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Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe) - Page 2024

post #30346 of 37392
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

On the Formosa question - I guess you have to try it to see and if it works for you, then it works for you, it makes sense to go for it because the fabrics are great and the cut is distinctive. However, I've seen Formosa look great on some people and distinctly ordinary on others.

Of course. Not every cut or style is going to work for everyone, no matter how nice the workmanship is. The trouble of course is that figuring out what works best for you takes a lot of time and effort (or if going MTM / bespoke, trial and error). A lot of people find one good thing and stick with it, even if something else might be better. I think the challenge is to figure out what works best for you before buying. Once you have something that works (and may be a big improvement over what you're used to, if sometimes for no other reason than wearing the correct size), further experimentation can be tough to justify for one on a budget.
post #30347 of 37392
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprout2 View Post

The underlying problem is that many insist on patronizing celebrity tailors instead of the guy in their town (or state, or tri-state area, or capital). Unfortunately, the information online would lead you to believe that there are 12 important tailors in the world and that their heritage Italian pixie dust is priceless. That, or they like paying for garments impregnated with tobacco fumes (the terroir of the area).

There are definitely a lot of good tailors out there, many less well known. The challenge is that developing a relationship with a tailor is a huge investment for many people, and there is limited knowledge out there about some of the lesser-known ones. I fully admit I'd be biased towards some of the better known tailoring houses if I went bespoke, but it's mostly because the larger sample size of feedback available. There may well be some good local people I am missing out on, but I'd rather pay a bit more and have a better idea of what I'm getting.

Of course, I've been happy with MTM thus far so may not have a need to go bespoke. I think if you've learned a decent amount and like what you are wearing, the only reason to pay more is if you want to experience the bespoke process or if you want to slowly upgrade your wardrobe (I think this applies more if you are done with acquisitions).
post #30348 of 37392
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodledoc View Post
 

Some local tailors don't have house styles. For example, I have access to Richard Lim and can pay $1000-1200 for a full canvas bespoke suit (if you require more handwork, then the prices jump significantly), but he doesn't have a house style. A noob like me, I don't know what looks good on my body really because I haven't tried on that many suits. 

 

The thing about this is that you keep working with that tailor you have access to, keep iterating, taking his suggestions and making your own, until you dial in closely to that style that works for you -- never mind house style. Space out the orders and do them one at a time, slowly. You'll eventually reach a symbiosis that will not easily be replicated elsewhere. Don't do this with a budget tailor, but someone with chops (but not necessarily brand name recognition). Also consider the countries adjacent to you and make use of exchange rate differences. You are in California. If you are going to Hong Kong, perhaps you can also add Korea and Japan into your candidates' list.

post #30349 of 37392
Quote:
Originally Posted by kulata View Post

Fuck Yeah, Murica. Cuz Murica!!!

 

I lulz'd.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
 

On the Formosa question - I guess you have to try it to see and if it works for you, then it works for you, it makes sense to go for it because the fabrics are great and the cut is distinctive. However, I've seen Formosa look great on some people and distinctly ordinary on others.

 

Personally, as I've said before on this issue, I would just hesitate to pay that much for OTR when I can get my tailor to cut me a suit how I want, that fits me perfectly, for a price in the same area: with the higher end of mid-range fabrics and fully canvassed etc., a 2-piece would cost me £1400 (= just over $2100 US at current exchange rates, i.e. the same as NMWA standard Formosa pricing) and a lot less if I source my own fabric.

 

This is a good point. SF = Sartoria Formosa = Styleforum Fave.

 

But there's a reason for this. It's a classic Neapolitan tailoring house with history and an unmistakeable cut and presence to their garments. Loads of handwork (there's an incredible amount of hand stitching on my new suit), full canvas of course, high-cut armscyes, flowing lines, nice lapel roll, nice shoulder expression and so forth.

 

So of course your average Styleforum punter (i.e. me) wants to buy in to this dream. Australia has no peripatetic Neapolitan tailors/cutters/stylists visiting on a regular basis; the closest we get is @incontro acting as B&Tailor's agent, and while that's a formidable house with a heavy Florentine/Liverano influence, it's not Neapolitan tailoring by any stretch.

 

Exactly as FM sez, I "had to try it and see if it works for me". The first suit I tried sucked dog's balls. The second - the one I bought - looked great, off the hanger, just like that. I'd be a fool to pass that up. It's unlike any other suit in my wardrobe. Sure, I have a couple of linen suits already. But this one just rocks that louche-southern-Italian-man-about-town sprezz to a T. And without trumpeting prices, let's just say that I took advantage of NMWA's current sale-period discount and the 10% SF discount and the "tailoring discount" for unfinished garments. All of which brought the final price down to absolute bargain levels.

 

Proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Next week I will get it hemmed, cuffed and slimlined. Watch for it after that on the WAYWRN forum. (I might be finally taking delivery of my fabled B&T project around the same time - I'm going to be in suit heaven!)

post #30350 of 37392
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibaldleach View Post


There are definitely a lot of good tailors out there, many less well known. The challenge is that developing a relationship with a tailor is a huge investment for many people, and there is limited knowledge out there about some of the lesser-known ones. I fully admit I'd be biased towards some of the better known tailoring houses if I went bespoke, but it's mostly because the larger sample size of feedback available. There may well be some good local people I am missing out on, but I'd rather pay a bit more and have a better idea of what I'm getting.

Of course, I've been happy with MTM thus far so may not have a need to go bespoke. I think if you've learned a decent amount and like what you are wearing, the only reason to pay more is if you want to experience the bespoke process or if you want to slowly upgrade your wardrobe (I think this applies more if you are done with acquisitions).

 

 

Oh, definitely, it's an investment. The first X suits will eventually become burners (in your eye) after you reach that synergy. I think that people have this notion that if they ante up for some Parisian bespoke house, the results will be underwritten by the pedigree, and therefore their first commission will end up better than if they go with regional tailor X. But this isn't like a luxury car or something, where you want to know that the engine is designed by German eggheads. I'd say that the price differential (before you get to the celebrity tailors) is paying for that "rock of eye" ability to eyeball you and translate 2D to 3D and for the ongoing "after-care" -- will they take apart the suit and refit the pieces when your posture improves or you get a gut?  But otherwise, it perforce is an iterative process at every price bracket. When any other consumer good is made, it is prototyped repeatedly on a block or mold. In this case, you are the mold. You are the last. Someone is fitting fabric to your body. Whether you use an unknown tailor or a star, that is something that is going to take repeated trial and error to achieve. Not over three fittings, but over the life cycle of multiple suits as you wear them. Because, ultimately, they might make you some whiz-bang pants, but you won't like the way they move when you walk. Half of the commissions you see on blogs, the wearer is little more than a mannequin for that house -- do they enjoy moving around in those things? The notion of paying to play and getting those lusted-for results out of the gate is misguided. Given the huge variance in quality we have seen in commissions posted to this very forum, this happens at all levels.

 

Also, being armed with knowledge is also ass-backwards, given the huge bias of viewpoint espoused by this forum. Better to be the neophyte inconnu and walk in sheepishly, IMO.

 

Re: sample size, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 99% of the information within arm's reach is filtered through blogs (advertising), Permanent Style, and a very small sample of people who have more money than time, leading to an information cascade where the conversation is still about the same 10 tailors. I'd wager (I'd be willing to be proven wrong) that a decent contingent of the forum uses tailors of some stripe or other, but this is not publicized. I remember Victor Elfo's commissions from South America blowing almost everything you see here out of the water and being had for a song.

 

It doesn't make sense that people who are not aristocrats are saving up their pennies and flying economy air to plunk down 6K euros for a suit made by a house that outfits Kazakh princes, but such is the power of branding. This is like fledgling fashionistas eating ramen while saving for the down payment on a Birkin bag. I understand the mystique, but why not develop a relationship with a tailor that is actually relevant to your region, lifestyle, and melieu?

post #30351 of 37392
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprout2 View Post

Re: sample size, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 99% of the information within arm's reach is filtered through blogs (advertising), Permanent Style, and a very small sample of people who have more money than time, leading to an information cascade where the conversation is still about the same 10 tailors. I'd wager (I'd be willing to be proven wrong) that a decent contingent of the forum uses tailors of some stripe or other, but this is not publicized. I remember Victor Elfo's commissions from South America blowing almost everything you see here out of the water and being had for a song.

I do think there are some tailors that are SF famous, so to speak, but the reason why others are famous may have something to do with their history. Places like A&S, Poole, Huntsman, Rubi, etc. have been around for a long time and have clothed a lot of very well-dressed men. You also have places run by expatriates of these houses (e.g. Mahon, Steed, Richard Anderson), some of which offer more competitive pricing than the mother ship. I'm sure some places coast a bit on reputation, but it is kind of cool to be outfitted by the same people who made Gregory Peck's clothes (Huntsman), mutatis mutandis for other well-known individuals.

Of course, how one looks in clothes is always going to be a mix of the quality of one's tailor, one's own expertise and one's own physical proportions. A fit guy who is a 40R drop 8 is going to look better, all else equal, than a guy who is a 40S drop 4. As long as you go in knowing you're going to look like a better version of yourself with the right tailor, not like someone who works out 2 hours a day to stay fit, all is good. It's always hard to comment on how forum members' tailoring is without knowing a bit about what they look like without a jacket and tie.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprout2 View Post

It doesn't make sense that people who are not aristocrats are saving up their pennies and flying economy air to plunk down 6K euros for a suit made by a house that outfits Kazakh princes, but such is the power of branding. This is like fledgling fashionistas eating ramen while saving for the down payment on a Birkin bag. I understand the mystique, but why not develop a relationship with a tailor that is actually relevant to your region, lifestyle, and melieu?

I agree with this and have given similar advice. People need to be realistic about their budget and come up with a plan to get the clothes they want to have (being reasonable about how big of a wardrobe they actually need). I suppose a few may enjoy this as an expensive hobby (perhaps they buy a suit from London or Naples instead of a new engine for their hot rod), but for those who just prioritize looking good, a bit of realism is important.
post #30352 of 37392
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coxsackie View Post
 

 

 The first suit I tried sucked dog's balls. The second - the one I bought - looked great, off the hanger, just like that. I'd be a fool to pass that up.

Shows two important things:

 

a) how much fabric influences fit

b) how a lot of handwork can lead to variation from one garment to another.

post #30353 of 37392

c) how the concept of dog-ball suckage applies equally to fine tailoring as it does to other domains

post #30354 of 37392
Quote:
Originally Posted by kulata View Post


The fault really isn't in the design of the suit, it's more about ill-advised customers. If the buttoning point is raised then you throw a wrench on a lot of tall and normal proportioned customers and they will have disproportionately long legs. If I were to change anything, I'd increase the width of the sleeves by a touch to balance proportions with the lapel width and reduce the arc of the fronts to make it less aggressive.


Guy's with short torsos should generally avoid longer jackets with low buttoning points which is the issue you see in Newcomer's Formosa fit and why he looks better in the SuSu Havana

 

Of course you're right, much of this has to do with ill advised customers. I like to think that that's why we have these discussions here on GNAT :)

I believe there is a contradiction between your stating that raising the buttoning point throws off the balance for long legged / short torsoed bodies and then saying that guys with short torsos should avoid low buttoning points...

Anyway, I made a quick photoshop to show what I mean:

 

3TDhH3M.jpg

 

Perhaps I exaggerated a bit, but I do contend that the one on the right looks better proportioned than the original on the left. @TweedyProf, do you see what I mean?
And as an illustration of how the lower buttoning point favours those with long legs, look no further than this well known guy here:

 

oyj9SjA.jpg

 

@in stitches certainly looks very good in his Formosa too, but he'd look even better with a slightly higher buttoning point...

 

A propos of Sciamat, they have really lost it I'm afraid:


 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprout2 View Post
 

The underlying problem is that many insist on patronizing celebrity tailors instead of the guy in their town (or state, or tri-state area, or capital).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprout2 View Post
 

 You are in California. If you are going to Hong Kong, perhaps you can also add Korea and Japan into your candidates' list.

 

^ These two statements combined make no sense. Further, not everyone has the time, budget or desire to go through 11 iterations with a tailor to arrive at the perfect fit. I see your point, but it's not for the majority of posters here, I think.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rms340 View Post

I have a short torso compared to my already short legs. So a lower buttoning point would not be flattering to my body? When I wear my pants at my natural waist I feel like it looks awkward. Especially when at work I have to wear a shirt & tie without a jacket.

 

Without seeing your body it's difficult to say. What is more dominant, the shortness of the legs or of the torso? What is more in need of visual correction?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post
 

Shows two important things:

 

a) how much fabric influences fit

b) how a lot of handwork can lead to variation from one garment to another.

 

a + b = don't buy your suits online.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kulata View Post

Fuck Yeah, Murica. Cuz Murica!!!

 

:lol:

 

I recently saw this one, made me laugh:

 

*

post #30355 of 37392
^ Is @EliodA the new foo.gif with the photoshopping ?
post #30356 of 37392
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post

^ Is @EliodA the new foo.gif with the photoshopping ?

I can adopt a more polemic tone of voice, if you wish. smile.gif
post #30357 of 37392

Best discussion I've seen on this thread in some time. I have an e-thrifted Corneliani balmacaan arriving in a few weeks. Should it fit (and it should) I'll probably take some shots and ask for feedback. I needed a versatile piece of outerwear to compliment this incredible but casual Lands End oilcloth jacket from a few seasons ago (http://brokeandbespoke.tumblr.com/post/33977000033/lands-end-sportsman-oilcloth-jacket-its-on-sale) and it was a bit expensive for my budget (there's a navy Club Monaco duffle coat I had my eye on at ~$170), but I really liked @dieworkwear's recent feature on them and wanted to give the look a shot. The seller accepts returns, so I was okay with the risk.


The pattern is pretty big, I'm not sure if it's big-awesome or big-ugly yet:


And yes I'm pretty worried about overall length because it looks kinda short here (tiny hanger + raglan sleeves is definitely distorting things though)

post #30358 of 37392
Quote:
Originally Posted by EliodA View Post

 

I believe there is a contradiction between your stating that raising the buttoning point throws off the balance for long legged / short torsoed bodies and then saying that guys with short torsos should avoid low buttoning points...

Anyway, I made a quick photoshop to show what I mean:

 

3TDhH3M.jpg

 

Perhaps I exaggerated a bit, but I do contend that the one on the right looks better proportioned than the original on the left. 

 

I suppose you're right about the effect of button height on apparent leg length, but funnily enough I don't really think the right-hand version is any better.

 

Why is that? On the one hand, I concede that his legs look longer in the right-hand image. BUT the proportions of the jacket itself are more pleasing to my eye in the original. Raising the buttoning point has put it smack in the middle of the jacket's vertical axis. Since the ancient Greeks, we have understood that asymmetry is intrinsically more interesting to the eye. Think golden section.

 

Further, I have never really liked hard-three suit jackets because they remind me of some kind of strait-jacket or corset. Too tight, too formal. The waistcoat of a three-piece suit is similar, but its "bound-up" look is alleviated by the open jacket worn outside it. This is perhaps the main reason one should never button the outer jacket of a three-piece.

 

As stated above, I'm interested in achieving the more casual, relaxed, comfortable look of classic Neapolitan tailoring. Formosa's low buttoning point fits with this concept due to the feeling of "openness", as well as the slightly asymmetric vertical proportions.

 

None of this even occurred to me prior to your post and I'm glad you got me thinking about it.

post #30359 of 37392
We are on the same page @Coxsackie. The jacket now looks weird and needs shortening
post #30360 of 37392
Is this a standard I am uninformed of?

"This is perhaps the main reason one should never button the outer jacket of a three-piece."

I wear 3 pieces in winter weights for warmth, so the idea of not buttoning seems counter-practical.

Eliot - thanks for photoshopping efforts, I do think one on left looks better. Granted legs look shorter on close inspection, but the immediate visual appearance is more pleasing on the left fit.
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