After a few weeks of shopping around on Style Forum for suggestions on where to get a tailor made suit in Singapore i quickly realised that 1. I know &*%^ all about suits 2. Everyone has a different opinion on what is the 'right way' to do something 3. Singapore tailors are inferior to those of HK and Shanghai 4. Dont even bother getting it done in Singapore and 5. there is a 'comfort range' in terms of price of about 1200-2000SG where the higher standard of finishing, tailoring, cutting and fabrics all take place.
I had decided after all the reading that I would go for a fully canvasssed suit. why?
1. They tend to be a hit heavier and i am moving to very cold climate in a few months
2. A well made one will mould with the shape of the body over time creating a more flexible and natural fit
3. I wanted somethign a bit special that had had more time spent on it
4. You get a really nice looking lapel roll
Before i continue i approached all the tailors the same way. i need 2 suits 1 jacket all full canvassed. my budget was about 5000 Singapore $ for the lot.
So the above may not be good reasons (i dont know) but having had fused suits off the rack my whole life i wanted to try something different.
Which tailors did i talk to and some comments/observations (from a novice):
iris Tailor - Seems to have a pretty loyal following on Style Forum especailly amoungst the well dressed locals. The tailor was well discussed and overall comments seemed to be positive. The guy who did most of the posting for Iris tailor had a personal connection to them so they naturally got better prices (than us common folk) but when i was quoted the numbers seemed consistent with the competition which was about 1200-1500SG for a full canvassed suit with a good quality 120s + fabric. When i went they were busy, and when i went back they were busy which is a good sign however i didnt get the feeling that i was getting good personal attention to what i was looking for. Probably because they are so busy and i was coming at busy times. They had a a great selection of fabrics however, one of the better i had come across and they definately had a good rapport with the younger market. All the suits on the racks were more on the trendy and retro side with unique bespoke elements as opposed to the standard business mans suit. The items i mentioned to them such as hand stitched button holes etc were all included where as Just Mens for example wanted to add $$ for each extra item that was hand done.
Just Men Tailor Tanglin Mall - These guys were well recommend by all my colleagues who would use this place when they visited from our Europe and US offices. my impression is that they do a pretty standard mens suit focusing more on the corproate market. They did not have much interest in doign a canvassed suit and they wanted to push me towards the fused option. Fabrics seemed standard but the price was at the upper end around 1600$ Sing for fused. Overall they seemed OK but nothing that inspired me.
Mode Et Creation - Far East Shopping Mall (next to the Hilton). The tailor is called Anthony tan and he has a little shop on the 4th floor that you would never know about unless you were told about. I had read a positive comment about their suits and shirts on SF so thought it would be worth checking out. As soon as i met Anthony he came across as a really nice honest guy who had been doing his thing for many years. There was no pressure towards any sort of styles or fabrics and he seemed quietly confident about it all which i liked. In the end I did settle for this tailor for purely emotional reasons...it felt right and he seemed like a good bloke. Since i have been back for fitttings there has been a regular trickle of local customers also coming through the doors at the same time all relatively young looking for fully canvassed suits. The price was my blazer was 900$ and for the full sui 1500$. i wil lgo into more details later.
Tailor Chan - from what i had read on SF Tailor Chan was considered one of the original 'old guard' tailors in Singapore and had a reputatoin for good quality and as a result higher prices. they pride themselves that the entire suit is made in Singapore which from what i hear is rare with most tailors outsourcing part of the process to Jahor of Indonesia. From what i gather outsourcing is no big deal so long as the quality is good. The fully canvassed suits i saw at Tailor Chan seemd good but for my novice eyes, not that much better than the ones from Iris or Mode Et Creation
Other tailors - Other tailors i looked at were in Far East Plaza (Opposite the big DFS on Scotts rd). there were a couple of other places that were well regarded by the dimplomatic community (forget the name) and another one that on the outside looked very fancy but on the inside was pretty average quality and didnt offer fully canvassed suits. so both of these were promptly ignored.
So....for the results!
As mentioned above i went for Mode Et Creation as I simply had a 'good feeling' about the place. What i had made first was a sports jacket modelled off an old YSL dark navy blazer that i had scored from a 2nd hand shop when i was about 18. im now 27 and after 9 years of vomit, cigarrette ash and beer it had seen better days. the fabric i chose was a Italian super 120's worsted felt which had a very soft finish which i liked. Basically i was getting a reflica done. cost was 900 Sing.
Our first fitting he used a kind of cutters fabric to piece out the suit before using the actual fabric. for the second fitting the garment was basically finished and (apparently) no more adjustments needed to be made.
included are pitured of the button holes which to my untrained eye look pretty good quality (the buttons are ugly and will change them once i can). I also have a picture of the final piece and the lapels look pretty nice.
Button holes.JPG 1,011k .JPG file
jacket.JPG 398k .JPG file
The fit 'feels' great around the shoulders and fits like a glove with good movement. the shoulder line looks nice and the back looks good. He left some excess fabric around the back of the shoulder to allow some more movability in the arms and when iasked if he could tighten it up he saild it would fall more naturally as he jacket 'seasons' i guess seasons means absords all the sweat, beer and rain that it is likely to endure over the next few years.
I will post some picture of me wearing the blazer in a day or so and welcome any feedback on the fit. I will be going back there before the end of week to order another 2 suits.