Stile Italia Tv has produced two videos about Sartoria Rubinacci and Neapolitan tailoring. In the first video Luca Rubinacci talks about the history of his family’s tailoring business and the difference between English and Italian tailoring. In the second video he explains in further detail the features of a Neapolitan Jacket. Both videos are shot in Sartoria Rubinacci’s workshop. If you are into the relaxed Italian aesthetic I highly recommend watching the short videos.
Suits and Sport Coats
The last time I had a suit commissioned was back in January 2011. Back then my knowledge of tailoring was still in its infancy. I’ve read more books, forums and blog posts since then and I can now say I am better equipped at commissioning another suit.
A few months ago my Menswear Syndicate friend Victor Basa had a suit made by Kingsmen Custom Tailors. I was impressed with the results and resolved that they would make my next suit. This time around I wanted to have a charcoal grey suit. I bought the cloth separately and brought it to Kingsmen’s Podium branch. They charge Php 8,050 (USD ~190) for CMT (cut, make, trim) or the process of transforming the cloth into a suit as of this writing. Continue Reading
A while back I wrote about O’Mast which is a documentary on Neapolitan tailoring. This time around Gianluca Migliarotti is back with a short film on Italy’s largest mill: Vitale Barberis Canonico. Like O’Mast, the film is shot beautifully with closeups on the materials and machines that operate. The full 15-minute feature is now available for everyone’s viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Neapolitan tailoring has become popular in the last few years as men look towards its relaxed sense of style. The tailors in Naples sought to create lightweight jackets so they could be worn in the warm climate of the Mediterranean. The results are what have become the signature of Neapolitan style: soft-shouldered, unstructured jackets. I’m a fan of Neapolitan style as the Philippines has a tropical climate and wearing heavy, structured suits don’t make any sense. Removing all that structure not only makes the jacket cooler to wear but also ends up exuding an air of nonchalance. This air of nonchalance is what I very much prefer as it makes one looked dressed up yet relaxed. Continue Reading
By this time you should have a good idea of what you want your suit to look like and have bought the cloth you’ll be using. The next step is to go to a tailor and start the process of having a suit made. But before I delve into the details I’ll start with a background on the tailoring industry in the Philippines and how it will affect the outcome. Continue Reading
Benson in Binondo
Now that we’ve understood the suit features it’s time to choose the cloth. Choosing the appropriate cloth for a suit isn’t easy especially if it’s your first time. It can be quite intimidating looking at swatches or rolls of cloth without an idea of what to look for. By approaching the process with knowledge and a set of criteria it becomes easier to pick out the right cloth. Continue Reading
Me describing the features of my suit
The most frequent questions I get from readers pertain to having a suit made. The tailors here in the Philippines do bespoke but don’t deserve to be called such as they do not perform the kind of tailoring done by the likes of those found on Savile Row in London. Although the quality of tailoring is mediocre at best it meets the needs of many for a basic suit without breaking the bank. This guide is intended for those having a suit made for the first time or those looking to get it right the second time around.
Before one begins selecting fabric and visiting the tailor it is good to have an idea of what suit you want to end up with in terms of its features. I will discuss each part without going into too much detail. Continue Reading
Traditionally, suits they are meant for dressier, more formal occasions. The jacket that forms part of the suit is fully lined, have a good amount of padding in the shoulders, and have an internal canvass making it “structured”. This structure is what gives the suit clean lines and an air of formality.
For occasions when a suit is not required such as going on a date it’s best to wear an “unstructured” sport coat. An unstructured sport coat is partially lined (typically in the sleeves and upper back), have minimal shoulder padding and does not have an internal canvass giving it a relaxed look. They are generally made of cotton or linen which tend to wrinkle further adding to its casualness. All these characteristics make an unstructured sport coat ideal for the summer time or those living in tropical countries. Continue Reading
Last year double breasted jackets started to make a comeback. This year they’re in full force with many labels having their own takes on it. I’ve always wanted a double breasted sport jacket so when someone contacted me that he wanted me to polish his tailor’s skills I agreed to put them to the test.
Double jackets are quite tricky. Before I attempted this I made sure I’ve read enough material on it (here and here) and seen many different designs in order to get the look I wanted and minimize mistakes. This is my first attempt at a double jacket with a new tailor and this made it a little challenging.