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Best Value Tailor in Hong Kong

post #1 of 163
Thread Starter 
I have the great fortune of being able to take a trip out to Hong Kong for two weeks at the end of the summer. I want to come back with some great threads, and was hoping to score at least a couple of suits, a blazer, and a couple of shirts.

I'm a student (and have posted looking for bargains before) so I'm trying to be somewhat cost-conscious. But I can splurge with summer earnings for worthwhile value.

What are the best values in HK as far as custom shirts and suits? Anybody have any favorites?

Of course, I know of Ascot Chang and Sam's. Are either worth the hype or should I dig deeper beneath the surface to find the true bargains?

Also, anyone have any idea how much I should expect to pay? Obviously it depends of the fabric and the quality...in other words, is it reasonable to expect I can get a top quality suit made for $300 or 400? Or will it cost me a bit more?

Thanks
post #2 of 163
Ascot Ching is fine for shirts, Sams suits are pretty poor but have a name. If you are on a budget then they are as good.bad as any.

Chan, Y William Yu or Gordon Yao are decent tailors.
post #3 of 163
Thread Starter 
Chang would be nice, but I'm afraid they're out of my budget. I've done my HW and read up on the board and I think I'll go to Jantzen for a couple of shirts. Would anyone recommend them for a suit as well? Haven't seen much re: their suits. Heard a lot about Chan, Yu, and Yao but still afraid they're outside my budget. I'm also planning a side trip to Bangkok. Little is out there about Bangkok tailors, from what I can tell, but I've heard unsubstantiated rumors that there is value out there too. Thoughts? Thanks for the reply GBR.
post #4 of 163
Kool thanks for the info. I'll be there when i check out some toy and tshirt manufacturers so i'll be sure to drop by.
post #5 of 163
Jantzen is really the only place to go for shirts. Don't waste your time anywhere else, particularly not any of the Indian tailors in Tsim Sha Tsui. You'll end up with poorly-made crap. Jantzen quality is not outstanding, but their materials are decent enough and the fit is quite good for the money. It's the best clothing value in HK, IMHO.

I don't think you'll find a suit worth owning for $300-400 in Hong Kong. Maybe 10-15 years ago... but not today. I think Jantzen would probably make a passable suit for $600, but I haven't directly tried myself. I did have 2 pairs of trousers made there on my last trip on an emergency basis, and while they were passable, they're far from outstanding. Their material selection isn't so hot for suitings either. You can probably get something moderately OK, but nothing that will really wow you.

The biggest problem with any HK tailor, even the higher-end ones, is that they don't really know how to make a suit that looks good on you. They can make what you tell them to make, but they won't on their own come up with a particular nip here or a line there that's going to flatter your figure or disguise a belly. So particularly if you head to Jantzen, you'll get best results if you have a suit you want them to largely copy, with the modifications you specify. WW Chan or Ascot Chang may be a bit better, but I think probably only marginally so... and you'll be way out of your price range with either one.
post #6 of 163
Avoid New Hong Kong Custom Tailors in the plaza behind the Regal Kowloon in TST. I learned the hard way and threw out the suit as soon as I got back to the US.

Tailors based inside hotels are often better than those who hound you on the street but you will usually have to pay a premium for what might be shoddy work. I'm not sure how much WW Can suits cost (About $1K+?) but a well made suit that fits you right is worth more than 20 crappy suits.

You can also look into Jantzen's suit department.
post #7 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by syght View Post
I have the great fortune of being able to take a trip out to Hong Kong for two weeks at the end of the summer. I want to come back with some great threads, and was hoping to score at least a couple of suits, a blazer, and a couple of shirts.I'm a student (and have posted looking for bargains before) so I'm trying to be somewhat cost-conscious. But I can splurge with summer earnings for worthwhile value.

What are the best values in HK as far as custom shirts and suits? Anybody have any favorites?

Of course, I know of Ascot Chang and Sam's. Are either worth the hype or should I dig deeper beneath the surface to find the true bargains?

Also, anyone have any idea how much I should expect to pay? Obviously it depends of the fabric and the quality...in other words, is it reasonable to expect I can get a top quality suit made for $300 or 400? Or will it cost me a bit more?

Thanks

No, it is not reasonable to expect you can get a "top quality" suit made for $300 or $400. Unless you are extraordinarily lucky, you will probably not even get a halfway decent one at those prices. The best Hong Kong tailors, by common consent, seem to be W.W. Chan, H. Baroman, A Man Hing Cheong and Gordon Yao. Any one of them should be able to make you a fine suit, but it will cost around $1,100 (U.S.) and upwards. For the best value in shirts, try Jantzen Tailor (Ricky Ho). They can also make you a suit, but it will cost more than $400, and forum members who have used Jantzen for suits have reported mixed results. I have seen a decent looking suit from Baron Kay that cost around $700. The consensus seems pretty overwhelming that Sam's should be shunned!

My advice: Go for quality instead of quantity. Get some shirts at Jantzen and go to one of the top tailors for one really good suit or blazer. If you are an American, Chan or Yao would be the best bets to establish a relationship with since they tour the USA. Yao does so under the aegis of Ascot Chang. I now have one suit, 11 jackets and five shirts from Chan and can very emphatically recommend their services.

Perhaps some of the Hong Kong contingent can weigh in on this, and using the search function will turn up lots of information on HK tailoring.
post #8 of 163
Syght,

For 3 to 5 hundred dollars you can get a good quality custom made suit in Hong Kong. The keys to success are:

1.\tKnow what you want and be able to explain it to the person you are ordering from. Sounds simple, but many people get all excited when they walk in a shop and a week later are disappointed because the suit isn't really what they wanted. The tailor probably could have fulfilled their request, but your wishes were never properly communicated.

2.\tEnsure the company you are working with is legitimate. They should stand by their work, and make as many adjustments as necessary until you are satisfied.

3.\tKnow what you want. I know I said this already, but you have to know what you want when it comes to every detail here. If you don't ask for it, they won't just do it in Hong Kong or Bangkok.

So like anything in life, this requires preparation and planning on your part. Read up, not just here in a forum but go buy books out there by Alan Flusser and Bernhard Roetzel. Visit http://www.atailoredsuit.com/mens-st...ored-suit.html and read through their articles. Then come back to the forum and see the questions and comments here with new eyes (in the words of T.S. Elliot).

My personal recommendations for value -

Hong Kong - New Bolwin Fashions, Shop No 48B, G/F., Lyton Bldg., 32-48 Mody Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong (852) 2366 1040 and ask for Sonny. Sonny is an honest man; his place isn't as nice as some others, but you aren't looking to move in.

Bangkok - Narin Couture - I can't say enough about the owner, Peter. He's a Chinese Thai who overseas all of the cutting in his shop, is Zegna certified, French educated, and has family in the business working in Milan and has connections on Savile Row. Expect to spend at least $500(or $5000 if you fancy), but he is the best I've ever seen outside of London. I don't have his address handy, but Sukhumvit Rd under the sky-train station between Soi 8 and Soi 10.

Good luck!
post #9 of 163
I would recommend Ascot chang for shirts and either WW chan and Gordon Yao for suits. I have used all of these tailors and am quite satisfied by them.

My aunt and uncle has always said that the best tailor in HK is someone that you know personnally or through someone usually that means you live in HK and hound them.
post #10 of 163
I have tried Jantzen for suits, and mine turned out only so-so. I wouldn't rule out going back there again (since now I know exactly how to deal with them), but I wouldn't recommend anyone going there for your first suit.

Here is a recent thread showing a suit from OMTailors (never heard of them) that drew some favorable responses. I don't know about the construction, but if the suit cost around 400-500, I would consider it a good value. I have no idea how much the suit cost. You might want to contact the OP.
post #11 of 163
For USD300-400, it would not have top quality for sure. It is simple maths. Top quality suiting cost at lease GBP60/m now, you need at lease 3m, that is GBP180, USD360. Just the real horn buttons need USD10, How you can make a suit out of the remaining USD30?

You are going to look for good quality, not top quality.
Some shops may have old english mills stock suitings that will be cheaper.
for 300-400 level, you have to have a fused and/or machine padded suit.
Admiralty Centre has few tailor shops that may fit your budget, they are much better than TST Indians.
post #12 of 163
I've tried Jantzen for shirts based on this site's recommendations -- the quality isn't bad and the price is dirt cheap. However, they don't listen to you at all - at least not when you send them an e-mail asking to make changes. They just crank out whatever they fancy at the moment, I suppose. Out of 5 shirts that I ordered from them a couple of months ago, I've kept only two. Now, that's a pathetic percentage of success. In my view, Jantzen isn't worth 1/4 of the praise that is -- suspicisouly regularily - sung to them here.
post #13 of 163
Pasha,

If you ordered it in HK by person, rather than thru email, it should be much better.
post #14 of 163
Hong Kong has it's advantages, a cluster of highly trained tailors and an environment of tax free imports when it comes to fabrics. There is also a bit of a price war going on, as the number of suit buyers visiting Hong Kong has been in steady decline since the Chinese takeover. New rich chinese business men do not buy suits like there American and British counterparts did. Finally they do have some quality controls; but it's not London, and if you don't know what you are looking for you can get ripped off.

Bangkok doesn't have the import tax advantage (higher end fabrics from Italy and England have a hefty duty on them), but the Thai cost of labor is much lower than in HK. In Thailand, you also will find that a higher majority of the tailors there will sell you shoddy merchandise and lie to your face about the quality and make-up of their fabric. Here if you don't know what you're looking for, you will without a doubt get ripped off.

Hong Kong is a safer place to shop, but in Bangkok if you know where to go you can get a better deal. My two cents.
post #15 of 163
I've heard the best Thai tailors deliver work comparable to W.W. Chan, but, then, their prices are comparable to Chan's as well.
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