Are you a menswear snob?

Friday, April 12th 2024
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By Manish Puri

Forgive me for starting with such a blunt question. 

I know that, in common parlance, ‘snob’ is a pejorative term. However, when it comes to matters of dressing, it’s worth recalling the words of Yves Saint Laurent who said, “we must never confuse elegance with snobbery”.

So, in this context, given there seems to be room for confusion, I don’t really consider ‘snob’ to be an insulting epithet - because surely my accusers meant I was 'elegant'. Right?!

Nonetheless, to avoid accusations that we’re cherry picking the meaning of the word, it’s incumbent upon each of us to apply the term fairly and consistently. 

I mean, what if you think you’re a menswear snob, but you’re really not? You risk being labelled delusional. And conversely, what if you don’t consider yourself to be a snob, but you actually are? Then you’re just selling yourself short!

Fortunately, I’m here to help. The following multiple-choice quiz will quickly, and with unfailing accuracy, identify if you’re a snob or not. 

To those that don’t make the grade, my apologies. You’ll find plenty of support material in the Permanent Style archives. Please feel free to read through it and take the quiz again in a year or two.

Good luck!


1. I like to shop…

a) In the sales

b) Responsibly

c) At establishments with Latin mottos


2. My tailor is…

a) Also my dry cleaner

b) A respected member of our local high street

c) On first-name terms with all of my immediate family


3. What goes well with a three-piece?

a) Fries and a Coke

b) A nice silk tie

c) A knowing smirk


4. Do you like a blazer?

a) Definitely! Me and the lads had one last Friday: a few pints, cheeky Ruby, and clubbing till 3am

b) I just repurpose my suit jacket

c) Does the Pope wear Gammarelli socks?


5. What goes through your head when the invitation says ‘Black Tie’?

a) No worries, I’ve got one from me gran’s funeral

b) I’d like to go, but it sounds intimidating so I’ll politely decline

c) I must have my bib fronts restarched


6. Complete this phrase: The bottom…

a) Of the ninth

b) Line

c) Button must never be fastened


7. Where’s Saville Row?

a) Do I look like a cab driver to you?

b) I think it’s somewhere off Regent’s street

c) Are you deliberately trying to provoke me by spelling it wrong?


8. What do you think of Drake’s latest drop?

a) He’s not done anything decent since 'Hotline Bling'

b) They’re such an exciting brand

c) I still love them, but they were better when they didn’t have a website and only sold ties


9. The Japanese make the best…

a) Lovers

b) Sushi

c) Denim


10. I dress…

b) To impress

a) My salads with oil and balsamic vinegar

c) Left


11. Four-in-hand is…

a) The technique I use to carry pints to the table

b) Presumably worth eight in the bush

c) Basic AF


12. The best reason to propose to someone is because…

a) You’ve got them into trouble

b) You love them dearly

c) You need a good excuse to commission a new suit


13. At a recent wedding, you made the Bride…

a) Put in a good word for you with the Bridesmaids

b) A hand-drawn card congratulating her on the marriage

c) Cry because you looked better than her


14. High-waisted is…

a) A good description of a weekend away with the lads

b) A trouser style I’m not sure I can pull off

c) For wimps. If they’re not touching the ribs I consider them to be lowriders.


15. MTM means:

a) Man to man marking in football

b) Mark to market

c) You’re too poor for bespoke


16. What’s your attitude to weight gain?

a) Just means there’s more of me to love

b) Nothing a little exercise and self-discipline won’t fix

c) Something for my tailor to worry about


17. Madras is…

a) My favourite curry

b) No longer the correct name. I think you mean Chennai?

c) The only shirting I wear on holiday


18. Complete this sentence: I love my single…

a) Life

b) Malt whiskey collection

c) Pleat underwear


19. What’s your favourite House style?

a) Electro

b) Georgian

c) A proprietary silhouette developed with an ex-Savile Row tailor who’s 80, blind and has a sewing thumb and index finger that have fused together like a crab. He’s also closed to new clients - not that I’d ever disclose his details to you.


20. My mother always used to say to me…

a) You’re a huge disappointment to me and your father

b) You can achieve anything you put your mind to

c) There. Doesn’t a higher collar band frame your face nicely?


21. My father drove me to…

a) Drink

b) Succeed

c) My first bespoke appointment


22. Whenever I type the letter ‘P’ into my web browser, the first website the autofill shows is…





Mostly a)’s

No offence, but how the heck did you even end up on this site? Also, you might have a few issues you need to work on with a trained therapist.

Mostly b)’s

You seem to know the odd thing about menswear, but I’m afraid you’re far too balanced and grounded to ever become a true menswear snob.

Mostly c)’s

Congratulations! You’re a complete and utter menswear snob. Drop me a DM if you want to go halves on a Palazzo at Pitti Uomo.


Manish is @the_daily_mirror on Instagram

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Now I just realized that my wife doesn’t find me as attractive in underwear because I was missing those single pleats underwear to frame me better! Not because of the beer belly

Lovely quiz, Manish! You have a great sense of humour! Need to study more to do as good as you on the next quizz rs


As we Americans say, brilliant.


As we Bostonians (USA) say, ‘wicked’ , ‘wicked awesome’, ‘wicked cool’…etc.


Ok, I know its a bit of tongue in cheek humour but not sure how there is room for confusion in the quote nor how you can somehow then consider “snob” not to be a negative term; especially as the quiz goes full circle and returns it to being so.

By definition is it possible for you to think yourself a snob but not be so? You may have no grounds for being one but that has never stopped anyone from being so.

Not sure if I am a snob but I do get a verging on irrational response when seeing people in coats/jackets/blazers with vents still tacked closed at the bottom.


I find myself torn between wanting to help them, and my sense of my own superiority.


Great. I would use the term “snob”, at least in Swedish, as someone who looks down on other people if they dont live up to their standards. I think it is totally fine to dislike suits from Zara or H&M. But to look down on other people who wears them is wrong. You may hade pleather shoes but you shouldn’t criticize people you meet at a party for wearing them. It may be critical to criticize billionaires, celebrities and politicians who can’t “rise to the occasion” (like people wearing a tie on a black tie-event) but it is never ok to look down on working class people for not spending their hard-earned money on Savile Row suits or John Lobb-level shoes.
But the article was, as I wrote, hilarious and great.

Tommy Mack

And furthermore I reserve most of my snobbery for would-be-snobs. So I don’t look down on the man in a Zara suit but the man in a Ted Baker suit who looks down on the man in the Zara suit!


Hahahahaha this was a lot of fun!
I’m afraid I am more on the grounded side, even though permanent style is the site that pops up when I type “p” on the browser…


I’m as susceptible to the charms of ‘casual-Friday’ banter as the next chap, but I’m afraid I must say something about the last question…
If I were ever to ask Jeeves to open for me, he would surely prevent potential embarrassment by doing so in a private window.


Perfect Friday post Manish. Laughing as I walk to the bus stop. As Alan Partridge would say, “Lovely stuff” . 🙂


Brilliant ! Thank you Manish !

In a world with no standards to have any is to be called a snob .

On a serious note their are many areas in the UK where dressing well gets you attention and often the sort that could provoke.

Matthew V

Very funny!


“I still love them, but they were better when they didn’t have a website and only sold ties”
Spot on


Great, absolutely great. With the exception of the MTM question which is tainted by just a bit of classism.


Question 7 triggered me so hard before I could even finish the sentence


I know my place!


Yes indeed. I should have added “I look up to both of them”.
On not a totally dissimilar historical reference around elitism. There’s a quote I like from Groucho Marx. “ I’d never join a club that would have me as a member”.
Thanks for three varied and sparkling articles. Until the next time.
Have a good weekend.


Love it – and that’s as another member of the “typing ‘P’ into the address bar brings up as the top hit” brigade!


Greeting from New York….3 impressive articles from you..we thank you…enjoy your weekend….cheers


I got Straight A:s!



I’m a solid B student. Mostly B’s, but there were enough of both A’s and C’s that they cancel each other out. That’s how that works, right?


Surely there were better uses of one’s time than writing this article?

The readers of Permamentstyle want something relevant and informative, not the fashion equivalent of a buzzfeed quiz.


Hi Manish – trying to be respectful and not criticise just for the sake of criticising (haters gonna hate?). Most of the content in PS feels of very good quality. Even if casual in style, posts are well written, arguments are clearly made and, when required, research is adequately used to complement more empirical observations. This, of course, includes the posts written by you.
Humour is a particularly difficult and subjective topic but my opinion is that this post did not feel of the same quality than most articles in the website. There were some elements which I found funny but most of the content was a bit simplistic and over reliant on stereotypes and cliches.

Peter K

Question 9 needs a fourth choice: All of the above.


The kind of chuckle I desperately needed to finish out this week. Nicely done, sir.

But yes, simply HAVING any standards at all seemingly often puts one in the ‘snob’ category these days.


Drake’s were better when they only sold ties & scarves
So true!
That is, a little self-reflection doesn’t hurt, thank you 🙂


Ok, when I answered that my tailor is on a first name basis with my immediate family, it all came home!


Still chuckling Manish! PS is, by a country mile, the best menswear magazine. Three beautifully written pieces and comments deftly handled..


Three brilliant articles with different themes. Well done.


Excellent week Manish.
A shame in some ways that Simon is only on holiday for one week.


Genius Quiz!
Now I can firmly acknowledge when others call me a ‘snob’:)

Richard W

Ha, marvellous quiz!
Even split between b’s and c’s. Guess that means I am grounded and can be snobbish about it!

Tommy Mack

Very amusing!

My local alterations tailor does also take in dry cleaning but he absolutely knows his stuff. Most of the local department stores subcontract their “in house” alterations to him. I take nearly all my RTW to him and before I can say “do you think we should take the leg in a bit?” he’s got the pins out and he’s perfecting the silhouette.

I forgot how spoiled I was having him round the corner until I had a pair of trousers hemmed at an alterations place while working in Hammersmith. Should have walked out when the lady glanced at the fabric pooling round my ankles and said “Oh, do you really need those taking up? They look ok to me!”


Mostly C though I feel like I should defend the humble four in hand. It’s the most versatile knot and I love it dearly.


I will say I still look back on what I think of as heyday drakes with fondness but having worked for them I think they’re still bringing out some great stuff and the savile row staff are all fantastic, I’m less sure about one of the customers, some guy who has a chicken head.

JJ Katz

I liked this line: “DM if you want to go halves on a Palazzo at Pitti Uomo”

Quite amusing.

JJ Katz

C=13, B=7 (I’m so petty bourgeois…), A=1


I think those that mistake dressing well for snobbery, are sorts who may be very nice and well meaning in general but just don’t understand the beauty of fine clothes. The bringing of fine clothes into your life is an artistic endeavor, it’s a quest that has almost a moral aspect to it. This is very difficult to describe to those that see dressing well as little other than vanity or silly, effete dandy-ism.


My pants have torn asunder and I have a meeting to get to in 30 minutes.
I need a tailor… swift!

Tailor… swift… 🙂

Tom in New Hampshire USA

Great fun, Manish, and a gentle reminder not to take ourselves too seriously. But having said that, I am on a riverboat cruise on the Rhone. At cocktail hour last evening, one of the other husbands came up to me and said, “you look absolutely smart!”. Thanks to PS, I knew he was not referring to my IQ, as I had not yet opened my mouth in his presence to give him a clue one way or the other. I do admit, however, that it felt good to have anyone notice. But I am not a snob.


Maybe I am too snob if I deem the misspell in question 7 (“Saville” instead of “Savile”) almost unforgivable, especially if in a piece on style?


Guess you had a “C” on that one then 😉

John Smith

I gave the “p” in the web browser thing a shot. First hit is Proper Cloth. I should really get out more. Phenomenal article.
P.S. The bride one hits too close to home. Too near the bone, man.

Andrew Poupart

All Cs except I dress right. 😊


Simon, how did you do?!

Simon Crompton

I’m a swot and a snob I’m afraid


8. What do you think of Drake’s latest drop?

a) He’s not done anything decent since ‘Hotline Bling

b) They’re such an exciting brand

c) I still love them, but they were better when they didn’t have a website and only sold ties

I chuckled, as I’m wearing one of their ties today.


I don’t think I’m a snob but . . . it does drive me crazy to see a dress shirt untucked. Worse, while wearing a jacket/blazer. Between being raised by a British banker (1950 – 1970) and time I spent in the military, there are certain things one doesn’t do!


I’m younger than most people here and did not serve in any military, but I concur. The “no untucked shirt with shirt tails” is the hill I’m willing to die on.
The shorter the tail the less messy and incoherent it looks, but I still don’t like it.
Exceptions truly allowed only for straight hem shirts, mainly in warm weather.

Kevin Svindland

I loved your feature on, Manish! Well done!

Christopher Molinar

Indeed… wicked smart and a good take on times present and past.
Always dress to please your hostess or host. Looking good in the setting they create is the highest of compliments.
Are we all not eager to please or provide pleasure?

Dr Peter

13 bs, 8 cs, and just 1 a. I suppose I am well-balanced and grounded, and about halfway to being an utter menswear snob! Not quite ready to share a Palazzo at Pitti Uomo, I suspect.