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Top 10 tailors in america - Page 4

post #46 of 76
He's probably referring to hand-stitching as a whole. If a company can pull off some great hand-stitching that's better than how machines do it, fine. However, not every "hand-stitched" item is automatically that much better than a comparable machine-made.
post #47 of 76
I think that refusing to call someone a tailor because they no longer do the sewing is a bit silly. These people are businessmen; they must make money to stay in business. Anyone who has ever been in business knows that you cannot do it all yourself. The main entrepreneur (i.e., the brand-name tailor) has to lead the marketing and sales effort and employ others to make the product just to keep new business coming in. He cannot sell and do at the same time. What you are buying from these folks is a brand, plain and simple. What the brand stands for is what you get. Here in the forum, apparently, the brand also gives you bragging rights. If you want to buy from the person sewing the suit, then ask the brand-name tailor if you can contract independently with one of his apprentences after hours so that you can buy a suit directly from the person who sews it -- boom. -- you've got your suit actually sewn by the tailor you contracted with.
post #48 of 76
Thank you Vero Group. What you are buying from a high-end tailor who charges you $3000 for a suit is bragging rights - "Where did you get that suit?" "I had it custom made by a master tailor." It's a little more sophisticated than walking around with a fake "Prada" written across your chest, but the effect is similar. This is human nature, and not the best part of it. This ain't rocket science, y'all. BTW, shoefan, I wrote explicitly, about the value of handstitching "with some exceptions". Yes, a well-handbasted front does conform better to your body. On the other hand, a Barbera Sartoriale jacket feels a lot better than a Naldini largely because of the superior material and the attention that was given to the design process, rather than the actual handiwork. Same goes for shirts. I don't have any experience with hand shanked shoes. Thank you Alias. I think that you restated my point succinctly.
post #49 of 76
While I very much enjoy the candor of the Forum, I believe some need to be far more careful when making accusations.  For instance, the claim that a Raphael apprentice tailor makes suits for Jon Green clients is entirely false.  The apprentice is a young Peruvian named Marcello who does excellent alterations work, but who has never made a suit, nor any component of a suit, for Jon Green.  The young apprentice aspires to be a tailor, and Jon is currently helping Marcello by guiding him through the making of one blazer for Jon's personal use, a process that has taken a year and is still not complete.  There are three master tailors who make Jon Green suits, and no one else.  It is important for us to not assume that everything a tailor (e.g., Raphael of Savile Row NY) says about his competition is true.  It is especially important, in my opinion, to not present accusations as facts on this and the AskAndy forum.
post #50 of 76
i agree with l.a. guy that steve should not shy away from negative reviews. i know many on this forum like to think in terms of "positive" and "negative" comments, but i think the more useful way is to think in terms of being honest or dishonest. a writer/journalist has a responsibility to his readers to reveal the truth, however ugly that truth may be. sure, if you have a bad experience at a store, it doesn't mean everyone else will, but there's nothing wrong with noting you had a bad experience. your readers can make up their own minds once presented with the facts. i agree with mr. harris that it is okay, even necessary, to accept discounts and freebies, but the writer should also disclose this information whenever writing about that company. concerning custom tailors: there are many people who have oddly shaped bodies which really do require a custom garment. also, as is my case, there are those who prefer details not widely available ready to wear (one-button suits without shoulder padding). i have very normal proportions and would not dream of spending the time and money on a custom if i wanted a typical business suit.
post #51 of 76
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Thank you Vero Group. What you are buying from a high-end tailor who charges you $3000 for a suit is bragging rights - "Where did you get that suit?" "I had it custom made by a master tailor." It's a little more sophisticated than walking around with a fake "Prada" written across your chest, but the effect is similar. This is human nature, and not the best part of it. This ain't rocket science, y'all.
How do you know the motivation for why people buy these garments? You assert that it is about wanting to brag about their provenance; I might assert that it is because the buyer wants a garment that makes him look his best and will last for years, if not decades, while also feeling far more comfortable than an off the rack garment and incorporating personal touches important to the buyer. Futhermore, how often do you think these customers get asked about their suits? Perhaps, instead, they get asked if they've lost weight, been working out, or just find they are getting increased respect and better service when they wear these garments. There are many far easier ways to show off ones wealth or status than to buy a custom-made suit; try buying a solid-gold Rolex Presidential, or drive a Rolls Royce. Now as to why we want to look our best, that's arguably due to human nature. [By the way, for what it's worth, your analogy is flawed; the equivalent strategy to wearing a "fake Prada" would be to claim that you're wearing a custom-made suit when you're not. Or, conversely, to wear a real Prada garment with the name on the front would correspond to a true custom garment.]
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BTW, shoefan, I wrote explicitly, about the value of handstitching "with some exceptions". Yes, a well-handbasted front does conform better to your body. On the other hand, a Barbera Sartoriale jacket feels a lot better than a Naldini largely because of the superior material and the attention that was given to the design process, rather than the actual handiwork.
I would suggest that the majority of discussion of handiwork on this forum is focused on the type that does make a difference; participants want to learn about clothes and how to discern quality from hype and marketing. Of course, like anything else, hand-stitching should be the means to an end, not an end in and of itself. However, your comments:
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Except for assertions to the contrary from parties who stand to profit by doing so either financially (tailors et al) or in prestige (fat cats et al) there is no really convincing evidence that handing sewing, with some exceptions, contributes significantly to a garment at all.
imply that the majority of hand-stitching has no value. Finally, how do you know what makes the difference in a Barbera Sartoriale jacket? Are you a tailor? Have you run controlled experiments with two otherwise identical garments? (I'm not and I haven't.) It's easy to make bald assertions, but harder to prove your case. But, as I said in my earlier post, I've tried on lots of garments, and those with more hand-work are more comfortable and fit better. (By the way, for a comparison, find a retailer who carries Hickey Freeman, both the main line offerings -- Canterbury or Boardroom models -- and also their Custom line, and try them both on. I'd be willing to bet you that the latter will feel and look better; the difference is in a higher level of hand-work, more on the level of Oxxford, in the Custom line. Or, compare an Attolini with a lower priced "Sartoria" garment also made by Attolini.)
post #52 of 76
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How do you know the motivation for why people buy these garments?  You assert that it is about wanting to brag about their provenance; I might assert that it is because the buyer wants a garment that makes him look his best and will last for years, if not decades, while also feeling far more comfortable than an off the rack garment and incorporating personal touches important to the buyer.  
Fair enough - a difference of opinion.
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Finally, how do you know what makes the difference in a Barbera Sartoriale jacket?
I only know what I've been told.  But I *have* tried on a variety of suits, from $100 cardboard contraptions assembled somewhere in LA's garment district, to $4000+ Kitons at Vestiti.  And I try on Oxxfords all the time.  They are nice - but I've also tried on suits with much, much, less handiwork that fit and look better.  I can only attribute this to the importance of cut and material over handiwork.  Nowhere have I asserted that *custom* work, properly done, is not valuable.  It is the importance of "handiwork" that I question.
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It's easy to make bald assertions, but harder to prove your case.
I'm not the one charging thousands of dollars for something of questionable value, so the burden of proof doesn't rest on me.
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But, as I said in my earlier post, I've tried on lots of garments, and those with more hand-work are more comfortable and fit better.
Placebo effect.  I challenge you to try on cosmetically identical garments, excepting the level of handiwork - we could make this a double-blind experiment, the Pepsi challenge, but with more rigorous methodology - and tell me which is which.
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[By the way, for what it's worth, your analogy is flawed; the equivalent strategy to wearing a "fake Prada" would be to claim that you're wearing a custom-made suit when you're not. Or, conversely, to wear a real Prada garment with the name on the front would correspond to a true custom garment.]
I'll concede this point.
post #53 of 76
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Quote from Shoefan:   But, as I said in my earlier post, I've tried on lots of garments, and those with more hand-work are more comfortable and fit better. LA Guy Placebo effect.  I challenge you to try on cosmetically identical garments, excepting the level of handiwork - we could make this a double-blind experiment, the Pepsi challenge, but with more rigorous methodology - and tell me which is which.
If you can figure out a way to pay for this and get it done, I'd love to do it.  It would be an education for all of us. For what it's worth, a couple of other thoughts on this topic: first, you did not respond to the comment about the various Hickey Freeman models, though I assume you would again say "Placebo Effect," "different/superior cut and/or fabric" or some other explanation.  However, I know that the first time I tried on a largely hand-sewn garment (a Hickey Freeman suit in 1983), it felt dramatically better than any garment I had tried on before.  This was when I knew nothing about clothes, and there was no salesman there to tell me about the superiority of hand-work; so, in this case, so much for the placebo effect.  Likewise, when I first tried on an Oxxford, it felt that much better than the Hickeys that I had tried, without a word from a salesman or me seeing the price tag (and I'd never heard of Oxxford).   Similarly, there certainly are many makers (e.g. Belvest and SaintAndrews) that make lots of suits for stores' private label; in my experience, salespeople don't talk about the hand-sewing, etc, when they have customers try these suits, they just let the customer try on the suit, see how it feels (better than the rest of the stock), and see how it looks (ditto).  If the store could get the same quality of garment for less money (due to lower cost of production of omitting the hand-work but doing everything else exactly the same), I think they would, since they could sell the garment at the same price and therefore make a larger profit.  Why don't they do this?  Because the hand-work makes the garment better (if it's done properly and in the right areas). Re: your comments about Oxxford. I don't think anyone ever asserted that all that matters is hand-work.  Cut, styling, and fit of course matter a great deal; Oxxford is not right for everyone's build (as is true, of course, of any ready to wear maker), but their garments are outstanding.  As has been stated before on this forum, an ill-fitting Kiton (or Oxxford) will probably look less nice than a good-fitting ____ (fill in the blank).  But that doesn't prove your assertion about the absence of value in hand-work, since, to your point, there is no controlled experiment going on -- an Oxxford fabrication of the suits you like better might well be superior to those constructed using other method, n'est pas?   One final comment: when Nieman Marcus conducts evaluations of suits, they invariably find that Oxxford's are the best, in terms of construction, durability, and overall quality, even over the likes of Brioni and Kiton.  Now, I think Nieman Marcus knows a thing or two about what makes for quality and durability in a garment; why don't brands that are done by machine outshine the Oxxfords, if there is no value in the hand-work?
post #54 of 76
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Banksmiranda--When I learned that my tailor's *apprentice* is making suits for Jon Green, or more precisely, suits that Jon Green sells to his clients at grossly inflated prices, I lost respect for Boyer and other writers who have written glowingly about Jon Green.  How would YOU feel if you paid an ungodly sum of money for a suit and you learned it was made by an apprentice tailor?
The problems that I have with this and your accusation that Boyer essentially extorts free merchandise from high-end purveyors are several: 1. They're based on anonymous hearsay. Furthermore, the party whose accusations you're repeating would appear have a clear-cut motive to be less than honest. 2. You're attempting to darken reputations without the parties whose reputations are being maligned having the opportunity to respond. 3. In the case of Jon Green, you're essentially making an argument from authority. You don't say that you've seen Green's suits and found them lacking or that people you've known have had unsatisfactory experiences with Green. Rather, you say that Green's suits are overpriced crap because they're made by a tailor's apprentice and that Boyer isn't worthy of respect because he praises them. The proof is in the pudding. It shouldn't matter if Green's dog made the suits if they are superlative; likewise, if they're junk, it doesn't matter if the most highly-credentialled master tailor made them.
post #55 of 76
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Thank you Vero Group.  What you are buying from a high-end tailor who charges you $3000 for a suit is bragging rights - "Where did you get that suit?"  "I had it custom made by a master tailor."  It's a little more sophisticated than walking around with a fake "Prada" written across your chest, but the effect is similar.  This is human nature, and not the best part of it.  This ain't rocket science, y'all.
I'm sorry, but that's a ridiculous statement. You're going to tell me that I'm going to buy a Wurlitzer and then glue a Steinway faceplate on the fallboard just for show?
post #56 of 76
Maybe I'm being overly skeptical, but neither my own, albeit limited, experience, nor the assertions made by manufacturers like Kiton and Oxxford have convinced me of the value of (all) handiwork.  As I've stated before, there are certainly areas in which handiwork is clearly superior.  However, in general, the best defense that I can muster for the value of handiwork is that the construction of the garment *must* be made by a skilled artisan - and the results are therefore better than a garment assembled by a relatively unskilled factory worker.  This doesn't go to say that the skilled artisan couldn't do just as good a job using less handiwork and more machinework.
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You're going to tell me that I'm going to buy a Wurlitzer and then glue a Steinway faceplate on the fallboard just for show?
Thracozaag: Not at all.  I think that you misunderstood me.  Substitute "real Prada" for "Fake Prada" and the point becomes more clear.  Actually, and this has nothing to do with my argument, if I were to buy a Steinway, that would probably be pretentious of me, since my piano playing really sucks, and would hardly warrant such a wonderful instrument.  I'd be like the guy who buys a single malt scotch because it looks great on the shelf or the guy who picks out the most expensive Grand Crus on the wine list, but couldn't tell a Merlot from a Pinot Noir if it struck him repeatedly in the face.
post #57 of 76
I still don't understand your basic tenet. Even if I was exposing someone to the Liszt B minor sonata for the first time and he/she didn't know Beethoven from BonJovi, I'd still play them the old Horowitz recording, not some performance by Joe-Schmoe.
post #58 of 76
This has nothing to do with anything, but is it just me, or has Bon Jovi transformed from a glorious, if cheap and tawdry, stadium rocker, into a soft rocker? No longer a cowboy on a steel horse, is he?
post #59 of 76
And doesn't he own some sort of sports franchise in Philly?
post #60 of 76
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I do not think that individual craftsmen should necessarily sit down and make a whole suit from start to finish. I think that the master tailor/proprietor should take measurements, make a pattern himself or assign that to the cutter, and have an in-house team of tailors each doing one stage of the assembly of the suit, from basting the canvas to sewing buttonholes - division of labor.
Yes, but my point is that nearly ALL reputable Savile Row firms outsource.
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What you are buying from these folks is a brand, plain and simple. What the brand stands for is what you get. Here in the forum, apparently, the brand also gives you bragging rights.
I disagree strongly with this - I think very few of the members, are bragging when they mention brand-names. What are we supposed to do, say 'I've got this great jacket, I really love the way it fits, and it has lasted forever, but I can't tell you the brand name because I don't want to brag' ??
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Thank you Vero Group. What you are buying from a high-end tailor who charges you $3000 for a suit is bragging rights - "Where did you get that suit?" "I had it custom made by a master tailor."
That's ridiculous - if you want bragging rights then go buy Armani.  Why buy a suit with no label from a guy nobody has ever heard of?? I think the VAST majority of men who buy custom clothing do so because they love clothing and they know the difference. It is not an "affectation". What you are a buying from a master tailor is a suit that fits you like no off-the-rack suit can, that hides undesirable physical characteristics, and that is the product of incredible knowledge and skill. Its purpose is to enhance YOU, not to draw attention to itself.
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Except for assertions to the contrary from parties who stand to profit by doing so either financially (tailors et al) or in prestige (fat cats et al) there is no really convincing evidence that handing sewing, with some exceptions, contributes significantly to a garment at all.
Again, a ridiculous assertation. I believe a similar statement would be: 'despite arguments by those who stand to profit from selling $300 jeans, there really is no difference between your favorite Rogan's and a pair of $20 Wranglers from WalMart.'  }:I Some handwork is obviously done for primarily aesthetic reasons. Aesthetics are important. But a lot of handwork does have real benefit over machine-stitching when it comes to the fit and comfort of a garment. Especially when it comes to the attachment of the arm and the sewing of the lapel and the canvas. A sleeve that has been attached by hand is far more comfortable. And nothing can duplicate the perfect roll of a handsewn lapel. Overall handmade garments DO fit much nicer. You may not be able to tell the difference LA guy, but you don't wear a suit every day. I think it would be best to leave the suit reviews to us "suits" and we will agree to acknowledge your superior wisdom on all things denim Also, I might point out that you are young and probably slim. So designer suits are likely to fit you better than a handmade suit that is targeted, and cut for, an older man.
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They are nice - but I've also tried on suits with much, much, less handiwork that fit and look better. I can only attribute this to the importance of cut and material over handiwork.
Yes, cut is obviously more important than handwork. If the suit does not fit then no amount of handwork is going to make it work for you. But I'd bet that if you took  that machine-sewn garment that fit you so well and had the cut copied exactly by an artisan tailor, you would prefer the handmade garment to the machine-sewn one by a large margin.
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Similarly, there certainly are many makers (e.g. Belvest and SaintAndrews) that make lots of suits for stores' private label; in my experience, salespeople don't talk about the hand-sewing, etc, when they have customers try these suits, they just let the customer try on the suit, see how it feels (better than the rest of the stock), and see how it looks (ditto). If the store could get the same quality of garment for less money (due to lower cost of production of omitting the hand-work but doing everything else exactly the same), I think they would, since they could sell the garment at the same price and therefore make a larger profit. Why don't they do this? Because the hand-work makes the garment better (if it's done properly and in the right areas).
Excellent point
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