Saturday, July 14, 2007

A visit to Barcelona: Bel y Cia and Xanco

Bel y Cia

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Bel y Cia is a men's haberdashery situated on the Paseo de Gracia in central Barcelona. There is also a separate women's store, which is to the left of the picture above. The front half of the men's Bel y Cia store features a generous selection of Edward Green shoes. By my count, there were 32 models on the wall, 16 on the center table - several appeared to be unique designs for Bel y Cia. Derbies and oxfords predominated – suede in various shades of brown were well-represented. I only saw one casual loafer.

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According to Sebastian, the excellent salesman who assisted me, the RTW jackets are made by Italian workshops in Milan and Rome. The jackets in the store do have some shoulder padding and look Roman or Milanese in terms of cut (though the white linen jacket in the window display above appears to have a fairly soft shoulder).

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At the back of the store is the made to measure room with examples of their unique Teba jacket. The jacket is named after the nobleman who inherited the original hunting jacket worn by King Alfonso XIII. An older gentleman on the staff walked into the backroom, pulled out a book on the Spanish royalty and asked if I knew the story. The original had wider lapels which closed together to provide warmth during hunting. Teba wore the original jacket out and brought it to Bel y Cia in 1946 to reproduce it. Apparently, it was a very effective story since I placed an order for a MTM Teba jacket in a dark grey wool-cashmere with a hint of green.

The MTM room contains bolts of in-stock cloth that can be ordered and delivered relatively quickly. They also carry swatch books from Loro Piana.

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Sebastian gave me two swatch books for any future orders of the Teba jacket. I came in for a second visit to make sure my measurements were precise. Incidentally, if you are planning to visit in the summer, Fridays are the busiest day of the week according to Sebastian. This is because their clientele tends to leave the city on the weekend and drop by the store before they leave.

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The left swatches are wool-cashmere, the fabrics on the right are summerweight linen.

Xanco Shirtmakers

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I discovered this MTM and RTW shirtmaker while strolling down La Rambla, the famed pedestrian boulevard running down Barcelona.

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In my limited Spanish borrowed from a half-knowledge of Italian, I asked about "su misura" shirts and the woman who assisted me replied that it was possible. MTM shirts take about two weeks and are made locally in Barcelona, she said. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask about the price, so I have little to report there.

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But if you are planning to spend a couple of weeks in Spain, it might be worthwhile to try Xanco. Their display shirts look very comfortable and appropriate for warmer climates.

Note: Spelling correction made from Tiba jacket to Teba jacket.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please post photos of the Tiba jacket, whether stock or your own when it arrives. I have been trying to find photos of this item with no luck.

What fabric did you select for yours?

Anonymous said...

Dark gray wool/cashmere with a hint of green -- I see that now.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from Barcelona. Got three sports jackets and a pair of shoes. The store has some of the best clothes I have seen. The service was impeccable. A true example of "You Get What You Pay For"

sleevehead said...

Great to hear you had an excellent experience at Bel y Cia, and that service and quality haven't changed since my last visit. I definitely look forward to visiting Barcelona again one of these days.

Anonymous said...

As an Atlanta native, I usually stick with Guffey's. But after my trip to Bel y Cia, I know where I will be going for my clothing needs.

I was also assisted be Sebastian, and the service was impeccable to say the very least.

I can't express how impressed I was with their quality. It was unreal. Everything that I've ever wanted in fine tailored clothes. And get this: you don't pay extra for tailored items.

sleevehead said...

Excellent, thanks for the report. I'm planning a trip back to Barcelona later this year and will certainly make a return visit to Bel y Cia.

Anonymous said...

I have walked by some times, but now I have decided to visit Bel & Cia. Could you give me an idea of the price of the Teba jacket (MTM). Thank you.

Anonymous said...

And one more thing. Does anyone know the level of service and craftmanship of the other shop, Santa Eulalia? They also have a bespoke departement, I know.

Fran

sleevehead said...

Highly fortuitous timing since I visited Barcelona recently. See my upcoming entry early next week on Bel y Cia and Santa Eulalia.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that answer. Perfect timing I must say. Just in time for my next trip to Barcelona. I am looking forward to the article.

Fran

Anonymous said...

Super shirts at xanco ... The prices between 120 and 200€. But you have a shirt for years