A Complete Guide to Choosing an Italian Cut Designer Suit | Neapolitan Sartorial Luxury

A Complete Guide to Choosing an Italian Cut Designer Suit | Neapolitan Sartorial Luxury

A Complete Guide to Owning an Italian Cut Designer Suit | Neapolitan Sartorial Luxury

There is something about an Italian suit that just makes a man look sharp.

There is something even more special about a Neapolitan suit - the cut of suit that has become most famous around the world in recent years. 

If you are looking to buy your first Italian suit, or just want to learn more about how to wear one, this guide is for you. 

We'll cover everything from choosing the right style to fit your body type to avoiding common mistakes. 

So read on and learn how to take your style up a notch with an Italian suit.


1. The basics of Italian suits - their history and how they're made


What is a Neapolitan cut suit?

So, you’re looking at buying an Italian suit. The first thing that you should know is that generally speaking, Italian (and more specifically Neapolitan) cut suits rarely have heavy padding or linings in them. This is because it was the belief of Vincenzo Attolini and Ciro Paone (The founders of Neapolitan Suitmakers Cesare Attolini and Kiton respectively) that a suit should highlight the body and not hide it.

That means that, in general, you should only buy a Neapolitan cut suit if you’re happy with the shape of your body. Otherwise, you’re going to potentially be disappointed by the end effect of your suit. Neapolitan cut suits are perfect for Cocktail Event Attire.

The Italian cut of suit has become dominant in the world of fashion, leading to German brand Hugo Boss to also make suits (Boss Suits) - And the quality of these is also fantastic. 

The other important point about a suit is of course the fabric, which we will discuss in more detail further down this article. 

How are Italian suits made?

This, of course, depends on the brand - but as we are purveyors of Sartorial Excellence, we’ll talk about the best Italian suit brands - Cesare Attolini and Kiton.

Every single stitch that goes into an Attolini or Kiton suit is painstakingly made by hand - and the end result is something that has slowly become famous across the world. They are the pinnacle of Italian mens clothing.

Every handmade sartorial suit takes over 20 hours to make. With each part of the suit being specialized in by a tailor, and so the end result is something very similar to Henry Ford’s production line model, where each tailor becomes an expert in one specific part of the suitmaking process.

This is not how all Italian suits are made - but the really special ones are made using this handmade process. 


2. How to find the perfect Italian suit for you

How to Choose a Suit Fabric

You may be tempted into buying a 100% Cashmere suit. But it’s highly advised that you first of all take some time to consider your options. If you are planning on only buying one suit, then a 100% cashmere suit is not a four season suit. 

This means that if, in the future, you need to go to a summer event, you will be out of luck and you will have to buy another suit. That is why we created a four season suit collection - as we believe that this is the best style of Italian designer suit to buy. 

Generally speaking, the most common suit fabrics are:

These are very rarely 100% compositions, except in the cases of wool, cotton, and cashmere. The other suit fabrics on this list are generally used in a composition of different fabrics. 

The winter fabrics are thick wool and cashmere, the rest of the fabrics on this list are either four seasons or in the case of cotton and linen, summer fabrics.

We recommend choosing something like a Virgin wool suit, if you want something that you can easily wear all year round, or take this Kiton Wool and Cashmere suit as an example:

Kiton Blue Suit Cashmere and cool


How to Choose a Suit Brand

Choosing a suit brand is arguably more important than choosing a car brand. A suit brand starts to define who you are, once you are deep enough into the classic menswear space. We recommend one of three suit brands:

  • Kiton
  • Cesare Attolini
  • Hugo Boss

Kiton and Cesare Attolini are perfect for people who are wealthy, but want to hide their wealth without wearing very obviously expensive clothes. This will allow you to live your life as you want, without being constantly hampered for money and favors from so-called “friends”.

If, on the other hand, you’re simply looking for a well-priced suit that will do everything that you need it to, we recommend hugo boss, such as this navy blue suit from Hugo Boss:

Boss Navy blue Suit

How to Choose a Suit Color

Choosing a suit color is not especially difficult. There are a few suit colors that are made by every single suit brand in the world, and that are selected because they are neutral colors. The point here is that you bring color to your outfit in other parts, and not with the suit.

The most common suit colors in the world are:

It’s hard to decide what color suit to buy, however we don’t really recommend buying a black suit if you’re only buying one. This is because there are certain events where a black suit is unacceptable, and therefore you have to be careful when buying only one suit. 

Dark Blue or navy suits, according to most people, are the most common and the most versatile. There is only one a handful of events where a navy blue suit would not be acceptable. For example, a black tie event, or a black tie wedding. Here's a full guide to wedding outfits for men. Here's a guide to beach wedding attire for men.

Also, Navy and Dark Blue are very easy colors to style around, making it very easily possible to create a colorfilled outfit, without making any fashion faux pas. 

How to Measure yourself for a suit

This is one of the hardest parts of online shopping for a suit. A lot of clients already know their suit size, but if you’re not 100% sure of your suit size, we’ll try our best to summarize all of the things you need to know.

One important thing to know is that suit sizes depend massively from country to country. So although we can give you a rough guide here, it’s very difficult to know for sure.

Fortunately our suit measurements on our website are accurate, and you can therefore measure the following parts of your body, and have some idea on which suit size works for you:

  • First, measure your chest. Make sure you are wearing a dress shirt and that the measuring tape is placed up your body's midline, stopping at the point where your nipples are located. 

  • Next, measure your arm length from your shoulder down to wrist. Again, it is important that you are wearing a dress shirt with sleeves for this measurement. 

  • Finally, measure the length of jacket from the base of neck to hem. 

  • Once you have all these numbers written down, simply match them to the corresponding measurements on our website in order to find out what size jacket you should purchase!

how to Measure yourself for a suit

The final thing to note is that there is a second size type within suits and blazers, which is known as the drop. If you have a particular body shape, a standard suit size will not fit you. Therefore, many suitmakers also make suits that are specific for all body shapes. Although it’s rare to find these suits in the Off-The-Rack suit category (which is what we sell here at 2men) it’s not impossible to find.

The first letter of the drop is either, L, C or R. These mean, Lungo, Corto, or Regulare (Long, Short, or Regular in English). 

The second number, is a number between 1-10. Numbers 1-4 are larger, 5-7 are regular body shapes, 7-10 are for tighter body shapes.


3. What to wear with an Italian suit to complete the look

The only two additions you need for a complete Suit outfit

Ok, so you’ve now chosen your perfect Italian cut suit. What now? You can’t just go out wearing a suit and nothing else! The first thing you will need a shirt. Obviously, the most common color of shirt (and one that goes with every single color and style of suit) is the classic white work shirt

If you want a very modern look, you can stop here. You don’t need a tie, you don’t need a pocket square, you honestly don’t need anything else. All you need is a simple pair of Italian sneakers, and now you’ve got your complete outfit

This slacks and sneakers look has recently been exploding all across of Italy, and when compared with a modern suit made from a modern fabric, the end result is truly something special. Here's our favorite Italian Designer Sneaker brands.

This is more of a Business casual look, and should only be worn if the event is not overly formal. If the event is a formal event, and you wear this outfit, you may commit a fashion faux pas. 

The complete suit outfit

If, on the other hand, you want to complete the look with something truly special and something that can be worn top any formal event - then you’ll need the following accessories to go with your suit:

  • Tie or bowtie
  • Pocket Square
  • Belt
  • Dress shoes
  • Overcoat 
  • Bag


Here is an example of a complete suit outfit. As previously stated in this article, blue is a great color for a suit. As you can see the colors in this outfit are perfectly balanced in order to allow you to express your individuality, without seeming garish or brash.

This is the fine line of classic menswear fashion, and it is something that 2Men and in particular the founders, Piergiuseppe Castiello and Nicola Abategiovanni, have always been passionate about. 


4. How to care for your Italian suit so it lasts longer

If you want your suit to last for years, it's important to take care of it properly. 

Brush it down after each use to remove any dirt or debris that could damage the fabric. 

Spot clean with a damp cloth when necessary, and dry clean your suit sparingly to avoid fading the fabric. 

Hang your suit on thick wooden hangers to maintain its shape, and let it breathe between wearings by storing it in a cool, dry place. 

Steam your suit occasionally to remove wrinkles and refresh the fabric. 

When packing your suit for travel, be sure to wrap it in acid-free tissue paper to protect it from creases. 

Finally, rotate your suits so that you don't wear the same one too often - this will help prolong its life. 

With a little care, your suit will stay looking sharp for many years to come.


5. Where to buy Italian suits online and in-store

There is only one place to buy the best of the best Neapolitan cut suits, and that is right here on 2Men.

Throughout this article we have included links to various types of suits, but if you want to browse every single suit that we have, then check out our suit collection here:

Collection of Italian Designer Suits 

If you, instead, want to buy a suit in person, then you can go directly to Kiton or Cesare Attolini, in suit shops around the world. They have offices in the richest places on earth, for example on New Bond Street in London. This is truly an Old Money Brand.

It is much better financially for you if you buy a new, off-the-rack suit, that has never be worn. This is the best way to buy a suit. 


6. Suit etiquette - what not to do when wearing a suit

The wrong suit sleeve length

One of the most common mistakes men make when buying a suit is settling for the wrong sleeve length. An off-the-rack suit will not be made for your exact arm length, as well as the fact that some people have twop different length arms. This means that creating an off-the-rack suit for mass-production that will fit you exactly can sometimes be incredibly difficult. It is therefore essential to have a tailor locally who can help you make adjustments to your suit.

Buttoning a jacket properly: the complete etiquette 

Another common mistake is buttoning your jacket incorrectly. If you button your jacket and there's a gap between the buttons, it will make you look sloppy. Always button your jacket and then adjust the fit by pulling or pushing on the fabric around the buttons until it looks right. Not only this, but you can also button the wrong buttons. If you have a two-button blazer or sports jacket, you should only even do up the first button. On the other hand, if you have a three-button blazer or sports coat, you should only ever do up the middle button. 

Remember to remove the temporary stitching from your suit

Another mistake men make is forgetting to remove the stitching that holds the sleeves in place. This is called "basting" and it's only meant to be temporary. Once you've tried on the jacket and decided you like it, take it to a tailor and have the basting removed. Otherwise, you'll always have those little threads poking out of your sleeves. There are also some threads at the back of the jacket at the bottom, meaning you should also be accustome with making small cuts in oyur own blazer, or again by having your own tailor.

The jacket length is fundamental

Choosing the wrong jacket length is another common mistake. The bottom of your jacket should hit at about the same spot as your knuckles when your arms are down at your sides. If it's too short, it will make you look like you're wearing a child's garment; if it's too long, it will make you look like you're swimming in fabric. As for trouser length, it's generally best to err on the side of caution and go for a slightly longer inseam. That way, you can always have them hemmed if they're too long, but if they're too short, you'll be stuck with them. 

Make sure you accessorize properly

Finally, don't go overboard with accessories. A suit should be a minimalist statement; adding a lot of extras will only serve to clutter up your look. Stick with a well-crafted watch, a pair of clean shoes, and a tasteful tie or pocket square. Anything more than that risks looking excessive. 

By following these simple guidelines, you can avoid some of the most common mistakes men make when buying a suit. 

Remember: taking time to find the right fit will pay off in spades in terms of both how you look and how confident you feel.


This article was written by Suit Expert Piergiuseppe Castiello originally in Italian, and then translated into English. All of the information here comes directly from an expert in the suiting world. If you’re wanting to choose your first ever Italian designer suit, this is a great place to start!

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About the Author

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This article was originally written by Piergiuseppe Castiello in Italian - it was then translated by an expert translator to bring it into the English speaking world. Piergiuseppe is the owner of Porcamo SRL - and is also the founder of IsuiT.