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Bangkok tailors - Page 11

post #151 of 224

Hmm, judged from those pieces posted in this thread there's absolutely nothing that indicates that Tanika's quality is better than Narin's. Remember btw, even though Tanika's buttonholes were said to be and made, on closer inspection they turned out to be machine made (contrary to Narin's). As for service I cannot speak, but I don't think it's unrealistic that Tanika should be more service minded than Narin...

post #152 of 224

The pics were posted by me.. The jacket has it's flaws which I posted to share, but it was a result of me rushing in and out and failing to check the jacket when I was there. True, they did try to rush it out for me to bring it back and as a result hurt the quality.

 

However, they agreed to correct the situation without any attempt to push the blame away.

 

I had suits made from both of them, and I can tell you for sure (picture or not) that Tanika is superior. The details and workmanship on the pants is very good. The pick stitching is unusual, and my tailor friend in Singapore said that this is high level.

 

True the button holes are a little off, but I took it the pictures purposefully in a non flattering way. I'm not a good photographer or a peacock lol.

 

Don't ask for any pictures of my Narin jacket, because I ditched it without wearing it once. They refused to even discuss the possibility that they may have done something better, and I'm being as polite as I can as I relate this.

post #153 of 224

Hey Guys,

 

Agree to disagree I think. Your posts of Narin's suit definitely tells the story that Narin isn't a slouch SKM. I've only used Tanika thus far, I might try Narin when I next visit if I can source some decent fabric at a reasonable price. I tried to use Narin but he couldn't fit me in, even for a shirt.

S K M, I would encourage you to post pics of the handwork Narin does to help support your position. Like JW said, pics aren't perfect but they do help.

I think it's fair to say you get quality clothes visiting either ToT, Tanika or Narin. I would be great if someone could unearth another quality tailor, especially since Mr Hober believes they should be springing up. Has anyone used the old boys (Broadway, Perrys, Art's) recently?

The another advice seems to be that all the Gulati's (I can think of at least 3 tailor shops) are over hyped and historically are salemens, not tailors.

post #154 of 224

I hope to try the shirts at ToT next, but that depends on my schedule when in Bkk. They do look good I have to say, wider choice of designs and fabric than most places.

post #155 of 224

Fascinating thread, guys.

 

I'm traveling to Asia in the fall and am planning to have at least some shirts made in BKK, and, I hope, a suit.  I have five days in BKK - am I crazy to try and have a suit made?  It looks like Tailor on Ten would be able to complete that schedule.

 

I have to say, all this Internet research is getting a bit confusing.  Rajawongse tailors seems to have the most positive comments and press mentions, but then I read here that it's a tourist trap.  At least, according to one poster.  But the posters here also seem to be more knowledgeable than in other forums.

 

So far, the tailors with the best reviews are:

 

Rajawongse Clothier

Tailor on Ten

Crown Tailors

Savile Row Custom Tailors

Tanika

Narin Couture

 

My plan would be to make selection before I leave, make an appointment for my first day in BKK, and get fittings done over the next five days.  Looking for a suit, 3-6 shirts.

 

Thoughts?  Advice?

post #156 of 224

Hi Mistereks,

 

Advice is hard to give because it can so easily be taken out of context of its original purpose. For instance, a budget purchase to some would be a luxury purchase to others. Equally, the minimum quality you expect the clothing to have varies between even the members on this forum; not to mention style which makes it even more subjective.

Regarding the Bangkok tailors, I would break up your list into the following categories:

 

Tier One (better due to partial handwork and best available construction in Thailand): Tanika and Narin.

Tier Two (quality items but no handwork and some restrictions regarding construction): Tailor on Ten; maybe Pinkys (I can't personally verify this though).

Tier Three (passable but I would wager their margins are larger than the aforementioned tailors as they take many shortcuts with construction): Rajawongse, Raja's, etc

A suit in 5 days is a stretch. It will be glued, are you OK with that? And will you be taking a well fitted suit to copy? Doing so will vastly improve your odds of getting a well fitted suit with such a constrictive time-frame.

Cheers,
HPH

post #157 of 224

HPH -

 

Thanks so much for your input.

 

As it turns out, I will be back in Bangkok for just the day a few days later.  So I'll have five days in BKK, then four days away, then back in BKK for the day, so that gives a reputable tailor some more time to make adjustments.

 

Here's some more background on my needs that may help you (and others on this forum) help me get what I'm after.

 

- First, I do not have a well-fitted suit to use as a sample.  I have a few RTW suits that have been altered, but nothing that really fits my somewhat narrow/slope-y shoulders.

 

- Second, I don't wear suits every day, or even close to it.  I'm looking for a suit that will help me look sharp on those few occasions where I want to wear a suit - a night at the theater, the occasional new business pitch (I'm a consultant who works from home mostly), a wedding, etc.  Figure the suit will get worn 6-12 times/year.

 

You make an excellent point about context, and what's luxury to one person may be budget to another.

 

I guess I don't care TOO much about construction, as long as the fabric is excellent and the suit fits me well and makes me look even a BIT more like George Clooney.  But really - some of these shops that I've named will glue instead of sew the seams?  And how do you suppose Rajawongse gets all that good press and good notices if their work is substandard.  I can understand of Internet forums, they can have shills go in and make great comments.  But CNN, the Daily Telegraph and other news outlets?  And the famous patrons - are those invented?

 

Thanks again for your feedback and assistance.  BTW, I love your linen suit!

post #158 of 224
There was a poster on another thread a couple of years ago or so, singing the praises of World Group Tailors located at All Seasons Place.
I paid them a visit last year and they told me it would be approx 15,000 baht for canvas suit, if I brought my fabric in.

I have had a few suits made with Narin. The last one I brought some John Foster fabric in.
They were fused.
I have never had any issues with alterations from him either. One jacket needed some work and I took it back a couple of years after it was made and in January all the trousers were taken in.

If I have time I will post some photos.
post #159 of 224

15,000 for canvas CMT? That's ok!

 

I went back to Tanika with my jacket for fixing. In the process I browsed other fabrics, and saw a full canvas suit from a customer.

 

The quality of workmanship for canvas suit is top notch, the silk thread for the the button holes, the buttons holes, and the sewing is really good! I also dont understand how the jacket can be so light, maybe a dif type of canvas or no chest piece? The button holes are immaculate, but the lapel rolls is minimal and look almost fused.

 

BUT, the price is really expensive for BKK. Reda and VBC revenge was like nearing 50,000baht for full canvas!! That is stopping me from thinking of having a full canvas suit made there, as I can make it 30% cheaper here, and not needing to spend additional for flights and hotels. Full canvas takes 3 weeks to make, so make it 5 weeks in reality.

post #160 of 224

Back from my Holiday... as well as the tailors who would have just come back from Songkran.

JW - Have you ever felt an Oxxford Clothes SC? I too was surprised at how light they can make them - there must be some trick to it.

Mistereks - Any more movement on your end? PS when I say glued, I mean they use fuseable interlining rather than floating canvas.

And how do you suppose Rajawongse gets all that good press and good notices if their work is substandard.

The same way any well labelled brand spends 20% on the materials and workmanship and 80% on PR and choosing customers that won't be critical (for potentially a variety of reasons - ignorance one of the more likely).

It all depends on how far you want to take this. Eg do you care if a tailor uses single needle/lock stitch or double needle/chain stitched flat felled seams? Alternatively are you happy with french seams? Do you want labeling all over your clothes (I can attest that Rajawongse will give you this)? How precise does the fit have to be for you to be happy?

Feel free to ask more questions if you're still keen to figure this all out.

One final note, I'm not sure I mentioned this but my Tanika shirts have fused collar and cuffs but my latest exchange with Tani suggests that she can do canvas collar and cuff.

post #161 of 224

Halifax-

 

Hope you had a great time on your holiday.  Where did you go?

 

In your absence I have continued my research.  Which, of course, has only led to more questions.  I've learned a bit about canvas vs. fused interlining, high armholes, different grades of suiting fabric - but so far I've missed learning about single needle/lock stitch or double needle/chain stitched flat felled seams and french seams.  Clearly, more to learn.  Any advice?  And how did you learn all this?  Did you apprentice with a tailor?

 

I will tell you this, I do NOT want labels all over my clothes.  One on the inside breast pocket is all I will allow.  I generally avoid brands that sew their logos all over - if they want me to advertise for them, I expect a check.

 

Now, from what I have read of canvassing, it seems it will be a challenge to find a tailor who is willing to do this, at a price I'm willing to pay, and on my relatively tight schedule.  (4.5 days in BKK, 4 days away, then back for one day.)

 

"How precise does the fit have to be for you to be happy?"  Not sure.  I guess I'll know when I see/feel the fit.  I've only owned RTW suits that I have had altered.  I currently have a Zegna grey flannel (too heavy, now that I no longer travel on business to cold cities - and the slacks are pleated), a black DKNY, and a Jhane Barnes 4-button that I'm just not fond of anymore.  

 

My next question is about CMT.  It seems there is a heavy tariff on imported fabrics to Thailand.  Does it make financial sense to source my own fabric (lots of Holland & Sherry on ebay  plus I'm going to NYC in a few weeks and could go shopping in the garment district), or is that more hassle than it's worth?  

 

Again, thanks for your input.  (Others welcome to chime in, as well.)


Edited by Mistereks - 4/19/14 at 1:02pm
post #162 of 224
^Thailand is only a good deal for fused fronts, full canvassing is only offered at a few establishments at unfriendly prices. Their canvassing honestly is probably worse than good quality fusing. If your jacket is slim fitting, the difference between fused and canvassed is minimal, and ONLY if the canvassing is done well which it often isn't.
post #163 of 224
Here's some linen shirt that Narin did for me a while back. As earlier stead, I'm extremely pleased with the value for money, and as you might be able to notice all buttonholes done by hand, thick MoP buttons and un-fused cuffs and collars.

AppleMark
AppleMark
AppleMark
post #164 of 224
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mistereks View Post

 

Hope you had a great time on your holiday.  Where did you go?

 

Vanuatu and Melbourne (Aus). I can now claim my pair of fifth street boots have taken me to the outer rim of an active volcano - a new marketing direction for AE?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mistereks View Post

 

I've missed learning about single needle/lock stitch or double needle/chain stitched flat felled seams and french seams.  Clearly, more to learn.  Any advice?  And how did you learn all this?  Did you apprentice with a tailor?

 

Those seams are for shirts, not jackets. It is widely accepted that Thailand is a better destination for quality shirts relative to the price you would pay hence most of the exchanges on this thread are about shirts. However, there is a secondary debate about suits involving SKM, Svenn, and JW as to whether good floating canvassed suits can be found in Thailand. Sam Hober (maintaining anonymity) believes quality fitters, cutters and tailors should become more prevalent in the near future so the hunt is on  to find them.

I still think quality unstructured, unlined suits can also be had in Thailand for a reasonable price.

 

I have not had any formal training, just internet, books and tickering with Spitfire's (aka Halifax's escort aka Mrs Halifax) sewing gear. I initially started looking into this for what I suspect is a similar reason to yourself - to avoid being conned by labels and branding about quality. I would recommend to you that knowing the 'best' tailor in Bangkok is not sufficient - you really need to appreciate the craft to understand what makes good clothing and what you should be paying for it.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mistereks View Post

 

I will tell you this, I do NOT want labels all over my clothes.  One on the inside breast pocket is all I will allow.  I generally avoid brands that sew their logos all over - if they want me to advertise for them, I expect a check.

Now, from what I have read of canvassing, it seems it will be a challenge to find a tailor who is willing to do this, at a price I'm willing to pay, and on my relatively tight schedule.  (4.5 days in BKK, 4 days away, then back for one day.)

 

If this is your position I would suggest you avoid Rajawongse. With you time frame and budget (which is?), I would give up on a floating canvassed suit.

You have to be careful with half canvassed suits too. Even completely fused suits will have a chest piece so some shops prey on the ignorant and suggest the presence of a chest piece means it is half canvassed. A truly half canvassed jacket will have canvas padding the lapel - which will require numerous pad stitches on the back of the lapel. These stitches can be very hard to see if done properly, especially on a patterned fabric.

 

However, stepping back to a more strategic position - does this matter to you? Like Svenn stated: if you get a jacket with little drape and don't mind a small hollow in your lapel roll the I suspect the answer is no. Longevity of the jacket may be a concern, but that is irrelevant if the fit doesn't work which, given your timeframe, is the number one problem you face.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistereks View Post

 

"How precise does the fit have to be for you to be happy?"  Not sure.  I guess I'll know when I see/feel the fit.  I've only owned RTW suits that I have had altered.  I currently have a Zegna grey flannel (too heavy, now that I no longer travel on business to cold cities - and the slacks are pleated), a black DKNY, and a Jhane Barnes 4-button that I'm just not fond of anymore. 

 

I believe this should be your focus: the fit. If you have a suit that fits you to your liking, I strongly encourage you to take that with you. Making the jacket and trouser pattern is a lot easier with a template and reduces the risk of mistakes.

 

Another advantage, if you take over a suit you still wear, is that western tailors can charge decent sums of money for decorative alterations such a surgeon cuffs (upwards of $200 in my home town), replacing plastic buttons with horn ones, etc. In Thailand, such work is a fraction of the cost - both material and labour. So not only can you copy your favorite fitting suit, but you can enhance it for a reasonable price. Tanika did some alterations on the stuff I brought in for free.

 

I would speculate that Pinky's or Tailor on Ten would be the most suitable tailors given your brief of requirements. Both are well priced, have a wide range of genuine fabrics and offer quick turn around times (which will be streamlined by having a suit to copy).

 

You can't afford to have the cutter spending time getting the pattern right because you only have 4+0.5 days which you will need for at least two fittings on the finished article(s).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mistereks View Post

 

My next question is about CMT.  It seems there is a heavy tariff on imported fabrics to Thailand.  Does it make financial sense to source my own fabric (lots of Holland & Sherry on ebay  plus I'm going to NYC in a few weeks and could go shopping in the garment district), or is that more hassle than it's worth? 

 

The issue of fabric tax has been discussed on this thread: 7% VAT + 5% import tariff (thanks SH). Some shops let you claim back the 7% VAT but I doubt any tailors do this. 12% tax is not what makes the fabric expensive, it is the lack of competition for high quality fabrics in Thailand. There is no a strong enough demand to drive prices down. It does appear that Thai tailors make most of their margins on the fabric so CMT provides an avenue to reduce this margin. This could explain why Thai tailors are typically reluctant to accept CMT (as well as issues regarding wasteage).

 

In a juicy twist, it has been speculated that there is a monopoly of textile imports in Thailand by a particular aristocratic Thai family. Some Thai tailors have also been linked to this family. However, this is all conjecture.

 

Whether CMT is worth it is dependent on the tailors position; do they openly accept your fabric (when you meet them, because they can say anything to get you in the door beforehand) or not? Oh, and your access to well priced fabric but being in the USA, you won't have a problem.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post

^Thailand is only a good deal for fused fronts, full canvassing is only offered at a few establishments at unfriendly prices. Their canvassing honestly is probably worse than good quality fusing. If your jacket is slim fitting, the difference between fused and canvassed is minimal, and ONLY if the canvassing is done well which it often isn't.

 

Unfriendly prices is relative. For those who buy Brioni or Kiton retail then JW seems to be suggesting you can get similar quality for THB 50,000. However, if you're in the MTM game perhaps China or Hong Kong is a better bet.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by S K M View Post

Here's some linen shirt that Narin did for me a while back. As earlier stead, I'm extremely pleased with the value for money, and as you might be able to notice all buttonholes done by hand, thick MoP buttons and un-fused cuffs and collars.

AppleMark
AppleMark
AppleMark

 

Those shirts look wonderful SKM. Would you be able to take a close up of the right and wrong side of a single buttonhole?

Perhaps I'll try Narin again next time I visit and hopefully you'd be willing to let him know I love the shirts you did for him.

Cheers,
HPH

post #165 of 224
"In a juicy twist, it has been speculated that there is a monopoly of textile imports in Thailand by a particular aristocratic Thai family. Some Thai tailors have also been linked to this family. However, this is all conjecture."

A sartorial myth...

Textiles are imported daily by many different businesses.

Silk is 17.5% for duty plus 7% VAT this is not typically used in suits so not an issue. Linen, cotton and wool is normally 5% duty plus 7% VAT.

So making up an example for a small wool import:

$100 per meter of fabric
$10 for express FedEx freight and insurance
5% Duty
7% VAT
Roughly 22% extra charges above the wool costs - compare to VAT costs in Europe - probably similar.

So in the end Europe has tailors with more training with luxury suits and higher labor costs.

Thailand is not a suit wearing country overall so the demand is low for suits. Most tourists want cheap suits made fast and get what they want.

Over time as the demand for luxury suits in Thailand rises the supply will increase. This could take a long time but eventually it will happen.
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