Life Skills

Building on constructive criticism – Permanent Style

  • Jun 3, 2024
  • 20
Building on constructive criticism – Permanent Style

Three years ago, I covered the German outfit Massura, who were offering a well-priced bespoke and MTM service made in Naples. However the jacket they made me had some substantial issues, which I covered in a review in the normal, honest way we do on PS. 

I didn’t hear from them for a while, and I assumed they’d moved on. But the founder Moritz got in touch again last year, and it turned out he had taken the review to heart and substantially changed the business. 

A previous collaborator, Vlad, had come on board as co-owner and they had moved to a new  manufacturer, slowly introducing the product and taking a lot of feedback. They also reworked their patterns, including changing how the jacket worked on someone like me with sloping shoulders. 

The failure in this area (below) was the biggest issue covered in the first review, and I had always found it odd that the fit was so much better on Moritz himself than it was on me. 

Other changes they’ve gone through include opening a physical store in Munich, and largely abandoning virtual fittings as too unreliable (one of my three appointments was done over Zoom). 

This process was completed last year, and they asked if they could make another jacket in order to show how much the product had improved. I was impressed with their attitude – few people take critical coverage on Permanent Style that constructively. Or if they do, they don’t tell me about it. 

The new jacket they made was indeed better, and you can see the results in these images. It used a different fabric – Fox Tweed TD12 – but the style and level of make was otherwise the same. 

As with the previous manufacturer, the top-end MTM service uses a lot of handwork, including hand-making the chest, attaching the collar and sleeves by hand, and hand sewing buttonholes. There isn’t the same level of iron work and shaping as bespoke, but the bigger difference with bespoke is the fitting rather than the making. 

The MTM uses blocks rather than starting a pattern from scratch, and there is normally one intermediate fitting, with an unfinished jacket. This is in some ways a step up for MTM though, as you normally get a finished jacket where only relatively small changes (eg side seam, sleeve length) are possible. 

With mine, we actually had two intermediate fittings, just because Moritz were unsure about the lapel style, which I had changed a little by lowering the gorge. 

That gorge (the height of the ‘notch’ in the lapel) is the one thing I would raise as a possible issue for PS readers, as Massura’s default style is slightly Italian-style jackets with design points like that higher gorge. You can see this fairly clearly from the tailoring on their website and I’ve included a couple of sample images below.

Of course, with bespoke you can change many of these things, and you can quite a few with MTM too. But I’ve always said it’s best going with a tailor that you like the style of, if you can. There will always be things you don’t think to specify. 

I’ve only worn the jacket a couple of times (it’s a little heavy for the season) but so far it’s performed well. 

Moritz does like higher vents on the back of the jacket, partly because he finds it improves the fit, but I’m not sure I like them that much. I might get them tacked a little lower down. Otherwise there isn’t much I’d change. 

The cloth, interestingly, I’ve found a little tricky, as the brighter blue flecks don’t make it quite as versatile as plain blue. I do love the Fox Tweed quality though, which never wears as warm as the weight (17oz) would suggest. 

One of the reasons I’d continue to highlight Massura is that there is so little good tailoring available in Germany. There’s Maximilian Mogg in Berlin, but that won’t be to everyone’s taste. There’s the ex-Anderson & Sheppard cutter James Whitfield in Berlin too, but generally it’s stores offering Italian brands – and not that many of those. 

Massura’s prices have gone up a bit since last time, but remain good value. There are three levels:

  • MTM Standard. Mostly machine made, €1800 for a suit, €1300 for a jacket
  • MTM Handmade. What I had, €2350-2700 for a suit, €1750-2000 for a jacket
  • Bespoke. As you’d expect, €3000-3400 for a suit, €2200-€2400 for a jacket

All prices include 19% Germany VAT.

Trunk shows are in London and Frankfurt. The former every three months, the latter every 6-8 weeks. 

Other clothes shown:

  • PS Oxford shirt in pink/white stripe
  • Charcoal flannel trousers, made by Whitcomb & Shaftesbury in Fox cloth
  • Black-calf Piccadilly loafers from Edward Green
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch in yellow gold on a black-alligator strap

Green jacket clothes details on the original Massura article

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