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The Hong Kong Tailors Thread - Page 135

post #2011 of 4171

Hi, brand new to this forum and currently in Hong Kong looking to get a suit made before I head back to the United States and being in my early 20's thought I would ask for some of your opinions on David Fashions as I was looking to go there , but open to suggestions.  While I'm an American I am of average height , but slim so I don't think finding something that will fit will be a problem. Also having read some of the posts here it seems like that having about a month before I leave will give me sufficient time with fittings and everything before I leave.

Edited by WTDDUCKS101 - 11/9/14 at 10:36pm
post #2012 of 4171

Looking at the photos posted through the Davids Fashions website made me feel very unwell.  This is meant to display them at their best?  Those of you with strong constitutions can see for yourselves - Abandon Taste All Ye Who Enter Here


Start from the basics - what do you actually want? Consider how much money you have to spend, what the suit would likely be used for and how much wear you'd expect to get out of it.  Is it for professional use, meaning you'll need to blend into the crowd at work, or do you need/want something more jazzy? Can you afford some decent shirts to go with it


Are you a difficult shape (i.e. overweight, barrel-chested, square- or slope-shouldered, very tall, very short or have any other glaring physical defect)?  You say that you're of average height but slim - how slim? Can you hide by turning sideways and do you have to run around in the shower to get wet, or are you just pretty slender?  If you're pretty normal then carefully-chosen RTW makes a lot more sense as a value proposition than low-end "bespoke", which all too often just means poorly-made-roughly-to-measure. 


My experience of Hong Kong tailoring (which is by no means great) makes me think that it is a minefield, not particularly cheap relative to the quality of most of the output and should be approached with caution.  Rents in HK are high and tailors have to make money from a declining volume of business, on top of which the cheap labour and higher skillsets that came to HK from the 1960s onwards are declining.  There are still excellent options at the top end amongst the remains of the Red Hand Gang but you'll pay a high price for their work - and in your early 20s you probably don't need a WW Chan suit as much as you need two or even three pairs of trousers to match one suit jacket.  


There are quite a lot of good RTW options out there which will come in at half the price or better than most HK tailors. Suitsupply seems to get quite a lot of love around here, and a US$499 suit that you have altered to fit you properly is going to be better than a poorly cut, poorly constructed suit in an off-brand black polyester-blend fabric, which is what it looks like David Fashions are going to give you, no matter what you ask for.

post #2013 of 4171
LOL at the Davids Fashion album.

WTD - at the low end price point, you should just go for some solid RTW suits and then get them altered as necessary, that'll work much better than any low-end tailors.

I would be shopping regularly at JCrew if I was in the USA, you can regularly pick up solid Ludlow suits for less than USD300.
post #2014 of 4171

Not gonna comment on this David Fashion but using them as an example of HK tailor is just unfair. 


@Penfold sorry for your no great experience in HK but I had some stuff made in few shops over in HK (sure there are some failure and total BS) but lots of the tailors and tailor shop here are responsible and trustworthy businessmen / women with quick turnaround time (if one need since visiting) and good (not top compare to SR/Italy or Japan) quality. 


Concerning rent also please note many of the shop keeper owns the property so it is a differenet story and lots of shop are upstair to avoid the rent impact as the housing / preperty market is really crazy over there in HK


Also glad I have good local business partners / colleague that guide me through good tailor but not nasty scammer that cheat on tourist. 

post #2015 of 4171

@Penfold - Thanks for the response. As someone who is looking enter the professional world and having major interviews coming up for jobs , more and more of my friends getting married, and wanting to have a suit that I can use functions like interviews , weddings, later on client meetings is what I'm looking for if that makes any sense. I can afford some decent shirts and was looking at possibly Jantzen (sp?) , but will read more posts here before I do anything. As for height I'm 5'10 and I don't weigh a ton just can't seem to put on weight no matter what I eat. I'm built more like an Asian than a typical American. Since I am here I thought I would dip my toes in to things . I do have a very competitive job fair when I head back to the US and a friends wedding the same month so part of it is wanting a suit for those functions, but everything else mentioned above. I would consider off the rack , but something to be said for having it tailored made to your body specifications.




-Thanks for your input and suggestion. I could purchase a suit and just have it altered like you said ,currently I can't predict where I'll be living in the next six months and once I start working 100 a week in my industry at my new job I won't have time to get it altered properly.


Thanks everyone for not jumping on me too hard as I'll take into account what you all said. If anyone of you or anyone had a good say middle of the road company would love to hear them, also looking for shirts suggestions just saw Jantzen mentioned a ton . I keep you guys updated and looking forward to overhauling my wardrobe and learning from you all. I tried to read as much of this thread as possible it's just also wanting current thoughts and I know you guys don't want to spoon feed every new poster .

post #2016 of 4171

@hippotamus Sorry - maybe I wasn't clear.  I agree totally that there are plenty of good or better tailors in HK, and that sifting them from the general rubbish peddled by touts in TST is a very big step.


I've been living in HK since April - I've had one suit made at Y William Yu (7/10),  a linen jacket from Practical Tailors (7.5/10), two "linen" shirts made at Jantzen (7/10 for the one that was actually linen, 5/10 for the one that was made of cotton) and eight shirts at Graly (8.5/10).


The lesson I've learnt - that HK tailors will do what you tell them to do and not do what you don't tell them to do.  Saville Row cutters, the SR diaspora such as Tom Mahon or Steed and of course the galaxy of high-end Fiorentine and Neapolitan tailors will guide you along your journey, suggesting and recommending what they think will work for you.  


I think that three things work against advising a Hong Kong suit for a young man with a standard body type:


1.  Prices have risen steeply in Hong Kong, as input costs such as fabric, rent and labour have shot up and up


2. Online shopping has made it possible to order a RTW suit from a large company such as Suitsupply that can buy good cloth and manufacture in bulk, and pass those savings on to the customer.  These companies have generous return policies so if you don't like it - back it goes.  A young guy who doesn't have too much experience of smart clothes should take time to see what he likes, and facing a HK salesman means he's more likely to make a costly mistake.


3. Modern workers now seem to spend very little time wearing suit jackets, even going to and from work.  Perhaps if there's a client meeting coming up but in London and now in HK it's very much open neck shirts and suit trousers to and from work, perhaps with a warm overcoat in the winter.  It's the trousers that take a beating, having coffee spilt on them or falling over drunk on a night out. A well-fitting RTW suit jacket with two or three pairs of trousers to match will probably see our young hero through the next year or two and his money is better spent on that than going to a mid-range HK tailor for one jacket and one pair of trousers for the same money.

post #2017 of 4171

@WTDDUCKS101 The suit you want is a dignified, single breasted medium-dark navy blue worsted wool suit.  The jacket should have two buttons, medium lapels (NOT too slim. I can't say this enough) and flapped straight pockets.  Get more than one pair of trousers, perhaps have one pair with turn-ups and one without.  To make it worth going to a HK tailor then consider a cloth that is either herringbone (not too big, not too small) or pick-and-pick (aka sharkskin).  Do not buy a black suit, in the name of all that is holy.  Similarly don't buy a pinstripe or anything with an overcheck (there will be time later on for these delights). The cloth should weigh between 10 and 13 oz - heavier fabrics will generally make up into a better suit and be more durable, but will wear warmer and (mirabile dictu) be heavier to wear.


Finally, if you do have the suit jacket made in HK, make sure it covers your arse/fanny/rear/bum. If I had a HK$5 coin for every young person I've seen recently whose jacket didn't even begin to accomplish this simple task then I wouldn't need to prostitute myself on #menswear forums for coin of a Monday night. 


Bonne chance. 

post #2018 of 4171


Thanks for the two posts . I will very much consider you input and will approach it like this . I will go take a look at place here in HK based upon what I find reading this thread. I know TST has a ton of tailors, but have heard about the Nathan road horror stories. If I do find a tailor I comfortable with a dark blue Navy suit was what I thinking and personally I agree with you said about pinstripe  and I see that as something to enjoy later on in my life and professional career.  I read your post about the trousers and I definitely want to get some of those and some shirts before I leave. Glad you mentioned coffee and drunk nights out in regards to the trousers,in my limited free time people in my industry do like to drink and being a young male in a new town it's what my colleagues my age I tend to do.  I never wear  clothing super super nice out for a night out , but having something that could take a beating if say I go from work to happy hour is important . I'll post pictures of whatever I end up getting here especially if I do get a suit I'll post pictures from the first fitting and hope you don't and others don't mind weighing in on things. 


Would you recommend I start looking in TST or is there another popular area in HK to find tailor shops.


So for sure going to buy




Possibly buy


Sports Jacket

post #2019 of 4171
@wtd. Check out Browns in TST and Dream bespoke in Central. If your budget is less, better go to RTW.
Edited by bamboo - 11/10/14 at 5:53am
post #2020 of 4171
Originally Posted by WTDDUCKS101 View Post

-Thanks for your input and suggestion. I could purchase a suit and just have it altered like you said ,currently I can't predict where I'll be living in the next six months and once I start working 100 a week in my industry at my new job I won't have time to get it altered properly.

I get what you're saying, but given you're in the USA and J Crew is everywhere (with a good returns policy if you buy online), have you considered trying them first?

I've got a couple of their suits, I'm 5'10 like you and slim/athletic, and their 36S or 36R suits fit me well. I'm happy with my purchases there and the blazers in particular are worn regularly.

Of course, if you can go to HKD5000+ per suit, getting it done in HK is no problem - but hopefully you have at least a week here!
post #2021 of 4171

@WTDD   This is almost precisely what I had in mind.  It is dull enough to blend in at work, where you'll be a bottom-rung who-dat and thus don't want to be trying to outdress your superiors anyway, but would look good at weddings and other formal events too.  Hell, you might even get away with wearing the jacket as a blazer in an emergency (an emergency that required you to wear smart casual, anyway).


It would run you about $5000 HKD, depending on delivery charges, VAT refunds etc.  Then you could allow a few hundred HKD for alterations (I've had something repaired at Tailor Kwan, in the arcade of shops along the walkway through Central Market just up from Des Voeux Rd but there are alterations tailors everywhere when you start looking for them). 

post #2022 of 4171

I have till December 5th so if I do buy something here it wouldn't be a rush deal which I would have interest trying to buy something and have it shipped to me. I can go to HKD 5000+  for the suit. I have no problem with the shirt , sports coat, trousers prices I've read here. I figure why not at least stick to the shirts, sports coat and some pants and if I find something suit wise I like keep in mind the advice here if not I'll just go with the popular opinions  you all have mentioned.

post #2023 of 4171
Hi all,

Has anyone tried commissioning a duffle coat with a tailor in HK ? Are they any good?
Welcome all feedbacks, good or bad.

post #2024 of 4171
I think not many Hong Kong craftsman can make overcoat. It is likely they do not have a book of appropreate cloth for duffle coat. If you know the cloth, they can order and will arriive to the shop from the shop within less than a week. I am not sure about the proper consruction of duffle coat, but mine has no internal structure so it can complicate the matter. My 2 cents thought.
post #2025 of 4171
Thanks Bamboo! This is indeed a tricky one.....
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