(Re)introducing Simply Bespoke

SB jacket - P5312103 retouch.jpg

We initially launched with the idea of enabling customers with their own high-quality cloth to work easily and frictionlessly with a superb Sicilian tailor. 

Then last fall we introduced the Essential Bespoke line aimed at first-time bespoke customers. Similar to traditional bespoke, Essential Bespoke includes cloth. The great benefit of this new line is radically simplifying your decision process to just one item - blue or gray. We take care of everything else. 

Now we'd like to give our original idea of working with customer-supplied cloth the clarity of its own name - Simply Bespoke.  We've added a name but the idea remains the same. 

With Simply Bespoke, you enjoy sourcing and selecting your own cloth as well as owning the process of managing how much cloth you need for your commissions.

This more hands-on approach is not for everyone but can be a very satisfying experience for quite a few!

Newly expanded cloth selection

Since we are attracting interest from first-time bespoke customers, we have greatly expanded our in-house selection of cloth. This enables you to view physical swatch books similar to a traditional bespoke tailor or online swatches in some cases. 

This is ideal for those who don't have easy direct-to-consumer access to cloth and removes the need to send your cloth to me. 

We can now source a variety of English and Italian cloth such as Ariston, Cerruti, Dormeuil, Drapers, Dugdale, Escorial, Hardy Minnis, Harrisons, Holland & Sherry, Scabal, Lesser, Porter & Harding, Vitale Barberis Canonico, and W. Bill.

A handful of our suppliers allow consumer access to their cloth catalogue including:

If we source the cloth for you, prices start at $2,250 for a jacket (i.e. our Essential Bespoke line). 

For those supplying their own cloth, please keep in mind our guidelines on cloth length

Delivery time!

Very excited to see our first set of orders getting closer to shipping. This one is a wonderful spring/summer gunclub sports jacket in Holland & Sherry cloth. 

The Sicilian Reserve fitting process

Ours is both a true bespoke process and product. Sicilian Reserve jackets are made to the workshop’s highest standard: individualized paper pattern, creation of a basted jacket, hand-padded canvas in chest, lapel and collar, hand-attached linings and pick-stitching. In addition, a fitting is included to make any fit adjustments to the basted jacket. 

In preparation for your fitting appointment, the workshop creates a partially constructed or basted jacket that you try on as a basis for refining the fit of your jacket. The body of the jacket is exposed with the internal canvas of the chest, lapel and collar. The sleeves and shoulders are attached with basted stitching which means they can be removed and adjusted as the tailor refines the fit of the jacket.

Before the tailor travels to the fittings, the workshop creates a “fitting pack” for each client containing the basted jacket (and/or pants) and order form to document changes in the fitting process.


Then we set up the room we are meeting in and get ready for your arrival.

When we meet with you, the tailor and I will examine the shoulder, chest, waist and overall proportions of the jacket. The tailor will shorten, lengthen, let out or take in different parts of the jacket, all the while pinning and marking these changes on the basted jacket in real time. These fit adjustments are also subsequently reflected in your paper pattern back in the workshop. 

The pants are a bit more straightforward. We take a look at the overall line and then examine the fit at key spots such as the waist, seat, thigh, leg and length. 

During the fitting you will finalize your preferences for jacket length, sleeve length, shoulder line (padded v. nonpadded), shoulder extension, button point, jacket waist and trouser length.  We typically have a discussion of these features at the time of the measurements and order taking but the fitting will enable you to make a final determination.

It is essential that you are comfortable with your choices and that you fully approve the changes made at the fitting. These choices are often not reversible (e.g. button stance/height).


One of the great strengths of Sicilian tailoring is its flexibility. Although our base jacket has minimal canvas and no padding, our tailor can flex up or down the amount of structure in your shoulder. Although we don’t lock you into a particular shoulder structure, we do make recommendations if you have extremely sloping or over-square shoulders. 

Below are a few examples of fittings conducted in the fall of 2017 in San Francisco and New York City: 

Last but not least, we will discuss lining and button choices that would go well with your commission. We offer bemberg linings and horn, corozo and mother of pearl buttons. The tailor and I will make recommendations on linings and buttons but you are certainly free to make your own choices (or even bring your own linings and buttons). 

Cloth selection by our inaugural set of clients

Below is just a sample of cloth selections made by our clients. They reflect thoughtful and informed consideration of the function of the jacket and the desirable characteristics of the fabric. 

  1. Escorial navy hopsack. Wonderfully soft hand and finishing using high quality yarns, scoring very high for skin comfort and breathability (sourced from Pepper Lee).
  2. Hardy Minnis 3-ply grey fresco. The upper echelon in weave construction for durability and practicality (i.e. wrinkle resistance and recovery).
  3. Holland & Sherry wool-silk-linen blend in blue-brown check. A wonderful balance between design and comfort due to fiber blend and weight.
  4. Hardy Minnis 2-ply fresco in blue. Informal suiting with open, durable weave great for traveling and work/post-work settings. 
  5. H. Lesser summer kid mohair and wool blend in blue/grey stripe. Highest quality, vintage, pre-acquisition Lesser balancing wearability and comfort. 


How much cloth do I need?

We require the following minimum cloth lengths based on your height and chest size up to US mens size 42. Of course, it's always better to provide more cloth than the minimum. Minimum cloth lengths require a standard 59-62 inch (150 - 157 cm) cloth width. Please check your cloth width and length before ordering. 

A few other important notes: 

  • Lengths below can accommodate single or double breasted jackets with full lining.
  • If you are between 5'7" and 5'11", round up your height to 5'11". 
  • Note: Yard lengths are generally rounded up from their metric equivalents for convenience and safety margin.

For garments, heights, cloth widths or chest sizes not listed here, please consult with us first before purchasing your cloth.
Height up to 5’7” and chest size up to US size 42

  • Sports jacket = 1.75 yards (1.6 meters) for plain cloth or 2.0 yards (1.8 meters) for patterned cloth. Note: Half or quarter lined jackets require a minimum of 2.5 yards (2.3 meters). 
  • Trousers = 1.33 yards (1.2 meters)
  • 2 piece suit = 3.25 yards for plain cloth or 3.33 yards for patterned cloth

Height up to 5’11” and chest size up to US size 42

  • Sports jacket = 2.0 yards (1.7 meters) for plain cloth or 2.25 yards (2.0 meters) for patterned cloth. Note: Half or quarter lined jackets require a minimum of 2.5 yards (2.3 meters). 
  • Trousers = 1.5 yards (1.3 meters)
  • 2 piece suit = 3.5 yards for plain cloth or 3.75 yards for patterned cloth

Our lengths are usually less than the generic numbers cited on the web or by other cloth merchants or tailors (e.g. 2.5m for a jacket or 3.5m for a suit). Generic cloth lengths are intended to cover nearly all possible body types and therefore include excess margin not needed by our tailor (or most Sicilian tailors for that matter).

We will provide lining for your commission and will tend to match lining color with the base or dominant color of your cloth but you will have a range of color options for lining and buttons.

If you wish to provide your own lining material and buttons, please include those at the same time you give us your cloth. Below are typical lengths for lining but please contact us to confirm: 

  • Half lining (body and sleeves) = 1.5 yards (1.35 meters)
  • Full lining (body and sleeves) = 1.75 yards (1.55 meters)


Sourcing and selecting quality cloth

Effective January 2018: Please note we are now able to order fabric for your Essential Bespoke commission from many of the cloth brands listed below. This is likely the most convenient option for most US customers outside of New York City. 

In my personal blog I have written about the pitfalls of assessing cloth quality as well as an introductory primer and empirical comparison of cloth quality. Textile quality is clearly an important consideration for picking a cloth. The good news is that if you buy cloth produced from a well-known, established mill or merchant there is very low risk of purchasing a defective or subpar cloth. Effectively (for now at least), this means buying cloths of English or Italian manufacture identifiable as such on the selvedge.

While there are always exceptions depending on the fiber and mill involved, I think it is fair to say that English cloths, especially vintage ones, tend to be heavier weight and feature more conservative patterns and a drier finish. In contrast, Italian suiting and jacketing cloth tend to enjoy wider color and pattern variation with softer hand feel and finishes. This distinction was clearer in the past but you can still see differences today between the English and Italian approach to suiting and jacketing cloth. 

The following list is not exhaustive but you should stick to established mills and merchants such as:

Ideally, you should visit a local fabric store who sells directly to consumers. That way you can see and feel in person the cloth before buying it.

If you live near or in a major city, your best bet is to go a local fabric merchant who has access to quality cloth. These include Tip Top (New York City), Britex Fabrics (San Francisco), Mood Fabrics or B. Black & Sons (Los Angeles). 

Alternatively, you can find third-party sellers and mills that sell direct to consumer such as Fox Flannel, Huddersfield Fine Worsteds, British FabricsPepper LeeYorkshire Fabric or Harrisons Burley's online shop and eBay shop.

With quality issues addressed, you can focus your attention on a more compelling concern when selecting a cloth for your Sicilian Reserve order. 

This means deciding where to play in the aesthetic and functional sandbox - namely, weight, color, pattern, weave, and hand feel. You can start with the functions most important to you such as wrinkle recovery, drape or skin comfort. This will determine the ideal yarn/fiber type, weight, weave and hand of your target cloth.

Otherwise, you can start with color and pattern and determine by a process of elimination the ideal cloth for your suit or jacket. Organize and group your initial set of swatches by color/pattern. Then do a second pass by examining and comparing their weights, hand feel and finishes to determine the winner.

If you're deciding between more than two swatch options per color/pattern, divide your selections into pairs. Then do a pairwise A/B comparison and elimination according to the criteria you have set until you have your winner. 

Remember the selection process is greatly simplified if you hew to the established mills and merchants (large and small), focus on determining your aesthetic and functional requirements of the cloth and then conducting a pairwise comparison and elimination of the different options.