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The Hong Kong Tailors Thread - Page 142

post #2116 of 3697
Undershirts, just simple cotton vests, can help too with the sweat problem. Whether it traps a layer of cooler air, or wicks the sweat away, or just makes you less nervous because the sweat won't show so badly so quickly who knows - but speaking as a gweilo who can soak a shirt in three minutes flat they're definitely worth trying. And yeah, no one wears a suit jacket outside in summer.
post #2117 of 3697
+1
Undershirt + fresco = no sweat (well, not so much...)
Cotton and linen are fine for breezy Mediterranean summer days, but are not wearable in hot, humid Asian weather. They absorb water, whereas wool wicks water away. Open fresco type weaves provide air circulation.
post #2118 of 3697

Dear all,

I am enjoying this thread a lot, and would like those familiar with Hong Kong tailors to advise me on my choice of tailors for one with my body type.  I'm approaching middle age, mixed Asian/Caucasian somewhat short at 5'6" but relatively fit, i.e., my shoulders are broader than my waist.  Unfortunately, the only time I can come to Hong Kong is near the Chinese New Year for 12 days, but I'd like to get a bespoke suit, canvassed, my first.  I'm willing to spend up to 20,000HKD if needed for a suit, but of course would prefer not to.  I live in a temperate climate in the USA where we get snow in winter, and the summers are moderately warm, with humidity. I'd like a suit I can wear nearly daily, or a sport coat with nice slacks.  My work environment is business casual to more formal.  I rarely come to Hong Kong.

 

So far W. W. Chan indicated that would charge 19,600HKD for a bespoke suit and prepare it for me with only one fitting given the time constraint.  I told them I would not be willing to have them make a suit for me for 19,600HKD with only one fitting.  Did I decide correctly?

 

The following were willing to provide 2 fittings, but would mail the suit to me, I think -perhaps one of them will deliver to my hotel in HK.  Please let me know whether this is advisable:

 

Y. William Yu

Gordan Yao

Baromon Limited

Simpson Sin Tailor

Sam's Tailor (which I'm thinking I should cancel based on the number of dissatisfied reviews I've read).

 

Any other advice would be appreciated.  As an Asian American, I wondered how I would entertain negotiating on price?  I'm not a great bargainer.  Also, which of the above would be advised for making a shirt, sport coat, and possibly an overcoat?

 

My apologies for possibly repeating what has been covered.  I just joined.

 

Cheers, Bloomsbury

post #2119 of 3697
Chinese New Year is a really bad time to get a suit. You're lucky that WW Chan can fit you in. I've never negotiated prices with my tailors, and I don't think it's really a done thing.
post #2120 of 3697


Thank you ChoboChobo.  I may reconsider WW Chan even with one fitting perhaps?

post #2121 of 3697
I have no experience of WW Chan, but they seem to be well regarded. You should be fine with them.
post #2122 of 3697
@Bloomsbury2k you could also consider Ascot Chang. I believe they can do less than $20k, depending on the fabric and would be able to do two fittings in the time you're in HK. I've seen a few of their bespoke suit commissions and they're really good.
post #2123 of 3697
Quote:
Originally Posted by cchen View Post

@Bloomsbury2k you could also consider Ascot Chang. I believe they can do less than $20k, depending on the fabric and would be able to do two fittings in the time you're in HK. I've seen a few of their bespoke suit commissions and they're really good.


Thank you CChen.  I see Ascot Chang in New York City, and I've walked in several times, but I've felt somewhat overwhelmed by their formality, and perhaps very high prices.  Maybe it won't be that way in Hong Kong. I'll see whether I can make an appointment with them.

post #2124 of 3697
IIRC, Gordan travel to Chicago twice a year, so may be you can consider ordered it from him, if you found fitting issue after he mailed it to you, just wait for him when he stop by Chicago to check it out. What do you think?
post #2125 of 3697

Firstly, let's talk about expectation management.  Hong Kong tailors are cheaper than many of their global counterparts but this is not the 1970s and 1980s when a pool of ex-Shanghai tailoring talent was prepared to work very hard for relatively little money.  Cheap suits in Hong Kong are cheap suits - they may fit better in some areas but they can be absolute horrors in others. Bespoke, or "custom made" as perhaps better applies to HK below the very top level, can be a minefield.  On Savile Row, in Naples or in North America, a good cutter will work with a client to decide upon a style, recommend details, tweak the fit... and even then most people agree that the first suit is something of a warm-up.  Hong Kong tailors can make the right noises but below the top level you're not paying enough to get sartorial guidance of the first water.  "Very clean fit, sir" "we made that just right for you"... well, take it home and try it on once it has been hanging in the cupboard for a week and then we'll talk.  Particularly if you're clearly a tourist and not likely to become a repeat customer then getting you into a finished suit and out of the shop quickly is better for business.  So unless you have a firm idea of what you want and how it should fit, and communicate that to your tailor again and again through the process then you can end up with a suit you won't want to wear (I know I have). Also, and very annoyingly, going through this process and reading this forum is going to change your tastes and alert you to things you didn't know before but can come to regard as vital, so that first suit will become harder and harder to love.  It's not easy being green.  

 

Your first and maybe hardest decision is going to be what cloth to have the suit made from. Something durable enough to take the punishment of near-daily wear, that can keep you from freezing in the winter but breathe well enough to beat the humidity in summertime, that has a pleasant handle, is tasteful, formal but not dull, drapes well, doesn't wrinkle too much but holds a crease and which tailors well enough to hide (or at least not exaggerate) any defects in tailoring... well, this miracle suiting is likely to be out of stock in Hong Kong!  Fortunately the better grades of English wool are within your (generous) budget but they would have to be ordered as a cut length from the wholesaler and presumably then in turn from the merchant in England.  The cloth will arrive in Hong Kong quite quickly under normal circumstances but CNY will presumably make it harder.  So start researching cloth sooner rather than later - Merino Brothers have a useful Facebook page and a presence on here.  A spare pair of paints will generally add about 1/3rd again to the quoted price of a two-piece suit and might not be worth it for a first suit... though of course you're only ever one ripped trouser knee away from owning an orphaned suit jacket otherwise. 

 

Of the tailors you mention I've used three, though only actually had a finished suit from one - the other garments are still in progress.  

 

Y William Yu are the mid-price option - no fancy showroom to cover the costs of, just a basement in TST. I like the guys and I like the price, but there are some defects in construction that aren't easy to overlook. A rush job might make that worse but on the other hand it sounds like you have a fairly standard body shape and the kind of build a HK tailor would be used to making for.  Thus if you would rather have two suits of good cloth and adequate cut/construction rather than just one then YWY are worth a punt.

 

Gordon Yao is about 50% more expensive, tours America once or twice a year and will be much more forthcoming with advice.  His shop is quite small and perhaps a touch underwhelming. I haven't had a finished suit from him yet so I can't really say any more... but I have a slight reservation as to how it will turn out. The chest canvas (not lapel padding) on the sample jacket he showed me (hand sewn around the chest contours) and what I got at my first fitting (machined as at YWY) were not the same and I fear that the chest problem I had at YWY might recur here, just more expensively. 

 

Finally there's WW Chan.  A totally different experience to the other two since Chan are now on the HK side on the eight floor of a much more expensive building.  There's a feeling of walking into an atelier - high standards but also quite a bit of snobbery.  Chan also clearly do a lot of business so you see different people at different stages of the process and firm advice is less forthcoming.  You'll be dealing with a junior guy showing you cloth bunches and talking about style.  Then, if my experience is anything to go by, when the time comes for you to be measured is when you are taken into The Presence.  Meeting Patrick is a bit like entering Santa's Grotto as a five year old - it's very exciting to finally see him and you garble out what you want.  Try not to wet yourself with the excitement of it all and don't sit on his knee as I doubt he'd like that.  Patrick is clearly very experienced and sharp - he doesn't mess around. He's also very busy so don't expect hand-holding.  This all comes at quite a price, although the figure you quote sounds very steep.  I was quoted $14k for a Fresco suit and $15600 for a basic Holland & Sherry worsted... but then I live a few hundred yards from the store and am not a rush job. 

 

You could try Baromon - we hear very little about their work on SF.  Simpson Sin didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling when I scouted them back in the middle of last year - one salesman tried to convince me that fusing technology and their cutter's skills had improved to the point where it would be preferable to have it made that way.  Too much hard sell and too many satisfied customer photographs for my liking. However they are surely better than the infamous tourist trap that is Sam's - avoid at all costs. 


Edited by Penfold - 2/1/15 at 11:58pm
post #2126 of 3697

If you're staying Kowloon side up around Yau Ma Tei you could try these guys for the name alone:

 

 

but then again... maybe not. :sly:

 

post #2127 of 3697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penfold View Post

Firstly, let's talk about expectation management.  Hong Kong tailors are cheaper than many of their global counterparts but this is not the 1970s and 1980s when a pool of ex-Shanghai tailoring talent was prepared to work very hard for relatively little money.  Cheap suits in Hong Kong are cheap suits - they may fit better in some areas but they can be absolute horrors in others. Bespoke, or "custom made" as perhaps better applies to HK below the very top level, can be a minefield.  On Savile Row, in Naples or in North America, a good cutter will work with a client to decide upon a style, recommend details, tweak the fit... and even then most people agree that the first suit is something of a warm-up.  Hong Kong tailors can make the right noises but below the top level you're not paying enough to get sartorial guidance of the first water.  "Very clean fit, sir" "we made that just right for you"... well, take it home and try it on once it has been hanging in the cupboard for a week and then we'll talk.  Particularly if you're clearly a tourist and not likely to become a repeat customer then getting you into a finished suit and out of the shop quickly is better for business.  So unless you have a firm idea of what you want and how it should fit, and communicate that to your tailor again and again through the process then you can end up with a suit you won't want to wear (I know I have). Also, and very annoyingly, going through this process and reading this forum is going to change your tastes and alert you to things you didn't know before but can come to regard as vital, so that first suit will become harder and harder to love.  It's not easy being green.  

Your first and maybe hardest decision is going to be what cloth to have the suit made from. Something durable enough to take the punishment of near-daily wear, that can keep you from freezing in the winter but breathe well enough to beat the humidity in summertime, that has a pleasant handle, is tasteful, formal but not dull, drapes well, doesn't wrinkle too much but holds a crease and which tailors well enough to hide (or at least not exaggerate) any defects in tailoring... well, this miracle suiting is likely to be out of stock in Hong Kong!  Fortunately the better grades of English wool are within your (generous) budget but they would have to be ordered as a cut length from the wholesaler and presumably then in turn from the merchant in England.  The cloth will arrive in Hong Kong quite quickly under normal circumstances but CNY will presumably make it harder.  So start researching cloth sooner rather than later - Merino Brothers have a useful Facebook page and a presence on here.  A spare pair of paints will generally add about 1/3rd again to the quoted price of a two-piece suit and might not be worth it for a first suit... though of course you're only ever one ripped trouser knee away from owning an orphaned suit jacket otherwise. 

Of the tailors you mention I've used three, though only actually had a finished suit from one - the other garments are still in progress.  

Y William Yu are the mid-price option - no fancy showroom to cover the costs of, just a basement in TST. I like the guys and I like the price, but there are some defects in construction that aren't easy to overlook. A rush job might make that worse but on the other hand it sounds like you have a fairly standard body shape and the kind of build a HK tailor would be used to making for.  Thus if you would rather have two suits of good cloth and adequate cut/construction rather than just one then YWY are worth a punt.

Gordon Yao is about 50% more expensive, tours America once or twice a year and will be much more forthcoming with advice.  His shop is quite small and perhaps a touch underwhelming. I haven't had a finished suit from him yet so I can't really say any more... but I have a slight reservation as to how it will turn out. The chest canvas (not lapel padding) on the sample jacket he showed me (hand sewn around the chest contours) and what I got at my first fitting (machined as at YWY) were not the same and I fear that the chest problem I had at YWY might recur here, just more expensively. 

Finally there's WW Chan.  A totally different experience to the other two since Chan are now on the HK side on the eight floor of a much more expensive building.  There's a feeling of walking into an atelier - high standards but also quite a bit of snobbery.  Chan also clearly do a lot of business so you see different people at different stages of the process and firm advice is less forthcoming.  You'll be dealing with a junior guy showing you cloth bunches and talking about style.  Then, if my experience is anything to go by, when the time comes for you to be measured is when you are taken into The Presence.  Meeting Patrick is a bit like entering Santa's Grotto as a five year old - it's very exciting to finally see him and you garble out what you want.  Try not to wet yourself with the excitement of it all and don't sit on his knee as I doubt he'd like that.  Patrick is clearly very experienced and sharp - he doesn't mess around. He's also very busy so don't expect hand-holding.  This all comes at quite a price, although the figure you quote sounds very steep.  I was quoted $14k for a Fresco suit and $15600 for a basic Holland & Sherry worsted... but then I live a few hundred yards from the store and am not a rush job. 

You could try Baromon - we hear very little about their work on SF.  Simpson Sin didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling when I scouted them back in the middle of last year - one salesman tried to convince me that fusing technology and their cutter's skills had improved to the point where it would be preferable to have it made that way.  Too much hard sell and too many satisfied customer photographs for my liking. However they are surely better than the infamous tourist trap that is Sam's - avoid at all costs. 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penfold View Post

Firstly, let's talk about expectation management.  Hong Kong tailors are cheaper than many of their global counterparts but this is not the 1970s and 1980s when a pool of ex-Shanghai tailoring talent was prepared to work very hard for relatively little money.  Cheap suits in Hong Kong are cheap suits - they may fit better in some areas but they can be absolute horrors in others. Bespoke, or "custom made" as perhaps better applies to HK below the very top level, can be a minefield.  On Savile Row, in Naples or in North America, a good cutter will work with a client to decide upon a style, recommend details, tweak the fit... and even then most people agree that the first suit is something of a warm-up.  Hong Kong tailors can make the right noises but below the top level you're not paying enough to get sartorial guidance of the first water.  "Very clean fit, sir" "we made that just right for you"... well, take it home and try it on once it has been hanging in the cupboard for a week and then we'll talk.  Particularly if you're clearly a tourist and not likely to become a repeat customer then getting you into a finished suit and out of the shop quickly is better for business.  So unless you have a firm idea of what you want and how it should fit, and communicate that to your tailor again and again through the process then you can end up with a suit you won't want to wear (I know I have). Also, and very annoyingly, going through this process and reading this forum is going to change your tastes and alert you to things you didn't know before but can come to regard as vital, so that first suit will become harder and harder to love.  It's not easy being green.  

Your first and maybe hardest decision is going to be what cloth to have the suit made from. Something durable enough to take the punishment of near-daily wear, that can keep you from freezing in the winter but breathe well enough to beat the humidity in summertime, that has a pleasant handle, is tasteful, formal but not dull, drapes well, doesn't wrinkle too much but holds a crease and which tailors well enough to hide (or at least not exaggerate) any defects in tailoring... well, this miracle suiting is likely to be out of stock in Hong Kong!  Fortunately the better grades of English wool are within your (generous) budget but they would have to be ordered as a cut length from the wholesaler and presumably then in turn from the merchant in England.  The cloth will arrive in Hong Kong quite quickly under normal circumstances but CNY will presumably make it harder.  So start researching cloth sooner rather than later - Merino Brothers have a useful Facebook page and a presence on here.  A spare pair of paints will generally add about 1/3rd again to the quoted price of a two-piece suit and might not be worth it for a first suit... though of course you're only ever one ripped trouser knee away from owning an orphaned suit jacket otherwise. 

Of the tailors you mention I've used three, though only actually had a finished suit from one - the other garments are still in progress.  

Y William Yu are the mid-price option - no fancy showroom to cover the costs of, just a basement in TST. I like the guys and I like the price, but there are some defects in construction that aren't easy to overlook. A rush job might make that worse but on the other hand it sounds like you have a fairly standard body shape and the kind of build a HK tailor would be used to making for.  Thus if you would rather have two suits of good cloth and adequate cut/construction rather than just one then YWY are worth a punt.

Gordon Yao is about 50% more expensive, tours America once or twice a year and will be much more forthcoming with advice.  His shop is quite small and perhaps a touch underwhelming. I haven't had a finished suit from him yet so I can't really say any more... but I have a slight reservation as to how it will turn out. The chest canvas (not lapel padding) on the sample jacket he showed me (hand sewn around the chest contours) and what I got at my first fitting (machined as at YWY) were not the same and I fear that the chest problem I had at YWY might recur here, just more expensively. 

Finally there's WW Chan.  A totally different experience to the other two since Chan are now on the HK side on the eight floor of a much more expensive building.  There's a feeling of walking into an atelier - high standards but also quite a bit of snobbery.  Chan also clearly do a lot of business so you see different people at different stages of the process and firm advice is less forthcoming.  You'll be dealing with a junior guy showing you cloth bunches and talking about style.  Then, if my experience is anything to go by, when the time comes for you to be measured is when you are taken into The Presence.  Meeting Patrick is a bit like entering Santa's Grotto as a five year old - it's very exciting to finally see him and you garble out what you want.  Try not to wet yourself with the excitement of it all and don't sit on his knee as I doubt he'd like that.  Patrick is clearly very experienced and sharp - he doesn't mess around. He's also very busy so don't expect hand-holding.  This all comes at quite a price, although the figure you quote sounds very steep.  I was quoted $14k for a Fresco suit and $15600 for a basic Holland & Sherry worsted... but then I live a few hundred yards from the store and am not a rush job. 

You could try Baromon - we hear very little about their work on SF.  Simpson Sin didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling when I scouted them back in the middle of last year - one salesman tried to convince me that fusing technology and their cutter's skills had improved to the point where it would be preferable to have it made that way.  Too much hard sell and too many satisfied customer photographs for my liking. However they are surely better than the infamous tourist trap that is Sam's - avoid at all costs. 
post #2128 of 3697
Thank you Penfold for your thoughtful and detailed response. I shall research fabrics more, as I am now opened to a sartorial world about which I have known so little. I apologize for the multiple posting of your comment- still learning how this site works.

How would you suggest I dress to these stores? Also do you think Chan could do a worthy job In one fitting? True I have more of an athletic build so this may make it possible? I hate being seen as a mere tourist but my Cantonese is poor enough to give myself away. Cheers, Bloomsbury.
post #2129 of 3697

I like your sense of humor. :bigstar:

post #2130 of 3697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishball View Post

IIRC, Gordan travel to Chicago twice a year, so may be you can consider ordered it from him, if you found fitting issue after he mailed it to you, just wait for him when he stop by Chicago to check it out. What do you think?

That is a possiblity, although I would prefer not to have any fitting issues when the final suit product is done.  Thanks!

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