Ambrosi Napoli – Bespoke Trousers, Part 2. First Fitting

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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.

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Rear allowance pinned into position
Rear allowance pinned into position

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).

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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’.

Discussing button position, not dispassionately
Discussing button position, not dispassionately
You can see the pin on the waistband, where the button closure will end
The pin on the waistband, marking where the button closure will end

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.

Chatting afterwards, while Salva made bar-tacks on another pair of trousers
Chatting afterwards, while Salva made bar-tacks on another pair of trousers


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  1. says: LEO

    Hi, Andrew very nice sharing!! Received your trousers yet ? I had order one as well from his last trunk show and waiting for my first fitting. After reading your article, I am thinking lengthen the rise a bit more, to just below the navel (I used to wear around an inch below the navel).


    1. says: Andrew Doyle

      Hi Leo. No, the trousers haven’t arrived yet. I’m hoping they’ll be here for a trip to New York in a few weeks.
      I’m definitely a fan of a higher waist, it suits my (and most men’s) proportions. The most important thing is that you like how they look on you, so higher or lower are both fine, as long as you’re happy and feel confident in them. Salva’ has a very good eye for fit though, so I’m sure he’ll be happy to help guide your final decision.



    1. says: Andrew Doyle

      Hi John,

      Not yet, unfortunately. I spoke with Salva a little over a week ago and he’s assured me that they’re finished and will be shipped shortly. I’ll post the new article as soon as I’ve had a chance to wear them a couple of times and form an opinion. With a bit of luck, the final article will be up in a couple of weeks.

    1. says: Andrew Doyle

      Hi Steve,

      I wish I knew. At this stage I really don’t know. The trousers were expected to be ready last September. I’ve contacted Salva’ several times since then and for one reason or another they are still not here. I’m hopeful of a resolution, I’m just not sure when that will be.

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