Well, I don't know about Italy, the U.S. or the U.K., but here's some info about tailors in the Republic of Korea (like you're ever going to come here
) A brand called Cambridge Members offers a good selection. They've taken their cue, it seems, from Alan Flusser's philosophies; some excerpts from his out-of-print book are on their webpage (the same book on fashionmall.com.) However, one should be prepared when getting fitted, because salesmen vary in taste; some prefer the fitted, English look while others go for the sack with huge, padded shoulders (very popular here with the older men, sadly.) Still, they are more than willing to fit you as per your instructions, and what's better is they can vary the amount of pleats, vents, and the presence of cuffs all at your command. They're the only store that does this, to my knowledge. The construction is nice, with a fused jacket bottom and floating chest, and pad stitching on the lapels (very fine and close together; it's hard to see on some suits.) Their fabrics are quite good also, some of it even imported (but you'll have to pay for it; the government here is very strict on imports.) With the recession in the economy, it's not impossible to get a $700 suit for less than $400, all year round. In fact, I picked up a nice wool-cashmere overcoat from them that was a staggering 40% off, that ended up costing me less than $280. The fashion is gradually going forward; this year they have higher gorges on the lapels and more fitted waists than usual, and flat-front pants are very common. Another brand worthy of mention is LG's Maestro (the same LG that does cell phones.) Their fabric selection is superior, with even some Zegna here and there, but their prices are quite naturally higher and they won't change suit details for you. All of their pants are double-pleated. ALL of them. When I told the salesman (a young Korean man in his 20's) that I wanted one with no pleats, he politely directed me to the casual section. Idiot. (He was probably taught that way. Idiot teachers.) Don't expect high-fashion from this brand. As for custom, there are a huge amount of tailor shops here. It's not uncommon for someone to have a bespoke suit here, a phenomenon very much like the 30's in the United States, I would imagine. Unfortunately for you foreigners, it's very hard to separate the junk tailors to the good ones, but location does play a part. There are places in Apgujeong, Myongdong and Shinchon (three very popular department store locations) that will make one for you; expect to spend over $1000 or so. For budget types, there's always Itaewon, a place I consider to be a hovel. Most of the tailors there are idiots, and sadly, they're the ones who get the most foreign customers due to accessibility; they're right outside the main U.S. Army base here in Seoul, so they have all the pictures of generals and other officers hanging on their walls. One has a picture of Michael Jordan, another has Pavarotti and Michael Jackson, and another has Walter Cronkite. None of these men are considered to be paragons of style, so I suggest avoiding those. Most of these suits are made by old men and women hunching over sewing machines in under-lit conditions. However, one in Itaewon does stand out from among the rest, and it's the one I just had my last suit made. It's called Hahn's Custom Tailor, or simply Hahn's. He has a lot of fabric as well as imported stuff, but actually the Korean textile industry is quite advanced, and the domestic fabric they produce isn't too bad (it also has the benefit of being much, much cheaper.) He's able to get Loro Piana and the like if you ask him, which will boost the cost of your two-piece over $1000. For others, it's $500; I got a special "introductory price" of $450, so perhaps someone else can do the same if he bargained enough (not an uncommon practice here.) The fit is very good, the styling on the boxy, English side. Hand-stitched lapels and detailing, full-floating canvas (I've seen it in person, and it does look like actual hair and wool, something not impossible to get; there are horses and animals outside the city limits.) You can choose which thickness of shoulder padding you want. The tailor is very friendly, and he'll take about 19+ measurements of your body to get an accurate map. He draws your individual patterns on draft paper, and does the cutting (I've seen him do it.) There's another one upstairs that does the sewing, whose room has a bright window in it that provides some natural light. Much better than being in a dark room with a fluorescent lamp huddled over a sewing machine, anyways. I'm very satisfied with the suit I got from him, and the low price makes it even better. Still, if you're really picky and have the money, you should check out Apgujeong and the like. I also hear there are very good bespoke tailors around Seoul City Hall, but chances are they won't speak English. To my knowledge, there are no good shirtmakers here. I use Jantzen. And, to my knowledge, there are no good shoemakers here. They use leather that looks painted, like Kenneth Cole. Bleh.