Pirozzi dupioni-silk jacket: Review 

Wednesday, May 18th 2022
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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I need to organise that folder actually, as a lot of it is out of date (as in, I’ve used the fabrics or decided against them).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.  

The dupioni I'd originally seen was dark green (217108), but it was a little too strong for me, so I ended up going for this dark brown instead (217114, H&S call it dark olive). 

A lot of my jacket commissions have been in this tan/beige/brown spectrum recently. There was the pale jacket last year from Brioni, and I have another in the works to replace my Biagio Granata.

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. 

Domenico also conducts frequent trunk shows in Milan, and less often in Spain, Russia, Beijing and Hong Kong. Contact them on the website or through Instagram for details. 

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

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Mark

Really nice. What is the weight? Interesting to pair with corduroy – would this work in autumn/winter or do you see it as a spring/summer fabric?

Mark

Thank you Simon! Trying to get a feel for how formal this fabric is. Is it sufficiently slubby that it might work with a spectrum of trousers like indigo jeans, cream chinos and charcoal flannels?

Jeff

The close-up pictures of the fabric has me believe it would work well with jeans. The shots from farther out, just the opposite.

Mark

Thanks for this explanation- really helps understand what works and why.

Gilles

Actually I wear this fabric in Singapore, meaning hot and humid weather, and it is perfectly fine (yet not as breathable as a linen, obviously).

Mark

Hello Simon,
That really is a beautiful fabric. Is there a reason for the double track stitching around the lapels or is it just a style point with the particular tailor?
Kind regards

Mark

Jackson

beautiful jacket! Something in common with the anthology, no?

the soft tailored, gentle roping with wide lapels and a slightly lower gorge. Is this their house style or did you request aspects of it?

Alexander

I am confused. In your Pirozzi style breakdown you stated that the gorge is the highest of all the tailors in the style series. Thanks for clarifying.

Tamaki

Hey Simon,
Great jacket and thanks again for the article,especially since I was eyeing a jacket made in dupioni silk too.

Just for reference for other readers(though they may already know very well), Saman Amel has I think 3 jackets mande in dupioni silk one in hazel, one in (I think) same brown as yours, and one in a “gold”

Photos are never perfect in conveying color and shine, especially Instagram, but I found them helpful at least

Fatih

What a gorgeous jacket. And that ensemble where you’re leaning on that pillar is so tasty. By the way, it’s nice that you’re covering a less casual outfit again. My perception lately was that you’re leaning a bit too much on the casual side of things.

Lindsay McKee

Hi Simon. A fascinating commission indeed. Is that H&S 11oz Dupioni Silk considered a hard wearing fabric or delicate?
You mentioned in this post that you have a fabrics folder.
I’m using an app, albeit only available on Android called “Random Name Picker”. You can store your fabrics, even bunch lists in this app.
I mark the fabrics from a particular bunch with an asterisk or several according to what’s important to me. You don’t have to use the random facility as such, albeit fun to use on occasion, but a fantastic app for my fabric list storage.
Can highly recommend.
Lindsay McKee

m

Jacket is visually interesting, fits well and is quite reasonably priced (in Naples at least).
Though I do wonder what would be practical advantages of having 100% silk jacket? As you mentioned it doesn’t regulate cold/heat, doesn’t stretch, and as far as I know isn’t antibacterial or “self-cleaning” like wool. Would it be tougher and harder wearing compared to other traditional materials?
Somehow I am often more drawn to the trousers you have made up rather than jackets the article is about. Can you share the provider for that black corduroy?

Gary

Please forgive me for using this post to ask a question which is not relavent while confuse me for a long time:). The question is nowadays in many RTW brand’s website, there is also a category called tailor and the products in that very category are also RTW instead of MTM or bespoke ones. How do you think we should define the “tailor” in that situation?

David Hack

Beautiful jacket Simon. I know there is a large price difference but could you compare this to your Brioni jacket from last year please, in terms of fit, construction etc? Many thanks David

Charles

Ooh, alligator shoes. A bit tony soprano for you, no?

Stephen

Hi Simon,
A great jacket and overall ensemble. On the latter can you please tell us a bit more about the shirt. I’m looking for a casual alternative to my more usual ‘go to’ OCBD. I have a few long point collars from Drakes which I like but they unfortunately don’t do so much now.
Thanks
Stephen

Stephen

Hi Simon
My mistake I read the article twice and missed the shirt maker (word blind!). I meant more the style. I can follow up myself. I’m looking for a long (ish) point collar , possibly linen or a mix with cotton.
All the best

Stephen

Thanks, I think that’s what I’m after. Thanks again.

P.A.

Would any button down shirt without the buttons on the collar give that effect, or is yours particular in its shape ?

Andy Parker

Hi Simon
I confess to being a little confused by this. I know you like to experiment (as should we all), but given dupioni silk is really intended for formal wear, what is the thinking behind having it made into a casual jacket? Whilst predominantly used for formal evening gowns (and curtains!) I would have thought a more natural choice for a Pirozzi coat would be silk/linen or silk/wool.
Equally, not quite sure I get the combination with cords.
Thanks for another interesting article.

Karol

Looks great! By the way, would you consider posting more jacket and black trousers outfits? I’m getting the hang of it, but I’d still love to see your take on them. Black trousers used to be the devil in tailoring for so long for little reason, and it feels great to see them worn and appreciated

TH

Always liked the dupioni suit Al Pacino wears in The Godfather Part II.

Alexander

And in „The talented Mr. Ripley“ jude law‘s character is wearing a navy dupioni silk jacket at the San Remo Jazz festival, I think. Hard to see from images, but in the movie itself it is quite obvious. Just realized it yesterday when I coincidentally re-watched the movie. Without reading your post before I would have had no clue what this fabric was.

Sandoval
Gregoire

Really smart. What do you think about a silk like this for black tie / dinner jacket? Would you also ever have this made into a suit?

Luís

Hi Simon, out of curiosity, will you tell us who that Neapolitan tailor is?
Also, congratulations on the jacket: it looks just stunning and it is a great contribution to our understanding of the possibilities of silk for tailoring!

Pyc

It’s a smashing jacket Simon. “Raw” silk is one of those intemporel, if unusual, fabrics that remains under-appreciated.

Nicolas Strömbäck

Simon!
Having read the article I wanted to ask which is your favourite Italian tailor, only to realize that I asked that very question on the Biagio post. Is it still Ciardi? 🙂

Nicolas Strömbäck

Among all the italians then? If such a distinction is possible. I take its difficult to compare the style of Northern italian tailors with that of southern.

Michael

Interesting pairing with black cords. How else would you wear black corduroy trousers if I may ask? Understand I may be off topic here.

Noel

Nice jacket Simon. Black corduroy trousers are fairly versatile (for being black) and feel modern. In most other fabrics black trousers look odd unless they are part of a black tie suit.

Martins

but at which point black/navy linen starts to risk looking like a tired suit?

black/charcoal corduroy is certainly interesting! would be nice to see article about it! (you did have a dark grey corduroy double breasted jacket, no!

Noel

Good point on black linen Simon. Black flannel would certainly be interesting to see. Charcoal works well, but would black flannel? It would be an interesting experiment. Let us know about it if you order such a pair.

Craig

I really like the color of this jacket. It’s the urban version of the brown check jacket that is so popular in menswear, but sometimes seems too country. Instead of signaling it’s not an orphaned suit jacket by using a loud pattern, use a fabric that wouldn’t be seen in a suit. Instead of a deep, rich brown, use a colder, lighter color. Instead of a heavy tweed, use a lighter fabric that is better for indoor offices.

RAGS

Great jacket and I particularly like the material. How would the fabric perform for trousers, in terms of drape, keeping a crease, and comfort?

Rags

Thanks, I see it now. It seems like you’ve seen these made up as trousers but are not sure how good they are.

Does anybody else have experience with this material as trousers?

Scott

Dupioni silk is a wonderful fabric for Spring and Summer. I have two Dupioni silk jackets, made for me by Oxxford Clothes, in navy and black that have served me extremely well over the years. The look is sophisticated yet understated and always receives positive comments.

Robert

Beautiful jacket and fabric.Thanks for direct link to H&S swatch. Love the stylish pick stitching on the lapel although the lapel buttonhole almost overlaps the inner stitch? Minor detail, but this is bespoke. Really lovely.

Tom

Looks great, Simon. I’ve always been a fan of Alain Delon’s style in Purple Noon, and allegedly, his dark blue suit in it was made of dupioni silk. Was always curious about it.

Joseph Robinson

I am curious to get your counsel on how best to care for linen–both suits and trousers. I recently took a pair of my favorite Rubinnaci linen trousers to a high end dry cleaners, and well…the results were quite unfavorable.

Any guidance you could provide would be welcome.

Joseph

It appears that they shrunk, the color faded and were shiny in spots

Zeke

I think this jacket could be a good candidate for pair of navy flannel or linen trousers.

Michael

I have a dupioni silk jacket in 217101 “oatmeal solid”, also from the H&S bunch. Somehow I do find the luster from yours more pronounced than mine. Could this be beacause of the lighting or color?

3C0DE515-E3C2-4E44-AD8B-F987D2261E7D.JPG
Tamaki

Thanks for the photo Michael, great to have more references

Brendan

Love this cut. Do you think Pirozzi would be a good maker for a “Neapolitan Tweed” jacket that is suitable to wear with jeans?

Joe

Small point of curiosity – On some the previous, casual sport coats linked here (the oatmeal cashmere, the linen canvas) you have a single button at the sleeve. On this one you have 4. Just curious whether your tastes have changed or whether it’s a matter of how relatively smart/casual a sport coat is? To my eye, the two linked and this one read as fairly casual.

Noel

Why never three which is also common?

John

Hi Simon,
This jacket is a lovely piece.
This post has reminded me of a query wrote by Will Boehlke years ago on his then blog “A Suitable Wardrobe” about where to get this very fabric. Presumably, at that time Holland & Sherry didn’t offer it.
As to the trousers, is the cord Italian or British made? Italians produce a kind – with fine wales – that is similar to the cotton used in smart chinos. If that is the case, then they are ok with this jacket. I wonder whether charcoal or even mid-grey wouldn’t work too.
But I think a dark brown suede tassel loafers would make the entire outfit even more sophisticate. It sounds a little bit paradoxical. Doesn’t it?
John

Alan

Very interesting post and I really like this outfit. I have heard of dupioni silk before and been curious about it but not seen as comprehensive a write up at this before. It sounds like a beautiful fabric and I can see the appeal, even if its use might be limited to more temperate weather (although of course no reason it cannot be worn with flannels or cords in winter under an overcoat).

I particularly like the black cords, as it adds an unusual touch in a subtle way. Like you I am increasingly seeing the appeal of black trousers in more casual fabrics. Do you think they would work with a grey herringbone tweed jacket like your Anthology one (asking because I’m thinking about whether it’s worth getting a pair to wear with a similar jacket in my wardrobe)?

Alan

I take your point there, although I think personal preference also comes into this. I quite like mostly monochrome black and grey outfits where the patterns and textures do the talking, which is why black cords with a grey tweed jacket appeal to me. More of a “look” than the subtle outfit you have put together here and something I probably need to try out before deciding whether it works.

Gilles

Very nice jacket and very good fabric choice! I love Dupioni silk and I actually have two jackets made with this fabric, one in 217115 Brown and another one in a cream color not available anymore. Could you please tell us the difference between Dupioni and a Tussah silk? Always difficult to understand the difference between Tussah, Shantung, Dupioni,…

Justin

Simon- Beautiful jacket. I am always drawn to “slubbier,” more uneven fabrics and this jacket is no exception. The outfit you style here is reasonably smart, but do you think this fabric would hold up to a more casual outfit (vintage 501s/white oxford) or does the 100% silk still veer ever so slightly to the more formal direction? Thanks!

MJ

The corduroy trousers look quite heavy for this outfit, even if they weren’t actually physically uncomfortable for the temperature on that day. Not that it doesn’t work, but it was a little unexpected and I can imagine other options working better.
Love the jacket and dupioni is something I’ve looked at in other shades of brown.
Those shoes are fantastic! I like the laces as they are.

Initials CG

What happened to the Biagio Granata jacket, if I may ask?
I confess that when I saw the photos of your original post on that jacket , I loved how it paired with cream linen and tobacco and the Florentine streets when it was probably 35 degrees in the evening… that, ladies and gentlemen, is elegance! Most of us would’ve have just tolerated shorts!
So I found that Drapers cloth and had it made up for the Roman heat… the weight (240g), the silk/wool/linen mix is really wearable …. I’d say of many silk blends from that Drapers bunch wear the coolest in my opinion . That Dupioni looks like it might get really warm?
Have you changed shape or was the cloth not to your liking?
These combinations you mention – ie your Brioni jacket and grey H&S crispaires- in beiges, taupe, browns and creams are also what I have been making up the past few years, too. And yes, I keep a folder of cloths and images too, when I see something I like on someone else, which seem to be coming from PS a lot lately…hahaa

Bob

This is a good one. I am officially green of envy!

Stefan

Hi Simon,
I have two questions for you, do you have any good recommendation for a beach bag?
Number 2: When are going to try Attolini mtm? 🙂

Robert

Nice bags. Always appreciate links to smaller merchants we might not otherwise be aware of in the states.

Sam

I love this colour. What are your thoughts on a corduroy suit (probably double breasted) in a baby/fine wale cord in this colour? Hoping for something with equivalent wearability to your a&s double breasted (ie three way, or at least two way). Thanks!

Christopher Lee

In 2019, Andreas Weinås posted a taupe dupioni silk sport coat from Prologue HK on his Instagram feed, which I promptly saved to my list of desiderata. Seeing yours reinforces my wish to have one made in the future. The earthy tone in both cases is particularly appealing and removes any ostentation of wearing a silk jacket.

Andreas silk.jpg
Ben

Great jacket Simon. The price you gave for the cord suit was 3,500 euros. Have they become cheaper?

Henry

Hi Simon, great look. I’m after for black corduroy trousers for a while. May I ask where is the trousers cloth from? Brisbane Moss? Regards, Henry

Henry

Thank you

CJ

Hi Simon. I don’t think anyone has asked, but can you provide any particulars on the cream herringbone shirt? I’ve been looking for a suitable material in cream and this seems lovely. You mentioned it’s quite luxe.

CJ

Thanks so much Simon! Cheers.