The suit was completed a few months ago and we managed to take some photographs last month. But books, polos and events have conspired to get in the way since then.
This, then, my 13oz grey worsted single-breasted suit from Camps de Luca, Paris.
For anyone that’s not familiar with the French tailors, Camps shares many of the attributes of fellow Parisians Cifonelli and Smalto: lightweight canvas and shoulder padding; clean chest (cut close, no drape); pronounced shoulder roping; and absolutely superb finishing.
Camps is also known for its fish-mouth lapels. As you can see in the top image, the lapel is angled up slightly after it meets the collar, closing off that space and creating quite a strong horizontal line.
After the shoulders, this meeting of collar and lapel (the gorge) is one of the most important aspects in the style of a suit, and makes a distinct impact. So what do I think of it on my first Camps suit? I like the way it adds subtle personality, without resorting to the silliness of multi-angled pockets or horizontal stripes. But it also hasn’t won me over; I’m not about to ask any other tailor to cut my lapel in a similar way.
Looking at those shoulders, it is interesting how far around the sleevehead Camps puts it wadding to rope the shoulder. Most only put in roping at the top, creating that focal point at the end of the shoulder that gives width to the physique.
But Camps continues the roping further round, front and back, emphasising the work and leading to an impression of the shoulder almost being separated from the rest of the jacket.
Elsewhere on the style, the jacket is a touch shorter than I would normally have in a suit, and the foreparts (the jacket below the fastened waist button) are relatively open. I like the style of the latter, but may have altered the former. (As with most commissions, I start by asking the tailor to cut their house style, with minimal changes from me.)
Another distinctive aspect of a Camps suit is the folding of the cloth inside the vents. The normally hard line of the side vent is softened by having both sides butting up against each other. I like this principally because it prevents any chance of the seat being exposed when you put your hands in your pockets (which I do a lot).
On that point, there are several making aspects of the suit that I found fascinating – and hadn’t realised before. For example, the pocket bag in the trouser is attached to the fly on the inside. This stops the pocket bagging out too much, as it is constrained by that attachment to the fly. It is no less comfortable to use, but means the pocket keeps its shape.
It is also striking that the front of the trouser is perfectly flat and smooth – yet the fastening is one of the simplest you will find. There are merely two fastening points on the waistband, one on the left and one on the right. It rather undermines the point of complicated fastenings used by the Neapolitans (and Cifonelli).
I’ll post some pictures of these making aspects in a separate post, which will make them easier to illustrate and explain.
As we would expect, the finishing on the suit is first class. The cloth runs all the way around each in-breast pocket, with the lining being hand-sewn down first, then top stitched for decoration. The lapel buttonhole is a small but absolutely perfect Milanese.
And we have the distinctive tear-shaped pocket on the inside hip of the jacket (shown above) with the Camps de Luca name above it. Although the initials under the cuff, which again is a house trade mark, aren’t quite as fine as the work elsewhere.
Those in-breast pockets, by the way, are noticeably high and angled. Only Anderson & Sheppard does them quite as high, and I do like it. Wallets and phones remain in the chest area, and don’t encroach at all on the closely fitting waist. That’s one thing I would certainly ask every other tailor to replicate.
Worn with a burgundy silk tie from Loro Piana, with small and refreshingly widely spaced motifs in white and blue. Deep red works with a mid-grey like this better than any other colour of suit.
Handkerchief from Drake’s. The matte texture of the wool is of course a nice balance to the silk of the tie, and green is a classic colour to pair with red in such accessories, given they are complimentary colours.
Previous posts in this series, with other details on Camps and their work, can be found here:
Photography by Jamie Fergusson @jkf_man