Having run through the major types of tailoring style in Naples, we’re now onto the smaller variants.

For those that might have them, those previous Neapolitan posts were Solito (the modern Neapolitan cut), Ciardi (the traditional cut) and Rubinacci (an English-influenced cut).

You can see those and the rest of the posts in the Style Breakdown series in the menu next to this post, or the Guide page here.

Our next minor variant is Dalcuore.

Led by cutter Gigi Dalcuore – and gradually passing over to his daughter Cristina – the style here is fairly modern Neapolitan in its small, soft shoulder, but tends to be more roomy and comfortable in the body.

It might be a good option for someone that wanted that soft Neapolitan look, but without the tendency of younger cutters to be rather short or tight.

 

 

House: Sartoria Dalcuore

Address: Via Francesco Caracciolo 17, Naples

Site: www.sartoriadalcuore.com

Cutter: Gigi Dalcuore

Price (at time of writing): €4,000 (incl VAT)

Suit starting price: €4,000 (incl VAT)

 

This was the first piece that Dalcuore made for me, back in 2016. I liked the idea of a dark, serious suit that didn’t feel too corporate – and had seen Japanese guys in particular wear brown in that mode.

The cloth, Crispaire 337045 from Holland & Sherry, worked well. It’s very dark without appearing black or grey, and Crispaire remains my favourite summer high-twist cloth for a suit or separate trousers. It breathes well and holds its shape, without the scratchiness of some other hight twists.

The fit of the jacket was good, though there were issues with the trousers (now fixed – full post on that here).

Most importantly, it was interesting to try something that had the soft Neapolitan make, but was a little more comfy.

Unfortunately Dalcuore now travel a lot all round the world, and their travel to London is a little sporadic as a result. I have been able to commission some other things since then though – including a brown soft-tweed suit.

 

 

To get into specifics (which is what this series is all about) the shoulder of this suit is fairly small at 5⅞ inches – similar to Solito.

It’s also lightly padded, with just a thin pad in the shoulder. And the shoulder runs into the sleeve pretty naturally, without much interruption at the top of the sleeve, through wadding or anything else.

It’s not strictly speaking a spalla camicia shoulder, as the shoulder is not lapped back, to give the appearance of the sleeve running underneath the shoulder. Instead there’s a standard seam, just pressed flat.

This is a minor technical difference though. For all intents and purposes it is what a customer would expect from a Neapolitan shoulder.

 

 

The only thing someone might expect from a Neapolitan jacket, and is absent here, is the excess cloth at the top of the sleeve that causes ripples of the cloth to fall from the shoulder.

This absence is in line with what could be seen as Dalcuores’s fairly conservative style. There is nothing flashy about this cut. It is simple, casual and relaxed.

That relaxed nature can be seen most obviously in the side-on view of the suit, above, and the rear view, below.

The side-on view shows how the back is cut straight, with no suppression in at the waist. And the back one shows the drape below the shoulder blades.

Although it has no drape in the chest, and is fairly suppressed in the sides, it is in the back that most of the comfort of a jacket lies.

 

 

The other thing that’s striking about this jacket is the height of the buttoning point.

The waist button is 18 inches from the shoulder seam, where Solito (for example) was 18½ inches, despite being half an inch shorter than the Dalcuore.

You’d expect a buttoning point to be a certain fraction of the total length (though dependent, of course, on the wearer’s proportions) and that therefore that point would get higher as the jacket got shorter – not the other way around.

Today, this high buttoning point looks a little unfashionable, but it’s still close to my natural waist. And it’s worth remembering that little is objective here: a brief perusal of suit styles over the past 50 years will show how much it has varied, from hip in the 1980s to sternum in the 2000s.

Like most things, it’s a question of style.

 

 

Elsewhere in this suit, the lapels are cut straight and the fronts open and curved – both standard from a Neapolitan.

The sleeve is fairly slim, and consistent all the way through – not markedly tapered to the wrist.

There is double pick stitching around all the edges, which doesn’t really show up on this cloth.

Despite that, the inbreast pockets are cut straight into the lining. (The pick stitching is a lot of extra work, but decorative; arguably not cutting the pockets into the lining is also extra work, but functional.)

And the canvas is lightweight, with a light wool running down the body and then a heavier layer just in the chest.

 

 

Over a couple of years of wearing the suit, I’ve learnt that it looks best with a white shirt, grey or dark tie, and black or very-dark brown shoes.

Here the white poplin shirt is from Luca Avitabile, with the grey-wool houndstooth tie and blue cotton handkerchief from Anderson & Sheppard.

The wingtip shoes are the Inverness model from Edward Green.

By the way, if you find any of the terminology here (sleevehead, buttoning point) confusing, or want more detail on how the measurements are taken, please ask in the comments.

I put some details in our introduction article, but it’s good to know any others that need clarifying, so I can reply there and improve the introduction piece over time.

 

 

  • Shoulder width: 5⅞  inches
  • Shoulder padding: Thin pad
  • Sleevehead: Nothing, natural
  • Sleeve: Slim all the way through
  • Lapel: 3¾ inches
  • Gorge height: 3⅛ inches
  • Drape: None
  • Outbreast pocket height: 10 inches
  • Buttoning point: 18 inches
  • Waist suppression: Moderate
  • Quarters: Open, curved sharply from first button
  • Length: 31 inches
  • Back seam: Straight
  • Vent height: 10¼ inches
  • Trouser circumference at knee: 19½ inches
  • Trouser circumference at cuff: 15¾ inches

More on Dalcuore here:

 

 

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

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Toby

Hi Simon

Sorry to say but the proportions of this coat are all wrong. You mention the high buttoning point, but what you fail to mention is that the second buttonhole is HIGHER than your trouser waistband. It’s also about 1/2″ too short on you. And are the trouser bottoms really 15 3/4″?

Sorry, but this is a fail in my eyes.

Anonymous

Hi Simon

OK understood, but l used the words wrong proportions because the lower of the two buttonholes is higher than the waistband of your trousers, which should never be the case. That single factor throws the whole thing off to my eye.

Scott

Simon, this a a very nice suit and I really like that shade of brown. Personally I prefer a slightly higher button stance and the one on your suit looks great. Why did you go with a three roll two rather than a two button? The lapel width is a bit on the wide side for me as I like a 3 3/8 to 3 1/2 inch lapel. Have you ever worn a black shirt with this suit? I think that would be fantastic look as well.

Anonymous

Toby

I’m amazed that you can give advice and precise measurements given you’re going by pictures……

Anonymous

I think the readers need to understand that each house has its own cut and vision of how the suit must fit. Simon tries to show this in this kind of series. So just be careful before pointing out mistakes. Of course in some cases the garment is poor on fit, but on this case the suit seems to match the house DNA.

I would only point out some disruptions on the right back and front. Simon are you slightly dropped right? Maybe that’s the reason and as they work with very thin padding, is quite tricky to fix this kind of shoulder balance.

Gabriel

Fernando

Hi Simon, would you consider reviewing Tom Ford mtm? I know it’s not exactly what you do here but TF it’s pretty #menswear and it would be nice to know your opinion on design and quality since it’s a pretty popular shilouette.
Anyways, keep up the good interesting articles!

Gonzague

Provided you find a tailor whose house cut is similar. Not sure it works well to ask a tailor for a cut that is not his own.
Also, at least in Euros, I find TF suit prices are lower than what it used to be.
Rather than commissioning a TF suit you may just include his windsor cut in the style breakdown series, as so many seem to like this cut and it seems it borrows from various styles.

David

4000 euros? Ouch. The price hurts when you think Dalcuore was a little and unknown atelier at the beginning of the 2010’s. The entry price was then at 1300 euros for a suit. The Asian wave and the growth of their business went through there. Considering the youngish cut it makes me think to Granata whom I own 2 suits. I largely prefer more manly cuts such as Zizolfi or Paone.

Justin

Hi Simon-

Beautiful suit, Simon. As you mention it, I can see the higher button stance but the long skirt does mitigate and give a very nice line. I imagine the trousers are very versatile as separates but would you wear the jacket on its own, perhaps with a medium grey high twist or does the fabric lack enough texture for that?

Pan Pap

Dear Simon,

What other tie colors would you recommend for this suit? Light blue, orange, pink perhaps? I have a suit in a lighter shade of brown and I have found it difficult to find ties that work.

Chancellor

My favourite suite is actually a dark brown suit (worsted wool, RTW), perhaps a touch darker than this, though photography can be misleading.

I find the following tie colours all work well for me: blues, navy, olive-green, deep greens, dark greens, reds, burgundy, purples. I’ve personally found the suit colour works with a wide range of ties. I only shy away from browns/oranges and light coloured and desaturated ties.

Anonymous

Like the tie simon.
If I were wearing morning dress with powder blue waistcoat, white shirt and grey trousers & black jacket…
What colour tie would I go for?

Anonymous

Simon

Do you normally go below 16” trouser hems? Seems quite narrow.

Patrick

Simon,

Could you elaborate on the lapped back shoulder seem you mentioned, which is not included on this jacket? Perhaps you have a visual example? I think I understand what you mean but haven’t seen this detail much.

Best,

Patrick

Tim

Fabulous looking suit Simon, truly. The shape and silhouette are just so beautiful; the close and soft shoulders with the tiniest bit of lift of the sleevehead, and the skirt and quarters matching the top half of the suit perfectly. For what it’s worth, I quite like the higher button point in this instance, and think it’s one of the things that make this stand out in its own unique way.

Chancellor

Continuing to really enjoy and learn from this series.

Could you explain what it means that the breast pocket is “cut straight into the lining”? Does that mean that rather than ~1 cm of the rim of the inside of the pocket being wool, it is lining right to the top of the pocket brim? Or am I misunderstanding?

Thanks.

Bobby

Why do they cut it this way? It has nothing but disadvantages.

R Abbott

A bit off topic, but when you began your bespoke journey, did you start of with cheaper or less well known tailors before stepping up to the more renowned ones? If so, and what was the process like?

R Abbott

Thanks a lot. Based on your posts it looks like there’s inevitably a certain amount of trial and error, so better to err with the cheaper tailors and refine my tastes before moving up…

Isaiah

Hello! Thank you for the review, as always. In the future, is it possible to show us how the jacket fits when buttoned and with your arms raised perpendicular to your body? One may find an off-the-rack jacket that will look “perfect” when standing with the arms at the hips, but no off-the-rack jacket will look good when its wearer tries to raise his hands, while keeping the coat buttoned. I think it would be great to demonstrate the fit in such manner. Thank you!

Isaiah

Thank you for the reply Simon! It has always amazed me how Fred Astaire’s jackets look absolutely perfect while he’s dancing around in them with his arms raised most of the time. Astaire’s coats must have had very small armholes and impeccably made shoulders.

IL

Wonderfully informative series, Simon – please keep going!

Came across Isaiah’s point re: Fred Astaire’s dancing jackets and thought I’d add this: coats and jackets made for ballroom dancing look great only when the wearer is in that dancing pose (arms perpendicular to body, etc) and look terribly misshapen when the arms and shoulders are in a more natural position by the side of the body…

Amara Cyrus

Love this outfit!

Yitao ZHANG

Simon, personally, you should not have written such an article.

Yitao Zhang

I mean compare to other suits of the series, dalcuore one is particularly banal. I cannot find it appealing anywhere not mentioning technical drawbacks. Plus it COSTS 4000 POUNDS.

Yitao Zhang

Hi Simon, I find the front balance of the jacket is not good. The front piece is thrown forward. The transition from the chest to the waist is not natural. The wrinkles in the back piece of the trousers make me think the trousers are not cut to your body assuming you stand naturally during the shooting. They look like a pair of rtw trousers. From the style aspect as mentioned by others, I cannot appreciate the buttoning stance and the position of waistband.

Yitao ZHANG

Hi Simon, these are just my judgements. I hope Dalcuore could deliver more stable products in the future.

Timofey

About buttoning position : many Sarto Napoletano consider that they jackets remain unbuttoning 95-100 % of wearing ( and practically its true). So I think dalcuore suit looks better unbuttoning as well.

Timofey

Dear Simon , I am wearing only bespoke for 15 years already. There is no way back))). And I don’t see any loses then jacket is undone ))).

Joel

I’m curious why not too?

annonymous

Simon,
You commented on the trousers not being quite right at the start and they look to still have some drape issues in the back. Have you ever found a jacket maker (and referring specifically to the Neapolitans you have used) that you would use but if doing a suit, have the trousers done be Cerrato or another trouser maker?

Joel

Personally I think this is one of your best looking suits. Any advice on finding something similar in RTW?

Timofey

Ciao Simon . The biggest problem of Sartoria dalcuore and alike is that you never really know who actually made that suit. They largely outsourced they suits from another Sartoria (usually very chip one). I would feel foolish if dalcuore outsource my suit for 700 € and sell me 4,000 €.

Timofey

Oh it’s grate that 20+ person now work for them . But even bigger question arising : who actually made al these thousands suits for last 5 years as soon as they open bigger Sartoria only 1 year ago ? Let’s be honest Simon – Dalcuore showed Teatro to all overseas customers))). 90 % of that suits actually made by another Sartoria’s . But again it’s grate that dalcuore start produce more by themselves)))

Ben

Very informative series on Dalcuore. The drape in the back, which makes a lot of sense in terms of comfort, really kills the profile and back silhouette to my eye. This plus the mistakes on the trouser (which still looks a bit short to me) and the high button stance makes the 4000 euros an untenable expenditure.

Ben

Do you have a sense, Simon, of how cutthroat a business bespoke tailoring at this level is? E.g. the variance, I suspect, is great, but what’s the average wait time for a new customer to one the european tailors you’ve featured?

Joel

Lots of (constructive) criticism on the suit. Gentlemen’s Gazette used to ask readers to upload photos of themselves on Facebook and no matter how good they looked they always got criticised from the width of the tie to the break in the trouser, it’s why I stopped following, everyone is an expert on style and fit.

The big questions really are: are you happy with the suit and would you buy again?

S

Hi Simon,
How would you compare Dalcuore and Peluso style and/or house-cut wise ?
Thanks a lot!
S

S

Thanks anyhow Simon!

Anonymous

This article prompts a question I have been meaning to raise for a while: whilst you continue to explore the corners of Italian bespoke design does the search actually deliver the silhouette that best enhances your frame, build and personal style? Consider that the Sartoria Panico grey flannel seemed to win ‘the best’ reviews from readers whilst the Dalcuore raises mixed feedback. I understand that part of the journey is based on an exploratory search of style but it is only a snapshot of the current offering. You might think these are enduring but certainly across the last forty years what is considered stylish has varied greatly. So, whilst the series is, in some way, slightly selfless, in that it discovers and displays various styles for the reader what it does not do is explore the quality of response to the needs of your own frame. Therefore, as readers we are, occasionally, dissatisfied by the result due to the silhouette being less than it might be, particularly when there are so many other, often better, PS examples by comparison. Moreover there is, within the Italian ouevre, a similarity of style within regions that renders redundant deeper exploration through contrast and compare (more similar than dissimilar). I wonder if a juxtaposition of styles might have been a better path to deliver the understanding of each house style other than bracketing by region.

W

Simon,

Would you ever consider doing a suit from Graham Browne in this series? I realise you have moved on in your sartorial endeavours from the early days, and are focusing on houses with a higher degree of handwork. But I fancy that there are many readers who would be interested in seeing the differences in cut/style you get when upping the spend from entry-level bespoke, and so including GB or the like would perhaps help facilitate this.

Just a thought…

Chancellor

I’ll add my support to seeing this as well.

David

I see very mixed reviews about the Dalcuore suit. As I said in a previous comment, a 4k euros price seems too much for the final product. Nevertheless the flaws can certainly be explained by a limited number of fittings. It’s a typical failure related to trunk shows and traveling tailors who can’t work in a TS like they would do locally in Naples with much more focus. Often Neapolitan traveling tailors can’t afford much more than three travels (one for the measurements and first contact and the two others for the fittings). The growing model is even a one fitting shot (to lower the price). It’s a sort of semi-bespoke process. Even with a lot of experience and mastering, it’s very difficult to achieve a perfect fit with a such limited tryings on a first suit. If I remember well the first piece of Simon on the suit, it took two fittings to get to this result. By the way, I worked with 3 different neapolitans tailors and in spite of a great results with the jacket, minor flaws always appeared with the trousers.

David

The pleasure of a good pair of trousers is such underestimated ! A perfect jacket with average trousers will always let a bitter taste to a suit and affect the global proportions.

Michael Frost

I certainly would not be happy to receive this suit in exchange for 4K euros.

Even allowing for distortion in the photos, the button positioning is off, the jacket too short and the trousers also.

When you collect a finished commission like this, do you actually challenge the tailor on such obvious problems, or do you just accept what you get?

It often seems that readers pick up on what seem to be less than acceptable outcomes, which you are often inclined to defend, but l don’t remember you actively counselling newcomers to bespoke to reject a 4K euro suit which is very clearly flawed.

Michael Frost

I agree that rejecting a suit because the buttoning point is too high AFTER it is finished would be silly, but it should never have got that far in the first place.

I had my first bespoke commission in the late 60’s and have worn nothing but ever since. Fashion ebbs and flows, but on a 2 button coat having pocket flaps and the lower button so high relative to the top of the trouser has never, in my experience, been the way to do things.
My point is that readers with little or no bespoke experience might look at this suit and think it’s something to aspire to.
Don’t they deserve better?

Michael Frost

My experience against yours l suppose. But I make no claim to be an expert.

Only trying to contribute, certainty not to be boring.

Michael Frost

Simon. I’ve only been to one tailor who didn’t want to hear what l had to say about his proposed buttoning point. I didn’t go back to him again.

In all the rest of my years, where to cut the button has been an active part of the interplay between tailor and client.

Perhaps it should be defined by what looks right versus what looks wrong.

I won’t post anything else as l don’t want to confuse matters.

Timofey

Dear readers, please don’t attract Gigi dalcuore, he was not making this suit . This suit actually made by outsourced sartoria (I know exactly which one))). Dalcuore pay them 700 € for the suit , for this real price it’s wonderful product.

Anonymous

I think Michael to be correct in his observations. Why? The button point, at its highest (on two button SB) should not be higher than the natural waist. Indeed it should signify this point. If it is higher then the waist looks to be part of the rib cage – clearly a ridiculous assertion. One can discuss style etc. but this design does not suggest style, just incorrect proportion. Combined with the high lapel I think the tailor wished to raise the shoulder and chest to seem more powerful. However, when one compares to C&M suit jacket, Caraceni herringbone or Rubinacci Donegal the silhouette is inferior. The trousers are a little too short in the images, though in actual wear they may lower to a better position. This point is clear in the side and rear images. I agree that variations on style should feature but I think to some readers the silhouette lacks good proportionality and thus stands outside of this aesthetic metier.

Anonymous

Simon you are missing a very fundamental point here.

The position of the top button should be at the natural waist; that all seem agreed on. Normally that would be about 1” above the belly button. In your pictures it appears to be about 1” below the bottom of the sternum, which simply makes it too high.

But the fundamental point is this; the positioning of the button has a big impact on the length of the lapel. Shortish lapel with high buttoning point means no shape, Just a lot of “middle”. Longish lapel with well placed button makes for lots of shape. This jacket has no shape to talk of.

I have to agree with a number of your contributors who, rightly in my view, find little of merit in this fit.

Fastship

I am (already) looking for an autumn suit in Brown therefore I’m researching fabrics. “Charcoal Brown” looks interesting but searching for fabric yields no results and I wonder if anyone has a view or any lead on suppliers of this type of fabric.

Fastship

I definitely want that subtle melange effect but from a lighter weight fabric, perhaps from a “birdseye” weave.

Vitale Barberis Canonico I think did have a Charcoal Brown but I can’t find one listed. I shall keep searching.

Nicola

Hi Simon,

Forgive me if you have gone over this anywhere in the past, I’ve been a follower for a while but I’m still playing catch up.

Do you have any idea how this suit style differs from the Dalcuore model for Bryceland’s?

I got a chance to try on some of the RTW at the store a few months ago but did not have the time nor the funds to get fitted and have something made.

I now enjoy the Neapolitan type cuts with less structure because of my build. I have short arms, I’m not very tall, but have a strong chest and shoulders, and a high-ish drop so really minimal structure makes me look like a refrigerator.

Apologies for the essay!

AS

Hi Simon, this series is absolutely phenomenal! Any chance you would be doing a similar post on the grey flannel from Panico? Thanks!

Joseph

Seeing as this is the most recent Style Breakdown post, I though I’d mention that the sidebar menu says “Gudie” instead of “Guide”.

On topic, this suit has always been one of my favorites among your commissioned pieces. I feel as if the Dalcuore make plus the material you chose would not be too out of place where I’m from.

Justin

Hi Simon-

I saw you sold your Dalcuore navy seersucker suit. As I was considering a similar navy seersucker commission for next summer, I was curious what didn’t work for this suit, the fabric or the cut? Thanks.

Jay

Hi Simon,

Would you consider using a fabric of this colour or dark brown worsted fabrics in general appropriate in a corporate/ formal business environment? Personally, I have always felt that dark brown suits can look very smart, but can make the wearer come across as being someone who is very fashion-conscious.
(We do see the occassional brown suit wearer here in Japan.)

Nico

Hi Simon,
I notice that here and elsewhere you favor black shoes with dark brown trousers / suit. In this case brogues it seems. Would you still advise black shoes were the suit a dark brown pinstripe? And specifically full brogues? I have read so much against the black shoe / brown suit combo that highly as I hold your opinion, I cannot avoid a feeling of walking on the razor’s edge.
Congrats on the family expansion,

Rupesh

Hi Simon,

All your Neopolitan suits have had patch pockets as they are Italian trademark style for casual wear however, would you consider having flap pockets in any other Italian suits or be content with their vision.

Thanks

Rupesh

Rupesh

Hi Simon,

I found the finished product as an elegant piece which I feel is worth taking the risk for in terms of style and quality. I have followed the mix reviews which are valid in some cases as they have obviously had some experience/knowledge. In your opinion, would you say Solito would have done a better job or who would you commission to do this suit again if you had a choice?

Rupesh

Hi Simon,

Do you think you could wear this suit in the cooler months as well considering the darker shade and the weight being 10oz. Also you mentioned that this shade would be great for trousers but what colour Blazers would you match this with?

Stanley

Hi Simon

i have just made a dark brown suit recently,

however i have no idea how to match it, regarding the colour of a shirt

is it a must to wear tie for dark brown suit ?

Stanley

Thx Simon

Good point

in terms of grey, which grey will be better? pale one? some people said ivory colour also work, but i have no idea it should be ivory yellow or ivory white

how about the fabric, i got a white button down oxford, lighter and normal everyday denim shirt (yes, i copy most of the shirt style from you), might work too?

Shem

Hi simon, I recently commissioned a dark brown cotton trouser (brisbane moss, dark brown 1419 http://www.brisbanemoss.co.uk/shadecard.php?id=83&type=3) with my local tailor but am now doubting my decision as they may appear too dark to go with navy sports coats which I intended. On that note – while dark brown suits and sports coat appear to be a thing, I hardly see anyone (from pictures online) wearing dark brown bottoms. Are they simply not as useful as a bottom?