Reader profile: Tetsuya

||- Begin Content -||

Tetsuya Yamashita is a reader that Lucas knows rather than me. Back in the days when he ran the Drake’s pop-up in the old Beige shop in Paris, Tetsuya was a regular visitor, and is still a friend of Beige today. In fact we used their shop as a base, as we went out to shoot around the streets of St Sulpice. 

Tetsuya is different from other readers we’ve covered in a few ways. He’s our first French entry, and he’s a waiter at the intellectually famous Café de Flore in Paris. It’s a place increasingly popular with tourists, but just about hanging onto its distinctive character - as we discuss. 

Tetsuya also described himself as a French sartorialist, which to me means not just a fondness for Cifonelli, Charvet and Hermès, but also a tendency towards the dandy, the extra accessory and the brighter shoe. I had great fun exploring all these topics with him. As ever I hope you enjoy it too. 

Outfit 1

  • Jacket: Lorenzo Cifonelli for The Rake
  • Shirt : Bryceland’s
  • Pocket square: Simonnot-Godard
  • Trousers: Rota (made-to-order)
  • Socks: Bresciani, via Mes Chaussettes Rouges
  • Shoes: John Lobb Paris (made to order)

So, Tetsuya, tell us what you do.

I’m a waiter - a garçon de café - at Café de Flore in Paris. I came to Paris from Japan to do this profession as a métier. I’ve been there 22 years now. 

I guess you must be quite senior by now then?

Yes, I'm the third longest-serving garçon today at Flore - you do develop relationships with particular customers, who then want to be served by you when they come in. I’d say it’s my favourite aspect of the job, the friendships you establish. 

Has that included anyone famous over the years?

Well, my favourite was Karl Lagerfeld. Karl and I had a nice relationship - he would come in regularly and ask where I was serving that day. He liked the consistency of it. 

I remember the last time he came in before he died - he clearly wasn’t well, and when he said goodbye there was something different about him. I deliberately said to him, not goodbye, but ‘see you soon Karl’.

I’ve had breakfast at Café de Flore a few times and it does still have real character, despite the tourists. Lovely little egg cups, perfect bread and salted butter. 

Yes, it has hung on to that. There is what we call the Golden Triangle of establishments in St Germain: Flore, Deux Magots, Brasserie Lipp. They’re still very genuine, very characteristic of the neighbourhood. But it’s been hard - Emily in Paris was huge for American visitors, and we were flooded. 

Forgive me for asking, but how does a waiter afford clothes from Cifonelli and Hermès?

Well, I don’t spend much money on anything else! But I also save up a lot, often buying just one or two big items a year. The velvet jacket from Cifonelli here is a good example, but it was ready-to-wear - they just altered a few small things. 

How would you describe this style?

For me it’s a mixed style, something quite Japanese but obviously very French too. It’s not common to wear black velvet during the daytime, but I love it with white pants, in fact I love white pants in general. In the winter I wear the jacket with ecru Fox flannel pants that my friend Kenjiro Suzuki made for me. 

Outfit 2

  • Blazer: Cifonelli (made-to-measure)
  • Shirt: Charvet 
  • Tie: Drake’s 
  • Pocket square: Hermès
  • Trousers: Bernard Zins
  • Socks: Bresciani (via Mes Chaussettes Rouges)
  • Shoes: John Lobb Paris (made to order)

How about this outfit? Rather French?

Yes I’d call it L'élégance Parisienne. Lots of details - the pocket square, the buttons. This blazer was Cifonelli made-to-measure and the buttons are their in-house ones, with their symbol. 

The shirt is Charvet too - never anything but Charvet! Although I don’t wear Charvet for work, that’s simpler and very traditional - white shirt, bow tie, vest and apron.

Are those the shoes that L’Etiquette magazine did with John Lobb? 

Yes, actually I saw these when they were first released back in the nineties, but couldn’t afford them. So when L’Etiquette brought the model back I didn’t miss the chance, and now I have a second pair - the suede ones shown above. 

The style was originally called Delano, but L’Etiquette called it 'Paris'. It was only on sale on their website initially, but now it’s available made-to-order from Lobb. 

Have you always been into clothes?

Ever since I was a teenager. It wasn’t unusual to be into clothes back then, but most of my friends were into American clothing - casual clothing, what we call Amecaji. I was more into tailoring and English style. 

I started going into Beams, then into United Arrows were I met [designer Yasuto] Kamoshita who taught me how to dress. And we’ve been friends ever since. Now every time he comes to Paris we go out - he’s like my older brother.

Was your father a good dresser?

Not really, he didn’t care about clothes. But he was a banker and wore a suit every day, so perhaps that was an influence. Also my family was very conservative, which meant English style. I still dream about having a bespoke suit made at Anderson & Sheppard. 

I also wear quite a few English brands - I’ve been wearing Smedley knitwear since I was 20 years old. 

Outfit 3

  • Coat : Hermès
  • Scarf: Charvet 
  • Knit: John Smedley
  • Jeans: Levi’s 501
  • Socks: DoreDore 
  • Shoes: John Lobb Paris (made to order)

OK, if we had names for the previous two looks, what would you call this one?

I would say it is my version of BCBG - Bon Chic Bon Genre. 

That literally means good style and good type of person, right? The taste of the French upper classes, like the idea of Old Money or the English Country House Look

Yes exactly, it’s very classic, very French. The knit is the Dorset style from Smedley that I said I’ve been wearing for many years. In the summer I wear Isis, the same model in Sea Island cotton. I have so many colours. 

The shoes are unusual - is that the Lopez loafer?

It’s the Lopez, yes, but in a colourway I specially requested. Mr Kamoshita used to wear a pair of derby shoes from Lobb called the Barros, in a bi-colour design like this. He used to say it was very ‘French Ivy’. 

You can’t get the Barros these days, even by request, so I made a pair of Lopez in the same colours. 

How long have you had the coat? It looks pleasingly faded. 

I’ve had it for 28 years - it’s particularly useful in Paris during the mid-seasons, in spring and in autumn. In Japan those seasons are very short - it goes from hot to cold too quickly to need something like this. 

Actually there’s a bit of a story behind this coat. Hermès made it with Mackintosh, in their bonded cotton, but apparently there was an issue with one pocket so they had to recall them. The shop promised to replace mine but the original wasn’t available again, so they gave me this one. I think it’s unique - I haven’t seen it anywhere. 

Those old Hermès pieces are so beautiful - I’ve picked up a few myself second hand. It’s such a shame they don’t do classic styles today. 

I agree, it’s a real shame. 

Where do you like to shop in Paris? 

There isn’t much. Beige is obviously great, and there are the makers I’ve worn here - Cifonelli, Lobb, Charvet. But there isn’t a lot beyond that - I buy more when I go back to Japan twice a year. 

I like your Charvet scarf. How do you tie it?

Always very simple - either twice round my neck and then in a knot, or making it into a loop and then putting the ends through. 

I’ve always thought of scarves as a very Parisian thing - is that fair?

As a Japanese person I always thought the same, and I do think it’s true. I’m always watching what other people are wearing and you certainly see a lot more scarves here than in Japan. 

Nice to know one cliché holds up. Thanks for taking the time to chat to us Tetsuya, see you later at the book launch. 

See you there Simon.

Tetsuya is @yamashitatetsuya on Instagram

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This piece was a joy to read, such impeccable taste and attention to detail. Tetsuya comes across as a delightful person, there are few enough like him (especially in the Anglosphere where I reside).


A very stylish man. He knows what looks good on him. Even his hair and stubble suit him absolutely perfectly.


Hi Simon and Tetsuya
A delightful article. In my opinion Tetsuya, you are the epitome of Permanent Style. Beautiful high quality clothing that has been expertly curated and styled, and well cared for. Not forgetting the 28 year old, one-off Hermes coat, with a back story! Amazing


Well said!

Gilles F

Cannot agree more! A delightful piece, the best one of the “reader profile” series so far. I love the outfits (especially the first one, which is absolutely stunning) and the whole story about Tetsuya’s life and his passion for the Cafe de Flore. I really enjoyed reading this article, thank you Tetsuya and Simon.


What a treat! First comment here after 10+ yrs of reading PS. Tetsuya has genuine style, a fresh take on BCBG. He is not telling the same old story again, but at last he is the one who shows that tailoring can still be worn and enjoyed and without any of the old classist assumptions. Thank you! (Of course I have a question: where does the fabric of the blazer come from? It looks not-so-so-special and that‘s what I find so attractive in it.)


What a wonderfully elegant gentleman! The way he considers, puts together, and treasures his clothes over the decades is surely the epitome of ‘permanent style’. Thank you for the inspiration on a dreary Wednesday morning.

Nicolas Strömbäck

The best reader style in my book so far. A touch of everything and so well thought through. Amazing. More like this!


I agree. Good to see.


Hear hear

Paul K

Couldn’t agree more. Love the man, his story, his work, and his thoughtfulness. It’s great to read about individuals who aren’t in finance (or something similar) and buy loads of clothes. The relationships he’s nurtured over the years is icing on the cake. I wish him well, and hope you do a follow up on him in the future!


strongly agree!

Matthew V

Great interview. Someone that truly appreciates clothes and enjoys them.

We visited Paris at Easter, I hadn’t been for years, and I had forgotten how lovely it is, including a very nice coffee in the sunshine at Cafe de Flore!

Lindsay McKee

It always gives me a thrill when I see a new reader profile and this one doesn’t disappoint.
When I saw the Cifonelli blazer, and the brass buttons….my mind drifted to the recent D-Day events and many veterans , possibly most, wearing a jacket bedecked with medals…..RICHLY DESERVED..I’ll hasten to add!
I am off topic but I have always asked myself “Is there a correct etiquette of blazer… I’m not talking about the medals which have a complex etiquette in wearing them…but the blazer itself.
Obviously navy. Does it have to be double breasted with brass buttons and sharp peaked lapels?
What other attributes are required in a blazer and trousers that befits the wearing of medals?
Dege & Skinner and Gieves & Hawkes in Savile Row and possibly Henry Poole are experts in that of course.
I don’t have a blazer, and even without the medals, and maybe even the shiny brass buttons , a good navy blazer is a nice piece of apparel to have in your wardrobe.
What are your thoughts Simon, and any others of course?

Lindsay McKee

I’m only asking regarding the blazer type itself….not about the medals.

Lindsay McKee

No worries

Markus S

Forgive me for not commenting on the clothes. But I have fond memories of the Café de Flore when I was studying at Sciences Po just around the corner.
As a Viennese, I can empathize with the problem and have it right in front of my eyes when I look out my office window at Café Central, one of Vienna’s old and famous coffee houses.
Its regulars were Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Stefan Zweig and – more controversially – Leon Trotsky in his exile. It had 250 newspapers in 22 languages and a great chess tradition.
Today it has degenerated into a tourist hotspot, with a line of tourists always standing in front of it. The quality has declined and the interior has been kitsched up to fulfill the Habsburg cliché.

J Crewless

My sincere sympathies. While we all acknowledge the obvious economic benefits of tourism and the right of tourists to enjoy themselves, something is also destroyed in the process.


Please don’t forget that the coffee is terrible.

Markus S

Yes, that is true. But I am not sure if that is a Viennese tradition.


I have to say as another Viennese that I disagree here a bit, Markus. You are correct that there are long tourist queues and it has become more touristy, but the place still has a charm. Maybe it no longer has 220 papers, but it does about 20, and you can pick one or two up and read them over a melange and a Kardinalschnitte for hours and no one will bat an eye. The waiters are also very old school and kind and friendly – unlike in most other places in Vienna! – and they are always attentive to regulars and locals, including giving priority to people with prams or any type of reduced mobility. I find the food is very good and the prices fair (they could charge double on everything easily) and the cakes are amazing. I think the coffee is very good too. And I disagree that it is kitschy, I actually find it tastefully opulent, like Vienna in general and other similar ‘institutions’ of the city. Their pianist is also a cool guy who plays tasteful pieces and interacts with visitors and waiters in a familial manner. The whole place has a very relaxed vibe and is a highlight of Vienna. So I disagree quite a bit with Markus 🙂


I really enjoyed this. I’m reminded of how great classic things like a blazer and grey flannels look, and he wears everything with such ease.


As my seventeen year old daughter would say, this guy has got ‘serious rizz’. I’d simply say, this gentleman is the most effortlessly stylish individual I’ve seen on these pages. A brilliant article Simon/Lucas.

Andrew Streeter

Love these articles! What a stylish man and i already know that Tetsuya is going to be one of the best waiters in Paris with his attention to detail. Clearly he has a very real passion for clothes and the ability to put them together in a way that is subtle and classy ( a word i dislike but seems entirely appropriate here).


I have to say Tetsuya is up there with the best in the series. Every outfit is wonderful!


That was such a join to read I shouted for an encore .
A really beautiful man in every sense .
I think that’s the best reader profile you’ve done .
Every outfit is on point .
I’ve never seen a navy jacket with metal buttons worn so well .

Simon, without wanting to make broad stereotypes what is it about Japanese sartorialist (although I know Tetsuya regards his style as more French ) that make them so good ?
Could it be physical build , posture , skin tone ?
I think, along with Swedish sartorial gents , the Japanese take the gold medal.

And gentlemen …when a waiter dresses this good you have no excuses !


Just to add …. Compliments on the photography.
It’s beautiful and captures Tetsuya so well .

The first photo , for me , is Permanent Style .

Thank you .


Very elegant without being predictable. With such a strong style I guess that Tetsuya could keep the same level of elegance even reducing the budget (apart from shoes where there are no shortcuts).


Il s’habille très bien!

I like seeing a different take on casual chic (outfit 1&3) – not the minimalism (exemplified by Rubato) or craft workwear, but a slightly more bold/dandy take, that doesn’t rely on the #menswear tropes of dressing down ties, jeans or baseball caps.

I guess these outfits aren’t for the great majority of the people (black velvet is pretty niche even for evening wear), and might be easier to wear if you were on a first-name basis with Karl Lagerfeldt. Still I can’t help feeling inspired by outfits like this: in a world of business casual and minimalism, we need our little eccentric traits. Much more interesting than chambray shirts and repro chinos, in my book (but good there’s room for more than one perspective). And if I ever get to Paris, I will go to Café de Flore and ask to be seated so my order is taken by “Le serveur bien habillé du Japon.”


Enjoyable profile. I’m curious if it is easier for Mr. Yamashita to have a more expressive sense of style in Paris than it is in Japan?

Paul H

I echo what has already been shared, wonderful profile and great style! One additional observation I’ll share is that Tetsuya appears to keep it relatively simple in terms of his preferences among makers: Tailoring, Ciffonelli; Shirts, Charvet, Shoes, Lobb. I realize I’m generalizing a bit, but he seems to know what he likes and sticks with it. I can’t help but think this contributes to his consistently clean style and the ease with which he brings it forth.


This man’s taste level is superb with matching levels of humility and subtle sophistication. This is the best reader interview so far, well done Simon! Love that 28 year old coat!


a pleasure to read and something to aspire to. I didn’t note the type of watch he was wearing though….

Pat O'Sullivan

That watch is phenomenal! Great article, thoroughly enjoyed it.


What a fabulous article about a fabulous flaneur.
Tetsuya is vraiment a sartorial sensei who fastidiously but effortlessly ploughs his own furrow.
Taste at this level is such a rarity and so refreshing to see. It must be a delight to be served by him – I bet he even wears his cafe uniform with aplomb.
A big thing to come out of this is the ‘traditional blazer’ – when done correctly it is an absolute killer but it takes no prisoners and for most it winds up being a resounding belly flop.
The cloth and cut have to be perfect. The colour must be that perfect ink blue and the buttons – my God the buttons – get these wrong and you finish up looking like a cut price Simon Templar.
Beyond that accessorising it is quite the challenge.
Simon, I’ve long wanted you to research the blue, metal buttoned blazer but the last time I asked, you demurred sighting your own dislike as the reason. In light of Tetsuya and the obvious interest of readers, will you reconsider ?
Anecdotally I remember the early ‘70s when ‘The Village Gate’ and ‘Thackeray’s’ both had them as a staple. What goes around, comes around !


Shame – perhaps it’s a project you could delegate ?
I’m sure it would have huge interest amongst your readers.


Hey David/Simon – what does flaneur mean in this context, and if an observer, why is Tetsuya a flaneur? I’ve seen this a few times on the site and not understood the intention. With thanks.


‘A poet of the streets’.
‘An elegant stroller’


If there was ever a profile that called for the term “flaneur”, it is surely this one! The term was first popularized by the French poet Charles Baudelaire — a regular at the Closerie des Lilas on Boulevard du Montparnasse — in the middle of the nineteenth century to describe the aesthetes and dandies who seemed to inhabit the true spirit of the then-modern metropolis (rather than the rigid hierarchies of court societies or the social realities of grimy slums).
The term was picked up in the 1920s by Walter Benjamin, who spent his intellectual working life in the cafés of Paris and Berlin and once described the relationship between the writer and the waiter as equivalent to that of a “surgeon” and their “assistant”: the writer sits down with the surgical tools of his trade — the newspaper, the fountain pen, the pipe — while the waiter keeps everything else around the operating room — the café — in good order. For Benjamin, the flaneur represented a unique way of experiencing modernity that eschewed the obsession with industrial production and resisted the quickening pace of everyday life: as a kind of amateur detective, the flaneur sought hidden meaning in the streets and arcades of the modern city through leisurely observation and during casual strolls, was fascinated by the commodities on display but also critical of the commodification of life, was enthralled by the possibilities for individuation but also at risk of slipping into anonymity amidst the hubbub of urban life.
In a way, this delightful reader profile brings to mind a quote from the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel: “To be frank, I think his world had vanished long before he even entered it. But I will say, he certainly sustained the illusion with a marvelous grace.”


Whatever happened to everyone’s favourite flaneur, the PS commenter Jason?


I used to think that gold buttons are too showy, but I recently did grad school at one of the Ivy League universities, and they sold buttons with the school emblem on them. I thought, might as well try it, and it’s an easy fix if I end up not liking them. Having personal connection with the institution whose emblem is engraved on the metal buttons is probably about as good a reason as it could get for me to try them.
I put the gold buttons on my dark navy sport coat from Ring Jacket, and ended up surprisingly liking them. They don’t stand out as much as I expected them to. I suppose purists would scoff at the idea of putting blazer buttons on a Neapolitan jacket, as opposed to an American sack suit or an English style jacket, but I doubt anyone I know even notices.

George Rau

Metal buttoned blazers were very common in America in the sixties and seventies. Both single and double breasted. Joe Biden still wears one. I took the shiny brass buttons off of a brioni db and replaced the with some dark gunmetal colored buttons. It is still a blazer but much more subtle than with the brass buttons. The brioni buttons also had brioni written on the buttons in a black script.


Few garments are more polarising and I can’t think of anything more difficult to get right. It sounds like you’ve done a good thing with your Brioni.
Associations with errant royalty and comedic thespians don’t do it any favours.
A while ago I saw a guy sauntering down Bond Street sporting a single breasted version with mid blue washed jeans, snuff suede loafers and button down Oxford shirt – it was an absolute killer. Coolness personified.
But the blazer itself has to be perfect.

Eric Michel

A wonderful piece again, and another masterclass… Thank you!

J Crewless

I enjoy reading these profiles. Especially profiles of individuals of modest means, humility, and grace.

Lindsay McKee

Yes,I totally agree with these attributes.


Hi Simon, I think this is a really fine and subtle example of uniform dressing. Perhaps not literally, but Tetsuya clearly knows what suits him and he wears everything lightly. On one of your recent “walkie talkies” you mentioned getting into a groove with a look and then may be changing up one or two things each time. That particularly chimed with me.


Grear article and thats a style from someone with a great taste and experience. Its essy to find nice pieces, but to combine them so nice, its something that needs more than that. Simon, how would you compare the edward green with the john lobb loafers ?

David Tillinghast

I really enjoyed this profile, great style with excellent taste and just a touch of flamboyance, but still grounded and not over the top. A sweet spot that appeals to me. As a professor and chair at an art and design college, I appreciate his skill in working with the challenge of a limited income, investing in only one-to-two pieces per year. I also own the black velvet Cifonelli RTW jacket in the first outfit, and I have struggled with ways to make it less formal, because I absolutely love wearing it. This profile has given me several new ideas. The denim shirt deftly takes the mickey out of any air of formality, and pairing it with white cotton trousers and suede loafers keeps it smart without any pretense. The looks here are stylish but still nicely grounded all around. Great profile. Thanks, Simon!


This is my favorite series you have. Everyone is so stylish and has their own taste, great to see.


Wow, a true inspiration. There is so much consistency and adeptness with the basics, elevating just a little here and there to give that extra sense of personal style.


Loved the profile. He could be more Simon than Simon.


Clean as a whistle.

Alfred N

Brilliant profile. At the risk of being a bit reductionist, the marriage of French style and Japanese attention to detail is superb.
One request/comment if I may – can we have full body (head to toe) shots of the outfits in future profiles, so we can see them all in their entirety (including how the shoes look with the outfit)?


In connection to Alfred’s comment, I would like to zoom in on the first picture, the one right under the title, but it’s not possible to click on it, like the ones on the rest of the article. Is it just me/my browser?

Alfred N




James Fettiplace

Lovely to see a classic bi-metallic watch. Not everybody’s cup of tea (and I’m biased here with a 84′ Rolex bimetallic Datejust) but I find it’s a great bridge between smart and casual. The older watches also help in this regard by being smaller. It also allows you to wear a little bit of gold without going full gold and channelling Tony Soprano!


Yes! You can also tone down a full gold watch with a more subtle leather strap — paler waxy leathers, tan Epson calf, even a grey suede…


Totally agree Chris. I inherited a yellow gold late 80s Rolex day date with yellow gold dial and president bracelet from my dad. It is very 1980s and a bit much for me and I never wear it. I just ordered a brown suede strap to put on it, in the hope that it will be a bit more wearable for me.


Wonderful profile. What a gent. There’s something about his line of work (like the window cleaner and the tube driver featured previously) that makes people like Tetsuya seem even more stylish.


I think the question about how he affords these clothes is unnecessary, judging from my personal experience. I know several people working in high-end gastronomy and they certainly earn more than most people with an academic degree.


I disagree.
I think most people reading would be wondering how a waiter manages to afford what are, for the majority of the non PS reading population, prohibitively expensive items of clothing.
It’s nice to address the elephant in the room, even if only to discover that the answer is that he doesn’t “spend much money on anything else”. At least it’s honest.


Maybe I did not express myself well. I wrote about „my personal experience“. I would not have seen any elephant. I know what people in touristic expensive restaurants/cafes earn. Others may not. And for them the question might come to mind.


What an engaging gentleman. A particular congratulations for addressing the point on income. I’m sure if would have been on everyone’s mind if you had not covered this. The reality of style is that cost and affordability is a significant driver of what we wear. I remember when I started work being openly asked how I afforded nice shoes. I was happy to answer. I saved for them and took the view that my feet weren’t going to grow!


Impeccable style, really. I wish you had taken a picture of him in his waiter’s uniform, I am sure that he has taken this all too often neglected outfit to another level.
I just wish the French tax administration does not come accross this article, or he is in for a full audit – Not sure that the “I save up a lot” explanation will hold…


“Where do you shop in Paris?…there isn’t much…” Wrap your head around that for a moment.


As other readers have mentioned this is the best reader profile so was a joy reading


Excellent article! Really enjoyed reading it. Lovely style. I have a question about white trousers: I would love to get a pair made but am weary of them being somewhat see-through! What material are these white trousers made from? And what would you recommend generally in terms of cloth for white trousers? Many thanks.


Understood. Many thanks. Any other cloths you would recommend if I wanted something a little softer than cotton?


Many thanks. What about cloths you would recommend that weren’t cotton, which can wear a little stiff? Anything else you would recommend in white that wouldn’t be see-through but would still wear nicely in summer?


To add to Simon, I think twills (like denim) is better than the topical simple weave , as the threads are tied closer together.
In terms of white trousers (or vanilla), the Civilman Trouser by Anthology are great

Dr Peter

My suggestion would be white (or cream) cotton drill cloth, which is a thicker form of cotton. Also, consider cotton duck (from the Dutch doek, a kind of canvas or sailcloth). In general, a twill weave of the kind found in most khakis would look great and also be fully opaque. Here in the States, Dickie’s have painter’s pants, which has a few extra accoutrements (hammer loops, etc), but looks very good, and, after a few washes, becomes softer. I am also rather fond of white cricket flannels, which are actually the colour of Devon cream, a pale cream.


White cotton is very see through. Especially at seams where the inlay shows.

Only things you can do is up the weight or texture. Hides a lot.

Up the shade or blends the fibres. Think wool and linen blends in off white etc.

Or better still do all of them.
Also oddly black or blue pocket bags often work better than white. Don’t ask me why.

Greg Coleman

Hi Simon,
Tetsuya has excellent taste! Also, the fact that he has to be discriminating about what he buys, rather than being able to adopt a “money is no object” approach, makes this a very relatable article in my opinion.
I particularly like the Cifonelli velvet jacket! I know you did an article on wearing Cifonelli velvet for evening wear a while ago, but wondered what your thoughts were regarding wearing velvet during the day. (I’m not sure I have the courage to pull off the look!)
Thanks, Greg

Alfred N

I would guess this (like many other things) would depend on context. If you’re a dapper man strolling along the Left Bank, why not! But in the City (or many other contexts…), I imagine it would be hard. And then again there are probably individuals (Mick Jagger? I know I’m showing my age…) who could pull off “their” look anywhere.


Earlier this spring, I saw an older man (around 65 years old) in Rome walking to lunch dressed in a velvet jacket that was something between emerald and bottle green, grey flannels, brown suede brogues, a light blue shirt and a tie. The look was next level. Most people would have instinctively gone for a cashmere jacket on that occasion, which would have been really nice as well, but the velvet jacket gave the look real flair.

I think it worked because the man was older, good looking, and very clearly knew his style and was comfortable in his clothes. For most people wearing that kind of a jacket would across as trying too hard, or a “look”, but on that man it appeared perfectly natural that he was wearing a green velvet jacket at 1pm.

That brings me to the profile of Tetsuya. Like a lot of readers, I am really impressed. What I think really sets Tetsuya apart is that you can see he is completely comfortable in his clothes. Even if some of the items are eye catching, like the blazer with the very low buttoning point or the white trousers with rather orange fox suede shoes, they are worn in a way that is completely natural and nonchalant.

David Tillinghast

I really enjoyed this profile, great style with a bit of flamboyance, but still fairly grounded and not over the top. A sweet spot that appeals to me. Also, as a professor and chair at an art and design college, I appreciate his skill in working with a limited income, only able to invest in one-to-two pieces per year. I also own the black velvet Cifonelli RTW jacket in the first outfit, and I have struggled with ways to make it less formal, because I absolutely love wearing it. This profile has given me several new ideas. The denim shirt deftly reduces any air of formality and pairing it with white cotton trousers and suede loafers keeps it smart without any pretense. The looks here are stylish but still nicely grounded all around. Great profile. Thanks, Simon.


Do you know if the Charvet scarf is silk or wool?
He seems to be the modern iteration of “permanent style” you have been looking for.


Lovely profile. A man who has found his style. Beautiful pieces that you can tell bring joy to the wearer, with interesting unique details to them that add personality. The photography is also beautiful (shot by Jamie?). Makes me long for a trip to Paris. A pleasure to read.

Dr Peter

Tetsuya Yamashita is style incarnate! He sets us all a lovely example, a wonderful model that encapsulates individuality and quiet taste. The well-worn and cared-for items he has put together here illustrate how he has gone about creating his own unique style. A great article, Simon, my compliments to you and to Tetsuya.


very stylish – but how does he afford to live? Paris as a waiter, his clothes habit and 2 trips to Tokyo…. he must do nothing expect work and wear clothes!


Also my favourite of these reader profiles. I’m trying to put my finger on why. Perhaps because I’ve spent the last three years trying to update my dressing for the post COVID world; more high low dressing, more casual, more workwear. Tetsuya, in contrast, seems perfectly confident in the style choices he developed years ago. They work so well for him that the still look perfectly up-to-date pre covid, post covid, in any setting. That level of style and taste is truly rare.


Oh, what a great article to read and what an interesting man, I love his style and I reading what makes other people tick. Thanks Simon.


Reader Profiles are one of my favorite recurring series, and this is one of the best ones. Tetsuya has great style and he uses a lot of things that come up on Permanent Style quite regularly: the utility of white/ecru trousers and denim; using an accessory like a scarf to add color; using texture rather than color or patterns to make an odd jacket look casual; wearing denim shirts with tailored jackets; and the love of loafers. Cifonelli should definitely use Tetsuya in their promotional materials; we wears their 6×1 blazer very well.


What beautiful clothing and spectacular style


This is a great read. Someone with a deep sense of style, yet truely personal. I am not sure many of us could pull his ideas off with such ease but on him it is a joy!
As the interview captures, it seems to have been absorbed from both his day to day professional life, his heritage, and something deep inside.
I am so glad people like this exist. Wonderful.


Fantastic piece. I have spent eight years of my adult life working in Paris, including five just out of university, and this look reflects much of my own style, which doubtless derives from the Parisian ambiance, soaked up at an impressionable age. What unfortunately has changed about Paris is that so many of the small menswear shops with meticulously curated collections, like Pierre Samary, no longer exist. They offered outstanding quality at a reasonable price, and as a result I still have drawers full of superb accessories purchased in the early 1980s.


What a wonderful life affirming article. It reads almost like something from a novel. Tetsuya has wonderful style and a distinct and clear view. He is thoughtful about everything. I have a soft spot for navy blazers with metal buttons, which are generally seen as “boring old man”, and which Tetsuya shows not to be the case.
Thank you


Lovely article with a very refined gentleman.

anne moss

Just lovely – the combination of elegance, humility and restraint. Truly illustrates how elegant habillement can translate to / transcend to character. Also appreciate how he describes his metier. One my favorites ever of your posts. Thank you !


The first two pair of shoes fro Lobb, which model are they? They are beautiful!!


What a fantastic Profile. Great read, seems like a great guy and far more practical than someone who dresses like a human highlighter for attention.

Quite simply, a wonderful article. Thank you PS.


Hello Bryan and Simon. There are many looks which are perhaps not very “PS”, but being open minded has, for me, been one of , if not, the very best things about this wonderful magazine. I guess I’m saying, if that’s you, then that’s you.


Good to meet someone so mindfully stylish who isn’t as wealthy as many other guests—and is candid about that. Something about money not buying taste…


Lovely interview and fantastic photographs.

JJ Katz

Lovely article and gent. Perhaps my favourite, so far, in thid series.