Mr Tiberias, a very good day to you, and thank you for this opportunity.
First of all, I would like to congratulate you, both on starting your business and on being smart enough to market it in the right way. Very good luck to you. I'm a small business man myself, based in the Middle East, and finding my niche among many bigger and better-resourced competitors, so I know what you're up against. Word of mouth will win for you, so this is just the place to start.
Secondly, the sting in the tail: I have had a crappy experience with a service like yours. The talk was big, the ingredients were good, the product was just so far away from fitting that after two adjustments, it's finally in the charity box. What disappointed me most was that the fabric was very nice - exactly what I wanted. I was ready to love that damned suit. For the low price, it wasn't the quality of materials or even workmanship that let them down, it was their approach, and here's the problem:
It seems to me that made-to-measure makers in China all follow the same principle: make it too big, allow a discount for local adjustment to take it in right, and everyone is happy. But it doesn't work, as least not for me. This is partly because using their "advanced software", "expert cutters", "million years in the industry" or whatever magic they claim, they make some assumptions of overall shape, and try to find the nearest "likely" fit, rather than truly examine the measurements and description of the individual. I don't know what your plan is, at a much higher price point, but I hope it's better, and I challenge you to make me a suit that fits! Even almost fits - you're not psychic and a little adjustment here and there I don't mind. But can you get close?
Maybe I am a particularly difficult shape, I don't know. But I use my local tailors (and tried, but no longer use these MTM services) because off-the-peg doesn't fit me right. Not to put too fine a point on it, I'm fat. Not electric-scooter-in-the-mall or specialist ambulance fat. Just normal fat. The problem with that is that when I buy a jacket with a big chest size, the assumption of the maker is that I will also have a huge swinging beer gut in front of me, which is not the case. My barrel of an upper body still has a bigger chest than belly, thick arms and a neck like a bull. Which is the other problem: my large head and neck make the collars of ready-to-wear suits too small, meaning they rumple around the back of my neck, and are pushed out too wide over my shoulders. I can't upsize because the shoulders are then too wide, or the whole thing is too big. So I go to my tailors. But I'd like to be able to use services like yours, not least to get a better standard of finishing (I hope), but also because of the quality of fabrics you describe, that I just don't see in this market.
So, Mr Tiberias, I challenge you: can you make my suit? Restore hope in your whole industry sub-sector? Become the missing link that is a genuinely high-quality and genuinely made-to-measure service, rather than made-to-nearest-standard? I hope so. Pretty please?
As I mentioned, I live in the Middle East, in an extremely hot climate. Of course I spend most of my time in air-conditioned environments, and I already have a pile of lightweight linen and other such things for when I'm out and about. I am short on quality, wearable, light wool. But what I'm missing most of all is a suitable dinner suit. Not the obvious "tropical" white number with a cummerbund - the ice cream seller look is not for me, and I think defeats the purpose, especially in my case as a heavy-set man. I believe that the classic is the best, a clean, smooth monochrome silhouette with just a flash of marcella shirt front and a square. The simple canvas against which the brighter colours of one's glamorous lady companion can shine.
You also asked about fabrics that you could include in your range, and I have two suggestions: number one is black silk grosgrain. It is the classic trim of perfect black tie wear, and yet surprisingly hard to find, either on ready-made suits or among fabric suppliers. With your industry contacts in China, I would suggest that you might be able to commission your own supply and make it something of a signature item for your business. My second suggestion is a true midnight blue tight-woven wool, so dark it appears black in all but the brightest light. It should be an extremely tight and fine weave, with a subtle sheen and easy drape. Light in weight for those ill-advised late night dancing escapades, chasing mysterious Russian spies along the top of trains, or kung-fu fighting in casinos, and strong enough not to fluff or snag should one have to wrestle a crocodile or similar.
Here's my suit, then:
- Single button dinner jacket in original midnight blue-black
- No vents, slightly open quarter
- Medium to low button point
- Midnight blue lining, possibly a shade or two lighter - I would love the lining to be silk/satin for a sense of specialness, and the tactile and cool comfort, but not a biggie
- Medium width peak lapels (3.5"?), above the collar bone
- Faced in grosgrain, with bouttoniere and a loop to hold the stem behind the lapel
- High roped shoulders, bordering on ostentatious (my thick neck makes my shoulders look narrow, so both this and the high peaks are flattering for me)
- Three functional sleeve buttons - all buttons are covered in grosgrain - not the suit fabric (to match the cuffs, see below)
- Piped side pockets in grosgrain, and functional breast pocket
- Two inch turnback cuffs with curved ends (showing and allowing access to buttons), and faced in grosgrain
- Two inside pockets and a smaller pen pocket on the left
- Matching trousers cut with a high rise to natural waist level, and slightly raised at the back for comfortable use of braces
- Buttons for braces, side adjusters
- Comfortable fitting but slightly tapered to the ankle
- Grosgrain and/or braid trim over outer seams
- Vertical side pockets on seam, and no back pocket
- Lined to the knee
- Low-fronted grosgrain waistcoat, backless, with angular shawl lapel and two watch pockets
- Maybe while you're working that grosgrain, you could knock me up a sized butterfly bow tie in the same fabric?
For example, the jacket below is the classic style I seek - perfect lapel, but with a very bold roped shoulder and slightly more open, and the turnbacks for my dandiness
And a waistcoat something like this, but in full grosgrain, and not made to hang on a chair like it appears your cheaper competitors have (look at the shoulder!):
Sew me happy, Tiberias, please?!