*This is an extract from the book Bespoke Style, which is available here on the PS shop*
Nunzio Pirozzi has a strong reputation in Naples. Indeed, he’s one of the few master tailors that other tailors consistently praise.
(The usual method of expression is pursing the lips and an emphatic thumbs-up.)
Generally, this refers to a tailor’s technical abilities, and Nunzio is certainly strong there.
However, from a style point of view he is unusually modern. He tends towards the short jacket, narrow trousers and tight fit of the younger Neapolitan tailors, despite being of the older generation.
The jacket of this suit is not long, and yet it was one of few in this series where I deviated from the house style – requesting it to be an inch longer.
House: Sartoria Pirozzi
Address: Viale Antonio Gramsci 23, Naples
Cutter: Nunzio Pirozzi
Price (at time of writing): €3500 (incl VAT)
Suit starting price: €3500 (incl VAT)
I commissioned the suit in 2016 back when Pirozzi were working with tiemaker E.Marinella, and visiting London regularly as its in-house tailor.
Unfortunately they no longer do so, but Pirozzi do still travel to Asia, at Sartorial in China, Dal Duca in Hong Kong and Strasburgo in Japan.
I already had a caramel-coloured corduroy suit from Anderson & Sheppard, and it was one of my favourites. But that had a double-breasted jacket, and I was always unsure whether it was the right choice – I found I couldn’t wear the jacket with jeans easily, for example.
So this was an attempt to correct that choice, as well as make something that was a ‘three-way suit’, in that the jacket and trousers could be worn separately, as well as together as a suit.
The suit has done well in that respect, and been worn all three ways. But it was probably overkill to have two such similar suits. I should have stuck with just one or the other.
The overall style of this Pirozzi jacket is definitely Neapolitan. The canvas in the chest is lightweight; the quarters are open; the body is cut close.
But the shoulders are different. There is a little padding in there – just a single layer of wadding, but more than most Neapolitans.
The shoulder is a touch wider, and there is a touch of wadding at the top of the shoulder, creating a subtle roped effect.
These are all small points, but overall they make the top half of the jacket stronger and more formal than most Neapolitans.
The lapel and collar are interesting too. The lapel line isn’t quite straight, unlike almost all other Neapolitans (Rubinacci being the exception we’ve covered).
It is ever-so-slightly convex, curving outwards towards the shoulder.
And the gorge (where collar and lapel meet) is very high. The measurement from the point of the lapel up to the shoulder seam is 2¾ inches, which is the smallest of any tailoring covered in this series.
Like many other contemporary suits, the angle of the top of the lapel is also quite flat, pointing out towards the sleeve rather than downwards. (Compare it to the downward slope of Ferdinando Caraceni.)
Those last two points – the height and angle of the gorge – are in keeping with the view of this as a rather modern Neapolitan.
As mentioned at the beginning, the jacket is not long (30½ inches in the back seam) and yet it was lengthened at the first fitting.
It is also cut quite close to the body, has a fairly wide lapel (4 inches) and slim trousers (19 inches at the knee at 15 at the cuff).
So we can perhaps characterise the overall Pirozzi style as a Neapolitan suit with English influences in the lapel and shoulder, and a modern cut in the length and slimness.
The sleeve is more generous than some Neapolitans, partly as a result of that roped sleevehead. But it still narrows to 11 inches at the bottom.
The buttoning point is fairly high (17½ inches from the shoulder seam), there’s definite though moderate shape in the waist and lower back, and the outbreast pocket is a little lower than normal at 10¾ inches from the shoulder (most are 10).
Little deviations here and there – but as I always say, this is what makes the style of a suit.
Although this is my second suit in this cord, I have to say I never tire of how nice it looks with an ‘Italian background’ of navy tie and blue shirt.
The tie is of course from Anderson & Sheppard, as is the white-linen handkerchief (A&S are sponsoring this series and so have provided all the accessories, with Edward Green supplying the shoes).
The shirt is a denim-coloured linen, made by D’Avino.
Those shoes are EG Dovers.
- Shoulder width: 6½ inches
- Shoulder padding: Thin wadding
- Sleevehead: Wadding, slightly roped
- Sleeve: Moderate, narrows sharply to cuff
- Lapel: 4 inches
- Gorge height: 2¾ inches
- Drape: Small
- Outbreast pocket height: 10⅜ inches
- Buttoning point: 17½ inches
- Waist suppression: Moderate
- Quarters: Open, from first button
- Length: 30½ inches
- Back seam: Moderately suppressed
- Vent height: 10¼ inches
- Trouser circumference at knee: 19 inches
- Trouser circumference at cuff: 15 inches
Photography: Jamie Ferguson
One of the best fits so far in my view — I think owing on part to the way the fabric falls.
Great cut. Can’t imagine going any shorter than that. Really like how the fabric drapes.
By standard regulations, owning two caramel corduroy suits means you have, what, a dozen navy worsteds?
Ha, well no because I don’t really dress as smart as that. I’m not in an office in navy and grey really ever. So casual suits often do me much better – particularly if they can be split up into separates, as cord usually can
I, too, work in a casual environment; thus, I found the post especially interesting. In terms of wearing the camel corduroy jacket as a separate, would you advise to pair it with grey flannels or more contrasting navy trousers (heavy cotton, not wool) may work in this case? I remember previous posts noting that blue trousers are not always easy to match with sports jackets, but this may be a case where navy trousers may work well?
Personally I wouldn’t wear navy trousers with this, no. Several shades of grey, olive green or cream would all look nicer
Nice suit, such blending of styles allow for more innovation in tailoring.
You have given up on patch breast pockets entirely?
Anderson and Sheppard pride themselves on the collar never leaving the neck, do you think that it might be worth future reviews could involve a photo with an arm raise to test this collar movement, sleeves and armhole height?
Just a thought. Keep up the great work.
Sure, that’s a nice idea. Perhaps something showing movement in general.
Yes, I don’t really ever have patch breast pockets these days. I still like the little Neapolitan ones, but I find if I’m more conservative in those choices, there’s less chance I’ll go off the style in a few years
Perhaps a short 360 degree video of you moving in the suit?
Yes, that’s a good idea. Not a simple thing to do if you want to do it well, but probably worthwhile
Something immediately hits you on first sight of this suit, Simon. Trying to put the relatively strong colour aside I think it’s the slimmer cut – there’s an expectation perhaps of corduroy, especially the larger wale sizes to be a fuller profile (memories of baggy trousers and jackets worn very casually perhaps). A couple of questions on your decision making though. You compare this with your A&S suit, very stylish I recall at a book signing but did you ever intend that suit to be a 3-way as you did this one considering you are not happy with the DB jacket being separate? Secondly, having already having a suit of that shade did you consider having this second suit in a different tones you had even more variation in your wardrobe? (I’m just considering how to expand mine and wouldn’t think about duplicating although I appreciate your “need’ for an expansive wardrobe is far greater than mine.)
Good questions. No, I never thought of that first DB cord as being able to split up. Although to be clear, as I say I can’t do so with jeans, but it’s fine with flannels etc.
And I certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone else with anything other than a huge wardrobe to commission two suits that are so similar. A good second colour would probably be a green like my De Cesare, or brown/grey like my Ciardi
Thank you, Simon. I’m interested to see you recommend a grey/brown tone. I was looking at an Armoury article mentioning a similar colour and seeing some at Anglo-Italian as a more muted alternative to the much stronger tobacco.
Yes, I think there’s a lot in that. Similar to our conversations about more muted and colder colours, and how much more modern and versatile they can be
That applies to a greyed brown as well as to a browned grey. My Ciardi jacket is an example of the latter
Just been re-reading those and other links – thanks, Simon. This whole site is becoming a very comprehensive and useful source for info and ideas.
Thanks Kev, that’s lovely to hear.
Do recommend other things you found useful or came across, for other readers, if you think it could be helpful.
I wouldn’t say it’s a very strong colour… pictures here is quite artistically enchanced , at least I think so when comparing to original articles about making a suit…
Yes, I appreciate that. I think it’s somewhat relative depending on personal preference and what you want from a particular inclusion to your wardrobe. Perhaps I should have qualified it by saying that tone would be too strong for what I have in mind at the moment and would prefer a more muted grey/brown. Nothing against tobacco/snuff tones per se though it is a stronger tone than Simon’s Ciardi cotton suit.
I note you went for patch pockets but how would this have looked with jetted pockets or flap pockets ? Or angled pockets ?
By that, I mean , what does it affect ?
The ascetics ?
The proportionality ?
The sense of width on the waist?
Does the cloth effect the type of pocket ?
Just to check, have you read this article specifically on jacket pockets? A lot of the general points are in there
There’s something comforting about looking at a nicely cut and made cord suit. Any additional info on the cloth (number of wales, weight, composition, mill etc)?
Yes I think it’s all on our original review of the suit here.
You can also see it being fitted with Nunzio here.
Sorry, Simon. I couldn’t find any real information on the cloth from the articles you referred me.
I just checked – it’s in the comments of that first post:
“501058, 92% Cotton 8% Cashmere, 360 Gr, 12 cords/inch from Cashmere Corduroy Bunch (N° C2231)”
Bear in mind though, that this suit is five years old so chances are the same cloth won’t be still available.
Oh, thanks! What do you think about the longevity and shape retention of the cloth, given it’s relatively light compared to other cords and its cashmere content? I believe it’s quite soft and reassuring to wear, though.
I haven’t had any issues, but then I don’t wear my cords that hard.
I would imagine it wouldn’t wear quite as well, so if it’s the kind of thing you’re going to wear every week, it wouldn’t be quite as long-lasting
I like it. Clearly, it is serious and high quality piece of work.
Without the length you added in the coat it would have looked bad, or atleast very modern, and not suited to the material.
Maybe it is my “anglo-saxon” mindset but I struggle with corduroy tailored that way. Feels a bit too formal / tight for the material.
Sharp looking suit. Hope it gets more comfortable with time.
Thanks. If has done – it’s five years old now. (Noted at the start of the piece.) Though the bit of cashmere made a difference there as well
Although the finished product is not to my taste, it makes for an (as usual) interesting read.
One thing I have never understood is why some occasionally leave the buttons on button down collars undone. Does is represent something in particular?
Thanks Mike, my favourite type of compliment.
The reason people do so is partly because they want a long-collar look with their tie, rather than a button-down look; but without a tie they prefer the button-down option. It’s very appealing in terms of versatility.
And partly it’s because it looks a little easy, relaxed, the opposite of fussy.
Personally I do it more for the first reason, when I just want to wear a certain shirt with a tie but it happens to be a button down. But I don’t mind the second.
Lovely corduroy suit…fall is coming..enjoy your day and week
What an amazing suit and incredible timing that it shows up now. I was having a discussion with a tailor the other day around cord and would love to get something made. They have a relationship with Scabal so my interest was piqued when I saw that you list this as being from Scabal 501058, 92% Cotton 8% Cashmere, 360 Gr, 12 cords/inch from Cashmere Corduroy Bunch (N° C2231) in the original article. Sorry for my ignorance of Bunch reports etc as this is the first time I am looking at this kind of thing but I can’t find this mentioned anywhere on Scabal’s website. They list only one corduroy at present – C2360 which seems to be out of stock. Am I looking in the wrong place?
No Stuart. The problem is this suit is five years old, and bunches get reissued every 1-3 years. Only the most mainstays of cloths are usually available for longer than that
I like the suit.Thank goodness you chose a longer jacket length!How do you feel about the narrow 7 1/2″ hem on the trousers?I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable with a slim hem on worsteds and woollen trousers but perhaps you find it works with corduroy.It’s a personal thing I think…I prefer 8″ usually on formal strides.
Yes, today I would have them a little wider, probably 8 inches
Like many of those commenting I love the look of a corduroy suit – but it must be a bit lived in. One of my English masters at school had a dusty dark mauve coloured one ( no idea how describe the colour really). It was fantastic: Wide lapels and tasteful flares too – I am that age. An early experience of clothing that was truly stylish that has stuck in my mind. If you’re out there Mr Aldous ….
Best wishes Nigel
I love this suit. Stylish and practical.
Could I compliment on the choice of shirt and tie (‘Italian background’). The simplicity of the plain Oxford shirt and bright navy tie makes, in my opinion, the overall look modern and wearable. I think if the suit was combined with a Tattersall shirt, for example, the overall look would be perhaps too expected and less forward looking…just a thought.
Thanks P, and yes I entirely agree. It’s a good example of how the Italian Background can work well to tone something like this down, as well as making it feel more modern.
This is indeed a key factor for those of us who like to wear a sports jacket (and ideally a tie) at work. In an increasingly casual (or even untidy) wearing style in virtually all working environments, a challenge is to learn how to wear tailoring in a way that does not cause excessive “separation” with others and somewhat conveys modesty and professionalism…I’m aware that this topic has already been covered in other posts, but I think this remains an highly relevant topic in my opinion.
Hi Simon, Nice reviews. I am curious, I always seem to have the fold just below your knees in picture 2 with my bespoke trousers. Is that due to fabric, cut of the tailor or my own imperfection? :-p
It’s probably not you!
It happens mostly with cotton, because it doesn’t have anywhere like the same flow and drape as wool. This means that, for example, if the trouser sits on the top of something like your shoe, it pushes the fabric above it upwards. It has a stiffness to it like that, where mosts wools do not.
It can also happen when trousers are cut quite slim, because the fabric doesn’t have enough room to drape cleanly around your legs. That’s probably also the case with my trousers here, a bit, but it is one reason it can happen with wool.
And finally, it can happen just when the knees of trousers bag out a bit. This comes from stretching the material when you’re sitting or kneeling, and usually just means they need to be repressed.
Thank you for the insight Simon. And for the great learning over the last years, really improved my bespoke journey!
That’s lovely to hear Hugo, thanks
Simon, thanks a lot. Always enlightening. I guess that in terms of comfort and appeal cord is really at the top and it is very versatile for nowadays climate. My Roman tailor used to stress that cord at the end of the day is cotton. I have always been reluctant in bespoke cord suits since in my experience this cloth gets worn out very quickly. Is it different with high quality cords used for tailoring ?
No, I wouldn’t say higher-end cords are any hardier. If anything they are often more delicate.
Although cord was a working man’s material historically, the ribs of the cloth were expected to wear down – it was for work because that wearing down meant the cloth below took longer to wear through.
I think if you have a cord suit made you need to like the material, which includes the fact that it will look a little worn in places after a few years. It’s something some people even like, in particular, but it’s a very different aesthetic from a sleek worsted suit.
Great article Simon. I too ordered a suit with a 3-way function in mind (min being tobacco linen) especially to pair with denim. Have you ever done an article on denim, styles, and styling with tailoring? I find I’m having a hard time finding good denim that’s not such a low rise. Sorry, if off-topic.
Yes I’ve done a few pieces like that. Here are three on good jackets with jeans:
– Jackets and jeans
– Navy jacket with jeans
– Tweed jacket with jeans
As to good jeans, I’ve always had mine made, with Levi’s or with Blackhorse Lane. You can find more on those if you search for them on the site. But I do like the NW1 RTW cut from Blackhorse too.
I like it. Very Ralph Lauren circa 1980s.
Can you speak about comfort of a jacket? How comfortable should a jacket be? What can one reasonably expect? How does one judge this without a gold standard to compare it to? I have several MTM jackets and I have ordered first bespoke suit.
I was in a menswear chain and overheard a sales person say that when wearing a jacket, you should be able to comfortably shake a persons hand, but that’s about all. This is obviously a low bar, but it got me thinking.
It’s hard to be precise Steve, both because it’s something that can be hard to describe, and it’s quite personal.
Let me have a think about the best way to get it across. At least, the question of how much room there should be in a jacket. I think that’s something to try and explain and tackle.
What the wearer actually considers to be ‘comfortable’ in general is a real minefield though – see post here on that.
Thank you. Comfort is highly subjective. What about range of motion? I think that is a more precise way of asking for the information I am after. What should I be able to do in a tailored jacket without being restricted or damaging the garment? For example – shake hands, yes. Throw a ball overhand, no.
Got it, thanks Steve. Though I think even throwing a ball should be fine, with the jacket open. It won’t damage the jacket if you’re not doing it all the time
Gorgeous cloth and beautifully cut. I especially like the curve on the patch hip pocket. Looks great with all the Dovers, too. Two questions. The first is about the buttoning point. Why, as a rule, don’t tailors position the buttoning point on the customer’s natural waist, which is the narrowest part of one’s body. I’ve always found the Italian preference for a high buttoning point both uncomfortable and unflattering. Secondly, I know one should attempt to match one socks to ones’s trousers, but this presents a problem when one is wearing a suit other than navy or gray. For mine, the brown socks make for too much brown in the outfit. Couldn’t one substitute a navy pair instead? Cheers as always.
On buttoning point, actually this is pretty close to my natural waist – between my ribs and hip bones. Perhaps that is proportionately high on me.
I’m not sure high buttoning points are an Italian thing either. It’s perhaps a modern trend thing to have that and a short jacket, but English tailors generally cut the waist up there too, by default, it’s just that they have longer jackets a well.
There’s nothing wrong with either, they just produce different effects. A longer skirt on a jacket can look great, but so can a lower buttoning point and so more open chest.
If you dislike brown suits here, they can be certainly something else. Navy wouldn’t be great though. I’d suggest a dark green, or even charcoal, over navy.
Interesting point regarding the socks. Because of the navy tie I would have picked navy socks over dark green for this outfit. Can you perhaps articulate why you think it wouldn’t be great? Many thanks!
I think it’s a hard one to explain. Navy wouldn’t be bad, but it wouldn’t compliment the trousers and shoes particularly, despite being a nice tie. Greens, browns and even dark greys would be nicer.
I think often it’s because you want a sock that is versatile, and doesn’t stand out between the trouser and shoes, but navy would do that.
Yes a lovely suit Simon & I like the tapered width at the turn-up. Regarding this point & corduroy trousers what’s your general opinion on turn ups v straight hem? I’m considering a corduroy suit myself shortly.
Hey Steve – most thoughts on cuffs/turn-ups are in this dedicated article on trousers. Part of the Suit Style series. Maybe have a look there first
your new tailor did a fine job.
non-straight lapels distinguish a tailored cut. My late, excellent tailor, who worked 50 years in Milan coming from southern Italy, refused to cut straight lapel, considering it “unacceptable” on a bespoke item.
Neapolitan tailors, with whom I have a long experience, do excellent work but are lazy.
Straight-cut lapels involve less attention to proportion than ‘belly’ lapels.
Similarly, the front darts of a Neapolitan jacket end at the lower edge of the jacket (not Rubinacci or Solito), because they are easier to make.
Trousers have only one back pocket. And so on.
Where effort can be saved, they save.
But they are very good and, often, very nice.
Thank you Luca. As noted in the piece, this is from back in 2016.
I know what you mean about Neapolitans, but also many are very good, as you say.
I also don’t think a connection can be easily drawn between a straight lapel and any lack of quality. It’s simply a different style, and in many ways more appealing for a jacket that you want to more obviously roll open
errata corrige: Solito does not make belly lapels. But does not make either full lenght front darts. One of the very few neapolitans
Interesting you should pick them out Luca. Of the Neapolitans I’ve used, I’d say Solito sits towards the bottom of the list for quality
Nunzio has been my tailor for the last 10+ years, during which time we’ve collaborated on about 15-20 commissions. Prior to working with him, I tried Rubinacci, Attolini, and Solito across 2-6 different commissions each, primarily fitted in Naples (a couple were Milan) over a 5+ year period. I’ve also worked with a Savile Row tailor on 6+ commissions. IMO the Pirozzi pieces are the best by far in terms of overall silhouette, beauty, and even a few small details related to construction quality. This isn’t meant as a knock on the others; I still wear everything with joy. But I believe most informed observers would independently also view and rate his work for me the best of the five. (Among the others, I consider the differences mostly about house style, which can be a matter of preference. Pirozzi’s work, unlike theirs, approaches what I consider to be perfection.) He’s also a beautiful human being whom I’ve grown to love dearly, despite our inability to speak a common language. In my personal and limited experience, he has risen to the very highest rank of tailoring magic.
Thanks Simon, turn-ups advice very useful in your article – so turn ups it is..
What are your views on a black corduroy suit as worn by your friend Gianluca ; what do you consider are the pros & cons of the tone & when worn as separates.
I think it can look great, but will always be quite unusual and not the easiest to wear as it is or as separates. I’d certainly like one, but only after one or two other colours, like tan or olive.
There’s more on wearing black in general here, if you haven’t see it.
This just about manages to avoid the author’s affection for jackerts that are too tight.
Interesting that you think I have that tendency Patrick. If anything I find I’ve been leaning much more the other way for a few years
Simon – I’m considering commissioning a suit in corduroy. The idea is to have something that makes sense in casual settings with some flexibility in how I wear it.
I like corduroy but I’m curious if you would recommend another type of cloth for a suit of this nature?
Also, in light of your experience what are the key things to look out for, or avoid, in a corduroy commission given the nature of the cloth?
I guess the former depends what kind of settings you mean, and what flexibility. Could you give me some more detail?
So a suit that can work for lunch, into dinner and possibly, into the hours beyond. It is unlikely it will be called into this type of action regularly given family commitments/current life choices, but it’s pretty to think you can go out for lunch, or dinner, ready for the possibility of going out out.
Beyond this, I think corduroy has the possibility of being a good choice in a ‘dress down’ work environment. Again, not usual for me but it does happen occasionally.
Flexibility is partly about wearing it three ways and partly about the slightly Swiss army knife description above.
In that case, I think cord could work very well, yes. It certainly has the ability to sit well in those kinds of settings and events, and can be broken up effectively, as you say.
There’s no other material really that has this flexibility – flannel is too smart and not great as a jacket, and other cottons or linens are too summery
Thanks Simon – much appreciated.
You say the jacket is not long at 30½ inches. What is you height for comparison (I seem to recall it’s above 6 feet)? What is your ideal jacket length? Would that length be roughly halfway between the base of your neck and the floor?
I’m 6ft tall, yes.
On jacket length, there are a few factors to consider, which I describe here.
Great review, Simon! I’m looking at a corduroy suit myself in a similar cotton/cashmere composition. Do you recommend any elastane for stretch? What other bunches do you recommend or have heard good things about? Thanks very much
No, I highly recommend against elastane. I can’t stand it. It feels like you’re being pulled back the whole time.
I’d recommend the Holland & Sherry cords, and of course Brisbane Moss
Beautiful suit…enjoy wearing it during the fall 2021 and early spring seasons 2022…peace
What is the make and weight of the cloth?
I think it was Holland & Sherry, pure cotton. The same cloth won’t be available any more though – I’d just look for pure cottons (no stretch) in a similar colour and wale
Hi Simon – do you know what wale this material is? It looks like 11 (or maybe narrower?) Thanks!
It is 11, yes
I love this series. Would you ever consider doing more Simon? I’d be interested to see one for Saman Amel, Anthology, Ciardi and other recent commissions.
It would also be interesting to understand any subtle changes in your preferences within Neapolitan style over the past ten years of PS. For example side-by-side pictures of Solito/Caliendo/Ciardi in gorge, buttoning point, lapel shape, drape or whatever.
Last point- given general trends to casual in everything, do you think a corduroy suit might belong in the first five jackets?
Sure Peter, good point, I should do that. Plan to do one on coats first though…
I think a cord suit could certainly belong in that first five jackets or casual suits, yes.