How we wear LEJ

Wednesday, April 26th 2023
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By Manish Puri with André Larnyoh.

Luke Walker is the creative director of the brand LEJ. I still remember the first time I saw him.

He was strolling across my local green, wearing faded jeans and a loose shirt that appeared to be somewhat reluctantly buttoned. A cream jumper was loosely draped atop a pale raincoat. On his feet were a pair of thick-wedged mule sandals (no socks), on his face a pair of square-rimmed sunglasses. His moustache bristled as he sipped a take-away cocktail. He looked stylish, charismatic, and fun.

Several months passed before I saw him again – this time browsing in Adret. We chatted away, spurred on by our mutual love of jokes that even Dads would wince at and, since then, I’ve had the good fortune to get to know Luke and his brand more intimately; I’m pleased to say that my initial assessment applies to both him and the clothes he makes: stylish, charismatic, and fun.

Luke’s career has seen him design for the French fashion house Lanvin, as well as UK menswear stalwarts Dunhill, and Drake’s. At a time when men need (and demand) more from a casual wardrobe, it’s this union between the construction hallmarks of classic menswear and the adventurism of fashion (cloth, texture, colour) that I think gives LEJ a very relevant perspective on modern attire.

To mark their month-long residence in the Permanent Style pop-up shop, my fellow columnist André Larnyoh and I (both customers of LEJ) thought it might be helpful for readers to see how we style some of the pieces we have in our wardrobes.

LEJ could seem a little intimidating to the conservative PS reader and the ways we wear the clothes are sufficiently different, I think, to show how they can appeal to a range of people and styles.

LEJ’s presentation of its collections are some of the most joyful and memorable around (the ‘twin’ shoots in particular, where Luke and a buddy have a raucous day out wearing identical outfits, are wonderful). But I can appreciate that some readers might find these full looks a little outré. Hopefully this article’s focus on the style and construction elements that most PS readers hold dear, will help you to love the brand as much as André and I do.

Each of the items we’ve picked (or some slight variant thereof) will form a part of the spring/summer collection that Luke has for sale at 20 Savile Row.

Of course, the best way to experience the clothes is to pop into the shop and say hello - open Monday to Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 11am-4pm (Thursday late closing at 7pm), until May 13. However, if you’re unable to make it, André and I are happy to answer any questions in the comments section below.

*For reference I have a 38" chest and am a solid LEJ medium for tops. I have a 33" waist and find large to be the best size for trousers/shorts.

André has a 34”"chest and a 28" waist. He wears extra small or small on top and bottom.*

I’ve written about the Plage Coat before and I make no apologies for featuring it again as it’s one of Luke’s signatures and a favourite of mine.

The wider point collar, half-belt back and smoky mother of pearl buttons help to elevate this chore coat above many of the more traditional options. And, priced between £295 and £345 (depending on cloth), I consider it to be one of the best-value options too.

The outfit above (photographed last summer by Aaron Christian for his forthcoming book The Asian Man) has become something of a travel uniform for me: Plage Coat in green herringbone cotton twill (which is now back in stock), an Oxford shirt made by Jake’s London using the PS yellow oxford cloth, and a pair of Jelado 301 XX jeans from Clutch Café.

All three pieces have sufficient room and fullness to be comfortable for long periods crammed into small seats; and, to my eyes at least, the look feels smartly composed but not overly fussy for travelling. The Plage Coat also has those big patch pockets which make it great for stowing a scarf or paperback.

I’ve found the cloth selections for the Plage Coat (across summer and winter – I also have a houndstooth tweed) generally excellent. In fact, the beauty and unusual nature of the materials is one of LEJ’s biggest strengths.

This spring/summer, there is one in a black linen (above) that has been heavily washed to give it an almost charcoal effect.

Simon has written a lot in the last couple of years about wearing black, and one of the lessons I’ve taken from those articles is to lend visual interest to a darker/all-black look through texture, and this coarsely woven linen is perfect. It can also be combined with a matching wide-legged trouser (the Pat-a-Cake pant) to form a casual suit.

The jacket in the images belongs to Luke and (as with all the most treasured garments) has been given some tough love. The left patch pocket has caught something and come away from the front – running a small brand involves just as much humping boxes as it does sitting at a desk sketching.

On another jacket, this accident would have torn the front, necessitating a more expensive repair. On the Plage Coat, because the pockets (the “crumple zone” as Luke calls it) have been internally reinforced with a cotton ribbon, there’s no such tearing, the pocket just needs to be sewn back on (although Luke kind of prefers it as is).

The second item I think readers should consider is the 1-Pocket Officer’s shirt.

While LEJ isn’t exclusively a shirting brand, it’s fair to say that part of the motivation for starting it was Luke’s desire to bring some of the construction and style elements from formal shirts to the casual wardrobe: twin-needle stitching on seams or plackets, mother of pearl buttons, side gussets etc.

Most casual shirts tend to slide under a tailored jacket’s lapels as the day unfurls. However, LEJ’s shirts work well because the collar band sits higher and the points are longer than a typical casual shirt. And because, at heart, they’re casual shirts I find they actually look better with an open collar than a stiffer formal equivalent - they were never meant to be worn with a tie.

The Officer’s shirt is available in fine cotton voiles and oxfords in blue, green, and pink. The one I own is made from a cream silk that’s more densely woven than usual, helping it to not feel too floaty and blousy. The silk has also been pre-washed, so the shirt has more of a matte finish which helps steer the wearer away from any risk of looking flash.

The cloth choice was inspired by Luke’s love of books, as he explains:

“I draw some inspiration from descriptions of clothing in literature. For instance, the idea for the silk shirts was in part inspired by the outfits in which Ian Fleming dressed Bond. It might be in Thunderball where Bond travels with a high twist black and white tweed, flannels, and a cream silk shirt. The ultimate retort to anyone that thinks silk an effeminate or delicate choice! It’s also ultra-practical for travelling. It can be hand rinsed at the end of the day, left to dry overnight, and then will iron itself against the skin before lunchtime”.

(By the way, Luke’s right that Bond wears a cream shirt in Thunderball: “He was wearing a very dark-blue lightweight single-breasted suit over a cream silk shirt and a black knitted silk tie. Despite the heat, he looked cool and clean.”)

I know a lot of guys favour a blue shirt and I get it – chambray, denim, oxford and poplin (for the classic Italian Background) all work fantastically well in that colour. However, in recent years, I seem to have developed a slightly out-of-control fetish for cream/ecru shirts and polos. They pair so easily with virtually any trouser colour and carry the same fresh elegance as white without the clinical formality.

A similar colour shirt is also available in the Come-Up-To-The-Studio model (above) which I also own – I told you, I have a problem. It’s made up of a crisp wool-cotton blend that wears cool but creases less thanks to the wool.

Following the silhouette of a 1950s shirt, the Come-Up-To-The-Studio shirt sits off the shoulder with a fuller body than the Officer’s shirt, meaning it has generous drape and volume when tucked – a good choice for those readers (perhaps inspired by André’s article) looking to play with proportions.

Hello, André here. My turn to talk about how I wear LEJ.

What I love most about the brand is how fun it is. It seems to have found an unholy middle ground between function and luxury. A work shirt but made up in silk - why the hell not? It always transforms the ordinary into something slightly special.

My favourite pieces from Luke’s collection all seem to be those which involve some form of tie, or ribbon. The grosgrain ribbon that hangs from the hems of some of the work shirts, the drawstring hems of the pat-a-cake pants. Maybe it’s just a boredom with buttons, but there seems to be something really refreshing about the style.

And so, with Manish being a fan of the Plage coat, I am a fan of its steamier cousin: The Quick Release. It takes inspiration from an early 20th-century officer’s convalescence pyjama, which used ties for closure instead of buttons. The tied closure gives it a loose, floating shape, while the ‘martingale’ half tie at the back, when fastened, gives emphasis to the waist.

But despite its name, and the fact that it has two patch hip pockets, to me this is not a coat or jacket. It’s a shirt first and foremost.

I’ve nearly always worn it as a shirt and that’s because the first time I saw it, Luke was wearing it tucked into a pair of jeans with nothing else underneath (surprise, surprise).  I did whatever I could to secure the piece and over a year a later it is still a joyous thing to wear.

I’ve struggled to find something I cannot wear the Quick Release with – it’s gone from the most casual (as you can see above, with a pair of vintage army overalls) to dressed-up affairs under a jacket. When the situation calls for something nice and tidy, a piece like this gives an unexpected edge to proceedings.

To anyone who might be intimidated by the shirt, what won me over aside from its shape and closure was how, if you stepped back enough, it was an indigo shirt like any other.

If you break the image above down, really I’m just wearing a denim shirt and some fatigues. Who hasn’t done that? What makes it easy to wear is focusing on the materials, whatever the seasonal variant might be, and reacting accordingly. There’s a striped poplin number, a faded denim and even soon a bone silk, so plenty of options. And if one so chooses, it can be worn as a jacket, which I have done on a few occasions when temperatures have dipped ever so slightly.

I always joke that the Quick Release is a lot of fun at parties - I can tell someone’s interested if they start pulling at the strings. This is truly a mischievous garment.

The second piece I’d encourage readers to try is the Sous Chemise Kaftan.

An unusual piece for many, it actually felt like a natural step for me when l was looking for a relaxed, versatile shirt. Part military tunic, part its namesake, the sous chemise Kaftan is such an effortless piece of clothing.

The ecru colour is versatile and simple (as Manish stated above, there’s enough blue in the world) while the material is incredibly impressive – a fine twill weave of both cotton and wool with a handle that is lightweight, soft, and robust. Genuinely comfortable to wear at most temperatures. It’s even been noted that my posture changes whenever I happen to wear it.

The big question will be how to wear a shirt like this. Well first, the fit is very roomy - it takes its cues from a tunic after all - with a shape that is blousy when worn untucked. I expect to do this more with wide-legged chinos in the summer, but for the most part I prefer it tucked in. It works a charm tucked into corduroys or jeans and with a chore coat or denim jacket over the top. I’m equally excited to try it with tailoring, which goes to show how truly versatile a lot of the LEJ collection is – despite, perhaps, first appearances.

Whatever their style, I think PS readers will find something to love at LEJ, as hopefully Manish and I have illustrated. Pop into the pop-up while you can try it all in person.

Manish is @The_Daily_Mirror on Instagram. André is @andretheapple on Instagram

Other clothes featured, Manish:

  • Jacket and trousers by The Anthology and loafers by Alden
  • Polo by Saman Amel, trousers by The Anthology and slippers by Crown Northampton


  • Vintage eighties US Army overalls, Lee Kung undershirt (from Bryceland’s), Alden tassel loafers
  • Monitaly corduroy officer chino, Mackintosh rain coat, Alden tassel loafers
Photography, except LEJ campaign images: Mohan Singh

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Will they be doing any SS trousers? Would love something like their Pat A Cake trousers in a cream cotton canvas or something similar…

Robert M

Some beautiful clothes here. Can they be made MTM? As usual, everything is much too short for me. (I know it’s best to ask the brand directly, but if you know, then I imagine other readers might be interested.)

Robert M

Thank you for checking. What a shame.


Lovely stuff. Perhaps it’s worth being more explicit about when the pop-up is taking place – until mid-May, I think.


Very nice article and very rare to see 2 complete different in style people review the same brand. The linen suit combination is indeed very interesting but i cant find the trousers on the page. I found though a pair of cream cord trousers and i never tried such a color. Could that be versatile enough ?


Thanks very much Georgios.

The trousers are available in store and should be online within the next day or so.


I normally wear 38 in jackets and 31 in trousers. The jacket should be an easy 38 for me too but should i get a 30 or 32 on the trousers ?


Hi Georgios,

I would size up to the 32. The pat-a-cake trousers have side adjusters as well so it would be easier to cinch them in a little than it would be to let the waist out.


Matt L

Andre that shirt is beautiful but I fear I’d have to be as skinny as yourself to pull it off. The billowing look doesn’t lend itself well to us mere mortals with even the slightest pudge.

That black linen jacket however is very interesting. Simon recently wrote about hard wearing cottons in a casual wardrobe, and I was wondering if this linen number could hold up alongside those? It would be nice to have tough option in other materials.


Hi Matt

The linen jacket is a pretty robust piece that would sit well alongside those hardy cottons.



Not necessarily. I’d say just wear it untucked which is actually one of the best ways to do so I’ve found. Also I’ve sized up to get that extra bit of billow.


I am surprised to see that no one has commented yet on the boiler suit. Despite being someone who seeks to subvert clothes, modes of formality and basically just mix things up a bit, I’m going to go ahead and draw some entirely subjective and arbitrary lines based purely on my own personal taste. A boiler suit! You look like you’re about to slide out from beneath a car and tell me that the whole thing needs replacing. That’s just one step too far, André.

Alistair Bennet

I quite like the look of the Plage jacket, but am surprised by its name as it’s certainly not something I would wear on the beach.


Hi Alistair

I suspect Luke would wear it on the beach with swim shorts and nothing else underneath (to quote André “surprise surprise”).

I’d wear it for a walk by/on the beach when you just want a lightweight something something to shield you from the cool sea breeze.

For beachwear, the LEJ Shell Collector is also a very good option and perfectly named ?


Alistair Bennet

Thanks Manish!
The shell collector looks great. I would happily wear one with pink/white seersucker shorts and espies, wandering down to the sand with a bag containing baguette, some rosette de lyon and a bottle of chilled rose.


Sounds utterly divine!


Times are tough out here Jackson – I make money how I can.


For completeness, a substantially less professional photo of my winter Plage coat in houndstooth tweed.


I like this one much more than the black linen to be honest. The latter feels more like a workwear chore like Vetra would make, this one feels much more tailoring-adjacent.
And to be honest I would never buy something in black linen, it feels like a contradiction of use cases to me (I really wouldn’t wear black in summer).


Wonderful article and photos!
The green herringbone looks so nice, do you know if it will be available in green too for this season? For now I only see a white herringbone online, but maybe they’ll add it later?


Hi Stefano

Yes, it will be, but it might take a week or two.

I’ll try and drop an update here when it’s live on the LEJ site.


Hi Manish,

Thank you, that’s great, I’ll keep an eye on the LEJ site. Thanks for the great content!


I’ve visited the LEJ website and, to my eyes, it’s a RTW fashion brand that you would expect to see in Harvey Nichols, Fenwick’s or Selfridges. It is the antithesis of the classic menswear that used to be featured on Permanent Style.


Hi Gary

Thanks so much for your comment.

I won’t pretend that LEJ is a classic menswear brand akin to Budd or Anderson & Sheppard, but I do think that saying it’s antithetical is a bit harsh.

My take is a lot of what Luke does runs parallel to/intersects with some classic menswear signifiers – quality materials, elevated design points, recurring signature designs, high construction standards – whist retaining a more fashion-led perspective.

And I think that’s a really interesting dynamic that’s worth bringing to the PS reader so they can make an informed choice on what works best for them – and I fully appreciate LEJ won’t be for everyone. I feel like we’d do a disservice to the broader PS church if we only presented subtle variations of strictly classic menswear. That said my next article is about a great New York tailor so there’s plenty more to come in the classic sphere ?



Big fan of LEJ! I find their shirts one of my go-to options for casualising / glamorising (?) a classic tailored jacket. Also, neither saying this is a positive or a negative, I think of all the small brands currently in the menswear orbit they have the biggest potential to become big. Reminds me a bit of SS Daley (although I think Luke’s designs are more sophisticated). Get Harry Styles in one of those quick release plage shirts and the world’s your oyster!


Hi Simon. Dropped by the pop up last weekend . Luke is welcoming and charming and I love my baseball cap. This piece has encouraged me to take another peek behind the curtains..


Great article and great style Manish! Would you agree that the Plage Coat could be one inch longer at least by looking at the photo with Simon in the background?


Hi Bamboccio,
Thanks so much! That’s very kind of you to say.
I just measured my Plage coats and they’re about 0.25″ to 0.5″ shorter than my tailored jackets and I think they cover my seat. They’re also longer than most of the other chore jackets I’ve tried (
I think the length is great but maybe it’s just the photo in this case?
Cheers and have a great weekend!


Thanks for this piece, LEJ is a revelation. Curious how warm or cool the silk shirt wears; would you be sweating in tropical 36 degree, humid, weather? Or does it have some cooling properties? I’ve heard conflicting things about silk. Thanks

Caleb C.

I am curious about the silk shirt too. I had a silk sport coat that did not work with with Florida humidity but I won’t judge all silks on that experience as Ian Fleming was obviously a fan of the shirts in Jamaica.
Though I need an excuse to not have as big of a LEJ collection problem as Manish.


Would love to know as well.

Manish Puri

Hi all!

I’ve not had any issues wearing it in warm weather. It certainly helps that it’s not close in the body or sleeves. However, I’ve not had a chance to take it out into hot weather. Can I report back in a few weeks please?


Caleb C.

Now that there is a restock at LEJ, my budget’s curiosity is peaking to know if you have any reviews of the silk shirt in hot weather?



Hi Caleb

I’ve happily worn the shirt on holiday when the temperature was in the late 20s Celsius.

Once it gets into the 30s I think it can get a little sticky (then again, most shirts do), but that’s not a problem I’ve had to deal with in London this summer!

Let me know how you get on.

Caleb C.

Thanks so much Manish!


Sadly I lack the raw sex-appeal of either Manish or Andre to wear some of the more outlandish LEJ items. The only people at parties likely to pulling at strings on my shirt would be old ladies. But I am intrigued and excited reading this and looking at the LEJ website. A couple of questions if I may:
Andre – the Quick Release jacket has hip pockets. So I am struggling to see how it could be tucked in as a shirt. Am I missing something?Manish – the Officers Shirt and the Come-Upstairs Shirt seem very similar to me looking at the website photos. Might it be possible to post photos of the two side-by-side worn by you to see the difference?

Many thanks x


Good afternoon..impressive article by these 2 gentlemen..peace..HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY..PEACE


Hi Simon, I now prefer white shirts with heavier texture so I look less corporate. I already got got a few white linen shirts and am considering to add (1) white silk and (2) white seersucker. What are your thoughts on these? For the white silk, I found one thats not too shinny. Thanks.


Thanks a lot Simon. Any shirting bunch that you can recommend? I couldnt find anything from Thomas Mason / Albini bunches. Also, any particular reason why you would not go with white seersucker and what do you think is the white linen-equivalent for winter? Cheers.


Thank you! Very useful!