Reader Profile: Jeff – Everlasting Type


Jeff Hilliard is Director of Restricted Editions at Hodinkee, the watch journal/empire in New York. However he used to work at The Armoury, till 2017, after which did two years at Mr Porter. So whereas not strictly working in menswear immediately, he’s definitely menswear adjoining. 

This makes him totally different to the sorts of readers we usually function, however I feel in an fascinating approach. How do individuals in an business like watches – which is pushed by many related concepts of aesthetics and craft – have a tendency to decorate? I’ve been eager about this as I bump up in opposition to industries like interiors and structure lately too. 

Jeff can be only a nice man, very laid again, and I’ve all the time appreciated his perspective on clothes. So it was enjoyable chewing over issues like maturing model, or how we consciously play with the impact garments have on individuals round us. 


Outfit 1:

  • Jacket: Made to measure by Ring Jacket
  • Trousers: Bespoke by Ambrosi 
  • Rollneck: William Lockie
  • Loafers: Made to order by Spigola
  • Sun shades: Celine
  • Watch: Merci LMM-01 ‘Nationale’

Hey Jeff. So what’s the costume code like for you now, at Hodinkee? Is it something like Mr Porter, or your days at The Armoury?

Effectively I nonetheless put on quite a lot of tailoring, simply because it’s what I like. I wore ties much less after I was at Mr Porter, however I used to be nonetheless in tailoring 90% of the time. I used to be one of many few folks that was – in an workplace of 130 individuals – however the costume code was simply, look good, look good. You have been in a spot that’s about garments, so everybody dressed effectively however had their very own model. 

And also you weren’t buyer dealing with proper?

No. We’d have occasions a number of occasions a yr that we hosted, however even then there was no costume code – the occasions have been for VIP shoppers, and so they’d simply count on us to have a view on garments, to have a mode, relatively than costume a selected approach. In truth, the vast majority of workers at Mr Porter have been private customers ultimately, so having model but additionally a broad consciousness was important. 

And at Hodinkee?

There are extra individuals in tailoring undoubtedly, perhaps 10% or 20%, however my boss or I would be the solely ones sporting a swimsuit or tie – it’s largely separates. I feel the truth that I nonetheless put on tailoring a lot reveals how a lot of my character is rooted in it. 

You have been working within the workplace full time at this level?

Sure this was earlier than Covid. Throughout lockdown I acquired extra right into a sweater-and-jeans routine – I couldn’t put on sweats, that might make me really feel like I hadn’t acquired up. However really, the factor I realised after lockdown, after I began dressing up once more, was how slim I used to have every part minimize. 

And I hate skinny fits, mine have been by no means that close-fitting. However everybody simply acquired used to being extra relaxed, and I’ve began sporting fuller matches in consequence. I feel that was a constructive to return out of lockdown – in tailoring you get so used to pondering that is the a method, the one approach to put on one thing, however clothes isn’t like that.

When does this swimsuit date from? 

That is an previous Ring Jacket, with trousers from Ambrosi. However despite the fact that it’s a reasonably daring sample, I feel it displays how I put on tailoring largely today: there’s no pocket sq., no suspenders, no extraneous element; every part’s loads easier. 

Is that desire for simplicity associated to lockdown, or does it pre-date that?

I feel it’s a basic development over time: dressing extra merely, taking pleasure in issues like textures or silhouettes. Folks say this occurs with most individuals that gather issues, garments or watches or something. Over time they change into easier, perhaps extra refined.

However the sun shades are pretty punchy?

Sure, I assume perhaps sun shades are totally different as a result of they’re sensible, everybody has them. These are literally ladies’s ones from Celine – I attempted a pair that my girlfriend had and actually appreciated them. They’re barely ‘cat eye’ in form, however it’s refined. They only appear to be a fairly large, chunky body. 

In the event you look again on the guys we admire, from the 30s to the 50s, they typically expressed themselves with equipment relatively than the remainder of their garments. The fits could be plain, however they’d have fascinating gloves perhaps; Cary Grant generally wore these large sun shades.


Outfit 2:

  • Jacket: Bespoke by Sartoria Corcos
  • Trousers: Bespoke by Ambrosi
  • Knit: Rubato
  • Sneakers: Michael mannequin from Paraboot
  • Watch: Merci LMM-01 ‘Nationale’

Do you have got many issues by Corcos?

No, that is my first, however I’m having something new made by him now. I used to be so impressed by his method. I notably admire a very good match on the again of the neck, and I feel solely him and Liverano have gotten that proper – and Corcos first time. 

I wouldn’t eliminate lots of my different issues although. These from Liverano, from Panico. I’ve some fairly wild issues from Panico, simply large all over the place – one DB has lapels that shoot off the shoulders. It’s for whenever you simply need to say ‘screw you’.

Have you ever all the time had your trousers made by Ambrosi?

Sure ever because the Armoury days. I all the time have the identical mannequin, the identical cuffs, identical waistband. And the match is all the time good. Lately I simply ship Salva the cloths I need and wait to obtain them, no becoming or something required. 

I’m fairly uncommon with my fits additionally, like that first outfit, in that I’d have the trousers made by Ambrosi, even when the jacket was by somebody like Ring Jacket. I’d get Salva to purchase the material and make the trousers, then I’d give the additional material personally to Ring. One of many benefits of working in a menswear retailer.

I assume that is all fairly basic menswear besides the footwear. 

Yeah the Michael has change into fairly modern currently, although I’ve had mine for 5 years or extra. I feel they replicate my urge to all the time mess around with issues, not simply to do the conventional and anticipated. Perhaps that’s a results of being uncovered to a lot clothes through the years as effectively – it could actually make you a little bit stressed. 

And the sweater over the shoulders has its personal associations – I assume it’s seen the identical approach in New York as it could be in London?

You’re nonetheless going to appear to be a wealthy asshole if that’s what you imply! The knit is from Rubato and I like how these guys put on them, however I’m conscious there’ll all the time be connotations. After we have been altering for this shoot I got here out of the store and a bunch of workmen on the road began jeering!

I like enjoying with that type of factor although – once more whenever you’ve been round garments a very long time, you’re very conscious of the impact various things have, however simply because one thing stands out, or has destructive associations, it doesn’t imply you cease sporting it. Generally you take pleasure in enjoying with these results; different days you don’t. 


Outfit 3:

  • Coat: Bespoke by Tailor Caid
  • Knitted shirt: Stoffa
  • Knitted cardigan: Stoffa
  • Trousers: Carhartt
  • Cap: Smithsonian
  • Sneakers: Paraboot
  • Watch: Rolex 124060 Submariner
  • Sun shades: Nackymade

So my eye instantly goes to the layered knits right here – are they each Stoffa?

Sure I acquired them each lately from Nick [Ragosta, Stoffa], and for a bit I wasn’t certain easy methods to put on the walnut one beneath. I feel you’ve written about this – that the burden makes it a little bit gentle for a knit, however it’s additionally fairly comfortable and thick for a shirt. 

I made a decision to put on it identical to I might an everyday polo, so beneath a cardigan like this, and if it have been tucked in I don’t assume you’d discover a lot distinction from an everyday polo till you bought shut. It’s too layers of cashmere although, so it’s fairly heat.

I just like the Tailor Caid coat, is that typical of his designs?

It’s just about what he does, like you may see the a number of seams on the underside hem and he does quite a lot of herringbones. However among the design was really modeled after a picture I had, – not that previous, perhaps the 2000s. 

The coat had this nice, fairly pointed peak, and a separation between the lapel and notch, virtually like a fish mouth. He’s an excellent designer, so it’s simple to work with him on concepts like that. And it’s a kind of issues nobody else will in all probability discover. The half-cuff is like that too. 

This outfit is most just like how I costume everyday. It’s informal however there’s all the time a little bit of tailoring. 

Are you a Yankees fan?

No, I’m from Chicago so that is type of sacrilegious! I used to be on the Smithsonian a number of years in the past and noticed this wool cap, and it was so good, it’s worn in rather well too, bent and crushed up differently to how a cotton one could be.One thing about it really works higher with tailoring than an everyday baseball cap as effectively.

The footwear are a little bit bizarre, like the opposite Paraboots in a approach; it’s their tackle a camp moc. I acquired them at CHCM – Sweetu [Patel] has such an excellent vary, he’s my go-to after I need to step a little bit exterior my consolation, discover one thing totally different. 

They got here with two units of laces – leather-based laces by default, but additionally this set that I swapped them for, with the little cinch on the highest. I repeatedly get requested what’s occurring there. Although if I’m utterly trustworthy I like them as a result of I hate tying footwear as effectively. You’ll see many of the footwear I put on don’t have laces as a result of I’m simply lazy. 

Cheers Jeff, and good to see on the New York pop-up. Hopefully see you once more later this yr. 

Thanks Simon, you too. 

Pictures: Christopher Fenimore


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