Pirozzi dupioni-silk jacket: Review
This jacket from Sartoria Pirozzi doesn’t really need a normal review.
The point of it was to cover the tailor again because they are now coming to London frequently, having taken a share of a space in Shepherd Market.
And it was to check the quality was as good as the previous good suit I had from them - because the fitting is now being done by Domenico Pirozzi, rather than his moustachioed father Nunzio. The baton is being handed on and, on this evidence, very competently.
Finally, I thought it was worth writing a full article on the jacket because the material is quite unusual - dupioni silk from Holland & Sherry.
I’d had the cloth in my mind ever since I saw another Neapolitan tailor wearing it, about five years ago.
Expectations of silk are that it will be shiny and delicate. No matter how matte the little swatch looks, it’s hard to escape that presumption.
So when I saw it made up, looking pleasingly slubby and nowhere near as iridescent as dupioni is seen to be, I took note and saved it into my ‘Fabrics’ folder on my phone. My way of remembering these things.
I need to organise that folder actually, as a lot of it is out of date (as in, I’ve used the fabrics or decided against them). But it does speak to the point I’ve made before, that today when I select a material that isn’t a basic navy worsted or grey flannel, it’s usually because I’ve seen it on someone else.
Dupioni is a type of silk where a fine yarn is used in the warp, but a coarser and slubby one is used in the weft. The slubs come from two or more entangled cocoons, closer to the look of raw silk before it’s processed.
Dupioni is not that dissimilar to shantung silk, but it's usually thicker, heavier and has more slubs. The density is what makes it more appropriate for tailoring (and dresses, and interiors) as opposed to the shantung used for ties.
Dupioni also often uses different coloured yarns in the weave, which creates that iridescent look. But actually, in darker colours such as this, you can barely see it. There is a slightly shinier yarn buried the weave if you look closely, but overall the fabric is less shiny than most worsteds.
It was the slubbiness of dupioni that initially attracted me - it looks rather natural and organic, a little like my linen canvas jacket. Having worn it for a while, I’d say this come across nicely, and the silk is also lightweight and holds a crease really well.
On the downside, it isn’t especially breathable (linen is better there) being so dense, and it has zero natural stretch. So don’t get it fitted closely.
They’re in the same family as the oatmeal ones I’ve recommended in the past. Similarly smart without being the traditional navy; good with neutral trousers like cream, grey and black, and with dark cold shades of brown and green. (Unless they themselves are mid- to dark brown, as here.)
Sometimes it’s only in retrospect that you realise you’re creating this little capsule, driven just by thoughts of what trousers would go with something, perhaps, rather than part of a grand plan.
Domenico Pirozzi, as mentioned, is now travelling to London to conduct fittings, and is doing all the cutting back in Naples, alongside his father. Marco, his nephew, is also helping out and was there for my fittings.
The cord suit that Nunzio cut for me back in 2016 was great - well made and well fitted. The only real issue was that it was a little slim and short, even after requests to make it more comfortable.
So it was reassuring that Domenic made this jacket as roomy as I wanted immediately, and as I now need body-wise. The fit is just as solid as that first commission, but the style is more to my taste.
It’s worth saying that the issues with the first suit might have been down to my lack of persistence, or the fact that everything was conducted through the staff at Marinella, who at that time were using Pirozzi as their in-house tailor. Nunzio spoke no English, so there was no direct communication.
On this score Domenico too was better. Not fluent by any means, but requests seemed to be understood, and proved to have been when the final garment came through.
Domenico is travelling to London every month or so, with appointments at 11 Shepherd Market (a space shared with 'Officine del Cashmere').
A jacket in London costs £2400 and a suit £2900, so pretty reasonable. If you can get to Naples for all your appointments it’s €2000 and €2500.
There is, by the way, another tailor called Domenico Pirozzi in Naples, on Via Chiaia, but he is no relation or connection to Sartoria Pirozzi.
I wore the jacket here with a cream shirt from Simone Abbarchi, in a new, more pointed collar style.
The trousers are black corduroy from Pommella, while the pocket handkerchief is peach and white - the peach seems to set off the tone of the jacket quite nicely.
The shoes are an old pair of alligator that were originally made by Lodger. I later had the skins taken off and remade on my bespoke last at Gaziano & Girling - a favour from Tony that hugely improved the fit.
The brown of these is so dark that they work under the black trousers, which is rare. I should replace the laces with black ones though - that would help that combination even more.
Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man