Jean-Manuel Moreau made-to-measure suit: Review
Let’s move the conclusion up to the top of this review, just to get it out of the way.
This is a great made-to-measure suit. It’s fitted well, styled well and made well, and for me illustrates the pinnacle of what made-to-measure should be.
For most readers, it is the top of what they should be aiming for - in terms of craft and value for money. There will always be small reasons for choosing bespoke (design, craft, heritage) but for the majority, this is it.
Which shall we look at first? Fit, style, make?
Perhaps fit, given it’s often the first thing people focus on.
The jacket of this suit fits very cleanly, despite the little help offered by linen. It sits well across the shoulders, chest and upper back, and runs smoothly down into the upper arm.
There is, perhaps, the tiniest excess on the right of the chest and on the left of the back: but as often happens, the photos exaggerate it.
More important, and obvious, is the close fit of the collar on the back of the neck; and the right/left balance, which aids the clean appearance through the waist and hips.
I haven’t included pictures of the fit of the trousers, just because there’s so much to look at already. But you can see something of them in my two recent posts on summer smart/casual.
They are cut a little higher than normal, just because I'm always interested in how different tailors try to fit that rise on my body - and it’s so nice and flattering. So far, these are among the best in that regard - perhaps on a short list with Camps de Luca, Whitcomb, Cifonelli and Ambrosi.
They are flat-fronted, and relatively slim, with a 19cm opening and a 5cm cuff. Now, several readers have asked about these proportions recently, after the trousers were featured on those style posts. Please, always bear in mind that such things should be in proportion to your body and shoe size as well.
The trousers are a touch too short, but no more than a centimetre. I do like trousers like this to just kiss the top of the shoe, and with a little extra, they would. Perhaps it’s nothing more than looking at the length previously when the linen was unwrinkled.
(As in all reviews, I have photographed this suit after several hours’ wear, rather than in its perfect, pressed look straight from the tailor. It’s much more realistic.)
In terms of make, Jean-Manuel Moreau has a similar level of finishing to other good Neapolitans. Which is to say, not as fine as anything in France, England or North Italy - but still with a lot of work.
Any quick comparison of the buttonholes, or finishing around the lining inside, shows that it’s not on the same level as those other regions.
The lining running around the interior pockets is not exactly precise, and the linen is cut between it and the facing, rather than being the same piece.
But there is still a lot of handwork here. The jacket’s edges and seams are all top-stitched, as are the long seams down the sides of the trousers. In Naples, this is an extra level - more commonly seen when trouser workshops make under their own name, rather than for other tailors.
And more importantly, the lapel of the jacket is hand-padded - a key structural point that's usually only seen on bespoke, and only on made-to-measure we’ve covered from (top line) Saman Amel and Orazio. (The latter was initially wrong on the Orazio piece, and has been corrected.)
There are still small points of shaping and handwork - for example around the collar and armhole - that separate the best bespoke from all MTM. But they are some of the small points I mentioned at the start, that most readers will not need or notice.
They centre around how the upper half of the jacket sits on the neck, on the shoulders and under the arms, and therefore how that part of the jacket responds to the wearer moving (seen a little bit below). But it’s not even something all bespoke tailors execute well.
So we’ve done fit, and make. As regards style, I think this suit appeals for its simple, elegant curves. Almost for lack of character.
Compared to the Orazio cord jacket we covered, the JMM is larger almost everywhere - in the shoulder, the chest, the waist and the sleeve, as well as being longer in the body.
Yet it certainly does not feel or look big. It still has a flattering line through the waist and in the small of the back. And it’s small enough in the shoulder, and short enough in the body, to be a casual cut that would work with jeans or chinos (in a different material).
The gorge is fairly high, the lapel fairly wide. But neither look exaggerated (gorge height being one thing I'd like to change on the Saman Amel jacket).
The buttoning point is lower than the hunting-inspired English tailors, yet could still be a touch lower if desired. And the foreparts are certainly open and curved, but again don’t look extreme.
In some ways it reminds me of my Steven Hitchcock jackets, in that I noted that cut is a subtler version of A&S in almost every regard. This has a similar relationship to other Neapolitans.
There is a lot to recommend such a style, whether English or Neapolitan. Both are building blocks on which to found a personal style - rather than a strong style in themselves.
Finally, the experience.
I don’t think I have to say much about the service at Jean-Manuel Moreau. The comments on our introductory article were enough. They might be the most effusive ever on PS.
I’ll just briefly say that I was measured in Paris, had one fitting in Florence and one in London, and then picked up the final suit. Jean-Manuel and Nicholas were pleasant and efficient throughout.
The fit was also good at the first fitting (so perhaps more down to JMM’s model at Orazio, rather than his local workshop in Paris) and the only major thing we changed in terms of style was the lining.
This was initially a mid-brown, but that showed through too much on the back (linen being a little see through, and the lining only being in the top of the back). So we swapped it for the striped cream shown here.
For a conclusion, I'd refer you to the top of this piece. I'd just say that I'm very glad Jean-Manuel visits London (or will do, when it's possible). And on the basis of this, he is highly recommended.
For more on Jean-Manuel Moreau tailoring, the products and style, see our introductory article here.
Made-to-measure suits start at €2400, and jackets €1800. Made-to-measure shirts start at €240.
The cloth of the suit is Irish linen 10z, 201001 from Holland & Sherry. I’ll cover more about cream linen, its variants, uses and drawbacks, in a subsequent post.
Other items shown: Bespoke white-linen shirt from D’Avino, olive-green grenadine tie from Drake’s and bespoke oxfords from Masaru Okuyama.
Photography: Alex Natt @adnatt