Review: Le Snob Tailoring – Simon Crompton

In a recent conversation with a colleague about the different ways to identify a quality suit, I found myself quoting from, and recommending Simon Crompton’s Le Snob Tailoring. That evening I found my copy to check I had passed on the correct information, only to end up reading the book from cover to cover for the second time. Simon Crompton’s Le Snob Tailoring, his first book, had been at the top of my “Must buy” list as soon as I heard about it. An essential buy for any modern gentleman who has more than a passing interest in tailoring, it’s an informative and interesting read for everyone else. You should all be familiar with Simon Crompton’s work on The Rake and his men’s style blog Permanent style. If you are not, just a few minutes spent on either site will be ample to demonstrate his attention to detail and the quality of his work. Both sites are listed in my directory section.

The reader is introduced to the fundamentals of suit style, materials and construction methods with concepts beautifully illustrated in understated water colour. Interesting facts and points to note are stamped with the le snob logo to ensure you retain all key information that will transform you into a tailoring snob too. Nice touches include a few pages on alterations when explaining the difference between ready to wear, made to measure and bespoke, or the ‘words from the wise’ sections where high profile contributors provide valuable insight to the concept being explained.

You are then guided through the process of having a bespoke suit made. The steps and terminology is explained so for anyone embarking on having their first proper suit made will know exactly what to expect when the time comes. The book is full of throw away comments that remind the aspiring dandy that even though Simon is sharing some very valuable knowledge here, they are still worlds apart.

“As a rule of thumb, until your wardrobe is so full that you only wear a suit once a month, stick with super 100s to 130s.”

A full section on details and finishing touches and mini directories of retailers, bespoke tailors and suppliers supplement the traditional chapters on rules or care ensure this is an excellent read.

My only criticism is Simon clearly has much more to give in this space and the Le Snob range of books although highly entertaining, are a touch light weight as a vehicle to showcase Simon’s knowledge of tailoring. It is a well written book that anyone could read, so hopefully there will be a volume II to push the concepts further.

In conclusion, this is an excellent introduction into the world of tailoring that will provide you with enough knowledge to suitably arm you for either your first trip to the tailors, improve your overall understanding of menswear and style or even give you that winning edge in after dinner conversation.


Le Snob Tailoring - Simon Crompton

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You can buy your copy of Le Snob from any good book shops or click here to order from Amazon

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  1. Simon doesn’t have a knowledge of tailoring, only a knowledge of some things he’s seen tailors doing and what they say they’ll do to a piece he’s having made. There are rather too many internet style-gurus passing themselves off as ‘tailoring experts’ when in fact they just see a lot of tailors. People with tailoring knowledge make garments.

    To be fair to Simon he has a lot of passion and taste (and clearly enough money to shop around at the high-end) and his writings are a cut above a lot of internet style blog fare. However he’s not always correct or detailed enough to profess ‘a knowledge of tailoring’. Le Snob: Tailoring is not really a guidebook, but a diary of his own journey through the world of bespeaking woven into journalistic articles about what style is supposed to be.

    1. Hi Ferdinand,

      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the the point that Simon is not a tailor, however, connoisseurs of any goods and services are usually the consumer. I do agree that we could have more detail and have been advised Simon’s follow up book will address that when published at the end of this year.

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