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I think Kabbaz prices are probably worth it. - Page 2

post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
I'm starting to feel like the only way I'm ever going to get a shirt that fits it to fly to London, Naples, or NYC.
Fly to Hong Kong. Airfare and hotel is less than Kabbaz.
post #17 of 33
Have you tried CEGO? I have always received a perfect fit there for under $140. Customer service is way above Jantzen, if for no other reason than geography.

As far as the $400+ shirt is concerned, I wouldnt ever dream of paying that much for a shirt. For one, I can't imagine it being 2-3 times better than what I get at CEGO (I know, I know - diminishing marginal returns). For two, my job and personal life really dont allow the time for ironing my own shirts. For me, the realities of commercial laundries pretty much demote shirts to be almost disposable items. I have had $120 custom shirts ruined by cleaners, only to have them deny any responsibility, not to mention the countless shrunken collars and broken buttons. I couldnt imagine that same torture with a $400 shirt.

My happy medium for now is to have the laundry hand iron my $110 CEGOs and $70 H&Ks. So far, that has worked out pretty well.
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brescd01
Before I end up as a trophy over someone's fireplace, let me say this:

1) The Jantzens still fit better. Bugelli fiddled when he should not have.

2) You must either be deformed or very fussy. I suspect the latter. The first thing you have to do is stop spending money and go back to Jantzen or Land's End and figure out what a perfect-fitting shirt's measurements are. This may be difficult for the shirtmakers but it is not difficult for you, if you are patient. Once you have figured out what a perfect-fitting shirt's measurements are and you can show this to a shirtmaker, I do not think things would be as difficult.

3) Alternatively, you could have the AK go through this process for you with one shirt. I am sure there are lots of little things the AK would criticize in my Jantzen shirts, for instance, but I don't care because they are comfortable for me and look fine. However, I have been curious recently about collars and AK's is famous, and I am sure Jantzen is a non-starter in this regard. I would always suggest Jantzen as a great deal, but I doubt they are the best in any specific category. To be fair, I have not tried all of Jantzen's collar options and I would like to.

Jantzen doesn't work for me for a couple of reasons. 1) I never did get a shirt from them and it wasn't cause I didn' try. They somehow lost 2 of my orders.
2) When I'm picking shirt fabrics I like to match them to my jackets exactly. (please don't misinterpret that to think that I do the monochromatic thing)
3) How a fabric feels is very important to me. A $50 dollar shirt isn't a bargain for me if it doesn't feel as nice as I would like it to. Everyone has different ideas about what constitutes a "good" fabric. Thomas Mason SilverLine is the benchmark I use and I refuse to drop below it. What I'm really interested in, however, is GoldLine and above. There is almost nothing above 120s if you get your shirts from Jantzen.

Finally, I'm neither terribly deformed, nor excessivelly fussy. The shirt company messed-up, several times, and not tiny mistakes either. Not only that, they didn't learn from their mistakes. The third shirt I received repeated mistakes present in the first shirt that were not in the second. I won't bore the forum with my problems in detail (I already put Kabbaz to sleep), but they had little to do with my fussiness. Part of the problem was promising bespoke results through a MTM process, but in actual fact, I didn't even get MTM results. What I got were sleeves 2" too long, and extra fullness just about everywhere that there was fabric. They sent me a second "trial" shirt that was just a re-cut first shirt, armholes and all. No shanks, sloppy sewing, and on and on.

If any Montrealers read this and wonder who made my shirts, feel free to ask in PM. In the meantime I've used Kabbaz's many posts to come-up with some good questions for prospective makers, one of whom I've sent an email to and the other which I intend to call shortly. Hopefully I'll end-up with a competent maker.
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkBuck
Have you tried CEGO? I have always received a perfect fit there for under $140. Customer service is way above Jantzen, if for no other reason than geography.

As far as the $400+ shirt is concerned, I wouldnt ever dream of paying that much for a shirt. For one, I can't imagine it being 2-3 times better than what I get at CEGO (I know, I know - diminishing marginal returns). For two, my job and personal life really dont allow the time for ironing my own shirts. For me, the realities of commercial laundries pretty much demote shirts to be almost disposable items. I have had $120 custom shirts ruined by cleaners, only to have them deny any responsibility, not to mention the countless shrunken collars and broken buttons. I couldnt imagine that same torture with a $400 shirt.

My happy medium for now is to have the laundry hand iron my $110 CEGOs and $70 H&Ks. So far, that has worked out pretty well.

I followed a link to CEGO from somewhere and I'll agree it looks like a good deal. What kind of fabric are you getting for $120?

Still, it's in NY and I'd rather pay $2-300 here than $140 in NY. I like to get new shirts whenever i get new sportsjackets and that's working out to be once a month recently! Going to NY each time, or even every 2-3 months, would negate the savings.

The guy I'm talking to now does a muslin test shirt for orders of 6 shirts or more and his base price is $200-250 depending on fabric for a 100s 2 ply. Based on the questions I sent him he says he can do buttonholes and shoulders by hand (for an extra charge), but I'll probably forgo that option until I can judge the quality of the work. If he seems to do good hand-work, I might try and have him copy a true neapolitan shirt.
post #20 of 33
Good luck with your shirtmaker hunt. I hope you'll tell us who it is when you pick them, and why.

I had a rather farcical experience at Borrelli SF this weekend when I went back to complain about the fit of an MTO shirt. The salespeople were very nice, helpful, and ernest, but the limitations of MTO were starkly laid bare for me: the best solution for having the right side of my upper body more developed than my left side was to go up a size in the body and add a box pleat in back, so the right side of the yoke wouldn't bunch up as much.

--Andre
post #21 of 33
You are absolutely right, if you are fussy about fabric, Jantzen does not work at its best, because Ricky just will not send swatches, and his collection changes so fast I am not sure what good they would do you. But Jantzen will work to get a shirt that fits right. So will Land's End (whose shirts I hate by the way).

Jantzen definitely went through some problems before but if you email your order and phone Ricky to discuss it, you will get your shirts in a few weeks.

The reason a cheap option is good is because it provides a cheap way to figure out what you want, since you seem to indicate that you have not found "the perfect" shirt yet, and I think you have to find "the perfect" shirt before a habberdasher has a prayer of satisfying you.

To use myself as an example, most (though not all) my problems in building my wardrobe was figuring out what I wanted. I ran into incompetent craftsmen/salesmen, but not that many (1 actually).

Alternatively of course, you were very unlucky and really hit some horrible people. Though, if you ask me, were I to TRY to find the most clueless people in the shirt business, I would start with those innumerable MTM/bespoke services in department stores with the big names (Brioni, Borelli) because the possibilities for screw-ups are just too numerous and the incentives to the salesman to not stand behind the product is so great.

And were I in NYC and needed shirts, I would definitely check out Cego and (discreetly, of course, so that I did not get stoned or pilloried), the AK, if only for their vaunted fabric collections.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by brescd01
Land's End (whose shirts I hate by the way).
I thought you swore by them...
post #23 of 33
Quote:
(I already put Kabbaz to sleep),
No. Not asleep. Just currently frustrated in searching out a maker for you.

For those who can go to NY or LA 2 or 3 times, that is the best solution. Once you are fitted up, you'll never need to make the trip again. Suits and shirts are different. Once your shirt pattern is correct, you successfully can transact business from afar.

Depending upon your price point, you might consider CEGO, Geneva, Paris, (all NY), Rene Bassetti (Washington state), or Anto (LA). In all of those you will actually deal with the person in charge of making your shirts.
post #24 of 33
While being presently out of my range, I should think Mr. Kabbaz's prices are totally reasonable.

This seems to be so when I consider that an off the rack Kiton costs as much, if not more; when I consider that the ratio of the price of OTR suits:shirts is something like 1:6, and people certainly drop three large and change on bespoke suiting; when I consider that he is an acknowledged master at his craft, and comparable experience in other fields would let one demand much, much more.

Hell, first year out of university it will cost one more to get me to spend the day in court for them that it will to have Mr. Kabbaz spend the day making a shirt, I have 5 years of law school but he has how many decades of experience?

I think that, as against what inferior RTW costs one, his shirts would be worth it for the materials and handiwork, even divorced from the expertise, the multiple test-shirts, the extra alterations after a week or two of wear.

In short, I should only hope that, when I am commanding three large and change in daily brief fees, that Mr. Kabbaz or his successors shall still be so reasonable in their prices.

(For now, I shall buy size 38 Borrelli on sale, and get my tailor to remove what seems like several feet of cloth from the sides).
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by The False Prophet

For now, I shall buy size 38 Borrelli on sale, and get my tailor to remove what seems like several feet of cloth from the sides).

Well, muddle through, Mate. When you're a full-fledged lawyer, God willing, you'll be able to screw enough citizens to afford Kabbaz prices 3X over.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomasso
When you're a full-fledged lawyer, God willing, you'll be able to screw enough citizens to afford Kabbaz prices 3X over.
Not so much...
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomasso
God willing, you'll be able to screw enough citizens to afford Kabbaz prices 3X over.
and with his eight shirt first-order minimum, youll be more than a third of the way there
post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Kabbaz
No. Not asleep. Just currently frustrated in searching out a maker for you.

I hope not! I sort of assumed you'd go in to your list of contacts in the trade and pull something out of a hat, maybe even close to me in Canada! Really Alex, although it is appreciated, don't trouble yourself too much. Short-term I'm going to give this fellow here a try because I need some shirts quickly and as I said I can't get out of town in the near future. As a long-term solution, I'll certainly consider people in other cities if what I get here isn't up to the level of fit and quality that I hope to find. I'll be in NY towards the end of June so maybe we can meet then and you can point out all the flaws in my shirts (and in the process make me even more self-conscious about fit) :P
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJMan
I thought you swore by them...
*At* them. He swore *at* them....
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomasso
Well, muddle through, Mate. When you're a full-fledged lawyer, God willing, you'll be able to screw enough citizens to afford Kabbaz prices 3X over.

The most enlightening aspect of practicing law vs attending law school is discovering the profound difference between what law firms charge and what lawyers earn.
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