Life Skills

Assisi double-breasted summer suit: Review – Permanent Style

  • May 20, 2024
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Assisi double-breasted summer suit: Review – Permanent Style

This suit from Korean tailor Assisi has already been teased a couple of times on PS. Once during the fitting process in Seoul, where it frankly looked impossibly clean. And once when I wore it for our summer drinks in the Burlington Arcade. 

No suit ever looks quite as clean as that fitting, at least as soon as it is worn for a bit, and the wearer is striding around rather than standing stock still. The sharp high-twist wool from Drapers – the Ascot four-ply – also helped. 

But I’m very happy with the suit. It’s a beautiful style, well fitted, and I’ve been enjoying wearing it even more than I thought I would – in both the ways shown here: open-necked and occasionally unbuttoned, with a linen shirt and suede loafers; and formally with a tie and sharp oxford. It could do a wedding and a smart garden party as easily as a sunny day about town. 

In my first review of Assisi, I subtly challenged Dabin and Min Soo to achieve the same great fit in a lightweight summer cloth. They’ve certainly achieved that. 

With the first tweed jacket (above), there was a bit of debate backwards and forwards about shoulder width and lapel size. We had one fitting in Florence and two in Japan where it was discussed.

I should have just left it up to them, because Dabin always looks wonderful in his double-breasteds and this suit has a slightly more balanced, pleasing style this time, when they’ve made all the choices. 

It’s still a roomy fit, like the tweed, but not so much that you could wear any thickness of sweater underneath. It’s drapey, making it very comfortable and also making it cooler (something often forgotten in the discussion of summer tailoring). 

And I love the style. It’s the antithesis of the tight-and-short noughties look, the one that originated with the growth of Italian modernist brands in the nineties, dominated the growth of menswear from 2008 onwards, and which still hangs around to a boring degree. 

This is larger, more eighties but also more 1930s. I’m sure all the vintage fans will be happy about this – and perhaps take the prompt to wear the same cut of tailoring but in an unfussy style. 

The keyword for me is balanced. The lapel is wide but not too wide – pointing to the shoulder but not flying off it. The buttoning point is balanced too – I tend towards pushing this a little lower these days, but the proportions here are great and that’s the most important thing. It’s more moderate, and less likely to date as a result. 

The trousers are higher rise and pleated. This isn’t my normal style, but I already have trousers in that style in a similar cloth from this Cornacchia suit, so it was an opportunity to experiment a bit. 

I like the fact that when you wear a belt with this kind of rise, the body is shortened and therefore proportionately widened, yet the trouser height doesn’t look too old-fashioned because the belt covers the top inch or so. For those that like higher-rise trousers, wearing a belt like this is a good option. 

Those two shots above also show how good the finishing is on this suit. You can see the little bar tacks on the pleats of the trousers, and the pick stitching around the coin pocket above it. A friend in Korea told me recently that the biggest change in the past 10 years has been how much the sewing among local tailors has improved – not the style or fit, but the fineness of the work.

That finishing is evident on the fineness of the jets on the pockets as well; see previous article here for how and why that can be a good indicator of the quality of work.

If I have any quibble at all, it’s a small one about the roping of the sleevehead on one side. I love the naturalness of the shoulder, finishing in a soft and subtle roping. But there’s one point on the left shoulder where perhaps the fullness could be smoother. A small thing and also very fixable.

The buttons, by the way, are a pale mushroomy corozo. The more standard choice might have been a dark-brown horn (blond horn can be nice but more for a jacket). But I like how the greyish shade has worked. It makes it a touch smarter perhaps, but that’s all. 

In the tieless outfit shown, the suit is worn with a white linen shirt from D’Avino, a Rubato brown-suede belt and Piccadilly brown-suede loafers from Edward Green. The sunglasses are from Clan Milano, via Connolly. 

The tie in the other outfit is from Shibumi (an old style, no longer available) and the shoes are my bespoke black wingtips from Cleverley. There’s something pleasingly old-world about the way that chiselled shoe looks with the wider, cuffed trouser leg. 

At our summer drinks, I wore a brown Drake’s tie (woven silk again) with my dark-brown Yohei Fukuda oxfords (shown below). 

I’m still in the early stages of working out what combinations I like, and so naturally starting simply and conservatively. In the future I look forward to trying the suit with other things, such as a pink shirt or perhaps a black one. 

Assisi have moved spaces in Seoul by the way, so I’ve included a few shots of the new atelier below. I never visited the first one, which was shown on our introductory article on them, but it looked like it had a similar vibe: modernist, clean and quiet. 

The fitting room is particularly nice, as you have windows on three sides that look down the hill to the river, as well as up the steep streets around. 

Since our first article on Assisi, their popularity has grown and they are now travelling to New York and Paris as well as to Singapore, Bangkok and Sydney in Asia. There are no current plans to visit the UK regularly, unfortunately. 

Trunk shows are conducted through The Decorum in Singapore and Bangkok and through The Finery Company in Sydney. 

Bespoke suits start at $2,950 and jackets $2,300. The cloth shown is Drapers four-ply, from the Ascot bunch. Code 18050, 370g. 

Assisi also offer an MTO service, with prices $2,360 for a suit and $1,840 for a jacket. This is made exactly the same as bespoke, but to a ready-made block with no fitting, just selection of style and cloth. It still has to be commissioned at a trunk show or in Seoul.

For those that have enjoyed our ‘walkie talkie’ videos recently on Instagram, I will also do one in this suit, to show it in motion. 

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