Monday, March 19, 2007

The Show-Off, Milan

This is Gianpaolo Alliata, he is the type of salesperson a Sartorialist dreams about. (wait, I’m not sure that reads the way I meant but hear me out)

The first time I went into Al Bazar , my new favorite store in Milan, I was overwhelmed by the selection of beautiful shirts.

Guy Rover shirts sold at Al Bazar come with an extra set of collar and cuffs and are available in only spread collar (below) and extreme cutaway collar (as Gianpaolo wears above) or button-down. ( Point-collar shirts do not exist in the best menswear shops of Milan)

Gianpaolo ,with an actors flair for the dramatic, showed me the variety of fabrics that were available in my size.
He had a very particular and graceful way off pulling out each box from the wall, flipping over the lid and peeling back the tissue paper to reveal the woven treasure inside.
Once I decided on which shirts I was going to buy I started toward the dressing room to try the shirt on for the sleeve alteration – this is where he really got me.
He just looks at me and says “what are you doing?”
“I’m trying the shirt on so you can shorten the sleeves” I said.
“It’s ok, I have it” he said
“I’m really particular” I warned. To this point I had not said anything about my blog or anything about my background.
“I have it ” he said with a with a slight arrogance that comes from years of experience.
“Well, understand I want the length to be right here” I said pointing to the base of my wrist.
“I have it” he repeated.
“Ok, but if it is wrong you won’t have time to fix it before I leave Milan.” I warned again.
“No problem” he assured me.

To be honest, I could not decide to be pleased or pissed.

I loved the fact that he felt so confident in his ability to offer a perfect fitting shirt (which is rare for a salesperson these days) but I was also a little put off at the idea I was so easy to visually measure up.
A small part of me wanted to sleeve length to be a little off just to show I was more complex than he thought (if that makes sense?)

I went back to the store two days later and damn! if the sleeve length wasn’t perfect!

Mr. Show-Off!

Needless to say since then I have bought about six shirts at Al Bazar and several pairs of pants (which I did try on).

When I got the pants back from alteration, twill tape had been sewn in the hem of the pants to protect the fabric from being stepped on by your shoes(this is a very high-end detail). I asked if this was something that they always did and Gianpaolo looked at me like “of course, dork, this is Milan.”

The Guy Rover Shirts are about $105Euro and the pants are about $195Euro.
To me they are just about the best menswear deals in Milan.

Tonight I will post the photo I took of Al Bazar owner ,and Japanese fashion icon, Lino Ieluzzi with a few more photos from the store and a link to their website.


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  1. Belinda

    March 19, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Absolutely love the “idea” of the twill tape in the hem of the pants. So simple and practical – no surprise it’s a standard service in Milan! Can’t wait to see your additional pics.

  2. Anonymous

    March 19, 2007 at 10:34 am

    yooowza! mi piace tanto!

  3. Anonymous

    March 19, 2007 at 11:00 am

    so has milan never worn point collars, or is the current offering of cutaway and super cutaway only because they are now so into fat ties with fat knots? or into wearing them without ties?

  4. Resplendato

    March 19, 2007 at 11:04 am

    “Of course, This is Milan” well that about says it all doesn’t it?

  5. Anonymous

    March 19, 2007 at 11:05 am

    You know, Sart, your stories are as colorful as your stories.

    I know it’s too much to ask you to do both all the time but…just know that it’s appreciated.

    Tee hee –> “dork”


    P.S. Men have different collars to choose from? Whoa. I’ve got a lot to learn. My peacock partner likes that I know a bit more about his fashion sense since his return from overseas.

  6. Mark, London

    March 19, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Love the entries about interesting shops and tailors etc. Much more interesting than the runway shows .

  7. rube

    March 19, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Please show what you mean by twill tape on the hem. I’d like to do that for my husband’s business wear.

  8. Anonymous

    March 19, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    I am just curious. How do you communicate in Italy? in english or italian. how’s english in retail stores. I am planning a trip to Italy in May and i am concerned about the language issue. Also I would appreciate it if you list the best retail stores in milan and other cities in italy.
    Thanks Scott

  9. Alice Olive

    March 19, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    I love that! I would have been pissed/pleased too. Sometimes arrogance is well placed!

  10. Cut of cloth

    March 19, 2007 at 12:49 pm


  11. Gianni Pontiac

    March 19, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Great entry about the twill tape, but what about your new labels! Now that’s progress. Getting better and better, you Sart you.

    Any more shots of Milanese (or other Italian) stylish bicyclists?


  12. Flights

    March 19, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    He looks like an Italian actor not a clothier.

  13. foodie415

    March 19, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Sart — great post. Is it too much to ask for photos of you in your Milanese finery?

  14. Claris

    March 19, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    What a great story. I am in awe of a professional who can get it exactly right just by eyeballing it. You are quite the ranconteur!

  15. iopine

    March 19, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    This is such a great post. I never knew that about twill tape.

  16. Axxon n.

    March 19, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Wow, that is an incredible story, Scott! I always have the worst luck with salespeople, what a gem this man is among the bunch.

  17. Kara

    March 19, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Love the mention of the twill tape. As a designer myself, it’s the small details I really appreciate. Makes it difficult when I want to buy my clothes instead of make them, but so much more satisfying when you find a line that really pays attention to things like quality seam finishings and twill tape in the hem.

  18. Kara

    March 19, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Love the mention of the twill tape. As a designer myself, it’s the small details I really appreciate. Makes it difficult when I want to buy my clothes instead of make them, but so much more satisfying when you find a line that really pays attention to things like quality seam finishings and twill tape in the hem.

  19. Anonymous

    March 19, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    It’s unfortunate that one could never find equally high quality women’s wear at those prices.

  20. hoi polloi

    March 19, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Haha! The attention to detail and general classiness of Europe never fails to impress me. America could learn a lot, but probably never will.

  21. Nesle

    March 19, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Great picures! Especially the ones up close.

  22. ageez

    March 19, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    LOL he really had your number, didn’t he? very impressive on his part. and what a great story. thanks for sharing that. it’s a nice glimpse into another culture. most american men i know can only discern from a button-down and non-button-down collar!

  23. luvsunflowers

    March 19, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    To Rube…the twill tape is actually sewn to the inside of the very bottom of the trouser leg (whether cuffed or hemmed) to prevent the fabric from wearing thin while rubbing on shoes. It extends the life of the trouser or pant…great for women’s pants too… When the tape shows signs of wear it can be replaced…voila!

  24. maryam

    March 19, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    so basically, i live in vancouver. and you were mentioned in our globe and mail, along with our resident vancouver street-stylist. go to his blog:
    to view~!

    (you are a great photographer for your people — i especially remember the picture you took of the person on the bike with that elegant yet athletic posture? so inspiring and classy.)

  25. Anonymous

    March 19, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Istn`t it just beautiful to met someone who just knows his job ?
    The only thing you can do, is to be a good customer: Trust. This is a way to show your respect.

  26. SartoriallyAddicted

    March 19, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    This is such a great service. And to think before I discovered this blog I had to wait a month to get the next Esquire or Men’s Vogue, hopeful they might have something useful. And here is non-stop great ideas and helpful pics, day after day, season after season from all the great world cities! Many, many thanks. You’ve added “muscle” into our Sartorial world.

    As for the twill tape, even extra fabric from the pants will do fine.

  27. Anonymous

    March 19, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    I so appreciate your passion.


  28. Penelope

    March 19, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Handsome man, handsome clothes.

  29. Butch

    March 19, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Got to say, Scott, that I was taken aback by your “not sure that reads the way I meant…” comment in reference to Alliata being a sales person to dream about.

    Stop me–and apologies offered–if I took this incorrectly to be defensiveness about any implication of sexual or romantic interest in him; but if it is, I feel it’s inappropriate, for any number of reasons.

  30. sottsass

    March 19, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    I can´t say this clear enough – I hate cutaway collars. They´re awful.

  31. sottsass

    March 19, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    I can´t say this clear enough – cutaway collars are awful.

  32. The Sartorialist

    March 19, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    I thought it was pretty obvious i was just joking.
    I also mentioned Grand Master Flash in one of todays posts.
    I seem to lack an ability to take fashion too seriously

  33. Butch

    March 19, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    Thanks for clearing things up, Scott. Guess I’M the defensive one…

  34. Christi

    March 19, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    I love coming to your blog. Its never pretentious and is always inspiring. Your sense of humor and honesty is an added bonus.

    From what I understand most of the people you shoot are wearing designer clothes. Do you ever see any poor college kids dressed stylishly (and cheaply) … or am I doomed to wear Levi’s and Gap for the next few years?


    March 20, 2007 at 1:04 am

    sleeve alteration? we must not be in kansas anymore, toto….

  36. Anonymous

    March 20, 2007 at 3:47 am

    Scott: could you post a picture of the twill tape too? Thanks

  37. Anonymous

    March 20, 2007 at 4:18 am

    ???don’t you know twill tape???

    I’m surprised that this is relly so outstanding for you americans. That’s normal in europe, nearly every suit trouser have it!

    But no surprise for me! Everything must go fast in america, especially in NYC and sewing twill tape on a trouser takes time…?

    lots of love from germany

  38. SuMisura

    March 20, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Thanks for profiling not only a sartorialist, but a sales ‘professional’- something woefully lacking here at some of our most esteemed retailers.

    Indeed, there’s much they could learn from Mr. Alliata and Al Bazar. The number of times a SA will outright lie about a product, or simply lack the fundamental understanding of how to wear it is staggering… confidence w/the expertise to back it up actually only makes me believe in the retailer that much more.

    kudos to Gianpaolo and Al Bazar

  39. Anonymous

    March 20, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    I hate Cutaway and super cutaway collars. That’s like for old people. I’m young and need my point collars and skinny ties.

  40. Anonymous

    March 20, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you so much for helping me understand the little secrets of looking falwless wearing a suit. I help my boyfriend a lot picking out wonderful suits and shirts, and it’s fun with a little ekstra knowledge to put myselves in respect by the sales men. :)

    We’re going to New York soon, where is the best plase Sart. to get a tailored suit?

  41. Elsa

    March 22, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    what a cute and informative post! will definitely forward to a friend of mine–a sartorialist in development–for his trip to italy. a

  42. Anonymous

    March 23, 2007 at 8:10 am

    I was also a bit suprised, twill tape is very common, even very cheap suits usually have it.

  43. np

    March 23, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    twill tape
    euro snob
    cause only good trousers are worth saving

  44. 7 5/8 LO

    June 10, 2007 at 3:31 am

    ” ( Point-collar shirts do not exist in the best menswear shops of Milan) “

    I was over there last month and didn’t see them anywhere, best or un-best. Kind of hacked me off, as I like a long point I can wear with a bar when I want to. Maybe over there that’s like putting ketchup on your costoletta – I dunno.

  45. Luciérnaga

    January 25, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Gianpaolo is a good-looking man with style…you don’t see that over here in the US much these days if ever at all!

  46. Anonymous

    September 9, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Al Bazar is the best and glamourous man's shop in Milan !!


  48. FashionStarDome

    August 5, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Excellent blog and post! Great pics! Al Bazar is one of the glamourous man's shops in Milan.

  49. FashionStarDome

    August 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Excellent post! Like your blog!

  50. Sexy lingerie

    April 4, 2011 at 12:07 am

    He is really handsome man. and clothes are really wonderful.

  51. Velentina

    October 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

    with such a presence, with a salesman like this, so near me, right in the store, walking by , just by my side, that´s a good reason I´d be ooh so overwhelmed

  52. crazyme

    June 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Love his look. Hes so obviously knowledgeable and distinguised……think I would go just to admire him! Thank you!

  53. Dax

    December 14, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Show-off? Could be a banker in the Financial District of London.

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