You can buy clothes online? I was not aware of this. Thank you so much for sharing this great insight and your extensive knowledge with us.
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Best Country for Custom Suit AND Shoes - Page 3post #31 of 3410/10/12 at 1:33am
Styleforum Top Pickspost #32 of 3410/10/12 at 6:02amQuote:
You are definitely a sock. Well played.post #33 of 347/25/14 at 5:33pmI can't answer for Asia, but I can say that in Mexico City, you can get a good-looking bespoke-with-two-fittings CTM suit, full-canvassed, for under 500 USD. If you buy basic fabric from the tailor, It will be under 600 USD. Will it be a Huntsman, a Davide Taub, or an Anderson & Shepard? No, of course not. But it will have as good a silhouette and fit better than any MTM suit I have seen, except perhaps Alan Flusser Custom. You can also get bespoke Goodyear-welted balmoral boots, made on bespoke lasts, for under 300 USD; the boots will be made using only natural materials. And you can get bespoke Goodyear-welted wholecut balmorals for under 380 USD: the fit will be better than any RTW shoe you've ever tried, and you will be hard pressed to tell the difference between them and a pair of--say--Crockett and Jones.
And if you want a bespoke suit that can compete with those produced by the top Savile Row houses, that too can be had for under 1300 USD, including basic fabric.
The catch--if there is one--is that this can't be done in a week. You need at least two weeks for the shoes and three for the suit. If you want it faster, you'll have to pay a premium for a rush job.
See my posts on bespoke makers in Mexico City for details.post #34 of 343/11/15 at 2:34pm
Just wanted to add that I've been going to Karachi for many, many years now - there are about half a dozen well-regarded tailors on Tariq Rd and now increasingly Zamzama (which is the culturally Anglican part of the city) who actually worked for high-end brands in Europe and studied in design schools overseas. The vast majority studied their degree in, and speak excellent English and have a large amount of overseas clientele already. They aren't really in need of your business as a foreign tourist. For example the tailor I use is the son of a tailor my extended family had been using for 40 years (he died a few years back) - his children studied in Europe and run their own shops. They rarely take new clients because they already have more than enough business from the very large client-base their father developed.
And as others point out - the price is definitely not $200 dollars ( that would just be the cost of the materials if you are relatively short and if you buy in bulk of some kind of surplus material) - IMHO you would have to spend closer to $400-500 bucks (including labor/materials) and that only if you have a family connection with the tailor - I routinely see locals paying $700-800 for a true bespoke suit using very high-quality, imported materials (and since Lawrencepur shut its units almost 2 years ago, pretty much any of the good material is imported).
These tailors generally serve the local market first (weddings, CEOs, government officials, etc) - so if you are a foreigner your order will likely take a few weeks - so be prepared to wait. If you have that deep family connection then yes, the tailor will drop everything and put 2 days straight into it (and you will have to go in once or twice more in that period) and have it delivered to your home on the third day - but that kind of relationship isn't common - if you find someone who says they will do it in 2 days and you just met them - I would very much doubt they are giving you a true bespoke suit (more than likely pre-cut fabrics that they will modify to meet some measurements they make)
Now as far as shoes go - I'm pretty divided on this because you can get great handmade shoes in Karachi - but the prices aren't all that much better - most of the material is imported (shell cordovan leather for example) - so it comes down to the construction of the shoe where you are saving money - here's the thing - let's say you stack a few discounts on Allen Edmonds and pick up 2nds / shell cordovan for about $350 bucks during a sale - just the cost of the leather in that is going to set you back $80-120 alone, because you usually need a bit extra in case the cobbler makes mistakes in crafting the shoe, and then there are a number of fittings you have to go through over that period. I've been quoted about $200 all-in (shipped to the US) for Oxfrods with Horween SC with a completion time of about 1 week - but I'm still not sure I want to get it. Ultimately footwear is about reliability and I'm not really sure I'm willing to roll the dice here when I don't have much trouble getting good fits and one can always find good 2nds for AE / Alden and good prices on out of season (but still timeless) AT / CJ / Ferragamos and what not on eBay. For example Ferragamos occassionally are reduced 60-70% at a Neiman Marcus outlet (or Bloomingdales) depending on the store - yes it's not ideal to have to bargain hunt - but remember, your bespoke shoes have zero resale value whereas at least there is a secondary market for these shoes.
I think the questions you need to ask yourself are: how difficult is it for you to find a proper fit? Do you truly value the fit of bespoke shoes? Every shoe like this is an artisinal experiment to some extent - so are you willing to deal with your shoes falling apart and needing repair that might take some time (to ship overseas and back)? Otherwise do you just want to wear them a few times a year (and thus you aren't worried about the wear and tear too much?)... Is this how you want to spend your vacation?
Sorry for the long-winded post (I'm new to this forum) - but IMHO I suggest the following - stick with what you know - if you really want something bespoke and plan to wear it for a while - paying $1500-1800 (in the US, with a little haggling) vs. $800-900 (at least in Pakistan, probably more in India) is kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things - the extra few hundred $$$ you pay is insurance for knowing you don't have to deal with the cultural barrier/international travel for proper alternations, corrections, repairs, and reducing the risk of getting swindled. If you have a very close friend who has a strong personal relationship with an overseas tailor - that's a different thing - but unless your friend is actually super competent about these things - you may end up paying $900 dollars for something that doesn't have the kind of quality you'd hope for/expect (and if you are asking on SF, chances are you don't have that kind of a connection).
That's 2 rupees of thoughts from me :)
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