Weaving through the Naples Spanish district once more, we arrive back at the gates of Ambrosi on via Nicotera Giovanni. It’s mid-morning and, mercifully, a lot cooler than last time.
Since our first meeting a week earlier, Salva’ had made a trial pair of trousers for me out of waste cloth which were ready to try on. Tailors often make a trial garment out of waste cloth (usually just a very basic cotton), particularly when working with a new client. It lets them put the trousers/jacket together quickly and easily, without having to worry about any damage being done to the finished product. For the record though, the waste cloth Salva’ used for this pair was nicer than some trousers I own (and like). It took him about 2 hours to put these together, which I’m still in awe of.
The fit was very good, something you won’t see too often for a new client at a first fitting, with really only three small changes needing to be made.
The rear allowance (where the cloth covering your backside meets the waistband) needed to be taken up slightly, allowing it fit smoothly over my seat and drop cleanly to my heels, without the line breaking on the way down, the pleats at the front allowed good clearance over my thighs, which has always been the biggest issue I’ve had when buying trousers.
Salva’ also opened and took up a little length on the right hip seam, noticing that my right hip drops when I stand casually (almost everyone has one hip sitting higher than the other. If you stand casually with your hands in your pockets, you’ll notice you favour bending one leg and straightening the other, as a default).
Other than those 2 adjustments, we only needed to take up the leg length by 1.5cm. Given the tapered cut of the trousers, they’ll drop a fraction above the shoes, rather than allowing for any break, as you would with a wider cut pair of trousers. It’s become common, recently, for a lot of men to leave their trousers as much as a couple of inches short of their shoes. From a style point of view I don’t understand it personally (not to mention frostbitten ankles in colder months) and there’s little doubt that it will date quickly, so we kept the overall length classic and largely conservative.
From there on we just needed to sort out finishing details. We’ll be putting cuffs on these trousers. Salva’s preference is for a five centimetre cuff, but I managed to talk him down to four and a half as I just think it’s better suited to my proportions.
I’d toyed with the idea of contrast stitching, but Salva’ wisely reminded me that the blue check was already very prominent (see the cloth in the first article here) and I don’t like anything which stands out, so we’ll use thread that’s the same colour as the cloth.
The button fastening on the waist band would be shortened slightly and, keeping in line with all of my other bespoke commissions, Salva’ will sew the button in the shape of a fish. I also asked him to embroider his own initials in there somewhere, rather than my own. I’d much prefer to see an “S.A.” and remember Salva’.
Given how accurate the fit was first time around, neither of us were too fussed about another fitting, so Salva’ will ship the finished trousers to me once they’re complete in the weeks ahead and I’ll post another article once they arrive.