Sartoria Pirozzi at E Marinella, and the ‘three-way’ suit
The amount of good soft-tailoring in London seems to increase by the month. And not just because people decide to start travelling: sometimes I just miss them.
Nunzio Pirozzi has been travelling to the E Marinella store on Maddox Street for several years, but it was only recently that I got round to meeting him.
Nunzio's good value too - not something you always expect when a tailor has trunk shows in a retail store (given the store is normally taking a cut). Suits start at £2300, which is what I paid for my corduroy suit being fitted here.
I mentioned a few weeks ago, while discussing the style points of my Anderson & Sheppard corduroy suit, that I liked the cloth so much I'd love one in a single- as well as a double-breasted.
So when Nunzio started a conversation about cotton and suitings, this biscuit-coloured corduroy leapt to mind (it's a cotton/cashmere mix, from Scabal).
I mentioned on the corduroy style post that ideally the suit would have been in a soft, Neapolitan cut, to enable it to be worn more easily with open-necked shirts. This will do that perfectly.
In fact, it's a great demonstration of what could be called the 'three-way suit' - where jacket, trousers and suit can all be worn separately (with the suit combination often being a little showy/dandy).
Readers often seem to be aiming for a three-way suit with their commissions, with the aim of versatility and therefore economy. But it's rarely possible.
A jacketing is usually defined by the openness of the weave or softness of the material, both of which are anathema to a good, straight hanging trouser. Navy hopsack can work, but the trousers aren't always that useful.
The easiest materials for a three-way suit are therefore casual ones like linen, corduroy or other cottons. Less formal colours also have potential, like a pale grey or the royal blue of my A&S flannel suit.
The fitting here with Nunzio was my first, and there were a couple of striking things about it. (Other than the sleeves being oddly short.)
First, the cutaway below the waist button (shown above), was noticeably sharp, even though it had the nice, smooth roundness of a typical Neapolitan jacket.
And the shoulder was a touch more extended than most Neapolitan jackets, which I don't dislike. It will be interesting to see what it looks like at the forward fitting - where you can tell far more about the style. (An old rule of thumb has it that the first fitting is for the tailor, the second fitting for you.)
Nunzio was absolutely lovely to work with, and indeed I know is widely liked in Naples. He also probably has the best moustache in menswear.
Nunzio founded his tailoring house himself in 1964 and it is not small, with 15 people in-house and various outworkers. His son Domenico cuts alongside Nunzio, and other family members count among the staff, from Domenico's daughter and nephew to Nunzio's brother Felice Pirozzi.
He comes to the Marinella store in London every 6-8 weeks, making him a good, regular option for those looking to try out the Neapolitan style so suited to modern lifestyles.
He tries to always do first customers in two fittings, and repeat customers in one, but it's not always possible.
(If in doubt, my advice is to always permit the extra fitting. Better that than having to send the suit back, or wait another 8 weeks just to get the alterations confirmed.)
Contact for London through the Marinella store at [email protected]
Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man
Hi Simon, The sleevehead doesn’t look like a typical shirt sleeve head. Is this intentional?
It’s just roughly basted on, so you can’t tell the style at this stage. As with most things, that will be at the next fitting
Nunzio can do different kinds of shoulders. Have a look at these shoulders – this is a jacket that Nunzio made for me in 2013:
Apart from that I think Nunzio does one of the best finishes in Naples.
I had a jacket made by Solito and a jacket made by Pirozzi. The price was equal. The fit of Solito was maybe better, but the finish of Pirozzi was much better. Simon can report on this as soon as he gets his suit ready.
In what way was the fit better?
Minimal differences in the fit when the jackets are buttoned. But nothing serious. And some other tailors expressed a view that there are issues with the front-back balance. But this might be more my fault because when commissioning the jacket I was not clear enough that I wanted a 2 button front, so the tailor had to change the 3 button to 2 button on the first fitting and this might have influenced the overall result.
It is all very subjective. That is why I wrote maybe.
Let us wait for the final result with Simon.
Bonjour Hristo.. and could you tell us the price of the jackets which about you taking, please..
there are several reasons for which I would not write you the price.
The prices of bespoke tailors increased significantly over the past 10 years. A price from 2013 might be for some tailors 100-200% off.
The prices in Italy are to a certain degree personal and negotiable and so they can be viewed as somewhat confidential.
You could always contact the tailor per e-mail or phone and ask for an up to date price range.
Hi Simon – With many preferring jetted/besom pockets on the jacket for casual or formal despite latter connotations, whats your view on jetted/besom pockets as trouser pockets aside from the 1/4 or onseam choices?
I don’t generally like jetted/besom pockets for side pockets on trousers – the look is not as clean; the only real argument for them is that the pocket can gape less, but I’d prioritise that style point over functionality.
Hi Simon – May I ask how Sartoria Pirozzi compares to Caliendo in terms of fit, make and finish? Are there any distinct differences besides the sharper cutaway and the slightly more extended shoulder?
I can’t really comment on fit yet as the jacket isn’t finished. The make and finish seem on a par though
Interesting commission. I remember reading the comments for your A&S cord where many people disliked the clash between the formal DB style and the informal fabric, but I actually think that’s what made the suit both brilliant, but also wearable- a DB cord suit is dandy, to be sure, but hip. In that its slightly rebellious and therefore modern to wear a DB cord suit (or jacket), making it suitable for fancy bars, artsy-but-formal events etc. I could see myself wearing such a suit to a private viewing for an art gallery, or meeting a film director. But a SB style doesn’t have the charm or the “hip” feeling that the DB does and, despite the “triple duty” argument, seems less wearable when the individual components are combined. Would you really wear a SB cord jacket unless covering for a geography teacher?
Ha! Good points Hugh. I think the DB certainly has that edge, which is why I like it. This cord suit (or just jacket) is less unusual, but can therefore take more unusual things with it, too. A bottle-green cardigan, for example, or other autumnal colours like burnt orange. It is more versatile, essentially, and leaves more room to play with the other things.
Hi Simon –
On the subject of Milanese buttonholes, is it fair to say we don’t seem them on traditional SR cutting (as it is more of a french thing) therefore such tailors will find not able to accommodate it?
It is not a traditional Row thing, no. Some tailors such as Chittleborough & Morgan and Maurice Sedwell are doing them, but most will not be able to.
I live in cord suits for eight months of the year so love this commission and look forward to seeing the result.
That said, I think the colour could have been more adventurous and subdued. There are some beautiful Zegna and Loro Piana cloths. A nice grey would have been great.
I’m delighted to see Nunzio getting credit here. I have 15 or so garments from him, the most recent received last week, and all commissioned in Naples. I rate his work above everyone I’ve used, which includes multiple commissions from each of Rubinacci, Attolini, Solito, Napoli su Misura, and a leading Savile Row tailor. As a tailor and supremely good person, Nunzio is the best I’ve encountered. I feel honored and blessed to wear his art.
I have a suit of identical colour and similar cut. I have to say it is much more limited in use than you might think. The DB does have a stylish edge to it that transcends cloth and colour, the SB, in my opinion, will not. I also wonder about the split use – suit trousers don’t easily match to casual sports jackets (tweed etc.). The jacket will work with flannels, jeans etc. but I agree with the comment about colour choice; given you have a similar DB why didn’t you go with grey/green/blue/olive/chocolate (you also have many tan/beige/tobacco items)? Also this and the Caraceni jacket are short in length – are you matching them with slimmer cut trousers to maintain silhouette?
The cloth choice here was all about the vintage cotton, which isn’t available in many colours. That cotton is also one reason it might have worked nicely as trousers on its own.
The Caracenis are not that short, similar to the Neapolitan jackets. And no, I don’t vary the trouser width with the jacket
I wonder if you dont mind my asking ,what was that corduroy cloth used in Suit made for you by Anderson and Sheppard. My dad had a very similar overcoat in same material.
Thank you Patrick
A cotton/cashmere mix from Zegna, not in the collection anymore
That’s a lovely color. Do you remember the number code of this scabal fabric?
No, sorry. Shouldn’t be too hard to find though
Does the comment ref the moustache stand true to this day given the epic slug atop Jamie Ferguson’s lip?