WORDS BY SUZIE BAKOS
Once only considered for business meetings and weddings, tailoring has expanded into a vast, all-encompassing realm. Now, laid-back linen separates, morning suits and even a classic blazer are appropriate for all types of occasions, from black-tie events to smart-casual weekends. Here, we take a look at the best tailoring destinations from our global network of boutiques, including Wellens in Belgium and Italy’s Michele Franzese. Discover your next go-to suit, formal footwear and smart accessory here.
Best for essential suiting separates: Wellens, Belgium
Boasting 2000m² of pure luxury, Wellens is one of Belgium’s best shopping destinations. Its offering of over 150 brands — including Prada, Balenciaga and Armani — is presented in an ultra-modern space: new-season ready-to-wear is suspended via steel fixtures and accessories decorate the monochromatic walls. A carefully edited curation of everyday tailoring keeps its loyal clientele returning again and again. ‘Our customers are always looking for investment pieces and tailored styles that they can wear every day,’ says Matthieu Allaert, Wellens’ ecommerce manager. ‘For a fail-safe look, we recommend a navy blazer combined with a white shirt, beige chinos or light grey wool pants.’ For the final finishing touch, Allaert suggests loafers from Tod’s or Fendi and patent leather shoes from Prada.
Best for modern tailoring: Suit, Italy
It’s all in the name. Found in the southern Italian city of Lecce, Suit is a minimalistic boutique defined by its spacious set-up, brick columns, contemporary furnishings and a fresh take on the season’s most-wanted pieces. Leaning on years of experience and an unrivalled eye for upcoming designers, it specialises in modern men’s tailoring and, right now, shirts are big news. ‘Patterned shirts are currently really popular with our customers, especially designs by Dolce & Gabbana, Saint Laurent and Tom Ford,’ says Esposito Alessandro, the boutique’s merchandiser. For two-piece suits, one brand is a standout: ‘Definitely a sleek and modern Tom Ford tuxedo.The stretch-wool slim-fit suit is trimmed with satin for a luxurious and refined finish — it’s a great match for a Kiton long-sleeve cotton shirt.’
Best for relaxed tailoring: Michele Franzese, Italy
Michele Franzese prides itself on an unrivalled personal shopping experience, offering bespoke services and important fashion collaborations from all over the world. This season, its selection of relaxed summer tailoring is second to none. ‘Our boutique was created to give value to the great tradition of men's tailoring, particularly Neapolitan tailoring which sets the standards for combining tradition and innovation,’ says Michele Franzese, owner and buyer at Michele Franzese. ‘We offer bespoke tailoring from designers such as Brioni, as well as exclusive brands from southern Italy.’
For the revered Italian boutique, the marriage of traditional tailoring and current trends keeps its curation sharp and up-to-date. So, when it comes to timeless design and impressive innovation, Franzese puts Italian brand Tonello at the forefront for the season ahead: ‘Tonello has reinterpreted the tailored jacket, generating the ‘slim revolution’. Strong, handmade Italian quality and a sartorial signature means it’s refined, unique, contemporary and hard-working. All it needs to finish is a masterpiece accessory from Tom Ford or Brioni, alongside the magic touch of Church's and Tricker’s.’
Best for black tie: Dell’Oglio
First opening its doors in 1890, Dell’Oglio still maintains many of its original features — those visiting the historic store will be walking in the footsteps of many former Italian aristocats. ‘When customers come to our boutique, they will be using the same dressing room used by Vincenzo Florio, Renato Guttuso and Leonardo Sciascia — men who were icons of contemporary style,’ says owner Mario Dell’Oglio.
When it comes to formal black-tie events, what does the boutique recommend to create a sharp and memorable look? ‘In the tailoring world, the designers who innovate the most are Tom Ford, in all his styles: the blazer, the suits, the shirt, the knitwear. We also adore PT01 for trousers and Officine Creative for classic shoes, while Orciani promises the finest belts. Harris Wharf London’s oversized coats are the perfect finishing touch.’