An Hermes silk scarf with all navy

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Long-term readers will be familiar with my passion for Hermes silk scarves, which I’ve often bought over the years as a treat, and of which I now have a small collection (nine of them, since you ask). 

I’ve found particular enjoyment this winter wearing one as an accessory with an otherwise plain outfit, as here. I rarely wear a tie or handkerchief these days, and feel self-conscious with gloves sticking out of the breast pocket. 

Somehow a silk scarf doesn’t have that feeling. Perhaps because I’ve literally never seen a man wearing one outside of Paris (and even that was in the Hermes HQ) so it’s unusual and personal. And perhaps because those gloves or a Drake’s silk feel more common (within the echo chamber of #menswear).

The immense advantage of a scarf like this is that it is both decorative and protective. It can be simply draped, as above, or tied close around the neck, providing protection from the elements. 

Silk doesn’t seem that warm, being cold to the touch, but it’s a decent insulator and very good at blocking the wind, which is why they were originally worn by cyclists. A strip of folded silk can also be tucked into a crewneck, as below, for something warm but subtler. And if it gets too hot, it’s light enough to be tucked in a pocket. 

I’ve been saying for a while that I’d make a video demonstrating tying techniques, and I apologise to readers for not doing so. It’s so much more time-consuming than writing an article, at least if you want to produce it to a particular level. 

However, the way the scarf is worn in here is pretty simple. Have a look at the Hermes site for anything that begins by creating a strip, and then either let it drape or tie it, with a simple over-and-under once or twice.

The model is the classic 90x90cm women’s silk - or rather, a scarf from the women’s collection. I think we’re all broad-minded enough to accept that pieces can cross over, especially in something as understated as navy. 

The men’s designs are usually just as bold anyway, simply with fewer bright colours. They’re also nearly all in silk/cashmere, while I prefer silk. 

The one advantage of the men’s range is that they are 100cm squares, which create a strip long enough to tuck behind the waist button of a fastened jacket. The 90cm ones are just about OK, but as my preferred waist-button position has lowered over time, they have started working loose sometimes. 

The key with finding a good piece from the women’s Hermes range is to look out for designs in dark colours. There are rarely more than a couple a season, but they do change completely each time so there are always new options coming through.

I like the Hermes ones for their designs, but also for their quality. A surprising number of designer brands use digital printing rather than the dye-and-discharge method, which is more expensive but creates images that more precise and vibrant. 

The biggest reason for using digital printing is you can create more intricate designs, including shading. That’s why Hermes designs are often quite bold, like the Drake’s scarves that so many have become fond of over the years. 

If anyone would like to know more about those processes, you can see detailed reports on PS on the Adamley printing facility in England, where many of the Drake’s designs were created, and on the very different - enormous, modern - Hermes facility in Lyon

I’m sure visiting the latter is another reason I feel fond of the Hermes silks, and am always playing around with ways to wear them. 

The navy coat here is by Ettore de Cesare, but I’ll review that in a couple of weeks. 

For now, it’s the triple-navy combination that I find interesting. To be honest, I really like it but struggle to analyse why, in my usual fashion. 

The jacket was covered previously here, and is by Solito in a tweedy Fox cloth. The trousers have been shown here, and are the old Fox serge. The knit is our Finest Crewneck in superfine merino (making a long-overdue return to the Shop in a few weeks). 

They’re all different textures of wool, all slightly different shades of navy. 

Now I wouldn’t normally wear a jacket and trousers together in such similar colours, because they risk looking like a mismatched suit. Yet with this navy knit I like it. 

I also don’t normally wear a crewneck under a jacket, because a shirt seems more flattering. Despite a previous post here, it’s not a combination I’ve found I turn to, yet with all the other navy going on I quite like it. 

If anyone has any thoughts on why it works - or indeed, views that it doesn’t - please do write in. For the moment it pleases me, which is reason enough. 

The loafers are Edward Green, the black Piccadilly in Utah. I’m in two minds about Utah leather: it is more weather-resistant, being waxed, and the hatching is subtle. But it’s hard to shake the suspicion that black calf would be better in a loafer. Certainly the delapré (same with no hatching) is too matte and plain. 

As to the Finest Crewneck, if anyone wants to be on the waiting list please use the form on the product page here. For those who don’t know what the hell it is, see the original post from 2017

All other questions, shout as normal below.


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Peter Hall

You’ve inspired me to dig out my blue silk scarf to wear with my crewnecks.

I think navy is such a good neutral base,but the colour ensures its not boring.. Its proximity to black lifts the smartness.
You definitely have to take care with the neck line, under a jacket , and I think it looks much better with a turtle neck (rather than a crew or roll neck).

Jim Bainbridge

There’s something about navy on navy, isn’t there?

And FWIW I actually like that you went for the crew neck here, because a roll neck would be the safe choice for many. (probably including me)


Hello Simon. I like it on you and I somehow like it on myself. As seen here – wearing a navy knit over an indigo denim shirt and indigo jeans with my Red Wing Iron Rangers 8085 in CR&T leather (now sold).


Thank you Simon as always. This was my wardrobe before I started building and working on my wardrobe with all your invaluable experience, help and inputs. Now I own thisのコピー and I intend to try it over a (yet to buy in my size) with my and Red Wing Moc Toe Boots.


Oops… I forgot to mention The PS Everyday Denim Shirt also that I own.


I think this is one of your best outfits to date. Granted I love a bit of tonal dressing and in navy especially, but the different textures is what makes it visually interesting. Had you only worn a navy flannel suit with the same knit underneath it would be nice but not as effective.
I also think finding different pieces that works this well together is not as easy as one might think. Of course some variations of navy would work just as well, but it’s very dependent on which pieces would vary.
In terms of footwear, I think an unlined black cordovan PTB would work nicely too, as well as a very dark brown suede chukka.
I think this is a great example of how tailoring can be used in a modern day office or indeed outside of it. It’s also a look that transitions nicely into spring and summer, where trousers could we swapped for cotton, linen or even some soft of high twist.

Karl Maris

Please advise as to the size of the finest crewneck that you are wearing as depicted in the photos. Thanks.

Ian skelly

Will it be pretty much the same as the last iteration ( loro piana wool, the same producer? )

Vicky Pollard

Hi Simon, great it will be back. I have already two of them. Would you mind to give the exact “delta” to compare the measurements?


PS. The silk scarf is lovely. I’d be tempted to tie it tightly around the neck and let the ends flow. Stereotypically and flamboyantly French, perhaps, but it’s at Pitti after all.


The navy on navy/blue look is something Armani himself has worn on a fairly consistent basis for years, and it does look very chic. Something of a toned down, softer sobriety without resorting to black I think. I feel like it has a similar effect on you from the above pictures.


Perhaps the reason you feel happy to overlook usual concerns over close-to-matching-but-not-quite jacket/trousers, and the crew neck under a jacket, is that when everything is all one colour the eye is less drawn to those above details. It’s one big impression that’s being made, and that gesture subsumes everything else.

Rick J

I also agree with this, and would add that dark tonal outfits are more likely to frame the face, leaving little else for the eyes to fall on. And when one does look closer at the clothing, the harmonious blend of textures adds another layer of enjoyment.

Perhaps part of the appeal is this unexpected range of enjoyment: the conspicuous framing of the face, and the subtle exploration of texture and tonality.

Johannes P

Great news on bringing back the finest knitwear, they are awesome! Will the V-neck and bottle green also come back?


Nice outfit Simon.

I’m saddened that you have come to mostly reject most pieces of decorative clothing, such as a tie and pocket square, but I can understand the reasons you’ve explained in other articles. I don’t think I get the rationale for feeling self-conscious about sticking a pair of gloves in the breast pocket of your coat. Could you please elaborate?

Unrelated lyrics, do you have an update on the release of the new suede blouson? Thanks.


Makes sense, thanks Simon!

Just a quick follow up on my second (and clearly not proofread) question – do you have an update on the release of the suede blouson? Thanks again.

Felix Sylvester Eggert

Sorry Simon to jump off of this rather not topic related question, but: is there and info hinted about the blouson yet, maybe in an article? I couldn’t find anything via the search, or rather, too much when searching for “suede blouson”, and quite a couple of people seem to know about it already.


The overcoat I wear to work lacks a breast pocket and gloves make me wish I had one, purely for practical reasons – I don’t always have ample space in a bag to properly store gloves and keeping them in the flap pockets always makes me nervous as my arms brush by them!


I’m having an overcoat made at the moment and the tailor suggested an internal glove pocket, which sounds a good idea. It will be lower down the coat, below the normal chest-level pockets.


My favourite overcoat has a “side entry” chest pocket on the left side which is great for storing gloves, they are super easy to reach. I got so used to it that now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ravi Singh

This is a lovely outfit showing a modern and interesting way to wear navy; a colour that tends to get associated with business outfits but is beautiful and versatile. A lovely way to show how one can still wear tailored trousers and jackets and not look like office wear. Layering of textures is excellent.


It’s a really great look Simon, and the scarf is A1. I think we all probably own way too many navy blue items but this outfit shows why it works so well.

Robert M

So much better than the usual dark-tonal dressing you see in the streets, which is of course black on black on black, in cheap shiny materials or skinny jeans (but then again, I wouldn’t expect to see those here). Somewhat tangentially, this reminds me I wanted to try out fully-fashioned merino t-shirts, which would essentially be a summer version of the crewneck you’re wearing here.
Even more tangentially, on the topic of things returning to the shop – any plans to restock the oxford/chambray/denim shirt fabrics?

Robert M

Thanks, good news overall. A shame about the denim though, I did buy it before and I love the material, but wanted to have a better shirt made in it when I finally go to Florence for the first time in May and visit Simone Abbarchi.

Ian skelly

Seconded about the denim ( darker) I bought the chambray fabric and would like the darker denim too


admittedly, I’ve handled PS denim for 5 minutes, but I managed to snag last one of previous seasons pale wash denim shirt from natalino, and it’s pretty similar. pale denim coloured thin l, soft and stretchy 100% cotton twill that fades quickly.


Could you tell us why you decided to remove regular denim from the shop?


Lovely outfit. I’ve been occasionally checking Hermes’ website to see if there’s a scarf plain enough, like this navy or your brown one, but I keep finding overly bold ones. I’ll just have to keep waiting!
How slippery is Hermes silk? I have a silk scarf from Tootal, and admittedly it’s considerably lower quality but it’s so smooth the simple under-and-over comes undone very easily.

Hendy Drake

Thought the jacket looked familiar! I got married in a solito navy fox flannel, even picked the same buttons too! A little slimmer now but I often wear it with the PS dark navy polo

Ian A

I had a silk scarf from Drake’s that i bought in their Mayfair pop up sale, but a lady i cheekily asked to go home with one night wanted it as a souvenir and kept it.

Now she’s my fiancé so i guess they certainly are versatile and perhaps an investment of some sorts if that term can ever truly be applied to an item of luxury clothing.


Hi Simon,
I see you answered a question on the release of the suede blouson. I had a question as well, but regarding its colour. Will it be dark brown, as the Valstarino it will succeed to, or another shade? (was looking for something a but richer than dark brown, a bit like the RRL blouson you once had…). Thanks. G


Since you ask, I think the main reason the outfit works is because the garments are quite different in texture providing enough contrast. 
The jacket is a somewhat coarse textured tweed that on the photos even looks a bit fluffy, and that no one would mistake for a suit jacket. The crewneck is very fine, but it’s still knitwear, which distinguishes it from the pants. The serge looks very tight-knit and similar to worsted wool. Hence, this differences make the outfit probably workable.
Still, I don’t think it is perfect. For me such tonal outfits look better in grey (or brown/beige), because you can differentiate the colour somewhat more without the outfit loosing its subtleness. Light navy usually starts looking flashy, blue being such a strong colour. I think a shirt would have gone well with it, but so does the Hermes scarf in the photos where you’re wearing it. It really breaks up the outfit in a good way.


There is something about reaching middle age and tonal dark dressing. Would be similarly effective with black and a darker grey. Elegance, simplicity, and a compliment to one’s thinning grey hair and beard (I am in a similar place). I find Scott of The Sartorialist is a great example of consistency with this look.


I like the outfit, Simon. As you mentioned in the article, it is different from what you usually wear, but I think it suits you well.
Do you think this outfit would have worked if the trousers were smart dark blue jeans?
Many thanks,


Am I the only one to think that the navy in the scarf is not what makes the look, but the paler element of the pattern? Not sure if it is pale grey or a paler blue, but to my eye it is this which stands out and lifts the entire ensemble.

Barry Pullen

Just a word on the whole “death of the tie” thing: we’ve been there before, and survived. During the 1970’s—the worst decade in recent human history for men’s fashion—the only men wearing ties were politicians and fellows in the financial sector, much like today. And not only ties were abandoned, but natural fibers as well. Imagine head-to-toe polyester on every human you meet. My teenage years, as I recall, were full of visual horror.

Then, in 1980, the film AMERICAN GIGOLO came out, set in Los Angeles. At that time in L. A. very few politicians wore ties, and suddenly you have this character smartly tailored in jackets and ties of real fabric. Not exactly a timeless look as we now know, and not bespoke, but exceedingly elegant for the time. This single fictional character set off the menswear renaissance of the 1980’s. Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Alan Flusser all exploded during this time. Savile Row, which everyone thought was dead, came back with a vengeance.

Take my word for it: fashion-wise, the 1970’s were worse than Covid. If you want to wear a tie—wear a tie. Forget about what everyone else is doing. And if in wearing a tie you inspire two or three other guys to wear one, and they in turn inspire a few guys…

It only takes one man to start a revolution. Otherwise, we may as well give up and join the hoodie and sweatpants crowd right now, God forbid.


Simon, I wonder if the reason you like the Navy/Navy/Navy combo is something related to a comment you made in a previous article about comfort. There is a line in that article that I think about from time to time. I’m paraphrasing but it was something to the effect of “comfort can just be a shift to what you’ve been doing lately.” I think that sentiment holds true. I wonder if that’s what is at play here. Instead of the usual thoughts around color cohesiveness and palettes, just sticking with one color for everything. Perhaps there is comfort in the simplicity?

peter hall

That’s a very interesting point ,Simon, and I wonder that instead of the usual starting points for a capsule wardrobe, it would -for casual especially, be better to start with a colour based capsule…and do the wardrobe mixing from that ..i.e all navy, all blue, all brown.
I’m having this discussion with my son who is taking his first steps into classic styling. He doesn’t arrive with any knowledge of the history of menswear and in our conversations, it’s always colour and shape.


Would you have preferred, in a tonal outfit like this, to use a belt with the trousers (to add a small touch of interest)?

Matthew V

About 75% of my wardrobe is navy, so I naturally approve of this outfit!

Eric Michel

Beautiful coat and jacket, I am a big fan of full navy which tends to look even more sophisticated than the alternative full black. Personally I would go without a scarf, as it give the impression of someone who tries just a bit too much. But this may be just me…


Your style seems to be getting more minimalist over time, Simon. The classy sophistication that comes with this kind of look clearly comes easy to you. In fact, I think I would actually prefer it without the scarf, as beautiful as it is. Although I do realise that’s not the point of this article…
Scarf aside, I used to dress a lot like this in my mid-thirties – plenty of navy and black, no ties or pocket squares, knitwear without a shirt underneath and so on. After a while I gravitated more towards colour, often encouraged by your articles, and felt much more comfortable embracing ties (even when nobody around me wore them). Perhaps we are heading in opposite directions!
Which leads to a question – where do you think your personal style is heading, if anywhere? Can you imagine coming full circle and returning to more formal tailoring and silk ties? Do you think you will start to head even further in a minimalist/casual direction? Will you continue to react to the world around you or plot your own course?
Apologies if that is too personal a question, but I find the thinking that drives your decision as fascinating as the looks you put together for us.


This one of those topics where I think there is both complexity and simplicity!
You’ve always spoken about the importance of dressing in the context of your surroundings and daily routine and also about bring respectful to others ie not to be over dressed. I think that is all important and we are clearly in very casual times. I also agree that it is perfectly possible to express oneself without being anachronistic – something you do effortlessly.
But outside of situations where one might accidentally be at risk of upstaging a host or the boss, are we at risk of overthinking things if we feel that the style choices we make can really subtract from the experiences of other people in the spaces we share? Or that we might look old-fashioned for wearing a pocket square? I know you are not necessarily making that point, of course, but I do worry that those of us who care about personal style can be in danger of becoming too self aware about things others around us don’t spare a second thinking about.
At the same time, I like to think that everyone should be able to express exactly who they are, whether it’s an artist with a totally out there look to the rest of mainstream society, someone wearing a hoodie and jeans or someone who merely wants to wear a patterned tie in an increasingly casual and utilitarian world. Again, I know you are not suggesting this, but the notion that society could make menswear aficionados so self-conscious about how others perceive them that it effectively enforces a dress code is one I find quite unpalatable.
And one final thought – if one is interested in menswear, the craft behind the clothing and style itself then their style is probably evolving permanently (sorry!) and often without them realising it. I find it hard to believe that you or any of the regular visitors to this site will ever find a settle down style and therefore I fully expect to see you doing things differently 18 months from now, in three years’ time and so on!
I don’t make these points to be obtuse, Simon, but because I hope they add something and stimulate further ideas and thoughts in others. Thank you, as ever, for reading and replying.

William Kazak

I wear a white silk scarf with my A2 bomber jacket. It fits the authentic history of the use of such a jacket. With my navy Peacoat I wear a tan cashmere scarf. I like the contrast and the pea coat is warmer, especially with that scarf. I cannot wear a trutleneck. They are too uncomfortable to my neck. Crew necks work well for me.


All navy is a very stylish, chic look that isn’t that commonly seen outside of Instagram.

I think wearing a navy jacket with navy trousers has a high risk of looking like a mismatched suit (as you say). It’s difficult to judge this based on this pictures though. I would avoid the risk by just wearing a navy suit, like you’ve done previously, or perhaps charcoal trousers at the cost of less navy.

Regarding the crewneck, I myself also prefer some sort of collar but the crewneck looks stylish nonetheless, particularly with the scarf.

Eric Michel

Dark jeans to avoid the mismatch suit risk and turtleneck, to replace the need for a scarf, but still with a jacket . When temperature is moving down, I wear full navy very often, with either black boots or dark brown suede when not raining. Easy and always working…


Quite a timely article! Given the recent weather in the UK I’ve been wearing a scarf much more regularly than usual and have very much enjoyed it. Looking ahead to the warmer months, I’ve been eyeing up the ‘wispy’ range from Begg and co. Have you had any experience with these Simon?
They look beautiful and the production process is mind boggling! I did wonder if the durability might be an issue however…


Ah, ok, that might be quite useful actually. I was thinking of something to wear in summer, unless it’s too warm of course.
I hadn’t really considered silk, might be worth a look. Thanks!


Hi Simon, I like this dark tonal look. I find that there are often occasions that come up where a suit feels too smart, but I’d like to wear more than just a shirt, preferably a jacket with a polo/dartmoor underneath, or a jacket with a crewneck as seen here. I was thinking evening occasions such as a night out at a restaurant or a friend’s birthday party. Would you wear something like this on a night out like that?
Separately, I was also curious, do you stick to black shoes at night? Or do you find the old adage “no brown shoes at night” passé like you had said about “no brown in town?”


Thanks, Simon. That makes sense. I’ve enjoyed your articles on dressing for occasions – particularly what to wear to the office, what you wear on holiday, and what to wear to a wedding. I’d be interested in reading one on what you like for “casual evening wear” (nights where “cocktail attire” or a suit would be over the top), if you find it of interest at some point. Thanks again for replying!


Looking really forward to your video addressed to the way of scarf tying techniques!
The combination is a great inspiration!

Bradley Tompkins

Do you think the same effect would be as pleasant with shades of deep green? I have been experimenting with this, but your article is making me comfortable to take the leap in adding green trousers to my green heavy moleskin blazer and twill shirt.

Tim J

Hey Simon,
Love the navy-on-navy look. I think the crewneck suits you more than you perhaps feel it does. there’s a nice combination of modernity and timelessness to this look. perhaps one of many reasons it works so well.
I was curious to know if you were planning to do larger chest sizes in this iteration of ‘the finest knitwear’?


hi Simon, I find this outfit fairly banal. I found the black and brown tonal outfits you wrote about recently quite interesting because they are uncommon and unexpected: all black because of the connotations against black for those of us interested in classic menswear and all brown because nobody does it. Unlike those two, all navy is fairly common, in particular among men our age looking for a uniform a la Steve Jobs. In my opinion, the outfit doesn’t look bad, but it isn’t very interesting either.


Hi Simon, the timing of your post today is actually quite incredible, as it hits on exactly why I don’t find the all blue outfit very interesting (especially those without the scarf). It is too far down the subtle spectrum for me, whereas all black and all brown are less so. As you know, I tend to prefer a look that is less subtle than you would normally wear (A square shoulder Caraceni jacket with jeans rather than Neapolitan as you prefer), so we are talking personal preference more than anything else.
Like one other reader, I would have preferred the scarf tied around the neck. Draped like in the first picture seems a bit timid to me. A man wearing a silk Hermes scarf is pretty unusual, and if you are going to do it then go for it!

Jamie A

I’m a big navy wearer, and this looks great. With this sort of monochrome outfit, I like that the borders of each piece are kind of blurred, so that, on first, glance, it isn’t necessarily obvious what’s being worn. And the scarf is lovely.


Dear Simon, inspired by your last posts with black loafer, I am thinking about buying some black loafer. I own some loafer in brown (suede, tassel), but black would be a good alternative.
But I am struggling with the fabric, should it be cordovan (I like the way your wär them casual with denim) or should it be something like your Utah loafer? Which would be the most versatile choice?
I would appreciate your and the readers thoughts on that topic.

Best regards


I would like to wear it with both, business casual (linen trousers, flannel trousers, even chino with jacket) and casual with denim and shirt or knitwear.
I have often considered the cordovan loafers, but your last post gave me the idea that there might be another option. I want to avoid having “too many” loafers and would like to have a universal pair.


Thank you Simon for your thoughtful response! I have to say, as always!
You take the time to response to all of us, despite your amazing success. Thanks for your work and enthusiasm!
I guess I will order a pair of full strap cordovan loafer, considering Carmina‘s Uteam model.

Doug Matthews

Lots of “How to Tie a Hermes Scarf” videos on YouTube


There’s presumably an optimal length for these. I have lighter, longer scarves (normal scarf length, typically in linen) that can blow up into your face a bit or, worse, end up down the street somewhere; and then a couple of shorter, silk scarves (particularly an old Dunhill one in a lovely shagreen print) that I don’t wear that often – if they’re left loose they can flap around a bit and blow away, and if they’re knotted they look a bit ‘jaunty’ for my taste.
I’m also interested in the warmth factor. I have a few thin sweatshirts in a silk and cashmere belnd that are absurdly warm for their weight. If you knot a silk scarf does it end up feeling a bit too hot and sweaty?


Hi Simon,
Great article as always and love the silk style!
I am looking into investing in some silk scarves and wanted to check your opinion on current seasons Hermes scarves and if you like any?
Also if you could possibly say why you like a particular design and colour and how would you style it?
(on a fun note: does your wife end up borrowing them?)


Thanks Simon for the reply — sorry been travelling so just checked it.

That design does look good and would have been great if in larger size… Do you you use silk neckerchief often?

I will search for other Hermes scarf articles…thanks.

Triple monks

This is a nice look Simon. Casual elegance is always nice


I’m not sure if I can explain why, and I may be off the mark here, but I’ve noticed a trend of you embracing colour-blocking more — first with the double black in the summer and double brown a month or two ago, and now triple navy. Maybe it just feels fresh to you after years of colour combinations and tonalities, although this is still somewhat in line with your ideas around “tonal” wardrobes and warm vs. cold tones.
For me most of my wardrobe is black and navy for budget reasons, so I’m more used to this type of outfit than balanced colour co-ordination. I can see why something like the crewneck feels unusual given your myriad shirts and polo-collar jumpers, etc. but I like it! It fits in with how many people prefer to dress these days but as usual, your execution is a cut above. It would be interesting to see you try this with greys or greens and see how far you feel comfortable taking it.


Hi Simon,

Really dig the look. I also have a vintage silk scarf from Hermes. I was wonder how would you wash it? Is it a dry clean only thing?


Hi Simon,

Love this article. How do you usually care for your silk scarves? Do you take it to the dry cleaner or do you hand wash? Also are steaming or ironing avoided?


Hi Simon – may I pick your brain on the following 90cm x 90cm scarf? I think going for the most versatile and subtle option, Gris / Poivre / Jaune seems to be the best among the 3 colourways.


Thanks for that, Simon!