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YOU heard of a local tailor, Jay Hampton who make Italian, English suits in US and not sourced to...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I was casually searching for a bay area tailor on google today; amongst the Seymour's Fashion, the House of Couture, and blah blahs, I came across a local tailor named Jay Hampton. I've never heard of him before. So I clicked on his website (http://jayhamptontailors.com/index.html) and learned that he has been in business since the 60s when his show room was in SF's Union Square. His prices (suits starting at $799 and shirts starting at $69) seems pretty reasonable to me. What's so interesting about this guy is he claims his suits are cut and sewn in the US. His website said, "All of our suits are expertly hand-tailored to your measurements in the United States. We are not a Hong Kong tailor shop."

 

So I called him and had a brief chat with him. He sounded like a nice guy and was professional over the phone. I mentioned Zegna and Loro Piano fabrics. He informed me he has a full line of Zegna fabrics at his shop in Walnut Creek. They moved shop when their building was torn down in Union Square. He also told me that he thinks those designer fabric are top of the line but so is the price and that he has a few books of less expansive Italian and English fabrics. He also said most of his fabric are either Italian or English and are in the range of s110 to s140 but he does have higher s count fabric. So my impression of that is he doesn't use Chinese made fabric. I could be wrong though. He told me there would be at least 2 fittings with one being the basted fitting. The first suit will have basted fitting and any further suit won't have it unless the client has changed their weight by about 10 pounds. I'm guessing his shop is a made to measure and not a bespoke one.

 

Has anyone heard or had suits made from this guy? Anyhow, long story short, we exchanged information and I told him I have a MTM 2 piece on the way and I'm interested having him to alter the suit. Also, I told him if I like his alteration, I would have him make a test jacket and eventually a 2 piece suit. He also told me he could fit his clients at their homes but they could also come to his office.

 

I like the idea of having a tailor not far from me who has the experience to make the clothing I want and does the work in house. I'll keep you guys updated as I make an appointment with him.

 

Any comments would be great.

 

His phone number is

415-421-8858

 

His website is

http://jayhamptontailors.com/index.html

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 14
I would be very suspicious that it's true bespoke at those prices.
I had a couple of pairs of slacks made by a now retired tailor
in San Francisco in the late '90s. The price was around $400
a pair. The pants came out well and if he were still around I'd
use him. Nevertheless, even though made from an original
pattern, they were probably "sent out" for the actual sewing.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post


I would be very suspicious that it's true bespoke at those prices.
I had a couple of pairs of slacks made by a now retired tailor
in San Francisco in the late '90s. The price was around $400
a pair. The pants came out well and if he were still around I'd
use him. Nevertheless, even though made from an original
pattern, they were probably "sent out" for the actual sewing.


Yeah, I know what you mean. I think the $799 for suits is a bait price. I think if I were to get a decent 2 piece suit from him, it will probably cost me around a grand. I think he provides MTM suit instead of true bespoke. He just emailed me informing that all of their suits are full canvassed. I figured as much because supposedly, all of their suits are hand made. I'll have to report back once I've meet him for a consultation. I just like the idea of American hand made suits from a local tailor. Thanks.

 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post


I would be very suspicious that it's true bespoke at those prices.
I had a couple of pairs of slacks made by a now retired tailor
in San Francisco in the late '90s. The price was around $400
a pair. The pants came out well and if he were still around I'd
use him. Nevertheless, even though made from an original
pattern, they were probably "sent out" for the actual sewing.


Wow! $400 for a pair of pants in the 90s? What were they made out of? Gold thread? lol

 

post #5 of 14
I'm curious to see if he or anyone in his shop, for $799, actually cuts the pattern and puts the basted shell together for your first fitting.

BTW, bashing "Hong Kong made" is a bit lame -- sounds almost directly targeted toward Spoon or WW Chan.


Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelntrigger View Post

Hey guys, I was casually searching for a bay area tailor on google today; amongst the Seymour's Fashion, the House of Couture, and blah blahs, I came across a local tailor named Jay Hampton. I've never heard of him before. So I clicked on his website (http://jayhamptontailors.com/index.html) and learned that he has been in business since the 60s when his show room was in SF's Union Square. His prices (suits starting at $799 and shirts starting at $69) seems pretty reasonable to me. What's so interesting about this guy is he claims his suits are cut and sewn in the US. His website said, "All of our suits are expertly hand-tailored to your measurements in the United States. We are not a Hong Kong tailor shop."

So I called him and had a brief chat with him. He sounded like a nice guy and was professional over the phone. I mentioned Zegna and Loro Piano fabrics. He informed me he has a full line of Zegna fabrics at his shop in Walnut Creek. They moved shop when their building was torn down in Union Square. He also told me that he thinks those designer fabric are top of the line but so is the price and that he has a few books of less expansive Italian and English fabrics. He also said most of his fabric are either Italian or English and are in the range of s110 to s140 but he does have higher s count fabric. So my impression of that is he doesn't use Chinese made fabric. I could be wrong though. He told me there would be at least 2 fittings with one being the basted fitting. The first suit will have basted fitting and any further suit won't have it unless the client has changed their weight by about 10 pounds. I'm guessing his shop is a made to measure and not a bespoke one.

Has anyone heard or had suits made from this guy? Anyhow, long story short, we exchanged information and I told him I have a MTM 2 piece on the way and I'm interested having him to alter the suit. Also, I told him if I like his alteration, I would have him make a test jacket and eventually a 2 piece suit. He also told me he could fit his clients at their homes but they could also come to his office.

I like the idea of having a tailor not far from me who has the experience to make the clothing I want and does the work in house. I'll keep you guys updated as I make an appointment with him.

Any comments would be great.

His phone number is
415-421-8858

His website is
http://jayhamptontailors.com/index.html



post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by otheme View Post

I'm curious to see if he or anyone in his shop, for $799, actually cuts the pattern and puts the basted shell together for your first fitting.
BTW, bashing "Hong Kong made" is a bit lame -- sounds almost directly targeted toward Spoon or WW Chan.


 

Yeah, me too. I would like him to give me a tour of his establishment and introduce me to his staff. I doubt he's bashing Hong Kong tailors even it might sound like it. I think he's just making it clear that his products are made in the good old U.S. of A! lol

 

Now that he doesn't have to pay high rent in SF, maybe he's passing the savings onto his customers? lol Yeah, right, that'll be the day.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

So I emailed Mr. Hampton regarding the material of the canvass for his suits. This is what he had to say, "The canvas we use is made of imported Italian "High Count" hymo canvas with genuine horsehair support. The sleeve heads are canvas reinforced. Hope that helps."

 

 

post #8 of 14
Let's do some math.

799.00 suit, 300.00 profit, 500.00 cost

close out cloth from a Tip Top type of supplier, 4 yards@ 50.00 = 200.00. Use Zegna cloth shipped to USA is a MINIMUM of $500.00 to $600.00 for the cloth alone

CTM jacket labor $160.00 = 20 hours of sewing = 8.00 per hour of labor (I think that is below minimum wage.) + trimmings for jacket, (pocketing, canvass, buttons, lining, pads, zippers, etc., are included, trimmings could easily hit $40.00 for low to medium quality goods. Higher for top end trimmings.

Trouser CTM labor, $40.00. about 5 hours of labor plus trimmings

Shipping $20.00

Any alterations needed at the final fitting comes out of the 300.00 profit.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post

Let's do some math.
799.00 suit, 300.00 profit, 500.00 cost
close out cloth from a Tip Top type of supplier, 4 yards@ 50.00 = 200.00. Use Zegna cloth shipped to USA is a MINIMUM of $500.00 to $600.00 for the cloth alone
CTM jacket labor $160.00 = 20 hours of sewing = 8.00 per hour of labor (I think that is below minimum wage.) + trimmings for jacket, (pocketing, canvass, buttons, lining, pads, zippers, etc., are included, trimmings could easily hit $40.00 for low to medium quality goods. Higher for top end trimmings.
Trouser CTM labor, $40.00. about 5 hours of labor plus trimmings
Shipping $20.00
Any alterations needed at the final fitting comes out of the 300.00 profit.


Wow, thanks for the break down! Now I can use this formula to gauge the quotes I'll get. Thanks again!

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post

Let's do some math.
799.00 suit, 300.00 profit, 500.00 cost
close out cloth from a Tip Top type of supplier, 4 yards@ 50.00 = 200.00. Use Zegna cloth shipped to USA is a MINIMUM of $500.00 to $600.00 for the cloth alone
CTM jacket labor $160.00 = 20 hours of sewing = 8.00 per hour of labor (I think that is below minimum wage.) + trimmings for jacket, (pocketing, canvass, buttons, lining, pads, zippers, etc., are included, trimmings could easily hit $40.00 for low to medium quality goods. Higher for top end trimmings.
Trouser CTM labor, $40.00. about 5 hours of labor plus trimmings
Shipping $20.00
Any alterations needed at the final fitting comes out of the 300.00 profit.

Where can you find sewers for $8.00/hr?
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyThe Tailor View Post

Where can you find sewers for $8.00/hr?

you get/understand my point
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelntrigger View Post



Wow! $400 for a pair of pants in the 90s? What were they made out of? Gold thread? lol

It was the late 90s. They were true bespoke. One pair wool and one pair linen blend.
I still wear them- with alterations to accommodate my more robust physique.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ok, guys, I finally made an appointment with Bud, the owner of Jay Hampton Tailors. I've decided to meet with Bud at one of his homes in Walnut Creek where he usually "works" from. It was located in a nice gated community with road blocks that are manned by private security. I arrived at 12:30pm, a half an hour late for my appointment. Bud had to leave to make some deliveries around 2:30pm and he wanted to spend 2 hours with me showing all of his fabric and garments.

 

Bud seems like a nice guy who is in his 60s. He asked me to wear my suit I bought from Elitesuit. He did not like the length of my jacket. He said it was way too short. I'm 5'7, 5'8 on a good day. I am a weight lifter weighing in around 175 lbs with a size 44 chest. Bud said the length of my jacket was made for someone who is 5'5.

 

I bought a test shirt from him. He gave me a shoe box full of shirt fabric samples. It looked he had about a few hundreds of those in there. I took about a few minutes in there and decided to go with a standard white shirt. All of his shirts are made in China. It was a 80% cotton and 20% polyester. It was $120. A bit steep for my taste. i prefer poly-blend shirts because I don't have to iron them all the damn damn. He measured me with my shirt on and asked me to remove my shirt and he laid if flat on the surface to measure it further. I told him if I liked the shirt, maybe I'll get a sport coat made. I felt that he was "whatever" about it.

 

According to him, all of his suits are cut and made in his shop in East Oakland. So, his suits are made in the U.S.A. He showed me an order form for one of his clients. He brought out 5 or 6 boxes with custom made shirts and a 2 piece suit. I briefly looked at the shirts while they were folded in the boxes and he actually had me put on the suit jacket. The shirts looked pretty decent and standard to me. But the suit blew me away. It was a beautiful shiny charcoalish brown Italian suit with more shoulder padding than I like. The waist suppression was very aggressive and jacket was a bit too long for my taste. But man, it was beautiful. I asked for the price of the suit, $1350. Bud told me sport coats are 2/3 of the full price and the pants is 1/3 of the price.

 

I asked Bud about his entry suit ($799) and entry shirt ($69). He didn't even bothered to show me those. He gave me two books. One was named "Mercury" from a brand called "Gradson" or something like that. The other one was a Zygna book. It seems like his standard suits are at least between $1000 to $1400. His high end suits are higher.

 

Anyhow, Bud said my shirt would be ready within a month. He will contact me when he has it and we can find a place to meet up.

 

The whole experience has left me a bit uneasy. I felt Bud was unorganized. When I asked him about mohair fabric, he said, "Yeah, I have some. I don't know where I put the book." He didn't even bother to look for it. I felt he was judging me to see whether I can afford his suits. He asked me how old I was, where I work, and what's my family situation. After he found out I paid $550 for my suit, he told me he thinks his suits are out of my league. Although I didn't take any offense to it, I thought those were some interesting things to say to your client.

 

Would I buy more shirts from him? Maybe, if I like the test shirt. Would I buy a sport coat from him? Maybe, if the price is right. I don't feel comfortable paying more than $800 for a sport coat at this point. Would I buy a suit from him? Probably not. I don't feel the need to pay $1300 for a two piece at this point. So I might have a sport coat made either from him or from Spoons I'll wear it as an odd jacket with my slacks. I'll keep you guy updated.

 

post #14 of 14
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