This is another one from my bespoke tailors blog posts. This time I am looking a closer look at my Sartoria Francesco Guida suit review.
As usual I will give you my feedback and grades on the following categories:
- Customer service
- Fit and quality
Each of those will be graded in scale 1-10. I will of course explain my reasoning and will try to give as many facts as possible. You can then have the information that you can use to grading it yourself as well.
Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Francesco Guida who offered me a discounted price.
I first met Francesco and Emilio (his partner) during one of their rare visits to London some time in 2017. At the time he was not very well-known in Europe yet. He has been travelling to Qatar and Korea for much longer and established sizeable clientele in those countries.
However by the time I was ready to order my company sent me to our office in Denmark so didn’t have a chance to try Francesco Guida bespoke in London.
Lucky for me it turned out he started coming to Copenhagen and obviously it was very handy for me.
During our first meeting in Copenhagen I was going through hundreds of cloth samples from Francesco Guida archive. Instead of bringing bunches of fabrics which everyone can order from the latest collections of Italian or English mills Francesco carries DIY cloth samples. There are literally hundreds of different cloths both for suits and sport coats as well as heavier over coats. All of them are old stock! There were amazing choices, however some very “unique” not to say oldschool. If you want something very interesting then that’s the way to go. Francesco, probably not intentionally, got himself an edge, similarly to other Italian bespoke Masters. They have been archiving rolls of old stock cloth for years. Something you can’t get anywhere else. It’s quite amazing!
I went for a navy striped 3pc suit in very lightweight summer cloth called Palm Beach.
Suit was going to have notch lapel, relatively wide, side jetted pockets, two side back vents and 3 roll 2 buttoning. Everything pretty much standard apart from maybe the pockets, which is personal choice. I felt like for a 3pc suit jetted ones work best, being most formal. I would however also wear it easily without the waistcoat on hottest days. Waistcoast is very simple, single button, two side pockets, no lapels.
See the swatch zoomed in below.
The trousers have side adjusters, button-closing fly, double pleats, 5cm cuffs and two back pockets as well. A little extended waistband closure with 2 buttons for the extra room after big dinners. In all seriousness I went for comfort and flexibility so there is a lot of room for adjustment in the size at waistband. Trousers also have the bracing buttons in case I want to be super comfortable. Waist size was decided upon while I was in Copenhagen, where unsurprisingly I gained some weight, so now they are rather loose. Wearing them with braces helps a lot. I dont have to worry about them moving down during the day.
The photo on the left was taken in daylight showing the navy background, two light blue stripes on the side of central lighter brown/beige one. It also shows you a slightly open weave texture of the cloth and hopefully its very light weight.
During my visit to Francesco's atelier in beautiful and underestimated Prato (near Florence) I had a chance to see his shop and workshop. It is a spacious shop with number of rolls of fabric on the walls. There is a separate fitting room with huge mirrors and a work shop in the back, probably bigger than the shop itself. It was late in the evening when I got there from Florence and i would say at least 5 other employees were still there, on top of Francesco (cutting new order), Gabriele and Emilio who showed me around.
Sample of amazing winter fabrics available in store below!
Process - 8/10
I ordered the suit while I was still back in Copenhagen. Lucky for me Francesco Guida and the team have been going there for a while. They would usually message me on whatsapp before coming. Agreeing on specific time during the day was a little more difficult but they did announce the trunk show about a month in advance which was great.
My office hours were not too strict so I could see them regardless after work. Still, worth noting in my opinion. Whoever prefers more organisation from the tailor should bear this in mind.
While I would consider this to be small problem, I know others could be frustrated. As long as the tailor comes relatively frequently and gives me more than 1 day notice I would be ok with that.
Francesco has a partner who speaks decent English and usually communicates via whatsapp. There is also a younger apprentice who started travelling with them - Gabriele. His English is also good. Francesco does not speak any but was able to understood everything i was trying to communicate at fittings. We usually agreed on adjustments to be made. You can imagine its not difficult to discuss fitting of a bespoke jacket with a very experienced master tailor like Francesco.
The dates for my bespoke experience were as follows:
- Order and measurements 27.10.2017
- 1st fitting at Pitti Uomo in Jan 2018
- 2nd fitting in Copenhagen at Trunk Show late February 2018
- Suit finished and delivered on 22nd June 2018.
Total time for the suit: 8 months. I think generally the process went without any problems, communication was ok, could have been informed about trunk shows a little earlier but overall it was smooth and quick for bespoke process. Very happy with that, so 8/10.
Above, two photos of my jacket waiting for me before 1st fitting on display in the store. Both sleeves are in, no breast pocket or side pockets were cut yet, but marked with stitches.
At the first fitting I don’t believe I was asking Francesco to adjust anything. He definitely asked me about rise of trousers, length of jacket, length of sleeves, width of trousers and button stance. Those would be the most basic proportion related aspects that I would imagine should be well communicated and decided upon at the beginning. It is a very important basis for the work that follows.
Francesco is very efficient and quick during the fittings. You can tell he is experienced. It's really great you get to have the fittings with the actual cutter of you suit. While this is not the most important aspect for me personally I value his experience very much. His efficiency allows him to go through the fitting in about 10-15min at max. On one hand all of my fitting were very good and there were no issues with the fit but also he just went from one aspect to the other himself and marked as necessary.
There are almost no photos from my 2nd fitting in Copenhagen however. It was dark and not photo friendly. Suit was much more advanced compared to first fitting. The only issue as usual was the right shoulder but it was dealt with very well and at that time I was still very optimistic the suit would look and fit great.
Knowing about Francesco's tendency to go short on jackets I made sure he knew I preferred the classic fit from the start. I told him in the beginning. Both waist line and length of the jacket should be classic, meaning not tight and short. He didn't have any problems with that but 2nd fitting extension by 1cm of length on the jacket was the maximum he allowed for.
By no means I was trying to change his style but I tweaked it a little. By adding the extra 1cm I was more happy with the balance and Francesco did not abandon his sense of proportions and style.
Customer Service – 8/10
Similarly to Process, which I think is linked to customer service, I was very happy.
Francesco is very professional and efficient at fittings. He manages the process effectively, he also teaches his apprentice how to be a Master Tailor.
He always was calm and explained everything he did or how Gabriele should do it.
The suit was always prepared when I came and ready for me to try on immediately. I never had to wait much for my slot because Francesco Guida always seem to have 1 client at a time, making sure he can spend all the time he needs. It is difficult to judge their organisation on one order but in this experience I had no complaints at all.
I was given the swatch of my fabric (remember, there is only one per fabric), so they would have to make a new one if there was more fabric left in stock (there wasn’t, only 3m left). Also, together with the delivery of the suit, well packed and with nice suit bag too, they sent me the remaining, not so small, amount of this old stock cloth. So it makes my bespoke suit that much more special! Delivery was extra 25euro.
Fit and Quality – 7.5/10
Overall I am very happy with the fit and quality of the suit.
Proportions are spot on. You could see on the first two photos from the front and back how clean the jacket looks.
Below two photos show you either side of the suit with the left sleeve (as always) being a bit more clean. Both sides show a perfect length of the jacket, which “cuts” me into two equal parts. Sleeves are on the longer side leaving only small amount of sleeve cuff. I think it makes it look a little more formal. Well, at the end its quite formal looking striped 3pc suit, isn’t it?
Trousers are not the finest in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong. There is a lot of handwork but it is just not very neatly finished. It seems to me there is less attention being paid to trousers. You can tell.
The waist is a bit flimsy, very light and not much structure in the waistband. It seems at least to be of lower quality compared to the jacket. I am sure the weight of the cloth played a role in this but still.
It is not an easy material to work with I am sure. There is no lining or structure on the legs so its difficult to make the material hang well from the waist. It would have been much easier with heavy flannel, for sure. Partly for that reason I am not too concerned with trousers. For me, as long as they make my legs look straight (not their natural bow shape), are comfortable in the waist and sit (these are very comfortable!), then I am happy. Pleats look very nice at waist but the leg further down, below knee is a little too creasy.
So taking all this into account I would give the fit and quality a very good 7.5, mostly because of the trousers. Jacket is pretty much spot on and correcting the right sleeve in a heavier cloth would make it look perfect.
Overall I would give Francesco Guida suit a very well deserved 8/10.
If the trousers were as good as my BnTailor fox flannel pair I would probably give them 9/10. I am honestly not sure how I can ever go 10/10..
I love the fabric choices, the style of Florentine bespoke tailor, Francesco Guida’s experience and effortless and efficient fittings. It makes me feel really great every time I wear this suit.
In summary I can recommend Francesco, taking into account all the above. Please remember to let him know about your preferences, most likely “classic” silhouette. Bear in mind their basic English and communication via whatsapp and you will be happy.
Francesco Guida price starts at 3000euro for bespoke suit.
Hope you like this review. Please see more photos below!
I am also wearing:
– shirt: 100hands cotton linen in Gold Line
– tie: printed silk by H. N. White (not expensive English made ties)
– shoes: TLB Mallorca black calf oxford shoes
– socks: over the calf wool by DiCarlo via Venetian Trader
Photography as always by the best Bart Pajak.