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custom-made suit advice

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
my room mate recently got a custom-made suit from a traveling hong kong tailor named Andre Lani. The 3 piece suit is made of a 150 thread count black patterned fabric, its light, extremely soft and looks stunning. (Peep the pics below for close-ups and details.)














I mean, I want one now.

but I have no idea where to even start...

here's what my room mate had to say about his last experience;

"I've dealt with other tailors in the past but Andre has a advantage over them. What I mean by that is his approach.. he has a certain old-world charm/manner that has become so novel these days... very cool, calm and collected yet suuuper flashy with his attire. I enjoyed our sessions. " - my room mate.

So beside the personal experience of a bespoke suit, I'm interested in learning more. Other threads have touched upon particular aspects of bespoke suits, etc, but it'd be nice to get a thread going that's more inclusive of all the elements of getting a custom made suit from a personal tailor.

some notes I gathered from talking to my room mate led me to these questions:



1. As my first suit what color should I go for: Black, Blue, Gray? ( I have an older suit that's black, but fits very boxy and was a cheap off the rack piece that has long over stayed its welcome in my closet.)
2. What is the difference between MTM/custom/bespoke and which ones do the traveling hong kong tailors employ?
3. Peak vs Notch - I understand the difference but why and when is one better that the other?
4. Single vs Double vent - same issue?
5. Canvased jacket, surgeon cuffs, hand-picked stitching ...what is the purpose of all this?
6. Price to expect to pay? ( on this forum I have seen people quote prices for custom made suits from 600 to 3000)
7. What makes the fabric soft?
8. Other important aspects to consider!



this is intended for anyone who's ready to drop a few stacks on a real custom suit but still has questions..
post #2 of 10
Blue is a solid choice and undoubtedly one of the most versatile colors for suits. I would recommend you go with something that has a bit of character to the fabric but keep it subtle. You can experiment more with your choices as your wardrobe grows.
As far as traveling tailors I have had success with them in the past but have only dabbled in the shirting realm. I think you are on the right track with the personal experience. I have been sorely disappointed with custom online formats like indochino.
The sites where you can submit measurements online seem to endorse a mtm format whereas the in person tailors claim a bespoke process and custom made patterns but I think it really varies from tailor to tailor.
Not confident enough about the other subtleties of a suit.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by blklblk View Post

1. As my first suit what color should I go for: Black, Blue, Gray? ( I have an older suit that's black, but fits very boxy and was a cheap off the rack piece that has long over stayed its welcome in my closet.)
2. What is the difference between MTM/custom/bespoke and which ones do the traveling hong kong tailors employ?
3. Peak vs Notch - I understand the difference but why and when is one better that the other?
4. Single vs Double vent - same issue?
5. Canvased jacket, surgeon cuffs, hand-picked stitching ...what is the purpose of all this?
6. Price to expect to pay? ( on this forum I have seen people quote prices for custom made suits from 600 to 3000)
7. What makes the fabric soft?
8. Other important aspects to consider!


1. Dark blue and dark grey are equally versatile. You could also get something in between. Black suits are unnecessary and should be avoided.

2. MTM uses a pre-existing pattern that is altered to your measurements. With bespoke a new pattern is created just for you and employs multiple fittings. Custom can mean anything. HK tailors vary in their methods. You'd have to ask the individual tailor what method he uses.

3. On a single-breasted suit, notch lapels are standard. Peak lapels on a single-breasted suit are flashier and more formal, and thus they are not suitable for business. Peak lapels go along well with a 1-button suit like your room mate got because a 1-button front is also a little flashier and more formal. But I prefer notch lapels on 1-button suits myself. Double-breasted suits always have peak lapels.

4. Double vents are better all around that single vents, unless you don't like the way they look. But Double vents keep your rear covered when reaching into your pockets and they visually extend the leg line. Double vents are more formal than single vents, which are better suited for country suits and sports coats. But double vents are always acceptable, except on dinner jackets where no vent is preferable. But some still consider double vents acceptable. All of my suits and sports coat have double vents. In America some of the really old-fashioned people will prefer single vents over double vents and find double vents too flashy. But in the rest of the world double vents are currently the standard. They have been the standard in England for the past 40-45 years.

5. Canvassing is what gives the jacket shape. It is far more effective than any fusible used in less expensive suits and will last longer than fusing. Fusing is a short cut that can never do what canvassing can. There are many discussion here about that. Working cuffs are a nice detail but completely useless. They should only be made after the suit is completed and the fit is perfect. Pick stitching helps the edges keep their shape. But it doesn't exist to be visible stitching. It must be subtle or it looks silly. Make sure the tailor can do it well, and if he can't then don't get it.

6. From Hong Kong expect to pay around $1,000-1500 for a good suit.

7. The finesse of the fibre is what makes a fabric soft. The softer the fabric the more expensive it is and the less durable it is. For me, to pay more for something that won't wear as well doesn't make sense. The finesse of wool is used by the super system. I find that super 110s - super 120s provides the best balance of feel and wear. Higher than that and the fabric becomes too delicate. I avoid anything higher because it won't tailor as well and it won't last as long. High supers also wrinkle more. Super numbers have nothing to do with fabric weight. Super 150s and super 180s can easily be found these days and if all you care about is how soft the wool is then go for it.

8. I think it's most important to get a classic suit that won't look outdated in a few years.

I think your friends suit looks good, but with a few problems. The shoulders are a little uneven. The tailor probably didn't take into consideration different slopes for each shoulder. The front skirt is too closed and needs to be cutaway more. And the trouser legs are too narrow. The trousers will wear out much quicker than the rest of the suit, but the narrow legs also make him look top-heavy.
post #4 of 10
^ The details of the button/lapel holes are really sloppy.
post #5 of 10
nvm
post #6 of 10
so many questions.

your dictionary says.
bespoke - means to ask for, but the english use the term to indicate a custom made garment.
custom made - means something made to requirements. when used in clothing, an american term.

custom/bespoke garments are for the most part are made within the establishment you are dealing with, and include what ever fittings necessary.

m2m if it is from a manufacture is cut as a single garment with adjustments then run through the same assembly line as the production garments. no fittings, just a finished garment.

there are many smaller m2m shops that only do single garment cutting. they serve local tailor shops.

custom - bespoke - m2m. these terms are 3 general categories and do not indicate qualities.
within each category are different qualities. to try and classify all of them is impossible.
post #7 of 10
keep the black one. use it for funerals. no one there will notice that its boxy or whatever.
post #8 of 10
I recently did the MTM thing for the first time. A local men's store was having a Samuelsohn Trunk Show. I was just ducking out of an afternoon session of a conference I was attending to have a look around. But I was looking for a navy herringbone. I actually get a really good fit right off of the rack in the Sam "Gable" model, so this really equated to getting a lot of good specific alterations done before the fact instead of after. Most of the mods were in the shoulder ("roll" and the specific slopes of each of mine), as well as jacket and sleeve lengths. I'm expecting it to be pretty damned good (won't know for a few more weeks, I guess). The other nce thing about this is that if it does turn out nicely (or even close), they've got my specs "on file," and now I can just go in, pick a fabric, lay down the plastic, and done. I won't even think about bespoke until I know exactly what I want in much greater detail than I do now. I also agree with the basic blue and grey to start with. Charcoal, in particular, seems to have a chameleon-like quality of resonating with whatever reds, greens, or blues it's paired with. I never get tired of that quality...
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by onix View Post
^ The details of the button/lapel holes are really sloppy.

+1
post #10 of 10
It looks like a zara suit that wants to be a Tom Ford. If it's $300 than go for it otherwise you can find better RTW deals.
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