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When you should go bespoke - Page 7

post #91 of 105
I think you're confusing cause and effect. Those tailors are traveling because there's demand abroad. Then they come back and produce the suits that we're ordered. They dont travel because they produce more. They produce more because they travel. They've moved to the model that Savile Row has moved to over the years as well, which is to produce a majority of their clothing for export.

The ones that don't have foreign customers aren't doing nearly as well. I don't know the Milanese and Roman markets as well, but you're probably right that they've got more bench tailors than NYC and DC.
post #92 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

I think you're confusing cause and effect. Those tailors are traveling because there's demand abroad. Then they come back and produce the suits that we're ordered. They dont travel because they produce more. They produce more because they travel. They've moved to the model that Savile Row has moved to over the years as well, which is to produce a majority of their clothing for export.

The ones that don't have foreign customers aren't doing nearly as well. I don't know the Milanese and Roman markets as well, but you're probably right that they've got more bench tailors than NYC and DC.

For all bespoke accessories, clothing and shoes, each of the major Metropolitan Italian markets (such as Florence, Milan and Rome), outside of house style (where house style is applicable) are exactly the same as the Neapolitan market.

Each bespoke accessory, clothing and shoe maker in Italy that doesn't have foreign customers has an annual volume of 1,500 (men only and women only) or 3,000 (½ for men, ½ for women) garments and copies other products (such as pieces of jewelry for bespoke jewelry makers, for example) per year.

Due to the absence of demand from foreigners, these Italian bespoke makers want to keep their annual production volumes this low to maintain or improve upon their generally already exemplary overall quality and service. This is precisely the way these makers like it. They very strongly disbelieve in the model that Savile Row has moved to over the years (which, as you said before, is to produce a majority of their clothing and other products for export).
post #93 of 105

I'd like to go for a bespoke option in the future,

 

At the moment I'm too heavy to warrant it, I want to have achieved my goals and as a reward have a suit made to celebrate the occasion. I'm willing to spend between 2 & 4k - is this likely to be enough or would I be better buying something like a Zegna suit and having it tailored (if possible, I'm a very odd shape! Once I am back to my fighting weight of 220lbs I'm a 48" chest and a 32" waist, oh and I'm 5' 10" but have an armspan of 6' 3")

 

Just looking at those numbers I'm thinking bespoke is the only way to go!!

post #94 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveabdn View Post

I'd like to go for a bespoke option in the future,

 

At the moment I'm too heavy to warrant it, I want to have achieved my goals and as a reward have a suit made to celebrate the occasion. I'm willing to spend between 2 & 4k - is this likely to be enough or would I be better buying something like a Zegna suit and having it tailored (if possible, I'm a very odd shape! Once I am back to my fighting weight of 220lbs I'm a 48" chest and a 32" waist, oh and I'm 5' 10" but have an armspan of 6' 3")

 

Just looking at those numbers I'm thinking bespoke is the only way to go!!

Yes, you shouldn't shell out such large amount of cash only to take it to a tailor and have it fitted again. Definitely go bespoke. 

post #95 of 105

Thanks for the advice,

 

Can I ask, I haven't bought very many high end OTR suits in the past and any that I have are often paired with a certain size of trousers - does anyone have any advice on brands that don't do this? I may be able to get down to a 46" chest but the trousers to go with that are normally 38" or so, I'd like to pair that with 34 or 32

post #96 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveabdn View Post

Thanks for the advice,

 

Can I ask, I haven't bought very many high end OTR suits in the past and any that I have are often paired with a certain size of trousers - does anyone have any advice on brands that don't do this? I may be able to get down to a 46" chest but the trousers to go with that are normally 38" or so, I'd like to pair that with 34 or 32

I am no expert but from my own experience most of the ones that I've seen have a DROP 8, meaning if you buy a 46R then your trouser size will be 46 minus 8 which is 38. If you'd like to go to 34, that sounds to me like a lot of alteration. I hope others can chime in for a better advice.

post #97 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudals1281 View Post

I am no expert but from my own experience most of the ones that I've seen have a DROP 8, meaning if you buy a 46R then your trouser size will be 46 minus 8 which is 38. If you'd like to go to 34, that sounds to me like a lot of alteration. I hope others can chime in for a better advice.

 

Yeah this is the sort of scenario I was used to

 

Hugo Boss used to have a line of separates but there was never anything exciting in there, it's pretty frustrating! I'm really jealous of guys like you (38R from the other thread!) who can see something and know they can have it.

 

The world of style is a smaller one when you're dimensioned like an ape!

post #98 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveabdn View Post

 

Yeah this is the sort of scenario I was used to

 

Hugo Boss used to have a line of separates but there was never anything exciting in there, it's pretty frustrating! I'm really jealous of guys like you (38R from the other thread!) who can see something and know they can have it.

 

The world of style is a smaller one when you're dimensioned like an ape!

I would actually seek out a Brooks Brothers and go talk to one of their tailors. They have better service than some of these "Italian" places. And don't waste your money on Hugo Boss. As bad of a brand homer I am, I know their stuff is of bad quality for what they charge.

post #99 of 105

Had a check and they do have a store in Edinburgh,

 

I'm planning a trip down there once I get rid of some beef anyway so this could work in well, at the moment I'm around a 52" chest and a 40" waist so I'm not even starting to look seriously

 

Edit - Thanks again for the advice, much appreciated

post #100 of 105
Thread Starter 
At that kind of price level it's worth remembering at Charles Tyrwhytt and T M Lewin both sell separates (jacket and trouser in what ever size you like). The quality is orders of magnitude better than Boss (I know this from experience having done work for all three companies) and the price is a damn sight more honest.
post #101 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post

As some of you may know I have been in bespoke and OTR tailoring for about 10 years. While discussing the motivation for commissions we came up with a list that we believe roughly answers the question "should I be bespoke" that is so often asked of us (and asked online). Feel free to disagree with any of the points, expand, repudiate or request that I be lynched, as you see fit.

Reasons to go bespoke

Hard to fit off the rack
This is probably the most obvious reason to go bespoke. Some people simply have a shape that lies outside of the middle ground that manufacturers cater to. Maybe years of hard labour has left you with a stoop, with shoulders rolling a long way forwards and a spine that is shaped like a question mark.

More likely your prominent shoulderblades and fondness for cake has left you sticking out at the back and front, but in different directions. Maybe you are 5'0" and 230lbs or 6'8" and 170lbs, the chances are that you'll need a custom job.

The most down to earth commission I've made was for a gent who was both wheelchair bound and required to be on television. He wanted a nicely fitting suit, but it couldn't have much of a back, and the front must be proportionate so as not to bunch up in his lap. We made him a jacket (and accompanying trousers) that he could never have had off the rack, and he looked good.

Want a design no maker has done
You want a lime green suit with purple lining and 13 buttons on the front? Macy's won't sell you that, but Ozwold Boeteng will.

Traveling for an extended period in Casablanca or Jakarta? You might like a linen suit with two buttons or zips on each pocket to deter pickpockets.

Have you simply seen a cloth in an old photo that you'd love to buy, but the original creator has long since shuffled off the mortal coil?

This is where the magic of bespoke comes to life; if you have a whim then it can be indulged. If you have a mere spectre of an idea, there is a man who can flesh it out into reality.

Hobbyist/neurotic
This is the camp into which 99% of forum dwellers fall (myself included). There is absolutely zero shame in saying to yourself "I know my Jos A Bank suit fits me like a glove, but I want to choose the colour of my buttons and the shape of my pocket flaps BECAUSE I LOVE IT!"

There is a simple pleasure in shaking the hand of a craftsman who makes an object you see as beautiful and desirable. There honour in contributing to the survival of a crippled and limping craft.

Reasons not to go bespoke

Good value
Let us get one thing clear: bespoke clothes are not good value. Decent bespoke will run you £3,000/$5,000 (and why would you buy cheaper hand-made mediocre goods?) and will take 6 weeks from inception to delivery - assuming you live next door to your tailor and bribed him to make your suit quickly. More likely you will make a trip to see your suit at 1 month and 3 month intervals if you live nearby and every 6 months if you go overseas.

Once you calculate your time, travel expense and the untold anxiousness that accompanies a daring commission you are well and truly out of pocket.

Assuming that you have done your maths and decided that it still offers good value you must take into account that bespoke is a process - the first suit will be 90% perfect, the second will be 95% perfect and the subsequent ones will be between 98% and 100% perfect. Now we are three suits in, with little change from £10,000.

Bespoke is not cheap. Do it because you love it. Do it because you need something special. Never do it because it is the more economic or better value. You will walk away feeling cheated, and neither you nor your tailor deserves that.


Improving a perfect fit

There is a myth that the bespoke process will make any many look like James Bond, and that a bespoke tailor will be able to weave literal magic to make a perfect garment.

I may be thrown out of the Tailors Circle for telling you this but: we can't do magic.

Ultimately the difference between OTR and Bespoke is that when both men sit down and cut some wool into a shape to be wrapped around a body the bespoke tailor has seen you before hand. They are still just men, cutting the outside layer of a sheep into a full body condom.

If you find a garment OTR that looks perfect (and after a second and third look you can't see anything to improve) then really, I can't do anything to make you look better. You might want that fit in other choices, which is fine (see Style, above) but don't expect me to shave off that gut or add an inch to your height.



Prestige
When getting into this game it is very easy to feel like a king in your new clothes. Online we may fawn for hours over Vox's Mystery Tailor or Spoo's latest feud-or-friend thread, but telling someone in the real world that your clothes are custom made rarely elicits a positive response. Either you are bragging, or wasting money, or more often engaging in a practice people don't understand at all. They care little about the time, or money or effort that went into your navy three piece suit, and if they knew the truth may be quite shocked.



As a tailor and purveyor of suits for the last ten years I have observed the ups and downs of the new cult that is Internet iGents. It has brought new blood into the community and introduced the next generation of men to the previous generation of tailors. It has also set expectations that are so unrealistic that many are a little disappointed and disillusioned by their first commission.

If you are an odd shape, I will make you an odd suit.
If you like odd colours, I will make you a colourful suit.
If you love a good suit, I will make you a good suit.

If you wish to play gentry by ordering a good value suit that makes you look less fat to impress your friends, I will ask you to leave. I simply can't face your disappointment in the face of my hard work.


Well said! This all strikes me as spot on. One question I have: what about the shoulder? In looking at exceptional suits the one detail that always grabs me is the fit and cohesion of the shoulder.
My theory has been that to achieve this you need a very good bespoke tailor, it is the one detail that you just can’t get OTR, and it is a hard detail to achieve for many tailors.
Would you agree? Or is this in my imagination?
post #102 of 105
Thread Starter 
Fitting a sleeve to a shoulder as an act in and of its self is reasonably easy. Fitting a shaped piece of wool, canvas and wadding over a constantly shifting ball and socket joint isn't so easy. You don't necessarily need a bespoke tailor to achieve a good fit, you just have to find a brand that has chosen a size and shape that matches your body closely. If you're a 38R or 40R that isn't always a totally impossibility, but logic determines that very few people will match with any given brands dimensions.

Quality will also play a role, an OTR suit that has been hand-made with a light canvas and decent cloth will still have a better looking shoulder than a mass produced suit of the same dimensions.
post #103 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post

Fitting a sleeve to a shoulder as an act in and of its self is reasonably easy. Fitting a shaped piece of wool, canvas and wadding over a constantly shifting ball and socket joint isn't so easy. You don't necessarily need a bespoke tailor to achieve a good fit, you just have to find a brand that has chosen a size and shape that matches your body closely. If you're a 38R or 40R that isn't always a totally impossibility, but logic determines that very few people will match with any given brands dimensions.

Quality will also play a role, an OTR suit that has been hand-made with a light canvas and decent cloth will still have a better looking shoulder than a mass produced suit of the same dimensions.

Thanks! interesting. For my eye, everthing starts with the shoulder when I see or wear a suit. If it isn't just right, I lose interest.
I've yet to find an OTR that fits my shoulder as cleanly as I would like, and of the two bespoke tailors I've tried, one coulnd't do it and the other was very successful, so I guess it is hard.
post #104 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dempsy444 View Post

Thanks! interesting. For my eye, everthing starts with the shoulder when I see or wear a suit. If it isn't just right, I lose interest.
I've yet to find an OTR that fits my shoulder as cleanly as I would like, and of the two bespoke tailors I've tried, one coulnd't do it and the other was very successful, so I guess it is hard.

Which 2 bespoke tailors have you tried, Dempsy444?
post #105 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by OxxfordSJLINY View Post

Which 2 bespoke tailors have you tried, Dempsy444?

Huntsman and Chris Despos. Chris made a nice shoulder.
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