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Looking for some advice on my first real suit. Asian or Domestic tailor?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm graduating from college next month and feel it's a good time to buy my first well tailored suit. I will be traveling this summer and will have access to tailors in SF, NYC, and parts of Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea)


I've been reading a lot of previous posts about well reviewed tailors, but it's hard to figure out which one will be best for me, so I thought I would make my own post.


The only suit I have right now is an OTR 36R from H&M that I throw on for random job fairs or for the random trip to Vegas.


Here are my specific questions and details:


Budget -- Preferably 400-800$. Price is not that big of an issue, but I have a feeling my first suit may be a learning experience...

While I eventually would like to purchase a bespoke suit from Chans, I don't think it would be best to drop $1500+ on my first suit as I am not even sure what kind of suit I really want.


Purpose -- I will be working in the tech industry where everyone wears casual clothing (hoodies+jeans). I want my first suit to be more of an all-purpose suit where I can throw on for semi-formal events such as holiday parties, weddings, or outings in the city. I assume navy/gray is best for this?


Style -- I'm only 22 years old, so I'm sure some fabrics would probably not be as age appropriate as others. Fit and texture will definitely be an importance for me.




  • Should I look at international or domestic tailors? I initially planned on scheduling a meeting with Propersuit, but then I read about how suits can be found for much cheaper in Asia. 
  • If I do go international (lets say Hong Kong), what companies are ideal for my specifications? I don't think it would be best to jump straight to Gordon Yao/Chans pricing level, so who would be next in my price range? Sams/Punjab/Raja? How does HK tailors compare to other Asian countries like Thailand or Korea?
  • What are some beginner mistakes when purchasing a suit I should try to avoid?
  • Do these tailors also be able to make individual sports coats/blazers? 



Here are some styles that I like. I guess the last picture is just a sports coat, but its similar to something I want.



CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 100

post #2 of 8

Your first suit should not be MTM or bespoke. Get a decent suit, say from Suit Supply, have it altered. Get a few more OTR suits, have those altered. After you get comfortable in what you want a suit to look like on you (and unless you've had multiple suits altered, you won't have reached the comfort level), then start exploring bespoke/mtm options. Otherwise, it is a recipe for disaster.


EDIT: I just noticed you specified your first tailored suit, implying you've owned other suits before. Again, unless you've had a decent amount of experience having suits altered to fit you, I'd advice against jumping into bespoke/mtm.


My .02 on a few of the other questions


* Hong Kong > Korea > Thailand. Though there are some very good...and very expensive...tailors here in Seoul (I'm sure there are quite a few in HK as well though).


* Navy is probably a bit more versatile than grey, especially when it comes to evening events


* Yes, tailors will make individual jackets.


* Beginner mistakes:

- going by yourself. My first couple experiences would have benefited from a third party providing feedback.

- not having a good knowledge of the "house cut"

- not knowing exactly what you want in terms of length, button stance, lapel width, quarters, gorge and shoulders

post #3 of 8
I can only speak of Hong Kong tailors.

To get a true soft shoulder like the pictures above, it is best to head straight to Gordan Yao or WW Chan, I am sure if you can spare the cash, they will make you a nice suit without too much of a headache. Obviously, I hope you have the appropriate body for padless shoulder.

However, if you fancy some intermediate tailors, I think Peter So will be a good choice. They might not do the shoulder you like, but they will do a shoulder that looks and feels nice on you.

There is really not bargain in bespoke, you might also consider the money you may save by getting the right one straight away. In terms of style, tailors are often very good to rely on for the correct balance.

p.s. if you don't mind MTM, TCNY will also be pretty good.
post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post

* Hong Kong > Korea > Thailand. Though there are some very good...and very expensive...tailors here in Seoul (I'm sure there are quite a few in HK as well though).

I have heard from my classmate that Korean top bespoke is around the same price as Hong Kong, but apparently they can execute a true waterfall shoulder.
post #5 of 8

I agree that you first suit shouldn't be bespoke. Why?...because you probably don't know enough about suit fit or quality to be able to see through all of the crap. There are a lot of "custom" tailors who sell fused and half-canvassed garbage for premium prices, and people who are eager to say that their suit is custom-made unwittingly patronize them. Don't be one of those people. Do a little reading. Try on a few suits. Once you've settled for one, take it to a local shop to be nipped and tucked.

post #6 of 8
Actually, does OP has enough time to do full fittings if he is going to the MTM or bespoke route? If not, it is often a disaster to ask any tailor shops to mail your bespoke suits.

On your point about no bespoke suit for the first one, I can't agree on that. As long as you know a good place and willing to spend, it is fine, generally style forums are pretty good at those informations.

Different culture perhaps.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

What would be the best place to learn more about the different cuts and styles of suits? For example padded vs soft shoulders, lapel size, suit length, etc.


I'm sure I could read about all the differences, but I would also like to feel the differences in person so I can figure out which I like best.


I would feel a bit weird if I went to a store and had a professional measure and explain all the differences when I had no intention to purchase from him/her. I also wouldn't want to go to someone like Chans with no idea what styles I want though...

post #8 of 8

Read up on here. There is a search bar...the search function isn't the greatest, but it works.


If you have a friend in the city that knows tailoring, take him with you.


And yeah, don't ask for something that the tailor isn't comfortable with. I'm in the midst of a disaster involving bald shoulders. I think I'm now on my sixth fitting.

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