Originally Posted by JubeiSpiegel
So based on the experience, does it seem that having the bespoke tailor closer to home is key to good bespoke? I can't imagine how a Savile Row tailor can disappoint, unless the distance made it near impossible to get multiple fitting.
I ask because you hear a lot of good and bad bespoke stories. It would be valuable to nail down the most important variables to picking a bespoke tailor.
If by "close to home" you mean around your city, I would say it helps the bespoke process to have your tailor closer but it's worth dealing with some distance if you find a really good tailor who you trust and know will do their best work for you. I was open to working with Despos because I knew I travelled to Chicago frequently, he had such a reputation, and there isnt a comparable tailor in San Francisco. The distance didn't have a negative effect, the whole thing was smooth. But I didn't rush him and he didn't rush me. We just let the bespoke process play out naturally.
In the case of Savile Row USA visits, a couple problems occur despite the reputations of the firms. One is the distance is a bit too far and the time between fittings can be 6 months. I do wonder if this blunts some of the intangible aspects of the cutter's process as he may lose his feel for you with such long lapses. The bigger risk though is impatience. I believe there is a real incentive by major houses on the Row to get the suit done in fewer fittings when there is six months between each fitting. Some firms skip the baste fitting (A&S) or ship a suit after just 2 fittings believing they can accurately make any changes you ask for in the second fitting. It's said by some that a great tailor can make a suit in 2 or fewer fittings anyway, but for a person's first suit and one that is separated by a lot of time this seems foolish. I would strongly advise any Americans commissioning a suit from a traveling SR tailor to insist on a baste fitting and at least three fittings. It will take longer to get your suit but your better off having it done right. Be patient and be willing to wait 4 or 5 fittings if that is what it takes.
And here is the rub on SR. While the Row has great talent it's also a business. The large Houses have an incentive to close your order out and that incentive is greater than the one to fuss over the details of your suit like we imagine a master tailor would. It's up to you to make them fuss.
The Row deals with a lot of newbie customers who have a hard time articulating what the want. my limited experience and the conversations I have had with others suggests they have no problem rolling a customer like that. I would only commission a suit from the Row after you have a lot of experience and can be firm and clear about what you Expect and want.
We have some great tailors in the US though like Despos and Logsdail to just name a couple.
I would be inclined to just stay here and avoid the FX premium.