Originally Posted by Franz
This is absolutely correct. The big dogs such as Kiton and Brioni, pride themselves in the weightlessness of their suits and sport jackets. The canvas is supposed to be soft, light, and moldable. As your body heat increases, the canvas begins to take the shape of your body, and after a while the suit becomes a second skin that you do not even notice you are wearing. Many men believe a suit to be stiff and rigid and uniform like. Not the case in the Neapolitan tradition. The well dressed man reaches for a suit before a polo and jeans. A fedora before a ball cap. Any self respecting man realizes that a perfectly tailored suit is the ultimate reflection of a Man's personality. This being said, one cannot fully experience the true expression of his exterior character until he has obtained a bespoke suit. Astor and Black is as close as many men will get to the experience of Bespoke. The fact that an individual pattern is cut to your measurements, is better than you will get with a Brooks, Kiton, Brioni, Isaia, or Corneliani Made to Measure. There is a set group of measurements, chest, back, shoulders, sleeves, inseam, and waist that is done for a Made to Measure. The measurements are then applied to a preexisting pattern already cut to a given ball park size. Now most people think that anything done, or reinforced by a machine is not kosher in the custom suit business. Hand finished is the term to use when referring to the construction of these suits. The areas where freedom of movement needs to occur, are the areas to be hand finished. As the friendly sales person for A&B told you, the collar, buttons, sleeves, and lapels are hand finished. This allows for flexibility. Then these seams are reinforced by machine for longevity. Whether it is Kiton, Isaia, Brioni, or Astor & Black, the back, side, and sleeve seams are done by machine or else your suit will fall apart on the first wear.
The main focus should be placed on the areas of hand finishing. The canvas that is ghost stitched to the body of the coat, the handpicking on the lapes, the hand sewn buttons and the surgeons cuffs make the suit and distinguish it as a piece that took significant time to construct. On another note, Naples is the birthplace of tailoring, but Hong Kong is the capital. Hong Kong tailors have been applauded for their attention to detail and work ethic. It doesn't matter where the suit is made so long as it is made by a skilled craftsman. A&B has a workshop, that is supervised. The suit comes back and is refitted, and then adjusted. Most true Bespoke suits require 3 fittings. The sales reps do the measurements, and from what I hear they know what they are doing. As is the case with many things personal, if you want your suit to look a certain way TELL THEM. Communicate with the tailor or rep. They can't read your thoughts. It is possible to shave a centimeter off a measurement, if you want it a bit more "fitted". Simple concept for a process that is as personal as you want it to be.
Menswear has gotten lazy. Men have gotten lazy, opting for a great deal before opting for a great look. Thank God there is Astor & Black to make individuality and Quality affordable to the masses. The options are yours to behold, and the combination seemingly endless, so don't be afraid to be creative. Just know that you are getting a suit from people who love what they do. My Portuguese tailor would have you believe that the world is ending tomorrow because he hasn't enough gold thread for the surgeons cuffs on a Kiton coat... he is miserable- but when he's pickstitching a lapel, it looks like a conductor guiding a symphony toward the end of Beethoven's 9th. These guys love their work whether it be in Hong Kong, Portugal, Romania, or Naples, Italy. You're getting a good product so have at it people. Make it Yours.
As for you Astor & Black, keep the suits a coming, but not too fast. We don't want them looking like uniforms.
It would've been nice if you came out straight and said you work for A&B. Besides, enough with the words, lets see some pics of people wearing your stuff - then perhaps we can judge for ourselves.