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What is Neapolitan tailoring? And why it matters?

2 MIN. READ

Since the 1960s, Neapolitan tailoring has defined the refined style of the classic man. Fads come and go, but Neapolitan tailoring has withstood the test of time for a reason. Here is a brief history and what characteristics make up this timeless look.

A brief history



Although the origins of Italian tailoring date back 700 years, Neapolitan design took hold in the early 20th century. Here, Vincenzo Attolini - the head cutter at the famous tailoring shop "London House," located in Napoli - created the look that is now known as Neapolitan. Naples has since become a worthy rival to London's "Saville Row" for fine tailoring.

Neapolitan tailoring characteristics

So, what makes Neapolitan tailoring special? Not all of the following characteristics are specific to Neapolitan, but when taken as a whole they add up.

Neapolitan jackets share the following design elements:

- Lapel expression. The lapels are more defined than you'd find on a typical English jacket and feature double back stitching. The effort given to producing a high-quality garment cannot be denied.

- Half (or no) lining. Linings are seen as restrictive, so if there even is one, it will be a half-lining. It should be silk, so as to offer unparalleled comfort.

- Shorter, tapered sleeves. This design philosophy focuses on easy wear. The shorter sleeves allow for more range of movement and gesturing with the hands and arms.

- Higher notch. The lapels are notched high up near the front shoulders to create the illusion of the wearer being more slender than they would otherwise appear.

- Slimming silhouette. Neapolitan tailoring flows with your natural lines for a slimming effect. It features a shorter back with ample waist suppression and lacks shoulder padding so that you look sleek and trim.

- "A barachetta" breast pocket and two "a pignata" hand pockets.


- Functional, overlapping buttons at the cuffs. 

 

- Three-roll-two front closure. The closure consists of two working buttons and a third non-working button that is inserted into the lapel for better structure.

In general, Neapolitan tailoring embodies a more laid-back and effortless style than its English equivalents. It prioritizes a free range of movement. It's expected that you'll be living your life fully when wearing a Neapolitan jacket, so it must be ready for all kinds of articulation and activity. Walk down a street in Naples, and you might see someone in a Neapolitan jacket riding a bike.

These are the main components of the Neapolitan design. While less formal than English or French counterparts, Neapolitan design remains trendy and cool. If you want to dress to impress without looking stuffy, it's the way to go.

Ike Behar's take on Neapolitan design pays homage to its rich history. Our jackets, along with our dress shirts and other garments, connote a custom-made heritage. We pride ourselves on the same expert craftsmanship, quality materials and purposeful construction that the Italian masters did over a century ago. If you want to look and feel your best, take a look at our current line at https://ikebehar.com/. You'll understand what all the fuss is about as soon as soon as you try on one of our fantastic pieces.