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How to define "value" in tailoring? $635 to perform alterations to one jacket - at Bill Cairo... - Page 4

post #46 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ter1413 View Post


you are on SF............a smiley???? come on brah!!!

 


Cut me some slack, I'm still new here..

post #47 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

It's an interesting psychology; there surely is a good study in it somewhere (we could call it the "Sale Fallacy" or something.)


My friend used to call this sort of thing the poisoned chalice.

I've seen people buy a small part and end up buying a whole new machine just so the deal on the part wouldn't be a waste.
post #48 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola View Post

My friend used to call this sort of thing the poisoned chalice.
I've seen people buy a small part and end up buying a whole new machine just so the deal on the part wouldn't be a waste.

It's also definitely culturally based, IMHO (at least with clothes) to the West, or especially the USA/Canada. For example, in Japan definitely this mentality hasn't permeated (which is the other culture with which I'm familiar).

Just ruminating, I blame it on (1) the "box store" mentality of more for less where we really only want 100mls of something but buy 1000mls because it appears cheaper per unit ounce, (2) forums like SF in which aspiration to be like the "cool guys" we see parading themselves around on teh interwebz, and (3) the greater ease and downmarket dissemination of major brands through ebay, department stores, sample sales, and "bargain" places like marshall's, Filene's basement, etc.

Some of the older members will remember when SoCal first came on the forum; he created quite a stir because his means allowed him to buy whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it... and he didn't apologize for it. He bought only what he loved (at the time) and paid what was asked. He was almost unanimously (except for a few of us) attacked/criticized as some sort of fool... when in reality it was probably a combination of jealousy and the "Sale Fallacy" (poisoned chalice.) Really, it makes sense to buy what you really want, regardless of what brand it is or its price.

I never did understand why the same people who rather viciously attacked SoCal for buying a garment he wanted (and wore!) praised somebody else who posted an absolutely hideous Canali, Brioni, Attolini, etc. jacket that didn't fit, was in a hopelessly outdated style/color, damaged, or outright hideous and fit only for a trash heap... but was 90% off retail.
post #49 of 55
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your feedback, you make some good points.

 

I have to wonder if when he saw you walk through that door with that jacket he didn't start salivating... like a foreign-auto mechanic who sees an excited young man walk in with a smile and the 1989 Jaguar he just bought with "a few glitches" he wants you to look at.

I don't think was the case, given that he had already rejected two previous items on an earlier visit.  He told me up-front on the previous visit that he didn't like the way the other jacket fit and didn't recommend working on it.

 

You also mentioned that without 90% off and a Canali label I wouldn't have bought it at any price - I disagree.  It's an understated cream, subtle herringbone, silk jacket.  It fits perfectly in my chest, and just a tad wide in the shoulders - but the cut in the waist was too loose for my taste.  In fact Cairo said the shoulders were fine and we could just bring them in a bit if I preferred - it was my call.  Reducing the length was another debatable item which added to the cost.

 

My drop is between 9 and 10 inches depending on how much I've been working out recently.  He pinned it up at first without the second set (front) of pins for waist suppression, and he said he thought it was okay but that we could go further if I wanted - which I did.  The second pinning got even more expensive because of patch pockets.

 

The alterations started at $300 and went up as we kept saying "well, you could do this, you could do that, etc."

 

So maybe I exaggerated in my post on how badly the initial fit was - I should have taken before pics - I'll drop by his shop to get them.

 

In any case - someone mentioned that I won't use this jacket much.  That's true but it's irrelevant.  It's a luxury item for leisure use - restaurants, clubs, etc.  Not a workhorse.  Normally I would not have purchased a jacket needing this much waist suppression - I would have moved on.  But I loved the fabric.  I wouldn't buy a navy blazer, or charcoal suit, etc. needing this kind of work because they're so common it would be easier to just get a smaller one.

 

But, for $800 maybe I could've gotten a silk MTM at Richard Lim - I honestly don't know.  Maybe if I'm getting this picky on fit I need to just switch exclusively to MTM.


Edited by lalaland - 4/28/12 at 4:09pm
post #50 of 55
Thread Starter 

Also - I realize that on this jacket, AND my previous Dolce that was adjusted by Novex in Bev Hills - we are doing shoulders.  This is expensive and according to this forum is a task best left to very skilled tailors.  And in both cases the OTR shoulder fit was close enough that the tailors said it was my call as to whether we adjust them - a matter of how anal I wanted to get.

 

But how many guys fit perfectly in the shoulders of OTR jackets?  What percentage of the population has a perfect OTR fit in that department?


Edited by lalaland - 4/28/12 at 4:05pm
post #51 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

I never did understand why the same people who rather viciously attacked SoCal for buying a garment he wanted (and wore!) praised somebody else who posted an absolutely hideous Canali, Brioni, Attolini, etc. jacket that didn't fit, was in a hopelessly outdated style/color, damaged, or outright hideous and fit only for a trash heap... but was 90% off retail.

I haven't been around SF quite as long, but bargain hunting and the psychological reward/internet praise for a "find" is more important to many people than actually having decent clothing. It's not really even about clothes for them, it's about the pleasure of acquisition and they learn to calibrate how pleased they should be by the brand cache and %off. They usually look terrible, but there you go. When presented with someone who has the actual means to buy whatever they want, all those target brands, but is really about looking good and not "getting a deal", they just can't understand it and also have to protect their own egos since they need to deal hunt. So they attack. (example: Reevolving always saying everyone on this forum must be swimming debt without any evidence to that fact)

You see the same thing in lots of other specialty forums.
post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland View Post

So I got a $1,500 pure silk Canali blazer in a truly beautiful cream herringbone pattern for almost 90% off at an Off Saks outlet - $169 - in a 42R, which fits my chest - but is a tent everywhere else. 

I took it to a local high end tailor who comes highly recommended on this forum - also with a reputation for being expensive - and does a lot of bespoke suits - Bill Cairo Custom Tailor of San Marino - to see if it could be made to fit, or if I should just return it.

He said the jacket is "well balanced" - whatever that means, and set about pinning it up.

15 minutes later we decided to:

-Shorten the jacket 3/4 of an inch.
-Take the jacket in a lot to fit my drop, which is requiring taking material out of both the front and the rear - slicing it open at four side seams.  This also entails removing the patch pockets and placing them back on.
-Close both rear vents because after bringing it in the vents were going to "scissor" outwards
-Bringing the shoulders in 3/8 of an inch on each side.
-Bringing material up in the back to eliminate some wrinkling and a duck-tail effect over my ass.

I figure this is a total of 12 "changes" - and then I'm going to be in for $800 including purchase price, which seems like a decent value for a silk Canali in a classic style that should fit like a glove and last for many years.

But still - $635 in alterations?  The bespoke blazers at Bill Cairo start at $2,500, so i guess everything's relative. . .

I don't feel like he tried to "sell" me on the work, but he wouldn't negotiate the price.  He also turned down work on two other jackets I brought him, where he could have easily taken advantage of me instead and rung up a higher total ticket.

Do you get what you pay for at these high end tailors, or are there a lot of lesser-known clothing artists out there who can perform major surgery just as well for 1/2 the price?

Answer to last question: YES. My tailor, who is highly regarded by many Forum members, would probably do it for much less. However, it is imprudent to purchase a garment which requires such radical surgery.
post #53 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland View Post



But how many guys fit perfectly in the shoulders of OTR jackets?  What percentage of the population has a perfect OTR fit in that department?

Your problem (and it's been mentioned) is getting attached to the label. There are many many other makers. If the brand doesn't fit you in the shoulders try a different brand.

You mention it only was a little big in the shoulders but you had it cut down 3/8" per side. That's a total of 3/4 ". In other words it was more then one size too big in the shoulders. That's not a little big.
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland View Post

In any case - someone mentioned that I won't use this jacket much.  That's true but it's irrelevant.  It's a luxury item for leisure use - restaurants, clubs, etc.  Not a workhorse.  Normally I would not have purchased a jacket needing this much waist suppression - I would have moved on.  But I loved the fabric.  I wouldn't buy a navy blazer, or charcoal suit, etc. needing this kind of work because they're so common it would be easier to just get a smaller one.

First, my main point: how you spend your money is up to you. SO, take all of this with that in mind, and also with the realization that many of us have been there/made those mistakes and want to save you a lot of time, $$$, hassle, and crappy clothes. I really wish I'd have had SF around when I was in college to keep me from a closet of crap that I never wore, but that had spectacular labels and retail prices.

BUT, here's my thinking... why is it irrelevant that you won't use it much? Looking at it logically, we are faced with two situations given your shopping habits:

1) You are on a budget and scout the bargain bins for "designer" stuff 90% off.
2) You have $$$ but are a cheapskate and/or can't stomach something at retail.

If we are talking (1), then an $800 jacket you won't use much IS a strange purchase to make, especially when that jacket required as much time/effort to get right (not just the purchase price, which for the fit/style seems high to me, but also the time to get to the tailor, go through the measurements, go back to pick it up, fix small details that may not be right, etc.). Further, assuming (1), then you aren't probably the kind of person who has lots of Hamptons' soirees to attend, or tons of weddings. And, if you ARE, you won't want to wear the same jacket. What I predict (and trust me, this is from experience and experience of too many friends)... you are going to wear it to a club ONCE, and after that your friends will remember it, and it will look like you're wearing the same jacket every time. If they don't outright make fun of you, then regardless you'll still feel self-conscious.

I'm speaking from experience; in college I bought a weird blue silk-ish Gucci blazer 90% off whatever... it looked awful though I loved the fabric (and loved the label, though I didn't realize that consciously.) I kept THINKING I'd find an excuse to wear it... and in my closet it hung. SO, it was a COMPLETE waste of money. Complete. And, likewise, when I did wear it, it was so "high profile" for my social set at the time that I could never actually wear it a second time... it looked like that episode of Simpsons where Marge finds the Chanel dress for $10 at the bargain bin.

Moral of the story: whether the answer is (1) or (2) (and I'm not looking for you to explain either one... this is just food for thought)... then the answer is the same... change your shopping habits.
post #55 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland View Post
My drop is between 9 and 10 inches depending on how much I've been working out recently.  He pinned it up at first without the second set (front) of pins for waist suppression, and he said he thought it was okay but that we could go further if I wanted - which I did.  The second pinning got even more expensive because of patch pockets.

 

The alterations started at $300 and went up as we kept saying "well, you could do this, you could do that, etc."

 

So maybe I exaggerated in my post on how badly the initial fit was - I should have taken before pics - I'll drop by his shop to get them.

 

I have an even more severe drop than you do (10-11) and none of my alterations by Joe were ever so drastic that they involved moving pockets. As you mentioned, Joe itemizes alteration suggestions from most critical for proper fit to most optional, but I always do it all because it's not that much for a garment that already fits well in the shoulders and chest. If you are dead set on making this Canali work for you then I'm sure you'll be happy with the end result but in the future you really need to consider fit above all, including fabric/label/price.

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  • How to define "value" in tailoring? $635 to perform alterations to one jacket - at Bill Cairo custom tailors in California - insane?
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › How to define "value" in tailoring? $635 to perform alterations to one jacket - at Bill Cairo custom tailors in California - insane?