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Neapolitan suit silhouette

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kolecho, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    I like the silhouette of these two jackets from Attolini and Borelli respectively. Â What do I need to specify to a bespoke tailor like WW Chan if I visit their store to have a bespoke suit made to those styles? Some of the things I need to specify, according to a SF list, are: - Lapel width - Gorge height - Real or false lapel buttonhole - Button stance (high, normal, low) - Breast pocket height (high, normal, low) - Shoulder padding - Armholes (tight, normal, loose) - Sleeve taper/circumference - Real or false sleeve buttonholes - Number of sleeve buttons - Sleevel buttons normal or "kissing" - Jetted or flapped pockets - Single, double, or no vents - Jacket length (long, normal, short) - Inside pockets (up to you) Appreciate some help to fill in the blanks for me. Â BTW, I like the lapel to roll through to the middle button even though the Attolini jacket top button is fastened. Â Many thanks. Attolini jacket [​IMG] Borelli jacket [​IMG]
     
  2. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Show them the garment on a model. The softness of the Neopolitan shoulder doesn't translate well on a mannequin.
     
  3. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Good luck trying to get them to copy the Neapolitan shoulder. It's whole concept requires a different approach to cutting and construction, and I don't think the guys at WW Chan, people who have had more experience cutting Savile Row-type suits, will be able to do this.

    You can get a very decent Borelli or Attolini lookalike, sure, if you don't mind them not replicating the shoulder pleating. Honestly, I wouldn't mind clean shoulders.

    Edit: Hey, it's my list.

    - Lapel width: Try about .5" wider than halfway across the chest.
    - Gorge height: High, of course.
    - Real or false lapel buttonhole: Get real ones. Why not?
    - Button stance (high, normal, low): High.
    - Breast pocket height (high, normal, low): Very very high. These guys sure like their breast pockets riding up there.
    - Shoulder padding: Depends on your build. I'd go for as small of an amount as I could manage.
    - Armholes (tight, normal, loose): Tight and high, but not too tight that you start seeing wrinkles at your armpit.
    - Sleeve taper/circumference: This depends on your wrists.
    - Real or false sleeve buttonholes: Get them real.
    - Number of sleeve buttons: Eh, you can do 3 or 4.
    - Sleevel buttons normal or "kissing": Kissing.
    - Jetted or flapped pockets: Up to you, but flapped pockets are easily converted to jetted ones if they're double-besomed, and Chan pockets shouldn't be anything but.
    - Single, double, or no vents: Go double. Trust me.
    - Jacket length (long, normal, short): I hear Attolini cuts their jackets long. This depends entirely on your stature. The shorter you are, the shorter your coat should be.
    - Inside pockets (up to you): Up to you.
     
  4. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Hey. Â Kissing is normal. Â [​IMG] One other thing to think about: a lot of what makes a Neapolitan coat distinctive is in how it is sewn. Â Which is to say, even if you can get a non-Neapolitan tailor to cut your pattern perfectly in the Neapolitan style, the sewing business remains as another hurdle -- one that is, in my judgement, even harder to surmount.
     
  5. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Not in Asia [​IMG]
     
  6. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    So, if I asked them for an A&S type of construction and silhouette, would there be less of a chance of getting the suit all wrong?

    Do A&S make 3 button jackets? I like the roll-through lapel, and the fact that the first button that is fastened on a 3 button jacket is relatively high compared to a 2 button jacket.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    kolecho: There are two things you need to consider here: look and feel. Â It is much, much easier for another tailor to replicate the look of another firm's garment than the feel. Â If that's all you're after, you might just get good results from Chan (or someone else, for that matter). Â Getting the feel right is another matter. Example: I have used a tailor in London who trained at A&S, whose father runs the place even today, and whose own shop is about 100 yards away. Â The suit he made for me looks exactly like an A&S suit. Â But it does not feel quite like an A&S suit. Â It is just not as soft. The problems (among others) are that Chan probably does not use the same canvas and wadding, does not hand cut individual little shoulder pads, and does not sew the same way. Â From what I have seen and read, the Neapolitan-style coat is even harder to replicate than the A&S coat. Bottom line: if you simply want a coat with a similar shape, you might be OK going with Chan. Â If you want one that is identical down to the last detail, including softness and construction, you are likely to be disappointed.
     
  8. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Thanks, Manton. Appreciate the advice [​IMG]
     
  9. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Manton, you were describing the typical Savile Row pants on AAAF. You left off where there was a query about the rise of SR pants. Where does SR pants sit, and where exactly is "natural waist" that is so often referred to?

    If pants are cut to sit at natural waist, can it do without belt or suspender?
     
  10. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    I can chime in on that.

    I don't own a pair of genuine SR trousers but I do believe they are meant to sit at belly-button level, with suspenders. Now, you can do this with a belt, but the trousers will start to sag due to the belt's weight. Without either belt or suspenders, it could work, but I recommend you get those little side-tab things on the waistband to help adjust the fit and account for size fluctuations.

    I personally gave up on having belted trousers at my natural waist, and am now gunning for trousers, with adjustable side tabs, sitting at my hips.
     
  11. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The "natural waist" is simply the narrowest part of your torso.  It is usually at or slightly above belly button level, but obviously this varies from person to person.  Tailors find it by wrapping a tape measure around your middle and gently drawing it tighter, sliding it up and down, until it won't contract any more.  The typical Savile Row trouser is meant to sit slightly above the natural waist, and be worn with suspenders.

    Probably not.  But it depends on how you are built.  On the majority of guys, gravity is always pulling the trousers down to the hips.  If you have a particularly narrow waist, with high hips, and/or a lot of muscle to your backside, then they will likely stay up without help.  Otherwise, they won't.

    Also, if the trousers are cut precisely correct in the wast, rise, crutch, seat, and back, they might stay up.  But this is not the way SR does it.  They cut the trousers on the full side because they expect their clients to wear suspenders.  What I described is more common among the Italians, although they generally cut a lower rise (i.e., their trousers don't typically sit at the natural waist).
     
  12. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    And might I add, since shirtmakers base pattern design on the natural, in contrast to the 'place where trousers usually sit' waist, that the natural waist is often larger. 67% of the time with Americans, anyway. Pity the tailor trying to hang trou from the natural waist sans suspenders or belt in this case.
    Thus the requirement for shirt lengths to average 30" when the average torso is only19"-20".
     
  13. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, I should have been more precise. Â The bigger your belly, the more likely it is that your natural waist will not in fact be the narrowest part of your torso, in terms of diameter. Â But it will always, and by definition, be the narrowest part in terms of width. Would you agree with that, Alex?
     
  14. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    What is the crutch?

    Also, If I calculate my natural waist as the point of the narrowest width of my torso, that would make it about 2-3" above the belly button. I've never had trousers cut that high; the highest has been just about reaching the belly button. Do SR tailors generally cut the trousers that high, up to the natural waist?

    Next time, I should ask a tailor cut the trousers that high as then, they just may stay better hitched up, resting on my hips while cinched up with a belt. Now, they just slip down all day and bag at the ankles. Very unattractive.

    It seems to me that the Italians generally cut their trousers with a very low rise and with narrower leg than SR; this makes them uncomfortable compared to the higher waisted SR style.

    But still, I don't think SR generally would cut the trousers to be above the belly button by 2-3", would they, unless specifically asked to do so?

    My little experience with bespoke SR trouser is that they just maybe about reach the belly button ; I know that at that point, my hips even with the help of a belt will not hold up the the trousers and they are surely going to slip down in short order and puddle at the ankles.
     
  15. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The measurement from the top of the waistband in front, under the crotch, and up to the top of the waistband it back. Â It is not simply two times the rise, as the back should always be cut higher, whether on "fishmouth" back trousers or more standard trousers.
    That's pretty damn high. Â I would venture to say that you are unusual in that respect. Â For instance, my natural waist is maybe 1/2" above my belly button.
    Generally, they do cut them just above the natural waist. Â I don't know what they would do in your case, however. Â I would have to see you to make a guess, and even then, it would only be a guess.
    That's true of most RTW Italian trousers. Â Bespoke makers cut them a little higher than the hips. Â Done right, they will stay up just fine. Â In fact, a belt is really just decoration on well-cut Italian-style trousers. Â But suspenders are necessary on SR trousers, because they are usually an inch to an inch-and-a-half bigger than your natural waist, for comfort.
     
  16. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Manton,

    If one were to cut trousers to sit at natural waist and not want suspenders or belt, is there another way to adjust the waistband to cater for small fluctuations in waist girth?

    Alias mentioned sidetabs. What are they, and do they work?

    Do beltless and suspenderless pants look weird? Does that contravene any rules?
     
  17. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The problem is that cloth is not so elastic.  If you want it to contract, it has to bunch up somewhere.  If you want to expand ... well, it can't, really.  There are trousers made with an elastic strip hidden in the waistband, sort of an "interior belt" with ends that peek out at about the mid-point on each side, and button on the waistband.  By changing where they button, you can adjust the fit, a little.  It works reasonably well, but it's not great.

    Two little straps of cloth, joined togehter by a metal buckle.  Some place them just below the waistband, others so that they straddle the waistband seam.  When you tighten the tabs, they scrunch the trouser waist together at the sides.

    Flusser uses these religiously.  Nearly all of my Flusser trousers have them.  I find they work about as well as the trousers fit in the first place.  If the trousers fit snuggly in the waist, the tabs are great, but not really needed.  If the trousers are loose, the tabs are needed, but they cause an unsightly bunching.  Also, the more you cinch them, the less comfortable your trousers are.  Personally, I hate the whole principle of cinching (whether through tabs or belts) for keeping trousers up.  It's a form of self torture.  I consider the tabs decoration (a nice one.) and wear suspenders.


    No, they have been around for a long time and are part of the canon.  Leaving aside, of course, robin's egg blue Sansabelt polyester golf pants.  Those are definitely against the rules.
     
  18. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Thanks, Manton.

    You got me curious about suspenders now. How do they actually work?

    Can pants that are cut for natural waist with sidetabs be modified to take suspenders later if I wanted to?
     
  19. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    They button to the waistband (either inside or outside) of the trouser, and then loop over your shoulders, holding the trousers up.

    No need for them to be modified at all.  Trousers cut like that are meant to take suspenders.  Just make sure you have the buttons (six) and you will be fine.
     
  20. dietcookie

    dietcookie Senior member

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    I would look like a total dork with pants that high. I'm 5'4 and I have a short upper body, I can't even imagine paying good money for pants like that (for me of course.) [​IMG]
     

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