Tobacco, black and white (some T-shirts in stock)
You know that feeling when you realise a new purchase unleashes potential in an old, beloved garment? Like getting a yellow oxford and realising it doesn’t just look good with jeans, but also with your favourite herringbone jacket?
OK, I’m going to assume at least some of you do. Well, I was playing around with outfits to show the PS black Tapered T-shirt with last month; they were going to be restocked and I realised we’d never photographed the black.
When I wear black I instinctively put it with similarly dark colours - dark brown, dark olive - or very muted ones - pale denim, cold beige. I wouldn’t naturally think it would work with tobacco.
But then I remembered an image I’d saved from an old shoot, where the female model is wearing white jeans, a black T-shirt and a tobacco-suede jacket. So I tried the PS tee with my much-loved Connolly shirt-jacket and presto! What a lovely combination.
Exciting too, because as I said it opens up possibilities. You start to think: would a black sweatshirt look good as well? Would a black knit be too dark? And how about black jeans? Would they both work with my Himel Bros? (The answers were yes, no, yes and yes respectively.)
It’s such a nice feeling - like you’ve acquired not just one piece of clothing, but also 20% of a bunch of others.
A reader mentioned recently that they like behind-the-scenes articles, such as how products are developed, or how I think through outfits.
This is one way. Given the task of finding pleasing ways to wear a new piece of clothing, I start with the obvious and easy, progress to the more unusual, and shoot off on various tangents when one combination suggests another.
The clothes are laid out on the bed, usually. Ones that seem promising are tried on (you can’t do that with everything, it just takes too long), and if they pass that test they’re recorded with a selfie.
These are kept on file, in a folder on my phone. Which is backed up by Google on some super-server somewhere. At some point I might actually get around to categorising all of these so they’re browsable.
I don’t go through this process every morning, mind. That would count as obsession. Only when there’s something new to photograph for an article or a product launch.
Most other days it’s just a case of trying out one idea, knocking it around until I decide it works. Or it doesn’t, and I revert to something standard.
The easiest combinations are those like today’s black, white and tobacco, because they’re an extension to something I already wear - just replacing the standard mid-grey layer I’d usually wear under a jacket with this washed-out black.
It’s like another twig on an existing branch, on the tree of my personal style. Or something.
OK, returning to the more concrete part of this piece: this is the black PS Tapered T-shirt, which was restocked over the weekend along with white and navy.
The vast majority of the T-shirts went to the waiting list, but there are still some available. Also, quite a few readers bought two sizes in order to check their sizing, so if you're size isn't available it's worth adding yourself to the waiting list, as we'll get a few back.
On the black tee, it's definitely a washed black - like a pair of old black jeans, not a black knit - which I find makes it easier to wear. The contrast with white/ecru jeans is not as stark. It’s softer against the face.
The navy is also a washed navy, as should be clear from the images. Not a classic-menswear dark navy. The white is off-white.
And for those that haven't had one of the Tapered T-shirts before, what’s special about them?
Well, the idea is they combine the quality and weight of circular-knitted Japanese T-shirts, with a fit that is tapered and therefore much more standard. It’s the style of a tee you’re used to, from a Sunspel or a Uniqlo, but made to the level way as a heritage T-shirt - with all its character, strength and drape.
As I described at length when we launched the T-shirts last year, I’ve always loved Japanese circular-knitted T-shirts - by comparison mainstream tees can feel flimsy, almost like underwear.
The problem is they’re usually cut in a traditional (‘authentic’) shape, which is short and square. If you’re remotely slim, they’re not very flattering. Proportions do vary, but brands can’t do anything about the fact that the body is one piece, like a tube.
So we make the T-shirts in the same way as those heritage pieces, but afterwards cut a seam in the sides, to give them a more regular shape.
Importantly - at least to me - the collar is also high in the back, which I find more flattering than a traditional T-shirt. It’s the only reason I like wearing most sweatshirts without a shirt underneath: a sweatshirt will often be low at the back, but the tee fills in that space.
Many of the brands we like on PS recognise this and cut their knits higher at the back of the neck - Adret, Colhay’s, Rubato - but those are jumpers. With sweatshirts it’s much rarer.
Oh, and as promised we are still working on a grey version of the T-shirt. But as with a lot of production at the moment, there have been delays and delays. It will be months before that’s available I'm afraid.
Other information on the Tapered T-shirt:
- Made for us in Osaka by the brand Allevol. Allevol tees are nice, but have a different body fit and collar shape
- They use high-grade raw American cotton, which is spun in Japan into 14-count yarn (most high-street T-shirts are around half that, as well as of course using lower quality fibre).
- The material is knitted slowly on vintage circular machines, referred to as Taimaru. These are similar to loopwheel machines, but tend to create a denser material and a richer feel.
- The T-shirts have a bound collar: a separate piece of material which uses three lines of stitching to attach it to the body. This stops the collar stretching out over time - compare it to a mainstream T-shirt, and it’s remarkable how flimsy the latter feels. To avoid the collar being too stiff or bulky, the last line of stitching is on the body, attaching only to the collar on the inside.
- Treat like a dress shirt: wash cool and hang to dry. Do not tumble dry
- The material can feel a little stiff after washing, depending on the machine and detergent. But it should soften as soon as it is worn
- Being dense and malleable, the material has some natural stretch. So after washing don’t be afraid to give it a little stretch one way or the other, to gently add length or width.
- This is the same thing denim does after its washed, coming in a little and then going out as it’s worn again, adapting to the body. Doing this reshaping after washing is just accelerating that process.
- The T-shirts fit like any regular tee in the body (from Sunspel for example) which all have a slight taper
- The only difference you will notice is that the chest is a little larger, and the shoulder seam slightly dropped. Both of which I find quite flattering
- In the images above, I am wearing a Large
- However, I could also wear a Medium - I like the Large for a slightly oversized look, and the nice thing about the taper is that it doesn’t look too big. In the images below I’m wearing a Medium. Taka is wearing a Small
|Chest (pit to pit)||49cm||52||55||58||60||63|
|Hem (bottom width)||44||47||50||53||55||58|
|Length (from back neck)||60||62||64||66||68||70|
As mentioned in the article, please do add yourself to the waiting list if your size is not available, as we will have exchanges. And apologies there weren't more - we ordered the maximum available. In Japan as in most places at the moment, high-end production is having capacity issues
Pictured sharing a joke with the lovely, always smiling Lorenzo Cifonelli. Below with Taka of Allevol and Clutch Cafe
For the other clothes featured, please see the launch article here, or ask in the comments for details
I like the Connolly over shirt but am wondering if it isn’t cut a little long ?
You are quite tall and it looks long on you – or is it an optical illusion?
It is a little long, but I think in keeping with it being cut more like a shirt, less like a chore or similar jacket
Aye they are canny t-shirts indeed.
I assume that are referring to denim jeans in the first paragraph. I bought a yellow Oxford shirt in Drake’s Archive sale only last week. It looks great with a red Shetland jumper and stone moleskin jeans. I also bought a bright yellow Shetland in William Crabtree’s sale. It will look good with double black selvedge jeans from Hebtro.co.
In my experience, imagination and boldness are required wear bright colours stylishly. In London, most people wear black, brown and navy tops (lots of Michelin Man and North Face jackets) with denim jeans. It’s a very sloppy and boring look IMO, especially on a dull day.
I think yellow is sneaking back in. I have both yellow and cream Oxfords which look great with both blue and black jeans(white tee under otherwise I look washed out).I must try it with a red sweater.
Simon, you should develop your best style choices into an app. I’m sure it would be popular!
Thanks Peter. I assumed you meant ‘best style’ rather than ‘bed style’ so edited the comment, but let me know if I was wrong!
I assume you know there is the Lookbook page of the site? We will introduce some filters on that fairly soon.
Yes, thanks for the edit.
Also yes to the lookbook. I find it really useful .
Down the line reader contributions for the LookBook would be kewl
The double suede seems to work nicely here despite both pieces being in the brown family. I’m wondering if having a higher level of contrast across the rest of the outfit makes it easier to combine the similar textures (or visually separate them).
I think it probably does, yes. I was wearing the two together here as well, with less contrast, but it does look a little nicer with the contrast
Very nice outfit. I’ve long admired this Connoly overshirt, but they have not been available since you first showed it, Simon. Do you know of any alternative/replacement? I have not been able to find it yet…
Not really JH. You get suede western shirts sometimes, and suede short jackets, but I haven’t seen one in this overshirt style with that one-piece collar aspect
Connelly just had a restock. Just picked up a small. Think they have a medium remaining if you haven’t picked one up already!
Absolutely love my navy tapered t-shirt from the first run, but have missed out on the black twice now – seems it literally goes within a few hours (medium sold out 4 hours after the restock email)! I did snag a white one though.
I guess there is no way to persuade an artisanal factory in Japan to increase output – a strength and weakness of manufacturing clothing in Japan.
Anyway, extremely happy with this t-shirt.
Unfortunately no, Rob, but often it’s because they just can’t – because the staff aren’t there, because many suffered during Covid and went out of business.
It’s a similar story in Scotland with knitwear for example. Everyone lost staff during Covid and production is now completely full with the demand since. They find it equally hard to find good people and train them in time to make a difference.
I almost feel more strongly about this than about hand crafts like bespoke shoes and suits: if we don’t keep these manufacturing hubs alive, in Scotland, in Northampton, around Japan, then they won’t come back.
Thanks Simon, that’s very interesting. I had assumed that Covid-related issues had passed, but it sounds like that’s not the case. Japan relies on cheaper (not cheap) labour from China for some things, which has been difficult over the last few years due to travel restrictions. Is that the issue, or it’s a lack of domestic workforce? And does that mean that factory equipment is sitting unused in Japan and Scotland? Certainly a great shame if so, but a difficult one to address.
No, Covid-issues certainly haven’t passed. Bear in mind how long the lead times are: from processing raw material, to spinning, to weaving, to manufacturing, we’re talking over two years often.
The high-end production we’re talking about in Japan is not using Chinese labour, no, that’s not the issue. Like in Scotland, the issue is finding local workers – ones that aren’t tempted away by a £5k signing-on bonus from Amazon, only to regret their choice a couple of of years later.
Labour is the biggest issue, from what I’ve heard, but also there is a big swell of demand after Covid, because brands stopped ordering for over a year and now need to replenish. This means that even factories that have enough staff are full to capacity.
Nice to see the black actually worn, and exciting that you’re any amount towards making a grey.
With my cheaper ones getting a bit tired I might have to grab the full set!
Hi Simon, just to say I completely agree on two points:
1). It’s great when a new addition increases the use and variation of existing pieces. Something which I find your articles are really helpful in achieving. Sometimes even with existing wardrobe items, without additions.
2) Taking the opportunity to support, where one can, the smaller artisans, that have had a tough time and will in my view, continue to do so what with inflation throughout the supply chain and pressures on disposable income at the retail end. Hopefully your continuing to highlight them will help.
All the best.
Really looking forward to them. As much as I like the warehouse T-shirts, I have to size up because otherwise they are too short.
I’d like to say that I appreciate the waitlist system, it seems fair to me.
Nice to hear Noel, cheers
Great boots! Can you provide details?
The Galway from Edward Green
What do you think is behind the continued commissioning of 2 button jackets when the lower of the 2 never gets used. Are you surprised there aren’t more 1 and 3 button jackets among the well dressed?
Not really, no. Even if the second button isn’t used, having it there creates a different visual effect – a jacket looks a little more rakish without it. There’s an article on that here by the way
You mentioned Taka is wearing a small. For context, roughly how tall is Taka and is he broad chested?
I’m not sure exactly – how do you find the measurements compare to T-shirts you already have? That’s usually a better way to tell
hi simon i echo that black is fantastic as a t shirt and I find arguably nicer than navy and grey. On a bit of a tangent simon I like paraboot loafers as I find them incredibly comfortable. I have a mid brown one and am thinking of getting another pair. in either a shade like this (https://www.paraboot.com/en/men/loafer/corauxmarine-marron-lis-america) or in black. I know burgundy shoes (except Cordovan) should often by avoided but given how expensive alden is now I’m wondering if paraboots in the link can act as a replacement of sorts in combinations where cordovan will look nice.
Hard to say with much confidence given I’ve never tried those shoes Shem, but maybe if you can in person it will give you an idea. It sounds like you know what you’re trying to avoid
Just wondering, in what situation would you wear this style of T-shirt versus the knitted style produced by The Anthology?
The Anthology knitted T-shirts are fairly niche – I’d only wear them with tailored trousers, so pretty smart. And most of the time I wouldn’t wear a T-shirt like this with trousers like that
I ordered, for the first time on PS, two white t-Shirts. Looking forward to receiving them.
Fortunately I managed to secure the tapered tee in one of each of the colours last year. I have really enjoyed wearing them since, and love the flattering fit and thickness of the cotton.
Unfortunately I have subsequently managed to stain the white one (I suspect with the sun cream I used on holiday), so while it still works as a layering piece I try not to wear it by itself.
I also find that the deodorant I use sometimes causes temporary white marks on the black and navy versions, albeit this fades and washes out.
Separately, I try to use moisturizer with SPF 15 on my face and neck each day and have found that has stained some of my shirt collars over time.
Simon, have you ever experienced any of these issues? If so do you have any recommendations of products, brands or ingredients to use (or equally to avoid)?
I don’t get that issue except with sun cream in the summer and sometimes a white shirt collar over long periods. Usually I find putting some extra detergent on the area (or Vanish or similar) before washing gets it out. You need to do it when you first spot the issue though, rather than two or three wears later
Regarding deodorant stains, it’s the aluminium in them that interacts with the sweat causing stains. Switch to one that doesn’t use aluminium (there are various options, I find magnesium based ones almost as good) and the problem will resolve itself.
There’s isn’t much that can be done against sunscreen stains unfortunately. Wear darker colours and wash soon after to reduce the effect.
I recommend using an alum stone instead and won’t leave stains.
Noel is absolutely right about the aluminium and the sunscreen. On the latter, if you apply sunscreen on your neck/jaw, I‘ve found being strict about applying it only above the collar line and blotting the skin after the product has absorbed can help. The best stain remover I‘ve found for treating such stains is Ace, which is essentially dilute oxygen based bleach (and thus considerably less damaging than chlorine based bleach). Off-white shirts also fair better here, and the darker shades of blue (as opposed to “ice blue”). Sunscreen stains are the single most limiting factor I have when it comes to the longevity of my lighter coloured shirts, so any tips others can share or a future post on the subject, Simon, would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks Josh, great tips from yourself and Noel – keep them coming anyone else!
Rub, gently, a stain remover into the area. Then soak for 15mins.
Wash on the hottest label setting in the washing machine.
Don’t use warm water to sponge or clean the stain and try to treat as soon as possible
My experience with suncream is that P20 is the absolute devil to remove from clothes, but if it is allowed to dry for 15-20 mins, it’s pretty safe and won’t stain. I’m not sure I would risk it with anything really precious, though.
For my finest summer clothing,I switched to water based sunscreen.I find them quite effective .
And as a Mancunian , I am chalk white.
Simon, just curious: will a tumble dry drastically shrink the garment or is are those instructions more for the tee’s longevity?
They can shrink it, yes, depending on the temperature
Looking great Simon, really nice soft shade of black you’ve managed to achieve with these. When I received the restock alert, I had to pounce on the chance to grab black, which will now accompany both my Navy and white. That’s a full house for me and covers all my needs, I would double up on any of those if required in the future. I appreciate grey will go down a storm with other readers though!
Look forward to wearing this beautiful black with some denim as well as Olive green shades this spring.
Amazing, thanks CK
Hi Simon, Ordered the black one as it will fill a gap in my wardrobe.
What Jeans are you wearing? The white Rubato model? And what’s your size in those?
I’m wearing Drake’s ones, but the Rubato ones are great – and I take a 32
is the front neckline higher or lower than warehouse 4601? I find the warehouse neck to be a bit too high
It’s a little lower than that, but higher at the back
I am really enjoying the navy and white t-shirts. I decided to hold off on the black version for now as the future grey version will be more useful. Is there an option to get on the waitlist or is that only available for existing items in the shop?
Also, I am similar in size to you and could easily fit into both the Medium (what I purchased for the Navy and White) and the Large. I am contemplating ordering both sizes next time to properly compare them, but I am curious about your experience. Which size do you tend to prefer, or do you wear them both equally? What are your main considerations when selecting between the two sizes? I’d anticipate overall shape is a main factor, like opting for the large when paring with looser trousers… though I’d expect the leg line of your chinos to be looser than the off-white jeans, yet you wore the Large with jeans and have a white medium shirt with chinos. Maybe a better question is when would you not chose a certain size than the other?
With the medium, I learned that most of my other tees are much too long and don’t look put together. The neck line, length, and general shape of your t-shirt design is seriously incredible and every detail seems very considered. Still, I wonder if the large would give me the same feeling or the reality of looking just as put together while offering a more generous fit. The easy answer is owning both to have the options, but my wallet and wanting to make the best use of the product disagrees with this response.
PS: One suggestion I have is to make videos demonstrating a person wearing the product. Nothing beats trying a product for yourself, but I feel like a video is better than photos.
Thanks Joel, that’s so nice to hear! Particularly in a category as ubiquitous as T-shirts.
The waitlist is only for existing products or sometimes ones that are coming soon.
I find I wear the Large more to be honest, but also the Medium I have is only a sample when the length was a little shorter!
Still, I would say that I like it for the fit of the T-shirt, not comparing to fit of trousers – I don’t think the difference is big enough for that to be a factor personally
Good morning Simon,
Completely off subject ( I did comment on this post yesterday), I seem to recall a post/email, regarding pop up shops in the coming months, over slightly longer periods. Please could you advise/ post link? I may be mistaken, if so do please accept my apologies.
Yes it was a couple of weeks ago – here. Often scrolling down the homepage is a good way to find those recent pieces
Thanks Simon, I did try that but obviously missed it and tried a search. I was looking for Pop- up in error. Thanks again.
No worries, I should have included that in the title really too
I mean this is realy all you need for a truly casual outfit. Tee, leather and denim. Excellent.
Received my first PS tees today (all three colours) – damn they’re good!
Will be ordering some more…. when my size comes back in stock 🙂
Great job Simon.
Nice. Pleased to hear they have that impact CJ!
Check out the t-shirts by The Real McCoys and particularly recommend their undershirts in navy, white, and green. They wash and wear very well.
I was on the waitlist for a large black T. I ordered it as soon as I got the restock email.
It’s lovely and now on the waitlist for the white.
Have I missed it in the article and comments when you expect the tobacco to be in stock?
There isn’t a tobacco coming, Joel. The tobacco in the title and text refers to the jacket?
Great article. Seeing some of the images here and then reading your article on jeans have reinvigorated my search for a good pair of white jeans. I really like the cut of the ones you have on in this article. Is this the Drakes pair in Ecru? They look quite white in the photos is that due to lighting or as they become more ‘bleached’ with washing. After following your blog for a while I have been interested in trying made to measure white jeans. Would you have a strong preference one way or another with Levis v Blackhorse Lane when trying to attempt a similar fit to what you have above?
It is, yes, and I think they are whiter than they look on the Drake’s site. I don’t think they have become bleached at all though.
On MTM I’d love to use Levi’s, but they have become more expensive recently – £750 – which is hard.
Did I miss the restock email? I’ve been waiting for a few months for any colour in Medium and so far, nothing.
Potentially, yes. There was one. If you had signed up to the waiting list, perhaps worth checking spam and making sure it didn’t drop in there?
Are you sold out of all mediums and not expecting a restock any time soon?
Not for two or three months I’m afraid, no. Worth adding your name to the waiting list though, as we will get some exchanges for different sizes
Hi Simon and Michael,
I’m sending two mediums back today (one white; one navy) as really need a large.
I bought a white in medium a year or two ago and it’s been my favourite t-shirt by far, hence the stocking up. Unfortunately, when comparing the new to my old one, they’re a lot tighter/smaller including on the arms. I have kept one navy (I ordered three in total) as will wear it about the house but unfortunately it’s too much of a ‘muscle fit’ (and I’m not that muscular) for general use.
Will snatch up the large when they next come round! Just wondered if there was any conscious design choice to slim down in the latest iteration or whether that’s my old one stretching/me getting bigger (Though I don’t think it’s the last one, even if I do say so myself!)?
No, there was no design change, they should be the same fit. Would you mind dropping the support team a line with the differences you see ([email protected])? That would be really helpful. Thanks
Any other brands you can suggest for those that missed out this year?
Well, it depends which elements of the T-shirt you are less bothered by – fit, make etc. As explained in the launch post, for example, many Japanese T-shirts are great quality but don’t have that fit. And others like Sunspel are a good fit but aren’t made in the same way
Hello, Simon! Would the thickness and crispness of cotton (not sure how to explain what I mean) be similar to Armor Lux’s long sleeve mariniere shirts? This being an example: https://www.armorlux.com/en/breton-striped-shirts-armor-lux-houat-heritage-breton-shirt-thick-cotton-5771900.html.
Obviously, I am aware your Tee’s fabric will be less heavy than this, but does your Tee have a similar feel of being heavier compared to other Tees, like this Armor Lux one is notably thicker and heavier than regular high street counterparts? Thanks!
I know those shirts, and it does feel heavier than most but isn’t as heavy as that. Perhaps halfway between. It’s also much softer and has more elasticity as a result of the loopwheel knitting
Thanks, Simon. This is actually what I was hoping for (as heavy as the Armor Lux would likely be too heavy) – a substantial T-shirt that is a little fitted, but won’t make me self-conscious re transparency and easily betraying my less than chiseled physique lol. And the elasticity that you mention is a bonus. I take it also that the tapering doesn’t make it too slim, but simply prevents it from just hanging off the shoulders straight down, but shaping the body by getting narrower towards the waist from e.g. mid-ribcage?
Well, all tapering happens from the armpit through that seam, but yes. It’s a very similar fit to most regular, mainstream T-shirts
Just another question re sizing – I am a few cm shorter than you, but like the measurements on L better than on M. Would it be too long for me and should I opt for M instead? I am between sizes 48 and 50 in tailoring, and usually 50 in most knitwear that is even remotely slim.
It’s hard to say Stephen, as it’s largely a personal style question, but I think I’d go for the L
I just received two of your off-white t-shirts….. what can I say. They are just great and like no other t-shirt I have ever had (heavier, more substance). I was immediately tempted to buy black, which unfortunately is out of stock in small. Do you think the navy colour would look just as good with ecru jeans or beige workwear chinos?
Yes I do, it would (does) look great.
Just an PS: When will black be restocked and do you plan to restock the blue oxford shirt?
We’re restocking all of the T-shirts but Japan has a long lead time – it’ll be three months at least.
Naples for the shirts is a little quicker, and we’re expecting those within a month. As ever, with both products, good to put yourself on the waiting list.
Thank you. I will do that