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Stepping up to bespoke? - Page 3

post #31 of 74
Was just measured for my first bespoke suit today. I am very excited, although a little nervous that I didn't include everything I should have. Luckily, I am getting a very good deal, so my financial investment isn't too much.
From my thinking, it was best for my first bespoke to be from a cheaper fabric/style - seersucker - so that my investment wouldn't be too significant. This way, even if my choices were lousy, or if the tailor turns out to be inept, I haven't sunk too much money into it.
post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by chorse123
I'm curious to hear from some of you regarding your decision to order your first bespoke suit. When did you make the decision? What made up your mind? I'm toying with the idea right now. I don't have a huge need for a suit, nor do I even have the money right this moment, but it's something I would love to do, and am considering saving for one suit. I generally shop the super-discounts, but have been able to get a number of garments of very high quality which I love and which fit well, though far from perfectly.

Of course, for the cost of Option A (one true bespoke suit, say, $4000), I could order Option B: a MTM suit, MTM jacket (or two), and a few pairs of trousers from someone like Mr. Ned. Oh and a pair of special order Gaziano Girling shoes.

Oddly enough, I think my wife would probably support Option A more. Then again, it would probably mean I couldn't buy anything ever again without catching some grief.


You, my friend, are the ultimate decision maker.

The question is how much do you WANT IT? Apparently, you don't need it since you can wear RTW. In fact, no one needs bespoke clothes. It's all a question of "want."

I read of a taxi driver who wanted one suit exactly like the president. He bought one at George de Paris in Washington, DC. That was it.

I know two clothing salesmen who buy from a London tailor even though they could buy at their respective stores at employee discounts. On the other hand I know someone at Barneys who buys only only at the Barney Warehouse sale with his employee discount where he buys suits for $150. He views his clothes as disposable.

I know a NYC custom clothier who has his tailored clothes made in London. However, he uses a NYC tailor for his customers.

I have heard of billioniares who buy MTM at Brooks.

I know of a very prominent trial lawyer who buys the same suit each time at JC Penney. He boasts about it. On the other hand I know a very prominent criminal attorney who is known for his custom wardrobe. I knew another criminal attorney, who just recently died, who wore a very flamboyant costume.

At my first real job at a private law firm the lead partner wore Anderson & Sheppard. The number two man bought his suits at Syms, and it looked it. The number three man bought Brooks RTW.

I know a very wealthy truck company owner who buys strictly RTW on sale at Oxxford.

I know a well known restaurant owner who is a notorious deadbeat. He has an obession with custom clothes. I sued him on behalf of one of the tailors.

What I'm driving at is that you have to see what works for you regarding your "wants", your pocketbook, your lifestyle, and the preservation of your marriage.

Good luck!
post #33 of 74
Thread Starter 
Great post, Mark. I find all this very interesting. Nice to hear others thoughts on the matter.

Over the last three years I've ordered something like ten MTM garments, not including shirts. I've certainly made mistakes, and some of them languish in the closet. But I've learned, and have a better sense of what I like, and what I wear.

It's quite likely that I'll go with someone less expensive, but I think I would be willing to pay significantly more for the attention to detail that bespoke offers, even if it's not perfect on the first go round. Either way, it's fun to play around with the possibilities.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seitelman
I know of a very prominent trial lawyer who buys the same suit each time at JC Penney. He boasts about it.

Was this the gentlemen 60 Minutes (I think it was 60 Minutes) did a piece on a couple of years ago? I seem to remember him boasting about purchasing inexpensive suits (although I seem to remember Lands' End, not JC Penney, but I could be wrong). Clothing was just not his priority, even though he clearly had the money to purchase whatever he wanted.
post #35 of 74
chorse it seems you and I are in the same boat.

An A&S DB is my top choice at the moment for several reasons:

- The experience of travelling to London for my measurements is important, I'll get as much joy out of walking into the new A&S and meeting with Hitchcock and others as much as selecting a cloth. Additional fittings in NYC serve me just as well being that I live in Atlanta.

- They have a top notch reputation and have the financial standing to be around for the next 30 to 40 years.

- Some of the current cutters are slightly older than I am giving me a better chance at establishing a long term relationship.

- I love the cut and the softness of the garment.

- Pricing is reasonable on a relative basis.
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBZ
Was this the gentlemen 60 Minutes (I think it was 60 Minutes) did a piece on a couple of years ago?

If I remember the same story it was David Boies(sp) , the Microsoft antitrust case and it was Land End's.
post #37 of 74
Oxxford MTM is the highest I am currently willing to go, but if you were to go the Bespoke route I would suggest you consider Chris Despos first.

After seeing his garments this past week, they are just amazing and it is easier and cheaper to get a ticket to Chicago then London , and we have better food.
post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by rssmsvc
If I remember the same story it was David Boies(sp) , the Microsoft antitrust case and it was Land End's.

post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by rssmsvc
If I remember the same story it was David Boies(sp) , the Microsoft antitrust case and it was Land End's.

Yup, that's the guy (the picture confirms it). Sad that I remember the suits he was wearing but can't remember his name. I have no idea if this is the same person Mark mentioned above.
post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seitelman
I knew another criminal attorney, who just recently died, who wore a very flamboyant costume.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/01/ob...erland&emc=rss
post #41 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rssmsvc
Oxxford MTM is the highest I am currently willing to go, but if you were to go the Bespoke route I would suggest you consider Chris Despos first.

After seeing his garments this past week, they are just amazing and it is easier and cheaper to get a ticket to Chicago then London , and we have better food.

What does Despos run? I'm in Chicago often to visit family. I'd probably prefer a local, but not a bad idea.
post #42 of 74
Quote:
The experience of travelling to London for my measurements is important

Bill, you will really enjoy their shop. It's the real deal. I saw dozens of great fabrics that I really loved.
post #43 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan
Bill, you will really enjoy their shop. It's the real deal. I saw dozens of great fabrics that I really loved.
Agreed. It is a great shop and a great institution. More than that, your reasoning is right on the money.
post #44 of 74
Some have argued that the value and satisfaction of bespoke is more about the journey/experience/process rather than the destination or end product. This implies that the end product of bespoke is somehow less satisfactory than the experience leading up to it. I find that rather baffling and contrary to my experience since both the bespoke destination (end product) and the journey (process) are essentially inseparable pieces of the same puzzle. The one without the other has little value.

In my book, if you do not fit RTW or even MTM very well, then the end product of bespoke is worth every penny. But of course you need to reach that level of realization for yourself.

Some ways to increase the likelihood of success when you go bespoke:

  • Do your due diligence (i.e. know what you want and match that as closely as possible to the tailor most likely to capture your needs and preferences). If you do this, I contend it is entirely possible to be anywhere from highly satisfied up to insanely happy with the first suit from a bespoke tailor.

  • Build up your knowledge of tailoring, garment features and styles over time. I went through RTW, MTM and bespoke in that order. I do not suggest diving directly into bespoke without a decent sense of your stylistic preferences and adequate knowledge of tailored garments.

  • Learn on the cheap first (ebay, filene's, sales, SF, AAC, etc) then pull the trigger on bespoke.

  • Basically, the more you are familiar with what you want and need (and which tailor can optimally supply it), the better value and satisfaction you will receive both aesthetically and practically speaking.
post #45 of 74
I use bespoke for most of my city or 'important' suits. I use MTM for most of my overcoats and country clothes. My MTM cost is 40% the price of bespoke.

I learned this practice from a now deceased guy who was considered one of the best dressed men in America and I've continued the practice for roughly forty years. Savile Row for the city, Hong Kong and Martin Greenfield for the country. And it's hard to see a difference, particularly in coats, tweeds and corduroy trousers.

In the years since I was 18 I bought just one RTW jacket, a Barbera that I picked up on a whim to see what the fuss was all about. Darned thing never fit right and the cost per wearing is the highest of anything that's ever been in my wardrobe.
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