Sleevehead: A visit to Barcelona: Bel y Cia and Xanco                                                          

A visit to Barcelona: Bel y Cia and Xanco

    Bel y Cia


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.


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).


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.


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.


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

Xanco Shirtmakers


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


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.


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.

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