Dear fellow SFers, While I’m enjoying a super breakfast with perfect view from the Waldorf Cavalieri, I thought it might be worth spending some time presenting my tailor. I very much appreciated reading the thread on NSM and Liverano and thought I might as well give it a shot. I’m not a born writer so you will excuse the lack of style. My official tailoring house, which means the one I’m using for most of my orders, is Sartoria Ripense owned by the very Roman Andrea Luparelli. I first stepped in his shop approximately three years ago, a few hours before my departure from the city after noting I had forgotten visiting it while it was mentioned in the Louis Vuitton Rome City Guide. The first impression I got was just like a kid entering a toy store before Christmas : WOW. They had it all : suit and shirt fabric swatches, suits being made and waiting for a lucky client to try them on, jackets, windstoppers, raincoats, leather jackets, wood and horn umbrellas, crocodile shoes, cashmere loafers, striped socks, ties, do I have to continue ? Well, I guess you get the picture. For some of you, this might sound like « déjà vu » which could be explained by the fact that I had a small article on Parisian Gentleman at that time explaining my first visits there (http://parisiangentleman.co.uk/2010/08/10/pg-reader-feature-ripense-tailoring-house-in-roma/). Well now that I have a bit more of bespoke experience (Cifonelli, Camps de Luca, Gieves and Hawkes, Anderson & Sheppard), I thought it was about time to give my impressions and to tell you a bit more about the place. Just to be straight from the beginning, this is a report and not a marketing article, I did not ask or get freebies for this. The tailoring shop is situated in Rome, a few steps from the Piazza del Popolo which makes it very convenient to visit but also easily missed since it’s on the Via di Ripetta which isn’t exactly the shopping street. The man : Andrea Luparelli. You might have seen him on various occasions (e.g. Tumblr, Pitti) but he does not advertise much to say the least. His grandfather was a tailor as well, hence his great passion for the sartorial world. The Shop: 38 via di Ripetta My orders: I have made about ten suits there, three jackets, one camel hair coat, shirts, ties (bespoke) and shoes at the time when Andrea was working with Gian Luca Bocache who’s now on his own. Now looking back, the first suits I had made were very nice but not always flattering. See, I happen to be quite slim so in order not to look like a Slimane model (god forbid + I’m too small anyway), we had to get creative. I love the camicia shoulder but the truth is it’s just not the right style for me. I still love the suits I have with that feature as they’re very well made. Some pictures to illustrate for these are worth a thousand words. I’m especially excited about my last order : a raw silk single breasted peak lapel navy blazer. Andrea had one double breasted three years ago like this and I thought at the time : « what an odd fabric ». And for three years, I dreamed about that suit for so many nights. When I asked a year and a half ago because I couldn’t bear it anymore, the judgement came : « sorry Paul, I don’t have that fabric anymore, it’s quite rare for me to have it ». Needless to say, I was crying inside. But last month when I came back to Rome with my girlfriend, I saw a roll of silk on the table at the shop and asked Andrea : « is this… ? » Yes, raw silk I ordered immediately my jacket and one month later I’m back for the fitting as well as a wedding. Value for money : Well, at some point, it also comes down to that touchy subject, right ? Let’s be honest, I love Camps de Luca in Paris but at 6500 euros a suit, it’s not like I can order 10. Most of my suits cost me 2500-2800 euros and Andrea travelled quite often to meet me in Paris reducing greatly the travel cost needs for me (though I don’t mind travelling to Rome). The handwork quality is breathtaking as every single stitch is handmade (far from Savile Row finishing work that lacks details and quality to say the least…). The milanese/asola lucida/lapel button hole is perfect but once again, the pictures are better than any explanation. It’s really worth trying this tailor as he won’t let you down and represents, according to me, the best value for money I’ve seen on the bespoke market. Of course this is arguable and I don’t want to enter in a war against the NSM clients for instance but that’s my opinion. Last noteworthy comment, Andrea does travel to several cities in Europe, so ask him where you could meet him.