Camps de Luca suit paris

 
I’m getting pretty excited about this Camps de Luca suit now. Not only will it be one of the most beautifully made suits I own – coming from a Parisian tailor – but also one of the most versatile.

In both those ways it is similar to the navy Cifonelli three-piece I had made last year. That too was a piece of extraordinary craftsmanship (top stitching on an almost absurd number of seams, particularly around the waistcoat). But in retrospect the cloth was too light. At 9oz it is too light for a British autumn/winter, and something heavier would be fine most of the spring/summer.

A reader recently asked about buying his first bespoke or MTM suit, and particularly ways to make it last longer. He had the right idea in getting two pairs of trousers, but I also recommended choosing a cloth that was at least 13oz. This should be the standard weight for most everyday suits – rather than the 9 or 11oz most commonly sold. The weight will be barely noticeable, but it will hang and last much better.
 

Camps de Luca suit fitting2

 
The cloth used here is a 13oz grey pick-and-pick. A mid-grey like this is tremendously versatile: it is equally at home with white, blue and pink shirts, with plains and stripes, both casual and formal. The pick-and-pick weave gives some surface interest to the material without being as strong as a stripe or check, and therefore limiting the other patterns that can be worn with it.

The lime-green tie and blue shirt combination was picked to go with a navy suit, but actually works well with the  mid-grey as well. 

In the fitting, it was good to see Marc de Luca fitting the collar of the jacket tight to the back of my neck. The Camps de Luca style is for a slightly square neck, with a slimmer collar and squarer shoulders than most tailors (you can see the amount of shoulder padding in the image above). A thicker, rounded back neck – particularly seen at Anderson & Sheppard – is much easier to wrap around the neck and keep it there, no matter what your physical convulsions. The fitting at the neck on the Camps style is therefore particularly important.

Thanks to Marc de Luca (pictured), for his quiet humour and persistent modesty, and here’s looking forward to the final product.  
 

Camps de Luca suit fitting

 Images: Luke Carby

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James

Simon, sorry for the off topic question, but do you know if Edward Green will be holding another of their wonderful shoe sales (with Drakes again perhaps?)

Carl

Simon,

Quick question: Is a polo shirt supposed to be form-fitting like a t-shirt, or should one think of it as a “proper shirt” in terms of fit?

James

Very kind of you to ask Simon. Fingers crossed something is pulled out of the hat later in the summer. Last year’s sale was incredible!

Thanks again.

James

Ethan

What is the entry level bespoke price? I presume €5000 like Cifonelli. How is the quality when compared with your Liverano?

Paul Weide

I’m assuming the jacket is double vented with two straight-line flapped pockets. Trousers with flat front, no cuffs?

A

You write “Camps de Luca style is for a slightly square neck…” What is a square neck?

Frank

A bit off topic, but what brand of the glasses you are wearing?

Paul Weide

Ha! Well, very 21st Century look. I started out with the two-button jacket but find the three-button more to my taste as I get older.

Anonymous

You seem to be straying more and more away from English tailors! Are there any besides Chittlebrough & Morgan that offer this kind of handwork?

Peter

Dear Simon,

I think it’s necessary to experience other tailors and tailoring to come NEARER to English tailoring. To say you stray from one school or language because you learn others is provincial. To appreciate one tongue you need two others.
My question is your view of clothweight. The weight of a RTW jacket now advertised for sale is 12 ounces. Your remarks reject 11 and recommend 13. What about 12?

Andy

Simon, I really like your lime green tie in the photo? Could you give me a hint where you bought it?

Anonymous

Simon, do you pay for all these items of bespoke clothing ? If not, do you not think it wise to declare this. Are freebies so important to you that you would sacrifice your integrity and professional reputation. I was visiting my tailor the other day when your name came up in conversation. Unfortunately you are gaining a reputation as a freeloader – you accept items of clothing in return for favourable articles.

Anonymous

Hi, thanks for the reply. I see where you are coming from. However, it is very important that you still declare how much of a discount you are receiving for each item (i.e., 25, 50 or 75% etc). By declaring the actual amount both readers and sceptics can deduce the level of impartiality in your writing and establish a more informed opinion. After all, you are writing about the luxury bespoke items. Readers should know how much of a discount you received before taking the financial plunge. Having said this, I do like your writing.

Ethan

Interesting observation about the level of work on a CdL suit when compared with the Italians. I take it then nothing the Row has to offer that will come close to a CdL suit since they are charging more than the famous houses on the Row.

Balfour

May I ask for what pick-and-pick you opted?

I love the mid-to-dark grey pick-and-pick (for surface interest and to avoid the ‘identikit’ charcoal smooth worsted), but favour a ‘dry’ pick-and-pick.

B.

Edward

Simon, I’ve always been in intrigued by the weight question. For example, cloths marketed as 120, 150 etc whilst here you use ozs. Could you clarify these two measurement systems for me please, thanks

Anders

I’d like to add some points when it comes to have a suit last longer.
– Make sure that the lining is inserted by hand or at least in a way that it can be easily replaced.
– Also make sure that the cuffs are made in the proper way so that they can be shortended. Sleeve cuffs will eventually fray and then you can just have them shortened some millimeters and they will look like new again.
– Make sure the pockets are properly reinforced (this inside the coat so might be difficult).
– I also belive that the quality, length and thickness/thinness of the fibers are as important as the weight of the fabric.

J

Regarding commenter ‘Anonymous’, I think ‘Anonymous’ you have to step back from what you are saying and look at the wider picture.

This site is basically about incredibly expensive clothes, in this article, 4-5k for a suit is expensive by anyone’s definition of expensive.

It is also incredibly insightful about the different artisans that we would all like to patronise one day or if we had the money and it has helped me find many a new tailor / brand I was not familiar with before or was otherwise unsure about committing to.

There does come a point though when as the site gets more successful and if we want to keep coming back to read the latest reviews on products / artisans, ultimately that will have to be funded by the brands themselves, most likely in the form of a discount or even, yes, a freebie. I see no issue with this at all, as Simon has already explained he receives a press discount in any case.

Think about it – even someone who works in an amazingly well paid job would struggle to keep up with this level of bespoke suit commissioning each month… So what is the alternative? The site owner lets the site stay as is and basically adds no new content until he can afford a new expensive suit? (Maybe next year)

Or do we accept that someone who is clearly very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject must receive a subsidy in order to keep up with the content frequency he posts.

andrew

I agree with J, I don’t really care what the discount it, and I think it’s enough just to understand that there is one. I think part of the charm of the blog is having things filtered through Simon’s eyes a bit and I expect him to be pretty selective.

Anonymous

Hear, hear!

john944

Hello Simon
Just a point about your journey through bespoke as a reader who has followed this site from close to the start. When you started out on your site I could quite easily afford 75% of the clothing you talked about, while these days it is less than 25%. I know and understand that this site is as much about the craft of bespoke as it is about information and I find the articles interesting. However as you head in a direction I can only dream about I am left feeling slightly “out of the loop” and wondering who these people are who can afford 5,000 for a suit. I love your articles about colour, matching things and the like but miss the old days when I sort of felt I can go to X&X and try something like this!

J

@john944

I do know what you mean about the focus on higher-higher end bespoke, but now that Simon has pretty much covered all of the more ‘normally priced’ bespoke makers, there’s only one direction in price band to explore next and that is up.

I would not enjoy this site if Simon were to start going down and writing about Suit Supply or some other such brand that is lighting the menswear blogosphere alight at the moment. At the end of the day, you are just not going to get the type of quality we are all here to read about from such a brand (I have nothing against Suit Supply and am sure they are fine for the price) but what would be the point of Simon covering brands that we all know are simply not going to be of the same quality as the stuff he writes about currently. He is probably never going to wear that cheaper stuff again when you have a wardrobe full of the real stuff, so why waste his own time getting it commissioned.

For now, I use this site largely for inspiration. I recognise that I am lucky in that I can patronise some of the makers / brands he recommends, but not the likes of Camps De Luca or other much more expensive brands. One thing to remember though, I don’t know if I am misinterpreting what Simon has said on many of his articles, but a lot of these very, very expensive tailors, you are basically paying for extreme handwork (handsewn button holes etc, etc). I hesitate to use the word ‘pointless’ handwork, but hopefully people will understand my intention. That just doesn’t mean much to me as long as the suit fits great in an excellent quality cloth, I’m fulfilled, so even if I had the cash available right now to buy a £4k suit, I probably wouldn’t because, to me, the extra ‘benefits’ do not justify the extra £1.5k – £2k I am currently spending on a suit.

Equally, that does not mean I don’t want to read more about these uber-tailoring houses, but it’s about recognising that everyone wants to get different things from a bespoke suit. Some just want a great fitting suit which is extremely high quality, others will want a branded experience to brag about (e.g. Savile Row, Rubinacci) and others will be more the menswear clothing geeks who want/can afford absolutely everything to be hand made and know the hand stitch count per inch etc. Unfortunately, none of those things you are probably going to find in a Far-East machine made Hugo Boss MTM / Suit Supply (etc) at the £1k price mark, so there is just not much point in covering them, on this site at least, in my opinion.

Gus

In addition to the handwork, a despotic clientele can, no doubt, justify the prices.

In terms of future material and following up on your Chittleborough piece, I would be interested in more up-to-date reviews of the Row.

Anonymous

Absoutely nothing wrong with a discount, otherwise so much might not be covered. My only fear is those who might get left out because they cant or wont offer a discount. Thoughts Simon? Great to cover all the good value options in bespoke, even if you dont have things made? It would be a shame if you just returned to certain tailors because they are more affordable for you. Young starters in the bespoke trade or high end luxury business might get left out.

mike

Simon, is it not possible you will run out of tailors who can work to the level you require?

S

Simon,

A quick question on fit if I may. We all know that on a bespoke suit the collar should “hug” the neck and not move when the arms etc move. To what extent is this principle realistic in your experience? How much movement of the arms should one be able to do before the collar moves away from the neck? For example when you raise your arms to head level? Or when raising the arm holding the phone to the ear?

Has this ‘movement allowance’ been different on suits from different tailors?

Would be really interesting to hear your views on this as you have tried so many tailors.

Many thanks,
S

S

Thanks Simon. I understood from Russel at GB that it would be quite hard to have the collar not move away from the neck when lifting your arms above a 90 degree angle. I have even seen som photos of Prince Charles where this occurs on his (presumably) a&s suits?

S

S

Thanks Simon. I think you have a good point on construction. I’ve had quite a few suits made by GB in their standard ‘very structured’ style (thick canvas) and on those suits there is minimal (if any) movement when for example speaking on a cell phone. Recently I have had some suits made in their lighter, ‘Neopolitan’ style (very thin canvas, no padding) and on those suits, when speaking on the phone I notice that the collar ever so slightly moves away from the neck. Have you had a similar experience with suits with lighter construction / padding?

Thanks,
S

S

Thanks Simon. It is peobably mostly my OCD kicking in!

Ian

I am wondering considering the price point of your Kiton jacket, is the handwork on the Kiton comparable to CdL?
And how does the handwork on the pants compared with Ambrosi’s

BrendonNZ

Hi Simon I have just come across your site and are following with interest. There is a lot of talk about the finishing. I feel a little at the expense of the cut. The cut is how people see you from 5 yards. That is where they make their impression. In my humble opinion Savile Row still have the best philosophy there as they put a little extra chest in their coats..`The lifting of the arms being discussed is the height in the back of the sleeve relative to the armhole ie pivot sleeves for ballroom and shooting etc. A high armhole helps. The English coats sit lower on the neck than the Europeans as they are straighter cut ie Prince C at Anderson and Sheppard. This allow more chest. I hope this contribution helps
regards
Brendon

BrendonNZ

Hi Simon
Yes I think A & S have always been on their own tangent with their softer tailoring on the row. re the neck what I refer to is the straighter cut ie throwing the coat more towards the armscye away from the neck edge and allowing the coat to sit lower on the neck at the side, a fuller chest and a narrower hip as opposed to the more crooked cut which throws the coat up onto the neck and makes the hip v chest ratio closer together and altogether a little less masculine in the sense of physique. a crooked coat will never button well, it throws fullness exactly where you don’t want it, between the button and the neck. The drape cut, the so far extreme of this philosophy, is well gone now, till those with the infinite wisdom of fashion get hold of it after watching Casablanca one too many times. However if you don’t add a little chest what is the point of the camel hair and horse hair canvases. You are then down to what nature, long hours of work and the general malaise of having abundance gives our figures….who lack a degree of self control.
On the finishing and not in an effort to contradict oneself, a tailoring house that finishes well and merchandises, markets well, will never be short of business but to concentrate solely on the cut you then have to convert your clients one at a time, lest they be distracted by the big chic windows of the made to measure on the high st.
Not that i can afford one but I have always like the look of the cut of Kilgours on the row. If I was to pin my colours to a post and best explain what I think a good philosophy of cut.
regards
Brendon

Philip

Hi Simon, any updates re. this Camps de Luca suit? (It must surely have been completed by now!) I have been thinking about a visit to their premises for some time, but would be interested to first see your final product. Best, Philip.

Marc

Simon – Two off-topic questions if I may:
1. Can you provide any recommendations of London-based tailors to carry out alterations to a RTW jacket – reshaping body, working buttons, shoulder padding etc.?
2. Following your good review, I recently had a beautiful shirt made by Luca Avitabile, but am dismayed that it shrunk terribly on first wash. He washes his fabrics first so I don’t understand how this could happen. 30 C, slow spin, air dry – did I do something wrong? Would be helpful if you can provide any guidance on how you care for shirts to ensure maximum wear. Do you hand launder?

GONZAGUE

What do you think of a tailor who makes the first fitting directly in the final cloth?