Anderson and Sheppard DB flannel suit Symposium

*   Update: Going by the ‘likes’ on Instagram, the outfits currently rank as:

  1. Anderson & Sheppard 
  2. Cifonelli 
  3. Liverano 
  4. Edward Sexton 
  5. Panico 
  6. Richard Anderson            (Do you agree? Join in!)  *

These are the six pieces that our six greats of bespoke tailoring made for the Symposium last week in Florence.

As expected, each has a very distinctive style, most clearly seen in the shoulders but also in small things like the opening of the jacket below the button (the foreparts). As always, I’m interested to hear any opinions on your favourite submissions or styles.

Anderson and Sheppard DB flannel suit Symposium.jpg

The Anderson & Sheppard suit in navy flannel (above and top) has the house’s distinctive belly to the lapel, although as a keen-eyed reader noted, also less drape than commonly.

The trousers have the side fastener on the seam rather than waistband, as I’ve previously noted I prefer, and the mother-of-pearl button that A&S always uses on its rear trouser pockets.

Cifonelli royal blue blazer symposium2

Cifonelli royal blue blazer symposium

Cifonelli‘s royal-blue DB is very different. By buttoning at the last row and cutting the cloth to open more across the chest, Lorenzo creates room for the shirt and tie akin to most single-breasteds.

The effect is accentuated by having the jacket slightly shorter; this is usually only employed on jackets not suits.

Edward Sexton cream DB jacket Symposium

Edward Sexton cream DB jacket Symposium2

Edward Sexton‘s cream-flannel jacket has the biggest shoulders of the lot, with a slight curve up towards the sleevehead. For a more casual summer jacket like this he also prefers a 4×2 configuration for the buttons (four showing; two buttoned) and jetted pockets.

Striped knitwear from Anderson & Sheppard.

Antonio Panico chalkstripe DB suit Symposium

Antonio Panico chalkstripe DB suit Symposium2

Antonio Panico’s chalk-stripe DB is immediately identifiable by its soft shoulder and ‘shirt’ sleeve. Unlike most English tailors he also runs his front dart all the way to the bottom of the jacket, in this case hiding it cunningly along the line of a stripe.

All shoes suggested for the outfits are from Stefano Bemer.

Richard Anderson red stripe suit Symposium.jpg

Richard Anderson red stripe suit Symposium

Richard Anderson‘s suit jacket has perhaps the squarest shoulders of the bunch, with considerable padding and a structured chest. He also cuts a high notch to the lapel and uses a characteristic one-button stance, with relatively open foreparts.

Liverano tuxedo Symposium1

Liverano tuxedo Symposium21

The Liverano tuxedo has the most open foreparts of the lot, however, with a definite sweep away from the waist button that is mirrored in the broad peaked lapels.

The jacket is also cut with a generous chest and is matched with a U-shaped waistcoat.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Very interesting, Simon. I think for those who are new to bespoke especially, it delineates each tailor’s style quite clearly.

People look at suits but they don’t actually see! Now, if you ask Richard Anderson or John Hitchcock if they are simply interchangable with the other cutters in their companies it gets interesting. A house style is therefor a general guide and then beyond that is your cutter’s taste and idiosyncrasies. It’s their personality and, hopefully, a shared philosophy.

Once your tailor nails your favourite fit, lapel shape, shoulder line, pocket position, sleevehead type etc etc, it makes a nonsense of using 10 different tailoring firms. That’s for those who aren’t fussy. (Journalists apart!).

Il vecchio

I was interested to see the A & S suit, since I was for many years a customer there. In those days you took what they had to offer or did the other. I believe they are more accommodating now.
In any event the jacket looks far less draped than formerly and ths shoulders look as if they have little if any extension – a marked feature in those days.
All in all a most interesting symposium and feature on the site. Well done.


Interesting, especially in how it demonstrates the importance of presentation: the Sexton is my favourite, but he has done himself no favours with the striped jumper. If he had put a decent shirt and tie on the dummy the effect would be vastly improved. Liverano’s presentation, however, is spot on.

On another point, I just don’t get Neapolitan tailoring allied with heavy chalkstriped flannel: it’s just wrong.


Fantastic post as always Simon. I think the images you’ve utilised are great. I’m a relatively new customer to bespoke so the illustrative and narrative post has been really useful. I cannot help but think that it would have been better that all houses created either a SB or DB. Being a bit selfish, I really wanted to see the A&S in a SB, as most of the time, I see their cut in a DB. Just a thought. Your views?

Carmelo Pugliatti

I like very much the suits of Anderson & Shepard and Panico (is possible see a frontal picture of the Panico’suit?).
A&S seems more structured and this like me.
Beautifull the dinner jacket of Liverano.
About A & S and Panico double breasteds would be interesting know if ,in case the coat is buttoned to the last,lower, buttons couple,the lapel roll until the buttoning point.


Symposium 1 = shoes

Symposum 2 = suits.

Symposium 3= shirts/ ties/ accessories?

I only ask because after the impressive symposia on shoes and suits/jackets, you might be running out of clothing articles to base a symposium on 😉


To add to a previously mentioned comment , I think the comparison would be easier if they all used the same cloth and had gone for a single breasted, notch lapel.
On another point how easy would it be for ‘hight street ‘ retailers to take each style and produce MTM ?
Surely such a move would add to some of the rather bland styles selling on our high streets.

Matt S

I like how you pointed out, “Unlike most English tailors he [Antonio Panico] also runs his front dart all the way to the bottom of the jacket, in this case hiding it cunningly along the line of a stripe.”

It seems that only Neapolitan tailors cut their jackets this way now. English tailors used to do this. In studying James Bond’s suits, Anthony Sinclair, Dimi Major and Cyril Castle all cut their jackets this way. I’m sure many, if not most, other English tailors also used to use this method before discovering they could have a cleaner front by displacing the dart across the pocket to below the underarm dart. In the case of stripes it makes the suit much cleaner to continue the dart down in front rather than make a side body.


There’s no right and wrong with darts, only the cutter’s preference. Each type of dart has it’s merits. I think Kilgour were still cutting a full-length front dart (last time I took any notice of them). I don’t think bespoke wearers need to worry about darts and seams etc. You’re treading on your tailor’s toes. Leave it to him. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Matt S

I agree, Mac. Those small things should be left to the tailor. Even things like shoulder construction should be left to the tailor. People shouldn’t go to Richard Anderson and ask for a cut like Anderson & Sheppard’s. What a customer should be able to ask for is the number of buttons they want on the front, and I’ve seen cases where a customer wanted a double-breasted suit with four buttons and got six. And the customer is stuck with it.

Matt S

This person wanted a 4×1 like the Sexton jacket above and got a 6×2.

Carmelo Pugliatti

Matt,remember that the Neapolitan tailoring has always been very anglophile (is not a coincidence if Bebè Rubinacci name his shop “London house”).
The target of Neapolitan tailors was not create a alternative to Saville Row,but a “English style” that worked in the Naples climate and environment.


The Panico suits looks amazing, especially the ‘cut’ of the shoulder.

Aleks Pievic

Lovely post, thanks to PS !
The Cifonelli blazer looks stunning, is it right that this kind of roping shoulder is quite unique ?


All are beautiful though the A & S, for me, takes first place. The balance and silhouette are a cut above. Something worth pointing out is that four out of six examples are DB. Whilst style always trumps fashion the DB suit currently remains on the fashion periphery with few RTW examples on offer. Those worth looking at are in the more unstructured Italian style. This therefore begs the question – is a good DB suit only truly available through bespoke? Furthermore is bespoke trailing behind current trends or, conversly, does it actually lead the way by presaging future trends (as in LFW)?


Hi Simon,
Honestly, at this level of craftsmanship it is really hard, if not impossible, to somehow rate these items just from all but fleeting impressions.


Cifonelli’s shoulder expression is perfectly in proportion with the wide drape of the bellied peaks of the db. Wearing a custom made jacket, the shell feels like it is 1/8th bigger than the lining, thus moving freely while the lining as an armor hugs you, gives you posture that you otherwise didn’t have, underlining the strengths of the strengths of your particular anatomy and muting the foibles. My favorite contender!!

In this case the picture delivers very little. There are many a nuances that one finds on closer appraisal, hidden joys,


It seems that double-breasted jackets were in the spotlights which is a good point.
This is a proof that making DB is a real art, the blue with gold button is simply amazing and gives a real modern touch to a “classic” and sometimes oldfashion piece… Will you send more pictures of this jacket ?

Carmelo Pugliatti

Also some others pictures of Panico and Anderson & Sheppard DB,please.


While I have much respect for Cifonelli (and everyone else there), I do not understand the Cifonelli cut. Every man wants to look taller, slimmer and more sculpted.

This particular Cifonelli coat shortens the body with it’s truncated length, the enormous lapels widen the torso and the wide upward spread of the buttons add to the widening effect. You look short and fat. Not a flattering look on anyone! A classic line has more elegance and certainly more permanence. It also has a far broader appeal.


Panico is probably the best. Not generally keen on Anderson & Sheppard, but their suit also looks good.

Franck Piers

I had the chance to take part of this huge event ! The presented looks were completely reflecting the perfection and research of details… I must say that the Cifonelli’s DB was a masterpiece ! I do not agree with Mac, I’ve seen Lorenzo Cifonelli wearing a blue DB with wide lapels – the result was simply breathtaking…


Hi Franck,
Obviously we disagree! I have a lot of repect for Cifonelli though. However, I do think those lapels and buttons need a longer length to balance the exaggerated proportions. Chittleborough & Morgan would seem to agree if you look at their styling.

Matt S

I keep coming back to look at the A&S jacket. I really like the soft shoulders with the subtle roping. I also like that they’ve moved away from drape but still keep the chest more full than a lot of tailors do these days. This is the look I prefer, which used to be a middle ground between A&S’s traditional drape cut and the more military cuts of Savile Row.

David Craggs

Dear Simon,
An interesting exercise albeit as I mentioned in a previous post I would have preferred that they had all worked with the same cloth.
As things stand, although life is not a competition, I think that stylistically A&S have it hands down.
I’m not a huge DB customer (I find them a little fussy) and would have liked them to field their SB which I consider to be their piece de resistance. That said they still get my vote.
Second place goes to Panico’s chalk stripe but that’s probably because I like the cloth (all the more reason that they should have worked with the same) albeit I hate a ticket pocket on a DB.
All in all great stuff !


Hi Simon, I notice on the AS suit the side tabs are located slightly below the waistband, is this to minimize the visual effects of a shortened torso?

I have a short torso, AND short legs, but the mid section is relatively long. My natural waist is about an inch or two above my belly button, so when getting pants made, i am sort of in a dilemma here.

You see, to elongate legs i was thinking of going for a slimmer pant that falls closer to the natural waist, but doing so would necessarily accentuate my short torso; but a lower rise would make the legs seem shorter as well, as well as not being as comfortable.

What kind of rise should I opt for to visually minimize a long mid section?

Thanks so much!

Christian Garcia

I will sound repetitive as I had requested your help on this matter before. Would you let us, your readers know whether or not this event will be held in 2016 and when. I greatly enjoyed your Florence report. Great work.

Christian Garcia

Many thanks. I am trying to structure my 2016. Your swift attention is sincerely appreciated. Best regards. C

Arcangelo Nocera

Dear Simon,
I have found the SB dinner jacket from Liverano really superb. Another interesting point of discussion arising from the observation of the pic of Liverano’s DJ is that the jacket appears associated to grey trousers with seam silk braids, a very elegant combination that in my opinion could become a valid alternative to white dinner jackets in warm climates. Is the jacket in a black or midnight blue fabric ? Thanks


Arcangelo Nocera

Dear Simon,
thank You very much for Your quick clarification. I was just curious in asking because I am on the way of ordering to my tailor a shawl collar DB dinner jacket in a wool and mohair royal blue fabric (facings covered with midnight blue cord silk) to be associated with medium grey lightweight trousers.

am Nigeria union of tailor


Simon, I noticed that the A&S trousers’ back pocket button is gray and shiny, like mother-of-pearl. (The jacket buttons, contrastingly, are matte and perhaps navy.) Is MOP on trousers a fairly typical detail of A&S’s work?