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Dupioni Silk Suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by chorse123, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    Do any of you out there have a dupioni suit? If so, what have your experiences been with the suit?

    There's very little in the archives on them, though Kai mentions one from Chan. How has this suit held up? Do you have any pictures?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I've seen and worn -- but not owned -- a Dupioni silk suit from Oxxford (in black no less). I actually wasn't a huge fan. It is a strange looking fabric, and takes a certain kind of individual to pull it off. To be honest, I think 99% of people would think you were wearing a fabric with a bunch of runs in it.
     
  3. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    Not a full suit, but I do own a pair of vintage navy dupioni silk trousers (from the venerable but defunct Houston retailer Battlestein's). In the darker fabric, it tends to diminish the visual effect of the slubs.

    At my appointment with Chan's Patrick Chu last week, I looked longingly at the dupioni fabric samples. Reason prevailed. In the end, a dupioni suit really isn't very practical. It's a tough look to pull off in a business setting.
     
  4. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Isn't Dupioni silk shot silk?
     
  5. armscye

    armscye Senior member

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    Are we sure we're talking about the same thing here?

    I have a pearl-gray sportcoat labelled dupioni silk, and it is a somewhat coarse but regular weave with minimal stiffness, and a slight sheen. This is consistent with Flusser's references in DTM to the term Dupioni as being Italian for "doubled", and further being a densely woven slightly shiny silk fabric with the weave quite visible.

    My jacket does NOT have the "full of runs" look of shantung silk, with its numerous irregular "slubs" of silk running parallel. I have several ties of this type. It sounds to me like perhaps these two fabric types are being confused.

    As the name suggests, Shantung silk suits are very commonplace among the HongKong custom tailors-- I've known several people who came home from a trip with a $200 quickie shantung silk suit in blue or tan. I've never seen a dupioni suit from the Far East.
     
  6. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have an elephant grey Dupioni suit that I've outgrown at the waistline. It gave me several years of good hot weather service.

    Once in an elevator at O'Hare a man looked at it with open mouth and asked "Is that silk?." but otherwise I wore it without comment.

    Will
     
  7. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    I bought a suit with an extra trouser at Brooks MTM (Greenfield).

    The cloth was from Loro Piana. A dark blue, not quite a navy blue.

    I like it very much. It keeps its shape and does not wrinkle. I was tempted to buy a linen, but I was afraid of the wrinkle factor. The salesman recommended silk.

    It is very comfortable in the heat. It's a beautiful suit, and David Simone did an excellent fitting/finishing.

    It's a dressy suit. It is not shiney. It can be worn in sophisticated company and in a sophisticated business environment.

    I am going to get another one for the next summer.
     
  8. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Hmmm, Fairchild's dictionary of textiles defines doupioni as "irregular, rough silk reeled from double cocoons spun side-by-side that that have interlocked, making it necessary to rell them together" and cites shantung as an example.

    I always considererd dupioni silk as having the same slubs as shantung, but not as shiny. I 've seen the silk fabric armscye refers too, and think it is great fabric, but never thought of it as dupioni.

    I have a Brioni blazer cut from dupioni silk. Great fabric, great coat. I would not hesitate to wear a dupioni suit as long as the color was conservative.
     
  9. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    My dupioni suit has some "slubs" and just a hint of sheen. It is just off-white in color, so is really just for summer. It has held up well. It gets a fair amount of attention, and I can't wear it without someone commenting on it (almost always positive.) I think in a color other than white, however, it would attract much less attention. It has held up well, and I am actually considering buying another dupioni suit in brown. Departures has an article on dupioni suits, including some nice pictures. I noticed that someone on the forum is using one of the pictures as his avatar (can't remember who it is.) http://www.departures.com/fa/fa_0799_silk.html Kai
     
  10. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    Other than the fact it may not be appropriate for work, why is Dupioni silk not practical?
     
  11. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    I think it is practical. In a darker color, I'd wear it to work.
     
  12. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    How durable is the fabric? Is it difficult to clean and/or press? This could account for some of its impracticality, if these are serious issues.
     
  13. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's never going to wear as well as a 12 oz. worsted but seemed to hold up as well as any 8oz. luxury fabric. I wouldn't recommend it for wear every week. More of a tenth suit for the season.

    To the best of my knowledge, there is one mill in Italy that makes it, in four colors.

    Will
     
  14. tteplitzmd

    tteplitzmd Active Member

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    I had a suit made and two slacks. It is very hard to handle, although the slacks are interesting I think it would be a problem in almost any hands.
     
  15. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I didn't know that that was what it was called, but I got 4 suits in this fabric, half lined, 3 botton single breasted, several years ago in Bankok. I wore them for several years in warm weather, with no problems and no comments - they were charcoal, midnight blue, gunmetal blue and a dark brown (although I didn't like or wear the brown that much). they were a little unusual, I wouldn't have worn them in london in the winter, but aside from that I didn't see any problem with them, and they were very comfortable. Then I outgrew them.
     
  16. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think you are right that there is only one mill that makes it anymore, but I have seen more than four colors.  I have seen navy blue, slate blue, harbor blue, elephant gray, tan, and forest green.  There may be others, for all I know.
     
  17. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My father gave me a Burgandy Dupioni Double brested silk suit.
    It was made for him by Smalto in Paris about 20 years ago.

    It is not something you can wear once a week.

    It is also very warm. But not something that can be worn in the winter.

    I love it, but it is not practical.

    CArl
     
  18. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Is "como" the same as "dupioni"? A navy or air force blue slubby silk would look pretty cool.

    [​IMG]

    I think you are right that there is only one mill that makes it anymore, but I have seen more than four colors. Â I have seen navy blue, slate blue, harbor blue, elephant gray, tan, and forest green. Â There may be others, for all I know.

    Which mill is this?
     
  19. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=132218

    You are like the dream child of every progressive education expert who thinks he can instill self-esteem by showing that someone with a similar last name to you invented the unicylce or whatever.
     

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