Assisi double-breasted summer suit: Review

Monday, May 20th 2024
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This suit from Korean tailor Assisi has already been teased a couple of times on PS. Once during the fitting process in Seoul, where it frankly looked impossibly clean. And once when I wore it for our summer drinks in the Burlington Arcade. 

No suit ever looks quite as clean as that fitting, at least as soon as it is worn for a bit, and the wearer is striding around rather than standing stock still. The sharp high-twist wool from Drapers - the Ascot four-ply - also helped. 

But I’m very happy with the suit. It’s a beautiful style, well fitted, and I’ve been enjoying wearing it even more than I thought I would - in both the ways shown here: open-necked and occasionally unbuttoned, with a linen shirt and suede loafers; and formally with a tie and sharp oxford. It could do a wedding and a smart garden party as easily as a sunny day about town. 

In my first review of Assisi, I subtly challenged Dabin and Min Soo to achieve the same great fit in a lightweight summer cloth. They’ve certainly achieved that. 

With the first tweed jacket (above), there was a bit of debate backwards and forwards about shoulder width and lapel size. We had one fitting in Florence and two in Japan where it was discussed.

I should have just left it up to them, because Dabin always looks wonderful in his double-breasteds and this suit has a slightly more balanced, pleasing style this time, when they’ve made all the choices. 

It’s still a roomy fit, like the tweed, but not so much that you could wear any thickness of sweater underneath. It’s drapey, making it very comfortable and also making it cooler (something often forgotten in the discussion of summer tailoring). 

And I love the style. It’s the antithesis of the tight-and-short noughties look, the one that originated with the growth of Italian modernist brands in the nineties, dominated the growth of menswear from 2008 onwards, and which still hangs around to a boring degree. 

This is larger, more eighties but also more 1930s. I’m sure all the vintage fans will be happy about this - and perhaps take the prompt to wear the same cut of tailoring but in an unfussy style. 

The keyword for me is balanced. The lapel is wide but not too wide - pointing to the shoulder but not flying off it. The buttoning point is balanced too - I tend towards pushing this a little lower these days, but the proportions here are great and that’s the most important thing. It’s more moderate, and less likely to date as a result. 

The trousers are higher rise and pleated. This isn’t my normal style, but I already have trousers in that style in a similar cloth from this Cornacchia suit, so it was an opportunity to experiment a bit. 

I like the fact that when you wear a belt with this kind of rise, the body is shortened and therefore proportionately widened, yet the trouser height doesn’t look too old-fashioned because the belt covers the top inch or so. For those that like higher-rise trousers, wearing a belt like this is a good option. 

Those two shots above also show how good the finishing is on this suit. You can see the little bar tacks on the pleats of the trousers, and the pick stitching around the coin pocket above it. A friend in Korea told me recently that the biggest change in the past 10 years has been how much the sewing among local tailors has improved - not the style or fit, but the fineness of the work.

That finishing is evident on the fineness of the jets on the pockets as well; see previous article here for how and why that can be a good indicator of the quality of work.

If I have any quibble at all, it’s a small one about the roping of the sleevehead on one side. I love the naturalness of the shoulder, finishing in a soft and subtle roping. But there’s one point on the left shoulder where perhaps the fullness could be smoother. A small thing and also very fixable.

The buttons, by the way, are a pale mushroomy corozo. The more standard choice might have been a dark-brown horn (blond horn can be nice but more for a jacket). But I like how the greyish shade has worked. It makes it a touch smarter perhaps, but that’s all. 

In the tieless outfit shown, the suit is worn with a white linen shirt from D’Avino, a Rubato brown-suede belt and Piccadilly brown-suede loafers from Edward Green. The sunglasses are from Clan Milano, via Connolly. 

The tie in the other outfit is from Shibumi (an old style, no longer available) and the shoes are my bespoke black wingtips from Cleverley. There’s something pleasingly old-world about the way that chiselled shoe looks with the wider, cuffed trouser leg. 

At our summer drinks, I wore a brown Drake’s tie (woven silk again) with my dark-brown Yohei Fukuda oxfords (shown below). 

I’m still in the early stages of working out what combinations I like, and so naturally starting simply and conservatively. In the future I look forward to trying the suit with other things, such as a pink shirt or perhaps a black one. 

Assisi have moved spaces in Seoul by the way, so I’ve included a few shots of the new atelier below. I never visited the first one, which was shown on our introductory article on them, but it looked like it had a similar vibe: modernist, clean and quiet. 

The fitting room is particularly nice, as you have windows on three sides that look down the hill to the river, as well as up the steep streets around. 

Since our first article on Assisi, their popularity has grown and they are now travelling to New York as well as to Singapore, Bangkok and Sydney in Asia. There are no current plans to visit the UK regularly, unfortunately. 

Trunk shows are conducted through The Decorum in Singapore and Bangkok and through The Finery Company in Sydney. 

Bespoke suits start at $2,950 and jackets $2,300. The cloth shown is Drapers four-ply, from the Ascot bunch. Code 18050, 370g. 

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

For those that have enjoyed our ‘walkie talkie’ videos recently on Instagram, I will also do one in this suit, to show it in motion. 

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AKG

Fabulous suit. Looking good on you. Very office like, if I may say. Do you reckon one can wear it casually in non office settings?
Best
AKG

Gary Mitchell

I think this is the nicest cut/shape suit I have seen you wear matey.

Chris Jones

Completely agree. It looks both casual and formal. Works better than anything else I’ve ever seen Simon in.

JL

Simon,
If you’ll excuse me saying so, I think some styles really suit you and some really don’t. I’d put this right up there (along with Ciardi) as something that looks superb on you! It’s not a cloth I’d choose but that doesn’t matter. The fit and overall aesthetic (on you) really is one of the very best!
JL

AK

Fantastic fit, proportions are spot on.

Anonymous

Simon – a beautiful suit. Re the length of this jacket would you say it a timeless/classic length? In the photos it appears to end at your 2nd knuckle (the one furthest from your thumb nail.) I understood the 1st knuckle (closest to thumb nail) is often used as a default for the ideal length or does this apply only to single breasted jackets? Ideally should a classsic/.timeless double – breasted jacket be shorter, longer or the same length as a classic single – breasted one? Thank you.

Jack

Lovely suit! I think it certainly works well without a tie and suede shoes. Do you think the same cloth but in mid-grey could work similarly?
Also, could I ask what the things you consider are when you decide whether to go for pick stitching on the lapel?

Many thanks,
Jack

Fernando

Something about asian tailors looks so good.

Alan

This is my favourite of the many DB suits you have showcased over the years. The wide lapels, drape and high waisted trousers give it the presence a DB needs, while still being balanced.

Not that you need style advice from your readers, but I think it would look really nice with a darker blue shirt (not as dark as navy but maybe a saturated mid-blue) and a geometric tie. I have seen a few 1930s summer fashion illustrations with a light coloured suit and a blue shirt that’s darker than the usual pale blue, which I think look really sharp. Not something for the office or a wedding but perfect for a smart social event. It’s a more vintage look but I’m sure you could make it work without looking dated.

Alan

I think there’s a balance between taking inspiration from vintage style and going for a full period look. This suit strikes that balance nicely, which is why I thought wearing outfits that nod to that might work. Regardless of what you do with it, I look forward to seeing what outfits you end up putting together.

Lindsay McKee

A very beautiful suit indeed.
What pleasantly surprised me was your choice of Ascot 4-ply Light gray.
The other mid grey in that bunch was on my shortlist for a pair of good Summer High twist trousers alone.
With the lighter grey trousers, I’ve thought of another suggested combination:-
Light grey ascot high twist trousers, as in this Suit reviewed today, paired with a mustard yellow or a lighter weight, Smedley type sweater. I’m Referring to your post, “Baseball Cap, White Jeans & Ivy”, blue chambray OR CREAM SHIRT.
You would have to possibly switch or change the other items eg. Cap, coat etc to suit the light grey trousers.
What do you think on that one Simon?

Lindsay McKee

Sorry Simon,
Whats the lovely belt and the watch.
i am converting back to belts by the way.
Do you find that the belt here works well for you?

Lindsay McKee

I had found that side adjusters were somewhat uncomfortable and definitely braces which I find a bit fiddley to button up.
I find that belts just work well for me, and certainly my bespoke ones from Tim Hardy are frankly superb in comfort, the latest one I must send a picture soon.
Again it’s each to their own, I suppose.

Paul

That really is truly a lovely suit. Beautiful. It immediately put me in mind of your Edward Sexton grey flannel DB suit, but then I went and looked up one of the articles on that one – this Assisi suit I feel suits you better. That slightly roomier cut and more relaxed details makes such a huge difference.

Ross

I’ve always found hands in pockets to be a less than respectable habit, especially with a DB. It looks either a touch slovenly or a bit contrived. Why is it such a thing here?
Also noted that the cuffs are finished with three buttons, whereas standard bespoke would be four. Is this their choice or something you asked for.
The overall fit seems to be very good and the cloth itself to be easy to dress up or down depending on circumstances.

Ross

Well I was being serious, and so being told my observation is a bit silly is not much appreciated.
When I was at school hands in pockets were not permitted, nor in the military. I suppose it’s down to the circles you move in.
You might think it’s OK, others won’t.
Thanks for the discussion though.

SamS

As a (former) photographer, there are multiple reasons why you might have a model put their hands in the pockets:

  1. It shows off parts of the garment that might normally be unseen. In this example, Simon having his hands in his pockets lets him display the waistband, belt and height of the trousers. All these things are good if you’re documenting an outfit.
  2. It can create different angles and shapes. Hands in pockets can create a “slouchy” look, which can be desired for some shots. Likewise, hand in a jacket pocket can create a triangle shape around the arm – generally this is considered a good way to add some shape to an image, and can help show how a garment drapes.
  3. It actually shows how a lot of people will wear a garment. I realise this varies a lot on what you feel is appropriate – hands in pockets are a faux pas to some, and a great way for someone else to make an outfit look more casual.
Arnauld

Beautiful suit.

Jack Linney

I have to say, my immediate reaction before looking at it with any sort of critical eye was, “that’s lovely!” To me, the visceral reaction feeds everything else. The maker did a really nice job on this one.

Robert

Simon,

Great looking suit! From a price perspective do you think it’s a slippery slope commissioning $3k bespoke? And I mean slipping into the prospect of happily saving money.

Best,
Robert

Robert

Sorry- I meant that the suit appears high quality, fits you very well and the customer experience seemed so positive for you that it may be easy to gravitate toward more bespoke options in this price range.

Charles -Emmanuel Airy

Hi Simon,
Great suit!
Do you know when Assisi plans to come back to Paris this year?
Charles

Noel

Beautiful suit, Simon. I like the extended shoulders and the drapey cut for a DB.

In your article about wearing suits without ties you talked about how it’s generally more difficult to wear worsted suits without ties than more casual fabrics (linen, corduroy, tweed). Yet I think it works here (the buttons help), so I’m wondering if a DB makes it easier? Just like it seems easier to wear a DB with a t-shirt given that it’s more unusual than a SB. Would you wear a SB suit in the same fabric without a tie ?

Jon

I’m picking up on your comment re the trousers. Interestingly I think that this style works really well on your frame. Are you perhaps starting to reconsider pleats and rise or is it simply a nice bit of variety but one you would still veer away from as a rule?

John

Hi Simon,
Yes, it’s a lovely suit, indeed! But at 370g, isnt the cloth a little bit heavy for Summer? Wearing this suit with a … black shirt? I don’t think it would be a good idea, As it would instantly make the look showy and cheap. Better options would be available within the boundaries of light colored shirts worn with or without ties – as shown above, or merely with just a nice pocket square … without a tie!
John
     

Stephan

Such a wonderful suit! I am seeing it pairing nicely with a faint yellow stripe OCBD. Also a very bright/vibrant shade of a light blue poplin shirt. And light brown / tan / yellowish tan shoes!

Warren

Hello Simon
Lovely suit and apparently a pleasant fitting process. Do you know the dates of Assisi’s NYC trunk shows for 2024?

Avi

Lovely piece – what shirt are you wearing at the Summer Drinks?

Avi

Assuming a bespoke/MTM?

Alex

Absolutely beautiful. Love this. However, I am deeply depressed by it. Why? Because, as you rightly say, it’s basically unwearable outside of an event. There is also something counterintuitive about this that I can’t quite put my finger on – how is it that a plain sb dark suit without a tie is still reasonably wearable as a kind of understated uniform in all but the most casual of circumstances, but a light grey db suit – which sounds sensible and understated on paper – is really rather out of place, dated and therefore quite “showy” in our era? Utterly depressing as I’d love to wear something like this in the summer but I don’t feel I’d be able to without feeling like I was wearing more a costume than something relaxed and elegant.

Andrew

I have a suit in the same fabric (also DB) and wore it to a business meeting in Rome last July. It was a very hot and sunny day and I didn’t feel for a moment inappropriately dressed. I maybe wouldn’t wear it in the City of London but in the right environment I don’t see why it has to be for events only.

Andrew

I wouldn’t have worn this when I started travelling to Italy for business 6 or 7 years ago but I have become more comfortable wearing lighter colors in the summer since then. Solaro is certainly accepted as business atire in Rome and Milan, as is beige gabardine. This is not too far off from that.

There is also a psychological element that is not something that is really covered much on PS. Agnelli wearing suede shoes with a suit wasn’t standard business atire in his day, nor was Steve Jobs with his black mock turtlenecks. Both both did it partially to covey a message: that they were in a position of power and could break the rules. It worked also because they weren’t delivering too much from the norm of their (very different) environments so didn’t come across as ridiculous. In that particular setting last year, that was partially the message I wanted to communicate. In a place where Solaro is accepted, pale grey on a blazing hot and sunny July day isn’t too far away from the norm.

joshgtv

Great suit Simon. Reminiscent of King Charles to my eye, in the best possible way.

Andrew

hi Simon, I love the suit. I have one in the same fabric I think (the sort of greige Ascot 4 ply) also DB. It was one of the last ones Sergio at Ferdinando Caraceni cut for me before he retired. It is one of my favorites to wear, but it took me awhile to figure out how to wear it well.
I find it really needs a bright sunny day, and the shirt needs to have a fair amount of contrast with the pale grey (I find white, or white with a fairly strong stripe work) or the whole thing looks a bit washed out.
Also, the corozo buttons looks really good. They enhance the 30s/40s look of the suit. I would not have gone for a horn in such a summery suit.

Andrew

They look really nice, like old faded corozo. Apparently corozo starts to fade after a while and becomes a sort of brownish beige color, which I suppose is the natural color of the nut. I am not sure how long this takes though.

RaySSS

A beautiful suit! Espeically the fit of the trouser, not too wide and too tight. Just perfectly roomy enought to look pleasing and must be comfy to wear.

limekiln

As many have said, this really does – ahem – suit you perfectly. There is no comparison in how correct it looks with a tie Vs without. Something about it being double-breasted makes the tie quite necessary (to my eye). If I may also say something about your form, you’ve commented yourself that your shoulders are markedly sloped. This is a distinct impression I get when I look at the very first photo above. When I look at the very last photo, not a bit of it.

Bao

Hi Simon! Do you prefer one or two lapel buttonholes on DB suits? I’m about to have my fitting for an Edward Sexton off-shore DB suit and I’m not sure if I should stick with one or I should ask for two buttonholes.
Many thanks,
Bao

Bao

Thank you so much for the quick reply! I decided to pull the trigger on an off-shore DB suit after reading your articles on Edward Sexton. Given that you experienced ES’s off-shore bespoke yourself, do you have any general tips/guidance on what I should look out for during the final fitting?

T

Hi Simon,

Great suit! Love the summer vibes. What about mother of pearl buttons in various colors with this light grey.

Christopher G

I never thought I’d see you in high-rise trousers or in pleats (again), nice to see you embraced the style on this suit and it worked out well. Love how neatly the pleats lie. I wear pleats, but only have two pleated trousers with belt loops; I always felt the look was a bit odd, but that might be the cloth I chose as yours look exceptional with the belt.

David Tillinghast

Simon: I love the slightly roomier, 1930’s feel of this suit, yet still contemporary, and I think you look fantastically sharp in it. I just received a pair of bespoke trousers from Suresh and Mahesh at Whitcomb & Shaftsbury in the same fabric and same style, and I have absolutely fallen in love with this fabric! Its also a dream in warm southern California weather — so much so that we decided to complete it as a suit — SB with a notch lapel. I am still on a learning curve, but it seems to me that once great fit is achieved through a bespoke partnership, fabric becomes of huge import for a successful result. I think I previously underestimated this as a novice. Do you agree?

David Tillinghast

Thanks, Simon — I did not know that about Anderson & Sheppard as primarily a fabric shop at one time is interesting to know. I have to say, the idea of having the advantage of seeing a larger bolt of the fabric draped over my body, instead of trying to visualize the results from a litlle square of the sample fabric and what it will look like when it grows up and becomes a suit, makes me a bit nostalgic!

David Tillinghast

Thanks, Simon, for the clarification. I put that poorly: I did understand that it was always a tailor shop. I look forward to visiting them in the next year or two and having a few of those bolts draped over me! Cheers!

Leif

I agree with many here that this suit looks great on you. Tie and no tie options both work. The dark tie plays well with the dark beard, the shoes, belt, watch strap.
So, noticing this, might it work, when going sans-tie, to try a dark shirt rather than white, say navy, so that we have this same effect that the dark tie offers?
My sense is that the suit, as lovely as it is, is almost… ethereal… ha! …and needs some dark hue beneath to ground it.

CDBP

Great looking suit and very reasonable price.
I am generally not at all a belt with suits guy but it suits this one.
Also the small detail of three button cuff makes it more relaxed.
I am not sure very tigthly tailored DBs are a great look for you and this one is much more flattering.
also the width of the trousers is good.

Ludwig J

Assisi makes some of the most beautiful DB jackets I’ve ever seen. No exception here!

Tom

This suit looks lovely, Simon. I always think the same thing when I see photos of Dabin wearing Assisi DBs as well.
I don’t currently have any DBs, but would love to add one to my wardrobe eventually. While I love the classic A&S DB silhouette that Douglas Cordeaux wears, it does feel slightly more formal. I was thinking a somewhat 1980s-inspired drapey DB in a summer cloth might be fun at some point. This one, your Ciardi linen DB jacket, and Oliver Dannefalk’s Taillour linen DB all seem to potentially fit that bill. Could be a fun experiment at some point, though I am trying to stick to just one or two tailors these days.

Nicolas Strömbäck

Its interesting that this is labeled as roomy. I think this looks like what would (should) be a standard cut. No more, no less. Comfortable, yet drapes well.
Do you find this colour goes well with most colour of shoe? I have struggled a bit myself with ligh-grey trousers, as the contrast with black is too much for the summer (daytime at least) and shades of brown always tend to compete somehow with the grey. Maybe I am overthinking it!

Nicolas

Thanks Simon!

Ravi Singh

Interesting you say there is drape because from the images there seems to be none at all. Looks like a very clean chest to me.

Tim

Great looking suit, Simon. There’s something about the fit of the trousers that stands out (in a good way) from so much of what you see these days.

Alain

Good article once again and so nice suit. But wearing a suit in summer is going to become terrible (maybe not in England LOL) with global warming. I avoid doing this. So what beautiful outfit to wear? Cold wool teba jacket, smedley polo shirt, silk and linen pants? Ideas Simon?
All the Best.

Uma

Beautiful suit & great write-up.
Question: how does this compare to Luca Museo?

Konstantinos

Very nice suit and excellent fit!
Any suggestions of socks colour to match that suit. I have couple of odd trousers on a very similar colour and I am curious to hear what you would recommend.

Josh

Hi, Simon, the Assisi style is really strong and suits you well, as all have noted. I had also been considering this very cloth, partly inspired by your Cornacchia suit, and it does look superb in the sun. I ended up settling on the more textured light grey of Harrisons’ Spring Ram, primarily for a little extra flexibility in casual-leaning outfits.
I appreciate the less conventional button pairings in a DB commission such as this – your vintage cotton Caraceni being a fine example – and am curious about the inspiration here. Is it partly a means to differentiate what might have been a more conventional grey suit in an expansive wardrobe?

Josh

Ah thank you!

I see, it’s not scheme I’ve seen very often, but the pairing here is fantastic – subtle yet unique.

Chris

Hello simon did you saw sartoria jun’s garments? Can you share your thought about jun’s jacket?

James

Hi Simon – I think this is fantastic; it channels a slightly classic 30s vibe but looks far from antiquated. I recently had a flannel DB made and they can be incredibly flattering; you realise why men wore this style in the first place but it has really struggled in the cheaper MTM world where the fit of DBs is poorer than their SB counterparts. Hopefully the move away from the tight Italian styles of recent years will give it a bit of renaissance too – men can start to appreciate (again) the indulgence of being wrapped in good cloth.

One quick question if I may. The only thing I would change is the colour as I am in the phase of my life without summer weddings (between first and second marriages!) and I would use it more for business. What colour would you opt for to try and make this a bit more versatile – perhaps a dark brown? (I know you have a Sexton linen in that colour).

Kenneth

Good mornin..greetings from new york…i love the suit…peace

A Woman Who Loves to Read About Men's Style

You make double-breasted suits look natural and comfortable. My favorite look is the one with dark tie and black shoes. The value contrast and proportions of dark to light are in harmony with your own. You look fabulous in the first photo, too. [mutters darkly about Bay Area men shuffling around in flip flops …]

Ernee

Not bad. Very A&S, except for some of the smallest details.
One thing to watch– the jacket cuff should be parallel to the shirt cuff when you bend your arm. So consider asking for it to be longer on the button end.

David

Hi Simon,
Nice suit and interesting to see the different combinations.
I remember in the past you mentioned you wouldn’t go tieless with a flannel DB suit. Please, I’d like to know why in this case you opt for open-necked. For me this cloth is not more casual than flannel.
I wait for your comments.
Thank you

Sam

Simon, the suit looks fantastic, although in my opinion you look washed out without a tie – sorry but completely my personal opinion… In the same fabric between yours and a dark brown what would considered smarter?