I was in Amsterdam this month and was thinking of visiting a couple of tailors in my free time. In particular, I wanted to visit New Tailor and De Oost Bespoke and learn a little about Dutch bespoke tailors. But that didn’t work out as planned and instead, interestingly enough, I ended up looking at mostly Neapolitan and Russian clothing (more on the latter shortly!).
New Tailor was closed when I walked by (it’s a short block from the Van Gogh Museum) and so I continued to wander a bit onto Pieter Cornelisz Hoofstraat – Amsterdam’s Madison Ave or New Bond St – and came across a menswear store called Oger (pronounced with a soft ‘g’), a leading men’s clothing retailer in Amsterdam.
I ended up chatting with a fellow named William and it turned out to be a pleasant conversation. Oger carries Attolini, Borrelli “Luxury Vintage”, Boglioli and the Zegna soft line (among other brands). I saw a 4-ply cashmere sportsjacket from Attolini and quite a few Borrellis and Bogliolis with the manica camicia (shirt shoulder) construction. For those who wish to pursue this distinctive look off the rack, the store probably carries one of the most extensive Neapolitan RTW offerings I’ve seen.
There’s a reason for that. I asked William what kind of jacket style is popular in Amsterdam and he said it was the soft shoulder type, which I thought was interesting. (Neapolitan aficionados are no doubt nodding with satisfaction on their march to global domination!).
Oger also has an inhouse tailor who apparently has trained at the workshops of the well-known Neapolitan RTW houses – Attolini and Borrelli. It wasn’t clear to me whether this was true bespoke but it is worth investigating further.
According to William, the store caters to the modern dandy (see my recent thoughts on the modern dandy after my trip to Paris). The salesmen on the floor were certainly dressed a few notches higher than what I saw on the city streets outside – a mix of three-piece suits and two-piece suits. Perhaps the modern dandy lives on in Amsterdam as well.
I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised by this finding. For much of the 17th century, Amsterdam was the peak metropolis of Europe (and probably the world) in terms of accumulated wealth, commercial activity and financial innovation. A wealthy burgher naturally equipped himself with the finest clothes available, vestiges of which remain some 300 years later.
If you happen to be in Amsterdam anytime soon, drop by the store and have a chat with William about Neapolitan tailoring. And if Neapolitan is not your cup of tea, fear not fans of structured shoulders, there’s currently a 50 percent off sale on Tom Ford!