“ You wear trousers showing a famous brand, you wear a hat with a peak raised. You trotting along Tuleto’s streets showing off yourself to make people look at you” (Carosone)

Manual skills handed down from father to son

Manual skills, natural elegance and especially the ability to get by are the main elements of Neapolitan lifestyle and tailoring which is the heart of Neapolitan craftsmanship. Like any other important aspect of Neapolitan history, the history of Neapolitan tailoring is made up of strange anecdotes, curiosities and funny episodes handed down from father to son and from person to person, which are all worth recalling.

The suit especially tailored for gesticulating men.

If on the one hand it is common knowledge that the suit sewn by Neapolitan tailors has a unique cut – the jacket that “zompa arréto”, the “rags” sleeve, the soft shoulder, the “tre bottoni” with the first undone button, the “hammer” neckline, the “bateau” breast-pocket – on the other it is not so well-known that the natural and informal elegance of Neapolitan outerwear stems from the need of movement typical of Neapolitan men who tend to accompany their words with large arm gestures.

The Neapolitan sartorial technique is full of little tricks aimed at making the suit more comfortable, suitable for movement (gesticulation), which have become the traits of a unique and always fluid style. Moreover, only a few people know that the Caggiula family wrote a treatise on these sartorial techniques which became so popular that the Ministry of Education bought 600 copies of it and distributed them to all vocational schools and libraries of the kingdom.

Makeshift cloths

Hard times spur the ability to get by. In fact, many stories are told on Neapolitan tailors who, under the regime, invented suits got out of fancy cloths.

Likewise, during the war, wedding dresses made with the silk of parachutes were created at “la Parisienne”, the hundred-year-old boutique in Capri while, in Ischia, the creations of Maria Antonia were made out of the sheets of the islanders.