Massura: Building on constructive criticism

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Three years ago, I covered the German outfit Massura, who were offering a well-priced bespoke and MTM service made in Naples. However the jacket they made me had some substantial issues, which I covered in a review in the normal, honest way we do on PS. 

I didn't hear from them for a while, and I assumed they'd moved on. But the founder Moritz got in touch again last year, and it turned out he had taken the review to heart and substantially changed the business. 

A previous collaborator, Vlad, had come on board as co-owner and they had moved to a new  manufacturer, slowly introducing the product and taking a lot of feedback. They also reworked their patterns, including changing how the jacket worked on someone like me with sloping shoulders. 

The failure in this area (below) was the biggest issue covered in the first review, and I had always found it odd that the fit was so much better on Moritz himself than it was on me. 

Other changes they've gone through include opening a physical store in Munich, and largely abandoning virtual fittings as too unreliable (one of my three appointments was done over Zoom). 

This process was completed last year, and they asked if they could make another jacket in order to show how much the product had improved. I was impressed with their attitude - few people take critical coverage on Permanent Style that constructively. Or if they do, they don’t tell me about it. 

The new jacket they made was indeed better, and you can see the results in these images. It used a different fabric - Fox Tweed TD12 - but the style and level of make was otherwise the same. 

As with the previous manufacturer, the top-end MTM service uses a lot of handwork, including hand-making the chest, attaching the collar and sleeves by hand, and hand sewing buttonholes. There isn’t the same level of iron work and shaping as bespoke, but the bigger difference with bespoke is the fitting rather than the making. 

The MTM uses blocks rather than starting a pattern from scratch, and there is normally one intermediate fitting, with an unfinished jacket. This is in some ways a step up for MTM though, as you normally get a finished jacket where only relatively small changes (eg side seam, sleeve length) are possible. 

With mine, we actually had two intermediate fittings, just because Moritz were unsure about the lapel style, which I had changed a little by lowering the gorge. 

That gorge (the height of the ‘notch’ in the lapel) is the one thing I would raise as a possible issue for PS readers, as Massura’s default style is slightly Italian-style jackets with design points like that higher gorge. You can see this fairly clearly from the tailoring on their website and I've included a couple of sample images below.

Of course, with bespoke you can change many of these things, and you can quite a few with MTM too. But I’ve always said it’s best going with a tailor that you like the style of, if you can. There will always be things you don’t think to specify. 

I’ve only worn the jacket a couple of times (it’s a little heavy for the season) but so far it’s performed well. 

Moritz does like higher vents on the back of the jacket, partly because he finds it improves the fit, but I’m not sure I like them that much. I might get them tacked a little lower down. Otherwise there isn’t much I’d change. 

The cloth, interestingly, I’ve found a little tricky, as the brighter blue flecks don’t make it quite as versatile as plain blue. I do love the Fox Tweed quality though, which never wears as warm as the weight (17oz) would suggest. 

One of the reasons I’d continue to highlight Massura is that there is so little good tailoring available in Germany. There’s Maximilian Mogg in Berlin, but that won’t be to everyone’s taste. There’s the ex-Anderson & Sheppard cutter James Whitfield in Berlin too, but generally it’s stores offering Italian brands - and not that many of those. 

Massura’s prices have gone up a bit since last time, but remain good value. There are three levels:

  • MTM Standard. Mostly machine made, €1800 for a suit, €1300 for a jacket
  • MTM Handmade. What I had, €2350-2700 for a suit, €1750-2000 for a jacket
  • Bespoke. As you’d expect, €3000-3400 for a suit, €2200-€2400 for a jacket

All prices include 19% Germany VAT.

Trunk shows are in London and Frankfurt. The former every three months, the latter every 6-8 weeks. 

Other clothes shown:

  • PS Oxford shirt in pink/white stripe
  • Charcoal flannel trousers, made by Whitcomb & Shaftesbury in Fox cloth
  • Black-calf Piccadilly loafers from Edward Green
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch in yellow gold on a black-alligator strap

Green jacket clothes details on the original Massura article

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Lindsay McKee

Very interesting article indeed. It’s surely a good thing that they’ve listened to customers, upped their game and are moving onwards in a positive way.
It was advantageous to me when you remarked about the Fox tweed quality was good in that it doesn’t wear as warm as the weight.
I love fox cloth anyway, particularly the tweed and Somerset bunches among others.
Would those “char flecks” in that navy not add a positive dimension of muted colour texture to the otherwise navy fabric.
I think it was the char brown / grey in that same bunch that I alluded too in a recent comment in which some had a rosewood pinky edge which would albeit certainly be off putting for me.

Lindsay McKee

Thanks indeed

Fernando

That’s actually impressively cheap in Germany. I live in Germany now and I’ve heard some crazy prices for random tailors here.

Josua

Hi Simon,
regarding your comment that there is only little good tailoring available in Germany. What do you think of Max Dietl or Sicking in Munich? They may not be well known but what you read sounds like they offer really good bespoke quality.

Josua

You could check Max Dietl (www.max-dietl.de). It is one of the leading German bespoke houses and also has international clients (e.g. Michael Douglas had a suit made here). They employ about 25 people working in their workshop. The two leading tailors have a Milanese background. Generally the house is rather traditional. The other one (https://sicking-muenchen.de/) is rather small.

Stephan

You could also take a look at this site: https://die-herrenschneider.com/mitglieder/ It does not seem to be very active, but perhaps worth contacting some of them, or the organization. I don’t know any of them yet, unfortunately.

P.F.

That would be great! And while you’re on it, maybe other authors writing about the state of tailoring in their own, non UK/US countries?

Johnny Foreigner

Perhaps you could write it yourself. After all, you were a journalist once.

Victor

I think it’s pretty clear that gorge height needs to be adjusted to the slope of a persons shoulder. Sloping shoulders need them lowered imo

Liam

Hi Simon, I’ve been looking at the overshirt from the Merchant Fox in this same cloth. Do you think this cloth would pair well with Khaki chinos / light wash jeans in a casual style such as an overshirt? Thanks!

Natasha

It’s truly admirable to see Massura take constructive feedback to heart and make significant improvements to their offerings. Their commitment to refining their products and processes, as well as their willingness to openly address past issues, speaks volumes about their dedication to quality and customer satisfaction. It’s refreshing to see a brand prioritize continuous improvement, and I’m excited to see the positive impact these changes will have on their customers’ experiences.

Peter

Or perhaps a realisation that if they carry on making mediocre garments their business will not endure?

Carl

Good with people who can handle the feedback in a good way.
Another question. Any date yet for the restocked tapered t-shirts?

Stephen

Hi Simon,
Good to see the positive impact of your unbiased , constructive reviews and in this case a great outcome. I have to say the jacket looks very good on you, the shape on the side view is particularly nice.
On a technical point, the jacket shape suits your shoulders. Is it correct to assume this would be adjusted for a more square shoulder?
Great work.

Rainman

Price is very reasonable and the fit looks excellent for MTM. Fit looks pretty similar to bespoke and the style looks great on you.

Robert

The bespoke service requires sending the garment multiple times to another country rather than using an in house tailor? This seems so complicated unless I misunderstand the model. Jean Moreau is similar but only provides MTM, correct?

Jonas

Interesting! I do like the style, it looks quite neapolitan to me. Sadly, I think Germany is heavily dominated by cheap(ish) MTM chains which produce in Poland or China.
A good alternative in my opinion is also the MTM program of De Petrillo. They are in a similar price range, maybe even a bit more afordable. They are a true neapolitan family owned company offering classic neapolitan tailoring. I’ve commissioned a few pieces over the years through their trunk shows at SOBS in Cologne, I think they also have a few other shops they visit in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. I’ve been very happy with the quality as well as the style (but that, again, is very subjective).

George Rau

I like the higher vents on you. I think waist looks better than a lower vent This jacket is slightly longer than most Neapolitan jackets ? I like this jacket, but would like it more with a lower notch and maybe more of a straight lapel.

John

Hi Simon,
Honestly, I think this jacket is one of your best SB. I wouldn’t be surprised at all, if you and even readers who have a good overview of your wardrobe also reached the same conclusion.
It really looks good on you!
John
       

Robin

As a general point about MTM can I add the following (sorry to be little strong in advance )…
“MTM uses blocks rather than starting a pattern from scratch”… but doesn’t RTW use a ‘block’ ?

Just to be devils advocate and take on a point of view recently expressed by Derek Guy (@dieworkwear) isn’t the average guy just better spending the money on really good RTW (mind you that’s difficult to find!).
On a recent visit to London I popped into Natalino and was staggered at how good the cut of the suits were and most importantly … the price point.

Custom, Made to Order , Made to Measure etc …. so much of it masquerades as more then it is.
Having been informed by PS, over the years , alot of it seems to be some large factory in Portugal throwing out jackets to a non-tailor defined ‘block’ .

That’s no better then RTW that’s altered by a alteration tailor but at 2 to 3 times the price..

Even Anda Rowland, in your interview, made mention of the “high margin” on outsourced MTM .

(rant over)

And finally Good luck to Massura .

Alexander

I can confirm that I notice a jump in quality from Natalino to my Anglo Italian RTW jackets. I would put AI in the top category of RTW tailoring. Would you agree?

Alexander

Touché, there is no hand padding in the lapel, I think.

Alexander

To be fair, I cannot think of any company that would do every part of a RTW-jacket to a full bespoke level. (I hope Kiton or Orazio Luciano do for example at their price point.) Can you?

Robin

That may be true but then a a major factor is price with Anglo Italian being 2x the price as Natalino.

All that aside Massura seem a very good price point at the entry price level .

Robin

Thank you for the response.
It’s so refreshing , in today’s world, to put across ‘strong’ points and receive a well reasoned response .
Much respect .

Simon S

I’m leaning more and more to RTW after a few adventures in MTM in the past.

The best fitting garment i have is a MTM suit by Saman Amel, but after trying some old Caruso RTW a few year back I found the fit to be 95% as good as the Saman suit. After that I haven’t really bothered with MTM as other programmes than Saman Amel got me a worse result than RTW. And with high end RTW like Caruso you usually get great cloth and full canvas constuction as well, not a given in the MTM-world.

Anecdotal perhaps but as someone with a pretty standard body it is not really worth it to dive in to bespoke and MTM unless you go for the really high end operations that get covered on PS. Picking a different size trouser than jacket and minor alterations can go a really long way in my opinion.

Óscar

That’s a really nice looking jacket (and beautiful cloth)!

Simon, would you say it is the same level as the the high MTM from Jean-Manuel Moreau or SamanAmel? I’ve read in the article the jacket has hand-make chest but also the hand-padded lapel? which I think is one of the nice features in Moreau and SamanAmel.

Merci!

Thomas K

Very interesting article. And great looking jacket. From price point massura is indeed very attractive. You mentioned in the comments that you would prefer Saman Amel and Jean-Manuel Moreau MTM from stylistic point of view. What are those differences exactly ?

Alexander Borsig

Re. tailors in Germany: I would like to give a shout out to Sven Krolczik based in Kassel. I haven’t had anything made by him but have seen his work on others and I was impressed. He has a nice IG account at svenkrolczik_bespoke . Not sure if he does MTM.

Manuel

Hallo Simon,
looking at your recent commissions I am wondering if you have abandoned patterns completely. The most you seem to go for a herringbone these days. But there are no checks, no windowpanes, and so on. Why is that? Isn’t it a little bit boring?
Have a great week,
Manuel

Chris Jones

Hi Simon

Have you ever done (or considered doing) an article where you (perhaps) rank your suits/jackets by your favourites (in terms of appearance, fit, style, versatility, etc.) in comparison with what your readers feedback ? While there are obvious pitfalls (very few people will have actually seen you in these clothes other than in photos). I think you look much better (muuuucccchhh better) in jackets by Edward Sexyon and others where they square up your shoulders. I can’t say that the jackets which follow your natural shoulder line are very flattering on you. This isn’t meant (in any way) as an insult but I just wondered whether your readers had a different view on what looks god on you. By way of a start, the best suit I’ve ever seen you in was the Assisi one you reviewed recently. The worst one I have ever seen you in was that Huntsman check jacket (the one with plus fours).

Perhaps, the only person you need to please is yourself but I find it helps to justify the price (investment ?) if, from time to time people compliment you on what you have paid for !!!

Best wishes !