Readers awards 2023: Anniversary edition 

Wednesday, January 25th 2023
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Five years ago, in 2018, we began the PS awards series by asking about favourite brands, shops and stylists. 

This year I'd like to invite everyone to do the same, but actively reflect on how things have changed in the past five years. 

Five years is a fairly long time in clothing anyway, but I feel like Covid has accelerated all trends, bringing about some fairly fundamental changes in working practices, and perhaps how people view their lifestyles too. 

So I'd be interested to hear which brand's products really resonate with you right now; which styling you find most inspiring (from a brand or a person); which shop has given you the best experience; and which artisan you see yourself using going forward. 

As in previous years, please enter your nominations in the comments below. 

You can enter something for all categories, or just one. But remember that the most interesting thing for others is often your reasoning and experiences, so please don't skimp on these. 

In a week I'll tot them up and write something announcing the results, interviewing ecstatic winners and so on. 

These are the categories. Please remember to let us know how your views have evolved in the past five years. 

1. Best brand
Products, rather than styling, including quality and relevance 

2. Best artisan
What will you continue to have made, by whom, and why

3. Best styling
Who do you find most inspirational now? A brand, a magazine or a social media account 

4. Best customer experience
Which shop or brand deserves recognition? For things like knowledge, advice and product care, rather than just quick shipping

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Daniel De Becker

I have appreciated Pini Parma : I love their trousers in Soragna line, good price for a nice product, and besides the team at Brussels store is really professional and give good advices

Henry

1. Best brand
Whitcomb&Shaftesbury – their overseas bespoke service offers an excellent value and so far the best fitted trousers I ever had.

2. Best artisan
Nichols London – I own several bespoke leather accessories and bags and Rory’s eye to details is non to others.

3. Best styling – not sure if it’s appropriate to mention but for me personally the answer is a Permanent Style online platform – always great combinations and something to learn.

4. Best customer experience – Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery, always warm welcome and deep knowledge about the products they offer.

Robin

1. Best brand
Cavour – they seem to sell only quality goods which avoids having to wade through fashion or branded nonsense to get to what you need.

Trunk Clothiers – as per Cavour above.

2. Best artisan
Simone Abbarachi – Shirts made in quality cloths and great tailoring at a good price .

3. Best styling
Gusvs9 – For his effortless perfection . Precise proportions . He makes it look so easy and simple .

Permanent Style – still nothing like PS . Although I wish you’d look more at a range of price points for clothes reviewed .

4. Best customer experience
Simone Abbarachi – I take his advice , even when it overrides my own , and he’s always right.
The man is a maestro .
After seeing him at Dukes Hotel, London I always walk a little taller !

Aaron L

I second the price points idea – I miss the ‘value’ themed articles from the site’s earlier days.

Hadrien

Great selection and I love the Cavour style … however I’m very disappointed as they moved from Italian confection to Chinese without being transparent and really honest about it on their website. I’m sure Chinese confection can be as good (maybe even better) than Italian when it’s for large production as for Cavour but it should be stated on their website as they kinda build their fame with the made in Italy label.

Nick

Hi,

  1. Anglo-Italian. I mainly use them for non-tailored garments (although I do get trousers there both MTM and RTW and have one MTM suit) I just find that they are a great source for clothing and accessories for guys who like tailoring.
  2. This is very hard. I have worn a grey Ciro Zizolfi suit the most this past year just because it’s what I wear for work but it gives be great joy every time I put it on. Sartoria Pirozzi made me a navy db suit which is epic and has been used a lot over the Christmas period as both a suit and separate jacket. Sartoria Corcos also has really good style. I would love to use Steven Hitchcock more but he is more of a treat for me due to the price point but I have two great jackets from him and would highly recommend.
  3. Permanent Style is a great resource for styling. Also, I do love the way Gianluca Migliarotti dresses. It’s always elegant yet you can see that he is wearing his clothes and not the other way round. I would also mention the guys at Anglo-Italian I think they are a great example of how to wear classic clothing for a young guy.
  4. Anglo-Italian, it has always been great. Both of The Armoury stores in New York left a very good impression when I visited in September. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that the founders are heavily involved in the day to day running of the shop.
SamS
  1. Rubato. They just nail the balance between timeless and relevant. Even though they do the same thing everyone else does today (knits, chinos, jeans), they still manage to provide a unique product. There’s basically nothing they make I wouldn’t wear (except maybe a couple of colors of knit). Great silhouette, too. Honorable mention: Colhays. Again, I would wear almost anything they make, but a lot of it seem more niche than Rubato.
  2. Götrich&Co/Cad&the Dandy. I will keep having bespoke trousers made here, and quite possibly another sport coat. Full bespoke available at prices lower than mid range luxury OtR is just hard to beat. Honorable mention: Shirtonomy. Outstanding MtM shirt service, especially if you get paid in any currency other than the Swedish crown!
  3. Again, I just like what Rubato does. It’s distinct but wearable. No peacking or influensting. But I think Rubato is a brand that could really benefit from some variety in their models: timeless elegance shouldn’t be restricted to young, skinny folks. Honorable mention: Edward Sexton. Maybe this is just because I like the Sexton cut so much, but it’s one of the few tailors websites that I keep going back to for inspiration.
  4. Luca Faloni. Whenever I want to show my friends what good customer service looks like, I take them to LFs Stockholm store. They do everything right, including teaching you how to care for your garments. More than one person have told me “I didn’t think that kind of retail experience existed anymore.” Honorable mention: Götrich&Co in Stockholm. The only reason I can’t make them my first choice is because bespoke tailoring is such a personal relationship. It’s been built up over 3 years, it’s not something easily transfered.
SAO
  1. Best brand: Private White VC. Several jackets. All distinctive. And they truly last. That is what swings this category for me – longevity. As a follow up, I really rate Orslow and have enjoyed the things I’ve bought from Drakes.
  2. Never commissioned anything; tempted to start with grey flannel trousers.
  3. Permanent Style! Assuming that’s not the answer you want, Alessandro Squarzi. Many other individuals, but for brands, I like Trunk’s aesthetic: thoughtful, practical, quiet.
  4. Not sure about this one. Maybe Doherty, Evans and Stott.
Tamaki

1. Best Brand: Colhays
I have orders some knitwear from Colhay now, crewnecks, short sleeve T-shirt, cashmere-silk polo, and a shawl collar cardigan. I had some challenge with them initially because of the lack of a place where I could try out the garments, but that is now solved with their location in Holland Sherry. I absolutely all of the knitwear because they fit so well: the ribbing on the bottom and on the sleeves are great and they are just the right length for me (who is quite slim)

2. Best Artisan: The Anthology
I’m not sure I qualify here because I have only really tried them and no one else, but both the quality of the garments and the service has been superb. They solved a very hard problem with the delivery company for me, are very responsive, and made really well fitting and good style clothes. I have now 3 jackets from them, one with a more Neapolitan style and one on their traditional style (which I prefer), besides bespoke trousers, MTO shirts and Civilman Trousers.
Regarding the jackets, for me the most critical is that they 1) fit well being comfortable and flattering, and 2) the style is one I like, with the wider shoulder flattering me who is again, very slim (for reference, I’m 1.80m and weight 68kg with 31 years)

3. Best styling
I would say Shuhei Nishiguchi. He is already very well known, and while I wouldn’t use almost any of his clothes combinations (some I would, but wouldn’t purchase the clothes because they wouldn’t see much use), they are still inspiring to me to think of combination I wouldn’t normally do(like black jeans)

4. Best Customer Experience
The Anthology is great, but having named them before, I have the opportunity to mention Jean Manuel in Paris. Nicolas and Jean Manuel have a great sense of style, are extremely welcoming, and provide good recommendations. One advantage they also have over The Anthology is the fixed location in Paris, which allows for easier visits but also for them to hold a large number of garments waiting to be delivered to the clients, which can be useful to show how some garments can look with a cloth you might be interested in. Another thing is the fact that they offer a really wide but curated range of more casual clothes of high quality

Richard

I don’t feel I have a wide enough experience to really nominate anybody myself but my experiences with Anthology and Jean Manuel Moreau have also been excellent.
I’ve only bought some trousers from the former but was pleasantly surprised when they reached out to me to discuss what to put on the shipping receipt to help me with import duties into Europe, explaining other customers had requested this — totally not necessary by them and impressive that they initiated the conversation and offered, rather than waiting for me.
With Jean Manuel Moreau, I suggested them to my father who was visiting me in France and looking to buy some new shirts. The customer service was welcoming, patient, informative, helpful and just all around warm and friendly. A notch above other experiences I’ve had, even the few in a similar price range.

Nelson

Best customer experience: The Armoury. Mark Cho and friends really stepped up their game during COVID with their YouTube channel. The team turned an otherwise horrible situation into an opportunity to expand their reach, educate and entertain lovers of classic men’s wear, and — perhaps most importantly of all — strengthen our community. I especially enjoyed the video travelogues. The Armoury’s actual retail experience is perfection as well, both in store and online. The team is knowledgeable, friendly, and has the customer’s best interests at heart (which is not always the case).

Markus

1) Best brand:
Cavour (their own brand): Offers high-quality at a fair price. Their fit is perfect for me, neither too slim nor too wide. Their selection is straight to the point.
2) No experience
3) For me, Permanent style. If this is not admissible then Boglioli: For me, their K-Jackets are unsurpassed. Further, very interesting and relevant styling in general, as you can see e.g. on this linkhttps://luxferity.com/brand/boglioli/news/boglioli-introduces-new-spring-summer-2022-collection-riflessi
4) Luca Faloni: Indeed incredibly helpful with questions and issues. At the same level is Cavour.

JDV

1. Edward Green
I just realised that almost all my loafers are from EG and lace shoes from StC.
As I mostly wear loafers this goes to EG. I’ll wear them for decades to come and plan on adding the one or other over the years.
2. Sartoria Corcos
3. Anglo Italian
I appreciate their Instagram still-life stylings. Such a great palate. Also I think it’s great they offer their cloth for “Outside”-Buyers.
4. This might not win, due to bias, but I have to say my dealings with Lucas from PS have been great!

Richard.P

1) Hands down, Anglo Italian. The only place where I feel I could wear pretty much the whole of their range. Timeless and fantastic quality.
2) Little experience in this field so unable to comment
3) Permanent style. Hardly an original choice judging by the responses so far but has quickly become my ‘go to’ website for all things menswear. A wonderful source of intelligent and informative articles that never seems to disappoint. And I can honestly say that I have been one hundred per cent happy with every single one of my purchases from the online shop.
4) Once again, Anglo Italian. Jake and Martin share a wealth of knowledge and you get the impression that absolutely nothing is too much trouble, even with a relative novice, like myself, asking, what I’m sure are some pretty dumb questions! On that note, a particular thumbs up to rising star Andrew. Over the last few months has consistently delivered, what must be the perfect customer experience. Honourable mentions also to James at William Crabtree and Ronnie at Colhays. Both going above and beyond.

James

Fully agreed. I would also like to nominate Anglo Italian for best brand and for best customer experience. They just seem to nail it with their brand and it’s always a pleasure to visit the store.

Adam

Nominating Anglo Italian for both Best Brand and Best Customer Service. Every item I’ve bought from them has just been so on point. The styling and cut are always excellent – managing to get the right balance between fit and comfort. The materials and way they are made make you feel like you’re getting great value (similar to the article you wrote on this very point recently) I also respect the way they know who they are and stick to that. The whole look and brand is consistent and confident in what they offer and what they don’t.
Customer service wise I find them relaxed and friendly (shout out to Martin and Jeremy in particular). Happy to chat through, give advice, talk about your weekend, chat with your significant other while you try things on. The vibe in the store perfectly matches the vibe they are trying to create with their clothes – and probably contributes to me always spending more than I intend to when I go in!
Honourable mentions to Drakes for service and Rubato for brand.

Paul

1. Best brand
For constent quality, Colhay’s takes some beating. I’ve bought four items from them now, and they are always high quality, fairly priced and nicely styled.
2. Best artisan
My only MTM these days is 40 Colori, who, in line with the advice on getting to know people, have made me two really well styled jackets, some trousers, and a gilet. One day i’ll step up, but for now this is perfect for me.
3. Best styling
Is this one fishing? this is the best source for curated style advice across a bunch of platforms and IG. other than that, Camoshita always delight me.
4. Best customer experience
Anderson and Sheppard, hands down. Always welcoming, full of well thought out advice, and a lovely browsing experience.

Frank

Products
anglo-italian. I like their clothes aesthetics – it feels like it timeless! And the things that I have bought feels like quality. I have bought shirts (not as thick as yours, but the fit me better – and I don’t have access to a tailor), trousers in different materials – I like their silhouette. And more. And in a time where I don’t have to ‘dress up’ everyday, in my opinion, is it important to have longevity in the clothes – and you feel the need to toss it away every few months. – permanent style.

I think the next time I come to London I will visit Anglo Italian for a hopsack blazer?

permanent style – your blog are an source for inspiration – and I like look back at old articles for it.
and a danish blog called den velklædte mand.

again it is anglo italian – always willing to answer questions Quick.

Christopher

1. Best brand
Rubato, great styling and quality. Easy to combine and goes nearly with everything.
2. Best artisan
My tailor in Bangkok.
3. Best styling
Guess who? Permanent style ;-))
4. Best customer experience
Again my tailor in Bgk.

Sally Ferry

Hi Christopher,
Can I ask which tailor in Bangkok you are referring to?
All the best,
Simon

Pyc

Hi Simon, is there a nicer expression out there than “using” an artisan? “Commissioning” is far more pleasant (even if a little pretentious).

Eric Twardzik

1: Best Product: Rubato
I say this owning just a single Rubato piece-the standard knitwear rollneck, purchased at the NYC PS pop-up-but it’s one of the best things I picked up in 2022, and the capper to a years long search for the ideal rollneck. While seemingly classic and simple in the design, it’s subtle yet visually impactful things like the shorter cut of the torso and the way the rolled neck folds over itself that has me scheming on how many other colors of it I can possibly fit into the closet. And everything else I saw from their collection had a lot to recommend for it, too.
3: Best Stying: Drake’s
Surprised this hasn’t come up before, as I think Drake’s is showing how traditional tailoring can be worked into more casual ensembles, or simply worn more casually by itself, better than any other brand on the market. While I wear their stuff often, I also find myself putting together outfits from other brands and makers into a “Drake’s look.”

JJP

1. Best brand
The Anthology

2. Best artisan
Loro Piana

3. Best styling
Stoffa

4. Best customer experience
Christian Kimber

shem

Hi simon,

as you said, 5 years is a while and quite a lot has changed. Since 2018, I have become a father and covid happened. These caused several key shifts in my outlook on life and clothes. Namely, the need to save in the face of unexpected economic instability and that they are many things more important than clothes (e.g. family/health) and that there is no need to spend so much money on it. I also have other financial commitments due to my child’s needs. I wfh now on certain days and travel to work less as a result. While I used to like sharp tailoring – spread collar dress shirts with grey wools in the past, and would often buy a shirt/trouser every month, I now only purchase 3-4 items max a year and look mostly for harder wearing ivy/workwear type items which can be worn in smart casual settings.. E.g. drakes button down shirts, chambray workwear shirts, rubato chinos, army chinos etc. My list is as follows:

1) product – brycelands. I think their products are well suited for a post covid world which is more dressed down and are unique enough to stand on their own in a marketplace filled with the same button downs and spread shits. Pre-covid for me was armoury and drakes but the former feels too sharp and not applicable to my lifestyle now (e.g. hard to wear tailoring with a child) and while I like drakes and what they are doing (e.g. games suits) they are now way too expensive. I also like uniqlo. They offer good design in their products for an unbeatable price. Their shirts for example are almost always done in tasteful stripes and patterns and I would be more than happy to wear all the shirts they sell if not for the fit being a bit off for me. Most of the trousers are also cut funny (e.g. too short) but some of their regulars west point chinos are nice and spacious.

2) artisan – never used any world renown bespoke tailors before but I would choose anthology. Their suiting looks relaxed and I especially like the design of their DB jackets which are louche and almost vintage looking. I will be doing up something with them down the year for my first tailoring experience!

3) styling – I like ethan wong. Great range and I find myself looking at his insta for inspiration most of the time. I like how he mixes workwear with tailoring. The other is jamie ferguson. I like ethan Newton and mark cho too but they are quite often in suits/tailoring which is not what I’m often wearing.

4) customer service – I live in singapore and I mostly interact with brands online. I like the customer service of anthology and anglo italian. Anthology is courteous, quick in reply and thorough. For anglo I really liked it when jake used to reply emails as he always came across as very friendly and sincere. I’m not sure if he still replies emails as I haven’t purchased anything from them in a while!

Peter Hall

Best Brand

Hemiat. For all things woolly . Signal and watch caps are great. Their training sweater is my favorite purchase of the last year. I wear their items year round, handing for those winter days on the Dutch Polderland.

Best Artisan.

If I could slip PS in here. I don’t have much made,but PS Oxfords are indispensable .

Best Styling

Joint with Emilie Rose Hawtin and Ethan Wong. Both dress well, are passionate and write beautifully .

Best Customer Experience

Michael Jondral. Always a pleasure to deal with. All the staff know their products in detail and have great patience .

Christopher

Dear Peter,

I also own the black roll neck from Heimat. But it is a bit scratchy…Are the other items a bit mor softer?

Best regards
Christopher

Peter Hall

Definitely scratchy . They do soften.

Peter Hall

Sorry,I accidentally cut off this.

The wool sweaters are certainly on the rough side. Great for outdoors.
The training sweater is lined with cotton/merino and is cotton,so it’s warm and quite soft. It’s cut quite large .

Christopher

Thank you Peter! Good to hear that you have the same impression. I haven’t tried the training sweater, but sound’s it’s worth to try

Markus

Looked at their webpage and find them very strange. First, the name “Heimat”, which is an old-fashioned word and mainly used by rightwing parties/persons nowadays. Second, that they name their rollneck “U Boat Roll” “worn above and below the waves during WWII”. Different countries have different histories, but referring a product to the German Nazi Navy is a huge no-go in Germany and, if you do so, a clear statement that you are on the extreme right and a buy-incentive for a certain type of clientele. Third, that you name your colours, as a German company with Germany’s recent history, as “battleship grey” or “military green” is another signal in this direction. Fourth, that you name a garment “Eiger Popover” or “Eiger Cardigan” and call it inspired “by the first mountaineers to ascend the formidable Eiger Nordwand”, which were partly Nazi party members and immediately after their ascent received by Hitler (this ascent featured large in Nazi propaganda as a deed of the German “superrace”). Fifth, that you name another product “Trench Glove” inspired by”soldiers in WWI”. Sixth, that you can buy under “Prints” calendars of “Rudolf Hasse” a German race drive in Nazi Germany, later an officer fighting for the tank groups in Russia, “Bernd Rosemeyer”, again a race driver in Nazi Germany, member of the SS, posterboy of Nazi propaganda, and wearing a Swastika when winning a race, and skiing calendars of 1934, when Germany fell under the Nazi rule.
I am not sure that such a company, who obviously – by German standards – seems to pitch to the extreme right should be supported.

Michael

Hallo Simon, as you say you know the founder and there is no intention of any “Far Right” propaganda in their products or website, Markus is in my opinion simply knitpicking. For one, you only have to google battleship grey jumpers to find a multitude of British manufacturers, who also provide Commando green, submariner’s jumpers, etc. etc. one can get a little carried away by looking for “bogie men” in every woodpile. As to the Eiger cardigan, there is no mention anywhere on the website about the politics of the climbers, and more than likely no one in modern Germany (unless they are a mountain climber) has ever heard of them.
Trench glove… Trench coat, care of Burberrys?
As one of the many expat (ex RN) Brits living in Germany I find Markus’s rant to be from someone who knows very little of what he is talking about. All I can say is he should clear his own yardarm first, the politics in Britain at the moment is nothing to be proud of, Braverman and her cohorts, Tommy Robinson, Farage to name but a few.
just to be clear… in the last election I voted for the greens and prior to that the SPD.
ANYWAY, enough of this, thanks for an interesting blog, it’s nice to keep up with the styles and trends in Britain even if we don’t get much chance to avail ourselves of them (the curse of Brexit).
Keep up the good work, Ciao
Mike.

Thomas

Heimat just means home in Germany. Choosing that as a brand word wouldn’t be a problem. But in combination with the names of the products, the prints all dating from the Nazi area und the colour combination of red, white and black on their homepage, leaves me as a german with a strange feeling.

m

1. Best brand
I’d like to highlight Husbands in this category. While I’m not a customer myself, I can appreciate the cohesive look that is being offered for those looking alternatives to the more common Italian styles on offer in most places. Style is distinct enough that one needs only a look at their product catalog to appreciate.

2. Best artisan
At the moment I have orders planned from Pommella an Vass, they offer me accessibility, consistent quality and style I enjoy. I’m also hoping to visit Pirozzi in Italy this year and order a jacket from them.

3. Best styling
I’ve seen a great many looks that were really inspirational from wide variety of brands and individuals but what stood with me most throughout the year were from PS articles “This feels like me” and “Pirozzi dupioni-silk jacket”. I think what makes them special is combination of visual interest of materials, contemporary freshness and relative wearability when things like alligator shoes and cream trousers are taken into account.

4. Best customer experience
For his video content I feel Kirby Allison deserves proper recognition. He has stepped up his production quality and made quite a few infontainmentmercial series on Youtube with Lee Miller, Budd, Kent&Haste, G&G etc. I think they all deserve a watch but a standout for me is Kent&Haste double bespoke commission series covering all three fittings with two tailors present commenting on each others style and habits. For someone new to bespoke this condenses a lot of information in easy to consume manner, something you previously had to hunt for and piece together.

Gary Mitchell

This will begin to sound like the usual suspects but routine and habit mean many people (me definitely) keep returning to what experience has taught us works best. Seems a long time since I had a suit made from anyone else other than those mentioned below and even then, given my location and lifestyle I seemed to have comfortably settled for MTM or off the peg with adjustments. I have maybe 2 possibly 3 bespoke suits left in me and only because I wan them (my current stock (stack) will last me I feel). I dont have knitwear or shoes made and have no wish to start, the only bespoke product of late will be (and its still menswear) is new leather suit from Hideout leathers (for motorbiking not cruising Soho) where if you went you would be hard pushed to find a more helpful, more friendly, more knowledgeable set of girls (yes girls not guys), just fantastic.
1. Best brand
The Armoury HK/Trunk Clothier – nothing to separate them from the welcome to the products to the service. If I must separate then The Armoury wins on personal visits alone, I visit HK much more than UK.
2. Best artisan
The Armoury HK – after 40 odd years I have these last 10 years or so landed on a service that have never disappointed me. Not saying I like all things Armoury produce but I have never had anything substandard from them.
3. Best styling
Drakes – even though their styling has gone past perfect (in my eyes) to something I probably wont wear, they always look and feel fresh. I am holding out that they return a little more to my side of the style fence. Recent success for me their Aurora shoes, look ugly but oddly when worn look cool and redefine comfort (2 pair already) and a good few years ago the rust colour suede chore coat, its fantastic on my back or on the hangar although is warm to wear in my brothers house (cant remove it lest he steals it)
4. Best customer experience
Difficult one this…. Drakes. I get tip top service in all the shops I mentioned and its always nice to be recognised. I cant get out of Crockett and Jones without an hour of conversation and a cup of tea (with busicuit) but, and oddly as I buy the least from them, I would say Drakes for the sheer friendliness of the guys and their ability to recognise me given the amount of times (not often as I dont live in UK) I visit them.

H

3. Best styling
There’s nothing like Permanents Style of course.

2. Best artisan
Sailors Handmade of Walsall (sailorshandmade.com). Together with the customer this leather worker takes the customers ideas to another level. He uses the very best leather, thread and other materials. And he does everything to make the best product he possibly can.

1. Best brand
Grand Seiko – Because they do everything themselves, really everything.

4. Best customer experience

Eugene

1. Best brand
Rota. Really high quality RTW trousers, but still less expensive than competitors. Quality finishing and great shape. Lots of details.
2. Best artisan
Thedi Leathers. Modern takes on traditional leather jackets. Interesting choices in hides and lots of hand finishing and attention to detail.
4. Best customer experience
No Man Walks Alone

Gabriele

1. Best brand
Stòffa, for the incredible product design and fabric development. Over the last few years they went from a brand that mainly focused on trousers and leather, to being able to offer fantastic products in pretty much every category.
2. Best artisan
Jean-Manuel Moreau, for the time dedicated to listening to the customer and making sure the final product is delivered accordingly. Excellent advice, flexibility and quality for suits, shirts and more casual offerings.
3. Best styling
The Armoury, for the online content and the ability to reinvent themselves during the pandemic. And of course for the extensive selection of renowned artisans and in-house products.
4. Best customer experience
Jean-Manuel Moreau, see above.

Andrew
  1. Private White VC. I have a grey PS donegal and a blue cotton Ventile Harrington. Impressive quality construction, no skimping on cloth or hardware, classic designs. I have the impression that these two items will last a long time (I’ve had both for less than 2 years). Pricey, but I consider the value good given what you get in return.
  2. Maison Bonnet. They have made me a few pairs of glasses and sunglasses over the years and each one gets better. Always exceptional advice, good quality service for repairs and adjustments, and nice people. Franck Bonnet and his team are great to work with.
  3. Gianluca Migliarotti. I am probably biased because he is a friend, but as another reader commented I love the way he wears his clothes rather than vice versa. Nothing is forced, uncomfortable or unnatural.
  4. Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery. Emily Lowe is a real pleasure to deal with. Very knowledgeable, has great ideas, and always accomodates special requests.
TCN

Best Brand: Even though I don’t have a lot of their stuff, Private White is hard to beat. They’re innovative, stylish, and I like both the back story and their manufacturing location.
Best Artisan: I will continue to have things made by Meyer & Mortimer, because I am happy with what they have done for me, happy with the relative value they provide (versus other Savile Row tailors), and I’m happy with the guidance their cutters provide (one of the things a good cutter should provide). I also like that the two cutters are the principals as well.
Best Styling: Hard not to vote for PS here, but in an effort to find new and interesting sources, I really like the work that Valet Magazine is doing.
Best Customer Experience: This list of stores is shrinking by the minute, but I have always had impeccable service from the A&S Haberdashery as well as from Crockett & Jones (I admit that I was worried when Chis left).

Pimlico

1. Best brand
Korbinian Ludwig Hess. A great chap from Germany who makes excellent shoes and has now also introduced an interesting RTW collection (loafer, Chelsea boots).
 
2. Best artisan
Chittleborough & Morgan. Nothing beats a striking razor-sharp suit after the pandemic.
 
3. Best styling
Rubato. Besides their products, it’s the specific style that is fantastic.
 
4. Best customer experience
I would like to mention Equus as the worst experience. I spent several thousand pounds on an order 1.5 years ago and simply get no answer (phone, email) if and when it will be made. I understand that the company has difficulties after departure of staff in the workshop. But at least they should reply to emails. I am now considering taking this case to my lawyer. Sad!

TCN

I second the nomination for Equus as the worst customer service. What on earth has happened to them? I’m a longtime customer but after a recent order . . . never again.

Caleb C,

Best Brand – The Anthology. I could wear just about anything from there, they offer adjustments on everything they do, and have found a way to have contemporary style without drifting into the fashion world.Best Artisan – J. Mueser. Local to the US, great fabric choices and easy modern style and craftsmanship. They even helped me with sizing when I bought one of their jackets second hand on eBay. -honorable mention to RubatoBest Styling – Alyssa Beltempo. Aside from gobbling up any pictures on PS, Drakes, The Armoury, and The Anthology, I thought I would add a unique vote. Alyssa is a female YouTuber that I enjoy pulling ideas from. https://www.youtube.com/@AlyssaBeltempoBest Customer Experience – The Armoury. And this is coming from a remote shopper. The amount of education they provide through their video channel, attention to detail on everything they make, and over the top communication before, during, and after a purchase is unmatched. Due to all of this, I rarely have to use any brain power determining how something will fit into my existing wardrobe. It is seamless.

The central thing that has changed over the past 5 years is my interests have narrowed as I’ve grown to understand and appreciate my own preferences. That helps when a brand hits many of my personal style areas but also helps me appreciate a brand that I am no where near their target market but they make a specific product well that fits into my wardrobe.

Magnus

4. Best customer experience – Christian Kimber

h

I’d say the two biggest things I’ve learned over the past 5 years are the need to dress appropriately to context (which applied to me, means mostly making sure to dress my age) and the need to make sure you really are buying clothes that are going to last you.
4) Blackhorse Lane, a nomination unchanged from 5 years ago – but for different reasons. At first it was because I enjoyed buying my first pair at the factory, and getting great in store advice. Five years on, its because of the free repairs policy that has allowed me to still be wearing that first pair and the ease of access of their king’s cross store. I’d like to add an honourable mention though, not to a store but to a person (Benjamin Phillips) – who I recently bumped into at Bryceland’s having previously had great experiences with him at Drake’s.
1) Trunk Clothiers. It helps that I live relatively close, but if I need a basic item and don’t want to think too hard about it then this has just become my default. I have lots of t-shirts, three pairs of trousers, two pairs of shorts, three polo shirts, a cashmere crew and a cotton suit from their in house line and am happy with all of them. Big purchases like tailoring or shoes should be thought about seriously, but its nice to just go to the same place every time for basics.
3) Thom Sweeney, for being the only brand (in my opinion) that is able to take quality seriously and also target styling at a younger generation. I find their jackets perhaps a bit short and could knit-pick other things – but for a guy getting into clothes in his early thirties or late twenties I think it is still the most relevant look in classic menswear.

Peter K

As I sit in my home office today I’m wearing brown canvas chinos, a white OCBD and a navy shawl collar sweater, all from Spier and MacKay. So it’s obvious what my favorite brand is.
Best customer experience would be at my local menswear store. Knowledgeable and friendly staff with a very relaxed atmosphere.
Best style – like everyone else on this comment boards says Permanent Style would be tops. After that I find the blog The Modest Man quite useful for style ideas, especially simple casual styles. As I approach retirement my wardrobe is getting more casual and I find myself thinking more about casual looks than tailored ones.
Best artisan – I’ve never commissioned any clothing or shoes so I have no experience.

Joel C.

Best brand
Grant Stone delivers some of the most relevant, quality, and unique shoes on the market today they put tons of effort into transparency and materials and the ivy aesthetic is strong
Best artisan
@tightlystitched. Amazing creativity for a belt maker, will take risks to meet customer wants and delivers a quality product for a reasonable price. Also customer service.
Best styling
William Crabtree and Sons seems to get it. The products they offer are authentic and they put it all together very nicely on their social media.
Best customer experience
TLB Mallorca. What other shoe manufacturer’s founder responds with sizing annd measurement advice, style tips, leather selection, and goes above and beyond to make the shoe you want (pattern, stitching, etc.) For the price, they are tops in that game.

NB

1. Best Brand: Luca Faloni
2. Best Artisan: Luca Avitabile
3. Best Styling: David Gandy
4. Best Customer Experience: Mr. Porter

Oliver Price

Best Brand: Private White VC because their quality is excellent, and they’re maintaining the history of manufacturing clothes in Manchester.

Best Artisan: Luca Avitabile bespoke shirts because they fit much better than the off-the-peg shirts I used to buy. I don’t think I’d have had an answer for this five years ago as I wasn’t getting anything made.

Best Styling: Drake’s – after a good few years of being a denim / workwear / Americana obsessive, I’m really enjoying a more English style at Drakes. Years ago, I used to really like Hackett and Drake’s reminds me of that (but better).

Best Customer Experience: I was going to say The Real McCoy’s because their shop was excellent but they’ve closed it (please open another one!). I’m going to nominate Blackhorse Lane Atelier instead – always really friendly and they know their products inside out and back to front (literally). I’d like to give an honorable mention to Rivet and Hide, Drakes (I particularly enjoyed their mulled cider at Christmas!), Trunk and Cromford Leather as well.

Gary

I was not aware that The Real McCoy’s had closed the London shop. Sackville Street was an odd choice of location. Covent Garden or Marylebone would have been better IMHO.

If you loved the old Hackett, you should enjoy the English style of Cordings. Their trousers have button flies like Hackett’s had originally. I also recommend A Hume of Kelso for their own brand’s tweed jackets and outerwear made by Chrysalis Clothing. The company is has a reputation for excellent customer service.

Oliver Price

Thanks, Gary – I haven’t been there for a while, but Cordings is an old favourite – I still have one of their covert coats in my wardrobe. I’ll definitely check out A Hume as well.

David
  1. Rubato
  2. Drakes
  3. The Anthology
  4. Anglo Italian

Lots of Rubato love here! For those interested, I’m selling a brown Rubato v-neck in a now sold out colour. https://www.grailed.com/listings/39983093-other-standard-v-neck-in-brown

Olof

I find it both surprising and a bit disappointing that hardly anyone mentions Saman Amel this year. I think they are an obvious choice for category 1 and 3 considering how large of an impact they’ve made over such a long period of time, more or less pioneering the tonal styling everyone else employs these days within menswear. Their lookbooks from 5-6 years ago still feels 100% relevant, which is also in a way proof of how well their slow fashion approach works (and maybe also illustrates the problem with having yearly PS awards, considering the longevity/sustainability aspect of things).
So I hereby nominate Saman Amel for the two above mentioned categories 🙂

Barry Pullen

In the 1930’s, men could readily buy realistic-looking artificial boutonnières. That, unfortunately, is almost gone now (the few I see out there don’t look realistic enough, and it’s hard to get a real carnation to lie flush against your lapel, to say nothing of it getting destroyed under an overcoat). The gentleman in your first photo, however, is wearing one that looks fantastic—just the right size; shade of dark red; etc…
I don’t like to add more to your already quite-full plate, but if you know the story behind that boutonnière I’d appreciate it. But if that’s an old photo, don’t give yourself a headache. Thanks.

Riccardo

I’ve been very pleased by how lifelike the giin ones are: http://www.giin.style/boutonniere.html. I have a light blue and a wine for previous weddings. They are smaller than the picture referenced, although I find I prefer the smaller size. It feels subtler, almost like a lapel pin in a way.

Gary

1. Best brand
Cordings of Piccadilly because almost everything fits perfectly and is excellent value for money. In my experience, it is the best place in Britain to buy RTW tailoring, especially field clothing and overcoats. Their madder silk scarves are incredibly beautiful.

Customers owe a debt of gratitude to Eric Clapton for rescuing Cordings after another big name in menswear almost ruined the brand..

2. Best artisan
John Chapman, recently re-branded as Chapman Made, because the quality of the luggage is excellent. I have bought the firm’s holdalls, briefcases, fishing bags and backpacks in recent years.

Unfortunately, its new owner has reduced the range of canvas bags and increased prices considerably. I believe that the factory also makes for other brands such as Bennett Winch.

3. Best styling
The Grey Fox blog because David Evans shares my traditional tastes and preference for UK-made menswear. He has brought several British brands to my attention.

David, unusually for a style and clothing blogger, is very open in declaring gifts, freebies and the sponsorship of posts.

4. Best customer experience
Conrad Manasseh of Cordings because I value his personal service and friendly advice very highly – https://www.cordings.co.uk/news/dressing-the-mannequin-with-conrad-manasseh/.

John Twitchen has also been of great help to me – https://www.cordings.co.uk/news/dressing-the-mannequin-with-john/.

TCN

Great nominations.

Liam

Best brand: Private White VC. Whether it’s my mac or Harrington I always get positive comments.
Best artisan. Simone Abbarchi. I agree with comments made earlier.
Best styling. Mats Klingberg. Walks the line between classic and contemporary with great ease.
Best customer experience. Trunk Clothiers.

Johansson Vivek

1. Ralph Lauren.
2. William Baxter bespoke, Gothenburg Sweden. Great bespoke and mtm service. Also my place to go for alterations.
3. Vintage Brooks Brothers
4. William Baxter bespoke, Gothenburg Sweden. In my opinion, best service ever.

John

The thing that’s changed most for me in the last 5 years is that I have been transitioning towards retirement and trying to get to grips with the wardrobe that fits with a new life style (Covid was an unhelpful hiccough in that regard). Reverting to a pre-work regime of jeans and tee shirts (must put in more gym time) works for some of the year but the mid-ground tending towards formality/informality is a much greater challenge and has pretty much changed the answers I would otherwise have given to the questions set.

I would single out Wm Crabtree for best customer experience based on their knitwear expertise.

Best brand is much more difficult – I have tried most of the major shoe brands over the years but the more expensive they have been, it seems to me, the less the value for money – I now have reverted to Grenson as my go-to and would nominate them for that reason. On the tailoring front it would have to be Dege and Skinner for their consistent delivery of the best of traditional English (they would be my artisan nomination). I perhaps should say that I am not unaware of the curious juxtaposition of these two choices. Finally, I would give a shout out to Magee’s of Donegal for their tweeds.

As far as styling is concerned, I suspect I’m with everyone else, it all starts with PS.

Ollie E.

1. Best brand
Difficult because there are so many categories.
I’ll go with knitwear because it’s a new discovery and spent so long trying different brands to find a single one to shop at… because I like not having to think or decide where to shop from:
Anderson & Sheppard.
The fits are fantastic, which means a balance between slimness at the bottom, arm length, total length of the knit etc (which is very rare), the colour ways are great (not too ‘saturated’ / warm) and the styles are timeless.
2. Best artisan
Coats & jackets from Chittleborough & Morgan. Shirts too, as the fit (especially the collar) has been better than others I’ve tried. Their attention to detail is incredible, quality appears to be better than anywhere else I’ve tried and the people there are great. They’ve been working on a DB coat with some unique design features that should be ready next week (along with a peak lapel caccioppoli summer jacket).
Many people may disagree with this due to structure (which was my view a few years back, too), but the coats I have seem equally at home with a pair of black M&S jeans (lol) & Bemer chukkas as they do a shirt & sexton (offshore) high rise trousers.
But I might not be able to pull this off in 10 years though (when I’m 38).
3. Best styling
Hard to pin point one because i rarely look.
Tom Ford and his early collections (13,14,15 etc), Michael Browne… Anything with a sharp, architectural style & neutral colour palette (greys, blacks, neutrals)…
I’d add Ralph Lauren in there for colour combos & for some reason, Heidi Slimane’s YSL colourways intrigued me, too (snuff coloured boots paired with black & grey) – not a fan of the latter’s style though – JUST the colour.
4. Best customer experience
Stefano Bemer. Only had 2 bespoke pairs made with them, but both Tommaso’s really know how to take care of their clients & the process / interaction is incredible. They also listen / communicate well when it comes to fit – which can be tricky with shoes (and with a picky client like me who is obsessed with foot / ankle anatomy). They’ll be the only shoemaker I use in the future.

Eric Michel

1 – Blackhorse Lane Atelier
Since suits are an option in the office, jeans have become the new flannels and I really like the philosophy of the brand. In addition, the team at BLA is fantastic. Their MTM services are great too.
2 – Cifonelli
When you find the right tailor, your life become so simple: you just have to chose the fabrics and enjoy the journey, being sure that at the end you will just look great.
3 – Alain Delon
A style icon, his movies from the 60’s are master classes of timeless elegance
4 – Corthay
I bought my first pair 20 years ago, several others over the years and I always feel at home when I enter one of their stores, in Paris or London. They have repaired my shoes many times, change the patinas… and more than anything else are always happy to discuss their products for hours. Pierre Corthay is an artist too!

Scott

Best brand-Private White

Peter Klein

Some context … I’m American, living in the US and closer to my late ’60s than my mid ’60s. My family was in the retail menswear business from the late 1920’s to the 1980’s, so I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m in a profession and have worn tailoring for all of my professional career, although like many, less so post-COVID.

Best Brand(s): Gaziano & Girling for shoes. I haven’t tried their MTO or bespoke, but have been impressed by the broad selection for their standard offerings, as well as their quality and attention to detail. They have been my “go-to” for dress shoes in recent years. Loro Piana for knitwear. I have cashmere sweaters from them that I have been wearing for more than 15 years. Fray, an Italian brand based in Bologna, for “off the rack” dress shirts. The fabric quality (especially the Carlo Riva cotton) is superb, as is the construction, which is mostly “fatto a mano” and which I prefer to nearly all of the MTM shirts I have purchased over the years. Hard to find this brand in the US, but luckily available at a retailer near me. They last forever.

Best Artisan: Paolo Martorano Bespoke in New York. You’ve covered Paolo before, so those interested in his back story can glean it from the PS site. I met him quite by accident through G&G’s former US representative, just after he had started his business. Paolo’s wide selection (and deep knowledge) of cloth is staggering. He’s made me suits, a blazer, trousers and a waistcoat. A true relationship-based bespoke experience, and fit and quality are fantastic. Also nice that he is a young man in the early stages of his bespoke career and is constantly innovating (for example, now doing MTM) and improving. His enthusiasm for his craft and the business he is building is nice to see.

Best Styling: Hard not to put PS at the top of the list — notwithstanding your response to Paul below. Others apparently agree. I’m a big fan of Drake’s and The Armoury as well.

Best Customer Experience: I had good experiences with The Armoury online during lockdown, and visited them in their new East Side NYC location when I was there a few months ago. Great enthusiasm, knowledge and courtesy from Dan Quigley, the manager of that store. Certainly my best retail customer experience in years.

Nils-Åke

Considering a great deal of my shopping is done online now, I can’t convincingly give a well enough answer to most of the categories, with the exception of 3. “Best styling”

There are a number of people I find very inspirational, many of them are of your recommendation, Simon. Ben Glynn Phillips, Ethan Newton, Mickael Korausch, and many others I am remiss not to mention. Icons the lot.

However at the present time, since I am on a somewhat Preppy/Trad high, and I will have to say MrParker1967, host of Seamless style.
He is a Ralph Lauren enthusiast and lifestyle advocate who uploads a weekly Sunday YouTube vlog featuring a number of outfits, coinciding with a theme of the week.
I enjoy his vernacular and sense of style, often playing into scenarios men find themselves in need to dress for.
His sense of narration is engaging as his pieces all have a story, a reason for being in the ensemble, and his enjoyment of them.
To me, he is a modern gentleman and realistically motivates the need to dress for the occasion, the right way.
Far too many men allow themselves to stick to the same uniform at any and all events. Mrparker1967 has introduced me to the joy of creating ensembles well in advance.
Cataloging them meticulously and waiting for the right time to wear them, rather than my prior habit of panicking in front of my wardrobe until I found something I am happy with.
As aforementioned, he is a Ralph Lauren guy. Though his collection is impressive I do not necessarily find myself solely within that world. Often I will trade them out for Drakes, The Armoury, etc.
Despite that, I feel he has elevated my enjoyment of menswear in a period when I thought stagnation was unavoidable.
I highly recommend him, his growing YouTube channel, and Instagram.

Robin

Just read through some of the comments and it occurred to me there really needs to be a special mention for Kirby Allison.
His series of videos last year on London have been astounding. The length, depth and quality of the videos are excellent reference guides and with the $ strong should serve US visitors well and help London businesses in these challenging economic times.

Ren Broc

1. Best brand
The Real McCoys. Not much tailoring here but I think of the enormous range of goods they make and every single one is pretty much best in category. Everything from sweatshirts to boots or even an OCBD. Close second would be The Black Sign (Tokyo) is strange, eclectic, and manage to keep my attention, also wonderful fabric and construction. Tailoring out of Europe and the US is deeply disappointing.
2. Best artisan
Three way tie: Brass Boot Co. Tokyo, Kreosote Boots, and Himel Bros (leather jackets from Toronto). These are artisans of such outstanding quality because they are shops of one, four, not more than five people. And their products are unlike all the rest in style and quality.
3. Best styling
I’ll go with Permanent Style here but frankly I’m unimpressed with almost everything I see or read. Where has all the elegance gone? Even PS wears his pants too short and skinny.
4. Best customer experience
In NYC or the States, none is better than Standard & Strange but they sell mostly heritage style goods. For tailoring? Berg&Berg keeps it real and right.

Tim

1 Crockett Jones
2 Colhays
3 Ghiaia Cashmere
4 Christian Kimner

Alex

When it comes to customer experience, I always appreciate the Italian biscuits that accompany Luca Faloni online orders, though I suspect Simon is looking for more substantive reasoning than this.

Jjj

Any idea what the biscuits are called, I do enjoy a good biccie

Alex O

Another vote for Private White VC for best brand. They supplied my two favorite pieces of outerwear (Herringbone PS Donegal Coat and Olive PS Motor Trench). Every time I put either of them on, I feel like there’s nothing else I’d rather be wearing. They also generate a surprising amount of conversation when I’m out and about.

Diego

1. Best Brand (product-wise):
Nominees:
1.1 Private white, specially the coats and jackets. It is just a well made product happy to be just that.
1.2 Rota Pantaloni: fantastic quality and variety for rtw.
1.3 Connolly: great quality with a plus of great design
1.4 Anonymous Ism socks: you have got to love comfortable socks.
Winner: Private White as for this category I have decided to give VfM a higher weight than other considerations.

2. Very limited sample so I am not able to provide a valuable contribution.

3. Styling
Nominees:
3.1 Stoffa: very consistent and prolific.
3.2 L.E.J: a good re-styling of classic shapes that manages to feel creative (as opposed to the new Drake’s) or just an exploitation of nostalgia (ALD or pjt)
3.3 Bode: reproducing the past in in a way that feels creative. I also like how I can enjoy it in spite of how feminine it is. I have never been to their stores but they look amazing.
3.4 The Row: I always get some Hermes Margiela (ultimate inspiration) vibes on their collections
3.5 Saman Amel: a bit pretentious but I like it. Feels traditional but modern and less “forced” than others like Rubatto
3.6 Auralee: as per The Row, some modern Hermes Margiela vibes
3.7 Alessandro Sartori Zegna: fashion well done
3.8 mononcle.jp: I don’t understand a word but I like everything about this site – colours, drawings, pictures, etc.
3.9 Rendezvous Store: artistic coolness.
Winner: mononcle.jp

4. Service
Unfortunately, I do most of my shopping online (geographically constrained).

Simon G

1. Best Brand: Edward Green. In the depths of the pandemic I found myself in running shoes too frequently pining for better dressed days. Now in hybrid mode, nothing feels more important than a pair of excellent shoes. EGs are noticeably excellent.

2. Best artisan: A bittersweet choice here, my now retired local tailor Umberto Di Nardo. Having decades of experience I knew him near the end of his career he ran a mostly alteration shop with his wife. He had bolts of fabric and would make bespoke, but reluctantly. A gentleman and someone who was skilled and took pride in his work. Garments from Umberto always looked better than I thought they would. Last I heard he retired. Special mention to his excellent funny cat wall calendars in his shop.

3. Best styling: Permanent Style, but seeing some of Simon’s comments I’ll also go with Mark Cho. I think Mark has an excellent eye for colour and an ability to dress for the office in a very relevant and refreshing way.

4. Best customer experience: much of my experience is online, especially over the past five years. Some great experiences but tops to the Merchant Fox. Very responsive to questions and the closest I’ve had to an in store experience online. Shout out to Patrick.

Jack Wang

Caroline MuratMaste Xu. Jantzen. Zee’s Leather.Caroline MuratCaroline Murat

Caroline Murat (available online or from their Shanghai flagship) is handsdown my favorite brand of all time. Exceptional quality. Mature styling. Well thought out details.
Even their hangers are fantastic.
10/10 brand.

Nick B

1. Best brand
45R. The make is fine, but it’s the materials that are outstanding. The hand loomed cotton shirts are sublime. The fit is generous, and I always look forward to wearing them. Second is Real McCoys. Cotton sweatshirt is fantastic. Flawless make, and totally unique material with a marled, almost seersucker look and feel, yet it is knitted.

2. Best artisan
Ring Jacket. Their program produces a very good fit at a reasonable price and the make is superb for the money. Roomy and soft cuts to build off of.

3. Best styling
Ralph Lauren, particularly RRL.

4. Best customer experience
The Armoury. They will spend all afternoon with you to ensure your commission is done right, and their advice is spot on.

TOS

Simon,
With the caveat that I’ve taken your advice over the years and very rapidly honed my style to relatively few tailors and brands…
Anderson and Sheppard (haberdashery): when I first went there, my concern was that they’d be ‘old-mannish’, but the styling is sufficiently ‘classic with a twist’ to ensure that they are relevant and interesting. I love perusing their website and then making a trip to London to actually smell and feel the atmosphere. The quality of purchases is as good as I can hope for across shirts, pocket squares, knitwear and my lovely cord chore jacket.Ciardi: I’ve previously commented on one of your Armani articles how influenced I was as a teenager by the late 1980’s Armani look. Ciardi provides me with the proportions and fit that – to me – are a grown up and enduring version of that memory. As you commented in your Favourite Tailor articles, I have found Enzo a pleasure to work with (perhaps it helps that I adore Italy); the process is totally reliable; the quality is spot-on; and I simply love wearing the suits and jackets that I’ve commissioned. A side point: he completely nailed a jacket and Ulster coat for my wife too.I’m a bit too old and grumpy for much Instagram, but I do enjoy Jean Manuel Moreau’s feed. He exudes an elegant and effortless style that appeals to me. I’m perhaps bordering on too small a sample size for statistical significance… but as outlined above, I find the A&S haberdashery experience thoroughly enjoyable.

Best wishes

Phil

1. Best brand
: Stoffa Consistently making beautiful, thoughtful, and well-crafted garments. Great styling and customer service both online and in the showroom.

The only downside (besides being increasingly expensive) is the long lead times. This means that seasonal garments (say linen) can end up being delivered too late. Therefore, I think it would be highly advantageous to make those garments available to order earlier in the year to ensure they’re delivered when most needed.

 2. Best artisan
: Saman AmelI’ve started to rebuild my wardrobe together with SA. It’s sexy and luxurious. It is excellent as evening wear, obviously, but the garments are still soft and can be styled casually to make it chic everyday wear. And it never feels anachronistic – rather a modern way to wear tailoring.

This year I plan a couple of bespoke garments in London and Naples. I look forward to seeing how that experience compares. 

3. Best styling:
Alex Cvetkovic
Aaron Hu
Willy Wang
Milad Abedi

I’m tired of paying ridiculous money for mass-produced garments by cool fashion brands. But I also don’t want to dress like a banker or follow archaic rules.
All the guys above have fun with how they dress. It’s always cool and never stiff or corporate. Mixing tailoring with vintage. Bridging the gap between menswear and fashion.
I think that’s how tailoring will survive and feel relevant in the future. 

4. Best customer experience
: Saman Amel Again. It’s all about the personal relationship, and with SA, I’m at a place now where they know what I like and need. Then it’s fun to plan ahead together. It’s also one of the very few places where I would ever take style advice, and they’ve helped me push my taste to unexpected places.
Great people, beautiful showroom, and always an enjoyable experience.

Ryotaro

Best brand: Bryceland’s. I really respect their ability to mix and match seemingly disparate styles to create a cohesive lineup of products (even if I wouldn’t necessarily wear everything they put out). Plus the quality is top-notch – when I bought the sawtooth westerner Ethan promised it would only get better with wear, and that has really held true, the denim softening and fading nicely. I’m currently eyeing the RAF rollneck sweater.

Best artisan: Sartoria Corcos. I should preface this by saying I haven’t received a finished garment from Miyahira-san yet, but have had a very positive experience commissioning a jacket and coat and doing the first fitting. What I especially admire is his taste. The style is very understated, from the relatively low buttoning point to the extended-but-not-too-much shoulders, not to mention the cloth choices. Speaking of which, whenever I’ve asked for a particular cloth he’s said “Oh that’s a really nice one, you might like this too” and brought out something even better. Honorable mention to Ortus, their bags are works of art. The 2.5-year wait time is killing me though!

Best styling: Yasuto Kamoshita. Just a great example of pulling off interesting outfits as an older gentleman. Not too conservative (i.e. boring) but also no forced youthfulness, nothing that feels gimmicky. As someone in my 30s this is how I aspire to dress when I’m past 50.

Best customer experience: The Armoury. Almost seems like a cliché to name them at this point, but they really do have great customer service. Alan See helped me pick out a great pair of brown corduroy trousers during a trip to Hong Kong, and they hemmed and sent it to my hotel the very next day. Here in Tokyo it would take more than a week! The online staff are also very responsive to queries, which is a must when you’re spending that amount of money on something you’ve never held in your hand. Lastly, I really enjoy the Youtube channel. It manages to deftly weave together product advertisement with genuinely helpful knowledge about dressing well, and Mark Cho’s recent series of interviews in Japan were so illuminating.

BT

1. Best brand
Connolly – very happily doing their own thing, with outstanding styling, very high quality, and one of the most beautiful stores in London. Have bought and love their Sea Bag, the Yak coat, their sweaters, and more
2. Best artisan
I wear suits less and less, which means that nowadays I largely commission sports coats and odd trousers – and for that Kotaro san of Corcos is the one artisan I rely on the most. He cuts a beautiful jacket, has a great eye for cloth, and is a real pleasure to work with. Also enjoy working with Stefano Bemer, Yohei Fukuda, Joe Morgan, Edwin and Matthew at Steed, Fiorenzo of d’Avino, Salvatore Ambrosi
3. Best styling
Lots of inspirations – brands incl. Drake’s, The Armoury, Anglo-Italian, Connolly; and individuals like GusV, Mark Cho, Kotaro san
4. Best customer experience
Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery – has been top of my list since they opened 10 years ago (how can it be 10 years!?)

James Fettiplace

Thanks Simon,
Best brand – Anglo Italian. my go-to ‘brand’ in London which is simply perfect for the smart but less corporate work dress in my line of work.
Best artisan – alas, I’m yet to commission bespoke. When you’re not in London regularly, it’s the time issue and not the cost that is the barrier here. Surely some entrepreneurial tailor could address this??
Best styling – facetious answer (sorry), but anybody who stills make an effort to dress properly/elegantly/use tailoring (delete as necessary). In Cambridgeshire, the number of men <50 years of age who actually make an effort to get dressed in the morning is so vanishingly small, they are now my style reference.
Best Service – again Anglo. lovely shop, real focus on customer care and know their products inside out.

Daniel

I was not a reader 5 years ago, and I think I have a slightly different perspective/style than most others here. However, I thought I would add my comment in case there are others in a similar position to me and also because perhaps it reflects what has/is changing in men’s fashion, particularly post-covid.
In general I only wear tailoring for work related events. I occasionally get to wear knitwear for social events. But most of my wardrobe is based on workwear that is ideally comfortable, aesthetic and hardwearing (I have 2x young kids and mainly work from home). It is this part of my wardrobe that I spend the most time wearing and the most time thinking about.
My general impression is that most people my age (early 30s) are in a similar position in relation to clothes, if they are thinking about clothes at all. There was a recent article (https://www.sprezza.xyz/p/how-drakes-made-wearing-suits-fun) suggesting Drake’s was succeeding at integrating tailoring into more ‘everyday’ clothing: for what it is worth, I think that most tailoring cannot be successfully integrated into most everyday wardrobes without a large amount of expense and an acceptance that your tailored clothes may get wrecked.
1. Best brand
Real McCoy. The quality of the products, their fabric, construction and durability is very good. They age well and their reproductions are faithful. In my view there is no need to reinvent classic garments such as the M-65 jacket/fatigue shorts.
2. Best artisan
I will continue to have suits and shirts made, but I don’t need many! It is now about finding excuses to have more made. I have had decent results with Luca Avitable for shirts.
3. Best styling
It is a mixed bag, but I mainly look through r/malefashionadvice/. The quality of the posts/styling is varied, to say the least! But it is a useful collection of various albums, even if it does suffer from some groupthink.
I will also look through lookbooks. In general the most useful tend to be from retailers selling clothes I might buy e.g. Colhays; Clutch Cafe (although I find the staff a bit rude); Rivet & Hide (staff much more friendly).
I obviously also look at this website (it would seem, reading the comments, that this is the only source of inspiration for some readers…). I know recently there has been more of a focus on casual clothing and I have been particularly interested in those articles/photos.I appreciate that may be a little controversial but hope it is an encouragement to you Simon!
4. Best customer experience
Anderson & Sheppard for knitwear – very pleasant staff, knowledgeable and not at all pushy. I am sure they have had many more important customers in the shop than me, but they never make me feel as if I am wasting their time.

Alex

Interesting that you have a different perspective yet the names mentioned are all PS favourites!

Daniel

Fair enough! Maybe asking for the ‘best’ invites responses at the higher end of the market. Other names less frequently appearing on PS which I think are good in their own ways are Uniqlo, Meermin, Marrkt, Buzz Rickson, Filson.

Carl

1: Private White. The best outdoor clothes in the world.
2: Saman Aman. Both style and tailoring is top notch.
3: Permanent Style. Of course.
4: Hans Allde. The multibrand menswear store in Stockholm where you always feel at home.

Rune
  1. Best brand: Adret. I have purchased several pieces from Adret and all have stood the test of time except for a pair of trousers who my local tailer ruined in an alteration attempt. The quality has always been exceptional and the products are perfect for a time when casual elegance is becoming more and more relevant. I know they are pricey, but these are clothes I would wear as much as home as at the office and know that i remain elegant and stylish.
  2. Best artisan: CIfonelli. I have only limited experience with bespoke and have a commission for my next suit underway. Cifonelli has always excited me and I love their style which is quite a contrast from the brand mentioned above. I realize for some it may seem a bit “confused”, but for me it covers most scenarios whether formal or casual with just the right amount of “statement”.
  3. Best styling: Hugo Jacomet and his wife Sonya have amazing videos on their Sartorial Talks youtube/podcast. much like PS they cover a large amount of craftsmen, but perhaps in a less technically precise manner, and have some really nice takes on the philosophical and individual side of being a gentleman. Honorable mention goes to “The Shoe Snob” blog which I follow for great content on shoemakers!
  4. Best customer experience: This one is a toss up Between Adret and Hat of Cain with which I have had great experiences. Both really helped alleviate the challenges or purchasing their products from abroad with personal online meetings, fittings and styling advice, I can recommend both to anyone looking for those type of products.
Amanjunkie

1. Best brand
Seraphin Leather, because of the quality, service and having dicovered them on PS

2. Best artisan
W W Chan, because of the consistent quality and value

3. Best styling
A bit lateral: Aman Resorts, because of their taste level

4. Best customer experience
Equus leather, because of the level of customization and the low latency feedback

Guy

1. Best brand
For my lifestyle – Peregrine, currently of Regent Street. I won’t claim they make the best wool sweaters in the world but they do combine hard-wearing quality, a classical without being fussy style, and a good price point. All of which suits me as a parent living in the countryside, who needs to be able to switch between playing on the carpet, walking the dog in the forest, or hopping onto a Zoom call for work without having to change clothes. Wearing their jumpers with tailored or well-fitted trousers lets me do that. I’m currently wearing their ecru Laxton wool ‘Trawlerman’ jumper.

2. Best artisan
N/A for me owing to the aforementioned parenthood, although I hope it will be one day.

3. Best styling
I”ll cheat slightly and pick a brand and an account. On Instagram, Fabian Jahn Högler because I always enjoy his careful choices of what to buy, his willingness to experiment, and the way he makes a tailored wardrobe fit in with his life as a young parent. While he’s clearly well off, I do appreciate that unlike many menswear accounts he’s neither able to buy everything he wants nor able to wear anything he likes to work. Finding his own style inbetween those constraints is much more relevant for me. Brand-wise, I’d choose Richard James for their editorials (especially their YouTube channel, which currently has under 100 subscribers). In a sea of often similar look books, the themes they choose are always original. Yes, I don’t think I could wear a lot of what they present but whenever I look at them again I see something which, in a smaller way, I could incorporate into and invigorate how I dress.

4. Best customer experience
Unfair of me to answer I think, as I’m far enough away from most shops that my experience is largely digital and therefore limited.

Annon

I might be cheating here but I cant split the brands but for
Best brand, Best styling, Best customer experience, I would vouch for (not in any order)- Anglo- Italian, Anthology, Armoury and Brycelands.
I’ve had the best customer experience with all those brands. Perhaps all of them are ‘small’ niche brands so they knew everything about their products. Furthermore, the opportunity to speak to the owners of those stores about their products is the best hands down- Jake, Buzz, Mark/Alan and Ethan/Kenji etc. You can tell they are passionate about their product and that alone makes you come back and buy more.
I don’t need to say anything more but all those stores have excellent products that caters to my lifestyle and I find myself going back to these stores time and time again.
As I am based in London, all those stores are accessible to me so I get to see how they style their products which gives me plenty of ideas. Now we just need Armoury to open a shop here!

Robert

1. Best brand
SloWear – Have two pair (olive & bone) brushed cotton Incotex casual trousers and they have become my go to for the office in the past year. Very well made, comfortable with smarter attire or casual.
2. Best artisan
IronHeart denim – Have a pair of 17oz jeans (in a cut that fits my legs/seat well) and after 70 wears I handwashed them successful following directions. They’ve reached a higher level of comfort while still feeling like they’re made of iron.
3. Best styling
Cote Magazine (Geneve, Switzerland). Not just watches, jewelry, cars and Swiss real estate adverts… though there are a lot of them! Nicely attired continental style both women and men. Simple and elegant fashion.
4. Best customer experience
Carmina shoes. Extremely nice customer experience at their Paris location. Tried on many pair of shoes, the store manager was very helpful and the dark brown suede shoes are wonderful.
Best,
Robert

LaurentB

1. Best brand
Drake’s: great variety of contemporary products and quality but I sadly do not buy their clothes anymore due to their (too big) price increases…
2. Best artisan
I do not do bespoke. In the MTM category: Daniel Levy (shirting), Husbands Paris (suits) and Aubercy (shoes).
3. Best styling
L’Etiquette Magazine and related crew: cool, contemporary, on point.
4. Best customer experience
The Armoury for all the digital contents they produce.

bienluienapris

1. Best brand
Casatlantic
2. Best artisan
Sartoria Corcos
3. Best styling
Aime Leon Dore, Drake’s, Husband, MrSaintGeorges
4. Best customer experience
All Blues

James Madsen

The best brand I have come across in recent times is the sneaker brand by Ola Solanke.
The quality and design and colours are exceptional and are all made by craftsmen in Italy

Philip

Best Brand: Private White VC -. I commend the company for their range of quality coats and jackets. The Flannel Flaneur is my best purchase of the year, it’s affordable, elegant and well made. Looks great with cords and jeans.

Best Styling & Customer Experience: Anglo-Italian – the cold colour of the fabrics and the relaxed silhoutte of their pieces makes their outfits modern and cool. This is complimented by their wonderful staff whose friendliness and expertise I really appreciate. I think their prices are more than fair and I can’t wait to explore their MTM and bespoke range.

DCLawyer67

Since returning to the office, it’s been “back to classics” and I’ve decided that J. Press is my style. They are hanging on in a world that demands change, still doing their thing year after year.

JGBashlow

I live in one of the US states that had a very brief stay-at-home order, and we were only out of the office for about six weeks. Most of my clients stayed at home much longer, and we stopped traveling unless it was required. This meant that I started wearing more smart casual attire and some workwear. I experimented with boots and shirts, and also tried mixing the two. The proportions, textures, and styling are substantially different, so getting it right and putting it on are not the same.
1. Best brand
Footwear: I have a very high volume foot, which makes most RTW difficult. I moved away from it several years ago, though I still do purchase the RTW lasts that fit from time to time. RTW and MTO on a standard last: Rozsnyai, White’s Boots, Spingle sneakers, Route One Shoes (Korea)
Clothing: I’m a big guy (6’ / 225 lbs) with a 9” drop and large shoulders and legs, which means RTW can be a challenge. Brands that have fit me well while being interesting and fresh include: Mister Freedom, Connolly trousers, Anglo-Italian, J. Peterman (not a Seinfeld joke), De Bonne Facture
2. Best artisan
Footwear: Calzoleria Carlino, Ichi go Ichi e, Castez Ermili, Mora Son in Indonesia.
Clothing: Chato Lufsen, Field Custom Tailors in DC, Budd, O’Connells (OCBDs)
3. Best styling
Who do you find most inspirational now? A brand, a magazine or a social media account 
I do my own thing. I don’t really pay attention to what others are doing.
4. Best customer experience
Which shop or brand deserves recognition? For things like knowledge, advice and product care, rather than just quick shipping
Rozsnyai. They are so responsive and straightforward. Their customer service is, frankly, unbelievable. I’ve never understood why they aren’t more well known.
The Noble Shoe. Kosta is really second to only one in responsiveness and customer service. The first time I ordered from him, he called me from his vacation to go over sizing.
Fast, responsive, willing to answer any (presumably reasonably) question you have: Standard & Strange, Connolly, Tellason, Bookster

Ben

3 – Best styling? I always search PS first when looking for inspiration.

Héctor Vázquez

I love Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli, Chrome Hearts belts and eyewear as well as Jacques Marie Mage eyewear. Rototo mohair are my new favorite socks. Robert Old makes great cashmere shawl collar and classic cardigans. For jeans Pure Blue Japan. For shoes Alden and Allen Edmonds shell cordovan boots. Due to my beer budget and champagne taste I do many purchases through The Real Real, Grailed and Ebay. Lastly, for leather Berluti. Miguel Peña in NYC Berluti is great.

For style, Simon Crompton. I appreciate your individuality and appreciation for the impeccable. You also seem to have fun with clothes.

Edward Matt

A brand I keep returning to because of the outstanding quality is Dehen.
Their cardigan’s are the best heavy-weight cardigans I have ever encountered. They are styled correctly and have just the right detail touches.
The Crissman overshirt they offer is an outstanding casual jacket. They offer many cloth variations from heavy melton wool all the way to lighter denim. Again the cut is flattering and the construction is flawless.
I have delt with their customer service numerous times and they are prompt and knowledgeable.

Gus Walbolt

1) Best Brand: PML for tailored trousers, jackets and coats. Wonderful fabrics and excellent value. Made in Naples but I buy from Leffot in NYC which also hosts PML trunk shows.
3) Best Styling: I enjoy following multiple sources on IG
4)Best Customer Experience: No Man Walks Alone, Leffot NYC and De Corato NYC are all in the same league with top customer service, quality goods and excellent style suggestions.

Thomas Proctor

Brand: Brunello Cucinelli
Styling: Luca Rubinacci on Instagram

Alex

Great article and enjoyed reading all the thoughtful comments. Thank you Simon and readers.

Fredrik

1. Best brand
Saman Amel – Very well made, they always deliver perfect fit. Consistent quality, they have done so for many years now, impressive.
2. Best artisan
Simone Abbarchi – perfect fit and good pricing also very nice to deal with.
3. Best styling
Husbands, never fuddy not flashy – just very elegant and in my opinion way more unique than most other brands in the menswear business. Anatomica Paris, nice, fun and inspiring store.
4. Best customer experience
Saman Amel – simply, very nice people to deal with. Always friendly, fun and knowledgeable, professional.

Jeldrik

1. Stòffa
I have a few pieces from Stòffa and have never been disappointed. I am particularly taken with the quality and the knitwear. In addition, they seem to pay attention to sustainability.

2. –

3. Rubato. I dress more and more “normal”. So jeans and sweater/ shirt/ t-shirt. Rubato’s standard knitwear manages to be special, but not flashy.

4. S. E. H Kelly. Paul responds quickly, and manages to establish a relationship via email.

Triple monks
  1. Best brand- Brooks Brothers. The OCBDs.
  2. Best artisan-
  3. Best styling- Urbane Outfitter Chris Modoo for Rampley and Co
  4. Best Customer Experience- John Henric
  5. Best YouTube channel- Kirby Allison for comedy
TCN

Ha! I enjoy Kirby’s videos, truly I do, and I think he does a great service to a lot of the artisans we love, but I find myself so often trapped between laughing and cringing when I watch the videos.

John

Brand – PWVC. Mostly for their quality of make, which is tremendous for the price. That’s particularly important given outerwear being their forte, which are investment pieces worn over many years.

Artisan – my wife had an overcoat made by Kathryn, Rachel and team and I was blown away. Kathryn spends alot of time to really understand the client, and is keen to explain and educate on the garment and industry. She doesn’t push things on you, and is flexible on what she will do to make sure you get what you want. This entire package – beyond the garment – makes her exceptional value. It wasn’t until we commissioned pieces with Kathryn that I appreciated a point you have made before Simon – the importance of building a relationship with your tailor (I tend to flit around, while my wife has stuck with Kathryn). Kathryn also speaks passionately on a range of issues facing tailors and she is very active behind the scenes. She receives a lot of coverage for being a women tailor, but this does her a disservice – her garments are utterly superb and she offers so much more beyond the product itself.

Styling – You, Simon! I’ll explain why – your looks are accompanied by detailed descriptions of the clothing, giving justification for why something works (or not). It’s hard to find this level of detail, especially on IG. In particular, a ‘look’ on IG does not challenge the viewer to alter their perceptions – you look at it and either like it or not, an instantaneous response. Whereas a full-length description can challenge and persuade. So perhaps this is a vote for ‘influencers’ that really explain their choices, rather than those that just post an image. With that in mind, I will mention Kirby Alison. I don’t like his style – too stuffy and idiosyncratic – but he produces high-quality videos and really explains what he is wearing and tailoring choices. In other words, I want to be educated, not only influenced.

Shop – Ango-Italian. There are alot of AI fanboys out there, and I think one of the reasons for this is how darn friendly and engaging the AI guys are. Visits to their store are like dropping in to see old friends. They are happy to ‘shoot the shit’ on any topic you like, without feeling you are wasting their time or have to buy something. This is one of the few stores where I feel I can try things on with no notion at all that I should buy.

John

Sorry, for artisan that should be Kathryn Sargent.

Sampson

I would say Permanent Style when it comes to design, aesthetics and inspration but unfortunately this site is missing the one most important thing when it comes to a thoughtful consideration of clothing: an inquiry into the ethics of garment making and wearing. What does it mean, for instance, to dress in a suit in our day and age? What does clothing connote in relation to class? How do we reconcile a love of quality garments with an everwidening rift between rich and poor, cost of living crisis etc… As a PhD student studying textiles, I can tell you that all these questions deserve to be addressed on a website of this quality. More politics please! 🙂

Tim

Permanent Style is a feel good website and I hope it doesn’t develop along the lines you suggest. There’s no shortage of other resources for depressing politics!

Matt Lyon

Best brand

Colhay’s has been a revelation for me as a slimmer person who wears knitwear for work most winter days.  There’s plenty of quality knitwear out there so a big part comes down to fit and colour which, for me, are both spot on.  The true test comes down to which knits are still in heavy rotation come January.  By then many other brands have fallen by the wayside.  I’m always left with a range of Colhay’s at the top and still getting ‘nice jumper’ comments daily.  

Best customer experience

Iron Heart – The online store, based  in the UK, is fantastic.  It doesn’t look the slickest and the styling is functional but it’s all uphill from there.  Quick initial contact where they advise the exact measurements of the pair of jeans that they’ve selected for you so that you’re aware of any slight discrepancies between the size guide and the pair that have been pulled from stock.  The free union special hemming service is essential and difficult to find outside of a handful of specialist retailers.  Having taken a pair by another brand to my usual tailor in the past, I won’t make that mistake again with denim.  And from there shipping is swift.  All that is worth nothing if the product doesn’t live up to the service.  And it does in spades.  A true case of clothes that wear in rather than wear out.  The forum is meant to be a wealth of info as well but due to the service when purchasing I’ve not really needed to go down that rabbit hole.

Tim

As the clothes I need to wear have become more and more causal the only regular bespoke (or branded clothing) I buy with any semi-regularity are Levis Lot 1 and Frank Foster shirts.
Sadly, I’m still bouncing around tailors every couple of years getting a new jacket made here or there and have yet to find anyone that I’d like to repeat order from.
My final recommendation is for Joanne McDonnell of McDonnell Textiles (formerly Urgha Loom Shed) the best Tweed weaver I have found. I now have a small stockpile of lengths waiting for a tailor.

Jonathan

Best Brand – It’s another voted for Anglo-Italian. Jake, year after year manages to produce subtle updates and improvements to the range while retaining the core pieces season on season.

Best Artisan – I don’t have the funds or lifestyle for bespoke to be honest but in the past have had the odd commission. If I was in the position I would co crazy at Liverano before the man himself retires.

Best Styling – Rubato always seem to hit the sweet spot as a brand, people wise I admire many but special mention to
@osamu19760714 on IG and the master that is Jason Jules @garmsville

Best Customer Service – Jake & Martin @ Anglo-Italian
Ben formerly at Clutch (now at the helm at Brycelands)
The young lady at JM Weston on Jermyn Street – no name I’m afraid but personally called a week after purchase to make sure sizing and fit was on point as it was my first pair!

Kevin Tan

Hi Simon. It’s always been very difficult for me to vote on these awards ever since the first one due to the sheer number of options, especially nowadays. But this time, I’ll do it in the format of nominees then winner and my reasoning. I feel just one name would not give justice to the universe of menswear enthusiasts and purveyors that make this community what it is today.

1. Best brand
Winner: The Armoury
How I’ve worn my clothes over the past few years since the start of the pandemic has changed and evolved. I assume this is true for most people, in varying magnitudes. Some have gone all the way casual to wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt and some have just become a bit more casual, wearing more sport coats and odd trousers rather suits.
However, my preferred aesthetic has not changed, even though its expression has shifted a little bit due to wardrobes becoming more casual in a post-pandemic world. I still prefer tailoring overwhelmingly because of its ability to sculpt the body into it’s most ideal shape (whatever that may be for someone). Due to the pandemic though, whereas I used to wear tailoring 4-6 times a week, now I only wear maybe 3-5 times a week instead with more days wearing casual clothing when I feel like it.
Because of this the closest brand that has followed this journey for me is the Armoury. During the pandemic era (2020 and beyond), they have introduced more and more casual clothing into their product line up with their ‘Dayware’ line, which started before the pandemic but has accelerated since. And while the pieces in this range are more casual, they still fulfill the tailored aesthetic that I prefer and made by artisans and companies that care about their product and from good materials.
I’ve always admired the product mix that Alan and Mark have built up over the years and it has mirrored how I feel about dressing nowadays. I started from being all in tailoring and it is only now that I am exploring more casual options that still fit my preferred aesthetic. Perhaps in 5-10 years time, this will be different. But it is for this reason that, for me, the Armoury is the best brand for 2023.
Nominees: 100 Hands, The Armoury, Bryceland’s & Co., Rubato, Stoffa

2. Best artisan
Winner: Ciccio
Over the past decade, my thinking and perceptions on artisans has significantly changed. Whereas at the start of this journey, I was obsessed with “the best”, now I care more about the relationship and dynamic with the artisan. To be honest, there are many artisans all around the world, plying their trade, all offering a value proposition that certain segments of the population will find attractive.
So for me, the meaning of “best” has changed from Milanese buttonholes, how nice the finishing is, pick stitching, hand welting and other technical aspects to who is the artisan that I best get along with and can do aesthetic closest to what I want? Although the technical aspects are still important, they are not the most important. They are just something that is expected (except maybe the Milanese buttonholes) when dealing with craft at this level.
Therefore, there is no artisan that exemplifies this more for me than Ciccio. I have been commissioning from Ueki-san since 2017 and have found his cut, aesthetic and eye for the details to be the closest to the ideal of what I want. A union of the softness of Neapolitan tailoring and a perspicacious precision in terms of fit was what enamored me to his work.
Our relationship has evolved as well from just merely being a client and his tailor to being friends and it is this relationship with him as well as with all the nominees that has become the most important and meaningful to me now, beyond the jacket, shoes or other garments or accessories being crafted.
Nominees: Ambrosi Napoli, Ciccio, Sartoria Corcos, Sartoria Dalcuore, Yohei Fukuda

3. Best styling
Winner: Yukio Akamine
In a similar category in the first ever Reader Awards, I chose Ethan Newton because he exemplified an archetype that was not common in men’s fashion at the time: the more heavyset. Therefore I admired, and still continue to do so today, that he inspired those of us who don’t have six-pack abs or are model thin that we could also dress elegantly.
This year, I am selecting Yukio Akamine with the same framework, but for a different reason. Akamine-san has been a titan of the Japanese Fashion Industry for decades, but I’ve always admired his personal style because despite his advanced years, he has been consistently elegant. For the majority of people I know that have grown older, they let go and dress more casually since they have less obligations and responsibilities. Their kids are older and out of the house, they are retired or are less hands-on in their business or profession, and therefore have no reason to dress like they used to.
Although Akamine-san works in the fashion industry and it is therefore part of his job to dress well, even his casual looks are very well put together in terms of color, cut and balance. We can all inspire to be as elegant as Akamine-san as we face the inevitable march of time ourselves, wherever or whenever we are in our lives.
Nominees: The Anthology (@theanthology), The Armoury (@thearmouryhk), Bryceland’s & Co (@brycelandsco), Stoffa (@stoffa), Yukio Akamine (@akamineyukio)

4. Best customer experience
Winner: The Armoury
The best customer experiences start with a deep knowledge of the product, yes. But this is just the half of it. The next half is the ability to use that knowledge and being able to apply that to the individual customer. What use is the encyclopedic knowledge of fabrics, cuts and provenance of brands and makers when you cannot apply it to the people who will be commissioning or purchasing from you?
Then you top it off with excellent communications and responsiveness with a side of a beautifully designed store as the cherry on top. That’s what I call the best customer experience sundae.
All the brands in my nominees exemplify these qualities but to me. Among all these, however, The Armoury stands out as a sentimental (since they were the first menswear store that I ever went to and experienced) as well as a practical choice. Their customer service is always excellent, they always give good advice and never push product that you don’t want or need. It doesn’t hurt that they’re just a stone’s throw away/short plane ride from where I am.
I am always looking forward to what Mark, Alan and the entire team at both Hong Kong and New York come up with and while I don’t always like everything that they put out (although I do like most), I’m always happy with what I get. And I think that always will be the best experience for all of us.
Nominees: The Armoury, Baudoin & Lange, Brycelands & Co, No Man Walks Alone, Stoffa

Rob

Not really “doing” social media, I can only really comment on 2 and 4, so:
(2) The town of Northampton, UK for maintaining an artisinal shoe industry which is the standard globally when economic pressures would suggest it should have died away years ago;
(4) I know lots are saying it, but Jake and his team at AI really are exceptional at remembering your name and interests, putting you at ease, having a nice conversation, not talking down to you and having a nice, self-effacing manner (which contrasts nicely to quite a few other shops in the area where they can be really dismissive if they don’t think you look the part).

Lucas Nicholson

RESULTS FROM INSTAGRAM STORIES POLL

Best Brand – Products rather than styling:

PRIVATE WHITE – 18
DRAKES – 16
RUBATO – 11
EDWARD GREEN – 8
ANGLO ITALIAN – 6
CROCKETT AND JONES – 6
BRYCELANDS – 5
ANDERSON AND SHEPPARD – 4
ANTHOLOGY- 4
NATALINO – 3
SUNSPEL – 3
ALDEN – 2
STEFANO BEMER – 2
BERG AND BERG – 2
BUDD – 2
CAVOUR – 2
COHERENCE – 2
COLHAYS – 2
DE BONNE FACTURE- 2
HN WHITE – 2
INFORMALE – 2
JOHN LOFGREN – 2
LORO PIANA – 2
OSCAR JACOBSSON – 2
RL – 2
RRL – 2
SAMAN AMEL – 2
TLB – 2
TODD SNYDER – 2

CJ

PWVC are a very good brand but the level of discounting is infuriating.
Sales + additional discount codes really undermine the feel that you’re getting something worth the original sticker price.

All a little bizarre as the product is good!

Lucas Nicholson

RESULTS FROM INSTAGRAM STORIES POLL
Best Artisan – Which bespoke do you continue to buy?
CIARDI – 4
CORCOS – 4
LUCA AVITABILE – 4
WHITCOMB AND SHAFTESBURY – 3
AMBROSI – 2
CIFONELLI – 2
DEGE AND SKINNER – 2
FRED NIEDDU – 2
HENRY POOLE – 2
LIVERANO – 2
LOBB BESPOKE – 2
MICHAEL BROWNE – 2
STEED – 2
STEVEN HITCHCOCK – 2
WWCHAN – 2

Lucas Nicholson

RESULTS FROM INSTAGRAM STORIES POLL
Best Styling – A person, a feed, a brand, anyone
DRAKES – 12
RUBATO – 7
ALESSANDRO SQUARZI – 7
ANGLO ITALIAN – 6
SAMAN AMEL – 6
STOFFA – 6
THE DAILY MIRROR – 6
ANDREAS WEINAS – 5
ETHAN NEWTON – 5
JAKE GRANTHAM – 4
CROWLEY VINTAGE – 3
JASON JULES – 3
JKF MAN – 3
MARK CHO – 3
PETER ZOTTOLO – 3
ADRET – 2
BERG AND BERG – 2
COLHAYS – 2
GAUTHIER BORSARELLO – 2
GIULIVA HERITAGE – 2
HUGO JACOMET – 2
JEAN MANUEL MOREAU – 2
KIRBY ALLISON – 2
LAWTON – 2
LORENZO CIFONELLI – 2
MASLOW SO – 2
MILAD ABEDI – 2
RALPH LAUREN – 2
ROBERT SPANGLE – 2
SID MASBURN – 2
STEPHON CARSON – 2

Lucas Nicholson

RESULTS FROM INSTAGRAM STORIES POLL
Best Customer Experience – Always worth highlighting
ANGLO ITALIAN -10
DRAKES – 6
THE ARMOURY NYC – 5
ANDERSON AND SHEPPARD – 5
SID MASHBURN – 4
CROCKETT AND JONES – 4
THE ANTHOLOGY – 4
MR PORTER – 4
PRIVATE WHITE – 4
WHITCOMB AND SHAFTSBURY – 3
NO MAN WALKS ALONE – 3
CAVOUR – 2
P JOHNSON – 2
SAMAN AMEL – 2
BRYCELANDS – 2

Lucas Nicholson

Just to clarify there were more answers posted, but these were all of the responses with multiple people backing them.

TCN

Thank you Lucas!

Jack

1.   Best brand
Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery:
I find Anderson Sheppard’s products have superior quality among competitors of a similar level around London. I feel that they offer outstanding RTW clothing in terms of quality and robustness of the materials, and the finishing details are somewhat neater than those of other brands. Their beautiful shop and lovely staff certainly add more value.
 
2. Best artisan
Sartoria Ciardi:
Many readers must know and have seen much about Ciardi’s work, as it has been Simon’s go-to tailor in recent years. Enzo Ciardi has a great personality and, of course, is an outstanding tailor. I was surprised that my first commission with him only required one fitting to make a well-fitted jacket. Although this would undoubtedly depend on an individual’s body shape, I believe he is a reliable tailor who knows what he is doing. He recently made me a lovely tweed jacket, and I have commissioned another jacket for the summer.

Simone Abbarchi:
Simone has consistently made great shirts for me. The price of his shirts is reasonable, considering their quality. He always promptly responds to emails about questions or requests and delivers when he says he will. As Simon mentioned in the other article about tailors, I also agree that these things are vital because I believe these factors all contribute to the overall experience as much as the final product.  

3.   Best styling
To be honest, the greatest influence comes from Permanent Style these days, but if I have to choose one, I will go for Rubato for its simple but flattering style.

4.   Best customer experience
Anglo-Italian Company:
The Anglo-Italian team has excellent customer service. They are always fully engaged with the customers and try to provide the best possible advice on styling as well as cloth choice.

Jake

Customer experience – Have to say the folk at Anglo-Italian, the definition of a personal service, great advice, and very accommodating. Friendly without being obsequious. Faultless really.
Best styling – Drake’s or Clutch Cafe.

JSB

These categories are subject to change but per your criteria of over the last 5 years, and considering my shift to a more casual style, which has been partly down to me spending less time looking for suits, ties etc., my vote would be:

1. Best brand – Private White VC
Oddly, I find this one difficult to answer but PWVC is who I would go with over the last 5 years. Quality made garments, of which I have several outwear pieces and will be looking to add a few more.

Other notables: Ralph Lauren, Edward Green

2. Best artisan – Lizzie Radcliffe @ Levis Lot 1
This reflects my shift to a more casual style and the fact that I can almost always pull the 3 jeans I’ve had made by Lizzie from the wardrobe without overthinking and more or less effortlessly wear them without worry of bashing them up, getting them dirty, creased or thinking that it’s raining outside. I am more than likely to return for another pair eventually.

Other notables: Cerrato, Luca Avitabile, 100Hands

3. Best styling – Permanent Style
I browse numerous websites that sell clothes, but there is one website I always turn to first for menswear advice, styling, reviews, products…for this reason, I don’t really see much past PS for this category.

Other notables: Ralph Lauren, Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery, Andreas Weinas

4. Best customer service – Connolly
Over the last 2-3 years an area of my wardrobe that was lacking has been knitwear. The staff (Ivan and Sumru in particular) have shown me, from a purely personal point of view, exceptional service at the Connolly store.

Other notables: Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery, Levis Lot 1, Private White VC; Blackhorse Lane Atelier, Bryceland’s.

New Yorker

1. Best brand
Coherence, overcoats designed and manufactured in Japan, inspired by style icons. Chrysalis of Britain is a close second.
2. Best artisan
Steven Hitchcock, a master of the tailoring craft, with a commitment to excellence.
3. Best styling
Shuhei Nichiguchi, based on his interview as part of Hodinkee’s Talking Watches series.
4. Best customer experience
Ethan and John Huber, of O’Connell’s Clothing in Buffalo, New York. They are likely the last of the breed in North America.

Shane

1. Best Brand
– Drake’s, Private White VC, Anglo Italian, Edward Green, Alden

2. Best Artisan
– The Anthology

3. Best Styling
– Brands: Drake’s
– Store: Ralph Lauren – especially the Bond Street store
– People: Simon (of course !), Alan See, Mark Cho, Ethan Newton, Jamie Ferguson, Manish Puri, Jake Grantham, Douglas Cordeaux

4. Best Customer Experience
– The Anthology, The Armoury HK, Anglo Italian

rob

Best brand: Trunk
Best artisan. Saman Amel
Best styling. Jean Manuel Moreau
Best customer experience. Real McCoy’s (such a shame they closed their Mayfair store); or of course the wonderful Anderson & Sheppard, I was there yesterday and was so impressed at their kind and considerate, yet discreet, customer service

CJ

Baffled as to how you conclude The Real McCoys has ever offered the best customer experience to us in London. Always been so far off the mark it’s unbelievable.

Richard

I don’t feel I have a wide-enough set of experiences to nominate across the board, but for the “best artisan” category I will nominate Le Noeud Papillon in Sydney. I’ve only bought retail rather than having a tie made especially for me, but Nicholas is an artisan in every sense of the word. His products are beautiful in design and make, and always earn me compliments whenever I wear them. I now have a small handful of Nicholas’s bowties, and have been nearly totally converted to the bowtie-wearing crowd — not just at fancy events but even as part of smart casual outfit when out to a nice dinner. I’ll definitely be returning to Le Noeud Papillon in the next 5 years!

CJ

1. Best Brand – The Real McCoys; always consistently high quality product, reasonably priced, with a great attention to detail.

2. Best Artisan – I’ll pass on.

3. Best Styling – I’ll also pass on.

4. Best Customer Experience – always, without fail, Anglo Italian. Be it in person or over email the guys always get it right.