Originally Posted by UnFacconable
Sure, good bespoke can be better in ways that good RTW cannot match, just as good RTW can be better in ways that good bespoke often doesn't match. I've seen plenty of RTW on this forum and in the real world that looks as good or better than your buddy's Raph suit which looks lumpy in the mid-section and appears to show poor-fitting pants (see the pooling in the lower thigh), among other things. Lots of the top folks here wear RTW impeccably and favorably compared to this example. While I agree that bespoke is definitely theoretically "better" than RTW, once nice thing about RTW is that you can go out and pick a flattering cut and know that it works. I bet Ed or some other RTW expert could go out and find a jacket that fits your buddy and is more flattering than the one he bought from Raph, sight unseen. There is a tremendous amount of risk to going bespoke, you might get something amazing, but you also may get something that looks no better to the casual / semi-expert observer than well-fitting RTW. The biggest problem with buying RTW is when people pick poor models as a starting point. If you turned around and told me that your friend wasn't in fact wearing Raph, but was actually wearing a department store house brand or some Mantoni eBay brand, I wouldn't be surprised. You come across as a staunch bespoke defender no matter the circumstances. If people criticize a bespoke suit that you favor, you say that people shouldn't expect bespoke to be miraculous, but you criticize the smallest details in other suits when you choose to. I think what a lot of people have been hitting on, is that while the magic of bespoke may be in the details, the failing of bespoke is in the big picture which is far more important.
You must not read many of my posts--not that I'd blame you. There is plenty of sub-par bespoke out there, and I frequently criticize it on the forum. I don't see the problems you are talking about with respect to this particular bespoke suit. All I can say is that under my own analysis, it's pretty damned good. Others might come to different conclusions, but it's hard to evaluate them when the underlying analyses aren't clear. I've taken great pains to indicate what I consider good and bad with as much specificity as possible, making extensive use of Photoshop to further illustrate my points. The trouble is that when many people say something is "boring" or "looks no better than RTW," I have no idea what that really means. With respect to your particular criticisms, I simply have to disagree. The bunching at the midsection you mention isn't apparent to me. The "pooling" at the legs merely looks like break--even if there is too much, that hardly indicates poor fitting trousers. The most important aspect of trouser fit, to my mind, is the line you get going down the leg. It is a matter of easy adjustment to get the length and break the way you like it, and much harder to achieve the drape and line that both Jon and Aportnoy's trousers have. Similarly, I find it annoying when people fixate on sleeve length as a point of criticism when there are obviously other, more structural problems with the sleeves. Anyway, we all have different eyes and different preferences. All I can say is that if you look back at my posts and my Get Foofed thread, you'll see that I'm not applying different standards to anything. In accordance with my pre-existing critiques, Jon's Raphael suit is very, very good--particularly for a first order. The vast majority of the RTW suits shown on the forum don't meet the same sort of scrutiny. As for the 'big picture' advantage of RTW, I don't think it exists. It is just as easy to be distracted by certain appealing details when buying RTW as it is when ordering bespoke. This is evident in what we see here on the forum, and in real life: most RTW isn't just bad in the details, but also overall.