Corduroy suit from Sartoria Pirozzi, Naples

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Monday, January 30th 2017
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This is the corduroy suit I featured the fitting of last October - at the E. Marinella store in London. 

Although labelled as Marinella, it was made by Nunzio Pirozzi - a Neapolitan tailor with a wonderful moustache and a sterling reputation in Naples.

I've yet to find someone that doesn't have a kind word to say about him. 

Like many tailors around the world, the trousers were also made by someone else, under Nunzio's direction - in this case, our friend Marco Cerrato.

Sartoria Pirozzi corduroy suit tan

There were several issues with the suit, although the overall work and finishing was very good (again, something Pirozzi has a reputation for). 

The first issue was that the jacket was rather too tight - particularly for corduroy, which of course being cotton has no natural stretch. 

In fact, the images here are a good illustration of how hard it is to assess the fit of a jacket from photography.

Although the line through the waist looks clean and flattering, it is actually too close to the body to remain comfortable for long when buttoned. 

Although I wore the suit to Pitti this past January, I ended up doing so with the jacket open most of the time. 

Sartoria Pirozzi corduroy suit lining green

The trousers too had issues, though they were in the common Neapolitan vein of getting the hard things right, but missing the easy ones. 

The waist was a couple of inches too big and had to be corrected locally. The fork was also marginally too tight (though this has softened down with wear). 

We had two fittings in London, and perhaps with a third fitting (common for a first order) these things would have been corrected. 

Sartoria Pirozzi corduroy suit bespoke2

The sleevehead was also more pronounced than I had anticipated.

Despite being a spalla camicia construction, and very soft in the shoulder padding itself, there was a good deal of roping at the top of the sleevehead.

This creates a stronger impression around the shoulder and, for me, makes the jacket too formal to work with casual trousers such as jeans or chinos. 

Again, this was largely a result of the two fittings, at neither of which were the shoulders finished to the point that the style could clearly be discerned. My fault perhaps to not question it further. 

Again, this can and will be corrected.

Sartoria Pirozzi corduroy suit cuff buttons

Elsewhere the fit was very good - in the back, in the sleeve, in the line of the leg.

There is (again) the common issue with Italian tailors that they cannot source the matte-horn buttons English tailors use, and which I generally prefer.

But those too can be changed, and I may even grow to like these sportier versions. 

The waistband of the trousers is extended and broadened (to 5cm, the same as the turn-up) in the same style as my other Cerrato trousers

extended waistband bespoke trousers pirozzi

I wanted a corduroy suit because I love the idea of a casual, knockabout suit, and because I planned to wear jacket, trousers and suit separately (the 'three-way' suit, as I described it).

In this outfit I enjoyed wearing very casual pieces with the casual suit: a pale-blue denim shirt and a grey cashmere tie - the Viola Milano collaboration with Alexander Kraft I reviewed here

On the feet, my reliable Gaziano & Girling bespoke adelaides. (Another illustration of the perils of photography - look how big that toe looks!)

gaziano girling bespoke oxfords

Since receiving the suit, I've been told that Marinella in London are no longer going to work with Pirozzi, which is a shame as it makes this suit rather less relevant to UK readers. 

But given the style of shorter jacket, broader lapels, slim waist and narrow trouser, Pirozzi is a genuinely different and more contemporary option for anyone visiting Naples.

Photography: Jamie Ferguson. Shot in Florence.

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Paul F

Very very beautiful suit and I particularly like the rollino of the shoulder. I was thinking of commissioning an olive corduroy sport coat but it’s true that having the trousers is worth it to be able to wear it different ways. I’m still looking for the perfect corduroy fabric though. I’d like it rather subtle. Yours is actually great.

Néstor

I like the colour and the cloth a lot. Shame that an easy thing to get right (waist) it’s not, even with one fitting this should be done right.

Also not a fan of the rollino in a casual jacket.

Two questions:

1. Do you find any advantage of having a broader waistband like this? I’m going to order my first trousers from Marco and I’m hesitating a lot about the design, if stick to the house style (which seems you did in your first two orders) or to opt for something rather unusual like single forward pleats but with standard waistband.
2. Where did you get those amazing mustard socks? I’m trying to source Bresciani’s in uncommon colours but it’s rather difficult.

Thanks a lot,

Néstor

Hristo

Hello Simon,
I am surprised that you call the shoulders spalla camicia. The shoulders on the Pirozzi jacket don’t have a second line of stitching with half centimeter distance which you would find on a Solito, Rubinacci, Attolini, or Caliendo shoulder. On this photo of Caliendo’s jacket you can see what I mean:
comment image
So I think technically this type of shoulder might have a different name than a spalla camicia even though it is as soft as a shirt shoulder. I think it might be a spalla insellata shoulder. In any case these shoulders look lovely. Especially on the first photo where your hands are not in your pockets.

Apart from that my experience is that he offers one of the finest finishes in Naples. On my pieces everything is sewn very neatly and carefully. And I also got fantastic white horn buttons on my jacket. Yes, more polished than British horn buttons, but very beautiful.

Néstor

Thanks Simon!

Rob

Simon, where is that shirt from, I’ve found it difficult to find that pale a denim?

Anonymous

Great, I’ll be first in line for the collaboration…

Chuck

Simon,

The suit looks beautiful. What is the swatch number for the fabric and who is the manufacturer?

Anonymous

Of course corduroy will stretch.

Kev Fidler

I know you say it is too tight but the slim silhouette of this suit looks very flattering; the waistline in particular gives a pleasing shape to the jacket. Given though the colour and this new one’s surpringly more formal looking shoulders (a surprise to me when I saw it) than expected how is it significantly different in intended wear from the A&S one you had in Toronto? (OK one’s DB the other SB, but aside from that….)

Anonymous

Hi simon. I just received 4 suits and 1 coat from Sartoria Sadano who Also comes to London. I was very expressed by very interesting Neapolitan style vision. Recommend he’s Sartoria a lot.
P.s. According to you suggestion I also order and already receive shirts from d,avino and very happy with them. thanks a lot.

Anonymous

Simon, I mean no solito but Sartoria Sadano)))

Anonymous

Thank you, Simon. The comparison is not apparent from the photos and I agree the jacket will look so much different without the roping effect.
On a different tack the tie is great, by the way. I don’t get much chance at all to wear them these days but a grey wool one will be definitely on the list.

Nick Inkster

I think with the minor changes you are proposing to the sleeve head and waisting in the coat it will look really good. I’m not a fan of the waistband but that is just personal taste. Edwin makes a trouser without a waistband which gives you the lengthening you refer to but it looks wonderfully clean.

Anonymous

I would say the same thing but after reading Simon’s post I looked at the pictures again and there is noticeable pulling around the buttoning point when the jacket is buttoned.

I haven’t commissioned a bespoke garment but that seems like a major mistake after two fittings.

Chris

Hi Simon,
Seems to be a fairly common theme that there are usually some issues with bespoke leading to some form of compromise along the way. My own experience, far more limited than yours, reflects this insofar as things have turned out to be not quite as I anticipated and after a few fittings I’ve ended up with something close but not exactly as I intended for one reason or another. The whole idea to me is that you should get what you want but there always seems to be some difficulty in achieving this in practice. Seems easy to miss something in the excitement of deciding how things should be and end up at crossed purposes with the tailor who may miss exactly what you are after or just have different ideas. In my case it’s usually that I want things to be less formal than the tailor thinks and I’ve ended up with a few pieces that aren’t as versatile as I’d like. Maybe I just need to concentrate more, be more forceful or take a checklist … however, my new grey flannels were cut too roomy and the waist 2″ too large despite my insistence on a slim cut and misgivings about the waist measurement, the alterations took 5 attempts to finally nail it. I did get the waistband adjusters I wanted though.

Nick Inkster

It’s much easier to determine the fit of a bespoke trouser than it is a coat. You can, if you have decided what works, specify rise, outside and inside leg, waist, thigh, knee, hem, and get pretty close. Chest, neck and all that is harder.

Anonymous

Well, I can’t speak to the Row, not having access to it myself, I wouldn’t say mistakes, more misunderstandings or lack of clarity and as you say with your corduroy suit, things can be rectified eventually.
I think your point 3 is more where I’ve fallen down, not paying enough regard to house style and having a fixed idea of my own. I’ve read this often enough here but seem to manage to forget it each time I start a new project.

John

Hi Simon,
This is a lovely suit! The entire outfit here is really chic! Presumably, the casual shirt and tie anyhow help to mitigate what could easily end up being a bit showy suit.
I wonder whether this jacket, even if you get the sleeveheads altered to make them trully neapolitan, would work with jeans and chinos. Both your corduroy suits would end up never being worn as separate, I’m afraid. If indeed, you do have in mind getting the best from both.
To be honest, I do not like corduroy suits, just a matter of taste. But yours definitely belong to the few I would love seing worn by friends!
A quick suggestion: perhaps it would be a good idea to devote an entire post on linings: types of materials, suitabilily to fabrics of jackets and weather, etc.
John

Gus Walbolt

I love corduroy suits and have owned several since my college days in the 70’s due to their casual versatility. I wear them as separates 90% of the time. Unfortunately, I find most corduroy fabric options to be quite stiff. Cotton cashmere blend (my previous suit) was wonderfully soft but those fabrics have become terribly expensive. I found a LP corduroy with a cotton and 2 or 3% Elastine blend that gives a similar soft feel to cashmere blend and the added advantage of a bit of stretch for very comfortable movement. It felt comfortable from the very first wearing and I now most often choose this suit for long flights.

David

When I saw this photo I thought wow but when I read about the fitt issues, I came away quite deflated.
In general, are the Italians a bit fire, steady aim when compared to the best of the row ?
I’ve tried to schedule a couple of appointments with Caliendo in London. This, in itself appears to be a little chaotic and doesn’t instil confidence.
Back to the suit – fitt issues withstanding I think it looks quite good albeit I wouldn’t have picked the green lining. I do think that contrasting linings are quite garish. The shirt and tie, on the other hand, are excellent!
Clearly Simon, you like this colour but it appears to be a bit close to your A&S.
Weren’t you tempted with a change? A grey or blue would have been nice to see.
With regards to your comments on the difficulties of wearing an open neck with Row bespoke. It would be great to broaden this debate.
Doesn’t it depend on which Row house style we are talking about?
Most of my suits from A&S are single breasted cord or linen and I think their drape cut is fine with an open neck providing you have the appropriate shirt. The PS polo is perfect and higher neck shirts also work. It is true that if you wear a regular formal shirt with A&S the weight of the suit collar will crush it – isn’t your point with A&S more to get the right shirt?
With regard to other houses, I think the more military cut can be the issue. I’ve yet to see anybody wearing anything from Huntsman for example, that looks good without a tie. They inevitably finish up looking like an estate agent out for a drink.
Conversely, I don’t understand your dismissal of C&M when it comes to louche or, as you call them ‘knock about’ suits. When I look at their site they have a divine visual that demonstrates their potential in this domain and certainly, the linen sported by Michael Brown last summer looked superb with his PS polo !
Who is it who is leading the charge at C&M when it comes to the more louche look? Is it Michael or Joe or both? I continue to be tempted by these guys. They do beautiful work.
Good luck with the pop up – I will definitely swing by. Keep up the good work.

David

Great response albeit the right shade of grey or blue cord is, in my book, is far from formal.
When I look at the C&M website and the amazing standard of their work I’m becoming more and more convinced that the right choice of cloth together with dialing back some elements could make for some a great result.
Do you think there are parallels between Cifoneli and C&M ?
I ask because you had Cifoneli make that beautiful suede jacket and although I wouldn’t choose suede for that type of jacket, I think it looks quite spectacular and I do think it was a good example of a tailor who has quite a structured, formal, full on house style adapting to produce something different.
Also, do you know how C&M and Cifoneli compare on price?
Regards,
David

Jon

I love the beautiful balance your elegance has brought to the cheeky casual corduroy, Simon– but my question is primarily about colour, since I love this suit– especially against the light denim– almost as much as I adore your recent ‘Brown in Town’ donegal tweed, your tobacco linen, and so many other browns: do you adhere to the rules (emphasized by Flusser, for example) of choosing only colours that ‘match’ one’s own hair and complexion? I’m slightly ruddy, green eyes, mousey brown hair but also balding and greying– but I desperately love so many of these browns, even those lighter. Am I best sticking to the darker ones?

Curtis

Simon,

I’ve been reading for a while now and love the site.

I’m due to finish school begin work at large law firm soon. I was wondering if you had recommendations in the greater NYC area for a first time bespoke experience. I will begin building a serious wardrobe per this site once I start work.

Thanks again for all of the great content.

Chris

“Which is why I always recommend seeing and trying examples of a tailor’s work before you have something made, and sticking to that style. Don’t try to change it into something else.”

This needs impressing on newbies to bespoke like myself very firmly. It took a while to dawn on me despite having read it many times here, but it’s a little like going to a Jaguar dealer and asking them to make you an Aston. Buy what they are selling.

David

True to an extent.
Taken in their most purist form, some House Styles have extreme limitations and are only interesting if they are capable of adjusting for lesser mortals.
I am a fan of A&S but the suits they make for me are SB in either cord or linen and although the key element of their house style – their drape cut – is omnipresent the overall effect is well away from their normal stock in trade. I am often asked by some of the trendier Wendys up west where I get my suits. When I tell them, they are surprised.
I originally went there because I was very impressed by some of the suits that they had made for Bryan Ferry and haven’t been disappointed thus far.
The key thing is to have an honest, straight dialogue with your tailor and to be prepared to walk away if you aren’t fully convinced.

George

Hi Simon,

Do you know who Marinella are working with now?

And which of the travelling Naples-based tailors would you recommend for someone trying for the first time? (I have used Thom Sweeney for more casual tailoring in the past, and have been happy, but would like to try something different for comparison)

Cheers

George

Ok, thanks.

Out of interest, have you ever had a more “formal” suit made up by a Neapolitan tailor? And if so, what did you think of it?

From the blog, i gather that you like the softer tailoring and reduced structure of the Italians for sports jackets, but is there any major reason (other than preference) not to use them for a work suit?

I am interested in having a couple of flannel suits made up in grey and navy, and thought with the softer shoulder, they could be suitable for work and the weekend (theatre, opera etc).

I work in private equity so the dress code is still conservative, so the jackets would likely not have patch pockets and other more casual features

George

Ah, great. Looking forward to reading that then.

Cheers, Simon

A.

Hi Simon,
suppose a forest green / dark olive corduroy 2pieces suit. I don’t have problem pairing trousers with other sport coat, but the jacket. Can be paired with flannel trousers too? Grey? And with sand whipcord?

Thank you!

A.

So neither cav. twill…

david

What a great question.
Any cord on cord combo is a stylistic faux paus of gigantesque proportions and Simon gave a good answer. Flannel would be the only option but then, from left field comes the Cab. twill option.
Interesting n’est-ce-pas ?

Tom

Surely a knockabout suit needs to be durable. How long do you think it will take before bald patches appear on the seat of a corduroy trouser?

Noel

Hi Simon,

Fantastic suit.
You mentioned in one of your comments that a heavier cord would be more durable, and presumably more resistant to “bald patches”. I’m looking to get a corduroy suit, and I wonder what weight should I aim for to reduce the possibility of bald patches (I don’t mind discolouration around the seems) Is 355gsm enough? or are you thinking of something quite heavy like 450gsm? Cheers.

Lorenzo

Hi Simon,
I have to get a summer suit for a wedding, nothing too formal but I want something that I will be able to wear at seperates if possess I don’t wear suits for work. Is there a style or material you would recommend?

Justin

Hi Simon,

I am interested in how you had the roping fixed at the sleevehead. I have a couple linen jackets that also had spalla camicia, but unfortunately had the roping that I did not prefer for more casual. Wondering how easy it is to have fixed…

Thanks.

Dylan S

Hello Simon!
I’ve always admired this suit very much. I recall that in the fitting post, you mentioned your hope that this would be a good 3-way suit, with the jacket and trousers both being versatile pieces in and of themselves. Have you found that to be true? What are the combinations of this suit as odd jacket and trousers that you find most beautiful?

gioessere

You have suited up at the wrong Pirozzi… this is the real one
https://www.vogue.it/uomo-vogue/news/2015/03/napoli-sartoriale

Patrick

Hi Simon,

I dont know where to comment but i think this post is the most relevant.

I am looking to get my first corduroy suit and I have narrowed it down to either navy or dark brown for the colour.

This is where I am stuck. Which colour do you recommend and is the most versatile?

I work in a fairly conservative office and both colours will work.

Thanks

James Saldivar

Hi Simon,

I really admired this suit when you first published this article, and was thrilled to see it for sale last week on Marrkt.

I bought it, and today took it to my local tailor (alterations only) to advise on fit…thankfully, he thought it would only need minimal adjusting.

As a side note, I’m quite surprised that it fit (just), as you said that it felt too tight for you, and yet I think I must be broader as I also bought your Ralph Lauren Suede Blouson which (very) sadly was decidedly too small. The blouson, though, I was pleased to pass it onto a friend, helping him make his first steps on his sartorial journey.

My question is regarding the sleeve head, which you’d intended to change…to whom would you recommend I turn to, to make it less pronounced?

Also, thank you so much for putting your clothes up for sale on Marrkt, I bought your Aero Leather horsehide jacket (which fits perfectly and which I love) in your second sale and also your Rubinacci X Rake coat in this last one and there would be no way I could afford such beautiful things at this point in my life were it not for it.

Many thanks,

James