The Papal Tailors Await the Next Pope

The Papal Tailors Await the Next Pope
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The Papal Tailors Await the Next Pope

Lorenzo Gammarelli in front of the his family's shop.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Lorenzo Gammarelli in front of the his family's shop.

An employee working on a Cardinal Vest.

The papal garments for the next pope.

A berretta, a white cap for the next pope of the Catholic Church.

A closer look at the garments prepared for the next pope.


For some in Rome, it's not just about who the next Pope will be, it's all about his shoe size.

Ditta Annibale Gammarelli are a select group of master tailors who have been working tirelessly since Pope Benedict XVI revealed his plans to retire. As the designated papal tailors since the 18th century, Gammarelli are tasked with dressing the chosen pope at a moment's notice.

In preparation, the master craftsmen at Gammarelli create two sets of garments, each in a small, medium and large (the likely candidates are all within these sizes), and all consisting of a white floor length wool cassock, a white skullcap (called a berretta), a white sash, and a scarlet mozzetta if the new pope chooses. Lorenzo Gammarelli told the New York Times that the future pope's shoe size is always a challenge, so they will have the red papal loafers in all sizes.

There has only been one pope in the last 100 years who wasn't dressed by Gammarelli: Pope Pius XII chose his own tailor. As times have changed, the Gammarelli shop has changed with them - clerical garments have become more simple and subdued.

It is yet to be determined how much the new pope will require Gammarelli's services, as those in the past have varied greatly, from minimalists who did not take a large interest in what they wore, to those who were more sartorially concerned.

To take a glance inside the Ditta Annibale Gammarelli shop, click through the gallery above.

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