Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AmericanGent, Mar 6, 2013.
This is a subtle difference, but it is one that makes me happy.
- This has been great!
No boost needed. Just wanted to share. It was fun for me to document it and I have enjoyed reading other threads of this style so I thought I might contribute to the dialog..
People get angry when someone states that they've not made the best choice, as if there're such a thing. It is as funny as it is pathetic.
i have tried several shirtmakers
ranging in prices from €35 machine made
to €75 with hand attached collar and sleeves
with handmade buttonholes
and i have tried the semi industrials
like salvatore piccolo and lombardi
but non cut with the artistry
and taste of anna
I value your opinion based on the breadth of your experience. Is AM your go- to shirtmaker? Is there another maker in Naples or elsewhere that you can recommend at a lower price?
You are not following my decisions accurately.
I chose Anna back when I lived in Chicago. Anna's shirts don't look like other Neapolitan shirts, and other Neapolitan shirtmakers are not as easy to work with from abroad. Hence, after leaving Anna, I did not see any point in trying another Neapolitan shirtmaker. You are very falsely assuming that the aesthetic value of anything coming out of Naples must have to do with what it shares in common with other things from Naples. Marco makes the same mistake of reasoning. This is not a matter of expertise or experience, but simple logic.
Furthermore, my decision to go with Geneva is a compromise. I have stated over and over again: they do not make my ideal shirt. So, I'm not sure why you keep insisting I must be unsure of my tastes or that my tastes have radically changed. We all have practical considerations to account for.
I am not disenchanted with Naples. I have just learned to see past the "Neapolitan" label. It has no value to me. I only care if something is good or not. You might as well insist that someone try a multitude of random London tailors before having enough "expertise" to say Anderson & Sheppard cuts a nice jacket. Needless to say, that is ridiculous.
I never even remotely suggested that "anything coming out Naples" shares common aesthetic attributes with everything else that comes out of Naples, notwithstanding your ipse dixit reliance on "simple logic". If you were paying attention, you would know that I was questioning your assumption that no Neopolitan makers can satisfy your needs at a cheaper price, particularly given that you have only used one Neopolitan shirtmaker. Again, I seriously doubt that AM's methods of shirtmaking are completely sui generis and it is not unreasonable to assume that there are others who fairly approximate her product . While your conclusion that she is the best may or may not be correct, your observations of what people wear on the streets of Naples doesn't amount to much and, otherwise, we can reach our own conclusions based on pictures. OTOH, I do value the opinions of those who have a superior basis of comparison like T4Phage or Marco.
Did I say "the best?" I said she cuts her shirts differently from what I've seen come out of Naples. Jeezus. That's the last I'm going to respond to you, since you clearly like to read me however you like, and since I evidently don't have the expertise you believe necessary to use my eyes.
I don't use another Neapolitan shirtmaker because I don't generally like Neapolitan shirts (I explained why) and can't be troubled to go rummage for one that suits me, particularly when I know it will be a pain to deal with them overseas. Hence, Geneva. It's not my ideal shirt--but it is good enough, the most important part to me (the collar) is just as good as Matuozzo's, and prices are much, much cheaper. What is so hard to understand about that?[/quote]"
Based on this, and what you have said about choosing your tailor - I wonder why you don't use Rubinacci as your shirtmaker?
Honestly, the main reason is price. I was willing to pay a lot for Anna because I thought that the product provided a unique value, with the combination of the cut, feel, and handwork. Rubinacci shirts are only somewhat less expensive and have minimal handwork.
I may have made a break-through!
An Italian co-worker/friend of mine took me to a small shop in his neighborhood today. While we were there an little old guy in his 70s showed up to pick up some garments. He was one of the tailors that this shop uses. The shop owner said that his tailors work full time for Attolini, Rubinacci, Kiton and the other big houses but in the evenings they do suits for him.
The shop owner is not a tailor- rather he is a "modella" and he has tailors, shirt makers, pants guys who do the work in their homes. He doesn't employ anyone in-house because of the taxes and costs of having employees. He said he can only do about 2 suits a month. He showed me a semi-finished suit made by a tailor who works for Rubi and said that this suit would sell for 4000 euro. He sells the same suit for 1000 euro. He pulled apart every single seam and showed me the hand stitching. He also showed me a pair of pants (from a different outfit) and the way they were hand stitched. The suiting fabric he showed me was from Guabella.
He also does shirts and showed me the two different types. One was done all by machine- he showed me each seam and how it was sewn. Then he showed me a semi hand-sewn shirt. The sleeves, buttons (MOP), button holes and yoke were all hand sewn. The long seams were machine sewn. The shirting he showed me was from Canclini. I told him that I was looking to have about 10 shirts made- but he told me I could only have one. He told me that after I wear it and wash it a few times I could bring it back and that he would make it perfect and adjust my patterns. Then I can order more. The semi- hand made shirt would cost 100 euro.
He had no reason to know that I had ever heard of Attolini or Rubinacci, Kiton or Brioni. I was wearing gym pants, a t-shirt and running shoes with a wind breaker.
I am trying to relay as many details as I can so that anyone who decides to read this will help me sharp-shoot and give me any thoughts or concerns to keep in mind.
I am operating under the "if it's too good to be true" mind set. I have never seen a Rubinacci, Kiton, etc suit so I am coming into this with some disadvantage.
Any thoughts? Thanks!
Just keep in mind that fit and cut are worth infinitely more than hand-stitching in any garment. If the tailor or shirtmaker himself isn't fitting you in person, that makes things immediately problematic. Also, someone who works at one of those larger businesses may not be experienced at fitting, cutting patterns, or working on the whole garment. For example, there are tailors at Rubinacci who specialize in attaching sleeves. That's not necessarily someone you'd want making you a whole suit.
Does your friend buy his suits/shirts from this guy? That will give you a sense for how they look. Foo's point is largely correct-when you use a guy who uses the same outworkers as others, what that means is that you are more or less getting the same quality of construction (more or less because that will vary with the worker and what he is being paid to do and how demanding is the "boss"). What you are not getting is the same cutting and fitting as the others. What you are instead getting is the cutting (I think), styling and fitting skill, and customer service, of the guy you are dealing with. You will have to judge whether or not that is to your taste and whether it works for you. You certainly need to be a bit more careful than with dealing with a name brand, but that doesn't mean you can't get a very good product. I am sure it helps that you are living there, speak Italian (yes?) and were introduced by a native who is also a customer.
BTW, what you described is a pretty ordinary business model for Italy, but also not that uncommon in the UK.
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