IMG_0398In the first of a series of vintage bespoke Italian garments, I am pleased to show examples of true sartorial masterworks from different regions of Italy. Tailors that no longer exist and who’s namesake retired when they did, but rival any of the more well known names. Enigmatic tailors, who together prove that no other country had such a more prodigious output of gentleman’s tailoring in the 20th century than Italy.

What is fascinating about bespoke Italian tailoring in the 20th century is how provincial it was. A tailor was like a baker, you didn’t need to go far to get measured. Getting a suit made was not relegated to the wealthy, it was just what men did. A gentleman needed clothing and hence had it made, it’s as simple as that. The labels inside the jackets were secondary, and many times there were no labels. Was it humility? The notion of no label is quite romantic, and even mythical.

The sublime tuxedo tails comes from equally sublime city of Pisa. It is not dated but looks to be from the 1940’s, and does indeed have a label, and I’m quite grateful for this, for without it I would have pegged for perhaps being Neapolitan, but I’ll get to that later. The tailor is Sissi. A completely hand made coat. Soft, gentle shoulders that have that perhaps have the DNA of its Florentine neighbor. Virtually no padding at the shoulder and a very subtle roping to the sleeve head. The shoulder seam is closed by hand. The slope is very subtle. A higher armhole, and a tapered sleeve add to the elegance and refinement of this coat.


More in line with the Neapolitan boutonniere than the Milanese counterpart



Full silk lining with a lovely label.


Superfine needle on interior panel linings and equally fine buttonhole on flap pocket.


Turned back under collar, faced in felt, as many picks per centimeter as I have yet to see.


Interior vent panel.


Under lapels are a sea picks.


Subtle pleating on the skirt waist that no machine can achieve on the curve.


A subtle, very delicate puff on the waist exemplifies the meaning of balanced, totally hand made garment.


Sleeve cuff with meticulous hand sewn buttonholes and beveled dish two hole vegetable corozo buttons.


Silk grosgrain lapels and a not quite barcehtta pocket that nonetheless shapes the chest beautifully.


Intricate needle work on the vent.


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