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WW Chan

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to buy a suit later this summer. I don't want to buy a cheap suit (did that in high school and can't bear to wear it anymore). I'm also in Hong Kong for the next couple of months, so WW Chan is starting to look like my best choice. The only problem that I can see is that I don't really know what I want in a suit. I haven't been able to try on lots of types of suit, much less wear them around. Do the tailors at WW Chan give advice on what kind of gorge height, lapel width, flat-front/pleated, etc. would suit a particular figure? What is the house style? I already know of some deviations that I should request--more waist suppresion and shorter sleeves. Is there anything else that I should be aware of? I'm 6'1" and of average build, 40 chest and 34 waist... I probably wouldn't mind going with something conservative, even though I am a college student, since I'm looking to wear this suit only at interviews and on the job.
post #2 of 26
2B SB dark gray suit, slight waist suppression, high gorge, would be my advice.
post #3 of 26
I have read several times that Chan are the best. But can they do ANY style? Or is it safer to stick to their home style (if there is one)?
post #4 of 26
You're build is going to be really nice for their house style, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. I'd go with a 2 button double vent, dark navy or charcoal fine herringbone -- go with a 2x2 ply fabric like the Charles Clayton book they have. Get the button stance about 1.5" above your belly button. Flat front or pleats are a matter of preference, but I prefer pleats with suit pants -- it holds a crease better and the line is better IMO. I wear flat front for all my odd trousers and casual pants. In terms of variations from their house style -- if you have an average or square shoulder, request that they use, very, very light shoulder padding. I'd request that they make the armhole shallower/smaller than normal, and request that they make the shoulders not extend past your normal shoulder line unless you have narrow shoulders. Being that you are in Hong Kong, you'll have the benefit of multiple fittings. Really take advantage of this. The great thing is that they will be able to change the things you don't like on the fly. Incidentally, I wore a WW Chan suit and shirt yesterday and started appreciating even more how wonderful they are. They don't have the consistency of say, an Oxxford or Isaia. But the lapels are hand-padded and roll incredibly well. And the collar sits so well on the neck that the suit is extremely comfortable. My suit was in a Vitale Barberis Super 130s. While I can't say how it will wear over the long haul, for now I can say that it has an incredible hand. Take advantage of getting some shirts from Jantzen Tailor/Ascot Chang/WW Chan as well.
post #5 of 26
good advice....from my reading of prior posts...keep with the chan house style-the problems reported seem to be deviations from this. how ever the suggestion re shoulder, and light padding or minor. also definatley get fitted i HK,,,,will help in the long run. once the pattern is correct then you can order from us tours. and us , single breasted, 2 button (possibly 3 rolling to two) solid colors or herringbone for the first suit.
post #6 of 26
I am going to HK in september for 3 days. I hope they will be able to fit me then. I will keep you posted on my experience.
post #7 of 26
I'd echo johnnynorman's advice. Chan does a great job of fitting if you give them a chance. But they will make you look like a gangster if you even hint that you like square shoulders. So request natural/soft shoulders and high armhole. And don't be caught up in the "supers" race. Anything over Super 100 isn't going to wear terribly well. Get cloth that feels good and that you think might be useful in the long run.
post #8 of 26
I'd echo johnnynorman's advice.  Chan does a great job of fitting if you give them a chance.  But they will make you look like a gangster if you even hint that you like square shoulders.  So request natural/soft shoulders and high armhole.   And don't be caught up in the "supers" race.  Anything over Super 100 isn't going to wear terribly well.  Get cloth that feels good and that you think might be useful in the long run.
It is a thing with ALL asian tailors I have met: they always create those enormous, heavily padded, square shoulders unless you beg them not to...I wonder where that comes from...
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ok thanks a lot for the advice. I was also debating the 2.5 button look, because I like the way it looks on the STP links. I'd also be interested to hear from anyone with experience of other tailors in Hong Kong in the same quality range that they would recommend.
post #10 of 26
The 2.5 button can be great, but it is difficult, in my opinion, to execute well. Plus, you don't really get the 2.5 effect when the jacket is unbuttoned. That's why I recommended a 2 button with the top button about 1.5" above your belly button (which is high, but not too high).
post #11 of 26
One bit of counsel from a semi-veteran: make sure you're very specific about sleeve length. You should specify exactly how much shirt cuff you want showing (minimum 1/2 inch, but in your case you may be able to get away with 3/4 inch).
post #12 of 26
Since you are in HK, the trick to getting perfect sleeve length is to have them make a shirt for you before the suit is finalized.  Wash the shirt a couple of times, to allow for shrinkage and to make absolutely sure you like the sleeve length.  Then have them use that shirt as the measuring device when they finalize the sleeve lengths on the suit coat.  Be very specific about what you want regarding how much shirt sleeve should show at the wrists--1/2" is the classic guideline, you may prefer more or less.  Then you can order a bunch more shirts with the same sleeve length (at Ascot Chang, WW Chan, or Jantzen in decreasing prices), and then you will always have precisely matched shirt and suit sleeves. I believe WW Chan has always had a bias towards longer sleeves, and that bias seems to be increasing.  I just received two suits from them and the sleeves are about 1/4" longer than my last order--with no changes to the measurements.  Previously my coat sleeves have been a little bit on the short side, so I don't mind the incremental change. You might want to try on some RTW suits at a few different stores around town before going to place an order.  That will give you a good idea of what you like or don't like.  Like Johnny, I prefer pleats on my suit trousers because hthey hold a crease better--but I recognize that in some circles they are viewed as making a sociopolitical statement about the wearer.  Chan did some trousers for me with shallow forward-facing pleats last time, and I like them. I have ordered lots of three button suits from Chan in the past, and am pretty happy with them.  They do a nice job on more contemporary (i.e. higher button stance) 2-button coats as well.  Heck, you might even like a one-button suit.  Just don't get four or more . . . . As far as the details of their house style coat, I think they tend to use a generous amount of shoulder padding, a fairly suppressed waist, a long coat with closed quarters, and a very "average" looking gorge height and lapel width (the lapels don't stand out as narrow or wide, and the gorge is on the higher side).  They use a narrow breast pocket, which I never really thought about until I saw someone else post here to complain that the pocket is too narrow to accommodate a pocket square.  I don't wear pocket squares and never noticed, but keep in mind that you might want a wider breast pocket if you like pocket squares. I wouldn't sweat details about gorge height and lapel width unless you have a specific look in mind, like a particularly high gorge or the skinny lapels RL Black Label uses.  Do be specific about the amount of shoulder padding you want, but keep in mind that there are some people who benefit from a more constructed shoulder. And to repeat what others have said: fittings. Go to the interim fittings and do not be shy about telling them what you do or do not like. One last thought: keep in mind that they make suits for a wide range of people, and their recommendations are based on experience with customers. If you go with what they tell you the majority of their customers like, you will probably be OK since their clientele probably includes a very high percentage of conservative dressers. That's another way of saying that you won't be walking out of there looking like you swiped the suit off of a Prada runway model, but you *will* be walking out in a suit you can wear comfortably in pretty much any business or social setting.
post #13 of 26
Excellent post, retro.  We're getting close to needing a HOF post for Chan.  Although I don't know how much more business I want to send them.  We all know what happened to Jantzen.   dan
post #14 of 26
Dan, I have watched the lead time for US tour orders go up significantly in the past three years. I'd bet that they get no small amount of business from this forum--hardly a week goes by without someone posting about them, and no discussion of sub-$1K suits goes by without someone mentioning them.
post #15 of 26
I think that WW Chan is the best sub-$1000 option when you are looking for a true staple (such as a solid or herringbone navy) with the precise details you want (like two button double vent). You just can't find top suits like that at discount very often.
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