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First bespoke/MTM suit and charcoal herringbone? - Page 2

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, back from Thailand now. Since you guys helped me, I guess you deserve a review.

 

Be warned, this is long, and I won't get my suit for another week or so...

Cliffnotes - 2 fittings, 1 jacket, 2 pants, 3 shirts, cufflink, tie for 16,000 Baht. Happy with the service and measurements. Will re-review when I get the suit. Will TRY to re-review in a years time.

 

Rajawongse, on Sukhumvit, Near Soi 4, in Bangkok, Thailand @ http://www.dress-for-success.com/

 

Seemed to go well. I was in Bangkok for 4 nights, then back in Bangkok around 9 days later, but only for a few hours... and that was a Sunday when they are shut. He said I could pick them up from my 'old hotel' or a nearby shop on that Sunday.... but it was just easier to get him to post it back to Australia for me (turns out that was our only option, but we didn't know that at the time). Hopefully I get it in the post in a bit over a week. I'm positive he could have made it inside the four nights (Well, we went to his shop when we were there for only 3 more nights left for us in Bangkok, given the time our plane landed).... but, he didn't want to rush it, and I wouldn't have let him anyway.

 

I had the measuring then two fittings.

 

He was fantastic.

 

Besides the father or son, very few (effectively none?) staff appeared to speak English, and always referred me to either the father or the son when I started speaking.... which meant that sometimes, service took 5-10minutes... but, they had seats and offered beer and water.

 

Their charcoal birds eye didn't look quite formal enough for what I wanted (and was SUper 180 wool/cashmere), so I did, actually, end up with a Charcoal Herringbone. It is a very small, subtle, pattern, and looks solid from a distance. I'm not 100% sure that I'll be comfortable wearing Herringbone shirts (of a different size pattern) with it.... but I've only got three HB shirts at the moment (and, remember, I now have 3 suits, so won't always wear this light HB suit).

 

Ended up with:

1 Jacket

2 Matching Pants

3 Shirts

1 Cufflink pair

1 Tie.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if he chucked in another cufflink pair and/or tie into the delivery bag... but, we didn't haggle to include either, yet he threw one of each in when I paid the balance.

 

He did the whole 'This shop doesn't haggle on price thing'... whilst we were haggling, and then he still dropped an extra 600 baht from the price.

The suit was 12,000 Baht.

Then for another 4,000 Baht I got the extra pants and 3 shirts (and free cufflink and tie). I think he fairly easily offered me the extra pants for 2,000 Baht instead of  the normal (IIRC) 4,000.... but wasn't particularly easy to 'haggle with' for the rest of it.

IIRC shirts were suppose to be 2,100 baht each...but, perhaps not?

 

I paid 16,000. I'd call that a bit of a win, considering what he wanted to charge me. I was hoping to only pay 12,000 all up (when I was still researching)... but came to the conclusion that was unrealistic (see, eg, another high quality tailor at http://www.tailoronten.com/pages/prices ). Delivery was, unfortunately, 1,500 Baht. But, I suppose, posting that many suits just isn't cheap via FedEx and, that's just the way life is.

 

Of course, they keep my measurements on file...so if I'm happy with this lot, I can easily order more. Especially more shirts.... but, if delivery will be $50 again... it'd probably only be really a great deal if you go in and grab five shirts or more. IIRC, at 2,100 baht this is $70. Add $50 delivery. = $120 for one shirt. You just wouldn't bother. But, at five shirts, it'd be $80/shirt.... and you might even be able to do a deal like buy 4, get 1 free? Not sure.

 

I ended up with a half-canvass jacket (they ONLY offer half-canvassing).

 

The only real part I'm a little worried about, is I chose a Super 150 wool/cashmere blend... I wanted a lower number, and pure wool... but, the material seemed nice (they had a made-up jacket there of the same material, which looked nice, as well as the fabric roll). He assured me that all of his suit fabrics were wool/cashmere blends, and they all wear very well. I should have found out what percentage cashmere it was. He told me to email him when I get the suit, so I'll do it then and ask.

 

Then, of course, when I try on my suit, I'll be sure to post back here with how it fits, feels, etc.

 

After reading posts like http://www.styleforum.net/t/97245/downside-of-wool-cashmere-blend-for-suiting I have much more confidence in the cashmere/wool blend. Considering that, all things considered, it's a fairly cheap... I'm only assuming it'll be like 8%. I don't know why 8% rings a bell, but it does. I have no confidence in it being 8%... but, if I was forced to guess a number, it'd be 8%. The comment in that thread was: [quote]6-19% cashmere content makes the fabric a little softer but also makes it weaker. At this level, the resultant softness is not worth the additional weakness and the price becomes much higher compared to 100% wool[/quote]... but, that isn't a terrible review and Google seems to like 5-10% cashmere suits a touch more than Film Noir Buff.

 

I'll try to remember to re-post in a years time. Considering I'll be wearing 3 suits Mon-Fri.... you'd expect me to wear this maybe 40-45% of the time (probably my highest quality, and certainly the best fitting and newest), my navy pin stripe 30-35% and my grey pinstripe (I so need more non-blue shirts to wear with this) 25-30%....

 

So, in a years time, you'd expect me to have worn this new Rajawongse suit about 100-120 times... how will it fair? I guess if I like it still, it will be time to expand my wardrobe to four suits in a year. Will it be from Rajawongse?

post #17 of 22
It sounds like you did well. Thanks for the review. Please let us know what your impressions are of the fit, silhouette, and construction.

Do not expect perfection or even an excellent fit. It is very rare that a bespoke tailor gets it right the first time. I recommend looking to see if the fit is noticeably better than off the rack. If you do notice that it's better, you might consider going back. If not, stay away.

A charcoal mini-herringbone should be just fine. I think I agree with some that a navy solid would have been somewhat more useful, given that you already have a gray stripe and and a navy stripe. The herringbone will emphasize the vertical, just like the striped suits do. But a charcoal small herringbone is a classic, traditional fabric. It is basically a more formal version of a charcoal serge. Great for sober day occasions.

I would not wear it with a herringbone shirt. Solid poplins or twills or mini-checks. Butcher stripes if you're feeling bold.
Edited by Testudo_Aubreii - 1/29/12 at 10:32am
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

So, got my clothes today.

 

First, the bad news. I didn’t get any MORE free ties / cufflinks.

 

Now, the good news. I like everything else about it... more on that in a minute. First, what do other people think? My mother is the world’s most cynical person. She was dead sure I was getting scammed... but she likes it, now that she has seen it. My GF, and her mother, both said the material feels and looks nice.

 

It all fits perfectly. I think I’d get the shirt sleeves 1cm longer next time... but that is all personal preference.

 

 I cannot find a single fault with the construction, cut, finishing, etc.

 

Some things that I forgot to check if they were included ‘standard’, like felt around the jacket collar, were happily present. The pockets, including the inside jacket pockets, were perfect. My name was, surprisingly (and elegantly) embroidered inside the jacket. All in all, the little details (and bigger details like half canvassing / good material) were all done well.

 

Again, I note that, in Thailand suit terms, it was expensive... at around $565-$580, inc. delivery... but, in Australian terms, for a 2 pants suit, 3 shirts, a tie, cufflinks.... it was cheap. I note that some designer brand suits on deep discount specials do get down to around $600 or so... – but, note, that is for only one pair of pants – and not including 3 shirts, cufflinks and a tie... and would not made to measure/bespoke.

 

All in all, I would definitely order again from them. I’m not 100% sure that I’d be completely confident ordering another suit from them online, even though they have all my measurements, etc...  but certainly shirts... and probably a suit. I would definitely order a suit from them if I went back to Thailand.

 

Stupid question of the day, is my suit made to measure or bespoke? I’m assuming made to measure, but I’m not sure?

 

Cheers.

 

post #19 of 22

from my understanding of it made to measure has a team of tailors to produce the suit, unlike bespoke which only has one expert tailor who does everything..also bespoke is precisely measured to fit the person.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

dorolf:

bespoke = made from scratch.

MTM = cut to fit from a mold.

post #21 of 22
Sounds good. Here are some additional questions to think about regarding fit. Can you comfortably perform all driving operations in a car with standard transmission? All wheel turns, gear shifts, etc? Can you extend either arm high and quickly enough to hail a speeding taxi cab? Can you dance comfortably in the suit with the coat buttoned? If the answer to all these is "Yes," it's worth thinking about going back.

Some pics would be nice. In my view, the comfort part of fit is most important, but the aesthetic part is also important.

There's a lot of debate about what constitutes genuine bespoke. I think the consensus here on SF is that it requires one visit for measurements and at least two more for fittings, and that the person who measures you must cut the pattern from scratch. In standard made to measure, the tailors take your measurements and then alter a block pattern. They then try the finished suit on you, and alter it if necessary. What's in between is usually called "semi-bespoke." Basically, altering a block pattern to your measurements, but with two or more fittings. I suspect that's what you got. Semi-bespoke can result in excellent-fitting, well-made, elegant garments.

I would not order the next suit online. Go back, wearing the suit. They need to see it on you. Tell them your impressions of the fit and the silhouette. If possible, order the next shirt in person too.
Edited by Testudo_Aubreii - 1/30/12 at 7:13am
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks testudo.

 

I don't have pictures yet (recently got the suit back from dry cleaning, and haven't had an occasion to put it on just yet).

 

Pleasantly, it perfectly survived the dry cleaners. I have read about one or two Thailand suits that died after their first dry cleaning trip... not mine:)

 

Also, tailor Jesse got back to me:

'The suit you had made from us was 80% wool and 20% cashmere.' and '[additional] shirts are 1200 Thai baht each and shipping 5 shirts back to you would be 1500 Thai baht'.
 
So,

5 high quality, well fitting, shirts delivered for AU$228, which is $46 each. Guess where I will get most of my new shirts from!? I mean, occasionally, I'm sure I'll still get a nice store brought shirt every now and again... but, I can see most of my shirts coming from this tailor in the future.

 

Sweet, sweet smell of success.

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