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Bespoke Graham Browne Vs Suit Supply MTM.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Edbraz, May 12, 2015.

  1. Edbraz

    Edbraz New Member

    Nov 9, 2014
    Hi folks,

    So, getting two suits fitted this week, 1 fully bespoke and 1 MTM from Suit Supply.

    First off, the Graham Brown bespoke. The 1st visit consisted of choosing fabric and measurements. I met Russell Howarth and explained that I needed a dark suit but lightweight for hot climates and as dark as possible but not black, he recommended the panama cloth from Harrisons. I chose a very dark blue weave. He then rattled through some options rather quickly though which were mostly in line with what I intended:

    2-button single breasted jacket with 2.5-3.5 inch notch lapels (I can't remember the exact size though that was the range I asked for), gorge in-line with tie knot.
    Double side vents
    Slanted pockets
    Russell gave me a book of linings and I chose one.

    Waistcoat with lapels with 2 bottom pockets and a third pocket on the right breast.

    Flat-fronted trousers with side-fasteners and zip and braces buttons - narrow leg and high rise. No back pockets.

    And that...was...it...

    It was really, very, very fast. Too fast to be honest. I was not expecting a bespoke experience to be quicker than an MTM. I would say it took at most, 30 minutes. What we didn't discuss:

    Lining piping
    Buttons - types, amount.
    Shape of jacket - shoulders
    Slant 'boat' or straight chest pocket.

    That was on a Monday morning, and, Russell said to pop in on the Thursday morning for the first fitting. Just 2-3 full days later. I found that exceedingly fast. Incredibly fast. Mind boggling fast. But apparently it can be done.

    So, a very quick first visit and a very quick first fitting. I suppose what was missing was info from the tailor taking care a bit more about what the choices are and what would look good and what wouldn't etc. I really felt very rushed. More details about the cloth - will it crease? Will it last? etc.

    Total cost is 1500 sterling.

    Suit Supply.

    The 1st visit consisted of choosing fabric and measurements. I met Aaron and explained that I needed a cream lightweight suit for hot climates. He recommended a cream wool/linen mix. That was a careful selection process with questions and comparisons of the cloths. The buttons were chosen with the same care and attention as was the lining. Aaron chose a napoli type blazer that he thought would fit well which I tried on and trousers too. He then made adjustments and measurements according to the type of suit I would like and always offered suggestions, feedback and alternatives. I am having made:

    2-button single breasted jacket with 2.5-3.5 inch peak lapels (I can't remember the exact size though that was the range I asked for).
    Double side vents
    Slanted pockets

    Waistcoat with lapels with 2 bottom jet pockets.

    Flat-fronted trousers with side-fasteners and zip and braces buttons - narrow leg and high rise. Jetted rear pockets

    That was on Monday afternoon and took about an hour and 15 minutes. I have to say, Aaron took great care and offered great suggestions and explanations for every single choice. I really felt I was in a safe pair of hands and he was very, very professional and polite at all times.

    It will take 4-8 weeks for the suit to arrive for the first fitting which I will be doing later in the year on the next visit to London.

    Total cost is 1100,00 sterling.

    Back to Graham Browne on Thursday for the first fitting of the bespoke. Any suggestions from the forum of what I should look out for and what questions to ask?
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  2. fabius

    fabius Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    London, UK
    How did both suits, and the subsequent fittings at GB, turn out in the end?
  3. Edbraz

    Edbraz New Member

    Nov 9, 2014
    According to Mr Howarth the suit would have been completed by a few days later. I entered the shop at 16.00 and found Mr Howarth sat on a sofa. I enquired about the baste fitting and he returned with the bundle of panama cloth. He said that his cutter was ill and to come back in an hour and a half and he would put together a baste himself which begs the question as to why he hadn't done this himself earlier.

    Upon return he had put together a very, very basic baste of the jacket and waistcoat. My flight was to leave the next morning and I was due back in London for only a few hours on the 21st of May. By this time, I had lost all faith in Mr Howarth and decided to make a suggestion. I had given him a deposit of 750 sterling on Monday. So, today, I offered to buy the cloth that had been purchased for my suit from him (250 pound) and add an additional amount (50-100) for the effort of the cutting he had carried out and have the suit cut in South America.

    He refused to give my deposit back and asked me to think it over. This I found very irritating indeed. He has said he would email me the next day regarding whether he agrees to my suggestion and he didn't. The next day I warned him of court action and he agreed to refund 250,00 and would give me the material and would retain 250 for the cost of the material and a further 250,00 for his 'cutting.'

    I took receipt of blue plastic bag on the day of my flight with the material in it back to Brazil. 6 months later I was in Argentina where I know some good tailors and gave them the material to finish the suit. It turns out the material for the trousers is missing. I had to order replacement material from the mill and pay for import taxes to Argentina. I have meanwhile requested a refund for the replacement material from Graham Browne and cost of import taxes. Failure to do so and a claim for costs plus compensation will be launched at the Small Claims Court. The lesson? AVOID GRAHAM BROWNE.

    1 person likes this.
  4. Edbraz

    Edbraz New Member

    Nov 9, 2014
    Re Suitsupply - I waited almost 3 months for the suit as they had run out of the material. I then cancelled the order and a full refund was made immediately. So not much luck with either Browne or SuitSupply but Suit Supply far, far , far more professional and ethical.
  5. chobochobo

    chobochobo Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2006
    Hong Kong
    Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. I haven't tried enough tailors to really comment, so I don't know how most tailors would react to your suggestion of a refund and buying the cloth :)

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