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Astor and Black - good suits/shirts? thoughts? - Page 2

post #16 of 22

I ordered suits from them about 1 1/2 years ago.  The "salesman" was a 20-something kid with no experience in the bespoke world other than the training he received from A&B.  His recommendations on the coat length pant leg drop ended up being horribly wrong.  The suits arrived 4 weeks after promised and were just folded into a plastic bag and thrown into a shipping box.  Within 2 times wearing one of the suits, a pant seam came undone.  Fortunately, there are some excellent tailors in my city and I was able to rescue the suits from the poor cut and slapdash construction.  I called customer service multiple times to try and get the suits fixed and was transferred to different parties until I got to the regional manager.  He then proceeded to blow me off saying there was nothing they could do once the suits were "crafted".  


Since then, I've discovered that you can get a well-made, off-the-shelf suit (Hugo Boss or other brand) from a high-end men's store and have it tailored in-house for the same results as an A&B suit.  Stay away from this company, they're not interested in repeat business  and remind me of a used car lot.

post #17 of 22
Originally Posted by curzon View Post

I think what you'll get depends much on who at A&B works with you. You may want to give this a read. You'll be dealing w/ aggressive salespeople who've received a 4-day training experience at "A&B University" - haberdashers they now be. For them selling clothes is no different from selling insurance or Amway or time-share condos. ABC. Always be closing.
Who is their customer? They're keen on conventions and setting up booths at bar association and chamber of commerce meetings. I betcha they're upselling the Men's Warehouse crowd at the Shriner's Lodge. Impulse buying; who can't resist the lure of an NFL cornerback's endorsement?
Check out one of the A&B "haberdasher's" websites. He obviously devoted thought, time and money putting together a nice presence.
Oops, no he didn't. He spent some money on ONE nice looking homepage and rest of his blog is an aesthetic and grammatical disaster. You're seeking this guy's advice on the "cult of style"? I ain't drinkin' that cool-aid. What's the emphasis? Surgeon's sleeves. Linings. Up-turned collars to show off sartorial flair. All gimmicks. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Absolutely! Set them aflame!
Lastly, the Astor and Black name itself is phoney baloney. All pretense. If Schottenstein isn't comfortable in his own name I doubt I'd be comfortable in his clothes.



Checked out the blog in question here. And its Tumblr. 


If this A&B salesman's, excuse me - "mentor's" (see his blog post about his "American Psycho" business card) writing style, and the clothes pictured on his blog and Tumblr are representative of Astor & Black, I'm now convinced I've made the right choice to not associate with this brand. . 


The entire package cited above - his blog, tumblr, and their pictures and accompanying editorial and the styling/design of garments shown therein...reeks of Meatpacking nightclubs filled with coke-headed frat boy types chasing skanks from Long Island and Upper East Side in hooker heels and desperate housewives fashions looking for rich sugar daddies. Not my style.


Found the whole scene to be really obscene, overly styled, and crass. 






post #18 of 22
Actually as a Shriner, I'm rather offended by Curzon's reference. If all of us were what he described, I wouldn't be on here. satisfied.gif
post #19 of 22
I bought an A&B package 3 years ago. I keep in touch with the rep from time to time but have not been a repeat buyer.

The main positive was that I got great fabrics. I have 3 Zegna-level fabrics and they are very soft and drape well. I'd give the jacket fit a B-. The length, chest, waist, and hips are spot on. But the shoulders are about half an inch too wide on each side and heavily padded. The sleeves were an inch short, not good since the buttons were functional. And something has always bugged me about the lapels. They lay flat up top near my shoulders, but start to pucker as you get towards the button. It doesn't look like a natural roll, it looks forced, like you took an old sharp pressed coat and tried to roll the lapel after the fact.

The pants have a similar story - waist and rise is good, but the length was also an inch short, and I've had all 3 pairs slimmed below the thigh.

The shirts were decent, though a bit stiff and not as tapered as the jackets. Surprisingly, the sleeve length of the shirts were perfect. I've since replaced them with other MTM shirtmakers.

I have hesitated to buy again due to having to make so many adjustments, and on my own dime. I look at some of these athletes they feature and see the same mistakes - shoulders don't fit, lengths are off, pants can be more fitted, lapels are sometimes lifeless.

A&B is obviously doing well based on what I read about their growth. Goes to show that some good marketing will keep winning business.
post #20 of 22
Originally Posted by CousinDonuts View Post

A&B is obviously doing well based on what I read about their growth. Goes to show that some good marketing will keep winning business.

Yup, companies wouldn't pay so much money for marketing if it didn't work.

post #21 of 22


I'll go ahead and keep things pretty vague about myself seeing as Astor & Black apparently contacts their less-than-happy customers through this forum. I work in a profession that requires me to wear a suit everyday; thus, I appreciate a well fitting, well tailored suit (whether is be made-to-measure, truly custom, or what have you). I've forgotten exactly how I first heard of Astor and Black, but I did, and subsequently called to schedule an appointment. My clothier was professional. Good guy, well dressed (of course), and he seemed to know the basics regarding his product. Measurements were taken, and I'm assuming the order was shipped out.


Time for the complaints:

1) I ordered in the fall and didn't receive my product until February. FEBRUARY. I get it, its christmas time, lots of orders....whatever....but knowledge that you have a lot of orders going through you company won't put a suit coat on my back. You know what does put a suit coat on my back? Sending me my order!


2) It's made in China. And this isn't a bad thing. Trust me, turn over any product in your house and its all made in one of the following countries: China, Vietnam, another asian country. All I want from a company is a little honesty. Don't call your self Astor & Black (two seville row tailors from the 1800's), when your name is Schottenstein, and profess that you own all these factories when your really just a distributor/reseller of suits from China. Moreover, being a reseller/distributor of suits from China is NOT a bad business model (as long as you have a trusted and experienced manufacturer), but don't go telling your customers that your something your not....customers are smarter than that...especially the ones that wear suits everyday.


3) When I finally did receive the suits, the sleeves were too short and the jacket was too big. My clothier was very apologetic and offered to have it fixed, but I was sick of the experience and just told him "No worries, I'll get it done". So I just went to my local tailor and got the thing chopped up to fit me


All in all the experience was a bit displeasing. Nice people, good salesmen with mediocre measuring ability <- That is probably how I would sum it up.

post #22 of 22
Originally Posted by ddonicht View Post

Actually as a Shriner, I'm rather offended by Curzon's reference. If all of us were what he described, I wouldn't be on here. satisfied.gif

Sorry m8, I meant the Elks. I love the Shriners; who can't resist the charm of the fez? It's my go-to Halloween costume. wink.gif
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