Assisi bespoke double-breasted tweed: Review

Wednesday, May 17th 2023
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Readers who saw the first article on Assisi, the Korean tailor that made this tweed double-breasted jacket, were impressed with how the fit was looking, and they weren’t wrong. 

It’s a very well cut piece of bespoke, with a three-dimensional shape that really drapes around the body - suggesting the wearer’s shape without ever clinging to it. Another reader (I do love our discerning readers) made the observation that it embodied the sentiment of this Hardy Amies quote:

Good design and making of clothes must always ‘honour’ cloth; must disturb cloth as little as possible. Undisturbed cloth makes the wearer appear at ease and is pleasing to the eye of the viewer.” Amies’ words capture both what’s lovely about this cut and what - in my view - has been wrong with most tailoring for the past 20 years. 

Of course, Assisi had the assistance of a fairly thick material (Harris Tweed) and they favour a looser style, both of which make an undisturbed fit easier. Without taking anything away from them whatsoever, it would be harder in a close-fitted 9oz worsted.

The quality and finishing of the jacket is also good, with neat hand-sewn buttonholes and a top-stitched lining. 

You can see from the images of the buttonholes that they could be finer - it’s not the level of handwork you’d get from Savile Row or Milan, nor from Paris and small English houses above that, but it’s still better than some from Naples, for example. 

And there are nice touches, like the mirroring of the herringbone pattern around the in-breast pocket; even though that is also a separate piece from the rest of the facing. 

It feels pertinent to mention price here. Although Assisi are not and don’t see themselves as a lower level tailor, the houses in Paris or Milan we’re mentioning would be charging more than twice as much: over $6000 rather than $2950 for a suit. And the fit is certainly on a par with them. 

The Assisi construction is very light. There is only a single layer of canvas and only a little padding at the end of the shoulder. 

This is in common with Assisi’s Neapolitan influences as regards the shoulder, though the Milanese tailors they admire would also do something similar with the body construction. As we outlined in the previous article on Assisi, there are also some Milanese influences in aspects of the design.

With a tweed like this, I can imagine some people finding the jacket too soft. You feel less of the handmade structure, and the bespoke skill comes mostly in the cut and perhaps shaping with the iron.  

I like it in a casual jacket - which for me will actually be as much short coat as jacket, in terms of functionality - but I can imagine someone that is used to tailoring outside southern Italy, and who perhaps wants a fairly sharp suit, not liking it. 

Design wise, Assisi like a roomy fit, with plenty of that undisturbed cloth we mentioned earlier. 

I like the way this looks, it’s both elegant and relaxed, and quite flattering on someone slight like me. 

However, it could border on being too big. We took in the body during the second fitting, as it really was too big at that stage. And I can easily fit a sweater underneath without making any difference to the look or comfort. 

I wouldn’t change this jacket, as it’s a winter piece that, as I said, will often function as outerwear. But anything for summer, or something smarter, I would ask to have cut a little closer. 

The only thing I might have got wrong is the lapels, which I lowered and reduced at the first fitting. The sample jacket I tried from one of the tailors had rather large lapels, and that scared me a little. 

The lapels are now noticeably lower and smaller than other DBs I have (though a certain width reduction is inevitable as the peak moves downwards - there is less space for it). I still like them a lot, and I don’t think anyone outside menswear would notice, but if I were starting again I might have them a touch higher, a touch wider. 

We’re talking small increments here, and perhaps it’s impossible to get all of these things right when you’ve never seen a finished jacket made to your particular proportions. There’s no point coming in with a set idea of width, for example, when you don’t know how wide the shoulder will be in proportion.

Also, with tailoring it’s important to consider the piece in movement, in use, rather than standing still. Those are the proportions that matter, and the lapels look very natural then. 

The construction of the jacket is such that you can fasten it on the bottom row of buttons as well as the middle (image above) - a 6x1 rather than 6x2.

I don’t especially like this look, though, and despite what some people say, using both positions  always involves some compromise in the fit, as you have to make the fronts to sit in one place or the other. 

Another small point is the buttons, which are polished and higher than I normally like. But I have my own supply from Bernstein & Banleys and can easily replace them. That’s often easier than having the tailor buy them and import them halfway across the world. 

And these are all small quibbles. By far the most important things are that I love the style of this jacket jacket and it is fitted very well. 

I know from long experience that those are the two things that will decide whether it becomes a favourite in my wardrobe, as this already has after a few outings. 

I can answer questions about style separately, in comments or in a separate article, as that’s not really the focus of this post. But just in brief, the jacket is worn with black jeans, a pink oxford shirt, a black alligator belt and Alden colour-8 cordovan loafers. 

I like this combination because it is subtle but distinctive, contemporary but with a touch of something eighties, perhaps Richard Gere with his jeans and jackets, open shirts and black denim. In the clothes, you understand, certainly not the face. 

Assisi are based in Seoul, Korea. Trunk shows are conducted through The Decorum in Singapore and Bangkok and through The Finery Company in Sydney. They hope to come to the UK and US in 2024. 

Bespoke suits start at $2,950 and jackets $2,300. The cloth is Harris Tweed C001L, 480g, from the Stornaway collection by Kenneth Mackenzie

They also offer an MTO service, with prices $2,360 for a suit and $1,840 for a jacket. Made exactly the same as bespoke, but to a ready-made block, no fitting, just selection of style and cloth. Still commissioned at a trunk show or in Seoul.

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Arjun

The lapel looks good – I wouldn’t make it any wider. Excellent commission and it was refreshing to see designs from tailors in the Far East.

JL

Honestly Simon, I can see the skill in what they’re doing but picking up on some of your comments above, I think this looks just a little too ‘big’ for you. I think part of the difficulty in what you do is that you HAVE to keep trying new houses, which is of course where the interest lies for readers. But I can’t help thinking, having seen previous posts, that this cloth in a DB would have suited you perfectly if it had been done by Ciardi…

Markus

I have to agree with JL. It looks too big for me too, almost more like a peacoat than a blazer. Of course, I have a continental perspective, where jackets seem to be cut tighter than in England anyway

Robert M

Fantastic. Looks very comfortable, and so clean fitting. The fit on the back is just beautiful – normally for it to be this clean you’d have to sacrifice some comfort, but it doesn’t seem to be the case here. Kudos to the tailor. I can see the point about the lapels being maybe a touch too narrow, but it’s minor and I wouldn’t mind if it was my commission.

Ben

In both profile pictures that show it there’s a bump in the upper back, just below the collar. It’s better with the collar popped but still there. Might be a posture thing though.

JerryShao

May I expect to have more reviews about Asian tailors?

Joe

Hi Simon,

Would you be open to try some tailors in Southeast Asia?
This may diversify your location and value as a lot of them cost <USD 1,000.

I have a list of tailors in Vietnam (specifically HCMC and Hanoi) that looks pretty decent on social media, complete with their pricing, lead time, canvassed/half-canvassed, no. of fittings, etc.

They can commission a suit relatively (or, at times, extremely) quickly so it may fit your travel itinerary.

Additionally, I have a list for Indonesia too.

Cheers!

Sample tailors:
https://instagram.com/kim.bespoke.official?igshid=NTc4MTIwNjQ2YQ==

https://instagram.com/armoury.bespoke?igshid=NTc4MTIwNjQ2YQ==

https://instagram.com/aetailors?igshid=NTc4MTIwNjQ2YQ==

Joe

Thanks for your response, Simon.

I wonder if you would be able to comment the works of these tailors from photos on social media?

I am curious how far away is their craftsmanship as compared to the tailors you usually cover.

Cheers.

Andreas

This opinion is based solely on the photographs provided, but: I think the jacket looked far better in that first fitting (in the article from may 3rd), before you had them alter the shoulder width, lapel size, etc. The end result looks more like a very short, out-of-proportion winter coat to me, rather than an elegant sport. You said yourself that they seem to prefer a roomy fit, extended shoulders and dramatic lapels, so why not just go with their house style?

Peter Hall

I think it’s an important point. Decide what it’s use will be.

So,in this case, you need a heavy fabric,quite roomy for winter wear and accept that you need to make compromises.

Saying that,it’s a beautiful jacket.Perfect for winter.

David G

I think it looks too big on you Simon. The pictures of you holding the sleeve cuff and with your arms folded suggest there’s too much cloth around.
The shoulders look over extended, and there is no snap in the waist. I think the weight of the cloth itself is compensating for these issues.

Robin

Beautiful cut and style.
I’ve recently become more interested in ‘classical tailoring’ and so I immediately focussed on the length of the jacket and the fullness of the shoulder . Much of the ‘bum freezer’ italian looks are very unappealing now.
Th only slight criticism I have is around the shoulder and lapel gorge . The gorge is almost in line with you shoulder add therefore draws even more attention to your sloping shoulders. Given your very sloping shoulders I would have been interested to see how these would be ‘disguised’ . After all tailoring is all about creating an illusion .
The waist could certainly do with a little ‘tucking in to create a better silhouette but then again its nice to see something that looks “comfortable” rather then of “fitted but less comfortable”.
Persoanlly 6×1 closing always seems to me to be messy . There’s just too much going on with so many buttons , pockets and a long lapel roll. Mind you that’s coming from someone who went weak at the knees when I saw a double breasted with zero buttons on display (think it was a copy of a Dior jacket).
Great to see bespoke reviews again .

P.A.

I really like the design elements of this jacket, even though like other readers I also feel like it is still a touch too big, making you look heavier than you actually are.
Small OCD trigger tho: I wish the vents would line up with the jetted pockets, from the pictures they look like they are cut higher (though I really like the deep vents).
Overall still a very nice jacket

Alex

The fit and style look excellent, although I tend to agree about the lapels – these slightly lower, narrower ones seem to go against the benefits that DBs can have in terms of providing a broader look around the chest and shoulders, emphasising the v shape of the garment.

Fred

Interesting to read about how much this experience has impressed you. It brings to mind a long standing question about the classic houses vs the new, younger ones. If the fit is great, and the prices are more competitive and accessible, are these tailors a threat to the old-school houses? Will this cause places like Saville Row to rethink? I haven’t needed any new tailoring for some time but if I did commission something, it would definitely be these guys, or someone like the anthology or Anglo.

Fred

Thanks, I hadn’t considereal the real-estate aspect. On style vs cost and I am definitely more drawn to the newer houses in style terms but as someone who is probably on the lower end of PS reader budgets, I am definitely willing to sacrifice the very top end of quality in favour of (relative) affordability. However that is obviously a personal question.

James

If you have no snap, you’re in sack territory aren’t you?

Kenneth

Good morning..it looks fabulous..enjoy wearing it in the fall and winter seasons…

H

In picture 6 and 12 the shoulder seam look like its ~1-1.5cm away from where it should be?

H

Where your shoulder really is. Or then it would need a bit more padding. I don’t know. In my eyes the shoulder looks just a little bit too wide in picture 6 and 12.

Anon

In my humble opinion the width and height of these lapels are perfect. Today’s trend of a higher gorge and sharp peaks to almost shoulder level is not an attractive look.

Christian

Hi Simon,

Being new to the world of bespoke (and if I’m honest I’ve only recently re-acquainted my interest in sartorial clothing after covid and a kid!) some of the nuisances of drape, fit and style or technical aspects are often too subtle for me to fully appreciate (yet), but having read this article (or more to the point the first part) the style of Assisi jumped off the page, with some of the tailors wearing suits with shoulders so wide I have to be honest it felt like “over compensation” to me. Makes me think this means Assisi’s style is probably always going to me more suited to a slighter and shorter frame?

In a counter to the earlier reader i think it was 100% the right decision to reduce the width on your commission and it looks wholly more proportioned to my eye now.

Great reminder about the intended usage too; winter and often over a jumper makes sense of the bulkier appearance.

David West

Hi Simon,I like the lapels and overall length,but I agree with some other comments that it looks a little bit large in the shoulder area and from the second button down.However it’s great to see what the far east does,any chance of a more interesting fabric/colour next time ?Simon I think you need to be a bit more adventurous !

howie

Looks great simon. May I ask who made the black alligator belt?

Sam

Lovely jacket Simon. Really liking the drape on the chest which as you say, is flattering to your lean physique. Good point about the low lapels – they seem to be in line with, and therefore deserting attention to, your shipping shoulders, though either that matters is upto you.
A herringbone harris tweed is always such a classic!

CK

Great read, Simon. Despite the fact I have no and I do mean absolutely no justification to commission a bespoke jacket, I really do enjoy these review articles. It gives me great insight into the process, what you do and don’t like, what you’d change etc. and most of the time I agree. I tell myself I’m preparing for a time I can justify it.

I think you managed to get the cut just about spot on, any larger and yeah I agree might be too much, but this hangs very nicely, testament to the Amies quote. I also love the styling, another big attraction to all your articles of course. Those colours and textures, with the black denim, Colour-8 and the pink cotton. Not a combination I’d even think about but looks so good!

David

How would you say it compares with other Asian tailors you’ve used, such as the Anthology or WW Chan?

David

Thanks, Simon. Style-wise (going off other pictures I’ve seen), it seems that like most Asian tailors, they share some influences from Florence (extended shoulder, slightly concave lapels) and Naples. What style points do you think are different?

Noel

It’s a beautiful jacket Simon. A grey tweed herringbone is such a versatile cloth. It’s not plain yet it can be matched with so many colours other than grey. Whilst a DB is in general less versatile than a SB, I think that in this cloth it’ll prove to be very versatile.
I don’t agree that it fits too big. You can see how nice the back curves for example. Having space for a jumper naturally requires some compromising.

Why did you go for jetted pockets and a green lining (instead of a matching one)?

Noel

I think the green lining works in any case. What about the three buttons in the cuff? Do you prefer such arrangement for a DB?

Oh and where does the cloth come from? Is it a fairly heavy tweed?

Victor

One of your best looking pieces, imho.

Pat

Hi Simon, when it gets to winter, what overcoat would you wear with this underneath or would it be too heavy?
Would you do herringbone on herringbone?

Kurt

Beautiful jacket. ‘Breathless-esque’

John

Fantastic article, I think that although it might be a bit big it’s very elegant and approachable and the fit is incredible. Besides the smaller details mentioned it seems like an incredible steel for what your getting.
One question, how is the hand padding? Theirs definitely a three dimensionality to the garment but from your experience what’s the take?

Peter K

This one just doesn’t “work” for me. Something about the combination of casual cloth (tweed), formal cut (DB) and the roomy fit puts me off.

Sandoval

Dear Simon,
Great piece, really impressed with the fit of the back.
I agree with you about the buttons. This jacket deserves unpolished horn buttons. Which ones will you go for? Dark brown? Grey/dark grey? Or mottled?

Hank Poole

I’d have never thought the individual pieces would have worked together (espiecally that belt buckle), but I’d be wrong. I think they work surprisingly well and they make for a very appealing aesthetic. I’ve seen what I think were attempts to pull such a look off by others, and I don’t think they were as congruent.

Shem

Hi simon very very nice jacket. To my eye the lapel is a little on the small sixe for me. I like thr lowered gorge. I have a db with anthology and think they do a very nice db too with a wide and low lapel/gorge that is quite classic. On that note how dors this compare to the anthology in other aspects and ehich wouls you rate more?

Eric Michel

Too big for me, more of a coat than a jacket, and the DB reinforces this perception.

G. Bruce Boyer

Funnily enough, this looks to be one of your best-fitted jackets. Photos may be deceptive, and despite the slightly rough look of the buttonholes and the high pocket stance, this is a very stylish and attractive garment.

john kalell

Well done, Simon. I’d imagine that you might enjoy suiting up with an accompanying pair of pleated trousers, slightly relaxed and lined to the knee at least, for obvious reasons. I should think that your London climate offers days where a Harris Tweed suit would serve nicely.

Noel

Isn’t this tweed much heavier than the sherry tweed used for your Anthology suit Simon? Would weight make a difference for trousers? Or is the main issue with Harris Tweed that it’s woven quite loosely?

john kalell

…further, Simon, your accessories of choice would work equally well with a suit, with the addition of a black silk knit tie, and the substitution of cordovan oxfords for loafers.

RONALD

One would have to be paid not to like this Harris Tweed creation – timeless and just beautiful.

stephen gordon

I like the lapels as shown. Any wider, when combined with the DB style and heavy cloth, would remind me of an Edwardian styled short overcoat I owned as a teen in the 1960’s. A retro style I personally would avoid at this time.

Patrick H

The jacket looks very comfortable and a truly beautiful fit, although I take your point about being not as fitted as some. Does that make it more comfortable and easier to wear?

Dr Peter

Overall, a very nice jacket. I have to second Robin’s concern about the sloping shoulders — it seems more pronounced in this jacket than many of your other jackets. I understand the use of the lapel pointing to the shoulder line to correct some of this, but I was also wondering if, given the extent of the slope, one could simply not add some carefully shaped padding to elevate the ends of the jacket’s shoulders. Perhaps just enough of a lift to change the perception of the shoulder’s slope and make it look like a more gentle slope, and less sharp.

A related thought. I wonder if the appearance of the shoulder’s slope is altered by the patterns in the cloth. If you had a houndstooth with an overlaid windowpane or a POW check, would the appearance of the shoulder be less sharp, perhaps because of artfully arranging competing lines on the lapel or the shoulder that are less pronounced? There are examples from my own field of experimental psychology — studies of visual illusions — that demonstrate similar effects. When attention is drawn to a different part of the jacket by the pattern, that can mitigate the slope problem, I think. It would be interesting to compare photos of yourself in jackets with different amounts of pattern (and if possible the same tailoring school of thought) to see if this hypothesis works out.

A woman who loves to read about men's style

I like how cozy this jacket looks.The tweed fabric offsets the formality of the double-breasted style. I can imagine you meeting friends in a restaurant, tossing it in the corner of a banquette bench, and not raising eyebrows with this rough treatment. It looks like it would look good even after being crushed in a crowded booth.

Noel

Simon, it seems like you never button both buttons on a 6×2 DB. However, many people appear to button both buttons (and it’s even more common in older pictures/films). Unlike a SB, is it ok to button both buttons on a 6×2 DB? Symmetry is somewhat disturbed when the lower button is left unfastened.

James

I think you will see HM King Charles always buttons both on his DBs. Of course you should only put your hands in your pockets if you’re getting something out/putting something in.

James

Ok so just for clarity my comment was nothing to do with choosing to have stuff in your pockets or not.

It was referring to having your hands in your pockets, which is impolite and not to be encouraged or condoned. That is my “should”.

James

Sorry, I’ve just seen your reply to me on this.
By saying “don’t tell people what they should do”, you are effectively telling me what I should not do.

Sussman

I’ve seen a number of similar comments so I won’t belabor the point- but I think you are right to observe that the decision to shrink the lapels was incorrect. This is noticeable in the 7th image. I really like this jacket, but I can see how a broader and higher lapel would provide very satisfying contrast to the structure, or lack thereof of the shoulders. The smaller lapel slightly drowns so to speak. But as you say this is a relatively minor point in an otherwise very successful commission.

Realtedly, having recently commissioned my 6th bespoke suit- I ended up completely deferring to the tailor- something I found impossible during my early commissions.

There is no lesson here – just something that I noticed happened after finalizing the commission and thought to share since it seemed counterintuitive in retrospect. My initial thought going bespoke was that I will become much more interventionist as I gain more experience- but now I realize the opposite is true- rather perplexing.

Cheers,

S.S.

Alison

Lovely jacket with a timeless style and light weight and excellent quality.