The roots of Neapolitan tailoring can be stretched back to 700 years. However the rise of Neapolitan jacket was in 1900’s when Vincenzo Attolini was inspired from Angelo Blasi who was famous for British tailoring, and Domenico Caraceni who was famous for soft line jackets and blended the craftsmanship with his own creativity and thus gave birth to the Neapolitan jackets which were without padding and could be folded up to 8 times.
The signature characteristics of a Neapolitan jacket remain much as they were in the bygone days.
Extended dart:- The front dart on the coat extends all the way to the bottom hem to create a more streamlined look, the back is cut with a reasonable amount of waist suppression, sleeves are tapered with overlapping, or “kissing” buttons, and the overall jacket is slightly shorter than a classic English jacket.
A generous lapel:- They double backstitch on the customarily larger lapel
Three-roll-two button stance:- On this 3-button (with two buttons working) single-breasted coat, the third nonworking button/buttonhole is inserted into the lapel to give more structure and create a larger belly inside the lapel roll. This is referred to as the “tre buttoni su due” and is a detail you can only have in a handmade jacket, as the buttonhole worked into the lapel is made upside-down. Of course, the 3 on 2 is not exclusive to Neapolitan tailoring and can be witnessed in Paris or London.
Minimal lining — or no lining at all:- As the climate in Naples can be sultry, if not at times stifling, a lot of attention is focused on making the lightest and coolest ensemble possible, while still upholding a good suit structure. Because of this, a Neapolitan suit coat will be of a light structure and will typically have a very small amount of lining inside, with the goal being that the coat should fit like a second skin.
Barchetta Chest Pockets:- The word ‘Barchetta’ in Italian means ‘little boat’. Thus, the Barchetta pocket is a boat-shaped pocket unlike in the English, machine-made jackets which have a rectangular shape. The Barchetta pockets are exclusively found in the Neapolitan jackets which are made in Italy.
Some of the other features are mere piping on inner seams; High gorge notch lapels, patch pockets: curved at the bottom and the shape reminiscent of a brandy snifter.
It is said that the tailors understand the body morphology so well that fewer fittings than usual are necessary to get an exceptional fit. It is across the shoulders, however, that Neapolitan tailoring is at its most distinctive, precise and remarkable. Thick padding and commercial, Britain’s Savile Row and Rome’s professional tailors’ can hide a multitude of physical and sartorial imperfections but the Neapolitan tailors leave zero margin error with soft, rounded and unpadded shoulders.
The sole reason for the fondness of Neapolitan tailoring is not only the polished tailoring work but also an attitude towards putting others at ease, being naturally elegant, and a spirit of not-so-accidental nonchalance.