Brown chalkstripe suit from Fred Nieddu/Taillour: Review

Wednesday, September 6th 2023
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There are two parts to this piece: one, Fred; two, chalkstripes. Given it's a review, let's do the first one first. 

This is the first piece of tailoring Fred Nieddu has made for me, having previously made a more unusual piece, a belted suede jacket, in 2023. 

I was keen to try Fred's tailoring largely because of the style, which I had seen on others and admired. There is a modernism in his cut that includes a good degree of self-awareness, but is expressed in small things like shoulder width or body fit: there is no striving for a more obvious style, and it's not just a combination of two or three other cuts, like a Florentine top half with a Neapolitan bottom one.

Fred also just has style himself, which helps a lot. He's interested in clothing, and might be in the cutting room wearing a knee-length shirt from 45R, or be wearing the fireman's coat from Real McCoy's over his tailoring. 

It would be easy to see this as simply liking and buying too much clobber, but it's striking how many tailors (even craftsman as a whole) have little interest in style. 

We had three fittings and most aspects went very smoothly. There were, however, fairly significant issues with the right shoulder. 

This is a part of my body tailors often struggle with, as they tend to underestimate how much lower it is than the other, and its forward rotation. That rotation was always the area John Hitchcock at A&S had problems with. 

Fred raised the shoulder at our second fitting, and this improved the situation but didn't fix it. In the end a little extra padding was put in on that side to get to the final, solid fit shown here. 

I don't notice the padding, and some tailors would even want to put extra on that side anyway, to make them even. I prefer not to, but it's not a big issue. 

It’s an example of the kind of thing that should be anticipated and perfect on a second suit - and then from then onwards, for evermore. Which as I always say, is why bespoke makes by far the most sense in the long run. 

Those smaller aspects of the fit are also less important to me than the style of the suit, which was superb and exactly what I hoped for. 

The jacket has a relatively broad lapel (4 inches, measured horizontally from the lapel point) but this is underplayed by the fairly small notch - proportionate, perhaps, on a 3 inch lapel, but a little smaller on this larger one. 

The shoulders are very natural, with a very thin pad and just that little extra at the end of the right one. But they’re a little extended, with the padding helping them reach just a centimetre or two beyond the point of my shoulder bone. 

I can see how someone would look at a straight-on picture of the cut, and think it had no shape. That the shoulders should be squarer, the waist cut closer to eke out as much of a contrast with the shoulders as possible. 

But as soon as you see the suit from a natural angle, I think the flattering shape of it becomes apparent. Look at the image below, for example - the width across the shoulders, the fairly loose back, and then the neat skirt finishing just at the bottom of the seat. This is a cut that is doing everything for me - making me much more than I actually am - and wouldn’t be improved by higher shoulders. 

The finishing on the suit is also very good - some of the best you’ll see among English tailors. 

Neat, hand-sewn buttonholes, with a similarly neat Milanese buttonhole on the lapel. Nicely top-stitched lining inside, with the extra effort made to cut the facing in an attractive loop around the inbreast pocket. 

I even like the small ‘Taillour’ label sewn below that inbreast pocket. I can see some purists preferring to not have any visible label - as most Savile Row suits traditionally had - but when it’s this subtle and hand-done it’s attractive. Plus it’s a person and a brand I feel a connection to.

So why a chalkstripe, and a brown one at that? 

I've remarked in the past that chalkstripes are a little showy, and they are in the context we have usually talked about - in an office, dressed fairly conservatively and professionally. 

But as the scope of the clothes we've talked about on PS has expanded, so has the variation in contexts, in situations, and so the significance of when and where things are being worn. 

This would be a terrible choice for a business suit, as it would draw too much attention. Even though business offices themselves are changing, the principle of clothes not being any kind of focus remains. 

But if you're in a much more creative field, and want something to dress up in - something that reflects and even expresses your creativity - this grey/brown chalkstripe would be great. 

It's unusual but it hardly shouts across the room. On the subtle-showy scale it probably ranks a 4, if the charcoal business suit is a 1, and that lime-green thing you saw at the Oscars is 9. (I know readers love numbers.)

It puts a spin on traditional clothing - particularly worn with black, as here - and gets more interesting the closer you get. At which point you start to notice the texture of the fabric, the draped cut, or the hand finishing. 

Of course, it's also just great if you're not dressing for work at all. In which case it might be nice for evening, again particularly with black. (Though in retrospect I think a black Dartmoor would have looked nicer, more relaxed than this linen shirt.)

Other clothes shown:

  • Black linen shirt, bespoke by D'Avino
  • Black crocodile belt with brass buckle, Rubato
  • Yellow-gold Reverso watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre
  • Black 'Piccadilly' loafers by Edward Green, in 'utah' leather

Taillour is Fred Nieddu, a bespoke cutter in London, and team. More background here. They recently moved to a lovely new dedicated space at 2 Pecks Yard, Hanbury Street in Spitalfields. 

Suit prices start at £4800 (including VAT) and jackets £3480, while My suit cost £5400. The cloth is VF10 from the Vintage Fox bunch, weighing 370/400g. 

Photography: Alex Natt

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Hi Simon,

I think the cut looks great on you, a very masculine and natural silhouette.

I do think however that the trousers don’t really match the suit overall, due to the turn ups and seemingly short length (I know pictures can be deceiving).

I have recently converted to non turn up trousers, cut straight with a small break, as I find this to be the most modern and artistic looking (see Saman Amel as an example).

I feel trousers like these would have matched this suit much better, rather than the turn ups which appear a little anachronistic in this case.

What do you think?


Hi Simon,

Interesting, striped trousers worn as separates is quite the daring choice!

I do still have trousers with turn ups and think they look good, however the turn up is a little slimmer and better suited to trousers that are very plain like grey flannels.


Regardless of what’s in fashion, the appeal turn-ups is very subjective. I have some older dress trousers without them and when I wear them I feel something is missing.

For a man of Simon’s height, I don’t think turn-ups are a problem in terms of how height is perceived.


Yes, height is key with turn-ups I think. I am rather tall and find they help enormously. Especially in this suit with its vertical stripes. I have seen shorter men look even shorter due to turn-ups too so would argue they will always be a tool for people to tweak their silhouette. I am also a fan of them as they are a subtle nod to the past without looking like costume eg. Collar pins, spats etc…


I agree. I also find turn-ups anachronistic. I have rarely seen them on the Continent for the last 10-15 years in many, many business meetings and conferences where everybody wears suits, but also not on other trousers. I also find they shorten the leg, what probably most men do not strive for.


Maybe my perception is different in the US, but I see turn ups more than plain hems and think their function – weighing the trouser leg – outshines any anachronism. Same for height. Yes, very beneficial for a tall man, and can make a short man (like me) look shorter. For that reason I used to only do plain hems to maximize every possible way to may me look taller. However, the function of turn ups won out and I stopped caring what it did for height. I think if you’re well dressed and confident people will not focus on size


Very nice, this one. The muted/greyish brown is a more discreet/contemporary option and a better pairing with black than a more traditional brown flannel.

Is this suit cut in the house style of Fred or did you ask some tweaks to his standard?


Simon, is it a stereotype that bankers would wear/favour chalkstripe suits? Or is that just a hangover from the 80s?
Back in the day I used to have a chalkstripe suit but never gave that much thought to how
suitable it was for the office. At the time I probably wanted a variety of styles.


Interesting point on perceived as flash or old fashioned, context is all.
Yes, I find that over time my taste has moved towards more subtle, and those less subtle don’t get as much wear.
I understand there are some Japanese designers who only use black cloth so as to emphasise cut, fit and craft.


In the 80s, barristers also wore chalk stripe suits. Black or very dark charcoal, rather than banker’s navy, was a favourite. They were worn with white or bengal striped neckband shirts with spare and changeable collars. A friend of mine favoured them because he thought that they intimidated the accused and defence witnesses in court!


Looks great Simon. It’s a nice example of how tailoring can be worn today beyond traditional business attire. I quite like the chalkstripes.

Besides a black shirt or knit, how else would you wear it without a tie? Would a navy shirt work? What about some lighter colour?

Rune Teigland

I think light blue shirt will do very nice. Colour of suit is very very good. Brings emotions and sensitivity

Peter K

I think a denim shirt would work well.


Interested to note you’re wearing a belt, and I’m guessing you potentially chose loops over side-adjusters as you positively WANTED to wear a belt with this suit, perhaps as a point of interest, make it less formal… Can you shed any light? Have you chosen belt over side-adjusters in any other bespoke purchases?


In the article on why you were wearing more belts you stated that you were sure you would never wear belts with suits, cutting yourself in half. I think there might be room for an exception from that rule where you do not wear a tie with the suit and where the belt is subtle in colour and material. Would you be able to shed some light: Have you changed your mind or do you have some other considerations?


I agree that you were not so extreme. I also agree that a more casual material (not worsted) makes it easier to both drop the tie and to add the belt. It certainly looks great as you wear it!


I adore the lapels, they’re perfect, and the suit has a very nice balance overall. While I agree trousers without turnup has slowly become interesting again, on a suit like this, especially with the belt, the turnup helps anchor the casual nudge.
I’m curious though, the sleeves seem very wrinkly all the way from the armhole throughout. Given the weight of the fabric, that seems quite unusual. Did you just happen to sit down with crossed arms a whole lot before shooting the pics, or is it something else? Your jackets generally appear less rumpled in these reviews.

Lindsay McKee

Super Simon,just super!!
Great to see another British tailor covered. Your suit is absolutely beautiful! Another one to add to your 55 bespoke tailors post.
Health to enjoy!


Beautiful suit!


Not a fan of this one. I can’t see this working well as separates (well, more accurately: no suit really works as separates, but given the stripe, this less so). Also, the shoulder does look “off” to me and upper chest appears to bunch on the right hand side of the photo.
I completely get that you’re now keener in a slightly looser and more comfortable fit these days, but for me this just looks unstructured. It’s like you picked it up off the rack.
Could be just me!


Think I am in agreement with you Charles. I like Fred’s work but this has left me cold and appears OTR. I disagree on the separates comment and very much on Simon’s style retort. Still, horses/courses and all that.


I have to (I hope respectfully) disagree – I think the way this suit fits, to my eye, looks very elegant and natural.

I don’t want to ascribe to you ideas you don’t hold, but I do think there is a common tendency at times to expect a bespoke suit to reveal itself as such in either its tightness or its structure – tightness meaning it’s been cut close enough to the body that it could never quite fit that way off the rack. This is certainly one way of doing things, but I don’t think it exemplifies the cut of an English suit, classically speaking, and in any case is not the only way to define the qualities of a bespoke suit. Structure in the sense of a suit that reveals itself to be bespoke in its clear and dramatic shaping, giving it the general built-up look one often associates with Saville Row. This (as with any fixed style) can be done well, but it tends to produce stiffer, less free-moving effect, which to my eye increases the feeling of formality.

I like (especially like) that the cut of this suit seems to be reaching for neither of those qualities. It has an understated elegance because of its subtle structure (more there than meets the eye I expect), and I feel the very-slight air of roominess makes the suit look comfortable, and therefore natural, especially in motion. Those qualities make it feel less formal, but no less classical or elegant, which I feel are a combination of traits one is hard pressed to find from most tailors.


Lovely suit, and very non-corporate in this colour. I always find stripes so tempting, each time I see someone doing them well! But in my small wardrobe wouldn’t make sense sadly. Agree on changing the linen shirt for knitwear – would complement the softness of the flannel.

Interesting point on turn-ups in the comments, although I think I always prefer to have them on tailored trousers. Wouldn’t you need to slim down the leg quite a lot for no turn-ups to work? I’d be really interested in visuals and deeper analysis if you do go that route with new trousers.


Hi Mateusz,

IMO a wider leg opening with a slimmer thigh (think straight cut rather than bell bottoms) work best for trousers without turnups.

My favourite trouser style at the moment is the following (for anything from chinos to suits):

Single forward pleat
No turn up
Mid-high rise

I find the single forward pleat creates an almost ‘powerful’ aesthetic.


Mateusz, if it inspires you I would encourage you to get it. I’ve never been sorry when I commissioned something that, although a bit different, inspired me. It’s easy to get the most versatile things but sometimes those aren’t that exciting and don’t end up being worn as much as you imagined. Get some stripes, wear them, rock them.


I’ve never seriously considered chalkstripe myself because I feel it’s a bit too showy design in a suit and doesn’t match my personality. This one though I could see myself wearing, probably not formally but more during the evenings when going out to a jazz club, lounge or other entertainment. I think its the colour and contrasts that makes it easier to wear, the fact it’s not blue, grey or black and that it’s single breasted so not the stereotypical look. In that aspect the slightly more relaxed fit also works well.

You are right, readers do love numbers, it’s because we are nerds. In that regard I think you meant the suede jacket to be dated 2022.


There nothing wrong with being a bit “showy” like George Hamilton, one of my sartorial heroes. Navy and grey chalk stripe suits were the City “uniform” during the 80s and 90s. Most London and City RTW brands offered them, e.g. Hackett, New & Lingwood, Ede & Ravenscroft, Thresher & Glenny and Stanley Ley. Mine were DBs, MTM in Chester Barrie’s Crewe factory. Unfortunately, the late Rik Mayall, as the odious Alan B’stard in the New Statesman, made the look toxic. Let’s bring them back, the more showy the better!


I also think it has a lot to do with the quality of the cloth. We’ve all seen a lot of nasty chalkstripe suits I’m sure, but having seen how beautiful some of the Fox chalkstripes look in person, it’s just a different proposition altogether.

Eric Michel

Really nice suit, I still like the turn ups which break the formality of a suit and make it much more versatile. Too much turn ups may kill turn ups over time, but for now, when you wear a suit 90% of the time without a tie, turn ups still do it for me.


I’ll believe you on the colour, but it very much looks grey to me!
The shape is incredible though. It really looks very natural as a whole. The back sits very neatly as well, I actually wasn’t sure where the vents were.


Sorry for the unrelated comment but do you know what’s happened with Graham Browne? Was in their neck of the woods for the first time in ages and thought I’d pop along and see if Russ still works there etc and was surprised to see the shop bare and a pile of post on the doormat.

Sam Wolfe Murray

They’ve moved premises nearby. Still going strong!


Do you know their new address Sam? Website still lists the old address (but then it still says what their Xmas 2016 specials are) and there no signs in the windows saying they’ve moved.


They are still around – just moved to another location on Bow Lane.


This suit is outstanding and looks fantastic on you. I really like the chalk strip and that grey/brown fabric is gorgeous!


So old school it’s cool. I wouldn’t change a thing.


Great looking suit Simon. Do you think the style (straight lapels, open quarters etc.) looks a bit Italian?


Hi Simon,
Unrelated so apologies but can you tell me when the new polos (originally due Aug.) might be released?
Thank you.

Victor Kernes

Hey Simon,
Absolutely love the combination of the brown and chalk stripe.
Almost a decade ago, while working at Unionmade in San Francisco, we carried a Boglioli suit of a similar color, though I think a bit more charcoal grey than brown. One of my biggest regrets is not buying that suit.
This one looks great on you. It’s re-ignited the itch to find a similar type of suit.


One question about the cloth Simon: On Fox’s website it’s described as a “jacketing cloth”. Is it woven differently to their classic flannel? Or is it ok for trousers?


Speaking of fox flannels… do they have similar but not striped? Also i was looking trough webpage and i couldnt see a simple mid grey heavy flannels… herringbone and charcoal yes, but mid grey?


Youre right. Thanks. For some reason i was thinking classic is lighter weight and heritage is heavier denser ones… found them!


I quite like the striped suit with solid color polo shirt look and have seen it worn to good effect several times. Something about the juxtaposition of the sporty but subtle colored shirt with what is a quite striking and traditionally formal suiting can look interesting; especially navy polo with grey suit. Have you tried a navy or cream polo with this suit?


I think weight of cloth probably matters a lot as well. Polo shirts work well with tropical and high twists, wool knits better with flannel.

Phong Moua

Wonderful article and a beautiful suit. I should be receiving my first commission from Fred and Lee this month as well. It is indeed a huge plus that they are both interested in clothing themselves and have a strong sense of individual style which has been a big selling point for me.
Fred’s openness to new ideas and his approach to tailoring makes the process more approachable and enjoyable. I’ve really enjoyed seeing both the suede jacket as well this more classic tailored piece.
Thanks Simon!

Lindsay McKee

Sorry Simon, that Fox Cloth VF10… it’s flannel right…. hardly for jackets in isolation as Fox claims with this bunch… I’m a bit confused. I need clarification on this one!

Lindsay McKee

Excellent advice.
Many thanks

Hywel Jones

I really like the cut, it’s flattering and as you say is particularly beautiful in terms of the back of shoulders to the lower back.

I’ve looked at the Fox HF 18 chalk stripe for a commission, which seems different to yours as it’s more towards a mid brown than the greyish hue of the cloth on yours. Did you look at HF18 and discount it?

James Fettiplace

Thanks Simon – I agree with others that this looks great (although like others, very much grey on my screen) and very wearable. I think the pin-stripe associations are really reduced because of the color (not navy) and also because of the flannel (as opposed to worsted) – of course this was deliberate on your part. I’d love to know the history of pin-stripe and how it became associated with the banking classes but perhaps one for another day.

I suppose my only other comment is this does however look expensive for a less established non-Row tailor with an Italian flavor – apologies for bringing value into these discussions and I appreciate the comments you make about Fred’s style and possibly factoring this into the cost.


Thanks for the review, happy to see how Taillour is evolving 🙂
What has happened to Timothy Everest in the mean time? Does Fred still do some cutting for them? Or have both he and Lee moved on?


All my questions have been previously answered, sooooooooo…

Anyways, I absolutely love this suit. It feels very artistic, almost Bohemian, and though that may not be the right word to describe it, it is the almost right word and the one I am sticking with.


Anytime. It is one of my favorite pieces you have ever profiled.


Is it just me or have his prices increased quite steeply since the last article?


Isn’t VAT now a moot point as the UK no longer allows non residents to reclaim VAT on exports, Hopefully a decision in my humble opinion that will be reversed given all the data comparing luxury buying trends in Milan and Paris versus London.


Hi Simon, how do you like Edward Green’s utah leather? Is there a reason you chose utah over regular black calf for the Piccadilly’s? Perhaps the texture makes them a bit more casual. In my experience, utah tends to crease faster (and retain the creases longer) and overall the shoes look a little more out of shape as compared to EG’s calf leather. Have you had a similar experience?


What a great suit and an unexpected choice. I particularly like how unexpected the tieless outfit is but how well it works. I’m a little bit surprised by all the discussion about turn-ups because to me they are an aesthetic detail that you either like or don’t and there’s not much more to it than that. I don’t buy that they affect the wearability or formality of a suit or pair of trousers.

I’m curious how you would wear the trousers by themselves given the chalkstripes. I have seen striped trousers worn without a matching jacket by some of my friends that go for a vintage workwear look (usually with something like a leather jacket or chore coat and chambray shirt) but that’s never a style I have seen you wear


Hi Simon
With a baby blue waiscoat v neck or round neck with a sleeveless white cotton polo underneah
with fisherman sandals with thick socks
with a cream long sleeve cachemire/silk polo with your undershirt


I’m surprised that several (many?) readers of ‘permanent’style are worried that turnups might not be trendy anymore.
Nice suit though, love the fabric. Wouldn’t style it with a black shirt but to each their own!


I tend not to favour turn-ups partly because they have been trendy in the first place, at various times in my life. I don’t think not having them will ever be seen as a remotely controversial choice, so that strikes me as more ‘permanently stylish; from the off. But even disregarding that factor, I also find they never give as clean and nice as a line to an outfit, and they more often than not make the break look strange to my eye.
I think every photo Simon has posted on here in the last five years or so will still look permanently stylish in a decade from now… above the ankle. I think if anything dates, it will be his penchant for turn-ups and loafers.
But this is all – of course – a matter of personal taste.


“This would be a terrible choice for a business suit, as it would draw too much attention”. 
In most offices where I’ve worked (in the US) you would draw attention by being well dressed at all. The suit looks great, I’d wear it to work if the temperature ever gets below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.


It’s a lovely subtle brown and Fox flannel is always a great choice.

Herman Blinkhoven

Sorry to ask the obvious, but what cloth is this from. Maybe I read too fast or the information was mentioned elsewhere. It looks like Fox, but cannot be sure.


I, too, have a right shoulder that’s dropped a fair bit below my left shoulder: which tailor would you say has done a really good job of dealing with that?


My first suit was a thrifted Chester Barrie in almost identical fabric. Fond memories.
On the topic of traveling tailors..
Would you order multiple suits/sport coats from a traveling tailor you respect but haven’t worked with before, or would you prefer to wait and assess the first one before ordering another?


From where is this clothe?


Thanks – I thought I must have just missed it.


A few observations :
Either the Fox website or this photo shoot is “wrong” but the cloth looks much browner on the website. Notably the suit looks almost entirely grey in the shoe / lower leg shot. It looks only somewhat brown in the full body back shot.
i am a huge fan of “brown in town” and I don’t think most people get it. The very worst look is the ubiquitous navy suit, white shirt and discarded, absent tie look. Wearing a shade such of this shows people that moving to more modern dress is not just about discarding a tie as if it were a burdensome imposition. ( I remain a tie guy but with more variety in what surrounds it.)
Chalk stripes probably do reduce utility a bit but I love them. ( My wife hates them. )
If one looks at the history of the turn up, they were of course the casual choice. And hence heavily linked to the US Brooks Brothers / Ivy look. They were never the most formal choice. This style of suit could be with straight bottoms but you would need a break in them and in essence I think it would disconnect the bottoms from the top. The most formal traditional tailoring does not have turnups ( notably both morning suit and black tie ). Also even heavy weight flannel can use the turn up to help the trousers keep shape ( as noted below ). You could use very heavy tape for this but…
So overall, a great suit and good cut / fit. Above all, it looks very comfortable. We don’t wear clothes to be tailor’s dummies.

John Kiely

Hi Simon,

Looks great! How would you wear the trousers as separates out of interest?

John Kiely

Apologies, you can ignore my question — I see you’ve already answered the same question below. Anyhow, lovely suit — keep doing what you’re doing.


You are the sartorial king


Beautiful. Do you think the fabric/colour could work as formalwear? Let’s say for visiting the opera? Perhaps in a more formal cut (e.g. double breasted)?
Thank you


The shirt looks great Simon. What other options are there for a dark cold-colour shirt for autumn/winter/spring, to put with charcoal flannels? Brown or black cord? Or would you recommend looking at linen?


May I ask with which of your coats you combine that suit? Thanks!


Hi Simon!
It’s been a while. I was perusing the site looking through all the suits for inspiration, since I’m hoping to get one made myself, soon. This suit struck me as the most flattering! My compliments to Fred and to you; you look debonair and dashing in this. I’m going to echo Henry’s comments in some ways but I will say I like the turn ups on the trousers very much. I think it’s a great look. So, here’s where Henry and I agree, I think overall the trousers are a bit narrow for the jacket. Personally, I have been flirting with wider trousers of late. To clarify, I mean wider than I’m used to. A few years ago I would have said that these trousers were perfect (and in many ways they are!) but nowadays I’m more focused on a tall, uniform and columnar silhouette and my realization has been that to achieve that silhouette (think Cary Grant, Franco Corelli etc.) I’d need to start wearing much wider and higher waisted trousers. Now, if I’m remembering correctly, I’ve read before that you’re not exactly a fan of higher waisted trousers and wider trousers. I’m beginning to think however, that to really get that Adonis look, I’ll need to wear wider and longer trousers and only then will I be able to achieve the look of trousers that descend without break to the shoes but at the same time are level with the waist button of a jacket, creating a seamless and harmonious whole. Thoughts??


Simon, of all the tailors you’ve tried, which tailors have gotten your shoulder right from the get-go?


I am in India but I want to get a three-roll-two button blue pinstripe suit made from London. I don’t wish to spend more than £7,000. Any suggestions?