Enthusiasm for Italian tailoring – admired for being light, unstructured and sleek increased in the decades after the Second World War.

Italy’s reputation for tailored clothing developed internationally thanks to popular images of stylishly dressed Italian actors. Marcello Mastroianni’s trim suits in the 1960 film La Dolce Vita did much to popularise the Italian suit worldwide. Both bespoke garments (made to measure for an individual client) and the increasingly popular ready-made suits were adopted by a growing international clientele.

A well-tailored suit requires precisely cut fabric and exact fit, along with fine finishing details. The smallest design elements, such as the shape of a pocket or sleeve, often differed from region to region. A Neapolitan suit could be distinguished from one produced in Rome.