Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by banksmiranda, Sep 28, 2003.
Most (maybe all) bespoke English suits have a dart underneath the lapels. This dart is about 3" long and disappears into the under collar. Its aim is to throw more fullness into the chest and get the collar closer to the neck. Maybe that's a "cugno al petto". I have never seen this feature on ready-to-wear suits, although it is quite common on bespoke suits. It is probably one of those tings that certain workshops do and others do not. Another difference is that many workshops do not use a front and a sidepiece, but cut front and sidepiece in one and have it shaped by two darts. Again different workshops differ just like the question whether the sleeve buttonholes have a self-facing or the underside is faced by a felt type fabric (particular important in heavier fabrics to reduce bulk). The difference between a workshop and a factory suit is that, at a tailor's, one suit is cut from one length of fabric. In a factory, to reduce waste, you can have a piece size 46 lying next to another piece size 38 if that gives the least waste. Standard length for an average bespoke suit is, I believe 3 metres. If a factory gets 11 suits out of a 30 metres length that is an absolute gain. Computers can work out how to squeeze a given order (let's say 24 suits in different, specified, sizes), onto the absolute minimum of fabric.
I just returned from a trip to Ireland; while there, I was watching CNN International, and they had a piece on "battle of the bespoke tailors -- Italy vs. Savile Row." Richard Quest (the CNNI anchor) had bespoke suits made by Gieves and Hawkes and by Campagna. I thought the Campagna looked better, although the segment really did not show much of the finished product and ultimately was pretty vacuous.
Campagna has recently bought the rights to Caraceni, which I understand was historically one of the great Italian bespoke makers and where he started his career. How he had bought that villa in Italy which serves as his headquarters is beyond me.
I have a couple of bespoke Gieves suits, and they have this feature. Also, a couple of the SaintAndrews jackets (though, interestingly, not all) I own also have this feature. (A Lauren Purple Label by SaintAndrews does not have this.)
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