A style post today, after several product and profile pieces in recent weeks.

To break it down into bullets:

  • I love grey shirts, primarily with navy suits or jackets as an alternative to white and blue. It feels urban and modern
  • The problem is, with a grey shirt you are robbed of the most reliable colour for a trouser: grey
  • One nice option is cream, which goes well with the grey shirt and leaves the jacket open, for navy, green, brown, anything
  • In the image here, taken during a humid week in Tokyo, I’ve opted for my dark-green 9oz-wool jacket from Solito
  • In many ways it’s a summer equivalent to this winter outfit using my Escorial jacket


And the details of the pieces:

  • The shirt is from D’Avino, with all its consequent beautiful hand-sewn and hand-rolled details.
  • The cream linen trousers are an Irish-woven W Bill, from my old Terry Haste suit
  • The shoes are my Foster’s bespoke, looking better after their repatination
  • The linen hank is white, contrasting nicely with the grey shirt and cream trouser. It is from Simonnot-Godard
  • And the portfolio is my vintage piece from Bentley’s. Very practical for a day around town


Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

Credit: Permanent Style


  1. What is the difference between the product Terry Haste or Steven Hitchcock puts out now when compared with the ones they made when they were at Huntsman and A&S, respectively?

  2. Simon Crompton

    Pretty much nothing

  3. Then it would be pretty pointless to go to Huntsman or A&S for that matter since their suits costs less than those at Huntsman or A&S. Which beckons one important question. Should one follow the cutter or the House?

  4. Simon Crompton

    Yes. There are some that still want that particular brand, or like another cutter at those houses, but otherwise not much point. In general, people follow the cutter, largely for reliability and relationship

  5. Simon,
    Maybe it’s the photo, but don’t you think it would be better to have the rise of the trousers higher in order not to show any shirt under the waist button?
    By the way, which is the standard neapolitan button stance? It is higher than the english?

  6. Simon Crompton

    There is certainly a benefit there, yes, but as I’ve written before a higher-rise trouser doesn’t sit consistently without braces. And I don’t like braces.
    The button stance varies, but often looks a little higher because the jacket is a little shorter.

  7. Hey,
    I remember that in one of your older articles (I think on a book signing event), you praised the benefit of an all-grey outfit (if I recall correctly, you were wearing the Edward Sexton DB). I guess the key is to have enough contrast (as always)? I find that a pale grey shirt works very well with a charcoal full suit or trousers for instance (actually often better than white or certain blues as it is enough contrast but not too much and gives a subtle transition in colours). Any thoughts?

  8. Simon Crompton

    That was actually with a grey herringbone suit in Milan, but I have worn it with the Sexton DB as well. And yes, contrast helps. Mixing greys can look very cool but it’s a lot harder to get the shade mix right, compared to wearing grey with navy or a different dark colour, like green here

  9. Agreed, although I don’t find it any harder than say sky-blue shirt + navy suit… Pale grey or blue-greyish shirt is becoming my go-to combination with a charcoal suit. Almost any tie combination works with that (burgundy, navy grenadine, dark green, etc.).

  10. Hi Simon
    Love the ensemble. You’ve said before that you prefer button down (less formal) shirts when worn open without a tie. I almost never wear a tie. which type of collar do you think sits best, button down or cuttaway such as in your shirt above?

  11. Simon Crompton

    A button down will usually sit best, but it depends a lot on the cut of the collar. The button down needs a long enough point to be able to roll up around the jacket collar. And a spread collar that is high enough can work pretty much as well.
    I would usually favour button downs when open-necked, but I would wear this with a tie also, so went for a spread collar.

  12. Nick Inkster

    Call me old fashioned, but I haven’t worn a grey shirt since I was at school…….
    I think I would prefer this rig with pale grey linen or fresco with a cream coloured shirt, shoes and hank to remain the same.

  13. How long would you say is long enough for a button down collar? And I remember you recommended a linen cotton mixture over pure linen because it is softer. Isn´t it difficult to judge a fabrics softness from a tiny piece in a swach book?

  14. Simon Crompton

    Yes, it can be hard to judge, particularly how it washes over time. I do generally prefer cotton/linen mixes, but pure linen can also be nice for the texture

  15. Bertie Wooster

    The angle of the notch on your lapel looks rather small for a Solito or Neapolitan jacket. I thought they do their notches more like ninety degrees. Is it the photo, or did you ask them to make the notch more English style?

  16. Simon Crompton

    I didn’t ask them to do anything different no, though it is a little more closed than my other Solito.

  17. Really, a thoughtful combination. The colors here – muted, urbane – I think really work best with fall and winter in mind. The Escorial jacket link speaks to that. Stoffa has a few links with palettes in mind. The deep green/gray combination, within a more casual context, works nicely.

  18. The second photo is, I feel, one of the best photos published on this page.
    The composition is great, and it shows a small technical detail of your tailoring – the hemline of your trousers. It’s thought provoking
    Also-green socks ;P

  19. Enjoyed this blog a lot over the years and found some very good advice – thank you for that – but I must say I am getting a bit bored of Mr Crompton modelling his extensive wardrobe. How about bringing in a bigger gentleman like David Walliams or someone more rotund like David Suchet (who wears rather nice suits when he is Hercule Poirot)?

  20. twitter_NicoStromback

    Hi Simon!
    I have yet to commission a linen shirt from Luca, most likely for next spring. Would you say linen is only useful for spring/summer months or could a heavier linen do the job for fall right up until the real winter hits us?

  21. Simon Crompton

    I often wear them all year round, but only in the colder months under knitwear – and the softer linens rather than anything too stiff

  22. Hi Simon,
    Your plea for grey shirts is arguably heeded this time with this post. Indeed, it can be an effective change of pace from white and blue ones.
    Another teaching moment worth mentioning too: the versality of brown oxfords. Even a very sharp shoe like this one easily lends itself to being down or up graded, depending on one’s mood.

  23. Great outfit as usual Simon! I really like the trousers. By the way, how far below your navel do you wear your trousers? Also, for higher waisted trousers, are side adjusters a better option than braces?

  24. Simon Crompton

    I wear mine on the hips generally. And no, braces are always more functional – but there’s a lot on the site on both types, so do read around

  25. I recall seeing other grey shirts around on PermanentStyle, are they all linen ? I’m particularly struggling to find grey in cotton linen. What is the fabric batch of your davino grey shirt ? Thanks

  26. Simon Crompton

    The greys have generally been linen (for summer) and brushed cotton (for winter). Both this D’Avino one and my Simone Abbarchi winter one are from Sictess

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *