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
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: