Italian tailoring has always had a rival – in needle and thread – represented by English tailoring. In fact, there is no greater difference than that between the English gentleman and the Italian signore. A difference that concerns the tailoring of the garments more than the technique or skill of the tailors.
On the one hand, we have the British low profile, which almost leads to the denial of individual personality, while on the other hand we have the desire to take centre stage accompanied by an innate desire to express personal uniqueness to the maximum.
These two different attitudes are reflected in the way of conceiving the tailor’s work, influencing fashion in the field of classic men’s clothing.
English gentleman vs. Italian man
Without wishing to generalise, we could argue that through the suit, the English gentleman above all wishes to affirm his belonging to a clan or to a specific social class. Specifically, the Saville Row style marks a clear distinction between what is correct in terms of fashion, of lifestyle, even going so far as to determine a political thought. As a member of a class, the Englishman cannot afford to wear a suit with too personal a style, but rather he must adapt to the rules handed down, not only from father to son, but also depending on the college he attended and even the sports he plays.
The Italian man, on the contrary, always wants to make a show of himself, his individuality and his ego, of which he is fully aware. A suit made with Italian tailoring must therefore highlight this uniqueness and desire to shine, whether this is simply manifested through the lapel of a jacket or the cut of a pair of trousers. Details that are of little interest to the English gentleman, since it is essential for him to be dressed appropriately for the place and occasion.
Tailor-made suits: a matter of elegance
With a view to explaining this different way of considering the work of the tailor’s shop, we should recall that in Italian tailoring, classic elegance corresponds to the ideals of the Renaissance, a decidedly bright period as regards the flourishing of beauty and creativity on commission or, as a tailor would say, “made to measure”.
In fact, in Italian clothing and lifestyle, concepts such as elegance, sophistication and above all exclusivity always prevail. All features that find their highest expression in the lightness of the fabrics, in the refined colours and graphics, as well as in the exclusive styles and first-rate workmanship.
This is how the Italian tailored suit made to measure by the expert hands of the tailor becomes a showcase suit which the signore uses to show the world his social status, perhaps overshadowing, with his personal style, the politically correct attitude of the English gentleman.