Continued from page 1

Tradition and personal choice: The Gammarellis dress the pope from head to toe, from zucchetto to white socks, but underwear is a personal choice. “Each brings his own,” Gammarelli said.

Whether the new pope keeps on wearing Gammarelli is also a personal choice. Of the seven popes they have dressed officially, starting with Pius XI in 1922, only Pius XII declined their services for his papacy, preferring his aristocratic family’s personal tailor.

Benedict XVI shared his custom among Gammarelli and the local ecclesiastic tailors nearer the Vatican whom he befriended in his many years as head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Could the pope one day modernize his wardrobe to include the “clergyman” — the dark suit with a white priest’s collar used by most priests working outside the Vatican?

“I hope not,” Mr. Gammarelli said. “The pope is different. He has another role and importance. His way of dressing should reflect this.”