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

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

  1. flirtkakat

    flirtkakat Senior member

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    I love every aspect of this thread and believe that both of your arguments carry themselves just fine. Foo however strikes a more logical point in my opinion. Thank you both! Also special thanks for the cheesecake recommendation, I will make sure to remember Eli's should I stop by in Chicago.
     


  2. etkl

    etkl Senior member

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    I'll try once more. Do you believe AM is the only shirtmaker in the world who can provide you with the fit, finish and soft factors that you are looking for? As I recall, you chose Rubi and AM because you liked the way they looked on Iamatt. Have you tried any other custom shirtmakers other than AM and Geneva?
     


  3. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    My last bit about this Matt has you seam to be nitpicking what I write, cheaper is not always better, that is not what I am saying. There are tailors that can do you a full bespoke suit with fitting and all for 800 euro but would not go there, there are many other that have apprenticed at legendary tailors since they were 8-9 years old, peers of Attolini senior, that have fantastic eyes for fitting and techniques, that can offer great products at much more competitive prices in the 1500-2000 range per suit.

    You have spent much time with the business men in the city (shipping, pharmaceuticals etc) and top politician, lawyers etc to see how people with real money dress. What you have seen most of is RTW and 500-800 tailoring, with I guess some exceptions.
    Foundamentally, shirtmaking is different then tailoring, as the shirt to fit well needs to first and foremost sit well on you shoulders and have armholes cut for the body, then you can have blousy or fitted shirts, but the shoulders/yoke need to show that was cut for you, and I have seen plenty of AM example that were not great never mind being that expensive. If a tourist ask where to eat pizza in Naples the all give you max 5 names. If you ask food bloggers or restaurant critique that may give you just 2 names, one of which is outside the city by 20 minutes drive. My Neapolitans are top bespoke clients not the average guy on the street.

    I do not need to feel better about clothing, I have started using tailors as an 18 years old, went to RTW and back, I have no problem, I offered my knowledge but you think you know better because of your extensive experience, and style ideas formed on this forum (following pre Oxxford MTM and Borrelli falling buttons shirt). You buy in the myth and convince yourself. It is your money but other people may appreciate the inside knowledge if the want to buy into Neapolitan shirtmaking and tailoring
     


  4. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    Imo, Foo makes a great point that shirt-making is largely an art not reducible to quantifiable stats. The question remains whether or not someone might find a shirtmaker whose artistry is just as appealing as AM's for a lower price. How important that question is, I don't know.
     


  5. etkl

    etkl Senior member

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    And that is the point I am getting at.
     


  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know how I can more clearly answer your question.

    Every shirtmaker or tailor, Matuozzo or not, produces a unique product--irrespective of fit and finish. Matuozzo cuts her shirts in a way that I find very pleasing, not just technically correct. It is fitted very thoughtfully, but never snug, never tight. It is airy and relaxed, but also very shaped.

    I am unaware of any other major shirtmakers in Naples that cut a shirt like that. The typical shirts I've seen in Naples are of a completely different character. For one thing, they tend to be much tighter. But they also lack shape. If you dig up Marco's shirt fittings with his Neapolitan shirtmaker, you'll seen an example of a shirt that in no way looks wrong, but to me, lacks the shapeliness and airiness that matter to me.

    Those are qualities rare anywhere, not just in Naples. I know that from seeing others' shirts. If you're suggesting that one needs to wear shirts from a shirtmaker in order to judge whether he likes them, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. Hardly anybody would be able to make a meaningful choice between anything. Rather, you need to see different things and learn to distinguish the differences. That's enough. I don't need to wear Huntsman and Anderson & Sheppard to be able to tell the difference between the two, do I?

    Well, I don't need to try more Neapolitan shirtmakers to know what already know: most Neapolitan shirts are not to my taste.
     


  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Ah. The problem is not that I think I'm an expert. It's that you think one needs to be from Naples to judge Neapolitan tailoring. Again, I could not care less what certain people in Naples prefer--whether they be respected businessmen or drug dealers. I am judging intrinsic qualities that anybody should be able to distinguish with a good eye.

    I used to post tons of pictures and spend a lot of time discussing things on this forum because I wanted to open up discussion. I left no room for myth. You could judge for yourself based on what I was showing you. I said what I thought, and explained why. When I was wrong, others could point it out. This current business questioning my "expertise" when I never called upon such authority is thus entirely ridiculous.

    Anyway, if we are going to generalize about Naples--let's be clear. It is not a first rate, global city by any measure. Tastes are extremely localized. There are upsides and downsides to that. One of the downsides is that what is popular or considered good in the city may not be considered so by the broader world. Has it even once occurred to you that non-Neapolitans might prefer Rubinacci's product over what your "top bespoke client" friends like, for good reason? Maybe in some way, it is a better sort of Neapolitan tailoring precisely because it has appeal outside Naples? Everything you argue hinges on what certain people prefer. That's just not how I think. I like what I like.

    On a final note, I'm baffled by this talk of the pizza preferred by locals versus tourists. There simply aren't enough tourists in Naples to vocalize a distinguishable preference on the matter. All the pizza I've had in Naples has been recommended by locals. And much of it is the same stuff mentioned on food blogs and magazines in America. Yes, that includes Da Michele. Every single one of those pizza restaurants was filled with Italian-speaking patrons who appeared to be locals. I noticed one tourist on one of my visits to Da Michele, and he was a Japanese chef who came to Naples to learn about pizza.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013


  8. etkl

    etkl Senior member

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    I have never worn AM bespoke but I have seen pictures and I must confess that the shapeliness and airiness to which you refer were not visually obvious to me; as opposed to the handwork, which attracts the most discussion. Certainly not distinctive in the way that the Huntsman and A & S jackets are. I have had shirts made by two Neopolitan makers; one made me a shirt that was tight and ill-fitting, the other (NSM) made me three shirts that fit fairly well and were not at all tight. I also have had many shirts made by Geneva that fit much like the ones made by NSM.

    I find it hard to believe that you met your one true love (AM) on your first date and that you will never be able to recapture that feeling. I also find it hard to believe that AM's style is sui generis in Naples, much less the world. Like you, I don't the empirical evidence to back up my intuition but the experience of Marco and others who have extensive knowledge of Naples shirtmakers suggests to me that you could find what you are looking for at a significantly lower price.
     


  9. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    I don't understand. Didn't Foofy say that he is no longer using AM, why are people trying to convince him to use someone other than AM :confused:
     


  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I think they are trying very hard to make a point about me, not my shirts.
     


  11. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I am amazed to hear that shirtmakers charge by the feature. I suppose it makes some sense for stuff people think is pretty, but not of practical use (like a monogram). But otherwise, it implies that the less tricked-out shirt is an inferior product.
     


  12. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Even Charvet does this. You can pay ludicrous surcharges for hand-stitching. They can do the buttonholes, front placket, sleeves, collar, etc. Each has its own price.
     


  13. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    isnt foo born-of and dressed-up by the internet?

    with this thread as a new genesis, 5 years and 1 trip to europe later, there'll be another 20 posts and 500000-word treatise championing lombardi in a bigoted and authoritative tone
     


  14. AmericanGent

    AmericanGent Senior member

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    Napoli is not exactly "user friendly". Anyone who has been here can attest to that. I have lived here for almost 2 years and I want to effing murder someone at least 3x a day. What tailors like Rubi and Anna offer is a chance to buy world famous bespoke clothing without having to spend weeks digging around in the bowels of the city. For that convenience you must pay a price. They and others like them have built an international name for themselves and is much easier (and safer) for other shoppers to follow a blazed trail.

    I am grateful for Marco's advice and local insight into the deeper layers of this onion and I plan to follow up on his suggestions. I am also cultivating some other small operation bespoke opportunities and I'll gladly report back to the forum when I have something to report.

    A word on the actual shirt I posted above; I can confirm that the shirt seemed a bit tight when I first put it on, but it never felt snug or pulled at the buttons when I sat, moved around, etc. The arm holes seem a touch lower than I am used to, but I want to wear the shirt for a day before I consider changing this.
     


  15. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    Frankly, apart from hand-sewn components being romantic, IMO, the only real functional hand-worked feature on shirts are the hand-shanked buttons that make buttoning those gorgeous (but thick) buttons a little easier.


    You found that to be the case too? I was a little surprised by it. It's very different from my English shirts where the shirt shoulders are just barely off my shoulders, but with a higher armhole. Is this a Neapolitan feature or smth?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013


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