I got my first two shirts made here. Fairly standard fabric choices, in blue and purple, and a reasonable price, 270 HKD. (~35 USD) The shirts were basically skin tight, very uncomfortable, and looked well worn after just 10 washes. Wasn't really happy with the quality of their fabrics, and I didn't like the way the shirt fit, based on internet reading, I decided to try my luck with Jantzen.
I had a total of 6 or 7 shirts made by Jantzen. I mentioned my complaint that I didn't want a shirt too tight, neither too lose. I was looking for something that fit well. They agreed to oblige, and the first round of shirts fit much better. I noticed that the sleeves were a bit too large, and had them bring those in. Over time, I found that the sleeve wrinkled like crazy at the underarm, I think due to the way the sleeves were cut. When I mentioned this at Jantzen, they basically told me I was crazy, that everyone's shirt will do that, and its a function of having things made of cotton. Knowing that I walk down the street everyday without seeing people with super-wrinkled armpits, Jantzen was telling me that they would not be fixing my issues with their shirts, so I moved on to my next tailor. For reference, Jantzen is in the 350-390 range.
Many posters on the forum seem to be quite happy with Peter Lee. (spending the most time here because I spent the most amount of time/effort to get it right with Peter) He's a bit more expensive at 580 per shirt, but at this point, I'd rather pay a little extra money and get something I'm happy with than something I hate. I get my first shirt made using their nicer fabrics(at 680 a shirt), and the fit comes out much better than it had with Jantzen. I no longer have the armpit wrinkling issue, and the shirt looks good. One weird thing, is that the shirt was made with an hourglass shape - the shirt comes in at the waist and then goes back out wide. I ask him if he can alter this and have the waist come in, and stay in. He fixes this issue, and I'm reasonably satisfied. Its not perfect, but much better than the way the shirt came out originally. This leads me to get a second batch made with Peter.
With the second batch, I again went with their nicer fabrics, and asked to have the shirts shortened a bit, as I don't want shirts that go all the way below my crotch when I tuck them in. I also asked them to keep the trimmed waist(sorry, my tailoring terminology is awful and I don't know what the right words to use would be) like last time, but make the shirts a bit shorter. I also noticed that my previous shirt was just a smidge tight around the chest, and asked if it could be made just a bit larger. Peter replies that he can only work in half inches, so the chest will have to be increased by an entire inch. Rather than go with a shirt that looks too tight, I tell him to open up the chest a bit and take the risk, I would have preferred to only enlarge the chest by half an inch, I'm really nitpicking at this point, I know.
The second batch is completed, and it turns out all 3 shirts have significant hourglass shapes. What is up with this??? I had mentioned several times that i wanted the shirt to taper in at the waist, and not flare back out. He offers to fix the shirts, which are again better than they were originally, but still not what I had asked for. Additionally, he's made the shirts so short that there is maybe a centimeter to give when I'm tucking them in without the sides coming out of my pants. The chest is also significantly bigger, and I know that an inch is quite a bit to add, I'm not quite sure I understand why he can't work in smaller increments. I'm starting to get the feeling that we are bouncing between extremes here.
Knowing that tailoring is a process and not something that is perfect your first time around, I decide to go one more round with Peter, this time I go with just one shirt, because I can't keep experimenting with multiple 680 HKD shirts that don't come out as I expect them to. I request that again, they fix the waist/hourglass figure thing going on(none of my OTR shirts has ever looked like this - and i've really never seen anyone with a shirt with this shape, what gives??) , and to make the shirt an inch longer, so I'm not risking my shirt coming out everytime I reach for something. I also requested the split yoke and unfused collars/cuffs.(extra 100 hkd) This time, the shirt comes back, with a slight flaring at the waist, and now 2.5 inches longer. I'm not understanding what the problem is here, as when I explain what I want, the drawings of the shirts are exactly as I describe, and I even see them writing the dimensions down.
Overall, I'm 5 shirts in with Peter now, and 3 "batches." I don't feel that he has addressed my issues with the shirts to my satisfaction, and feel that I have communicated my desires clearly. I haven't seen anyone else post negative experiences with Peter Lee, am I the only one? At this point in my tailored shirt adventure, I honestly think I'm going back to OTR and having them altered. I recently picked up a custom fit shirt from RLPL, and aside from being a bit wide at the waist, its got everything I want, and looks much better than anything I've had made from the local HK tailors. I don't yet have the budget to go up to Ascot Chang/WW Chan, so the adventure was fun and all, but in the end, hasn't been everything I had hoped it would.
At this point I think I'm going to go with RLPL and BB shirts, and having them altered.
Has anyone else on this forum had similar problems/experiences? How do you get over the disappointment of having similar issues over and over, or problems overcorrected to the opposite extreme?
(Another issue I've had with my shirts is that the yoke seems to bunch up near the collar. All of my OTR and tailored shirts have this problem, and one other tailor I visited for pants commented that it was due to the shape of my shoulders. Is this something that should be correctable, and have the shirt tailors above just not taken the effort to do so?)
Been to a bunch of HK tailors, haven't had results significantly better than OTR, and am frustrated.