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Unfunded Liabilities: a/k/a The Cloth Thread - Page 505

post #7561 of 11090
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XFactor View Post
 

How and where can I find decent SUIT FABRIC that sells for something like that? What would be decent 100% Worsted Wool fabric around 30 GBP (little less or more).


Ideally I'd like to go for J J Minnis Fresco (from all the Summer suit fabric knowledge I've read). But they are higher priced at 60+ GBP. So, before I go there, I'd like to TRY OUT these tailors and see how they do.. Once I can rely on the tailor and depend on them and KNOW my FIT better, I'll go for the Fresco and more. 

 

So any thoughts on the following (if the question above was too wide): 

- 100% Worsted Wool

-  Business / Formal (From my reading a Solids based non patterned suit is always safer, more formal, interview friendly and can go with more shirts etc than certain patterns/ pin strips etc. - So suggest the conservative variety)

- Charcoal/ Dark or Mid Gray - Navy (I already have a RTW navy so prefer the given shade) 

 

So using the above, please point me (link if possible) to SPECIFIC fabrics from specific mill/ merchant/ marketer that is
- Good Value for Money at the lower end of Good worsted fabrics. 

 

I do not need this first tailor made suit to be fancy. Should work for interviews and client meetings (as formal as possible). 

 

 

 

With all due respect to all the experts and experienced people here... 


 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

It would really help if you learned & knowledgeable veterans could help with focused answer to focused question asked by someone who is new and learning the ropes. Yes, there is lot of advise about finding the right tailor and its all over SF. Its the binding theme of SF.

 

I do not think my question is so vague and broad that instead of specific Fabric advise asked in a Fabric thread, I get told to go find a fancy expensive tailor. Then again, not everyone can afford to start with WW Chan. 

 

I've found a relatively decent tailor who has had great reviews from 4-5 people I know.

- He is not at all famous and big name.

- He used to work for a big name and learned to do suits well

- At least well enough for a city in India I am in right now and can afford this Tailors making charges
- (somewhere in  India where its mostly Polyester RTW or PolyWool blends in fabric selection). 

 

PS: I read through the messages and it almost seems like you are not even replying to me but to someone else. I do not know if I am reading it incorrectly or its the lack of sleep pushing my buttones.  

 

Bottom-line - This is the best option as a tailor, I can TEST & AFFORD right now and he does not carry a huge selection of all wool fabric - He recommended his former employers shop, but they markup imported fabrics like crazy. He is fine with me buying my own fabric. 

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concordia View Post

Your chosen tailor may have a special on some in-house fabric. Might be dreary, orphaned stuff, but at least you'll then be negotiating the price of the finished good, not the components. Otherwise, a cheaper fabric might not save you a lot. Very few of the Savile Row crowd, for example, price lower for using fabric other than standard Lesser.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concordia View Post

You're doing R&D on a tailor, right? So do what it takes to find the best tailor you're likely to be able to afford. I say that as someone who hates wearing clothes that aren't cut right. Cloth is a nice bonus, but if it doesn't fit or feel right, I won't wear it-- and that is a very expensive problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewfoot View Post
  •  
Wise words...the two really do go hand in hand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Elfo View Post
 

I'm sorry I don't know what "R&D" stands for. However, if I understood your point correctly, you're saying that fit is more important, but once you pay big money for a suit you better spend some more with a good cloth as well, right? If so, I share your opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Elfo View Post
 

I see, thanks, SB. I'm not sure if that's his point, but that's a good insight as well. Expenses are always a concern, at least for those who are not graced by the capitalism, but I'd also be concerned to give a rare cloth to a new tailor, as loosing it would cost me more than its nominal value, that's why many advise to make a first purchase in standard cloths (hopsack, for example).

I'm not doing R&D on a tailor at the moment, Concordia. Fortunately, I've established a good relationship with my tailor and I'm more than willing to give him expensive (for my own standards) and rare cloths.

Please elaborate. If this is some kind of fabric direction that would suit my question above. 

 

Journeyman - I thank you from the bottom of my heart for a reply that helps me with specific direction. Hats off (not that I wear them yet) and I really appreciate your taking the time to guide a newbie. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
There are quite a few sellers on eBay who are reputable and who sell lengths of English cloth, so you could keep an eye out there.

Alternatively, have a look at the Huddersfield Cloth website (huddersfieldcloth.com) and sign up for their "cloth offer" e-mails, where they sell lengths of cloth for GBP20 per metre.

Some of the cloths in the cloth offer e-mails are awful, but some are fantastic - I picked up some classic grey nailhead cloth a month or two back that I'm having made up into a suit. You can see some of the "cloth offer" specials on their Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Huddersfield-Cloth/184997944876377?sk=photos_stream

Huddersfield Cloth are not weavers - they are merchants or re-sellers (so are not to be confused with Huddersfield Fine Worsteds, for example).

 

 
Please point me to them Ebay Sellers and Websites that allow me to scan through fabrics and also PRICES!!! :) I will sign up for the emails & FB but I do not know how I will be able to discern between god awful and fantastic ones. Hence, I seek your guidnace. 
 
I do not mind whether they are weavers or sellers etc. For a low risk and starting entry point of making charges and decent fabric I could prototype and see how things turn out. 

See, this is my pain point. If someone can just point me to a simple CHARCOAL / DARK/ MID GRAY 100% Wool "SOLIDS" FABRIC that is DECENT for Interview/ Business formal setting at Decent 30 GBP or maybe little more price range, I can get started. 
 
UPDATE: I went through the Huddersfield FB Link and the prices look great. Please guide me to select one.  
- Can you point out 2 or 3 decent ones that would be SAFE for a CONSERVATIVE.. INTERVIEW + BUSINESS FORMAL setting?
- Solids being SAFEST? 
- Charcoal / Dark/ Mid Gray ? (I have a Navy, but open to another if there is no Gray). 
- 100s? 110s or 120s? Given that I need something that can handle some travel and commuting. 
e.g. I have no idea which of the following would qualify for my requirements.  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Some from the recent albums

 

 


PS: On another thread someone pointed me to Dugsdale Town & Country but I could not access until I register and for that I have to be a business or something. Let's see if I can bypass their little "have to be a company" requirement. 


Edited by XFactor - 10/13/13 at 7:19am
post #7562 of 11090

XFactor:  I've occasionally sought the odd bit of advice on this thread.  My approach has been to raise the point and be grateful for such replies as may be offered.  This is not of course a personal consultancy service for new members, so you might want to think about the tone in your posts (a sense of n00bish entitlement can rub people up the wrong way).

 

You received a good recommendation from jefferyd in the other thread (Dugdale), but they do not supply directly to retail customers.  Depending on location and other considerations, your tailor may of course be able to order from them even if he does not yet carry their books as standard.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by XFactor View Post
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

 

 

With all due respect to all the experts and experienced people here. 

 

It would really help if you learned & knowledgeable veterans could help with focused answer to focused question asked by someone who is new and learning the ropes. Yes, there is lot of advise about finding the right tailor and its all over SF. Its the binding theme of SF.

 

I do not think my question is so vague and broad that instead of specific Fabric advise asked in a Fabric thread, I get told to go find a fancy expensive tailor. Then again, not everyone can afford to start with WW Chan. 

 

I've found a relatively decent tailor who has had great reviews from 4-5 people I know. He is not at all famous and big name. He used to work for a big name and learned to do suits well - At least well enough for a city I am in right now and can afford (somewhere in  India where its mostly Polyester RTW or PolyWool blends in fabric selection). 

 

Bottom-line - This is the best option as a tailor, I can TEST right now and he does not carry a huge selection of all wool fabric - He recommended his former employers shop, but they markup imported fabrics like crazy. He is fine with me buying my own fabric. 

 

PS: I read through the messages and it almost seems like you are not even replying to me but to someone else. I do not know if I am reading it incorrectly or its the lack of sleep pushing my buttones.  

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Please elaborate. If this is some kind of fabric direction that would suit my question above. 

 

Journeyman - I thank you from the bottom of my heart for a reply that helps me with specific direction. Hats off (not that I wear them yet) and I really appreciate your taking the time to guide a newbie. 

 


PS: On another thread someone pointed me to Dugsdale Town & Country but I could not access until I register and for that I have to be a business or something. Let's see if I can bypass their little "have to be a company" requirement. 

 

 

post #7563 of 11090
X Factor

Here are a couple of ebay sellers.
I have only deal with quality fabrics and their H Lesser stuffs are great.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quality-English-Fabric-by-Harrisons

http://stores.ebay.com/BRITISH-FABRICS/SUPER-120s-WOOL-/_i.html?_fsub=385965719&_sid=156420269&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

John Foster have a online shop, the fabrics are very nice at a decent price. May be slightly more than you want to pay.
My advice is you are paying good money to have a suit made don't skim on fabrics.

http://www.johnfosterdirect.com
post #7564 of 11090

Thank you both for being kind enough to reply and I mean no offense. What bugs me is that a lot of the replies "assume" availability of certain factors and conditions that are non existent in my scenario, location and budget. 

 

- This is the best tailor I can afford to or want to pay for right now - He is charging quite low for tailoring charges compared to whats there on SF and I've got good feedback on him from people. Maybe he's not as awesome as WW Chan etc. But he makes decent suits and I am willing to risk.. low making cost and low fabric cost (decent ones). 

- Someone even had a Scabal based suit made from him and was pretty happy so I would say its worthy of a shot. 

He is a small operation and focuses on certain segment that his former employer does not. 

He has limited set of fabrics and does not call or order for them much

 

Lot of people in India do not wear WOOL and Poly / Wool Blends are widely present (dont ask why) so Good Imported Suiting Wool is over priced - ... Get it? 

- Lack of decent & well priced wool - All marked up like crazy and add to it Custom duty by Govt. 

 PS: Scabal is regarded as the fancy brand and then jump to Zegna. Crazy prices. 

 PS: H&S only became available here in last 2-3 years and Minnis is unheard of.. forget about Fresco even meaning anything here. (Funny isnt it? For a hot weather nation that could love Fresco)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Balfour View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by tchoy View Post
X Factor

Here are a couple of ebay sellers.
I have only deal with quality fabrics and their H Lesser stuffs are great.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quality-English-Fabric-by-Harrisons

http://stores.ebay.com/BRITISH-FABRICS/SUPER-120s-WOOL-/_i.html?_fsub=385965719&_sid=156420269&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

John Foster have a online shop, the fabrics are very nice at a decent price. May be slightly more than you want to pay.
My advice is you are paying good money to have a suit made don't skim on fabrics.

http://www.johnfosterdirect.com

PS: Thank you for the productive information. :) 

 

Once certain cash flows start I will be spending GOOD money. Right now I just want the decent basics. 

For me that GOOD money will mean Frescos, Finmeresco and Crispaire Suits that will keep me cool. That is at 60/65 GBP so I'd rather save that for next steps. 

I currently have no aspirations for higher priced fancy stuff. 

 

So, from the FB page offers that (journeyman) posted: 

 

It seems they cut prices down to 20/30 GBP for higher priced fabrics. How do I get in on one of those and order from them? (Ship to friends in London, US and pick up on next company trip). 

Can someone here do that for me? 

Or do some tailors in the US, UK stock them and would be willing to give for lower prices? I could have some friends pick it up or do so on my next trip. 


Edited by XFactor - 10/13/13 at 8:09am
post #7565 of 11090
Has anybody worked with Hield Bros. recently? I hear their basic panama is outstanding, as well as their version of Fresco.

Related, does anybody know who (in Manhattan) has Hield Bros. books?

Thanks.
post #7566 of 11090
Quote:
Originally Posted by XFactor View Post


So, from the FB page offers that (journeyman) posted: 


It seems they cut prices down to 20/30 GBP for higher priced fabrics. How do I get in on one of those and order from them? (Ship to friends in London, US and pick up on next company trip). 
Can someone here do that for me? 
Or do some tailors in the US, UK stock them and would be willing to give for lower prices? I could have some friends pick it up or do so on my next trip. 


XFactor,

If you e-mail Huddersfield Cloth (I think that the contact e-mail for the cloth offers is mentioned on their Facebook page or website somewhere - it's something like "gcourtnell - at - huddersfield.com", although I could be wrong) and mention the cloth that you are interested in, they will let you know whether it is still available.

I assume that the cloth in some of the older pictures may have been sold out already, but it's still worth asking.

They are happy to post overseas, and they used DHL to send the cloth to me. Obviously, having the cloth sent from the UK to somewhere overseas entails a higher cost, but they deduct VAT from the cost of the cloth which does help to offset the shipping cost.
post #7567 of 11090
All this time I thought, from the text on the site, that they only sent to tailors. End-users can purchase?
post #7568 of 11090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
XFactor,

If you e-mail Huddersfield Cloth (I think that the contact e-mail for the cloth offers is mentioned on their Facebook page or website somewhere - it's something like "gcourtnell - at - huddersfield.com", although I could be wrong) and mention the cloth that you are interested in, they will let you know whether it is still available.

I assume that the cloth in some of the older pictures may have been sold out already, but it's still worth asking.

They are happy to post overseas, and they used DHL to send the cloth to me. Obviously, having the cloth sent from the UK to somewhere overseas entails a higher cost, but they deduct VAT from the cost of the cloth which does help to offset the shipping cost.

Thank you for the tip. Will look further in that direction. 

 

So, if I had to choose between doing one of the two (since Indian Customs are a pain to deal with): 

1 - Ship to friends place in London, UK (VAT included) + UK Shipping etc
2 - Ship to friends place in USA (VAT deduction) + Intl Shipping etc

 

How do I go about making some estimates/ calculations around it?

 

Note: Please assume that I do not have knowledge of percentage/ value of the following:

- VAT Deduction? Percentage / Amounts? 

- Intl Shipping? - Are there certain standard shipping rates (to USA)? 

post #7569 of 11090

VAT is 20% in the UK, so deduct one sixth of the total. (Price/120x100)

 

Shipping rates will vary depending on destination, method and of course what you're ordering.  Personally I like to use the international parcel service operated by the Royal Mail and most national mail service (EMS), for two reasons: firstly, it's a lot cheaper than DHL/Fedex, although it takes a little longer.  Secondly, depending on where you are, the courier companies often levy additional fees for processing your customs clearance, and are responsible for ensuring that you pay all your import duties:

 

Unless the vendor is sending your item labelled as a gift or vastly under-valued - which they've no obligation to do as it is fraud - then DHL or whoever will make sure you've paid every last dime and bill you extra for arranging it.  As I understand it, India has some heavy import tariffs.  Even the US can sting you pretty badly, especially if the vendor doesn't know the best customs code to use.  EMS, however, going through a mail service, somehow seems to skip the whole customs process sometimes.  I've never been charged an import duty on something sent to my postal address this way, or any brokerage fees. So if buying form the UK, I'd ask them to quote for mailing the parcel from the Post Office.

 

However, here's another thing from my own bitter experience: I have a similar issue to you in that local tailoring is extremely limited, and it's the norm to bring your own cloth for making.  The local market has a very small selection of wool suitings, some of it of questionable origin, and of that which is trustworthy, very few opportunities for discount/clearance prices as their turnover is so small.  So, like you, I neither want to spend too much on my basic local tailoring, or restrict myself to what's in the local shops.  I've ordered cloth from three or four different places before, and I just want to warn you that it's something of a lottery.  Internet pictures will never give you any indication of texture or drape, and can even mislead you severely on the colour.  To put that into perspective, I've received seven lengths of suiting in the last few weeks from three different vendors.  It's safe to say that not one of them is exactly as I imagined.  Three will be unusable for me.  

 

I would suggest, then, that you either buy locally for your experiment - there are plenty of perfectly decent Indian-made cloths that will be cheap and look fine.  I am sure you can find just one that you like for your first test with this tailor.  Or, if you're confident that you'll get a decent suit, then skip the bargain basement and only buy suitings from a company that you know is selling high-quality branded cloth.  The simple reason is that if your cloth is coming from Harrison's or Minnis or whoever, you know that at the very least it was made for tailoring into a man's suit.  Believe me, all the Union flags and wholesome sounding references to the Yorkshire Dales in the world, won't make some bargain on the internet into decent suit cloth.  There is a lot of stuff out there under made-up brands that would make a perfectly respectable skirt for your missus or school blazer for your son, but isn't going to fill you with a sense of power and composure when you go into that business meeting.  So buy carefully - from what you can see if you can, and from what you've heard of if you can't.

post #7570 of 11090
Thread Starter 
There was a time when you could save money, and not insignificant money, sourcing your own cloth. I think that time has passed. Among other things, cloth prices have risen, the CMT discount has declined or disappeared, and you are more or less guaranteed now to be socked by heavy duties.

The reason(s), if any truly remain, to source your own cloth are 1) if they tailor you want to use simlpy can't get the exact cloth you want; 2) If you know you want something particular, but aren't quite sure when or by whom, get the cloth now because it may run out and never be re-run. The deline in "old world" style/quality stuff just in the last 5-10 years has been astounding. Cloth stashes are getting to be like fine wine cellars filled with 2-barrel lot burgundies. And no auction market. Most of the stuff I have can't be replicated any more. At least, I wouldn't know where to start.
post #7571 of 11090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post

There was a time when you could save money, and not insignificant money, sourcing your own cloth. I think that time has passed. Among other things, cloth prices have risen, the CMT discount has declined or disappeared, and you are more or less guaranteed now to be socked by heavy duties.

The reason(s), if any truly remain, to source your own cloth are 1) if they tailor you want to use simlpy can't get the exact cloth you want; 2) If you know you want something particular, but aren't quite sure when or by whom, get the cloth now because it may run out and never be re-run. The deline in "old world" style/quality stuff just in the last 5-10 years has been astounding. Cloth stashes are getting to by like fine wine cellars 2-barrel lot burgundies. And no auction market. Most of the stuff I have can't be replicated any more. At least, I wouldn't know where to start.

It's these exact reasons, that I don't mind hoarding cloth and paying up for it when top notch. I probably have more than I need (hence I'm selling some), but when you see something you like that you know is well made, just buy it. Don't think, "hmmmm, but this other less renowned maker has a similar fabric that is 20% less so perhaps I should go with that." Go with what you know is the best and is the best you can afford. If you're already spending up or down of a grand on something custom, don't fret over an additional $50. Well made cloth will last and as you start to learn more about style you'll then be sad you didn't pony up that extra $50 years down the line.

For standard books, the flannels from Minnis and Harrisons are great and some of the W. Bill tweed books as well. Minnis Fresco too. There are still some random tweed producers out there, but some of their designs are a bit much. Well made stuff, but not very elegant. For cottons and linens I really like Brisbane Moss.

I must say the London Lounge stuff really is great. I'm always impressed with it both in the colors and the structure. One thing that Michael does very well is add some porous qualities to even the heavy cloth. When held against a light you can always see through it to some extent which allows for it to breathe better than many similar fabrics in even lighter weights. I haven't been disappointed yet and the Steed / LL cloth discount makes it very, very appealing.
Edited by Slewfoot - 10/15/13 at 6:59am
post #7572 of 11090

Does anybody have an opinion on using this Dugdale for an overcoat?  I was thinking either a pea coat ala Jack Twist (below) or a 6x2 DB Ulster.  Thanks in advance.

Pics (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

post #7573 of 11090
^ That made into an ulster would be classic
post #7574 of 11090
Quote:
Originally Posted by burghler View Post
 

Does anybody have an opinion on using this Dugdale for an overcoat?  I was thinking either a pea coat ala Jack Twist (below) or a 6x2 DB Ulster.  Thanks in advance.

Pics (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

I have an SB overcoat from that very fabric - great stuff.

post #7575 of 11090
Quote:
Originally Posted by burghler View Post

Does anybody have an opinion on using this Dugdale for an overcoat?  I was thinking either a pea coat ala Jack Twist (below) or a 6x2 DB Ulster.  Thanks in advance.

Pics (Click to show)








I have a DB overcoat in this fabric (but the charcoal one) in the works from Napolisumisura, great fabric!
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