This is a collaboration with Spartoo. It it is written by me and everything I write is my honest opinion, but it is in collaboration with the company.
I had the opportunity to pick my favorite items from Spartoo, and I really wanted it to be as true and close to my vision on my blog, writing about well made menswear. And to my surprise, I was able to find not only well made menswear garments, but also one of the finest brands within the industry.
Spartoo is able to offer a huge stock of brands thanks to a service what they call “Spartoo Marketplace”. It creates opportunity for small and larger brands to marketing themselves on their website, which help us as customers to find what we are looking for at one single spot.
Normally when I see multi-brands website such as Spartoo, I feel that they have little to offer when it comes to tailored clothing for us who are interested in menswear. To my surprise, I was wrong and I was glad that I finally got acquainted with them. Thanks to their marketplace service, they are able to offer brands such as Brunello Cucinelli, Tagilatore, Daniele Alessandrini and even Sartorio Napoli. That is correct, you read the right thing, Sartorio Napoli, a diffusion line made by no less than the legendary Kiton.
There is not many websites that offers Sartorio Napoli, so I wanted to take the opportunity to pick my favorite and show how well made and beautiful crafted these garments can be. And as an addition to that, they are offered with a large discount which is unusual when it comes to these kind exclusive garments. My selection will be based upon the stock that they offer at the moment, with a seasonal touch to inspire everyone looking for the perfect summer jacket.
New and exiting brands are literally blooming with more alternatives than ever. Finding well made menswear is no longer a full time job, both well established stores and e-commerce shops offers this worldwide. The challenging part is to find menswear that are affordable, and well made. Today we will take a look at one of the newcomers within this category, a company called Natalino.
Natalino is a London-based brand that were founded after getting tired of only finding garments with high price tags and margins. The aim for the company was clear, to offer exceptional value without compromising on the design, quality or detail. A tough vision to live up to, and something that I will try to look closer in this article.
The company’s core foundation is to create a cost efficient and optimized way to offer classic menswear to affordable prices. To be able to do this, they work directly with the manufacturers across different countries, which to date stretches from the UK, Portugal and Japan. As they go directly to the manufacturers, they are able to offer products to a lower mark-up than other companies do within same area of expertise. As an addition and to keep the costs to a minimum, everything is distributed online where wholesale and physical stores are completely excluded from the equation.
Natalino draws inspiration from an era consisting of the preppy Ivy League, classic English aristocracy and the nonchalant Italian Riviera in the 1950’s. The design and purpose is to offer a timeless, yet recent feeling to it, which can be seen in the choices made for fabrics and details. Let us take an example with the trousers that they offer. Instead of creating a trend and season based collection, they take classic and timeless inspiration and merged them together with a more contemporary use of fabrics and models. From the current collection, they offer four different alternatives: grey wool flannel, green and grey cotton corduroy and cream white cotton. All the choices comes with classic details which includes a high waist, single pleats and 5 cm turn-ups. Except the trousers, Natalino offers polo shirts, turtlenecks, shirts and even a raglan coat to competitive prices.
With that in mind, the company also makes it clear that they are serious about a presenting classic and environmental friendly collections. They will offer a continuous stock of their products, which are not based upon temporarily trends such as the fast-fashion brands do. This will the end leads to less wastage and unnecessary sales just to get rid of old stock products. The company will add seasonal products throughout the year to their already established models, building up a smaller collection of classic garments that can be used season after season.
I took the opportunity to try two of their trousers from the fall and winter collection, a pair of green cotton corduroy and cream white cotton trousers. Both of them are versatile and can easily be added to anyone’s wardrobe. I ended up choosing my normal size (32R) and the measurements that are provide on the website are accurate. In terms of fit, I do believe that these trousers qualifies to one of the best fitting ready to wear trousers in my wardrobe. They feature a high waist, a roomier fit for the thighs and a slightly tapered leg, an uncommon sight in today’s market. I normally experience issues with the thighs on ready to wear trousers, but these one’s of the of the few’s that actually works straight out of the box. The only concern I have is that the trousers are a bit too tapered below the knees, something that is more visible on the softer corduroy fabric compared to the heavier cream white cotton fabric. This is something that I sent as a feedback to Natalino where they confirm that they will do some adjustments to the pattern, and already to the upcoming spring and summer drop.
Both trousers and fabrics feels great, where the green corduroy have a soft touch to it and the cream one feels dense and heavy. Thanks to more dense and heavier cotton fabric for, the cream trousers drape better, where the green corduroy sits more comfortable. In general, I had no issues wearing them or finding outfits for both trousers and they have their own area of usage. Overall build quality looks and feels great, and are matching with other premium brands that costs way more.
I believe that Natalino have showed that they qualifies into the list of affordable menswear brands, and something that they should be proud of. They show that they mean serious business when they are staying active on social medias and listing to customer feedback such as mine. And with the whole mindset to create less seasonal and trend sensitivity products is a welcome sight among the growing fashion companies that are mass producing garments, season after season. So let us give a warm welcome Natalino to the world of affordable and sustainable menswear.
Finding a specific garment can be tricky, especially when you care about small details such a fabric, button placement and origin. Having these requirements thin out the line of possible brands, and in the end you could end up doing a made to measure or bespoke garment to get it to your exact preference. In some cases you could get lucky, which I was for this topcoat from Private White V.C.
Private White V.C have been in the game since 1853 and could not be more “Made in England” as its printed on their clothing labels. The factory have always been located in the same place in Manchester, or as some may call it “Cottonopolis” for its well known heritage.
The company have made clothing to kings, the army and even rock stars for decades. Milestones in history were made when the brand delivered trench coats to the Allied Forces in 1916, and continued to make history with its deliverance of waterproof parkas in 1940.
If we instead change focus to the present, Private White V.C have manufactured garments to numerous of luxury outwear brands in England, where one example were the collaboration with Drake’s in 2013.
I finally had the opportunity to try one of the items that have been on my wish list for years, Private White V.C prince of wales cashmere topcoat. And just to clarify, this is not just a random topcoat from a fashion brand, this is the real deal. It is made in their factory in Manchester, in a cashmere wool blend woven in England, that is weather resistant. It means that it is shower proof and windproof, something that I have been able to try in action multiply times this season.
Instead of being slim fit and with a shorter length like most other coats, the topcoat from Private White V.C shows something entirely different. It offers a slightly over-sized silhouette and a length that cuts below your knee, a type of of silhouette that is difficult to get a hold off today. Instead of just being ridiculous over-sized that have been the trend a couple of seasons back, it is more balanced and will still allow you to layering up underneath it. As a reference point, I’m 187 cm and weight approx 80 kg, where Private White V.C recommended a size 4 (medium) and that is the size that I ordered. The recommendation was spot on in my opinion, as it fits very good and offers a flattering silhouette that are neither too slim or big.
Something that makes me very pleased is the way that the brand have manufactured the garment and attention to details. The impressive heritage and made in England is just the start of it. There are so many small details that they have thought about such as domestic made cloth and real horn buttons, tablet sized pockets with fine zippers from RIRI in Switzerland and button placements to protect your from the challenging elements that you may encounter.
There is only one thing that I regret, and that is having this top coat for so long on my wish list.
Spring is finally showing itself here in Stockholm. For me it’s an unbeatable feeling when you slowly will be able to transcend into lighter garments. That is today’s focus, lighter garments, just a vest, turtleneck, scarf and a beanie, that’s it!
I will never get tired of the earth tones color palette as it’s the easiest and most versatile combination that you can wear. These colors will look even better during the winter season as it will stand out in the grey and dark outfits worn by many.
The layering season is starting to reach its peak time here in Sweden and it is a good idea to build up different layers underneath your coat to stay warm. The key is still to have a warm and comfortable coat, and one that stands out in the crowd is Private White V.C Jeep Coat. For today’s inspiration board, I have combined it with the same shades of brown.
A year has soon pasted and it is time to celebrate the past and to greet what is to come. Today’s inspiration collage is an example how you can do this an elegant and stylish way. I also want to take the opportunity to wish everyone a New Year filled with happiness and good fortune.
Jacket – Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Trousers – Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Shirt – Eton, Bow tie – Prada, Pocket square – Saint Laurent, Cuff links – Maison Margiela, Watch – Sekford Watches, Shoes – Crockett & Jones
Handmade ready to wear garments with the finest materials and construction to an affordable price. In my ears, it sounds like a perfect combination for the gentlemen who wants quality that is as close as possible to bespoke, but do not have the time to wait for weeks, or even months. One of the first brands that took this concept to the world was D’Avenza, and in today’s article I wanted us to look closer at the brand and where you are still able to buy the last available collections.
Simon Ackerman started his concern as a men’s clothing manufacturer in 1914 in New York. After bringing quality tailored clothing in the higher price range to the North America market, he went back to his roots in England and came up with the idea to import British made suits for the North America market.
At his return to London in 1935, he established a new tailor house with the name Chester Barrie. The aim was to create ready to wear tailoring garments with the same attention and quality as the bespoke garments from the famous tailors in Savile Row, England. The success behind it was to create a shorter wait time for this level of quality, and also a considerable lower price for the customer. To be able to sell the suits to an affordable price, the button holes were unfinished and therefor the company were able to send them to the United States without any additional import duties.
To be able to retain the level of quality in the workshop, the company constantly acquired skilled tailors from Italy. In the 1950’s, the company started to initiate an idea to start a new tailor house in Italy instead of importing tailors to England. It was not until 1957 that the new tailor house D’Avenza was founded in the Italian town of where the brand takes its name from, Avenza di Carrara.
D’Avenza was unique many ways and it is said to be the first company who started to mass produce hand made tailoring garments in Italy. Many other famous tailoring houses such as Kiton and Attolini looked at D’Avenza and adopted to what is later to be known as the “D’Avenza method”. The brand had its most successful era up until the 1970’s and were later bought out of bankruptcy in 1994 by Renato Cecchi, an Italian entrepreneur which is most famous for his ownership of the Santo Stefano textile mill. The brand was relaunched in 2007 offering a range of new types of jackets from the old archives.
The modern phases of the old D’Avenza was manufactured in the years of 2001-2012. During this time period, the garments was overseen and styled by master cutter Ralph Anania. It was not until 2014 when the company was transitioned to the new Italian owner, Brand Amour, and what many would call the end of the era of D’Avenza. At this time, D’Avenza changed focus from being a brand that produced high end handmade tailoring garments, to producing fashionable sport coats and jacket in technical materials.
There are few historical houses that can mention clients such as Mastroianni, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, Tyrone Power and Gregory Peck. Even that the old brand of D’Avenza have been decommissioned since long, there are still connoisseurs that are putting hands on the garments due to its reputation. As these garments are no longer produced, getting a hold of garments would acquire you to find one of the few dead stocks that are available. Sellers on Ebay and Grailed would still stock some of the last pieces from the old era of D’Avenza that are available. Another retailer that acquired are great stock and one of the last collections available was Sartoriale. Sartoriale is a multi-brand retailer which have maintained a great relationship with luxury brands such as Kiton, Rubinacci and Attolini. These kind of relationships have made it possible to acquire old stock from brands such as D’Avenza, Sartoria Partenopa, Chiaia.
In terms of craftsmanship, D’Avenza belonged to the same range as one of the finest tailoring houses such as Kiton, Attolini and Brioni. That means more or less everything was made by the highest standard and by hand, and always had a floating full canvas construction when applicable. Only some minor details such as the lining was not always attached by hand.
The most common comparison have been made between Brioni and D’Avenza due to its similarities of their house style. As many other brands, D’Avenza have manufactured different type of models during the years, which have included details such as a more constructed shoulder with more padding, high waist trousers with a wider silhouette, slimmer trousers with a narrow opening and lightweight summer sport coats without any type of canvas construction. The list can be made long and a lot of these garments can feel outdated looking at today’s trends.
If we look at the current availability on the different models, most of the garments would probably have been produced in the 2000’s. That means that it is a high possibility to find garments with more minimalist and light weighted construction, featuring details such as soft shoulders with less padding, barchetta breast pockets and three-two rolled lapels.
In the end, D’Avenza never manged established its brand in neither the North America or European market, which still astonish me as well as other people around the globe. What we do know is that D’Avenza, the former D’Avenza that is, created one of the finest ready to wear tailoring in the world.
How can you dress at the office when the temperatures are dropping outside? The answer for your questions is the sleeveless cardigan. It will keep you warm enough when layered underneath a jacket and coat when there is a need to take lunch break outside. At the same time, it will keep you cool enough indoors as it’s only covering the front of your body, and not the arms.