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Educated by the Style Forum

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I have been a regular reader of the style forum for some months now and finally feel that I have learnt enough to become an active member of your community.I have just finished my degree and will be shortly starting my first job which will require a corporate wardrobe. The clothing I plan to buy is based entirely on what I have learnt on this forum (as I knew absolutely nothing before then). I was hoping that some of you may be able to offer some comments on my choices. I live in Australia so I have decided to travel to Hong Kong to purchase the majority of my clothing and also get a bit of a holiday in before I start. Suits: Bespoke made from WW Chan, one navy blue and one charcoal grey. They will be SB 3 button (rolled to middle), double vent, flap pockets, no ticker and functional button holes on the cuffs. I am a big guy (6'4 and about 220 pounds) so I want a softly padded shoulder-line and average waist suppresion, flat front and no cuffs on the pants. I will ask for half an inch of shirt cuff to show at the wrist. Shirts: 10 MTM shirts from Jantzen Tailor. 5 french cuff, 5 button cuff. A mix of whites, blues and and some checks and stripes for good measure. A lot of people here seem to love lavender as well so I think I'll give it a try. I plan to get what they call the shark collar at Jantzen (it's stiff, high and wide-spread). I'll probably wear the french cuffs with silk knots as I think flashy cufflinks may be a bit much for a 23 year old graduate. Shoes: 3 pairs. Black and chocolate brown laceups and a pair of black loafers. We don't have a lot of the brands that you guys discuss here in Oz so unfortunately I will not be getting Grensons. If anybody has any suggestions on how I could improve my choices I would appreciate the feedback. It needn't be positive, I'm a big boy so I'm sure I can handle any negative opinions on my choices you may have.
post #2 of 13
Be sure to leave enough time for those shirts. And cufflinks don't have to be terribly flashy. A simple silver pair would dress up the shirts nicely. I find silk knots can look too casual at times.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Shoes: 3 pairs. Black and chocolate brown laceups and a pair of black loafers. We don't have a lot of the brands that you guys discuss here in Oz so unfortunately I will not be getting Grensons.
Hong Kong will have them, although it may be difficult to find your size (put it this way, I'm 5'11'' and about 168 lbs (76 kg or so I think, wear size 11 (US) shoes, and am considered rather large.) If you have disproportionately small feet though (like Joey in Friends) you may have better luck. A good place to start is Lane Crawford (not the Causeway branch though, which is sort of like Harrods - I wouldn't be surprised if they carried Grensons. Also, you might want to check out "The Landmark".
post #4 of 13
I agree about the cufflinks. I have one pair of silver cufflinks that I always wear. If you like gold accessories a gold pair would work fine. Just make sure you purchase a pair that is two sided. Those flip mechanisms on some cufflinks are a real pet peeve of mine. I think they always look cheap. As for shoes, I would go with 3 pairs with laces. I would replace the loafers with a brown blucher. Both suits you chose can be worn with brown or black shoes and as you add to your wardrobe you may want to add more colours which the brown will match better. I also don't like loafers with suits although many here would disagree. By the choice of the suits I imagine your new career will be in a conservative atmosphere so I would be concerned about offending superiors or customers ideas of proper dress with the loafers. Good luck with the new career.
post #5 of 13
I second ed's advice for more more shoes less loafer . Don't forget some socks to match your new wardrobe. I am a young man(I am assume so is Ian) and I think it may be a generational gap, in the disdain for metal cufflinks, I personally don't even like metal band watches.
post #6 of 13
I would advise for the loafers that you get monkstraps. They are a nice alternative to the standard loafer, especially for young men.
post #7 of 13
I'd go easy on the shark collars. They actually curve slightly outwards towards the tie space. While fine for a few shirts, I just wouldn't go for them all. I really like the "english spread" from Jantzen. It's very elegant and understated, perfect for business.
post #8 of 13
I think subdued sterling links and monkstraps would both be wise choices as suggested above. Metal cuff links are not necessarily flashy per se. You could also try some mother of pearl links. Look on ebay for great antique cuff link deals. And I also agree about double sided links.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
I think subdued sterling links and monkstraps would both be wise choices as suggested above. Metal cuff links are not necessarily flashy per se. You could also try some mother of pearl links. Look on ebay for great antique cuff link deals. And I also agree about double sided links.
any recommended sellers? educate me please.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Quote:
Shoes: 3 pairs. Black and chocolate brown laceups and a pair of black loafers. We don't have a lot of the brands that you guys discuss here in Oz so unfortunately I will not be getting Grensons.
Hong Kong will have them, although it may be difficult to find your size (put it this way, I'm 5'11'' and about 168 lbs (76 kg or so I think, wear size 11 (US) shoes, and am considered rather large.)  If you have disproportionately small feet though (like Joey in Friends) you may have better luck.  A good place to start is Lane Crawford (not the Causeway branch though, which is sort of like Harrods - I wouldn't be surprised if they carried Grensons.  Also, you might want to check out "The Landmark".
Actually, Lane Crawford doesn't carry anything of interest, accept a few models of Lobb.  RL in Hong Kong doesn't even carry Purple Label shoes, and your best bets for Grensons will be at Dunhill (and the number of models they carry are thinning out).  Hermes no longer carry Lobb, but Hermes-designed shoes made in Lobb's factory, whose styling do not appeal to me at all.  Loewe used to carry StefanoBi shoes (in Loewe's label) but there aren't anymore when I stopped by a few days ago.  Frotunately, Weston opened their store some two months ago (and I must be the most frequent visitor).  So for forum members Hong Kong is quite a disappointing city for shoes. I have no experience with WW Chan even though I live here now.  I don't favour such large operations (some of their work are done locally while some done in mainland), so is Ascot Chang, and I favour smaller shops/one-man operations where the tailor I meet is the person who will actually be making my clothes.   I have to admit Jantzen does offer a hard-to-resist deal on shirts and suits (they just brought in some Loro Piana super 120s suiting fabrics).  Everything is made locally, and the delivery time is amazing (next-day for shirts, 3-day for first fitting for suits).  Suit prices range from upper-$300 to upper-$500 for the Loro Piana fabrics.  Make sure you have a VERY GOOD idea about what you want and not to be swayed by their ideas or other locals who shop there.  Average Hong Kong men have pretty bad taste in clothing.  I have not had anything made here, but have met the owner (Ricky) and his right-hand man David.   Sales should begin some time around second week of December, though some stores might begin sooner.  Landmark and Prince's Building (two of the bigger malls in Central, next to HSBC headquarter) pretty much carries all the designers you have or have not heard of.  All other malls in other areas (Pacific Place, Times Square, IFC, etc.) pretty much boost the same stores. I am using a local tailor here, trained in the English style (his sartorial lineage is kind of complicated), who runs a one-man operation in a tiny shop.  Since I am pretty much his only customer (business is pretty bad these days) he devotes most of his time on my commissions.  Everything is hand made if he knows how (no matter how many Attolini I show him he still doesn't know how to do a handsewn buttonhole 'embroidered' on both sides --- now it's only 'embroidered' on the front like Brioni and most makers).  Everything else is pretty much hand sewn (as per my request).  He couldn't find any dealers for horse-hair canvasses, but the canvass he uses is not bad either (again I'm the only who uses it in his shop).  I am still working with him to get the most comfortable arm-hole height.  I supply my own shirting buttons, which are cut from Troca shells along Japanese coasts (these are the best I have found, and believe me I have searched high and low for shirt buttons); except for the slightly yellowish colour, they are exactly the same thickness and size as the Borrelli buttons (Borrelli's and Barba's buttons are exclusively theirs).  I have an average of 2, sometimes 3 fittings per suit/coat, and 1 or 2 fitting for my first shirts.   Everything is done with a paper pattern (not MTM, but true bespoke) and the pattern is updated constantly.  Please see my next post on a sportcoat he made for me recently. Sorry for the negative tone, but after almost my whole adult life in New York (and almost all my vacations in Europe), Hong Kong is indeed disappointing.  The only thing here is the food (not up for arguement) and, maybe, the women (that depends on your taste).
post #11 of 13
Quote:
The only thing here is the food (not up for argument) and, maybe, the women (that depends on your taste).
No longer free to comment on women, but the food in Hong Kong... from street stands or "Dae pa dong" (sorry, don't know how to translate that from Cantonese - they are essentially streets restaurants, if that makes any sense) to the most expensive banquet halls... the food is superlative.  I believe that there is something in the Hong Kong air that boosts people's metabolism tenfold, because they eat and eat (and I ain't tlaking sprouts, Marc), and somehow stay really skinny (I'm talking break them in half with my bare hands skinny.  Guys like Chuck and Lance would do it with one hand).
post #12 of 13
I'll continue the hijacking by commenting that Hong Kong and Singapore have some of the best food in the world. Women are pretty good too (gf is from HK)
post #13 of 13
For shoes, you may want to consider Alden which now has a distributor in HK. If you need more details, I'll be happy to PM you as I have bought 2 pairs from them. Alden is a very fine American shoe often discussed on this board and you'll find comments on them if you do a search. Yes, and JM Weston is another good choice. They are located in IFC 2 (stands for International Finance Centre - in Central). Prices are estimated to be about 25%-30% higher than Alden in general. You can get some nice ties from Lane Crawford (Pacific Place branch) including Canali, Pal Zileri, Charvet, Turnbull & Asser. Watch out for their sale (mid-year and year-end) when a lot of stuff is marked down significantly. They also carry some nice cuff-links (some classic and some funky). BTW, when you are in Pacific Place, you may come across a newly renovated Church's shoe shop. In my opinion Church is way overpriced for the quality of its shoes. Nonetheless, it is still worth a visit. Shirts - Jantzen Tailor Suits - WW Chan. I have used them several times (for suit, blazer and shirts) and they have been very consistent in delivering top quality work. I think many other forum members who have used them will agree. It is a good idea to go to the suit maker with a well-fitting shirt you will wear with the suit. Food - enough said. simply great. But don't expect impeccable service especially in the more traditional restaurants and eateries (which are all over by the way) Incidentally, if you are in Australia, a shoe shop called McCloud on Queen's Street in Melbourne may still sell Grenson (I am not sure which line) but at a premium.
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