you or your questions. 

Plain clothes are also easier to add items to - a tie, a handkerchief, a knit - when circumstances dictate.

High-twist trousers are a bit of a no-brainer. They’re the best material for retaining shape, and for dealing with a similar kind of abuse to the jacket. 

Ideally though, these would be the Drapers four-ply rather than two. The slightly heavier weight wouldn’t matter in terms of coolness, and I’m a little scared of wearing this pair through eventually, even though they’re hard-wearing. I just wear them that much. 

Perhaps I should have a pair made in the four ply. These ones were made the lovely Nicola Cornacchia and family, and they are nicely fitted. But the make could be a bit better and I’d prefer a slightly higher rise too. 

One to think about in February or March next year perhaps, for spring and summer. 

The shoes aren’t especially tough, really. Suede is a little delicate (except when it comes to rain) and these don’t have rubber soles or even a double leather sole. 

But the most important thing in a travel shoe is probably comfort. There’s nothing worse than being in pain when you’re trying to walk around city, inevitably a little late for the appointment, inevitably a little lost. 

And unless trainers are an option, your feet are always going to get tired. It’s pain, blisters and so on, that are the killer - especially when it’s hot and your feet swell.

It’s actually surprising these Belgravias are so much more comfortable than the lined version. 

After all, there’s still a lining around the heel, under the toe, and around the topline. The latter is required on the Belgravia (unlike, for example, the Piccadilly) because of its braided leather looping in and out of the shoe. This needs to be covered up. 

So the only part of the shoe that’s actually unlined is the lower half of the two sides, from the arch to the joints. This clearly makes a difference, but there are other little differences, such as a lighter sole, which perhaps make as much difference as the fact they’re ‘unlined’.

I should also say a quick word about the socks, as I seem to wear only two colours of long sock these days, ever. 

They are the dark-taupe cotton model from Anderson & Sheppard (pictured) and the normal taupe.

They’re very well-made socks of course. Fine mercerised cotton, hand linked, stay up well: luxury pieces suited to bespoke tailoring. You can get the same from Bresciani, Mazarin or Pantherella. 

The thing that separates these is the colours. The fact they’re both described as taupe could seem limiting, but actually the dark taupe goes well with pretty much every dark trouser: charcoal, grey, navy, dark brown. And the taupe goes with almost every light one: beige, khaki, olive, white, cream. 

They’re harmonious, but they also don’t match, so they also provide some (subtle) interest. 

On the subject of white or cream trousers, I used to wear them with a very similar sock, but in retrospect that was too stark. Something like taupe or beige is better, even if it theoretically lengthens the leg less.

So, versatility of taupe socks. A small thing, but I guess worth highlighting if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t need more than a couple of pairs of really fine socks. 

I feel like there must be more of those today. People that still love tailoring, but realistically only wear it a couple of days a week. 

In terms of travel, the advantage of those versatile taupes is that they can easily cover more than one pair of trousers. Just in case you change what you’re going to wear one day, or get a hole in one (in a bad way).

Photography: Milad Abedi

P.S. Yes, all but one of the cuff buttons are undone in the third image. But no, I still don't generally advocate wearing jackets like this. I had merely undone them to show someone the work on the inside of the (unlined) sleeves

Chez Dede: Andrea Ferolla and Daria Reina

Chez Dede: Andrea Ferolla and Daria Reina

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Chez Dede is a lovely little multibrand shop in Rome. It sells clothing and accessories, books and furniture, including some familiar brands such as P. Le Moult and Camoshita.

However, for me the most lovely thing about the store when we visited was the two founders, Andrea Ferolla and Daria Reina. 

That’s Daria above, posing for a portrait outside the store. It was excruciatingly hot that day but she was cool and chic in a perfect shirt dress, slim black sandals and black leather jewellery. 

Daria was born in Rome, but grew up in Belgium. “I think I appreciate Rome in a way the Romans sometimes don’t,” she told us. “I see the charm of the city, for example how walkable everything is despite its size - or the beauty all around us. Romans sometimes take all that for granted.”

Andea, her husband, is a well-known illustrator. He’s illustrated for Kate Spade, as well as featuring in galleries in London.

Andrea has a study in the back of the store that is an absolute treasure trove, packed with books and art, paintbrushes and works in progress. 

There is also, rather charmingly, an old photograph of Daria propped up against his iMac. 

Rather like seeing a designer’s moodboard, sitting in Andrea’s study makes you understand the aesthetics of the rest of the shop. 

For example, his watercolours are used as the designs for the silk scarves and handkerchiefs. These are digitally printed but nicely hand-sewn, and I particularly liked one caricaturing the waiters at Pier-Luigi, the restaurant at the end of their road. 

Others show fashion sketches and pictures inspired by the history of artists, such as the funeral of Matisse. Originals are offered for sale on the Dede website

Andrea’s study also serves to reveal some of the couple’s influences, such as old lifestyle advertising and photography. 

This drives the design of the products, with bags decorated with slogans or names of hotels for example. This is perhaps less my style, but it’s all part of that aesthetic. 

As part of this Daria and Andrea also do branding and consultancy work for hotels, and they’ve published their own book on the beauty of Italy, Italian Chic, with Assouline. 

The street - Via di Monserrato - is lovely if you’re visiting Rome, towards the north of the pleasant Regola district. But it hasn’t always been that way. 

“This area used to be pretty unknown,” says Daria. “People knew the restaurant Pier Luigi, but that was about it.

“We liked it though, and since we opened [in 2011] Gerardo and Margarita have set up down the road [Giuliva Heritage] and a nice jeweller and little wine bar have opened too.

“In Rome you have to look after little areas like this, otherwise they can get run down quite easily,” she adds. “Romans are easy going - they feel they’ve seen it all before, given their long history, and you saw that with Covid: the city seemed to suffer less than somewhere like Milan. 

“But that also means the city has its problems. Citizens have to do their bit and improve things wherever they can.”

Among the products on offer at Dede, I’d recommend the Camoshita buy, as well as the vintage objects and jewellery. The murano-glass trays are nice too. 

Pop in mostly for the people though - for Andrea and Daria, shop manager Isabelle and others. Ask their advice on the products as well as on Rome as a whole. 

Even the garden out the back of the shop is worth a look. That’s it pictured below, along with a rather stylish resident in the building behind, and her son who runs it.

Via di Monserrato, 35, Rome

Photography: Milad Abedi

My watches – eight years later

My watches – eight years later

Wednesday, August 24th 2022
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I buy watches in much the same way as I suggest other people buy tailoring. 

I have a small number, of high quality, which meet a range of needs - formalities, colours, and a little extra to keep things interesting. 

I went through a period of about five years of acquiring those watches, during which I felt a horological fever that I think tailoring fans would identify with - and spent at the absolute limits of affordability. 

But since then I’ve bought very little, satisfying myself with changing straps now and again, adding a functional holiday watch, and today, eight years later, considering swapping one dress watch for one sports watch, to reflect my changing needs. 

Versatility, quality, functionality. I think readers could put together a collection of bespoke jackets or bespoke shoes following similar principles. And I like to think I would too, if they weren’t my primary passion, and writing about them my job. 

I first wrote about my watches back in 2014, and you can see details and some old photos in that article

But to summarise, they comprise:

  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, Ref. 250.140.862 in yellow gold, 1997
  • Cartier Tank Francaise Chronograph, Ref. 1830 (known as the Chronoflex) in yellow gold, also 1997
  • Rolex GMT Master, Ref. 1675, in steel, 1966
  • IWC Portuguese Chronograph, Ref. IW371480 in rose gold, 2010 
  • Casio Ref. F-91WC in vibrant blue, 2022

I’ve found this collection to fit every need I have. The GMT is my weekend watch, while the Reverso and Tank have a black and brown strap respectively, and are selected according to which best goes with an outfit. 

The Portuguese (below) I have always loved the design of, and have never found a larger-faced watch like that I like. But it is the outlier, and it is the obvious one to sell in order to perhaps get another steel sports watch, to reflect the fact I’m more casually dressed more often. 

How I feel about the other watches has varied over time, and I find this is interesting as it reflects the power of information in watches as in clothes. 

The Reverso, for example (below), is obviously a ‘classic’ and I appreciate its Art Deco heritage and design. I’ve also liked the very small size (24mm) during years when large watches have been so dominant. It felt unusual and traditional. 

But there was a period when I went off it, and started swapping the strap on the Cartier instead with different outfits. I think the Tank has always had particular design appeal, particularly in little touches like the delicate buckle. 

But then I read an article, I believe on Hodinkee, about the story of the Reverso, reminding myself of all the little details I had known years ago when I bought it. Suddenly I appreciated it all the more, and it became my favourite in the collection. 

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this - we all love storytelling and none of the information was wrong or hyped. But it did demonstrate for me, I think, how we all have a limited amount of ‘value’ we can attach to things, and if we have too many, that value gets divided up. If I had only one watch I would never have forgotten those details; it makes me not want to acquire more. 

There are parallels again with fine clothes like bespoke suits and shoes. Unless it’s your profession, don’t just acquire more and more: buy well, care well, and if your tastes or needs change over time, find a good home for the thing that is being replaced. 

It’s a coincidence that I have five watches, and I have consistently written articles on PS over the years called things like ‘If you only had five suits’ or ‘If you only had five pairs of shoes’. 

These days I can imagine no one will need more than five great sports jackets, or five great pairs of dress shoes. I’ve always found it hard - even before PS was my full-time job - to stick to this kind of discipline about clothing. But I have managed it with watches. 

The parallel continues with how I would acquire a new watch - or rather swap one in and one out. 

I would ask the advice of friends who know about watches. That read Hodinkee and other watch resources with borderline obsession, much like some PS readers read Permanent Style and other clothing publications. 

I would go to them and outline what I wanted: 

  • A steel sports watch that wasn’t what everyone else had (not a Submariner, not a Speedmaster)
  • Whose main appeal was its design, not its historic importance or its complication (I don’t care that my Cartier is quartz)
  • That perhaps wasn’t new, to save a grand or so
  • But wasn’t so old that it would need constant maintenance to be functional
  • That probably wasn’t on a NATO-stype strap (they never really appealed to me)
  • Under £5k or so

I can imagine a guy going to a PS reader and asking his option in a similar way about what new suit to buy for a wedding, or what shoes were worth the money. I think he would be given good advice - and perhaps a couple of links to articles. 

Later in 2014, I also wrote a very basic guide to buying a good watch. It’s at the kind of amateur level that I wanted at the time. 

But its main point was that a watch is worth investing in. I have a friend who earns very good money, and whom I’ve been trying to convince to buy a goods watch like a Tank for years. It will be on your wrist almost every day, I say; you’ll use it more than anything in your life; it will elevate how you look every single one of those days.

I’ve yet to convince him, but I can see I might have more joy with PS readers. Save up: buy one really good watch. Value it, get it insured. You’ll never need more than a very small number. 

Then perhaps take a similar attitude to suits and shoes too. 

(P.S. The watches featured here are very expensive, and I recognise many people will not be able to afford them. Some things to bear in mind are that they were much cheaper when I bought them; I bought them all pre-owned; I did so over a period of years; and I don't think I'll ever buy any more.

Lastly, I think the core principle applies to a range of budgets. Namely, that this can be something you spend to your limit on, but then treasure for decades, wear every day, and get good value out of that way. It should be the kind of expense that means you insure it, and that you want to pass on to your children. It’s how more people used to view jewellery.)

Chato Lufsen: French vintage and modern recreations

Chato Lufsen: French vintage and modern recreations

Monday, August 22nd 2022
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By Tony Sylvester

From the kilo stores to the more specialised outlets, Paris is a city with an enviable array of vintage menswear options.

This spring, Simon filed reports on two of the best. Le Vif in the 16th, with its highly curated focus on Americana, co-founded by two chaps who cut their teeth at Ralph Lauren. And Brut in the Marais, where French workwear and militaria shares space with reworked and recut pieces offering more contemporary styling.

For me, however, no journey to the City Of Light is complete without a little jaunt a couple blocks over the Seine. In the heart of the Left Bank lies perhaps the most niche and specifically Parisian vintage-menswear destination: Chato Vintage.

This small store on a chic, unassuming backstreet is packed to the rafters with clobber and trinkets from the most cult of all defunct French houses, Arnys.

In the last instalment of these articles of mine from Paris, we caught up with one of the style architects of Arnys, Dominique Lelys, and his vision for continuity and progression at Artumes & Co.

Here on Rue De Verneuil – the Bohemian street where perhaps the most infamous French style icon of all time, Serge Gainsbourg, made his home - owner Christophe Lufsen (below) has created part store, part clubhouse for what he calls “les orphelins d’Arnys”: those distraught at the institution closing in 2012, or those like me who missed out on it during its seventy-year tenure as outfitter to the intellectuals and cultural mavens of Le Rive Gauche.

It was a health scare and an extended hospital stay that jolted Christophe into the world of retail. After years as a civil engineer, he wanted to inject a little passion and purpose into his working life, and try and make a living from his first love, clothing.

Five years later, his cramped shop mixes Arnys items with simpatico pieces from the upper echelons of French craftsmanship: Hermès, Vuitton, Berluti, Seraphin et al, although Arnys accounts for 90% of vintage sales.

Aside from a biannual browse of his inventory, I’m here as part of an ongoing search for a replacement for my trusty old Forestiere jacket.

The scarcity and skyrocketing prices of this Arnys model in the second-hand market means I’ve decided to look for something made by a contemporary brand that can fulfil the same purpose. Fortunately, alongside the ever-changing deadstock and pre-owned pieces, Lufsen offers two jacket models inspired by the Forestiere: The Borestiere, a straight and faithful recreation, and the Bores, a slight redesign/tinker with the familiar formula (below).

As a purist, I had my mind set on the Borestiere. I love the original design and own a couple of winter weights - one in moleskin, one in corduroy - plus one summer weight in unlined cream linen. Top of my mind was another unlined one, perhaps in a darker colour and more of an all-rounder, cloth wise.

I waxed lyrical about the origins and my love for the Forestiere in a piece I wrote last year on artists' clothing. As I stated then they can "slot seamlessly into a wardrobe, taking on a similar role to a chore coat or an unstructured chore coat”.

Since I wrote that piece, these kinds of ‘easy’ jackets have taken an even more prominent role in my post-retail, work-from-home life. I seem to have jettisoned most of the tailored jackets in my wardrobe for these hybrid work/casual garments.

Tebas and vintage tartan 49ers from Pendleton all fulfill this role very well, but the Forestiere has a certain extra resonance, and perhaps a little more romance, with its perceived history as being the uniform for a certain type of French gentleman; a little older, maybe a little fuller of figure, and less interested in the frivolities of fashion. Someone I aspire to, basically.

The inspiration for Lufsen’s updated version, the Bores, came from his experiences shopping at the original Arnys store on Rue de Sèvres as a young man.

Having seen the brand on the pages of Monsieur magazine, he ventured to try a Forestiere for himself. After asking for his size, the salesman brought one out ,but its generous, oversized cut was simply unsuitable for his smaller frame. Despite enquiring after a smaller size, the notoriously surly staff were unwilling to let him try one, insisting that this the way the garment was to be worn.

The experience meant that although Lufsen continued to shop with them, he never did buy a Forestiere. The Bores is therefore his attempt to offer a more conventionally proportioned version, perhaps with a slimmer-bodied customer in mind. (Similar in some ways to the way Colhays have redesigned the cuts of Lockie cardigans and knitwear to achieve the same goal.)

The tweaks are not instantly apparent, and I think have negotiable effect on the overall much-loved character and look of the garment.

There’s a shortening in length; a repositioning of the breast pocket further away from the armpit; a slight raising of the shoulder seam so it doesn’t drop as much. But most significant is a move in the placement of the button under the mandarin collar.

It has been raised from three inches below the collar to directly below. The effect is twofold: when latched, the look is cleaner, smoother and doesn’t tend to hang or bunch, and when open, it helps the heavier collar fold over and drop like a lapel.

Lufsen explains that, in his mind, the Forestiere and by default the Borestiere fits and functions as an overcoat, while he envisions the Bores more like a sports coat.

I’m instantly sold. Trying on the ready-to-wear examples, the differences between the size 56 Bores and the size 56 Forestiere I have brought with me are quickly apparent. Indeed, the Bores fits comfortably underneath the other, making the differences in length equally obvious (above).

It’s also evident I will want a made-to-measure version. I try a toile of a size 60 as a sort of hybrid between Lufsen’s innovations and my original intentions, to maintain that big look I’m going for. I even add 3cm in length to cover my posterior adequately.

For cloth, I opt for a nifty ‘summer cord’ from Solbiati in black. A linen base is ridged with cords of cotton for a more breathable, breezy take on the winter-friendly fabric. As a colour pop, I choose a goldenrod-yellow half lining – in keeping with the renowned colour combos of Arnys. Chato’s elephant-decal metal buttons look just right on top.

Price wise, the ready-to-wear Bores and Borestieres are available in a range of seasonal house cloths for €790 Euros, with a €200 Euro surcharge for made-to-order. Made-to-Measure is available for €300 over base pricing, and turnaround is approximately six weeks from order. I begin counting down the days until the finished garment’s arrival.

Below: Vintage Arnys raincoat in polyester, with the feel and look of washed, brushed silk

Bocache & Salvucci, Rome: Bespoke shoes and much else 

Bocache & Salvucci, Rome: Bespoke shoes and much else 

Friday, August 19th 2022
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Bocache & Salvucci was a bit of a surprise when I visited last month. 

I’d come across the shoemaker at Jean-Manuel Moreau, in Paris, and had assumed that in Rome I would find a small (because relatively unknown) bespoke craftsman. 

What I actually found was two shops doing much more: one making a huge variety of handmade shoes, and the other offering bespoke tailoring, accessories, and made-to-measure knitwear and outerwear. 

The second shop opened seven years ago, in response apparently to requests from international shoemaking customers. And that was the other thing - those customers are many and varied. Nearly all visited privately - no trunk shows - but around the world and often keeping Gianluca (the founder) on the road for most of the year. 

As you might guess from some of the styles you can see here, and the preponderance of alligator, the customer skews toward the very wealthy - the natural home of the private visit and multiple order. 

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some beautiful and understated things too. The range of shoes, for instance, is such that there are pointy single-hole derbys but also high-walled loafers, blue-suede summer slip-ons alongside conservative cap-toes. 

Above, for example, is a gorgeous one-piece tassel loafer with handmade braiding, and an equally fine penny loafer in black crocodile. 

But then by contrast, below, are the sugary blue suedes, and a rather pointy wing tip with red lining. 

Interestingly, most of the shoes are made with the same handwork, and are usually Blake stitched rather than welted. 

“We can do Goodyear as well, and many clients opt for that,” says Gian Luca Bocache (below), one of the founders alongside Roberto Salvucci. “But we usually prefer Blake because it is softer, and we can resole everything ourselves in-house, whether it’s a cemented crepe sole or Blake-stitched leather.”

The shoes are also hand clicked (cut), hand lasted and hand painted. Only the closing and the Blake stitching of the soles are done by machine. 

The latter is one reason the prices are quite reasonable for bespoke, with shoes starting at €2200. 

The lasts used are sized, plastic ones, with a different set for each model of shoe. But there is often extensive modification to a customer’s last, with leather added and plastic shaved away. One example is shown above. 

Also below is one section of the last room. Customers’ lasts are grouped into geographical areas, with the US by far the biggest. Americans account for about 70% of bespoke orders.

“We see a lot of international clients in Europe when they’re on holiday,” says Gian Luca. “Usually we’re in Cap d’Antibes four times during the high season there, and then in Courchevel four times during the winter.”

Gian Luca and Roberto started the business almost 25 years ago. In that time the number of other makers in Rome has shrunk, with Marini (maker to Agnelli) the only one left, a few doors down.

“This whole street used to be the shoemakers area,” says Gian Luca, pointing up and down Via Francesco Crispi, which ends at the top of the famous Spanish Steps. “But now Gatto and Rampin have gone it’s not much of a quarter.” 

So it’s good to see Bocache & Salvucci in good health. They opened their second shop (the ‘boutique’ rather than the ‘atelier') seven years ago - as a place where the more casual visitor could see a full range of menswear, rather than just order bespoke shoes. 

The practicality of this was shown when we visited, with one visiting American couple asking whether any of the shoes were for sale. They were told that unfortunately they weren’t, but they could visit the boutique round the corner.

The boutique is something of an atelier too, because there is bespoke tailoring going on in the back (shown above). But the front is more like a regular shop, with a shiny display of everything from knitwear to belts, trainers to leather jackets, both ready-to-wear and made-to-order.

“Most of what we sell is made to order though,” says Gian Luca. “That was something we wanted to carry across from the shoemaking. So we work with makers that can do one-off pieces with a few sizing alterations.”

There is a range of knitwear to try on, but also books and books of cashmeres and silk mixes to pick from, with sleeve length, body length and waist size able to be specified. 

Reassuringly, Bocache & Salvucci consciously follow the model I prefer for MTM knitwear and outerwear, of making alterations to standard models rather than starting from scratch. 

In my fairly long experience, this is much more likely to lead to a product that meets expectations, whether it’s a V-neck knit or a deerskin blouson.

The quality of all the clothing is the absolute finest, as you’d probably expect with their clientele. 

The blouson above, for example, was in deerskin similar to that I’ve had from Loro Piana or Seraphin. And the hand-stitching around seams and edges - although not something I personally like that much - also demonstrates the work involved, similar to a maker like Melina. 

I was tempted by a few of the simpler and more restrained pieces, as readers will probably expect. That blouson, without the stitching, in the dark-brown deerskin. A sand-coloured suede overshirt. Those black alligator loafers. 

All of them are examples of how any luxury menswear can be understated - and often more powerful for it. Wear that blouson with a pair of charcoal flannels and suede loafers, and it will be elegant rather than showy. Particularly as the deerskin starts to wear and age. 

Same goes for the loafers. In an age when many guys don’t wear a jacket, well-cut trousers and beautiful shoes - not in brash styles or colours, but well-made and well-maintained - are effective ways to add sophisticated style. 

If the alligator is too shiny for you, brush it but don’t polish it. Or only polish the toe.

The tailoring, by the way, is soft and light, but cleaner than most Neapolitan bespoke. More similar to luxury ready-made in that way, as you might see at Zegna (though of course, better made).

It starts at €3500 for a suit, which is also the starting price for a made-to-measure blouson.

The only place you can find ready-made shoes is at Jean-Manuel Moreau in Paris - he and Gian Luca are old friends - so if you are there it’s probably worth popping in to see them.

And overall I’d say if you’re in Rome it’s worth stopping into one of the stores. The range of the product is such that there’s likely to be something that appeals to you, even if it’s only the nice stock of Baracuta jackets. (Gian Luca: The only brand name we sell - they are my youth!”.)

Below, in order: A shoe hand-painted in coloured stripes; the tire-based shoes of a customer, a chief of the Maasai, which were replaced with B&S boots; the selection of alligator available for MTO belts; an unstructured alligator loafer. 

Photography: Milad Abedi

Atelier: Via Francesco Crispi, 115A; +39 06 8376 6008

Boutique: Via Sistina, 46A; +39 06 8354 1553

Holiday snaps 2022: Illustrating versatile packing

Holiday snaps 2022: Illustrating versatile packing

Wednesday, August 17th 2022
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In recent weeks you may have noticed comments have not been published quite as quickly as normal. That’s because I’ve been on holiday - in the north of Portugal, where my wife’s family is from. 

It’s a beautiful part of the world, quiet and lush, and we usually rent a house in the countryside for a couple of weeks. There are occasional visits to Porto or Braga, or shorter trips at the beginning and end of the holiday, but otherwise it’s family days of swimming pool, river beach, reading and games.

Most years, I write a ‘holiday snaps’ post on PS with some very off-hand pics of what I wore or took away. You can see those by searching for that term. 

This year, it was particularly relevant because readers had asked for illustrations of the holiday capsule wardrobe I wrote about at the end of July. 

I made it clear in that article how restrictive my packing is - because we’re a family of five, and on reflection because we have a two-year-old who still comes with vastly disproportionate baggage. 

Pretty much everything has to work with everything. Every top with every trouser, every trouser with every shoe. And the clothes need to cater for city, pool and country walk. 

Have a read of that article if you want to read about how I deal with those requirements - and keep some interest in the clothes themselves. 

Here I’m showing a few of them in the wild, such as the biscuit linen trousers above, picked because they work with both dark tops like the indigo rayon shirt here, as well as white shirts or T-shirts.

Out of shot are my black-dyed Alden LHS loafers, the smartest option of the three pairs of shoes I took, and still the most comfortable non-trainer I own, so great for travel. 

Above, another dark top - my black Perro polo - worn with olive-linen trousers. The olive also works with the white or very dark tops, and is particularly nice with black. 

They’re an old pair from Informale, as I didn’t have time to get a pair from The Anthology before I went. I prefer the latter, as they don’t have the double pleats that give a rather baggy effect here, and they’re better made overall. 

The espadrilles are black, from Diego’s. It would be a little more interesting to have shoes in a different colour to the top, but these are the kind of little compromises required with a small suitcase. The black shoes go with everything. 

Another little rule of thumb I find practical, is that wearing one long and one short is an easy way to avoid the danger men often have in hot weather, of looking a bit like a child. 

You see it all the time, at least where I live. The wife is in a flowing linen dress or a chic pair of shorts with a Breton top, and the husband is wearing an old polo with slightly too-tight shorts. 

Now, chances are she spends far more time thinking about clothes than he does, and that’s the major reason for the difference.

But often all it would take to avoid that look would be a long item on the top or bottom - a pair of casual linen trousers with the polo, or a casual linen shirt with the shorts. It's not the only way by any means - shorts and a polo can look good - but it's often the easiest.

In the pic above (shot by my 11-year-old as she also relentlessly mocks me for having to do so) I think the linen shirt from Anderson & Sheppard makes the look rather more adult than a T-shirt. 

And it doesn’t have to be an expensive shirt at all, any loose-fitting and relaxed linen will do, just as long as it doesn’t look like office wear. Chambray or denim works well too. 

Which is not to say I don’t wear T-shirts. A good-weight T-shirt, like the PS Tapered Tee above, is a practical thing for more rugged activities, such as going for a walk through the woods, or renting a kayak and paddling down the river. 

Or in this case, trying to make the kids laugh by mimicking the cardboard cut-out at the local Intermarché. Nothing but Dad jokes, all summer long. 

Those shorts, by the way, are a nice pair from RRL I bought before the trip and am trying out. They’re in a strong right-hand twill, the same material I think as the ‘Field’ chinos that reader Cedric recommended in his recent profile.

What else?

My swimming trunks are from Aspesi but I’m not sure I can recommend them. The blue colour has quickly faded to a slightly unexpected mauve (above). 

My old Bate’s straw (below) looks better and better as it gets more beaten up. The two-year-old actually managed to step on it during the holiday, and put this hole in the top. It’s such a nice example of wear (and tear) that it almost looks fake.

And my Meyrowitz sunglasses continue to be one of the most versatile things I’ve bought recently - the Californian model in ‘amber mottle’ acetate (below). 

They’re very expensive, but so far I’ve managed to avoiding losing or damaging any of my Meyrowitz pairs (I have three) so as long as that lasts, it’s worth it. I just make sure to keep them in at least a soft case. 

That green alligator case is actually something else I’ve had for years and managed not to lose. It’s brought me such pleasure, with almost daily use during the summer. 

Searching for the original post on PS, I realise I’ve had it over 10 years. It’s hard to question the value of something you're enjoyed for that long. 

Here’s hoping you’ve all managed to get away this summer, and take some sartorial pleasures with you. 

If you have any tips yourself on packing for such trips, or recommendations for clothes that have worked out especially well, I’m sure readers would be as pleased as ever to read about them in the comments. 

Now I can't wait for autumn - with coats, scarves and hats galore. 

Come to a talk with Tony – and other things coming up

Come to a talk with Tony – and other things coming up

Monday, August 15th 2022
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Over the next few months there will a handful of PS events and talks, which will hopefully provide some nice opportunities for us to get together after the long summer, and lead to some stimulating conversation. 

The first of these is in three weeks time, in the wonderful Mortimer House - the members club I’ve been using as my office space for the past four years. 

It will be an interview with Tony Sylvester, creator and designer, about his career in clothing, the founding of his brand AWMS, and his views on menswear of the moment. 

I can’t wait to chat in detail with Tony about the brands he works with, and the other brands he admires.  

There will also be a selection of AWMS items on display for everyone to see, including ones that weren’t at the pop-up a year ago, such as the espadrilles. 

We would love to have a small audience of interested readers there, so if you would like to come please RSVP at [email protected]. I think there will be about 30 spaces available.

The event starts at 6:30pm, with the talk beginning at 7pm. We will be up in the Gallery at Mortimer House, where there is also a small bar. I’ll send details on how to find us upon RSVP.

Other things coming up this Autumn/Winter include hopefully an event in New York, where I look forward to seeing US readers, and a talk with Stoffa. Details of those and others will be coming soon. 

The much-anticipated schedule of product releases will also be sent out in the next few days, and I will publish that on PS for the first time too. That should provide a nice forum for everyone to ask their product questions in one place.

Thank you everyone, and see many of you soon hopefully. 


Image at top: Sasha Leon @sashaleon.jpeg. Bottom photo, Mohan Singh

Wearing all black

Wearing all black

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I’ve been playing around with black so much in recent years (note, this is classic menswear - it’s years/decades, not weeks/months) that I thought I’d try out wearing nothing but black. 

This was during Pitti at Florence, on a relatively informal evening. Just dinner with friends.

That said, events like these are also a nice place to try out looks. Pretty much anything goes, and in fact if there are any expectations, they’re that friends will be wearing something interesting - worth talking about.

The outfit comprised a black Anfa polo shirt from Casatlantic, which I’ve discussed a little here already, black Irish-linen trousers from Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, and black-suede Sagans from Baudoin & Lange. 

We talked a little bit about black trousers before as well, in the article on a silk dupioni jacket.

Those were black cords, and it was raised in the comments how I felt about black-flannel trousers. Black linen, I feel, falls into a similar category as flannels. 

That category is: pieces that are not at all versatile, and therefore probably a bad choice for anyone just building up a wardrobe; but at the same time very satisfying for someone further along the journey, because they’re unusual without being loud.

Black trousers are hard to wear. They don’t go with a big range of jackets, or give you many options for shoes. But they are striking and, dare I say it, quite sexy for it.

Bringing up that contentious topic reminds me of the closing thought in André’s piece on sex appeal - which was for me the best point too: that it’s often a combination of confidence and vulnerability. 

The Casatlantic knit has a deeper opening on the chest than any other polo I own. Its depth is equivalent to undoing one more button on a shirt, on a hot day. And there’s no going back there - there are no buttons to do back up again! 

It is also short, with short arms. So even though the shape can be rather flattering - helped by a large fit in the chest - you do feel quite exposed. This is the vulnerability to it, of opening up and feeling more on display. 

There’s a lot of psychology and sociology in this area, and I feel a female writer would also be better placed to discuss it, as it’s more of an issue in womenswear. But I think it’s a dynamic worth raising in men’s minds too.

Nothing need be said about the Sagans, as we’ve talked about them consistently. 

Equally, it should seem obvious that I wore a small dress watch with a black strap, here my JLC gold Reverso.

But how about the overall combination of black on black? What did I, and do I now, think about that?

I loved it that evening, but perhaps a little like exposing more skin, it can also easily tip into looking cheap. 

The reason black suits are traditionally frowned upon in classic menswear is that black can easily look cheap. 

It quickly looks old and dusty, without the richness or lustre of a deep, dark navy. When it is made in a fine wool, it can also look too shiny, like elbows or thighs of any heavily worn suit.

These things are often exaggerated under artificial lighting, which is where the tradition of wearing midnight blue rather than black for a dinner jacket comes from - it looks blacker than black because of its depth and richness. 

However, as always it depends what you’re aiming for. Black makes for a poor business suit, because the ideal there is something that looks rich and luxurious, serious and professional. Someone who wears a black fashion suit is not interested that - they want matte and even edgy, not the manifestly successful look of the chairman of the board. 

If I had a black suit it would be in a material that was clearly also different from that corporate image, such as corduroy.

Black on black can look cheap - but there’s rather less danger in something like a polo shirt and loafers, rather than a suit.

It also helps if you play with textures - suede and leather, knitted and woven - and if elements suggest the elegant or luxurious, such as a very sharp crease in the trouser, or that texture of the suede. 

Others that do this well, such as Kenji at Bryceland’s, also seem to reference a Western tradition of cowboys wearing black. Though how much that goes beyond Hollywood villains and Hopalong Cassidy I don’t know. 

Anyway, those are my thoughts on wearing all black. Not for everyone, and not for anyone all of the time, but certainly striking when done well. 

Thanks to Jamie, as ever, for giving that impression on me. 

Reader profile: Tim

Reader profile: Tim

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Tim owns an antique luggage and travel accessories shop, and spends a lot of his time either in the store or on the road sourcing. His clothes are eminently practical, but they also speak of a love of old things, including all second-hand clothing. 

I’ve liked the distinctive way Tim dresses for a while, but it wasn’t until we talked about his wardrobe that I realised quite how much is second hand, and frequently refurbished. 

Perhaps more surprising, Tim himself didn’t quite appreciate how much his attitude to clothing had in common with the objects he collects and sells, until we starting talking about it. It was an enjoyable and a revealing conversation. 

(Oh, and I know it's August - but all the clothes we loved were cold-weather ones... Consider this a piece of Autumn/Winter anticipation.)

Outfit 1: Semi-formal

Tim, I’m immediately getting a sense of things re-used and repaired, starting with that scarf. And of course a love of blue. 

Right on both counts, Simon. Although actually the scarf probably counts double. It was made by Judy Augur, who creates clothes out of reclaimed materials in California. This one is her take on ‘boro’ material. But also since I’ve had it, the scarf has been attacked by moths, so it has had its own repairs. 

And am I right that the down jacket has been repaired as well?

Yes, that’s harder to see, but it’s an example of a different type of reuse and repair - one by a corporate rather a craftsman.

The jacket is from Patagonia, and I’ve had it for years. Recently, it developed little holes in some of the panels, probably from being scraped against something. I contacted Patagonia, and they said I should send it to third-party repairers in the UK. 

The repairer told me that they would try to match the colours of the panels, but it might not be the same. That was fine with me, and in fact when I got it back I thought it looked better than new - it had these little personal touches [see shot above]. 

How much did Patagonia charge for that?

It was free; they even covered the shipping there and back. I guess that kind of sustainable attitude is built into what they do, but it made me want to buy all my technical clothing from them. 

Impressive, and I have to say I’d have the same reaction. Where are the other pieces from? 

The shirt is from Nick Ashley, circa 1990. I picked it up on eBay. I think you could say his attitude to clothing has always centred around things that are practical, and only get better with age. 

The bandana is vintage, from Tenue de Nimes in Amsterdam. And both the Alden boots and Rocky Mountain Featherbed gilet are from Marrkt, so second hand. 

The gilet looks particularly good from being worn in. 

Yes, those down gilets start very puffy, but damp down over time. This feels so good now. And of course you can see the nice ageing on the cord outside. 

How much clothing do you buy second hand?

You know I never stopped to think about it, but I think over half. I certainly buy a lot from Marrkt - the daily drop emails can get pretty addictive. When it’s leading up to my birthday, my wife and children will try to look at that email as soon as it arrives - so they can buy something for me before I get my hands on it. 

There’s another recommendation on repairs actually - the Alden boots were recently resoled by a place called Yorkshire Sole. They’re known for Red Wings, but did a great job on these Aldens as well - those original crepe soles never seem to last long. I did resole once with Alden in the past, but it wasn’t cheap, and Yorkshire Sole did a great job. 

Outfit 2: Casual

This looks extremely practical. Where are you normally going with all these layers?

This is my standard attire for antique markets. I’ll often be there when they open, which could be 6am, and it’s all outside - so it can be very cold. These pieces also have lots of pockets, which is what I need on a day like that. 

Is the coat a Nigel Cabourn ‘Everest’ parka? I haven’t seen one like that before

Yes it is, but I think it’s a German sample that never went into production. It still has the sample label in the pocket, with the swatches. 

Rather than the normal Ventile on the outside, this is waxed Ventile I think, certainly a cotton, and then it has a wool lining. It’s incredibly warm, and actually breathes very well, which isn’t what you’d expect from wax. 

Perhaps a lot of the wax has rubbed off over the years. 

Yes you might be right. Then layered under that is a duck-canvas waistcoat, which probably dates from around 1990. 

I bought it from the lovely shop Voyage on the Fulham Road, which was very fashionable back in the 1990s. God it was expensive, but they had some great things. I think they famously turned away Madonna because she didn’t have one of their VIP cards - you had to have one for admittance towards the end. 

What are the strings hanging off the buttons?

Oh those are from the tickets for getting into Newark market. That’s an enormous one - they market it as the biggest one in Europe. I’ve been going for over 30 years, and that is an early start. Actually I used to sleep overnight in the car in order to be there early, but I don’t go quite that far anymore.  

The waistcoat also has a little hook on the back, which the missus sewed on so I could hang my net there when I’m fishing. I use a very simple Japanese fly-fishing technique called Tenkara, so I only fish for trout really, and it involves very little tackle. I’m probably guilty of carrying too much tackle, but that’s the idea. 

Where’s everything else from?

The rollneck is a replica Royal Navy submariner from Aero Leathers, the jeans are Oni Denim sulphur-dyed canvas from Son of a Stag, and the boots are Redwing with bespoke laces made by my daughter Martha. 

It sounds like repairing and making skills run in the family.

Well, certainly with my daughter yes. She’s just finished her degree in fashion design and specialised in sustainable leather. But she makes all sorts of things. She made these laces, and she did the painting on the jeans in the next outfit. 

Outfit 3: Formal

OK, this isn’t really formal. But this is what you would wear for being in the shop day to day, correct?

Yes, it’s normally denim and some kind of shirt. Wearing a suit wouldn’t really fit in with our relaxed attitude, but you also have to be a little smart to sell someone a Vuitton trunk costing thousands of pounds.

Do you think there are other parallels between your clothes and occupation? You value old things, like to repair them?

Yes you’re right. I certainly buy things in a similar way, and appreciate patina on something like that Cabourn parka in the same way I do on an old leather briefcase. 

The business is very visual, and is about an immediate, instinctive reaction to something. It’s also indulgent to the extent that it just involves me buying things I like. 

Do the pieces you buy from markets usually need repairing as well?

Yes they nearly always will do, and that’s where some of the cost comes in too - knowing the best craftsmen and the best ways to refurbish rather than simply selling them on. 

I’m also a collector with clothes in the same way as antiques. Although I love buying second-hand clothing, I’ve never really got around to the other part of it, which is selling on ones you don’t wear. 

So where do they all go?

Well we live in the countryside, which helps as far as space goes. And there’s a hanger-sized space that a lot of this lives in. It’s easier to justify when you’re a professional collector of other things! 

Tell us about those jeans then.

They’re old Levi’s Vintage Clothing 511s, with patching and painting on the coin pocket by Martha. The boro patching was done over a hole, using materials which I believe she’d treated to give them the aged appearance. The tiger symbol was hand painted and matches her tattoo. 

And how about everything else?

The linen DB is a garment-dyed blazer from LBM1911, the shirt is from Emmett and the bandana is from Kapital. The canvas sneakers are Penguin. 

A lot of these clothes seem very tactile - not necessarily the same textures, but usually with something interesting in the texture. 

You’re probably right, that does appeal to me. I think when you’re in the antiques trade a lot of things come down to feeling the objects, touching them and appreciating what they’re made of. How they have aged and will age. It’s very hands on. 

In fact I went to Spitalfields antiques market this past Thursday, and picked up this little leather dice shaker at a stall. I was handling it, playing with it. The seller said I clearly liked its tactile nature, and it was true - it felt so good in the hand. 

I’m the same with clothing. I’ll go to a market and have to pick up and handle every single piece of clothing on the rail. That probable comes from my father - he was in the rag trade, and I must have seen that from a very young age. 

Thanks Tim, that was fascinating and enjoyable.

No problem Simon, I think I learnt a good bit about myself along the way too!

Photography: James Holborow

How Florence changed with the pandemic: Abbarchi, Ugolini, Vestrucci

How Florence changed with the pandemic: Abbarchi, Ugolini, Vestrucci

Monday, August 8th 2022
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“It was really eerie, Simon, with all the tourists gone."

“I know that was the same everywhere," says Simone Abbarchi (above), "but seeing the Piazza della Signoria empty made it feel like we’d gone back in time. Like the Medici could just step out of the Palazzo [Vecchio].”

Simone is telling me what it was like in Florence during the pandemic, over coffee in the café Rivoire. 

“I came into work almost every day, into the shop,” he says. “Or had to go to our workshop, just near to the Fortezza [da Basso, where Pitti is held]. It was strangely silent - not even a bird, somehow.”

Florence is probably the city I know best after London, having visited so many times over the years, and having good friends there now. It was nice to talk to them about what those times had been like. But also a little sad. 

Shirtmaker Simone Abbarchi had to move shop, because the landlord refused to lower the rent despite Simone not being able to open - or more importantly to travel, given most of his business comes from London and New York. 

So did shoemaker Roberto Ugolini, on the south side of the river. Both vacated shops they’d had for years, and moved to premises nearby. 

That was a familiar story in many parts of the world. “The landlords just don’t care - the empty city scared them, given so much of their money comes from tourism, but local makers leaving do not,” he says.

Fortunately, Roberto doesn’t need to be in a prominent location. He was already a little off the beaten track, next to the student nexus of Santo Spirito, but even there he would get daily inquiries by people who had no idea what bespoke shoemaking was.

“Honestly Simon, I wasted so much time explaining to people what went into bespoke shoes and why they cost that much,” he says. “They’d often say they’d come back to the next day, but they rarely did. It’s too alien a concept - the work and the time involved.”

So Roberto moved into a shop round the corner, which is on a quieter street and gets less passing traffic. Simone, however, felt he needed the footfall. 

“It makes a difference to people if you have a shop on a good street, they think of the shirts differently,” Simone says. “Also, it’s not too much to spend if someone wants a shirt made while they’re on holiday.”

Simone’s shirts start at €165 for made to measure, with bespoke from €230. With a lot of luxury ready-made shirts around that price he’s always been great value (and in my experience, very reliable too).

So he moved to a smaller shop on Via delle Terme, 15R (for those readers that asked recently, having visited Florence, whether he had closed). 

It’s still pretty new, with little on the walls, but actually it could end up being a nicer space than the old shop, which was always quite dark. 

The fitting area is next to the big glass frontage, which brings in a some natural light (that’s Lucas above, by the way, who runs the PS Shop, being measured up). 

There’s a nice sitting area round the corner for browsing through a wall of cloth books. Helpfully, the area for packing shirts and for storage is also on a mezzanine above the ground floor, reached via a nice iron staircase. 

And there’s a big table in the middle of the shop, where all the various options for cloth and colour can be laid out. In the picture below - taken from that mezzanine - Lucas is selecting an awning-stripe linen for a camp-collar shirt similar to the one featured in our Summer Top 10

The shirt I went with in a similar style is pictured below. I think it’s fair to say Lucas has bolder tastes than me.

I wouldn’t say Simone puts a lot into design work - he’s not a brand - but he has made a huge variety of shirts over the years, and will often have made something similar to any idea. 

When I asked about more casual summer shirts, which could be worn untucked or tucked, he suggested this camp-collar design and the one-piece collar that Italians often call a Loro Piana or transformable collar. It’s difference from a normal one-piece is that the collar can still be buttoned, and so worn with a tie. 

The shirt also has a squared off hem, which makes it easier to wear untucked. This means there is a little compromise when it’s tucked in, as it won’t stay tucked as functionally as a regular length. But for an easy summer shirt, that’s fine. (It’s also easier if you wear really high-rise trousers.)

Other shops in Florence have closed too. Sartoria Vestrucci, for example, closed its little shop and relocated to be part of Stefano Bemer.

This makes sense - the two were both owned by Tommaso Melani, and the beautiful converted church that Bemer uses is a natural home for tailoring. It feels like a home for crafts and craftspeople.

Vestrucci is also restricting its bespoke business to those that visit Florence, and will concentrate on made to measure. I really hope that model works - the Vestrucci combination of sharp cut and lightness is unique, and I love my flannel suit (which I had altered when I visited). 

In fact that goes for all these wonderful people and the clothes they make. These are not easy times to operate a bespoke business, and Pitti Uomo - which brought so much attention to the city - still has an uncertain future. 

It was lovely to see everyone again, and I fervently wish them the best for the years to come.

All photography, Jamie Ferguson, except shots of Stefano Bemer, Peter Zottolo


Subtlety and drama: The appeal of the purple sock

Subtlety and drama: The appeal of the purple sock

Friday, August 5th 2022
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Today’s article - a debut for someone I’ve long admired, Jason Jules - is an excellent example of why I like having these contributions on PS. 

I rarely wear contrast-coloured socks these days, particularly purple. But it’s still a look I admire, especially as a sophisticated alternative to brighter, more garish colours. 

I first wrote admiringly of purple socks in 2009, and none of my views have changed in the interim. It’s just that I tend to wear more muted, often tonal combinations, and strong colours fit in less. 

So it’s great to have Jason, who wears them with such aplomb, remind us of their virtues. There are many tastes, and many ways to be tasteful. 

By Jason Jules

Have you joined the purple hosiery brigade? Are you one of the men who have cottoned on - literally and metaphorically - to the almost infinite possibilities of wearing purple socks? 

While it might not have the power of Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, I find that when it comes to classic modern menswear the purple sock comes a close second, magically complementing almost every combination of casual clothing.

Tradition has it that the colour of one's shoes should relate to one's belt and the sock to one's trousers. The purpose of this is to achieve a kind of seamless flow, where there's a sense of continuation, like one uninterrupted line. 

But while I'm not saying we should abandon tradition altogether, I, and many others it seems, are of the belief that breaking the line, especially with the advent of the shorter trouser length, offers one opportunity for a more contemporary approach to elegance.


Right there in front of you is your fav grey-linen suit. You’re in a kind of casual mood today, even though you’re off to lunch with some high-flying business dudes. So it’s a light-blue spread collar shirt, worn sans tie, and dark-brown suede Alden loafers. What socks do you wear? Brown? Grey? Blue? 

The following day you’re heading down to the pub, for a lazy gastro meal with some old college mates. Ecru jeans, a navy merino-wool polo shirt, an olive twill overshirt and light-brown tassel loafers. What socks do you wear? Brown? Cream? Blue?  

It’s date night - nothing too fancy just a tweed sports coat, pastel-pink button-down Oxford, grey flat-front flannels and choc-brown desert boots. Socks - grey? Navy? Red? Burgundy?

While all these options might be appropriate, what they fail to provide is a deft combination of subtlety and drama - which is where purple comes in, - the colour favoured by clergymen, kings and princes.

Although there’s a playfulness about purple, it still imbues almost any ensemble with a sense of restraint and maturity by not drawing too much attention to itself - especially red, which can pack too strong a punch and dominate or even derail a look. 

Purple on the other hand is tonal and tasteful - and looks good alongside almost any colour combination you can imagine. In fact, I’d suggest that along with browns, khakis and greys you’d be surprised how well purple works with black apparel and also black footwear.

That’s not to say all purple socks are created equal or that one style is suitable for every occasion. It still makes sense to wear ribbed or cable-knit cotton socks with heavier shoes, and finer socks for more elegant affairs. 

Of course, the question you’re bound to ask is whether this is simply a passing fad, a soon-to-fade purple patch. Rather, I’d suggest it is a trend that has come of age, a new style staple.

Two industry contemporaries and menswear legends - Michael Drake and Michael Barnes (above) - have been purveyors of the style for years. In fact, when it comes to wearing purple socks, Mr Drake often credits Mr Barnes as his inspiration.

Today, that lineage is taken on by others, some of whom are pictured here. Michael Hill, Aleks Cvetkovic, Kevis Manzi, Mark Large and Ethan Wong are all great examples of the dexterity of the style.

While socks will always provide men with the chance to play with colour and pattern, allowing us to express personality and personal taste, I’d say even with all the other options available, purple socks are likely to become a kind of wardrobe essential, providing what often seems like a stylistic fait accompli with an elegant solution. 

It’s still relatively hard to find purple socks of a certain standard. Top of the list I’d say are Drakes and Pantherella. They can be found at those links.

Atelier Bomba, Rome: Chic handmade tailoring

Atelier Bomba, Rome: Chic handmade tailoring

Wednesday, August 3rd 2022
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Rome doesn’t have the menswear reputation of Milan, Florence or Naples. But there are some unusual little gems nestled in different parts of the city. 

One of the most interesting is Atelier Bomba. Started by Cristina Bomba in 1980, it has a reputation for fine knitwear and unstructured tailoring. 

Neither the website nor recommendations we were given really do the place justice, however - particularly on the tailoring. 

It’s a small, narrow shop, just off the big Piazza del Popolo. But the whole rear half is a working atelier, with drapey jackets, coats and trousers being made to measure. 

The walls are stacked with a stunning range of cloth. Much of it is vintage, and all of it is unusual but tasteful. The example below is a vintage hand-loomed cashmere. It almost had Milad and I ordering based on the cloth alone. 

Cristina was on hand, but the day-to-day running of Bomba is done by her son, Michele (pictured top) with his sister Caterina and wife Julia also closely involved. 

Michele is actually a trained bespoke tailor, and makes his own suits entirely himself. 

“I made a deliberate decision years ago not to make that part of the business,” he said. “The only way to have done it would be to outsource production, to become a manager, and I didn’t want to do that.”

Michele didn’t understand how anybody could make a bespoke garment without the cutter, and ideally the maker, seeing the customer. That led to a long conversation about practices among tailors and shoemakers, which is probably not worth reproducing here. But I guess might make an interesting future post. 

When we arrived at Bomba a customer was having a pair of navy linen trousers made. He was wearing them with a black polo shirt and soft slip-ons, and looked very much the easygoing part. 

The trousers looked nicely fitted. Inside, they had an awful lot of handwork - not all necessary perhaps, but probably part and parcel of the experience if you like everything being made on site. 

The jacket I tried on (below) had an equally impressive amount of handwork, and was nicely styled. Though personally, I’d probably prefer a bit of structure in a classic DB like this. The lapel peaks were a little unruly without it. 

“Sometimes we do put a little canvas in the jackets, just one layer of linen,” said Michele, “and no shoulder pads. The pieces can really be whichever combination the customer wants - that’s the obvious aspect of having everything made here.”

The style of some of the jackets was also a little quirky - the jacket I tried on had two buttons of different sizes. But again, Michele emphasised that this was just one style, and many customers made more subtle commissions. 

There were lovely craft details elsewhere too. The shirt/jacked pictured above had deliberately matched checks on the buttonholes, for example, which I can’t remember seeing before. 

We didn’t have time to try many pieces - I hadn’t realised quite how interesting the shop would be, or how engaging Michele and Cristina - but I suspect a shirt/jacket like this might be more my style. There are also long coats, work jackets and gowns. 

The knitwear was equally lovely, and might have broader appeal too. 

Apparently one of Cristina’s early obsessions was knitwear with the look of shetland, but light enough to be worn in the Roman climate, so she worked with melange cashmere to get a similar mix of colours. You can see the range in the cabinet above. They're all very light and very soft. 

The other knit they’re known for is super-fine merinos. (As in super-fine knitting, not the fibre itself.) 

Rather like Umbria Verde, their factory in Como uses old English looms that the founder took apart and remade, in order to get a finer setting. They now work at 45-gauge, which is why the pieces are so transparent (above). Again, particularly suited to Rome. 

Bomba, although small, has history and connections. The family was good friends with Vittorio Solbiati, and always made use of their linens. 

“When the company was being sold recently, we got a call to come and take what we wanted from the stock room,” says Michele. “That old cloth had been part of the sale, but no one wanted it. 

“So we drove up in a van and filled it to the top with the most beautiful bolts. We still have a lot of it in the back of the shop - it will take us a while to get through it.”

They've also been pivotal in retaining the character of their street, Via dell’Oca. “After the pandemic, there were a lot of empty streets here,” says Michele. “We convinced some friends, such as Patrizia Fabri next door, to take them. Otherwise they could have just become tourist places and sandwich shops.”

Those aren't Fabri straw hats below - they're by Bomba - but Fabri's are all made in a little atelier on the other side of the river. Another little Roman gem. 

I’ll definitely be back to see Bomba, hopefully this year. There was so much to explore, and Cristina and Michele were so lovely. 

Cristina in particular looked achingly chic despite the 35-degree heat, in an white linen tunic, jewellery and sandals. She reminded me rather of the equally stylish Audie Charles at Anderson & Sheppard

Both are also full of fun. Michele was happy to have his portrait taken, but Cristina said she’d only do so if there could be some knitwear in the shot too. 

The first photo below is what she gave us. Then she said the knitwear would look better on the dog, and proceeded to dress him up. 

Michele watched on, arms folded, with a smile.

Bomba is not cheap, largely a result of making so much by hand, on site. The jacket I was wearing cost €2800, and a work coat in linen was €1700. The cashmere knits start at €570. 

Via dell’Oca 39, Rome

Photography, Milad Abedi

Rayon shirts, and tucking in or out 

Rayon shirts, and tucking in or out 

Monday, August 1st 2022
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I’ve been interested in rayon shirts recently, perhaps as I’ve been dressing a bit more casually and would like an alternative to linen.

However, I’ve found it hard to find the perfect model. Usually the collar is the issue - this is a retro material, and the shirts often come with retro styling, which means wider collars. 

This can look great on larger men or those with larger features - like Ethan at Bryceland's for example. And they work well if that’s more your overall style I think, as it is for Scott Simpson.

But for a guy looking for a more subtle, everyday style, they can be a bit much. I’d love a Bryceland's rayon but I’ve tried them a few times over the years only to reinforce this conclusion. 

It was nice, therefore, to find the rayon shirt pictured from Pherrow’s, sold at Clutch Cafe. 

It has a smaller collar - the kind of thing a shirtmaker might cut as his default camp collar. To put it in numbers, it measures 7cm to the point, compared to 10cm for the Bryceland's. 

It’s also possible for collars to be too small, at least for me. This seems to largely happen with mainstream shirts, which I guess shouldn’t be surprising given their button-down collars and jacket lapels are so small. 

But I also have an old Gitman Bros camp-collar shirt from Trunk that has a 5cm collar. I end up undoing more buttons and rolling the fronts open, to try and increase the size. 

It’s worth emphasising that - as with everything we discuss - the point here is not to just follow someone’s preferences or dimensions - mine or anyone else’s. Rather, it is to understand another's preferences and then consider whether they apply to you. They may not.

Featuring this rayon shirt brings up some other issues readers have asked about. Let’s try and deal with one of them: tucking in and out. 

In very hot weather - as many of us have experienced in recent weeks - it can be much cooler to wear a shirt untucked. Air flow makes a difference. 

But a tucked-in shirt is usually more flattering, and certainly more elegant. It gives you a clean line at the waist and it makes the upper body look wider. It also lengthens the legs and brings attention to a nicely cut trouser. 

For those reasons, and because elegance is always at the back of my mind (no matter what I’m wearing), I will wear a rayon shirt like this tucked in most of the time. 

I’d also encourage others to try it. It might not be the intuitive thing to do, but try tucking a short-sleeved shirt into a pair of good linen trousers - they don't have to be expensive, just with a nice line, length and colour. 

Still I will wear a shirt like this untucked, and it’s more natural to do so with one that has short sleeves and a square hem. 

That's the question readers usually ask: when would you wear a shirt untucked?

With a shirt like this, but I'd also be more likely to do so with a long-sleeved one that had a square hem, and would do so last of all with something that was long-sleeved with a regular hem (a normal shirt, basically). 

Untucking a regular shirt can look good, and I recommended a linen shirt like that from A&S recently. But it takes a little more consideration to make sure it doesn’t look like you’ve just untucked your office poplin. 

If you're going to do that then having a square, blowsy cut helps; as does a soft collar and cuffs; unbuttoning it more to create shape is nice; also wearing something close-fitted underneath, like a vest; and sticking with casual, open-weave materials.

It's no coincidence that the same kinds of things apply to overshirts - they're usually looser and softer in the same way. 

The other subject short-sleeved shirts can bring up is bold patterns - Aloha shirts and the like. 

Two kinds really turn me off - the ‘fun’ type (Snoopy surfing anyone?) and the ones with that kind of dense pattern that reminds me of English men like Noel Edmonds

Actually, it’s unfair to lump this on Noel. The English middle-aged male generally is guilty of wearing ‘party’ shirts that have close Liberty-like patterns, presumably because it’s an obvious way to show that this is not an office shirt. 

But patterns more broadly are probably best left for another day. For the moment I'm sticking with love this plain ‘black’ from Pherrow’s, which is actually an inky navy. Following its success I bought the ‘natural’ - a kind of sand - but that benefits from something white underneath, like a vest, otherwise it rather washes me out. Always a risk with creams and related colours. 

The shoes are Edward Green unlined Belgravias, in black suede. The trousers are brown linen, from this Sexton suit. The bag is my old old Frank Clegg working tote. If anyone has any questions on the shirt - fit, feel, material etc - do ask in the comments. 

Photography: Alex Natt

Coloured summer jackets: Final Anderson & Sheppard commission

Coloured summer jackets: Final Anderson & Sheppard commission

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How do I feel about orange? This linen looked more like a terracotta red when it was a swatch, but let’s face it, it’s orange.

Fortunately I rather like it. Strong colour isn’t normally my thing, but when I do wear it, I prefer the colour to be softened somehow.

That comes over time with some materials – my Dege & Skinner tobacco suit, for example, was more orange than I had anticipated, but after wearing and cleaning and pressing a few times, really started to soften. And my other Anderson & Sheppard linen jacket, in a rather azure blue, was a soft colour by virtue of the white in the weave.

The linen shown here was unusual for being stonewashed, thanks to de Le Cuona, the interiors company that supplied it. More on them, and which of their materials could potentially also be used for tailoring, here.

Bright colours always look more at home in brighter weather – summer, sun, and in this case the baking heat of Florence.

I feel that cities which see a lot of sunlight build their cities accordingly, certainly old ones. There are more buildings in washes of pastel, or in simple white. Terracotta tiles are complimentary too.

Of course it must be heavily dependent on local materials, but you feel there was some guiding aesthetic at work in all this. (Anyone with knowledge to add here, rather than just impressions, do chip in.)

In this kind of environment orange linen seems at home. It certainly felt it as I went around appointments in town. In the fair of Pitti Uomo the colour was almost too subtle, like a washed-out version of what the peacocks were wearing. But around the city it almost blended with the brickwork.

One thing I wasn’t entirely happy about with the jacket was the lining and buttonhole colour. I wanted something that toned down the colour if I could, but this proved impossible.

There were no pale oranges, and no shades of warm brown or grey really worked. I haven’t given up looking, and may end up replacing it at some point in the future. (This is possible with button holes, though they’re usually not as neat afterwards.)

I ummed and erred similarly with the choice of buttons. If I want subtlety, does a brighter button achieve that because there is less contrast? Or is a darker button always better? In the end I went with the former, and that seems to have been right.

The other unusual thing about the material is the weight – it’s a 15oz linen, compared to the 11oz of normal Irish linens, or 9oz for most Italians. Interiors fabrics are rarely lightweight, as they need to be so abrasion-resistant, and de Le Cuona does even heavier ones too.

Interestingly I didn’t notice much difference in Florence though, even in 37-degree heat. I don’t sweat that much generally, but while I did notice a difference compared to the less structured Dege & Skinner jacket worn the day before, I didn’t notice one compared to that tobacco Dege suit, which is 11oz linen.

So my lesson is that while structure of a jacket – more canvas in the body, more padding in the shoulder – makes a noticeable difference, 4oz of extra linen does not.

That also applies to the benefits of those factors. Although this heavier linen flows beautifully, it’s a small difference compared to the slightly lighter Irish linen. The structure of a jacket, however, does makes a big difference to the overall look.

I had a couple of comments from friends as to how much they liked the way this jacket fit and flattered me. They preferred it to the less structured Dege jacket. Obviously the Dege was a lot easier to wear - but there are rewards for the suffering.

The padding in the shoulders of the A&S allows them to be pushed wider than my natural shape, while the canvas in the chest creates a sharp and elegant line, supporting that roll of the lapels and keeping the fronts sharp.

As we detailed in the first of these articles (it is the fifth of five, see article footer for the others), these design points were all deliberate, built off my experience with previous A&S cuts. But they wouldn’t have looked as good without that structure.

There’s also something to be said for having structure in linen in particular. Because while some elements will crease as soon as you bend your arms, or sit down, the front and in particular the chest and collar will retain their shape.

I think you can see that in the images here. It is 4pm on a very hot day, with the jacket having been worn and used since 9am that morning. The sleeves are rumpled to hell, but the chest and collar are still sharp.

This structure means there is a trade off with coolness of course, but I’d argue that it’s one worth making for any jacket designed to be smart.

If you want a linen layer that’s a lot cooler, it might be better going for something like an overshirt or shirt-jacket – an obviously more relaxed style.

The orange is not the easiest to combine with other colours, as you might expect. But so far I’ve found a couple I like.

The jacket is easiest to wear with white or cream either on the top or the bottom. So here it’s worn with a white linen shirt and grey Drapers 2-ply trousers. I particularly like this shade of grey as it has the tiniest touch of brown in it, which stops the trousers looking too much like a suiting.

And the other option is white or cream trousers, with a blue shirt on top. Denim is especially nice – something about the faded appearance of both the denim and the linen means they compliment each other. I’ll take a picture of that some other time.

The jacket could work with other bright colours – a brightly striped shirt, or certainly a tie or handkerchief. But as I increasingly realise (and feel at home with) this is not my style.

Also worn here are a cream linen handkerchief, which seems to set the white of the shirt off nicely, and dark-brown unlined Piccadilly loafers from Edward Green. You notice the lack of lining even more in the heat.

Pictured above, the PS team at Pitti - myself, Alex Natt and Lucas Nicholson

Photography: Jamie Ferguson except image above, Pontus Jonsén for Baltzar; and top and bottom images, Alex Natt. 

The previous four articles in this series are:

What Ivy means to me

What Ivy means to me

Wednesday, July 27th 2022
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When we covered Ivy-inspired clothing in a recent Reader Profile, there were some slightly dismissive comments about Ivy as a whole.

Given I’ve found that tradition particularly inspiring in the past five years, I thought it might be worth setting out what Ivy clothing I like and don’t like, and why.

I honestly think – as I said during our Ivy Symposium in New York a few years ago – that its principles have the greatest potential of any tradition in helping men dress well today: personally, elegantly and yet playfully.

Every tradition of clothing has its good and bad points - or at least more subtle and extreme ones.

I love tailoring, but I’m not a fan of braces or unusual double-breasted configurations; I love military-inspired clothing, but prefer an M65 or pair of fatigues to camo trousers or a souvenir jacket.

Ivy is no different. The brighter, louder clothing turns me off, as does the ossifying attitude of traditionalists. But the general relaxed attitude to tailoring, and combinations with sportswear, I find more inspiring than anything else.

So here are two lists: clothes I don’t wear and do wear, which may be considered Ivy.

The point is to avoid readers being turned off by the first, and as a result prevented from enjoying the second.

My Ivy is not:

  • Brightly coloured trousers
  • Fabrics with embroidered animals, flags or indeed anything else
  • Pinned or tab-collar shirts
  • Fun shirts
  • Wide, chunky shoes, particularly longwings
  • Madras jackets or trousers
  • Suits with no darts or shape otherwise
  • Blazers with gold buttons (unless, perhaps, worn with something from a different tradition, such as denim)

My Ivy is:

  • Soft-shouldered tweed jackets
  • Polo coats, raglan coats, duffle coats
  • Flat-fronted trousers
  • Oxford shirts
  • Polo shirts
  • Pale pink, pale yellow, purple. Not lime green or brick red
  • Shetland sweaters
  • Harrington jackets
  • White bucks
  • Low-vamp loafers (and low-vamp boat shoes)
  • Cordovan
  • Sports socks
  • Sportswear mixed in generally: sweats, caps and so on

When styled well, it’s not hard to see how the latter list could be a great capsule for a modern guy – existing in a dressed-down environment, but still wanting to dress well.

This contrast can be seen in other ways too, such as icons and attitudes.

My Ivy is not:

  • The guy wearing it head to toe: madras trousers, pink oxford, seersucker jacket
  • The Polo model piling on everything: shetland, jacket, rugby around the shoulders
  • The Neo-Trad overdoing it: flood pants, short jacket, pin collar
  • Lee Marvin in Point Blank, with his tan brogues
  • Don Draper when he wears checked jackets
  • Anyone insisting that Ivy should be worn in exactly the same way as a particular decade

My Ivy is:

  • Gene Kelly in sportswear, but with a collared shirt and loafers, not a tee and trainers
  • Robert Kennedy wearing a flight jacket and old khakis to play touch (American) football - below
  • Robert Motherwell or Jackson Pollock in their paint-spattered loafers or brogues
  • Paul Weller in French Ivy
  • Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless
  • Anyone mixing sporting and more formal clothing in a playful manner

Ivy has always evolved. Some things remain pretty constant – like flat fronts – while others change, such as the width of those trousers. From Army surplus khakis, to civilian trousers, to slimmer styles in the late 1950s, they became gradually narrower.

There’s a great Talon ad from 1955 of two guys in (moderately) slim trousers mocking someone in oversized ones – who’s standing in the window of an antiques store.

It changed with the influence of Italy from the late 50s; it was different when taken up by the Mods; there was the boom in Japan from the mid-sixties; and it had a twist added by the French, and so on.

Given all these cultural re-intepretations, it’s important to note that the whole essence of Ivy, from from its start in elite US college campuses, was of mixing things together and not giving a damn. That’s what made it energetic, interesting, and last.

Ivy style is a surprisingly broad term, encompassing much of traditional American clothing, its origins and reinterpretations, purists and rebels.

But outside America that can often be missed, with the label applied to a kind of caricature of madras, fun shirts and seersucker. It’s not a very relevant or sophisticated image.

I’d encourage readers to pick and choose the things they like from Ivy and make them their own. Guys don’t need any encouragement to wear sports clothes to class, as the originators did - but they could probably do with some help elevating those clothes when they leave.

Many thanks to Jason Jules for his help with this article. If anyone wants more on that topic, the Ivy Symposium has a few good people taking about that, such as Alan Flusser and Richard Press. 

And now, a pictorial story - to give an idea of direction, you understand, rather than make specific points. Remember, this is not about right and wrong, merely illustrating what I find inspiring, and what I think readers could too.



The appeal of a silk dressing gown – at New & Lingwood

The appeal of a silk dressing gown – at New & Lingwood

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As I wrote earlier this year, I’m usually quite conservative when it comes to gowns. They’re very practical for me, thrown on early in the morning to get up with one of my three daughters. 

They can still be luxurious, and beautifully made. I’m good at looking after good materials, and can cope with the occasional stray soggy Corn Flake. But I’m not a man of luxurious leisure, and gowns that are overly fancy or fussy just don’t fit my life. 

However, I still recognise that a decorative silk dressing gown is a beautiful thing. If you like menswear, you will appreciate a woven-silk necktie; you will also love the scale and flow of a great overcoat; and a dressing gown such as the silk pictured above is a combination - a maximisation - of those two things. You’d be a fool to not be tempted. 

Fortunately, a reader recently asked what kind of silk dressing gown I would recommend. A classic navy spot? A quilted-lapel smoking number? And this gave me the excuse to consider the options vicariously. 

Anyone that spends time walking around Mayfair will have had their eye caught, at some point, by the New & Lingwood gown store at the end of the Piccadilly Arcade. 

There’s such a riot of brightly coloured fabric: black and gold; red and green; during the summer a procession of sugary linens in pale blue, yellow and pink. The only real local competition is from Favourbrook, and even they have quite a few dresses and waistcoats in plain cream or black. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if the display makes everyone that walks past reconsider whether they’d wear a silk gown. Or want to consider it. Want to want it. 

I think there’s quite a big difference between some of the options though. 

A black silk gown embroidered with skulls and crossed bones can look a little silly, at least to me. Are you trying to look dangerous and tough? In a silk gown? I know there’s the Eton connection, but more than just Old Etonians are buying them. 

Equally gowns in gold, with quilted facings and tassels. It’s a little too much, too showy. 

There is still a question of taste, in other words. Just as there would be if you were buying patterns and colours for another area of your life, like curtains or soft furnishings.

If you’re going to wear a brightly coloured dressing gown, my advice would be to avoid other aspects of decoration. Steer clear of the quilting and the tassels, focusing simply on colours and patterns that you like - as you would the silk in a necktie. 

I like the peacock-patterned silk above, for example. Although it’s clearly a bold pattern, and makes use of strong colour, the contrast is rather less than the green and gold above, or orange and navy. Compared to those, the pink and turquoise is quite subtle. 

I also like the fact that the piping is low contrast. Its soft gold is similar to the cream used in the body, and both blend with the pink and green rather nicely. 

To me, the bright-white piping on some gowns can make them look cheap, particularly with darker colours. Which is why the piping on the gown I covered earlier this year was so tonal. 

The New & Lingwood gowns are all finely made, of course.

I particularly like the wide, rounded shape of the facings, and the way they roll open all the way down to the hem whenever you leave the gown unbelted. Look at the belly on it in the image below - it’s almost as wide as the chest itself.

Also important is a belt that holds its shape, and doesn’t collapse when tied. Whether achieved by stitching or lining, it makes a big difference to how elegant the gown looks. Nothing makes a dressing gown look old and ratty more than a belt that has become basically a shoe string.

Many of the N&L gowns are also made in the basement of the main shop on the other side of the Arcade - something I’m not sure many people know.

This makes adjustments fairly easy, which is nice. It’s straightforward to do something like take off the fold-back cuffs and shorten the sleeves, for example, before reattaching them. 

Interestingly, N&L only had a medium and an extra-large in the store in this pattern, and I found the latter suited me better. 

A medium was more of a ‘true’ fit, with the end of the shoulder sitting right on the point of my shoulder bone. But I think a gown should be loose -  luxuriously so - and as a result have fullness in the body when you cinch it at the waist. The extra large, pictured here, did that better on me. 

More power to those that wear silk gowns and enjoy them. They are truly wonderful - and now that Vanners has gone, there will be fewer around that are made in the UK. 

From what I understand, the attempted rescue of Vanners - which had been weaving silk since 1740, and which I covered for PS back in 2009 - has now fallen through, leaving Stephen Walters the only mill doing this weaving at any scale. 

Let’s hope there are enough dandies around to keep production going there, at least. 

The silk gown pictured is £1,250. Linen gowns are a good alternative, starting at £595. Bespoke gowns are also possible, from a range of silks and other materials.

The pyjamas pictured are brushed cotton from Anderson & Sheppard. I find grey a good foil for strong colour, in much the same way as a grey flannel suit. The shoes are Sagan Lunes from Baudoin & Lange. 

Photography, Alex Natt @adnatt

What I pack when I travel – on holiday


A few years ago, I wrote a piece detailing what I packed when I travelled – focused on Naples in wam weather, but with application to colder weather too. 

However this was a ‘work’ trip for me. One where I was expected to give a certain impression, and tailoring was pretty much obligatory. 

If anyone is travelling for work or just wants to be smarter, the advice in that article still stands. But today, given I’m going on holiday soon, I though I’d do a vacation-oriented alternative.



Now, even though I’m on holiday, I don’t want to be wearing a T-shirt and shorts every day. I will take that and I do wear that, but I like more elegant clothing too much to wear it the whole time. 

Also, family holidays involve a small amount of variation in location. Although we spend most of the time in a villa with a pool, we will also usually spend a couple of days in a city too. 

And personally I think that for reasons of both style and propriety, I want to dress differently in an urban restaurant than I do at the beach. Most tourists appear to disagree with me, but I like to think it’s just because no one has explained this kindly and carefully them. Or pointed out that none of the locals are wearing board shorts and flip-flops. 

So, the conditions that variously shape my holiday wardrobe are:

  1. Heat. This is summer, and I’m travelling south. Temperatures 20 to 40 degrees celcius.
  2. Variation of formality. Beach, villa, city; playing with kids, travelling, dining.
  3. Space. We’re a family of five; no one can take too much.
  4. Style. Whenever practicable, I prefer to dress a touch more elegantly. Never in a tailored jacket, but not always in a tee either. 

With all that in mind, this is what I will be packing this summer. 




The thing that satisfies condition number four more than anything else, is wearing collars. A polo shirt or a casual shirt, rather than a T-shirt. Still, at least one T-shirt is just practical, for example when getting hot, sandy and sticky at the beach. 




The second thing that helps retain a little sartorial interest is wearing trousers rather than shorts. A loosely cut, openly woven linen trouser can be just as cool as a short, particularly with an elasticated waist. 

The colour scheme above also starts to make sense when you consider the bottoms. Pretty much every top can go with every bottom, creating a maximum number of combinations in a small suitcase. It feels kind of boring, but actually it stops me being bored.




I’m unlikely to need much here given the temperature, but will need at least one jacket-like item for travelling and going out. And at least one sweater for the late evening or early morning.

The downside of polo shirts is that knitwear often doesn’t work well over them – or at least, the thicker they are and the more structured, the less it does so. Hence why cardigans are useful.




Versatility here is of course of particular importance, given you need shoes that can be worn on the beach, loafing around, for dinner and for travelling.




Apart from the obvious, like a pair of sunglasses, a straw hat, and a pair of swimming trunks, some extras to sneak in are:

  • Vest 
    • Useful layering to deal with changing temperatures. Under a shirt, polo or sweater
  • Neckerchief
    • Cotton, tied at the neck. Again warmth, but also for sweat
  • More than one hat
    • A nice way to add variation. As well as the straw, perhaps a cap, perhaps a bucket hat. Can add colour to otherwise functional tonality
  • Short pyjamas
    • I have a set from Schostal, with a short-sleeved top and shorts. Both can do double duty as normal clothes in a pinch. (Swim shorts can do that nicely too, if not too obviously for swimming)



This is not comprehensive, excluding things like bags for travelling and the beach (also, by the way, nice ways to add some interest and colour) for example.

But the main thing is dealing with all four of those conditions, which isn’t easy when there are two kids and a baby. This basic list has proved to be a fairly successful way for me to meet them, and not lose sartorial inspiration entirely. 

Tips and experiences from others, as ever, very much appreciated. 

Other pieces that may be useful:


Introducing: The striped short-sleeve shirt

Introducing: The striped short-sleeve shirt

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“A smarter short-sleeved shirt is not something I ever considered before, but I do actually like it.”

I have to say I enjoyed the process of launching this shirt last year - it’s fun to make something that challenges people, pushing at a few preconceptions. 

A short-sleeved smart shirt is not for everyone. A long-sleeved shirt, usually with sleeves rolled up, is a lot easier to wear in summer and it’s what I wear most of the time. 

But there is a nice, actually rather elegant look to a short-sleeved shirt with a pair of sharp trousers and shoes. That’s what I wanted to create, and show, and it was nice seeing many readers take that on last summer.

The quote above is from a reader at the time. Another said: “Having worn this for a few weeks, I find myself liking it a lot, which is nice as it was an impulse buy.

"[The fit] makes it not appear as a dress shirt with the sleeves cut off, or as an overshirt. [And the collar] helps differentiate it from an overshirt, which usually has a camp collar.”

Personally, I appreciate the coolness of a short-sleeve shirt on a very hot day, such as in Florence, where the images above were taken. 

And especially under an overshirt, so you don't have two layers of sleeves and can push back those of the overshirt. (I’d be wearing the outer layer in the first place for the sake of practicality, and pockets.)

However, I don’t have much experience of living in humid conditions, so it was nice to hear readers adding their experiences there too.

“Short-sleeve linen shirts are an essential working or travelling in and around NE/SE Asia,” said one. “I can understand some people’s reticence, but the practicality and coolness of them in hot, humid summers wins over. Thirty-seven degrees for the past three days in Japan with 60%+ humidity demands short-sleeve shirts.”

I think one reason this style of shirt has a bad rap is that it’s usually unflattering in its design. A tiny collar, square body and large, flapping sleeves combine to drown a lot of guys. 

So I worked hard on the sleeve, making something that was more akin to a rolled-up T-shirt than the square sleeve of an Aloha shirt. It’s large in the shoulder, but tapered, so slim but not tight (unless you're particularly muscly).

I won’t go into all the detail on the design again, but if anyone missed it the first time around, it's in the launch piece here.  

Today’s article is to let everyone know that we’ve added a blue/white striped version this summer, with a couple of small tweaks. 

We’ve made the collar a tiny bit smaller (a half centimetre shorter at the back) and given it a lighter weight lining. 

The lining doesn’t feel that different to start with, but it softens after the first wash, producing something that feels almost like an unlined style, but still with good shape. This is still definitively not a soft, camp-collar shirt. 

That’s just for the striped option. So you have the choice now between two collars in the two colours. As was the case last year, I’m interested to hear what everyone thinks when they’ve tried them. 

All the other details are the same. The same curving, rolling collar of all PS shirts; a longer body length to make it clearly for tucking in, not out; and handmade details (both functional and aesthetic) from Luca’s workshop in Naples. 

Available small to extra large, in Spence Bryson Irish linen, which means it keeps it shape better than most Italian linens and isn’t in any way transparent. 

Rather attractively, the blue and white stripe shows off the texture of the linen well, as you can see below. That’s something I didn’t really appreciate until I saw a finished shirt, but it’s a really nice feature. 

Elsewhere in these shots I’m pictured wearing the pale-olive linen PS Overshirt (below) over the white short-sleeve. 

We ordered triple the number of the PS Overshirts compared to last year, as they were so popular. As a result most of the permutations are still available - almost all sizes in the olive and the brown, and the smaller ones in the navy.

The trousers are the brown linen from my Sexton suit here. And the shoes, predictably, are black Sagans from Baudoin & Lange. 

Sunglasses, as discussed in the Dege jacket post recently, are the Californian model from Meyrowitz. 

The short-sleeved shirt is available from the PS shop now. Details:

  • Made in Naples in the atelier of bespoke shirtmaker Luca Avitabile
  • Hand-sewn buttons, buttonholes, armholes and collar
  • Uses Irish linen from Spence Bryson, and cream mother-of-pearl buttons
  • Cut long, like a dress shirt, and intended to only be worn tucked in
  • Uses the standard PS button-down collar, which rolls easily and naturally, when undone or indeed with a tie
  • Same body fit as the PS denim shirts (and oxford shirts after washing)
  • Blue stripe model has a 0.5cm lower collar and lighter weight lining
  • Ships from the UK and available in four sizes, small to extra large
  • More details on the PS shop here


Small (37) Medium (39) Large (41) Extra large (43)
Chest 53cm 56 60 65
Waist 48 50 55 60
Yoke 45.5 47.5 49.5 52
Sleeve width at hem 17.5 18 19 20.5
Sleeve length 20 21 22 23.5