Friday, May 27, 2016


I am looking for an entry-level person to work in the pattern design department at Hickey Freeman in Rochester, NY. Basic pattern making skills are required and preference given to candidates who have at least a basic working knowledge of Lectra and/or Gerber CAD systems, work authorization in USA a must. Send resume to jeffery.diduch at hickeyfreeman dot com.

Please spread the word.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hickey Freeman Warehouse Sale

Hickey Freeman Warehouse Sale

Men's Tailored Clothing,
Dress Shirts, Ties, Sportswear
and Golf Wear

Up to 75% Off Retail Prices

Sunday, May 15th through Thursday, May 19th
Sunday through Wednesday: 9:00am to 6:30pm
Thursday: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Soiffer Haskin
317 West 33rd Street, NYC
(Just West of 8th Avenue)

Credit Cards Only
(American Express, Visa or MasterCard)
All Sales Final.

Strollers not allowed. No children under 12 will be admitted.

(917) 562-2140

Monday, May 2, 2016

A piece of history

I just took over an office from someone who left Hickey Freeman. It was the office occupied by former designers and executives of the company and hadn't been cleaned out in, well, ages. It's in the corner of a suite of offices which have remained largely unchanged since they were built in 1912. I figured I might find some little treasures hidden in boxes, forgotten. I never thought I would find something that is so significant, at least in my mind.

There is a little side office adjoined to mine, in which there was a drafting table on which the designers would make their patterns, plus some shelves and two garment bags tucked behind the door. Behind the door and a stack of patterns I found this. This is a morning suit which was made for Walter B. D. Hickey (sr.) in 1929, six months before the market crash which caused the great depression. Mr. Hickey was the chairman of Hickey Freeman in the late sixties and judging by the date and size, it must have been made for him when he was a boy. His son, Mr. Hickey jr., now retired, was in last week for a visit- I will give him a call to see what he knows about this garment.

What is particularly exciting about this is the provenance and the condition. When looking at vintage garments we often have no idea for whom it was made, by whom, and when we do, there is often little information about them. In this case, not only do we know when it was made, for whom, exactly who that person is (and that person has a prominent place in the history of the clothing industry in America), but this garment was never worn. It is in mint condition. The silk lining in the sleeves has started to deteriorate a little, but the silk in the body is absolutely immaculate. I've never seen a garment of this age in this condition.

I'll post more photos when I get back from travelling next week, but in the meantime I'm going to reach out to a few people to consult with them on proper storage and what the best home for this would be. The costume institute, perhaps?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Made in the USA- United States Olympic Team

Very proud to be a part of the making of the United States Olympic Team uniforms.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Samuelsohn Warehouse Sale

Friday, April 1, 2016

Trunk Show

I'll be doing a Hickey Freeman trunk show at Richards in Greenwich CT and then Mitchells in Norwalk CT this weekend. If you're in the area, drop in and say hi.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Something new for next spring

Something new I'm working on, with completely un-padded shoulders. This is not your father's Hickey Freeman.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

My brain hurts

CAD software can be pretty complex. I've been using the same software for about 20 years now, from a company called Gerber Technologies. I do all my pattern design, grading, alterations, and made-to-measure on this platform. Or rather, I did. When I joined Hickey Freeman they were in the process of doing a very significant upgrade of their own CAD software, from a company called Lectra (it's actually former investronica software, but they were bought by Lectra). In a way it was fortunate timing because everybody had to be retrained on the new version they are installing because they jumped four versions. Lots of new functions. But for me, who has never seen this platform before, it's like unlearning how to ride a bike and trying to learn how to do it upside down and backwards. Blindfolded. It has some great functionality built in but it's just killing me trying to learn it in the very short period of time that the trainer is here from Spain. One great thing is that I have it installed on a laptop so I can bring it home and work in my pajamas. I could never do that before so this weekend is all about practicing with this new software.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Going home

A personal note.

Shortly after I finished design school I was working at a small design house in Montreal when someone from one of the local factories told me that the general manager of the place they worked wanted to meet me. It had come to his attention that there was a young tailor working right around the corner and they needed more tailors. I had known of Samuelsohn for a very long time so I was excited to be summoned. They offered me a job right away and I accepted and began a career in tailored clothing manufacturing.

Samuelsohn is a company which places a high degree of importance on quality so I learned a lot about the mechanization and industrialization of traditional tailoring techniques with which I was already familiar, but never did I see an engineer doing time studies or hear discussions about costs or yields or output. After some time with the company my mentor told me that there was another company which needed someone like me. I didn't want to leave but he told me that I had a good understanding of how to do things well, but no idea how to do things efficiently and inexpensively, and that I should go work for a variety of companies and learn the different facets of the industry. Learn how to manufacture garments offshore. Learn how to forecast fabric and trim requirements. All sorts of things. He told me I wouldn't be ready to settle until I was into my forties. So armed with this advice I left Samuelsohn to go work for an importer, and then a few companies after that. On my last day a member of the Samuelsohn family told me that I would be back some day, that this was my home and my family.

Fast forward about 15 years and I was approached to go work for HMX group, formerly known as Hartmarx, in Chicago. I would take over the Hart Schaffner & Marx brand and help revitalize it, but one of the carrots they dangled was the opportunity to do some work with, and then perhaps some day take over as well, our sister company Hickey Freeman. Hickey Freeman is a factory that does some beautiful garments, mostly full-canvas like Samuelsohn, and I was lucky to work with that factory and with another mentor who was there at the time, Paul Farrington. At one point Hickey Freeman was sold, interestingly enough, to Samuelsohn, which was a huge disappointment to me. Some time later I was approached about helping to turn around another struggling company in the south, so I and two other colleagues ade plans to go south and fix the struggling company.

The company in question had been forced in to bankruptcy and had been producing very low cost and low quality garments. Our job was to redesign all the product, redesign the factory so that they could produce a better quality garment, teach existing staff how to do it, and hire other new staff and train them. A year and a half later we have gone from 210 employees to well over 300, we have made major strides in the quality, fit and appearance of the garments being produced, and were recently honored with an award given by a magazine which is hugely popular n the south known as Garden and Gun. There are still challenges which exist in terms of getting everyone up to full efficiency so the factory can meet the huge increase in demand, and some tweaks to the fit now that we see full production runs instead of just samples, but I feel like the bulk of the heavy lifting has been done.

So now I have a chance to "go home". I will be joining (or re-joining) the Luxury Mens Apparel Group, the company which owns Samuelsohn and Hickey Freeman in the new year, going back to work with a lot of the same people I have worked with over the years, plus a lot of new and fantastic ones. I will spend some time in Montreal, at Samuelsohn, before settling in Rochester at the Hickey Freeman factory. And now that I have reached those dreaded forties I am hoping it's now time to settle down. So Jack and George were both right, those twenty years ago.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Some more flannel

It's flannel weather again (thank god!) Here's a suit that the dog decided to help out on- she supervised the making of the buttonholes...

Monday, September 21, 2015


The suit that I most recently dissected came with a pair of "pents" (as the Italians refer to them) made by another maker, this one even more well-known than the coat maker. While there was initially some debate about their provenance, Vox tells me that the maker emailed him to confirm that he did, in fact make them (some will recall that Vox obtained the suit second-hand from the original owner). So even though I have confirmation that it is his work, he is often dyspeptic when it comes to discussions of his work. That and the fact that were a number of what I think were after-market alterations which make it difficult to really gauge the level of workmanship so I am going to tread lightly on this one; in this case it seemed that the lining was added after the completion of the garment and while it would be normal to have the original maker do that kind of alteration, it is not a given, and since the workmanship of that particular alteration was so bad and at the same time unattributed, I will have to try to remove the lining first before looking more closely at the rest. They are, however, interesting, so as soon as I figure out a way of examining them without inviting comments about the shape and size of my head I will do so.

In trying to determine whether the lining was original or after-market (his other clients assured me that the maker discourages lining), Derek of the blogs Put This On and Die, Workwear! generously offered to photograph some of the trousers he has had made by a variety of makers. I found them interesting to look and he gave me permission to share them.

Thank you, Derek.

Napoli Su Misura



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Finishing touches

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Making myself something new- Escorial

I recently cut myself a suit out of a length of escorial wool, never having worked with the cloth before. From the Escorial Group's website-

Escorial is a rare and luxurious wool from a small sheep originating from the Spanish Royal flocks of El Escorial, today only to be found in small numbers in Australia and New Zealand.

The Escorial difference is in the heart of the fibre, performing as a naturally coiled spring.

This flexible characteristic creates a fabric that is incomparable in drape and resilience with a distinctive soft handle.

The suppleness and fluidity of the Escorial fabric delivers a garment of comfort and performance.

Escorial is often likened to curly hair. In comparison to straight hair, curly hair traps air between each strand, providing greater bounce and insulation. The special touch of Escorial comes from the airy nature of the fibre.

The Escorial fibre is like a curled spring and when stretched throughout production processes its natural memory is to return to the original curled state. It is this characteristic that makes Escorial garments, lightweight and resilient.

The story is one of sheep which had been kept by the King of Spain, ending up in Tasmania by way of Saxony. The whole story is interesting and can be read here. It is said that there are fewer of these purebred sheep than the extremely rare vicuna and that this accounts in part for the very steep price of woven escorial. I really enjoyed making it up, and it takes very well to the iron, but being a fall weight and finish it will be a few months before I get to actually wear it and see how it performs. So far I love the stuff.

Some random photos- the back still needs work, which is hard to do when fitting yourself. I have some time to get it fixed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pitti Uomo 88 : suit up

Apparently some people are having trouble with the link I posted yesterday.  I checked it out and it was working from all the different browsers and machines that I use so I'm not sure what the trouble is.  As a consolation, another longer video, brought to you by

Aside from what goes on inside the show itself, one can often get a very good take on emerging trends just by observing what participants are wearing.  Trend forecasting is not a science and can trip up people who are new to it- what we see at shows like Pitti are often the bleeding-edge of #menswear and only certain elements will translate to sellable trends in any given market.  One needs to learn how to filter through the floppy hats and capes to find the trends that are likely to have legs in your market.  In that sense, I find that observing people is a better predictor than what is shown at the shows because we see how people actually integrate emerging trends into their wardrobes all the while understanding that the Europeans will wear things differently than the Japanese and certainly Americans, all of whom will be seen in the carnival that is a show like Pitti.

Trend forecasting aside, people watching in Europe during shows like Pitti Uomo, Milano Unica, and Première Vision is probably one of the most fun parts of my job.

(And is it my imagination or are the Beckett & Robb boys the breakout stars of the season?)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Pitti Peacock

From Mr. Porter

Every six months, the MR PORTER team sets off on a trip around the style capitals of the world to discover the latest products and propositions from our favourite menswear designers and brands. Though many of our ideas for the coming season come from such experiences, amidst the hustle and bustle it can be easy to overlook that most bounteous and original source of inspiration: nature herself. Accordingly, this season, we decided to take a different tack in our street-style coverage. The above footage is the result of months of ornithological research and innovative new methods of film capture, focusing on Florence’s Pitti Uomo trade show. Here, over the course of one long, arid day, we were able to capture one of the Pitti microclimate’s most unusual and interesting domestic avian subspecies – the Pitti peacock – in its natural habitat. Press play and prepare to be dazzled by this groundbreaking documentary.

(photo nicked from Gentleman's Gazette)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A story, translated (and slightly condensed) from the website of the tailor who made the suit we most recently dissected.

If i recall correctly, about ten or fifteen years ago I was visited by a client who was not particularly elegant but who was wearing a suit from a very famous and expensive brand. Despite the expensive suit, he seemed to me to be a mannequin in grey chalk stripes. The client, who was given my name by one of my Roman clients, looked at me, perplexed, and asked me to make him a suit like the one he had on. "A manager's suit", he whispered to me. I had him remove his jacket, and started taking measurements.

Two or three fittings later we had a nearly completed suit. I could tell that he was not satisfied because he asked me to make modifications which, to me, made no sense. I proceeded to mark the suit up with chalk but made no actual changes. In a month I finished his blue cotton suit, three buttons rolled to two in the traditional Neapolitan fashion, manica a camicia [shirt sleeves] and patch pockets.

He tried the suit on for a moment, and not feeling satisfied with what I had done, told me it felt wrong, then that it was too tight, that the shoulders were too wide.

A disaster!

I saw him again three weeks later. He had one his blue suit, telling me that he had been wearing it for a week because, for the first time, he felt a complete liberty of movement and that, as a result, he could no longer wear his older suits. He ordered three more suits.

A Neapolitan suit is like a drug that causes dependency at without which, once hooked, one can no longer do without

There may be a great deal of truth to this story.

It is important to remember that most tailors learned and perfected their craft long before the advent of the internet. A tailor working in a shop in southern Italy would not often have the chance to see the work of other tailors, particularly those from other parts of the world. Regional characteristics were fairly common because most tailors operated in a sort of stylistic bubble; remember how Domenico Caraceni, often called the father of Italian tailoring, studied the King of England's castoffs, not to copy exactly but to learn from them and to adapt whatever techniques he found useful. The Asola Lucida, or Milanaise buttonhole are obvious examples of a regional detail. There are very strong resemblances in the interiors (and lapels) of the best Parisian tailors. The curved barchetta breast pocket is another. Jet planes made travel easier, though tailors weren't necessarily the first to be flying around the globe for inspiration or education. The internet changed all that.

Customers are now comparing notes on internet fora, tailors are posting images of their work, and more and more are getting technical. We are sharing and learning from each other. It may well have been that the tailor in question was never very well trained in pocket making or finishing, but had discovered a secret sauce, the perfect combination of cloth, canvas, cutting and other components which made for a fluid, supremely comfortable suit. Maybe this tailor's popularity began to grow, aided in part by the internet, and he gradually began to up his game. I can think of at least one other notable cutter whose work has improved immensely over the last years of his career, no doubt in part due to his exposure to other people's work. The thing is, though, one either needs a more experienced person to point out your failings, and with some luck add a bit of advice on how to correct them, or a great deal of self-awareness and curiosity is required, the kind that causes one to explore the work of others, things that inspire, which perhaps serve to illustrate what one can do a little better... The hard part of the latter option is figuring out exactly how to do it better. It is comparatively easy to spot something wrong, but often very difficult to figure out how to do it right, if you don't have someone to show you, especially in the tailoring world which tends to be a bit dogmatic about the "correct" way of doing things. It's hard to challenge your own notions of the "right" way of doing things, especially when those techniques are working for you, but the only way to grow in a craft is to constantly be asking yourself "what if I am wrong about this?". "What if I did the complete opposite of what I think I know to be right- what would happen then?"

And then have the nerve and the patience to try it out.

It would be futile to try to figure out the exact circumstances surrounding this disaster of a suit, but it makes one think about the sort of detail one begins to overlook when other, more important ones have been perfected. I am also encouraged to know that the tailor in question is no longer churning out such rubbish so somewhere along the line, something good happened.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sprezzatura- the Great Philological Debate

I received an email from a reader and I thought it sufficiently interesting to pass on in its full, unadulterated format, while I collect my thoughts for the conclusion to the series of posts on that coat. Thanks go out to Seth for sending this!

(Links inserted were mine)

Since I have profited, as an obsessive hobbyist who attempts significant alterations, from your knowledge and instruction, I thought I would take the opportunity to offer my knowledge on something of interest to you, that is sprezzatura. I don't often have the chance to put a doctorate in Italian studies to practical use, but this seems to be such an occasion. I thought I would offer a bit more of the historical / social / culture perspective that might help us use the term more precisely. I'm sure you've noticed how it gets bandied about in the igent community, in what can only be described as felony linguistic abuse. The term, as coined by Castiglione, has a very specific meaning, and I think it would be beneficial to try to narrow usage of it to clarify artistic judgments, particularly in coming to terms with what exactly is represented by the coat donated by voxsartoria.

When Castiglione coined the term, he was describing above all a social grace that only makes sense in context. His Libro del cortegiano was intended as a 16th-century "how to succeed in business"-type book, written for the courtier. Fortunately I think his context of Renaissance courts bears striking similarity to the modern business world, and so sprezzatura as a behavioral standard is still functional. The similarity between the worlds is this: success is primarily determined by one's relationship with the immediate superior, whether that is a local prince or a department head. The ability to appear important to one's boss often trumps talent or ingenuity, which is why both worlds are plagued by flattery, envy and petty rivalries. Sprezzatura is intended not primarily as an aesthetic principle, but as a social tool for succeeding in this sort of environment. Its purpose is to simultaneously prevent envy and create admiration amongst colleagues and superiors. Castiglione uses the term in a discussion of the acquiring useful skills. After mentioning which skills matter, he focuses on the way that these skills should be presented. The short answer is "gracefully." Sprezzatura is the answer to the question "how do I act gracefully?" It is the polar opposite of affectation. The skilled courtier acts with what might be rendered as "disdainfulness" (sprezzare is ordinarily used at this time to describe aristocratic haughtiness), a way of presenting one's accomplishments as if they were effortless, but the whole point is that the audience is fully aware of the effort required. The original quotation:
Trovo una regula universalissima, la qual mi par valer circa questo [i.e., how social grace is formed] in tutte le cose umane che si facciano o dicano più che alcuna altra, e ciò è fuggir quanto più si po, e come un asperissimo e pericoloso scoglio, la affettazione. E per dir forse una nova parola, usar in ogni cosa una certa sprezzatura, che nasconda l'arte e dimostri ciò che si fa e dice venir fatto senza fatica e quasi senza pensarvi. Da questa credo io che derivi assai la grazia perché delle cose rare e ben fatte ognun sa la difficultà, onde in esse la facilità genera grandissima maraviglia

I think there are two aspects to be considered for sprezzatura. The first is the concept of "hiding the art," to make the contrived appear natural. The key is appearance. Castiglione is not supporting naturalism here -- he doesn't encourage the courtier to "be himself", he's encouraging the courtier to make himself a better courtier through intense training and then to present that person as if it were the natural self. As someone who spent years mastering a craft, you should be pleased to note that quotation above is preceded by an injunction to master a craft first (set forth in terms of masters and disciples), and only after mastering the craft is the courtier instructed to present his finely honed skills as though they were instinctual and natural. This first point is only a means to an end, however. The second aspect of sprezzatura is the more important one, which is that it creates admiration amongst a group of elites. The purpose is not create the impression of ease and simplicity per se, but to create admiration by making the difficult look simple. Colleagues recognize the immense skilled required by your effort, and then take note that you pass off these skills as mere trifles. Therefore it only works as among experts who recognize that the created effect is not simple at all.

From what I've seen, sprezzatura is commonly used to describe attempts at sublimating the ordinary, which does a total disservice to the original intention. Sprezzatura is not about make the haggard appear regal, it's about making regal look natural, but in all cases it maintains its regal appearance. In a sense, menefreghismo stylizes lack of effort, trying to pass off apathy as social critique or aesthetic choice. Sprezzatura comes from the opposite end, downplaying acquired skill as natural ability. Sprezzatura as Castiglione intends it might be best exemplified by the pagoda shoulder -- an intensely complex creation demanding great skill which achieves an effect that mimics nature (or better, our expectation of nature, or even a better version of nature) and is a paragon of simplicity and grace. Or perhaps the satin stripe on formal trousers that hides the seam with a simple elegance. Sprezzatura has a somewhat passive-aggressive nature, since you're trying to impress people by making a show of not trying to impress them, but it is the exact opposite of a clear call for attention, like a contrasting buttonhole or an unbuttoned sleeve.

So back to the coat, however the tailor described his effort, I think it provides, perhaps unintentionally, a fantastic counter-example to sprezzatura. From what you've described, the coat was made by someone clearly capable of making a better coat whose worst efforts seem to be focused on the most visible details. My non-expert eyes are reminded of the painter/architect Giulio Romano and his Mannerist style intentionally rejecting Raphael's perfectionism and inserting artistic jokes -- subjects contorted into poses that are anatomically impossible, architectural details like fake keystones that don't actually support anything. From what you've described, the coat bears quite a bit of similarity in the way it presents itself to literary or artistic works that engage in this sort of high-brow self-mockery, but it's an insider's joke, 'yes these pockets are terrible by strict standards, but that's the point'. I think your pause to consider responses to modern art movements was spot on.

I hope you find something of use in this overly-long email. Again, thank you for running such a delightful blog.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Menefreghismo, part 2- The Guts

If you missed the previous post about the mystery disaster suit, go back and start there. This week we look a bit at the cut and the inside of the coat.

First impression? This is very reminiscent of old Anderson and Sheppard cutting. Either the original owner had a very tiny waist, or, more likely, this was cut for a normal person but a liberal amount of drape was cut in the chest and blades, the shoulder is extended, and it has wonky sleeves, particularly in the undersleeve. The front dart is extended all the way to the hem in typical Neapolitan fashion. My feeling is that anyone who is or was a fan of the A&S style of cut would like this style of coat.

The extended front dart is something that is typically associated in early cutting with Drape- it was part of a manipulation for adding drape to the chest but keeping a trim waist and hip. This first image is from an English publication explaining the manipulations done to a normal lounge coat pattern to convert it to a drape model and shows the extended dart.

This second draft is an image of a page from a student's workbook from the time when he was studying at the Scuola Artistica di Taglio (Artistic Cutting School) in Naples in the mid 1950's. The front dart is in evidence here. Sandro was a very close friend of mine and a fantastic tailor but passed away a few months ago. He is missed.

Later drafting methods transferred the value of the portion of the dart which falls below the pocket to the underarm seam- you get the same effect but the pattern in the cloth is undisturbed below the pocket so this kind of dart is almost never seen except from Neapolitan tailors who treat it as a sign of distinction. I noticed that Paul Stuart was showing some garments which included this anachronistic mode of cutting recently and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Ralph Lauren doing some of it.

In typical fashion, the seams are all lapped, which is to say that both seam allowances are pressed to one side instead of being pressed open. This gives a bit of a ridge to one side of the seam, and those ridges have been pick stitched flat. Though it is not obvious from the outside, the shoulder seam has been sewn by hand and the sleeves have been set by hand. Both also have lapped seams. Of particular interest is the treatment of the seam allowances at the armhole. Naples is said to have two different shoulder treatments- "con rollino", which is similar in treatment to a rope shoulder, where both seam allowances are pressed toward the sleeve and a fairly liberal amount of wadding is placed in the sleeve head, and "spalla camicia", or shirt shoulder, where the seam allowances are both turned toward the coat; very little or no wadding is put in the sleeve head and this sleeve has a very low, round expression. Often a good deal of fullness is cut into the sleeve so shirring is evident, often called "grinze", or "spalla a mappina". Most commonly the seam allowances are pressed open, and a moderate amount of wadding is inserted to keep the sleeve head area clean. It should be noted that the shirring would be evident on just about any sleeve that had no wadding- in fact, the wadding is placed in order to mitigate the shirring effect. It is entirely a myth that the shirring is some mystical, complicated thing that can only be done by hand- it is merely the result of having a sleeve which is larger than the armhole. All sleeves are larger than the armhole and the degree to which it is larger will determine the amount of shirring present, which is either left as is or cleaned up by the presence of sleeve head wadding.

What is particularly interesting in the case of this coat is that the shoulder treatment is something of a hybrid between a "con rollino" treatment and the more conventional one in that the portion of the armhole behind the shoulder seam has been pressed toward the sleeve in the "con rollino" fashion, and the front has been pressed open. I expected the "spalla camicia" treatment since this tailor claims on his website to do it, but perhaps the original owner requested this. It doesn't really matter- it's just interesting from a technical perspective. There is a double-folded, bias-cut piece of domette, the woven flannel sometimes used in the chest area to cover the hair cloth, as a rather bulky sleeve head wadding. Definitely "con rollino". There are two pieces of domette pad stitched together to form a type of shoulder pad- this would give a very soft, supple support to the shoulder area.

Sleeve and shoulder seam allowances-

Sleeve head wadding-

"shoulder pad"-

The wool canvas used in the front of the coat is a much more robust canvas than I would have expected. It is not stiff or firm, but a bit on the heavy side and very densely woven so the front has a lot of support and a decent roll to the lapel. Conversely, instead of haircloth, which is fairly firm, a medium-density hymo has been used in the upper part of the chest and a second layer of wool canvas in the lower part. They are covered in the same domette as was used in the sleeve and shoulder. There is a fairly large chest cut which I feel is necessary to support the drape and give shape to the chest. It is obvious that the cut and construction of the coat were done with softness in mind, but there are indications that the tailor was also concerned with giving some support to the coat so it wouldn't be completely lumpy and messy, as some draped coats are prone to being.

It is not uncommon to add a piece of silesia to the ends of the collar and sometimes the lapel, sandwiched between the cloth and the canvas. I was intrigued instead to find wiggan on top of the canvas (the sort typically used in hems of sleeves), and they weren't pad stitched as one unit, which would be the typical method- removing the wiggan I found that the collar and lapel had been pad stitched first, then the wiggan applied and pad stitched a second time. The facing has been drawn on by hand, something we don't see very often any more, as many feel that the machine gives a stronger, sharper line to the edge. Doing the facing edge by machine, though, requires a good amount of experience to judge the placement of the fullness, since we are working right sides together, sewing from the wrong side. Fullness is a bit like salt in cooking- just the right amount is required; too little and the lapel won't roll, and too much makes for a puckered front. When drawing the facing on by hand we are working from the outside so it is practically impossible to misjudge the placement or fullness, and the shape of the corner at the notch. Peaks especially benefit by this kind of treatment. It is much more time-consuming but much more foolproof than doing it by machine.

The back of the neck is supported by a piece of canvas- this is more typically done with wiggan or silesia. Sandro, my Neapolitan friend, would call this piece a "soffietto", but I never asked him why.

This was clearly made with a lot of consideration given to the internal construction, which makes the visible portions of it all the more puzzling. Pockets, lining, collar matching are easy compared to getting a clean front, lapel and collar, yet those are well done. The back of the sleeve is ugly to my eye but in this it is more of a personal preference. I would much prefer a sleeve which looked like this one done by Steed

to this one

BUT the way these sleeves have been cut will give some additional mobility. The drape in the blades, the soft chest and shoulder, and this wonky, overly long undersleeve all combine to create a garment which I imagine would be VERY comfortable, if a little bit sloppy looking.

Let's sit and think about that one for a while.