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Manila Tailor - Page 2

post #16 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. J View Post
Thanks for all the info on tailoring options! I'm going to keep it simple and stick with shirts on this trip. Cornell's Custom Tailor sounds pretty good. What about this King Philip tailor -- do they do shirts? Are they any good? I might also take the advice about buying my fabrics and buttons from a mall. Anyone familiar with Alabang Town Center? I think it will be the most convenient location for me. Do any of their shops have good fabrics? How much fabric do I need for a shirt anyway? I've got some well-fitting H&M shirts a tailor can copy. It'd be great if I could keep that fit but have my pick of material.
As I've said, save your money. A friend of mine commissioned Philip to tailor suits for him and his wedding entourage- suffice to say all of them won't be coming back to that store. Yes, Jose Pidal, it's the branch in New World-Renaissance in Makati. They got measured once, and when they went back after a week the suit was already done, but the size were off. One of my friends insisted on alterations but the damn tailor was quite adamant the fit was right- something about jackets are supposed to be big. It was a mess in the end. And during all of this, the proprietor of Philip was in the store, and he did not do squat. I also tried to have a shirt done with Philip early last year. Suffice to say it did not get any wear time. (I just opened the telephone directory and Philip has an ad there. It says: "Philippines Premier Tailor"- but it also says "SUITS MADE TO ORDER IN 24 HOURS". And the fabric stores around here is shit. Believe me. They don't sell good fabric at all- what they're selling are more for dressmaking and fabrics for curtains and such. The only reason I went to Bergamo and Kingsmen is they have the better fabric choices around, but it was almost all polywool blends. I also used to get fabrics from a an old Chinese trader in the old district of Manila, and his choices knowing what I know now, are also not that great. 99% of the people here don't wear suits. What's standard wear here is the Barong Tagalog and the tailors here are more apt to construct you Barong Tagalogs than suits. You could spend $300 to $400 on a tailor that will probably give you a shitty shirt and suit, or you could use that money to go diving in Bohol or hit the beach in Boracay.
post #17 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
That's impressive, Acidboy. Have you tried Cornell's? He was recommended to me by my ex-girlfriend's family. He was better than any of the other's I've tried, but I've never tried any of the ones you mentioned.
Thanks, emptym. No I haven't heard of Cornell's. But Josepidal is correct- people who know around here would rather have suits and shirts made in Hongkong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbaquiran
Hey thanks for this info. I'm currently getting a suit done by Gregg Centeno. Will check out your recommendation for my next one.
Gregg Centeno is a "fashion designer". I think his suits are more, how should we say it, fashion-centric?
post #18 of 580
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidicboy View Post
As I've said, save your money. A friend of mine commissioned Philip to tailor suits for him and his wedding entourage- suffice to say all of them won't be coming back to that store. Yes, Jose Pidal, it's the branch in New World-Renaissance in Makati. They got measured once, and when they went back after a week the suit was already done, but the size were off. One of my friends insisted on alterations but the damn tailor was quite adamant the fit was right- something about jackets are supposed to be big. It was a mess in the end. And during all of this, the proprietor of Philip was in the store, and he did not do squat. I also tried to have a shirt done with Philip early last year. Suffice to say it did not get any wear time. (I just opened the telephone directory and Philip has an ad there. It says: "Philippines Premier Tailor"- but it also says "SUITS MADE TO ORDER IN 24 HOURS".

And the fabric stores around here is shit. Believe me. They don't sell good fabric at all- what they're selling are more for dressmaking and fabrics for curtains and such. The only reason I went to Bergamo and Kingsmen is they have the better fabric choices around, but it was almost all polywool blends. I also used to get fabrics from a an old Chinese trader in the old district of Manila, and his choices knowing what I know now, are also not that great.

99% of the people here don't wear suits. What's standard wear here is the Barong Tagalog and the tailors here are more apt to construct you Barong Tagalogs than suits. You could spend $300 to $400 on a tailor that will probably give you a shitty shirt and suit, or you could use that money to go diving in Bohol or hit the beach in Boracay.

All right, you've convinced me. More importantly, you've convinced my wife. She's telling me to give it up. We'll spend the extra money on our vacation in Palawan (come on, it's Christmas -- Boracay has been booked for months!)
post #19 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. J View Post
All right, you've convinced me. More importantly, you've convinced my wife. She's telling me to give it up. We'll spend the extra money on our vacation in Palawan (come on, it's Christmas -- Boracay has been booked for months!)

Yeah, that amount would give you an extra night or two out there. Have a great vacation!
post #20 of 580
An extra night in Palawan is something wonderful. But I wouldn't rule out Cornell's yet. I don't have quite Acidboy's experience w/ the different tailor's, but I do have a lot of family and friends in Manila and I've looked at their products. I chose Cornell's not because he's as good as Hong Kong or Saville Row tailors, but because he can put out a good product at a great price. A suit and 4 shirts at Cornell's would be about $200 total.

There's an old saying that perfection is the enemy of the good. Cornell's products don't conform to the highest standards, but if you can be specific about all you want, can have few fittings, or have something for him to copy, I think he could make you something you'd be happy w/ for the price. On the other hand, if you're in Alabang, multiple trips to Makati could be a pain... I'd go once, bring the shirt you want copied, and if you think he has good fabrics there, just have some shirts done. Shirts were your original goal, and they're a lot tougher to mess up.
post #21 of 580
btw, it's too bad you didn't post this Q while you were in DC. I could have shown you what he's made for me in person.
post #22 of 580
I didn't mean to diss Cornell, as I haven't seen anything made by him. But you know the real problem in these parts is it's so damn hard to get good fabrics. BTW, I forgot to mention Ascot Chang also has a storefront here, at the Shangri-La Manila, on the mezzanine level.
post #23 of 580
No worries. I forgot to mention that you can sometimes get fabric at the big duty-free shops you can go to if you recently arrived in the country. I can't remember where thy are. Maybe at the old Clark airbase, but I think in there's another one closer to Manila.
post #24 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post
An extra night in Palawan is something wonderful. But I wouldn't rule out Cornell's yet. I don't have quite Acidboy's experience w/ the different tailor's, but I do have a lot of family and friends in Manila and I've looked at their products. I chose Cornell's not because he's as good as Hong Kong or Saville Row tailors, but because he can put out a good product at a great price. A suit and 4 shirts at Cornell's would be about $200 total.
I have never heard of Cornell's. I've never patronized them and this is not a comment regarding Cornell's itself, but after having taken note of various establishments, I personally think that price level is the going rate for midlevel Manila tailors, with mediocre fit, fused construction, difficulties procuring decent fabric, and little knowledge regarding classic and fashion styling. I'd be okay only with the most expensive tailor in the city, King Philip (not that New World Hotel branch), which is twice the price, and even then only for pants.

YMMV.

I don't doubt that a tailor at the lower price levels in Manila can create something of value quite disproportionate to the amount paid. However, maybe I just don't think tailors in Manila will satisfy the minimum threshold in quality people on this forum are willing to accept. As Acidboy emphasizes, it's not a suit wearing country (and the people who actually need to wear good suits have them made in Hong Kong, as opposed to the junior employee who just needs a good suit or someone who has never seen or consciously does not want to pay for a good suit) and there's very little good fabric. Moreover, having an article of clothing copied has never worked for me, either. Maybe if it was a bespoke article cut by someone who really knows what he's doing.

If you're taking a trip to Southeast Asia and want to pick up a cheap but serviceable suit, you may as well stop in Hong Kong and get it from Jantzen, based on what I've heard. Definitely, their shirts are better value than anything you'll get from Manila. (But I'd just save up for one of the more reputed tailors with a quick turnaround time, as you'd spend that much in RTW abroad anyway.)

Palawan is beautiful. Your money will go a longer way there if nature fascinates you. I would certainly prefer to go there instead of Boracay given the choice.
post #25 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidicboy View Post
BTW, I forgot to mention Ascot Chang also has a storefront here, at the Shangri-La Manila, on the mezzanine level.
One vacation to Southeast Asia, I once passed by Jantzen's and saw a Philippine mother and son there for the son's shirt fitting. Ricky refused to use the kid's Ascot Chang shirt at all as any guide regarding his fit and quite tactfully and subtly pointed out how blousy and non-fitting it was.

The reviews I've heard are that you're paying for the name and may as well use the money for a plane ticket to Hong Kong, but I have no personal knowledge.
post #26 of 580
By the way, you SHOULD get a bespoke Barong Tagalog while you're in the country, as you can have one for a pittance.

Why, it's a little known fact that Manton has one!
post #27 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by josepidal View Post
By the way, you SHOULD get a bespoke Barong Tagalog while you're in the country, as you can have one for a pittance.

Why, it's a little known fact that Manton has one!

Tarantino wore one, albeit an ill-fitting one, during the Golden Globes Nomination.

post #28 of 580
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidicboy View Post
Tarantino wore one, albeit an ill-fitting one, during the Golden Globes Nomination.

And here I thought white guys couldn't pull off a barong. Wait...

I really shouldn't buy something I'll never use just because it's cheap... how much is a barong anyway? How about one made of pineapple fabric?
post #29 of 580
You can get an RTW for less than $20. Being on SF, I figure you guys would be fascinated by the fabric used to make this obscure traditional dress.

That photo is even worse than all the botched black tie photos on this forum!
post #30 of 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidicboy View Post
Gregg Centeno is a "fashion designer". I think his suits are more, how should we say it, fashion-centric?

We'll see. I asked for a slim-fitting suit, and for him to work out the details.
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