tailoring

My “White Whale”

Good Morning Dapperites,

Alright, so we all have that one item of clothing/footwear/etc. that we lust after, that we really desire. Sometimes we’re able to get it sometimes we’re not. I thought today that I would share mine.

 

So what is my “white whale”? None other than an authentic Neapolitan jacket made bespoke, preferrably from Sartoria Dalcuore or Cesare Attolini. So what is a “Neapolitan” jacket anyway? As the name suggests it is a style that is distinctly from Naples. Here are its features:

 

Unlined-jacket6-500

Half-Lined with sleeves completely unlined. Image from https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/jacket-lining/

042a2c03cff913e74873371a3d773197

“Barchetta” Boat Shaped breast pocket

main_404debe6-90bd-4f32-9cf8-d3e54c04fadf.jpg

A higher “gorge” and wider lapels with lower patch pockets Image from https://howtospendit.ft.com/mens-style/16861-a-frantic-fondness-for-neapolitan-tailoring

75a9546b64cd40c8c6f06a83240ab23f

“Kissing” Surgeon Cuff Buttons 

Three-roll-Two-close-up

3 roll 2, that is to say 3 buttons with the top one rolled back into the lapel so really 2 of them button. Image from https://parisiangentleman.co.uk/2017/05/07/what-is-the-origin-of-the-three-roll-two-jacket/

tumblr_nxllaaBxi61t2wmuxo1_1280.jpg

A “spalla camicia” shoulder. Note the elegant “shirring” of the fabric

Which leads to the entire finished jacket looking like this:

The-Rake-Attolini-Neapolitan-Blazers-00003

It’s beautiful, elegant, has that Neapolitan flair and perhaps more importantly. Keeps you cool during the summer months due to the minimal lining. Ah, one day you shall be mine!

 

So let me know in the comments what’s your “white whale” of fashion??

As always, keep it dapper,

 

-The Don

Advertisements

Book Review: Bespoke Menswear: Tailoring for Gentlemen

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’d like to share with you a review on one of my favorite books on menswear and that is (as seen in the title of this post), Bespoke Menswear: Tailoring for Gentlemen by Bernhard RoetzelI received this book for Christmas after being inspired to seek out more information on bespoke tailoring and to understand certain aspects, and I will say it is a real eye-opener into the world and history of bespoke clothing.

The book starts out by attempting to define what exactly bespoke tailoring is, the author illustrates the reversal in the last century going from a time where almost all clothing was bespoke to today where it is a lot rarer.

From there, Roetzel explores the past of bespoke tailoring, dating all the way back to (fun fact) 1152, when the first tailor’s guild was established in Germany. An overview of what differentiates one country’s particular tailoring style to another’s is then given, focused solely on European nations as let’s face it, they are the birthplace of bespoke luxury.

What I particularly enjoyed about this book was the feature Roetzel illustrates of many well-known ateliers throughout Europe including  Sartoria A. Caraceni of Milan, Cifonelli of Paris, Dietl of Munich and Zaremba of Warsaw. It is always nice to see the workspaces and the faces of the people behind these iconic companies.

This book could have just stopped there, but instead, the author takes it up a notch by featuring world-renowned cloth merchant, Scabal and going step by step on how wool goes from sheep to suiting fabric. Somewhere around this nice feature is a handy list of key fabric terms and a nice photo and descriptions of different patterns:

dsc_1135.jpg

Of course, this book would not make any sense had the author not included the actual steps (with photos) as to how a bespoke garment comes together, from measurements to patternmaking, cutting and stitching, it truly does come together like a piece of fine art! As a bonus feature, Roetzel explains the names and purposes of a tailor’s tools with photos.

Suits are not the only feature in this book, there are separate sections on bespoke shirts and ties with similar features on processes, cloths and ateliers producing them. I will admit that to me the feature on bespoke ties feels unnecessary, I mean I can still admire the art form that goes into making one but are that many people in Europe commissioning bespoke ties these days?

Where’s my memory??? I almost forgot to include a feature that would be useful to many and that is the difference between bespoke and made to measure, which are often confused with one another. (No I won’t tell you here, buy the book and find out! 😉 )

A nice touch at the end of the book features a full glossary of all critical terms in the book as well as the addresses of each featured atelier should you decide to seek one out for your next suit.

So, who would I recommend this book to? Not anyone who doesn’t understand much about menswear, not anyone who you would consider “cheap” who does not understand the true value of these beautiful garments and who only looks at price. I would recommend it to someone who has a knowledge or interest in tailoring and the world of menswear, this book will only stoke the fires of your passion and perhaps inspire you to commission a bespoke garment one day!

You can find the book for sale on Amazon for roughly $30 CAD, get a copy here:

Until next time, keep it dapper!

 

-The Don

 

Sportswear Meets Tailoring: Here to Stay! (And only evolving more and more)

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tonight’s post will be written through the lens of my present experience in the menswear industry focusing on a trend that I am seeing season after season. One that I believe is not going away anytime soon (for better or for worse), and that is the trend of intersecting sportswear and tailoring. With each passing season more and more brands are showcasing their tailored garments alongside sportswear pieces. Just Spring/Summer 2018 alone brought us these:

1498512864-02

Hermes, Paul Smith, Berluti, Image from Esquire

Which brand can lay claim to being a true pioneer for this recent trend? For me you’d have to look no further than Ermenegildo Zegna. So what makes Zegna so special? Well for one, they are a truly rare company, one that controls the entire production process form raw material to finished goods (they actually started out as a wool mill that expanded to manufacturing clothing, the mill side of the business is still active today). So why do I consider to be Zegna a pioneer in this field? Because of their ability to control the entire process, they are able to create their own unique fabrics which have revolutionized tailored garments. I am talking about their special “Techmerino Wash and Go” fabric.

Through this innovative fabric, Zegna has created suits and blazers that are breathable, waterproof just like sportswear and perhaps even more shocking, can actually be washed in a household washing machine and hung to dry and be good as new! This makes it the perfect travel suit/jacket. I fully expect to see other fabric mills and menswear brands competing to get a similar product to market.

ZZegnaSS2018_9

Z-Zegna SS 18, Photo from Woolmark.com

ZZegnaSS2018_2.jpg

Z Zegna SS18, Woolmark.com

As you can see from the photo above, brands like Zegna are merchandising their sportswear combined with tailoring and this has created opportunities for retailers to pass on this trend to consumers specifically in the North American market as retailer Ed Boas from Lanes in Miami mentions:

“Selling tailored clothing in a sportswear world is a matter of creating desire.”1

That desire to me is simple, merchandising sportcoats with sportswear tells consumers a story and demonstrates the versatility of tailored pieces matching with sportswear. Scott Noris of Men’s Wearhouse explains:

 “If we show outfits fully rigged on mannequins, guys understand the versatility of sportcoats and buy them.”2

A little something should be mentioned about these popular, super soft unconstructed sportcoats thats have been popular in Italy for years, is that it is only now catching the eye of the North American market. What do I expect? I expect that once more and more men discover how comfortable tailoring can be, they will continue to buy these types of garments in bunches.

Expect to see the sportswear/tailoring trend to continue into the Fall 2018 season. The key words here are stretch, stretch, stretch! Garments that are made for travel that move with you. As the line blurs more and more between tailoring and sportswear, be a little daring. Wear a super soft sportcoat with a pair of neat, well fitting track pants (no oversized logos on them please!) or cords, or jeans! My personal favorite sportcoat? My Jack Victor soft shouldered, unconstructed, half lined blue hopsack with patch pockets.

Grazie, and as always, keep it dapper.

 

-The Don


1. Grossman, Karen Alberg. “Tailored Sportswear: The Modern Male Dress Code.” Accessed February 24, 2018. http://www.mr-mag.com/tailored-sportswear-modern-male-dress-code/.

2. Grossman, Karen Alberg. “Tailored Sportswear: The Modern Male Dress Code.” Accessed February 24, 2018. http://www.mr-mag.com/tailored-sportswear-modern-male-dress-code/.

Ottawa Tailoring Time!

So if you have been reading this blog (and if not, shame on you!!), you should know by now that I advocate having off the rack suits tailored before wearing them! This is a post about a neat little tailoring shop I found.

I have been looking around for a reputable tailor in Ottawa recently to fix up a snazzy light grey number I picked up on sale at Macy’s back in February. After plenty of online searching I found one highly rated. “Raymond Tailor of Distinction“, located at 60 George Street in the heart of Byward Market is everything I expected and more. He took my suit from ill-fitting to the fit of a custom suit, for $75. I could not be happier with it and look forward to rocking it for the first time at an upcoming wedding! (Pics will follow) He is a friendly, respectable man who takes pride in his craft, sadly, it is a dying craft. The world needs some young tailors!

In addition to alterations he provides custom suiting and sells shirts, ties, accessories and some off the rack suiting as well, all top notch quality. You can contact the shop at 613-241-4134.

Stay Dapper,

The Don