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The Hong Kong Tailors Thread - Page 143

post #2131 of 3689

Hi All.  I have done my research here, and had settled on DB for a couple of suits.  I am located in Manila, and am planning a series of weekend trips to find a suitable tailor and upgrade my suiting wardrobe.  Unfortunately, it seems Ricky is out during my visit, however recommends his colleague Hysen See.  My backup is Peter Lee, who I've confirmed is in town.  I'll be there just before the start of the Chinese New Year over a 3 day weekend.

 

I very much want to start my tailoring journey during this trip, though I'll be back.  From what I've read, DB is better recommended, but I'm not sure how much my experience will suffer without Ricky.  Anyone have experience with Ricky's back-up?  Ricky says that he does speak English, but is shy.  Advice?  

 

Thanks to all!


Edited by ThrillaNManila - 2/2/15 at 7:29pm
post #2132 of 3689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penfold View Post

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. 

Although I didn't commission anything from Gordon this few years, I do believe he is much better than Y William Yu in both cut and craftmanship.
IIRC, his chest piece is hand padded, but body canvas below chest is not. I may be wrong due to my bad memory. May be other may advice.
After that so many years, I personally didn't think machine sewn chest piece make BIG difference, especially if you perfer having a hard and heavy chest piece (in this case, actually machine is better, IMHO) But if a soft construsting is what you want, hand pad is the way to go. It doesn't matter much of the lower part of the body canvas, I didn't see any notable difference at all.
post #2133 of 3689
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?

 

Considering US tour, WW Chan may be a better choice (well, but at a higher price I assume...) as Chan travels to US more often. From Chan's website, the next stop to Chicago would be 4 March. So, maybe Bloomsbury2k can ask whether Chan can do modifications in the next Chicago visit in case of fitting issues.

post #2134 of 3689
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsABellyDad View Post
 

 

Considering US tour, WW Chan may be a better choice (well, but at a higher price I assume...) as Chan travels to US more often. From Chan's website, the next stop to Chicago would be 4 March. So, maybe Bloomsbury2k can ask whether Chan can do modifications in the next Chicago visit in case of fitting issues.

That is certainly a possibility.  Although I won't be on holiday anymore, I'd take off work (Mazch 4th is a Friday) to fix a suit if it is really off fitting.  However, if I'm paying $19600HKD for a suit, it better not be the case.  But thank you for the heads up on Chan's visit to town.  I don't have a complicated shape, so I'm hoping their one fitting will do the trick. :-)

post #2135 of 3689

Hi Bloomsbury2k,

 

I'm in a similar situation as you - first suit, in HK during a bad time / CNY - except I'm a 5'10 lean lanky build. I've contacted the various tailors including WW Chan and Gordon Yao and I've decided to go with Gordon.

 

The difference in price between the two for a suit + 2nd pants is only HKD$1500 in Gordon's favour - and I've managed to confirm 2 fittings with Gordon so fingers crossed it'll turn out alright. My family is also there so I've got access to an errand boy/girl if need be (hi mum!)

 

The other thing I considered was that I believe Gordon would provide more sartorial guidance, aka hand holding, for a first time newbie such as myself, so I value that over and above the fact that WW Chan comes to Sydney.

 

Hopefully it all turns out okay! Will post up photos when I get it all!

 

Hope your WW Chan's turn out great too. Good luck!

 

Cheers.

post #2136 of 3689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Genal View Post
 

Hi Bloomsbury2k,

 

I'm in a similar situation as you - first suit, in HK during a bad time / CNY - except I'm a 5'10 lean lanky build. I've contacted the various tailors including WW Chan and Gordon Yao and I've decided to go with Gordon.

 

The difference in price between the two for a suit + 2nd pants is only HKD$1500 in Gordon's favour - and I've managed to confirm 2 fittings with Gordon so fingers crossed it'll turn out alright. My family is also there so I've got access to an errand boy/girl if need be (hi mum!)

 

The other thing I considered was that I believe Gordon would provide more sartorial guidance, aka hand holding, for a first time newbie such as myself, so I value that over and above the fact that WW Chan comes to Sydney.

 

Hopefully it all turns out okay! Will post up photos when I get it all!

 

Hope your WW Chan's turn out great too. Good luck!

 

Cheers.


Hi Genal,

You're fortunate to have family there to help.  And I think a lanky build may be easier to fit.    My family and I are visiting only.  So you asked for their prices? You're more assertive than I.  May I ask how much they charged?  Also for the rest of you, should I be asking for prices before I visit the shops I listed (Chan, Gordon Yao, Simpson Sin, Y. William Yu, Baromon)?  Only Chan quoted a price, but they were also quite high. I will post some snaps myself for you all to see.

 

Perhaps I'll run into you at Gordon Yao.  Good luck to you too.

 

Cheers, Bloomsbury2k

post #2137 of 3689

Pricing will depend on what cloth you pick, whether you're having a two piece or three piece suit made and, for you guys who are in a rush over CNY, some kind of extra payment to keep the sifu hard at work.

 

Gordon is charging me slightly more than Chan would do to make a two piece suit in Fresco.  It's only a matter of 2% but still this rather surprised me - I thought Chan were way out on their own when it came to charging.  I am 6 foot 1 inch tall and probably about a 44R so I guess they'll need between 3.5 and 4 yards of cloth to make the suit.  Fresco is sold through the Minnis website at about US$100 a yard, though that's the price including 20% VAT which wouldn't apply to an export order. So for an US$1850 suit the material costs between 15 and 20%.  A strongly checked fabric might require more cloth to get the pattern matching right. 

 

I've reflected on what I wrote earlier on this thread:

 

1. The finished work that Gordon Yao produces does look very good.  Have a look for their official SF affiliate thread and drool away.  Gordon doesn't hold back when it comes to advice either and will offer you either British or Italian styling.  He's a good guide to have as you take your first step into this confusing business.

 

2. For men with relatively regular bodies then having a straightforward two-piece suit made in a "normal" suiting cloth, with notch lapels, flat-front trousers and belt loops isn't necessarily the greatest use of your money.  There are a lot of quite good RTW options for you that will look fine with some alteration work.  Bespoke becomes more valuable if you have an odd body shape, sloping or dropped shoulders, long arms, short torso or some other feature which makes it harder for you to find a well-fitting garment off the rack. Or you want features which are dropping out of fashion but not style, such as single forward pleated trousers. Gordon looked me up and down a few times before licking his lips and saying "You have an expensive body... nothing is going to fit you off the rack".  Hopefully the finished suit will bear out his words.

 

Where bespoke is also best is when you want to use the finer suiting cloth, perhaps with more colour, texture or pattern than the menswear industry likes to put out into department stores.  Also you can start to manipulate details and proportions to change and improve your silhouette.  Shorter men find that peak lapels that reach fairly high up their shoulders but which stay fairly narrow can elongate their bodies and make them look taller.  Thin men can find a wider lapel and slightly extended shoulders give them an impression of more breadth and that masculine V-shape in front.  Fatter men, like me, are just grateful to be inside something that isn't an actual sack...

 

You can also have details such as slanted pockets, a ticket pocket or a fancy lining.  I'd personally stay away from all three for your first suit but hey, it's your choice.

 

So do keep doing your reading and research.  Don't get suckered into going for a cloth with a higher Super number just because "it's better". Thomas Mahon's blog "English Cut" has a good article on this topic as well as several others that will add to your understanding.

 

The best reason to pay top dollar and go to Chan or Yao is to establish a relationship with those tailors, with a view to acquiring more garments down the years.  Both promise to keep your measurements and pattern on file to make constructing future suits easier.  Whether either actually rip down your basted fitting and transfer the alterations back from the cloth to the paper I don't know.  Yao has a big file of measurements (I'm pretty sure I saw the details of the body shape of another SF member, catching a glimpse of his business card and putting that together with what his profile says about location and job).  Chan actually do have paper patterns - I know this because it came out at my first fitting to show the belly shape of the lapel.  Of course once you've started down the repeat order trail then there are no limits

 

http://www.styleforum.net/t/127218/show-us-your-chan/450#post_6004574

 

Whole thread is worth a read. 

 

Good luck.

post #2138 of 3689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penfold View Post
 

Pricing will depend on what cloth you pick, whether you're having a two piece or three piece suit made and, for you guys who are in a rush over CNY, some kind of extra payment to keep the sifu hard at work.

 

Gordon is charging me slightly more than Chan would do to make a two piece suit in Fresco.  It's only a matter of 2% but still this rather surprised me - I thought Chan were way out on their own when it came to charging.  I am 6 foot 1 inch tall and probably about a 44R so I guess they'll need between 3.5 and 4 yards of cloth to make the suit.  Fresco is sold through the Minnis website at about US$100 a yard, though that's the price including 20% VAT which wouldn't apply to an export order. So for an US$1850 suit the material costs between 15 and 20%.  A strongly checked fabric might require more cloth to get the pattern matching right. 

 

I've reflected on what I wrote earlier on this thread:

 

1. The finished work that Gordon Yao produces does look very good.  Have a look for their official SF affiliate thread and drool away.  Gordon doesn't hold back when it comes to advice either and will offer you either British or Italian styling.  He's a good guide to have as you take your first step into this confusing business.

 

2. For men with relatively regular bodies then having a straightforward two-piece suit made in a "normal" suiting cloth, with notch lapels, flat-front trousers and belt loops isn't necessarily the greatest use of your money.  There are a lot of quite good RTW options for you that will look fine with some alteration work.  Bespoke becomes more valuable if you have an odd body shape, sloping or dropped shoulders, long arms, short torso or some other feature which makes it harder for you to find a well-fitting garment off the rack. Or you want features which are dropping out of fashion but not style, such as single forward pleated trousers. Gordon looked me up and down a few times before licking his lips and saying "You have an expensive body... nothing is going to fit you off the rack".  Hopefully the finished suit will bear out his words.

 

Where bespoke is also best is when you want to use the finer suiting cloth, perhaps with more colour, texture or pattern than the menswear industry likes to put out into department stores.  Also you can start to manipulate details and proportions to change and improve your silhouette.  Shorter men find that peak lapels that reach fairly high up their shoulders but which stay fairly narrow can elongate their bodies and make them look taller.  Thin men can find a wider lapel and slightly extended shoulders give them an impression of more breadth and that masculine V-shape in front.  Fatter men, like me, are just grateful to be inside something that isn't an actual sack...

 

You can also have details such as slanted pockets, a ticket pocket or a fancy lining.  I'd personally stay away from all three for your first suit but hey, it's your choice.

 

So do keep doing your reading and research.  Don't get suckered into going for a cloth with a higher Super number just because "it's better". Thomas Mahon's blog "English Cut" has a good article on this topic as well as several others that will add to your understanding.

 

The best reason to pay top dollar and go to Chan or Yao is to establish a relationship with those tailors, with a view to acquiring more garments down the years.  Both promise to keep your measurements and pattern on file to make constructing future suits easier.  Whether either actually rip down your basted fitting and transfer the alterations back from the cloth to the paper I don't know.  Yao has a big file of measurements (I'm pretty sure I saw the details of the body shape of another SF member, catching a glimpse of his business card and putting that together with what his profile says about location and job).  Chan actually do have paper patterns - I know this because it came out at my first fitting to show the belly shape of the lapel.  Of course once you've started down the repeat order trail then there are no limits

 

http://www.styleforum.net/t/127218/show-us-your-chan/450#post_6004574

 

Whole thread is worth a read. 

 

Good luck.


Thank you Penfold for the thoughtful and helpful response.  It certainly gives me important details to ponder.  I would like a "cut above" for a suit fabric so I think it's time for a nice bespoke suit.  I used to get my suits at Courtoue in San Francisco, operated by Chinese (I think Shanghainese), and they had great RTW suits, Canali, Brioni, Zegna, which they tailored more for my fit, and since they have been closed, it's been difficult finding similar quality for the fair prices they had.  Because I'm relatively short, I won't get pleated pants.  I do like cuffed pants, but only 3/4 an inch rather than 1.5 inches.  I know that may look strange, but it suits my height better.  I certainly appreciate your expertise and insights into this vast area.  I may return to Hong Kong more often if this experience proves fruitful.  I'm glad now that I've made an appointment with Gordon.  Cheers, Bloomsbury2k

post #2139 of 3689

My pleasure.  Don't feel you have to quote my whole reply by the way - it might get annoying for the TL;DR crowd who can't be arsed to wade through it. 

post #2140 of 3689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloomsbury2k View Post


Because I'm relatively short, I won't get pleated pants.  I do like cuffed pants, but only 3/4 an inch rather than 1.5 inches.  I know that may look strange, but it suits my height better.

 

I'm also relatively short (<170cm) and thin (~53kg). After doing forward pleated pants and then flat front pants (both without belt loops), I like the forward pleated pants more and thus all pants afterwards have single forward pleats. A small forward pleat can be seen as a "detail" that is typically not found in RTW. Well, this is said to be more traditional British though. Anyway, this is a personal choice of style.

 

3/4 inch cuff may be too short, but you can ask the tailor for advice and decide yourself during the fitting. My bespoke pants have 1.25 to 1.5 inches cuff. If you already have 3/4 inch cuff pants and are happy with that, stay with that.

post #2141 of 3689

I can't see any information on Il Sarto anywhere in this thread or this forum (except for this post http://www.styleforum.net/t/33568/the-hong-kong-tailors-thread/225#post_5100048 where the suit prices seem at the reasonable end). I decided to email them to see what information I could obtain with a view to considering ordering 2-3 shirts to try them out. Details as follows:

 

Starting prices are from HKD$600 (for a pure cotton shirt) to "850 and up" (e.g. easy to iron material is $850 apparently). Non-fused collars are available but attract an extra $200 fee. Most of their materials are 2-ply, they normally do 2-pleat cuffs , and lock-stitched buttons.

 

Their workshop is in HK. Production time is about a week. They prefer that you make an appointment before seeing them.

 

http://theilsarto.com/index.html

http://www.dmarge.com/2011/04/il-sarto-mens-tailor-hong-kong.html

http://www.hongkongmadame.com/en/Il-Sarto_a255.html

http://www.timeout.com.hk/shopping/features/53899/made-in-hong-kong-danny-choi.html

 

If I decide to go ahead and place an order I will submit a review here in due course. I am tempted to go with Ascot Chang based on reputation, but at the same time am curious about some of these other competitors.

post #2142 of 3689
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsABellyDad View Post
 

 

I'm also relatively short (<170cm) and thin (~53kg). After doing forward pleated pants and then flat front pants (both without belt loops), I like the forward pleated pants more and thus all pants afterwards have single forward pleats. A small forward pleat can be seen as a "detail" that is typically not found in RTW. Well, this is said to be more traditional British though. Anyway, this is a personal choice of style.

 

3/4 inch cuff may be too short, but you can ask the tailor for advice and decide yourself during the fitting. My bespoke pants have 1.25 to 1.5 inches cuff. If you already have 3/4 inch cuff pants and are happy with that, stay with that.

 

I'm also on the shorter side, which is why I always opt for flat uncuffed trousers. Cuffs/pleats seem to emphasise shortness. For the same reason I always go for upward/angled jacket pockets to accentuate height. I also have 3 buttons on the jacket cuff rather than 4 to create the illusion of length/space on the arms.

 

What other design/style tips do you use with your suits to elongate your silhouette/presence/height? Recently I've been wondering what style of shoulders I should try on my next suit - would pagoda shoulders work? I'm tempted to get a ticket pocket but fear it might clutter the jacket for someone not that tall.

post #2143 of 3689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isochronous View Post

I'm also on the shorter side, which is why I always opt for flat uncuffed trousers. Cuffs/pleats seem to emphasise shortness. For the same reason I always go for upward/angled jacket pockets to accentuate height. I also have 3 buttons on the jacket cuff rather than 4 to create the illusion of length/space on the arms.

What other design/style tips do you use with your suits to elongate your silhouette/presence/height? Recently I've been wondering what style of shoulders I should try on my next suit - would pagoda shoulders work? I'm tempted to get a ticket pocket but fear it might clutter the jacket for someone not that tall.

Sorry, but I think you may be mistaken. Cuffs look good on anyone, tall and short men alike. Most important to give an impression of height is a clean leg line of the trousers. Which is where pleats can be helpful
A single pleat will do. If your feet are also smaller, taper your trousers and adjust the leg opening.

For the jacket, a high gorge helps and a two or 3r2 button closure. Peak lapels probably too, but I'm not a fan of the look. Buttoning point a couple of cm above your natural waist.
Don't make the shoulders too narrow. Many Asians have narrow shoulders which tend to accentuate the hips. A torso that's a bit fuller also helps the suggestion of height.
Ticket pockets don't belong on suits and indeed it's best to avoid extra clutter. You could even consider besom pockets instead of flapped pockets.

If you go for pattern, don't go too bold. Stripes work better than checks on short men.
post #2144 of 3689


Thanks  Isochronous and EliodA.  I'm Asian (mostly), but have large feet, size 10.5, and broad shoulders, narrow hips.  I think pleats make make me look shorter perhaps, or stubbier.  I do prefer flat fronts for pants.  Are flat fronts too plain for paints? What do you think of padded shoulders versus natural shoulders for the jacket?  I think the padded suit jackets are more Italian styled, as my Canali suits seem to have them.  I think the natural shoulders may make my shoulders look narrower than they actually are.  If I do choose a pattern, it would be very small or subtle.  Cheers.

post #2145 of 3689

@Bloomsbury2k, if you have broad shoulders and narrow hips, I'd go for natural, unpadded shoulders if I were you. There's nothing wrong with flat front trousers if you prefer them, it's just that IMO a pleat allows the trousers to drape more elegantly. In addition, it gives you a bit more comfort when sitting down. And don't forget to opt for higher rise trousers, which drape better and give you that illusion of height that you're after.

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