Anna Matuozzo - A walk-through of my bespoke shirt purchase in Napoli.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AmericanGent, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    And I was not entirely saying that, as our discussion as developed from the fact that the guy spend some money for AM hand product and did not receive it and there were comments of posters saying that no one seems to know her in Naples, you then started pointing out at handwork and the discussion evolved in that sense. The focus has probably shifted wrongly on the amount of handwork per Euro (still a factor)...

    You are the one fantasising too much about bespoke, and in particular about Neapolitan. Someone from a Japanese media seems to have discovered her some time ago, media press has then bounced up in English and the myth was born. There are plenty of similarly if not better skilled shirt makers in Naples that do not charge nowhere as much, hand details or not.

    Going back to one of the OP points, Neapolitans most times do not get tourist prices, not because they do not want to get connected but because the locals have many more choice to get shirts or suits done and therefore have dealing power if they seller want to maintain sustainable business. So pointing out that there are other firms that can do at least an equally good job at better prices, coming from local knowledge, is not deal hunting and getting less of product, this is a fact. The stylistic advice that Mariano offers clients (e.g. button 0.5 cm up or down) would not change the way the coat is cut or put together, and although you think differently, the coats Rubinacci has offered though the years, at least the 80's and 90's has changed slightly as per cutters that have worked there over time. In fact clients have often left particular tailoring house/brands to follow their cutter once set up on their own.

    To me it looks almost like you are trying to justify/convince everyone that because you paid more at those places, it must be better, and I, and many Neapolitan born and bred bespoke clients, would beg to differ.
     


  2. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    I like this handwork per Euro idea. Do any of these tailors charge by the nub? If so, is this a service they offer only on their shirts, or can I get nubs put on my Jantzens?

    Note, I'm prepared to find out that I can only afford one nub.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013


  3. dfoverdx

    dfoverdx Senior member

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    I second marcodalondra in this discussion. As i said, even the button holes that Anna made were not hand sewn (price 375 Euros, discount due to the fact that i ordered 5 shirts), if someone doesn't believe i can post a picture ... It's not about what you get at what price, or how much hand work at what price, for me it's simply not a honest way of working that's why i am not going to return to her for a shirt.
     


  4. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    I disbelieve that you'll get a shirt without hand-sewn buttonholes if you paid 375 euros apiece.

    Please show pictures of it, including a shot of the label.

    Edit: Pardon my incredulity -- If that is so, I do hope that you got it ironed out. I went to Naples, and never had that problem. Collars, and long seams, yes, but buttonholes? Shocking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013


  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    There are two discussions going on here: (1) whether Matuozzo delivers on the handwork promised, and (2) what makes one tailor or shirtmaker worth paying more than another.

    On the first point, I actually have no reason to doubt you. As I said, I have ceased using Matuozzo because the quality of the shirts delivered to me changed after my first order and the issues were never resolved. So, I would not be surprised if you wound up with machine-sewn buttonholes.

    However, the second point is where Marco and I disagree. Forget Matuozzo for a second. Tailoring is not a science. Within the realm of "correct," any individual tailor will naturally express a great deal of his own individual taste, preferences, habit, culture, etc. That's what makes the DNA of any handmade piece of clothing. So, it is fallacious to conclude that 400 euros is too much to pay for a shirt simply because you can get another shirt with the same handmade features for 300 euros. It was never merely a question of features, specs, or options.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013


  6. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    Charvet full mesure is significantly in excess of 375 and I don't think that anything on the shirt is done by hand.
     


  7. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Charvet never promised to sew the buttonholes by hand, and with that in mind, I wouldn't be expecting hand-sewn buttonholes.

    In Naples, at least when I was there, hand-sewn buttonholes were almost a default at all reasonably good shirt-makers. It's almost as if you didn't need to discuss anything to come to a tacit agreement that you would have at least 8 hand-worked components. And at that price of 375 euros ... unless dfoverdx bought RTW stuff or paid 375 euros for 5 shirts which I doubt.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013


  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I raised the issue of handwork because we were talking about what Matuozzo promises on her shirts. We moved on to talk about whether that handwork comes at a reasonable price because you suggested that it can be purchased elsewhere for cheaper. Yet, more fundamental than either of those two issues is what makes a bespoke garment worth paying more for. You have consistently argued that it all comes down to a few features that, if ordered from a competent tailor, will result in a product of essentially identical character no matter which tailor is chosen--which means the "best" tailor in your mind will always be the one who can deliver on those features for the lowest price. This is wrong because those features are not the sole attributes that define a garment.


    I don't care who brought Matuozzo to light. This is what I know, because I have eyes of my own: most Neapolitan shirtmaking and tailoring seen around Naples is not to my taste, and arguably, simply not good. So, the fact that Neapolitans prefer this or that en masse is meaningless to me. You keep harping on and on about what real Neapolitans do. Who cares? What is popular in Naples, and thus what is or isn't more "Neapolitan," doesn't define a good shirt or good suit. Matuozzo is capable of cutting an extremely elegant, artful shirt--not just relative to Naples, but compared to everything else I've seen from everywhere else. That's why anybody should consider using her, not because she delivers X percentage of handmade Neapolitan-ness for X dollars.

    Back when I was living in Chicago, I found that nine times out of ten, if I asked someone where to get the best cheesecake in the city, they'd point me to The Cheesecake Factory. Yet, my preconception and experience was always that Eli's was far superior, and it struck me as odd that locals would say a national chain has the best of anything in their city. So, am I wrong about Eli's making the best Chicago cheesecake simply because Chicagoans prefer The Cheesecake Factory?


    To me, it looks like you are trying to feel better about spending less.

    Spending more doesn't always get you a better product. Of course, I understand that. However, you are making the opposite and equally wrong argument, that spending more is never worth it. This is all one needs to know to understand why you are so misguided here: whatever you think of it, the Rubinacci house style is discernible from what one generally sees in Naples. If you like that style, you will be more assured of getting it at Rubinacci than elsewhere (this goes for the "house" style of any tailor). So, it may be worth it to you to pay the premium for it. It is not simply a matter of paying more for less because you didn't know better.

    As for your point about Mariano's influence on the tailoring process: well, let's just say it's safe to assume you've never observed any of that process in person. I only used the buttonhole-moving as a simple example of how much he might influence things on even the smallest level. Of course, he also drives the overall proportions, fit, cut, etc. of each garment he oversees. Luca does the same. It is not merely styling advice. In fact, Mariano give me virtually zero "style" advice and I don't ask him for it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013


  9. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know what this threak is about :confused:
     


  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    1. Does Anna Matuozzo deliver on the handwork promised for the price charged? Various reports suggest the answer is no.

    2. Is 400 euros too much to pay for an Anna Matuozzo shirt when you can get the same promised features elsewhere for 300 euros? Marco says yes, because what you are getting from any shirtmaker is simply a set of features plus competent fit. I say not necessarily--because I don't think shirtmaking (or tailoring) is simply about "correct" or not "correct," or getting a certain number of features.

    3. Is it relevant what Neapolitans themselves prefer? Marco says it is definitive, as locals have access to more options. I say no, because popular preference is meaningless in style, and I don't think most Neapolitans are anything to model oneself after (sartorially, that is).
     


  11. etkl

    etkl Senior member

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    AM charges what she does because she can get her price. But, as you stated, price is not necessarily a proxy for quality, particularly in an imperfect market like Naples. Do you doubt Marco's claim that there are Neopolitan shirtmakers at least her equal who charge considerably less? If so , why? If not, aren't you curious at to who they be?
     


  12. dfoverdx

    dfoverdx Senior member

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    Marco seems to love statistics [​IMG] I will post the pics the AM shirts... soon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013


  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I don't doubt Marco's claim that there are other shirtmakers in Naples who charge less for the same features we are talking about (hand-attached collar, hand-finished side seams, etc.) My two points on this matter are this:

    1. On the face of it, the price premium at Matuozzo is not ludicrous. She charges 400 euros. Marco's shirtmaker would charge over 300 euros for the same set of features.

    2. That feature set is not, and should not, be the sole drivers of a bespoke shirt's value. One must also consider fit, cut, style, etc. Marco seems to agree that Matuozzo does not cut shirts in the way currently typical in Naples. Yet, it is not only a matter of making something tighter and looser. So, if you like the way she cuts and fits a shirt, you may reasonably think 100 euros is worth paying for it. Personally, I don't like the fit and cut of shirts typical in Naples, and don't care if my shirts look more or less "Neapolitan" (however one defines it).
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013


  14. etkl

    etkl Senior member

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    1. I think that, all things being equal, most peolple would consider a 30% premium to be a significant factor in their purchasing decisions.

    2. To make my point clearer, do you doubt that there are Neoipolitan shirtmakers who can offer you the same fit and finish as AM for a significantly lower price? If so, why? If not, have you looked having your shirts made by any other maker in Naples?
     


  15. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    The point is that not all things are necessarily equal.


    Again, this is not merely a matter of fit and finish. Those things are a matter of competence, which I don't doubt exists elsewhere. It's the style of her cut that I find unique. There are too many soft factors that drive the cut of a shirt to expect two different, equally competent shirtmakers to turn out two shirts of the same character, even if both are perfectly correct in fit and finish.
     


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