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Zenith vs hahn

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Everyone, Here is a short review of two tailors that I tried so far in Seoul, Korea. Both were recommended to me as being good, and indeed, the suits that they made me fitted much, much better than the ready-made ones I owned. The difference between the tailor-made ones and the off-the-shelf ones is really substantial, but I'll save the comparison in pictures for a later post. In this post, I'll just compare briefly the fit of the last suit that each tailor crafted. About the location of each tailor. Zenith is located in the COEX near the Samseong subway station (a trendy area near the heart of Seoul's second downtown), while Hahn is located in Itaewon near the Noksapyeong subway station (near the Yongsan US army base -> an area with a bad rep and avoided by most Seoulites). The location counts, as the rent near the COEX can be more than 5 times the one in Itaewon for the same floor space. About the price: Zenith charges 1.7 million wons (about 1400$US) for a suit with the cheapest fabric while Hahn charges 500,000 wons (about 450$US). Interestingly, after asking many questions, it seems that both tailors are making a similar profit on each suit with the difference in price coming mostly from the rent. From what I've been told, it takes both tailors about 20-22 man-hours to complete the suit, excluding the fittings and pre-assembly. At Hahn, more than half the price of the suit goes towards paying his employees, while at Zenith, more than half of the suit cost is due to the high rent. In each picture shown, the chalk-striped gray Zenith suit is on the left, and the dark green Hahn suit on the right, such as in this pic: http://www.imageshack.us/img2/8840/h...th_inside1.jpg From the front: http://www.imageshack.us/img2/3015/h...oth_front1.jpg When I went to Zenith, I asked for a three button close-fit ventless continental style jacket with pleated pants. I didn't specify much anything else I think, except for the amount of sleeve shirt to extend beyond the jacket sleeve. The fit turned out pretty good, with a very nice style I find. Then, I went to Hahn, and asked for the same style and fit, with the only difference being flat-front pants instead of pleated. The jacket turned out to be close, but not the same: the padding on the shoulders had a bit of a convex shape. From the second suit, I requested no padding at all (such as the green suit shown here), and it turned out to look better. Another difference is with the "opening" of the lapels: Zenith opens them more and shows more shirt fabric. I like both styles, although I find Zenith's to be a bit dressier, while I prefer Hahn's for casual occasions. Now, pictures from the side. http://www.imageshack.us/img2/3032/h...both_side1.jpg The major difference between the two is the line of the pants at the front: Hahn did them pretty much how I wanted: the fabric drops in a quasi-straight vertical line at the back and at the front, with a very small break on the front of the shoe. I find the pants from Zenith to fall at the front a bit akwardly with a distorted line. I'm not sure to what this is due. Maybe a tailoring error, or maybe because of the pleats (Hahn's pants are flat front). Alternately, this might come from Hahn's pants fitting higher at the front, as I requested a 31" waist at Hahn and a 32" waist at Zenith. Now, from the back: http://www.imageshack.us/img2/8436/h...both_back1.jpg Both Zenith and Hahn jackets show some deficiencies from the back: some small pleats/wrinkles are apparent near the shoulder pits. It looks worse on this picture than it is in reality, as the flash emphasized the wrinkles I think. It's not a big deal, but I think it could be better. In addition, the Zenith jacket shows some small deficiencies under the neck: some horizontal wrinkles are apparent. I should note that I got the Zenith collar lowered by 1/4 inch after it was completed (it used to show only 1/4 inch of shirt collar, which I found to look unbalanced when 1/2 inch of shirt sleeve extends past the jacket). But even before the alteration, there were some wrinkles at the back of the neck. Lastly, both suits with overcoats. http://www.imageshack.us/img1/7186/h...overcoats1.jpg Both overcoats were made by Hahn, one with midnight blue Zegna cashmere, and one with beige Samsung wool. The Zegna overcoat is a bit too wide on the shoulders (about 1cm off) and the shoulder padding is a bit convex. For the Samsung one, I asked for tighter-fitting shoulders and no padding: it turned out just as I wanted it, with a tiny amount of jacket fabric showing around the neck and lapels (I got this idea from a picture of the Duke of Windsor that I showed in a previous post -> it breaks the rules but I find it looks great). Once again, I think Hahn's pants look better than the Zenith ones: clean line down to the shoe. A few words about the construction: as far as I can see, the stitching is of similar quality for both suits, but I find Hahn's lapel roll to be better than Zenith, while the pick stitching is better on the Zenith suit with the stitches being closer together and making a little drop/shadow in the fabric. Hahn uses much nicer buttons in horn, with a lot of character in them. Zenith's are probably plastic, and dull-looking. To conclude, the main advantages of Zenith: (i) better padding on the shoulders, (ii) nicer lapel opening, (iii) a more "constructed" style than Hahn in my opinion from the front, (iv) really good fit around the waist and on the upper torso, (v) better selection of fabrics. Hahn: (i) better fitting pants, (ii) great fit at the back of the neck, (iii) a more "natural-looking" style from the front, (iv) very low price: about the same as it costs to buy an average ready-made suit in a Seoul department store. Bern
post #2 of 10
Why didn't they correct the "deficiencies" that you have pointed out? Was it something you only noticed later, and were unable to do anything about it (for bespoke garments, you really should be entitled to full satisfaction)? It sounds like the Hahn suit (at $450) is quite a steal. Both suits look fantastic. Great pictures; thanks for posting them.
post #3 of 10
Wow, great report and nice pics. It seems as if the lapels on the Hahn suit sit a bit higher, something I always look for in a suit. The Zenith suit looks a bit more "Mod." It has a better fitting jacket around the waist. The only thing I would have done different is make the pants tighter around the legs. I guess you're wearing these for work, so that might not be appropriate. Also, good call on getting the flat front pants on the second suit. I can't believe the Hahn is only $450, what a great deal. If only they had something like this in NYC.
post #4 of 10
Bern: What did you pay for the overcoats from Hahn if I may ask? Thanks in advance
post #5 of 10
Thanks, bern. Don't be afraid to have them correct any deficiencies with the next suit you order. About the back: pleating on the sides by the armpits is ok (at least from what I've read and heard), pleating down below your neck is definitely not. It looks like they might be able to take some of the pleating out by putting the back center seam in a little. I discovered once that my suit looked rather weird at the back. It turned out that it wasn't my suit that was the problem, it was my shirt bunching up back there; the suit was made of light fabric. I started wearing tighter shirts and the "problem" disappeared. Yours doesn't seem to be like this, though. There was an interesting article in today's copy of the Korea Herald talking about a place called "Venus Tailor," also located in Itaewon. The owner seemed to know his stuff, at least from telling what was quoted in the article, but it might be worth it to check it out in person. These are both great suits, by the way. They are much much nicer than anything you see on the backs of people here.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Why didn't they correct the "deficiencies" that you have pointed out?  Was it something you only noticed later, and were unable to do anything about it (for bespoke garments, you really should be entitled to full satisfaction)? It sounds like the Hahn suit (at $450) is quite a steal.  Both suits look fantastic.  Great pictures; thanks for posting them.
Fareau, Yes, I did mention about the deficiencies, but it seems that's the best they can do. On another suit I got made at Zenith, I asked him to lower the collar at the back a bit more hoping to correct the horizontal wrinkles at the back, but it didn't help much.. At Hahn, since the price tag is so low, they don't like to make post-sale changes to the suits, although they did change the buttons on a dark brown suit I ordered from them (the buttons were a bit too light, and I asked for some darker ones). But for major modifications, such as making the shoulders tighter and taking away the padding on the midnight blue overcoat, they were very reticent at making the changes. But I guess if I insist more and offer to pay to get these modifications done, they would do it, but reluctantly (they seem to take their work to heart to some degree).. bern
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I can't believe the Hahn is only $450, what a great deal. If only they had something like this in NYC.
Mike, The price is so good that I was skeptical at first about the construction quality and the fit. But the quality turned out to be very satisfactory. For sure, I'll get a few more suits done before I leave Seoul.. I have a feeling it won't be easy to find another deal like this one. bern
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Bern: What did you pay for the overcoats from Hahn if I may ask? Thanks in advance
Vc, The midnight blue Zegna cashmere overcoat cost 1 million wons (about 900$US), and the price tag for the beige Samsung wool overcoat was 550,000 wons (about 500$US). Both great deals. Usually, italian fabrics are really pricey in korea due to high import and luxury taxes, but Hahn obtained the Zegna fabric at a discount in a end-of-season sale. bern
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Thanks, bern.
Alias, thank you for letting me know about Hahn. bern
post #10 of 10
Good, informative post. Thanks for the info here.
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