You are the interviewer 2

Monday, September 11th 2023
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Six years ago, we ran a really nice exercise on PS where readers became the interviewers, sending in questions they'd always wanted to ask.

It sprung from a comment that at least one reader hadn't been very impressed with a recent interview with me. Particularly the fact that it asked the same questions as everyone else - how did you start the blog, will people carry on wearing suits etc.

Turning the tables on readers led to far more interesting questions, including things like effeminacy, music, and how much style is dependent on context.

Of course, dozens of readers ask questions in the comments of new and old PS articles every day. But these are restricted by the topic I've chosen to write about in that post - this cast a much wider net.

So I'd like to try repeating that exercise this week. There must be questions that have occurred to readers in the past six years, and I know there are tens of thousands of completely new readers that won't have been involved in the original post. We'll also run an 'Ask Me Anything' on Instagram at the same time.

Have a think and please submit questions in the comments below. I'll pick what seem like the most interesting in different sections, and answer them.

Or, if you'd rather leave a private comment or explanation for your question, email me at [email protected]

I'll publish the replies in a couple of weeks.

Thank you, you beautiful nerds.

Suit pictured: From Sartoria Pasinato, covered here.

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One topic that I am really curious about is your candid views on ego and vanity. I don’t mean it disrespectfully but I would say both traits in you have increased over the years. I don’t think to an offensive degree and you still seem a nice chap, but looking at oneself in the mirror for over a decade will inevitably do that to a fellow.

What are your views on the intersection of vanity and ego with an interest in menswear, and how should one approach it?


I’d second that. But change it slightly. Where is the line between being well dressed and being a peacock? Between being stylish and a dandy? What have you got wrong and why do you think that was?
I for one struggle with going out thinking I’ve pulled off a look (Ivy, slightly mod) and then catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window and think I’ve over cooked it (probably with the rolled up denim and boots) and think it looks like fancy dress!


Do you ever get people that judge you harshly or with prejudice because of your clothes? thinking you must be arrogant or extremelly self centered. I have some friends get almost angry because of the price of some things without really understanding.


Yep. I have this too. People assume that I’m either 1) loaded or 2) stupid / gullible / vain for spending anything over £100 on jeans. I don’t think i’ve really got an answer!


And the other way round: The more of a nerd I get with clothes, the more I find myself judging other people too harshly, only in my mind of course, when they are wearing cheap or ill fitting clothes. I know it is almost pure snobism. Do you catch yourself doing something similar?


I’ve read your blog for over a decade and thoroughly enjoyed it .
I think you’ve fucked this sort of question with responses like ,”but thrift”, “wait till you can afford better “.
So now , no evading , no prevaricating etc lol

The question is ….. you have the following budget …
£100 for a shirt
£150 for a pair of trousers
£125 for knitwear
£200 for shoes
£500 for a suit

What do you buy and from where ?

Two notes
1 you can’t buy thrift … it has to be new.
2 you are allowed 20% tolerance to those amounts .

Let’s go shopping !


I think Robin meant to write that you’ve “ducked”


For me the most interesting of these would be shirts. Your entry level reader would probably be buying
1) Entry level from bespoke tailoring from Graham Browne or mid to high level ready to wear (eg from a Drake’s or similar especially in the sale)
2) Mid tier shoes from a Crockett & Jones, Cheaney, Carmina or equivalent
But for shirts Simeone Abbarchi is £140, and it often feels like there’s almost no mid point in between Jermyn Street multi-buy and that entry point for Made to Measure. I’m often surprised noone is producing a £80-£100 shirt for that customer (except something like Hackett or Thomas Pink which is basically the multi-buy product with a higher marketing budget).


And having order from him this week he is now, perfectly sensibly, charging more that £140. Still ver good value.


Given rising costs, £80 to £100 is a bit on the low side if you want quality cloth and mother of pearl buttons. Harvie & Hudson, at the lower end of the mid-market, now charges £110 and the quality of service is mediocre at best. Ede & Ravenscroft offers better quality product and service for a little more.

With Budd also raising its prices significantly, I recently tried Dege & Skinner on Savile Row. £150 is very reasonable for a quality poplin shirt, with MOP buttons, that is made in England. The quality is similar to Hilditch & Key before the decline that resulted from production being moved from Scotland to Bergamo, Italy.

IMO, the quality of Carmina is similar to Cheaney and inferior to Crockett & Jones. Hope this helps.


Carmina’s quality is probably superior to both C&J and Cheaney.

Al N

Ducking autocorrect !


Your question is not a difficult one if you want classic British style. Using the 20% tolerance, I’d recommend the following brands from years of personal experience.

Ede & Ravenscroft, New & Lingwood or Harvie & Hudson for shirts.
Loake for shoes.
Cordings for knitwear and trousers
Cordings, Ede & Ravenscroft and Oliver Brown for half-canvassed suits.

You only have to visit the stores in Burlington Gardens, Piccadilly and Jermyn Street so you can get everything in an afternoon. If you take advantage of multi-buy promotions and the sales, the savings are considerable. Simples!


Thrifting will serve you better, and I really don’t know if this is the healthiest way to approach clothing, but quick tips:
Charles Tyrwhitt shirts are fine at their multi-buy “deal” price point. You’re on a budget, save your money for the bigger things here.
Trousers are tricky as a lot of budget brands like Natalino and Spier are making very slim trousers these days for some reason. I’m not sure what Suitsupply is charging in the UK, but their Duca cut trousers are pretty nice. This is the one slot where extending your budget to a higher-end brand will serve you very well, especially if you want a wide leg (Scott Fraser Collection cuts multiple beautiful cuts of wide leg trousers).
Knitwear: Harley of Scottland on Bosie.
Shoes: Meermin or Skoaktiebolaget (might be more than a 20% stretch) or Loake (I guess, if you can try them on, but really a compromise).
Suits, same problem as trousers, except Suitsupply’s Roma and Duca cuts are promising. Jackets, try Natalino and Spier & Mackay


Obviously the way you dress takes a central role in your life. In regards to you also being a husband and father, does this reflect on your family as in them also being highly interested in their clothes? Do you find the way you all dress as harmonious, do you comment on each others style and is there any conflict?

Victor Kernes

Would also enjoy hearing your take on this, Simon.

Jim Bainbridge

PS has featured some great content from/about people like Tony Sylvester and Ethan Newton, who have a much less “understated” style than you do. How has their influence affected how you dress today?


Who are your favourite film / TV series characters purely from a style perspective?
As a side note, one of my favourite PS articles was the Richard from Friends style breakdown. More articles in this style would be great!


Two questions:
1) What do you find most frustrating/annoying about reader comments on posts?
2) How do you feel about there being so many people dressing in the same way as you, due to your influence?


Love this idea!

My question concerns personal style and finding it. If one is always bound to be themselves — in the sense that two people can wear the same shoes but end up looking different — why can (and often does) it then, require conscious effort to look the way you want to?

In essence, when left on autopilot, I don’t look the way I want to. And often end up with an unsatisfying amalgamation of safe and uninspired choices. But isn’t autopilot the real me? And does the conscious me put on a ‘costume’?

Or are there just different levels of autopilot?

Thanks in advance.

All the best from Holland,



That’s a very interesting question Pepijn. Perhaps it’s the other side of the coin of Charles’s comment above, that sometimes he thinks he’s pulled off a good look but then catches a reflection in a shop window and thinks it looks like fancy dress. There is something intentional about trying to find your own style – “being yourself on purpose” is I think Bruce Boyer’s phrase – which can feel unsettling. It may just be an inevitable part of the process. Some comments from Simon on his experience of all this would be interesting I think.


Hi Simon, I wondered if you could explain (to whatever degree you’re comfortable) how the business side of Permanent Style works. I’d be curious how you made it self-sustaining, and how the revenue mix has evolved as you’ve moved from purely advertising and consulting (I assume) and added more products and events (and maybe collaborations and speaking).


Thanks, Simon – yes I have and as a business nerd, I thought it was great. I suppose I should have prefaced with whether anything has changed in the ensuing time, given that you’re doing the pop-up shop more often and the products seem to be more readily available or regularly released (per the timetable you issue). If the answer is “not really” or “that’s secret, go build your own business and find out!”, that works too!

Il Pennacchio

Of the advice you’ve given over the years, is there anything you’d now retract, or at least strongly qualify?


I like this, it stops the interview being “tell me how great you are”. You must want to take back something you’ve said / advised


How does someone get good advice on what styles suit one’s needs body shape/ physique?
I have a bunch of prejudices as to what I like style wise – based on what I see other people wear. But I have no idea as to whether these clothes really suit me!
Now – I have never had a bespoke suit. I have used made to measure services. Also, I don’t really take photos of myself to see how I look from all angles!

Rob Hoy

I often find myself sticking to ‘safe’ or familiar colours/colour combinations in both formal and casual dress e.g. navy, green and brown. I am however increasingly interested by playing with different textures/fabrics within a similar colour palette . Do you have any views on the number of colours in an outfit to achieve the right balance? What about textures and pattern? Thanks Simon!


Hi Rob,
recently I’ve looked a lot at the Ghiaia Cashmere Lookbook sort of and I think the use of color and the combination is superb. In my mind it also has to do with ones complexion, but I know people tend to disagree with this one. You should go and figure out yourself if you want to pay attention to that. Good Luck!

Rob Hoy

Thanks Amon/Simon

Peter Hall

Do you think the dash to casual has gone too far? Why does menswear look to 20 year old role models and not 60?


This is a great point raised by Peter

Michael Lambert

Hi Simon,

I recently shaved my hair after suffering with hair loss for 5 years, you’ve given me inspiration and confidence to own the bald look, do you use any moisturisers or skin care routine for your head? Also when did you start going bald?

Thanks for your time



Interesting point by Michael. Please can I supplement this?
I am probably at the stage where I should take the plunge like Michael has, but given my physical appearance, I am concerned about the associations – I do not wish to look hard or like a nightclub bouncer.
This seems achievable with tailoring but less obvious with casual clothing how to avoid those associations. Any recommendations from Simon or readers would be appreciated.


I used to run a shop in Camden, I once came across a bald customer in his 50s who had his whole head tattooed including face along with lots of piercings. What some people might find an intimidating look was softened by him wearing of a pink velour tracksuit, I’m not suggesting this is the answer but your question brought back this pleasant memory.


I shave my head and have found that I have to be far more careful in other style ways. As I wear glasses, and have a Simon-esk pale skin, I am conscience of over-contrast in my light complexion vs hard stark glasses.
If you have a shaved head, collar shape is absolutely everything. Without having hair to “shape” your upper body (including relating head to shoulder balance), jacket shoulders need to be natural and collar shape is a primary element.
As for grooming, it all depends on environment. In Canada, our long arid winters cause havoc on everyone’s skin but too much moisturizer will cause sheen and draw attention to your baldness in a negative way.


Thanks Charles and Bryan. By collar shape in this context, what should I be looking for? I take it that means always having a collar (eg not just a t shirt) but is there any more to it?

david rl fan

HI Michael, if this comment is allowed through moderation, you could do much worse than youtubing Ali Abdaal my evidence based skin care routine,


Simple one: do you think that your (newish) love of softer tailoring with a roomier fit is starting to look like you’ve just grabbed something off the shelf? For me, you’re starting to look worse rather than better. And that’s not intended to wound, I just don’t quite get your new look. I totally accept it might be my uneducated eye.
Your edward sexton etc looked sharp and dashing. In the picture above, you look like you’re wearing Next.
Again, not meant to wound. I just genuinely don’t get it how you’ve gone full circle.

Mike Quick

I am going to have to, very respectfully, disagree with the poster. Simon, just as I opened this article, I was thinking that you look marvelous in the picture above – classic and elegantly stylish. I am afraid we may be a bit too used to seeing fashion models in tight and too short trousers with short, tight jackets, all making them look a bit juvenile.


I’d debated adding a question along similar lines – but, like Charles, worried that it would sound like it came from the wrong place. I’ve also noticed a change in style – and while the clothes themselves are attractive, well made etc – I’m also not sure they’re doing as much to flatter you, Simon.

I think you’re very conscious that something is changing / that the clothes aren’t quite working. You mention it, for instance, in your recent Fred Nieddu article. From a front-on, you could see that a viewer might thing it had no shape. But then you show it from a natural angle – from behind – and I thought it was worse. (It does have shape in that photo, but it’s not one you want – it looks like somebody with no bone structure has started taking steroids…)

It seems there’s an old Simon and a new Simon. The old Simon used to say some things were objective and others subjective.

Belts, for instance, were objectively bad. They drew the attention downwards.

If you were going for an open-neck shirt, I think you said it had to be the sort of thing that stood up rather than getting rumpled sideways asymmetrically under the jacket.

I can’t find a reference, but I’m sure the old Simon said something about trousers being objectively better when they made the leg look longer. So no turn-ups and a single break?

The old Simon would surely have said that choosing a material that jumped out at you was objectively worse than choosing a subtle material and using the tailor’s craft to achieve an effect. (If he indeed said such a thing, I’d have disagreed with him on this, perhaps – but only because an unusual material can distract from the tailor’s craft.)

The new Simon is very different. Brown chalk-stripe with turn-ups that finish more than a little too high to be unobtrusive?

Tattoo? Loafers with tassels? Vintage Levis? Olive green jacket that could have been worn by 60s anti-war protestors?

Maybe the new Simon was always hiding within the old Simon. Maybe it’s an age / mid-life thing. (No bad thing there – I, too, am in my early forties – I, too, have played around with clothes – including highly patterned jacquard polos – that my thirty-year-old self would sensibly have told me to avoid – but I still wear them. Evolutionary psychologists would tell me that it’s the dying embers of my sexual life and I need to make a dramatic impression – no point hiding when I have only a few years left. Don’t know that I agree with them instinctively – but not sure we generally know why we do what we do – so maybe they’re right. They’d say my brain / hormones have no conception that I’m happily married with children and no intention of straying – I’m signalling as if that wasn’t the case.) That may explain why you’re more willing to wear belts! It may explain why you’re willing to wear more youthful (funky jeans and shirts) and peacocky (brown chalk-stripe) clothing. But it doesn’t explain why you’re willing to wear short trousers with half-an-inch or so too little length!

But maybe there’s a different explanation. Apart from the change in age (and wealth, I assume), there’s also been a change in who you mix with. Tellingly, you mention that Nieddu has style. In the past, you mixed with Finance folk (and sorry if this is offensive in the way that Charles and I both don’t want to be) but were fairly junior in their world. You were channeling what they would have been like if they had more taste / time. (In the old days, maybe that was the point of the site: how do you dress like your bosses, but better.) Now, perhaps, you are channeling a more insular clothes / vanity / fashion group – because that’s what you see and who you mix with. (Was it Lecter who explained to Clarice that you covet what you see?)

Would be very interested to hear why you think you’ve changed. What has made the new Simon out of the old Simon? Or maybe you reject the premise. Maybe you think the old Simon would have approved of the new Simon? (Though I think that argument would be hard to sustain: I can imagine the old Simon giving you a lecture on subtlety and sophistication and proportion.)

But anyhow, I look forward to the responses. It’s very brave of you to ask readers for questions – though, of course, not so much if you only respond to easy questions!



I feel like your shift towards more relaxed tailoring, also reflects general trends within menswear. These days, a wedding or the odd work event would be the only place I can realistically wear a structured suit in a conservative colour.
Relaxed, less structured tailoring is inherently more wearable


I’m curious about your approach to fitness in the context of clothing and aging. Strikes me that dramatic fluctuations in weight (even if positive such as increased muscle mass) and shape can necessitate redoing a wardrobe, while at the same time we’re all likely to shrink a few inches and loss muscle later in life. Do you approach fitness to maintain shape / weight or are your goals independent of clothing?

Kevin Asmar Ramson

How can I access your interview with the writer of “dressing the man”?


No mattter how well informed and style aware we (you) are; every one of us make mistakes from time to time , or suffer buyers remorse over pieces that seemed like a good idea but never make it out of our wardrobes. Want mistakes have you made over the years Simon, and what lessons did you take away?

Bill McG

Not a very pleasant thing to contemplate; but if you were losing absolutely everything and knew that you would not have the financial wherewithal to simply replace it all, what is the single piece of clothing that you would want to save from the fire to start over, and why?


This may be more of an article idea than a question, but I was curious. After all this time, and all these wonderful acquisitions, your closet must be massive. What items do you find yourself going for the most?
In other words, your top 2 suits, trousers, summer jackets, winter jackets, shoes, etc. I realize different occasions call for different options, but what items do you feel gets the most wear?


Hi, how do you feel about your tattoo?


Are there any topics you have covered that you have changed or revised your opinion on over the years? Also would be curious to hear any updates on your interest in fragrances, what bottles you wear these days, etc.


Great idea Simon. My question concerns the place of the tie in modern clothing. Sometimes I read your articles about casual ties, which I can imagine is a thing in the UK. However, in the Netherlands wearing any tie has become totally rare or even extinct in most workplaces. So the notion of different sorts of ties in terms of formality have somewhat disappeared, with the exception maybe that very colorful ties are less formal than a simple navy tie for example. I almost always wear a tie, because of my work and my love for them. I find it sometimes difficult to see a future for the tie as a piece of menswear clothing.

But how would you see these broader developments surrounding ties?


Hello, Simon.
Every age group needs its own wardrobe, and we more or less shed our sartorial skin once in several years. While constructing your capsules, you always look for some universal/versatile pieces, and therefore, your comments on the age-appropriateness of a garment are rare. My question is, can you explain how your wardrobe has changed not only between your youth and mature years, and have you ever felt the need to get rid of everything from your younger years?


Great idea. Two related questions, if I may:

1) One of the core aesthetic principles of classic menswear is that one shouldn’t stand out, or be showy. But in a casualised world, one can’t dress classically and not stand out. Does this mean that wearing classic menswear outside of formal events is now a contradiction in terms?

2) What are some of the best ways of carrying elements of the classic aesthetic into a casualised environments? E.g., using tailored jackets as outerwear, proportions and silhouette, wearing leather-soled shoes with casual outfits, etc.


Hi Simon,
I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the almost inherent elitism associated with menswear. You alude to this in your reference to ‘The Final Club’ in your piece on Ivy Shirts, noting the way style was used to separate social types. Your writing suggests a self awareness of the privilige your income level affords you when choosing bespoke, and you have directly addressed why you believe that “Clothing is not Important” in the greater scheme of things. On the other hand, quite a few of the comments on posts in which you address RTW (e.g. suits under £1k) or MTM seem to suggest a good deal of elitism is alive and well amongst a certain section of commenters.
Is this something you give much consideration in your writing, or in your choice of topic covered?

Jackson Hart

Hi Simon, there seems to be quite a bit of interest in this topic of elitism. I agree that some have taken unnecessary shots at the more affordable clothing. Perhaps they do so based on a lack of understanding that, while PS started its focus on high-level bespoke, growing the readership by expanding its focus benefits everyone in the long run as the publication is able to do more, including obtaining more high-end bespoke. Some simply see PS’s coverage of affordable clothing as an intrusion by interlopers onto a magazine intended for high-end garments only. But I also notice the “populist” view can also be just as offensive, that is, I note people who state, to some leering effect, that if they had all the money in the world, they would never spend $XXXX on a bespoke garment – while ostensibly asserting this statement to be merely one of personal preference …no harm intended, but in actuality it’s intended to be one accusing the purchaser of being financially obtuse and irresponsible, gullible or a loathing spendthrift. Both are insulting of each other to some degree, and it seems to go both ways at different times. Maybe you can address from both viewpoints and perspectives? It’s a sensitive subject.


Hi Jackson, I agree. Coincidently I have just written to Simon by email, on a similar point. I think your approach on looking at this subject from both sides is a good idea. Looking at ways to achieve an end goal of looking stylish shouldn’t involve judgements on price either way. Although I do think it’s reasonable to question pricing.
All the best.

Jackson Hart

We’re in total and complete agreement, Stephen!


I would be interested to see what your view is on the health of the industry. I am sure you speak to many people who run/own/work for shops, manufacturers and artisans in the ‘menswear’ segment, what is the outlook for the years to come? Have they renounced after covid?


Yes interesting area. I have read that post pandemic spending has moved away a bit from physical purchases to experiences (eating out , theatre etc.) but this may be a bit anecdotal

YJ Kim

To my respected mentor, Mr. Simon Crompton,

Greetings! I am a passionate fan from South Korea who loves your & YouTube channel and reached out to you via email, expressing my intention to seek your insights. I have been an avid subscriber to your blog.I’ve devoted my time to read your articles, acquiring a wealth of knowledge in the process.
Although I’m in my twenties, my deep interest in classic fashion has been kindled by my pursuit of studying law and planning a career in that field. Regrettably, Korea isn’t a prominent hub for classic fashion, making it challenging to access the refined world of European bespoke tailoring. Despite the presence of a few well-known ready-to-wear brands in department stores and high-end second-hand bespoke shops, I make regular visits to these places in order to immerse myself in the essence of your blog(Permanent

Standing at 172cm, I have a compact physique with well-defined muscles and shoulders from regular workouts. However, my love for food has contributed to what is playfully termed a “Maradona” physique. Consequently, finding off-the-rack attire that fits well poses a significant challenge. In Korea, the prevalence of Neapolitan tailoring, particularly from Italy, contrasts with my preference for the structured shoulder aesthetics of British, Milanese, and Roman tailoring.

Having absorbed the contents of your book, A. Caraceni in Milan and T&G Caraceni in Rome stand out as the most captivating Italian tailoring houses for me. However, A. Caraceni appears to be more renowned for their double-breasted suits, while my physique leans more toward single-breasted styles. Hence, I am more drawn to the style of T&G Caraceni. (I also hold a deep admiration for Gaetano Aloisio’s cloths and have had the pleasure of experiencing some at second-hand shops, although I haven’t had the chance to witness Caraceni’s masterpieces in person.)

In truth, my initial fascination with suits was sparked by James Bond’s silk-blend Tom Ford suit in the 007 Spectre film. Consequently, I tend to lean towards suits that exude a touch of masculine charm. Your Steven Hitchcock suit is amazing!

Trunk shows in Korea sometimes feature Liverano & Liverano from Florence, A&S, and Huntsman from the UK. However, I remain uncertain whether these suits would flatter my physique. Trying on ready-to-wear suits in stores often leaves me feeling awkward, as they rarely provide the desired fit and silhouette. My interest has now turned towards Steven Hitchcock, the son of the retired John Hitchcock, due to several articles I’ve come across.

In summary, I aspire to journey to Europe one day to experience bespoke tailoring firsthand. Yet, travel limitations necessitate a meticulous consideration of the tailoring house best suited to my body type and desired silhouette. As previously mentioned, T&G Caraceni in Rome and Steven Hitchcock Bespoke in the UK have piqued my interest. Despite my limited exposure, I am eagerly seeking your sincere advice. If I may, I’d like to attach some photos in order to solicit your recommendations on a suitable tailoring house. The photos might not be of the highest quality, but I humbly request your guidance. Please recommend some bepoke houses that you have seen, heard, and experienced that would match my body type🙏🏻

The suits I’ve worn in Korea include:

Edward Sexton’s linen double-breasted suit.

Tom Ford suit (focusing on the jacket as the trousers require alteration).

Stefano Ricci suit.

Brioni suit.

Cesare Attolini suit.

Suits I’ve tried on in Tokyo,Japan at the Isetan department store include:

Henry Poole suit.

Rubinacci suit.

Cifonelli suit.

I’ve also included a photo of a suit from “Sartoria Napoletana in Seoul,” crafted by “Sarto Jun,” who learned under Antonio Pascariello in Naples and previously worked at “Tie your Tie” in Japan (known for its association with Kiton).

Please excuse my casual attire and my comfortable disposition as I explore shops or travel, trying on ready-to-wear garments. Please bear with me as I might encounter size or fit issues. 😂


Does Permanent Style cause more harm than good?
Is there a possibility that insecure men may be induced to spend more money than necessary on mere vanity, to the exclusion of other, more worthwhile activities?


Hey – it’s entertaining and helps me dress better (I hope). What’s not to like?


That question is also applicable to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X and boards like Style Forum where lots of insecure men post pictures of themselves. It is ironic that they seek affirmation and approval from self-appointed “experts” or “influencers” who are often insecure themselves. I do not have accounts on these social media platforms as I have no interest in them. I get all the information that I need from email newsletters and the RSS feeds of websites that I know and trust.


Given your shift in obligation over the years and living as a dad, how has your perspective on hard wearing clothing shifted? Of course it goes hand in hand with a certain casualisation of dressing, but still one could opt for sportsblazer in cashmere rather than wool or go with a chino in a fine cotton/cashmere mix instead of a hard wearing twill.
Also I would like to know how much of the pieces you have reviewed here you still own and which you did sell and why? For instance some things I just keep, despite not wearing them, for good memories I made with them. I imagine your closet must me bursting if I try to recollect the amount of knitwear you own for example!
Thank you very much in advance and keep the good articles coming!

Ps: Someone pointed out to do more tv/movie kinda reviews and I think it is a great idea! When I started out I got heavily influenced by movies and the styling there. Maybea do something, that is less covered on the internet. Skip James Bond and maybea look at films like The comfort of strangers or Homo Faber (just to name two)

Jamie Berry

My question is about age: at what age do certain items become a no-no? I am thinking jeans, cargo shorts, T shirts, clothes that one’s son might wear, but I can’t (my son is 28!).


As an American, I can say that cargo shorts were never, ever, no not ever, worn in a stylish way. And yes, in my younger years, I did wear some and thought I was the exception.


Dear Simon,

Black and white are both colours, yet black and white televisions are not colour televisions. Please discuss.


A serious question this time – how do you look back on the early content from Permanent Style? If I were forced to look at things I’d written or said from 10 to 15 years ago I’d probably be terrified. Do you think it stands up well, or do you cringe when you compare it to the content you’re producing now?


Not an interview question but just an off topic question that came up to my head when reading comments here and your last Q/A. Simon, have you seen the documentary called “The Congo Dandies” on Youtube? If not then I highly recommend it. It never fails to conjure a little cheeky smile on my face.

Robert Gregory Muscat

Simon – one of the challenges of dressing in style is that much of the information is written from the experience of those in the UK, Paris, or Milan.
For a few months a year (December – March), I think I dress well. But …
I worked with a stylist in Paris who had wonderful ideas, but … the reality is that Paris is 20 degrees cooler than where I live. And the solution isn’t just about changing fabrics as many warmer fabrics are better suited for vacation wear than for work.
What adjustments do you make when still trying to look stylish but in temperatures that to be frank, over soar to the high 90’s? I find myself gravitating towards linen/cotton slacks, t-shirts and overshirts, but interested to know your thoughts.

Peter Hall

I think a related question would be how temperate rise is changing menswear.
For example.I wore my full length ,wool coat once last year and have been in ,what would be traditionally, summer clothing since March(and even here n the Netherlands) it has been very hot. We seem to have two seasons-torrential rain or very hot.


What style, or collection of style influences, are you seeing come together that can possibly rival the influence/appeal of what you’ve sometimes referred to as “Italian Smooth” ?


Prior to the PS 15th birthday gathering, you made an excellent point that all were welcome, they shouldn’t feel intimidated as they weren’t being judged but would be observed. Does it take effort to stay on that perch?
I was also delighted to see the sheer variety on display that day, PS is a broad church.


Hi Simon

Without getting to much into it, my job involves taking seasonal management positions within the hospitality industry.

A large part of that is training a staff into becoming more professional. In attitude, abilities and, yes, their dress.

What I’ve noticed is an odd phenomenon where they invest in some serious tailoring, and are wearing a full suit strictly as a work uniform.
Whereas during events where they have to go the extra mile, they have begun favouring the odd sportscoat with a pair of beautiful trousers instead.

I was hoping you could perhaps enlight us to how this has happened.

Is this due to the suit going the way of the dodo, and become a work attire staple more than anything?

Perhaps you have an interesting anecdote, being an industry insider and friend.



Hi Simon,

Nice initiative. Here are my questions:

1) Do you find that as you get older you care less about what others think about the way you dress? Does context become less relevant? (This point has been made by some of the readers featured here as well as others like Ethan Newton).

2) How do you deal with people that resent you for being well dressed (not the same as dressing formally of course)? Some men believe that caring about clothes isn’t appropriate, even unbecoming and dislike other men that do put some effort. In my experience this is more likely with acquaintances (at work for example) rather than friends.

Jackson Hart

Hi Simon, Do you still own your purple Liverano jacket, and if so, to what function have you worn it and how often do you wear it? If you no longer own it, why, specifically, did you dispose of it. I recall the heightened scrutiny over how it would/could be worn and the perceived limitations to wearing it and I only saw it in one picture of you subsequent to its commission. This question, if worthy can piggyback onto some of the others here Thank you.


Do you think your focus on luxury clothing and being around so much luxury in general for work purposes has left you out of touch? If not, is there anything in particular you do to keep yourself grounded? Please don’t take these qs the wrong way, just interested in your perspective x


Are there things/items/clothing that you would like to wear but feel like you can’t “pull off” or “own”. I guess meaning that you are restricting yourself because you feel you don’t look good wearing it? If yes, what are those things and why do you think you don’t look good in it.


What are your views on having a harmonious wardrobe versus pursuing multiple different styles? I find that if you have an interested in clothing, it is difficult to stick to one lane, so to speak, as there are so many aesthetics out there that are interesting. However, this can balloon your closet quite quickly.

Cormac Lynch

What are top 3 things you know now you would have liked to know when you started “Permanent Style”? It could be from any aspect – product, content, marketing, partnerships, website structure, finance, or anything else. Thank you!

Eric Twardzik

Simon: how does one balance the idea of appreciating, valuing, and most of all wearing their clothing long-term (indeed, permanent style), with their own evolution of tastes and preferences over time?

Dan James

What’s your favourite season of the year to dress for? And why?
If you had to choose one smart outfit and one casual outfit for that season, what would they be?

A bit greedy with three questions but I fall upon your indulgence as they are all related.

Alfred N

I would be curious to hear your thoughts on getting jaded and no longer finding things exciting or interesting that you might previously have – is this to some extent natural and unavoidable? Do you consciously adopt any frames of mind to maintain a sense of wonder and joy with the world of menswear?


Hi Simon, my question is about your hair.
How have your thoughts changed about being bald and having a beard? Can we expect the beard to be removed at some point or is it a fixture now? What about a mustache, and plans on trying a mustache?
Onto head hair. Will you ever considering growing your hair out again, or are you always going to stay bald? How about a hair piece? It would be interesting to see how your appearance would change if you brought your hairline forwards, any plans to do so? If not can we expect a low pony tail in the future, or just some additional length?
Also if your really into the baldness, will we see some lazer hair removal so you can get a really clean look with a perfectly shiny head, or are you committed to shaving it indefinitely?
Thanks Simon.


Simon why won’t you answer my questions about your hair?
Hair is an intimate thing, it sits between skin and clothes on the body, and stands out from the face and scalp.
Hair much like hats indicates the mind beneath it.
So my question to you is, are you going to change the way you think, or stay much the same?
P. S. I just want to know what to expect from the website and yourself in the future via this visual short hand.


I see… well can I suggest that you answer my questions 😉
But really though, it would be interesting to at least hear something about your changing relationship with your hair as you’ve aged.
Maybe something like, will you be changing up your head hair or your beard hair style in future?
I realise your not too keen on this topic, but I’m genuinely interested to hear you briefly talk about this at some point.


Do you think the fashion industry in predominantly using men in their 20/30s as role models is missing a massive market of ‘silver pound/dollar’ individuals? These have likely finished supporting children and paying mortgages and therefore have increased disposable income.
I think you recently had a reader profile in this general category.


Good Morning,
Firstly I wanted to thank you for all the content you create, I really enjoy reading the content and find it useful for ideas and places maybe to look for my next commission.
The articles are almost always qualitative in nature, I appreciate this is the nature of clothes but I believe it is possible to quantitate this and score each maker based on categories. Given your vast knowledge and good taste I think this would be relatively straightforward to do and most likely each potential category may represent something that a reader might find important and makes it much easier to sort through the many makers on the site.
Would you ever consider making your approach more quantitative?


Hi Simon, completely unrelated. You used to send an automated email when a comment was published, which made it easy to find it again and see any response from yourself or other readers. I haven’t noticed this happening recently.


Trying that out now

Richard W

Hi Simon,
Lots of great questions already asked by others, but here’s mine. Looking at the brands list there are quite a number who you would regularly commission from or write about in the early years but have not mentioned in the last few years. Is that because your personal style has evolved, a desire to keep bringing new makers forward, a mix of things or something else? I’m curious as whilst I can go back and read those original pieces it would be nice to hear how those brands may also be evolving.


Hi Simon

It seems to me the push to ever more casual clothing has created an asymmetry of social acceptability where being (significantly) underdressed is acceptable but being (slightly) overdressed is commented upon. As an example, I am the chairman of my company, which operates in Switzerland in financial services. If I wear a tie to a board of directors meeting invariably somebody asks me why I am so dressed up, while nobody bats an eye if a male employee wears shorts (often not ironed) and Birkenstocks to the office in the summer.

Have you observed a similar asymmetry? What do you do in the face of such a situation?

For my part, I believe that less defined dress codes mean people can wear what they want as long as it is appropriate for their role, and not merely a race to the bottom. So I keep on wearing what I would otherwise wear.



Thanks Simon. I would say that I am farther down the spectrum of dressing for myself than you state in that article. My previous example was also a bit extreme: in a given work day, my interactions go from meeting other people in suit and tie (rarer these days, except when I travel to Milan or Rome), to suit and no tie (probably most frequent), to jeans and t-shirt, and occasionally shorts and Birkenstocks.

I try to be better dressed than the most formal of the interactions I will have on any given day. The same goes for the weekend, but with a different scale of formality. This is my personal preference, as I don’t think it’s possible to define the average and base how I dress on that, nor do I want to go through the bother of changing during the day based on who I’m seeing.


On a different level in many ways but, I can relate to your experience, Andrew. I work in a public library in Scandinavia, and just yesterday I received a similar comment from a colleague. I wore a v-neck sweater over a plaid shirt and a pair of chinos and suede derbies. The only difference from how I usually dress at work was the chinos, yet it apparently raised a few eyebrows. “Woah, look at Eric! All dressed up!” It actually annoyed me. I don’t want to turn heads, I just want to dress appropriate/proper/respectfully. Well, perhaps I don’t then? So be it. But damn… Let me live.

Robert J

Eric – I’m so thankful when someone else has the same experiences I do. I feel like a have to strategically dress when I go to work so as to not draw comments – it’s a damn shame.

Robert J

Well stated Andrew. I suppose in any group environment where an imbalance is perceived (better attired, more successful or well mannered) you can not stop unwanted comments from the peanut section. And once you’ve been called out once for an infraction (being too nicely dressed), the same people who called you out will monitor you for other transgressions. The no-win situation includes “so you’re not dressing up today… why not?” Tough situation.


What do you believe but most people in the menswear world do not?
Who’s your favorite menswear designer who does not do classic tailoring?
And, what every reader wants to know of course, how much money have you spent on your own wardrobe to date?


Sorry, but as a reader I must reject the last assumption: the sum is of no interest. Furthermore the expectation of a summation seems odd.


I would agree: how much Simon has spent on his wardrobe is of no interest at all to me.


I’d love to know


Doesn’t matter, from a logical point of view, as the proposition (“every reader“) is already disproved. But there are arguments, too: information is highly sensitive to context, all economy systemic, and the term “own wardrobe” has a special meaning in case of a menswear journalist, barely communicable by sums. So, in a certain way, the demanded, “naked” information would undermine the destination of PS.
But, as far as I remember, Simon gave some precise, personal information about relative amounts in older posts, which makes more sense.


A few simple questions, if you have the time.

A) What is an underrated and simple tip for clothing maintenance that you have learned through trial and error that allows you get the most mileage out of a garment.

B) How do you deal with storage space as you acquire more and more beautiful garments and how thus your family feel about your passions.

Lastly what is one garment you feel a deep connection too, that you’ve had for a long time or carries a deep story.


Hi Simon, has the rather abrupt demise of tailoring in daily life altered your views on the concept of “permanent style”? I know it has for me. The fact that I used to think that a bespoke navy suit would serve me for the rest of my life but which I can now only wear a handful of times a year without feeling overdressed or out of place, all within a period of 5 years or so, has made me very aware of the fact that these things are changing more rapidly than they used to. I realise that you can always focus on good quality, good fitting clothes in stylish fabrics and colours within the bandwidth of what is socially acceptable at any given time and in that sense try to achieve some form of permanent style as a person but in this fast-changing environment, is the investment proposition for really well-made – and therefore expensive – individual classic pieces (overcoat, black oxfords, suit etc) still sensible? With those individual pieces unlikely to achieve anything close to permanence?

Robert J

Jan – Thank you for raising those points. In six years I’ve curated a wardrobe of more quality traditional shoes/clothing and finding only rare occasions to get away with wearing them. Not just smart suits/jackets – but sweaters, flannel trousers, suede loafers – pieces that Simon normally suggests. Even when casually attired at the office – my associated still ask why I’m overdressed. It’s difficult to blend in socially when you put even a minimal amount of effort into your presentation. Seems the only way to use my smarter clothing is amongst strangers. I can see why Simon has transitioned to loose/baggy styles – although my co-workers would still sniff out too much effort. Sad situation after having spent a great deal of money.

Aaron L

What impact do you think ‘photograph-ability’ has had on the direction of menswear? It seems like some really top notch tailoring (like your recent Tailour (sp?)) underperforms in photos, while often low cost garments that focus camera friendly characteristics (bold patterns, visible distressing, very tight/loose fits often over-perform. Does this influence broader menswear creation and consumption patterns?

Aaron L

How do you think of think about the respective roles of vanity and enjoyment of the aesthetic pleasure of creating/enjoying something beautiful (outfits) in menswear? Is vanity even relevant?


How did your private schooling and then Oxford undergraduate years shape your style? I gather you come from a well-off background. Hypothetical question: Would a working class background led you to the same style and choices?


Dear Simon,
Thank you for your survey, I have two unrelated questions:
(i) I am wondering whether there exists something like “regionality” and co-evolution in menswear. For example, wine often matches best with the food of a particular region. As an analogue, would a hanseatic northern German, while perhaps admiring Sprezzatura and Italian unstructured tailoring, still be best served with English tailoring and vice versa? Rather than body shape and skin colour I am wondering about the way of living and perhaps the temper, which does differ between regions in my experience.
(ii) Rather than answering the question yourself, it would be very interesting to ask a close friend or a member of your family how your style has evolved over the years since starting your website. While I think you wrote that you moved more towards unstructured tailoring, perhaps your wife still thinks that you look best in an English suit, or perhaps she likes the more relaxed approach?


I’m going to be cheeky and ask two!
First, there’s a notable trend in personal health towards the natural: non-synthetic fibres and foot-shaped shoes. Do you ever consider the health impacts of what you wear or think it has had an impact on your health?
Second, although you often review RTW brands, you rarely look at those on Savile Row. I can imagine dusty pink cords from Richard James might not be quite your thing but what do you think of their offerings?


I’ve noticed you becoming more and more amenable to bold, unique, casual, or modern outfits. While your own style is still relatively minimal and classic (and I do love it), you’ve featured readers—and writers!—with very different styles from your own.
I’d love to know if there’s anything really bold like that that you’ve wanted to try out yourself, but still shy away from, for whatever reason. I’d love to see you experiment more, whether with more unique takes on classic tailoring or a new foray into modern fashions.
So, is there anything like that you’ve been wanting to try?


A couple here, and I don’t think they have been addressed before.

1. What do you do about burnout? (related only to the Permanent Style job and not just things in life in general)

I’m assuming you have had burnout at some point in the Permanent Style job because this can happen to anyone regardless of whether you are a plumber or a professional footballer. One answer could simply be, “Well, you go to work anyways” and while that is the answer to an extent, its not the most insightful.

2. What do you absolutely loathe–and I mean truly, truly hate–about the menswear industry, fashion, dressing well, or whatever we want to call it.

Or perhaps, what is one thing you hate, but are able to deal with? As an example, I have been in sports most of my life either in a full-time or part-time position. And in sports, you meet some of the dumbest humans who have ever walked the planet. It’s truly shocking. But it’s a tradeoff that I am actually fine with, because you meet some amazing humans as well.


I apologize in advance if this question has already been asked (I haven’t scrolled through all 132 comments). Since starting this website and your various ventures what was your biggest money loser? What did you learn from it?


One topic that I have come across lately is that the trend of Menswear is going back to be more Classic. Maybe not as Classic as PS but still that the jacket and tie might make a comeback. What are your views on how the interest in classic menswear is moving and do you think that this is some of the results of the post pandemic movement?


Hi Simon,
I have a question regarding style for a younger audience.
Whilst I like suits and tailored jackets, I tend to reserve those for more formal events e.g suit for the office or a wedding, jacket and open shirt for a nice meal or a social event which is deemed to be a more refined affair.
For events that are less formal, and to some arguably a lot less refined, I try to tread a ground that is stylish but certainly more casual than the above. These events (mostly in the evening) would include heading out for drinks, pub to bars, live music, maybe even festivals (although they can be a category unto their own).
If I were to go out in more formal clothing to the casual, less sophisticated evenings, then I feel I would stand out for the wrong reasons and appear a bit “Dad”.
I’m trying to curate some options that both blend in and stand out; blend in with the surrounding crowd but stand out for style (not seeking attention or praise mind you).
So far I’ve stuck to dark or black jeans and dark trousers, then neutral to dark tops such as a t-shirt or polo paired with shorter jacket e.g. bomber, harrington, leather and denim – in darker colours generally apart from the denim. Shoes are loafers or boots – chelsea/jodhpur.
I think what I am trying to achieve is clothing with a certain edge or attitude that is more fitting to these events that refined tailoring wouldn’t embody.
I would love to see a piece on this from PS!


Hi Simon – I have a very similar question to the other Tom above. What do you recommend for nights out at the pub with friends or informal house/apartment parties? Basically, informal evenings where the other attendees would likely not be wearing a tailored jacket or trousers. I suppose knitwear in the cold, and polos/overshirts in the summer, but I find this easier during the day (brown, tan, cream, olive) vs. the evening when the colors should be darker (navy, grey, black). I find myself reaching for the same items repeatedly, and would love some variety.
Thanks as always!


Apologies if this has already been asked, but how do you predict rising temperatures and extended summers will affect how we dress? Not being political here, and not interested in getting into a deeper discussion here about causes and solutions to the underlying problem. Just want to get your take on how it will change how we dress ourselves, e.g. materials, casual vs formal, etc.


Can tailoring and menswear ever escape Class?


1 April 2024 is a Monday (so publication day for PS), why not treat us to an article extolling the virtues of Balenciaga trainers over goodyear welted shoes?


What is the first thing that pops into your head when confronted with the following: Today’s Gucci horsebit loafer.


Do you think your style of writing has changed over time as your audience grew? Have you become more cautious and more daring and why?


Simon, we all read this great blog. But what are your top three men’s clothes blogs?

Luke Jackson

My route into better quality clothing was oddly enough via cycling clothing. There was a time when the difference between Rapha’s offering (especially the merino wool stuff, and the jerseys with merino blended in) and everyone else’s was just huge.

For me that kind of resonated with a natural inclination to care about quality (have you ever read ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? There’s an interesting passage on quality in there) a bit of an obsession with things lasting, and a conviction that buying less but buying better is a necessity. From there I got into buying better clothes to wear off the bike and reading permanent style.

Coming back to the beginning. There is a strong tradition in the UK of bespoke bicycle frame building. Would you ever consider covering a bespoke bicycle build on Permanent Style?

Paul Fournier

Dear Simon,
I realized that I’ve got hundreds of outfit pictures saved on various devices and folders thinking I’ll always have a look later on, which rarely happens. 
How do you organize yours for inspiration? Pinterest? Simply a phone folder?
Many thanks in advance.

John-Bryan Hopkins

Honestly, I think that one of the most important things in menswear is fit and proportion. Like most people, my access to good garments are usually what I find online or in stores. Yet almost all models are 4 to 6 inches taller than me and skinny. It’s so hard to see yourself in the mirror and compare it to a photo of someone when the height and sizes are scewed. Have you ever considered a height and measure chart for featured profiles or maybe anyone featured? These people are accomplished at dressing, yet I never know what I’m looking at. Are they tall? Are they thin or not? Is he a 38 chest or a 44? With good tailoring you might not really know this. That’s sort of the point of good tailoring right? Point in fact: I’m the same height and slightly thicker than Paul Newman(less the good looks but I digress). So when I see vintage photos him I can see what works on that size frame and know how to structure an outfit and its proper proportions. His frame is about the same height and size as Alessandro Squarzi or Matt Hranek who thank goodness have been photographed for decades. I can not do the same for someone 6’+ and 38 chest and 33 waist. One just can’t. I can get the gist of colors, pattern and feel but that’s it. What do you think?


Simon, that would be interesting anyway. I agree with John-Bryan, seeing how tailoring works on taller or shorter people, with a variety of body types would, I think, do more to show the power of good tailoring.

Zak Wagner

I might be too late for this, but I’m asking something I ponder about a lot.
How do you balance, having a nice well thought through wardrobe, appreciate the pieces that you own, and curb the desire to consume. In an age, where amazing clothing is everywhere, I find myself always looking for what’s next. Instead of enjoying what I have or editing it down to what I need. I’m not a minimalist, but sometimes the excess stresses me out!

Zak Wagner

Thank you for linking the article! I’ll read it today.


A thought that came across my mind recently. In the past year or so I’ve been rebuilding my wardrobe totally (much helped by the articles here). However it’s that feeling of when does an item start to feel yours? I noticed for me that yes you have bought it and it is technically yours but until you wear it in a bit, get to know the details and the relationship with the item grows. Maybe an interesting thought piece to explore.


Two questions about clothing and relationships with significant others.

1. Do you ever find yourself overdressed when compared to your significant other, or the opposite, and how do you compensate? I have a feeling the answer here will be about the sliding scale of formality and using proportions and things like accessories and shoes to change your look. I always find myself looking “too put together” when the environment is very lax.

2. What are some of your go-to outfits for date night (read – sexy or drawing the other in, as Ethan Newton accurately put it in your talk with him). This one might be better served by a whole article really – how to draw people in with your proportions, tones, fabrics, accessories!

Thanks, as always


Hi Simon,
Dare I say even Paxo will be proud of some of your PS inquisitors from this ever lengthening thread. Can you recollect any naysayers when you made Permanent Style your main occupation and any hurtful put-downs or barbs aimed at you? And did you suffer any self-doubts afterwards? What has kept you going?


I would like to know what do you wear at home in the day when you are not meeting anyone (especially in the summer) ?
Thank you.


Hi Simon.

You must have amassed a huge quantity of clothes over the years. My question is about how you store it all and also about how and when you decide to get rid of items you no longer want or need. I saw the recent Markkt sale and there were a lot of nice items for sale.




Ah thanks Simon. I did see it originally but had forgotten about it so I’ll have another read.


We are likely entering a period of hard times.
The Venn diagram circles of ‘luxury’ and ‘artisan’, or ‘quality of production’ don’t always overlap entirely. The cachet and price of a Hermes scarf is not only about craftmanship.
It can feel there is a implied idea in Permanent Style that luxury is merely about quality of the production process, as opposed to brand associations.
But a brand’s price can be driven by more than its quality of production: it can be a more purely commercial driver of the profit margin, and brand goodwill on the balance sheet.
Witness the increase in the price of Church’s shoes – like their Ryder Chukka boots – under their Prada owners.
In these times the brand strapline of a mid-market Canadian menswear brand seems relevant:
“Quality doesn’t have to be a Luxury”

Paul H

Hi Simon:
Two additional questions for consideration if I’m not too late…

  1. How do you maintain rotation for your in-season wardrobe?   While I have a decent wardrobe that I have invested in building, I find myself drawn to wearing some items much more often than others.  The result is a portion of my wardrobe is relatively underutilized.  I appreciate and want to enjoy those less worn items and am curious if you have an approach for maintaining a steady rotation.
  2. How do you feel about people wearing clothing that you have designed, created and sold?  I’m sure you’ve personally invested a lot of time and effort in all the stages of bringing a garment to market.  At the end, and I’m projecting, I feel it could be a very unique experience to have someone put that garment on their body, so I am curious as to your thoughts on the same.

Thanks for the opportunity to ask and all the best!

Brian Bodnar

In the US there are fewer bespoke options than in Europe, but the quantity is still dizzying and knowing what is of comparable quality to a Saville row house is hard. If you could pick one affordable option and one luxury option for true bespoke suits and true bespoke shirts in the US, who would you recommend? Thank you.

Brian Bodnar

Thank you for your help!