The end of July 2019 was a busy time on my bespoke journey. It was then that I received the fruits of my first bespoke projects that began just shy of one year earlier:
My Meccariello bespoke shoes journey which began on August 28, 2018 with Antonio,
My Solito bespoke suit journey which began on September 19, 2018 with Luigi, and
My Luca Avitabile bespoke shirt which began with Luca on that same day.
Let me start by saying that in spite of the year long wait, all three custom made bespoke hand made items have lived up to their reputations.
The Meccariello shoes, which got a color change at the last second, came first, a week ago as of this writing. I have worn them three times and was expecting more of a break in experience, but they are extremely comfortable, especially the sole, which offers a support and solid comfort unlike any shoe I have ever worn. Since they are so comfortable right off the bat, I am curious to see how they will adapt to my foot with wear and hoping they do not become too lose. I think with bespoke shoes you are looking for that, fits like a glove, result.
I will continue to regularly wear these shoes up to the time in October of this year, ie three months hence, when I intend to go visit Antonio in Naples and will take these so we can refine my shoe last and get ready for my next pair. I have asked myself, a year later, if I would order the same shoes today? Very hard to say. The journey of choosing a shoe has a life and art of its own. But I love these and welcome them as the first of my collection.
Luca’s shirt came next, a pink spread color, in a beautifully textured fabric. I must say that I wondered how Luca and Luigi would work around my right shoulder which was all but ripped out of its socket several years ago in an unnecessary aikido incident and never really went back to its original place. Not only does my right shoulder slope differently and lower, but consequently my right arm also hangs a noticeable amount lower. But this is the beauty of bespoke. They adjust for those nuances that make humans humans. The arm length really isn’t the issue as much as adjusting for the shoulder tweaks. What I noticed first was the perfect neck size and beautiful collar of this shirt. The original order was for four shirts, but Luca intelligently started with one to see what adjustments need to be made for the others. I imagine he will tweak this one as well. I think we really look for what we want to be our ‘perfect’ when we have something made and we should. So I noticed that the right sleeve, the longer sleeve, was resting heavier on the break of the hand then the left side with felt perfect. So I will ask Luca to shorten the right sleeve ever so slightly. And then he can look at the shoulder again to see if that needs something more. But the rest seems perfect in length, width, drape and comfort.
Later that day, the highly anticipated Solito suit arrived. Luigi was supposed to mail me this a month earlier, so I was really anxious to get it. Unwrapping these items is part of the amazing journey and should also be relished with proper pace and appreciation. So I took my time, admired the beautiful hanger and suit bag inscribed with “Sartoria Solito Napoli”, touched and held the fabric of the suit to feel its texture, drape and weight all before adorning the pants and jacket. The refined subtlety of hand made should be appreciated by observing the small details, like the stitching and button holes, not to mention the fact that it is you in a suit. It is you created into a suit. How cool is that? There is a lot to be appreciated going forward I am sure but for starters I have to say that these suit pants in this beautiful medium grey are the thing that has ruined my current wardrobe. I have never worn anything so beautiful and so comfortable. I feel like I am wearing rarified air. I put them on yesterday and found it hard to take them off. So I only took them off to try on the store bought pair of dress pants I had just purchased from Neiman Marcus and picked up on the same day. The authorities on bespoke fashion warn that once you start dabbling in bespoke you will never want to wear less, the contrast is that great. They are correct and these pants are the final nail in that coffin. I won’t wear those pants I just bought or any of the other pants I have purchased up until now. All I want to do is fill my closet with these wonderful grey Solito bespoke suit pants and wear them everyday, make them my signature look. And I hope I have the same experience when I start wearing the jacket. The quality and comfort are sufficient to make me forget how much I have accumulated that I will not wear again. So I won’t even let my mind start calculating how much I have spent on suits that could have been bespoke Solito suits. Moving forward and upward.