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How do you buy a bespoke t&a shirt

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by doughboysc, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    A couple of points based on nearly a hundred T&A shirts over the last 15 or so years.

    T&A does not make bespoke shirts. They are MTM. To the best of my knowledge, none of the well-known Jermyn Street shirtmaker makes a paper pattern any longer.

    Kabbaz in New York does. That's one of the reasons he's $100 a shirt more than T&A.

    Go to the nearest store and get measured. Once you do, you only need to go back to see the complex patterns. Ordering another blue royal oxford is a phone call, or should be.

    For the past two years, my calls have been returned so slowly, if at all, that I finally went to a Hong Kong shirtmaker.

    Will
     
  2. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    Huh, to my understanding they were willing to make bespoke shirts, at least according to the sales people at the NYC store.

    Jon.
     
  3. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    The key word perhaps being "salesperson."

    Bespoke means a paper pattern is made for you, and the shirt is cut from this pattern.

    T&A takes measurements, and makes the shirt from the measurements. That's MTM, as defined by the industry for decades.

    I don't know five places in the world where one can get real bespoke shirts. Nor do I know why anyone would need them. Kabbaz is interesting because of the incredible collection of fabrics he's amassed. The quality is excellent, but in the context of a suit, a shirt is just underwear after all.

    Will
     
  4. tdial

    tdial Well-Known Member

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    Doughboysc, don't worry about T&A MTM shirts. If you want to buy a T&A shirt and don't have the 250+ starting price of a T&A MTM, buy one off of ebay. There are loads of T&A shirts on ebay at very reasonable prices.

    The other steep entry barrier for T&A MTM at NM is that they have a 4 shirt minimum.
     
  5. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Well-Known Member

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    In addition to Kabbaz there are a number of custom(bespoke for Brits) shirtmakers in the world:

    Leonardo Bugelli in Florence
    Lanvin in Paris
    Mimmo Siviglia in Rome
    Angelo Pacinelli in Rome
    Geneva Custom Shirts in New York
    Anto in Beverly Hills
    Anna Matuozzo in Naples
    Sartoria Ypsilon in Milan
    Battistoni in Rome
    Finollo in Genova
    Merolla e de L'Ero in Naples
    Riddle-Mcintyre in Chicago
    Seewaldt & Bauman in New York

    and probably many more which I either don't know of or can't remember at the moment.
     
  6. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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  7. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was wondering re: Seewaldt & Bauman.
     
  8. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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  9. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Well-Known Member

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    Seewaldt & Bauman
    17 E 45th St.
    New York, NY

    (Freeport, NY 11520 location): (516) 379 8724

    I called the Freeport number and got an answering machine message indicating that it is Seewaldt & Bauman.
     
  10. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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  11. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    Okay: the salesperson is in charge of the custom orders for T&A in NYC. I know what bespoke means, thanks. But, apparently others do not, so I'll easily explain: Made-to-measure (MTM) is when a stock pattern is modified as much as possible by a company to your measurements. Whereas, Bespoke (custom) is when a custom pattern is made based on your measurements. T&A in their slim propaganda book entitled: Turnbull & Asser Shirtmakers, the pedigree and style of a very English institution, state that not only that bespoke is still carried out in their premises both in London and New York, but that they employ four cutters whose sole job it is to cut only shirts based on bespoke patterns. This can also be found on the T&A website: T&A Bespoke Which states: "Although our bespoke service is centered on shirts tailored precisely to customer specifications, we make almost any item of clothing 'from scratch'. Most recently we have formalized a service to make neckwear to order - for individuals, groups and special occasions such as weddings. The origin of the term 'bespoke' dates back to when customers ordering a suit or shirt could select and reserve a cloth that was then bespoken or 'spoken for'. Today, bespoke means 'made to personal specification' - in contrast to the more conventional 'made-to-measure' or 'customized' stock item. . For shirts, some 28 separate measurements are made to ensure the most flattering possible result. Habits such as the way a wrist-watch is worn and other unique needs and physical characteristics are all reflected in the final product. " Jon.
     
  12. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    Gentlemen can disagree. T&A consider what they do to be bespoke. You may call it bespoke and I'll call it MTM.

    Ask Alexander Kabbaz to describe to you what a bespoke shirt is and compare that description to T&A's process. In my opinion it's roughly the difference between ordering a stock special from Edward Green vs. a bespoke shoe.

    Will
     
  13. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Well-Known Member

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    re: Seewaldt & Bauman - I assume that the Manhattan location is their showroom and that the LI location is their production facility. BTW I have never visited Seewaldt & Bauman or seen any of their shirts. If I might ask, what specifically disappointed you about the shirts?
     
  14. Cesare

    Cesare Member

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    Why not go for Luigi Borrelli instead? What is the difference between T&A and Italian Shirtmakers?
     
  15. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Well-Known Member

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    Seewaldt and Bauman is now located only in Long Island.

    The mid town Rents did them in.

    Eric Seewaldt, is the third generation set up in his Garage in Long island.

    Makes a paper pattern for each customer.

    He is still prewashes all of his fabrics and linings.

    One operator sews the entire shirt.

    He comes into the city on a regular basis to see customers.

    The argument between bepoke and MTM is mostly semantics.

    I sometime make a true paper pattern and other time have patterns made via computer.

    The computer generated pattern has some limitations. But a good fit can be acheived for most customers.
     
  16. Rook

    Rook New Member

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    i find that the best way to get around the steep markup is to buy T&A RTW and have the shirts altered by an excellent tailor. RTW costs between $100 and $150 depending on currency and location markup, and the tailoring will cost around $20. well worth it.
     
  17. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    Banks, banks, banks - great list ... but how could you forget Charvet? Gettin' sloppy here.

    Shirtmaven - "The argument between bespoke and MTM is mostly semantics." You of all people know better than that.

    Will - Thank you very much for mentioning me. One slight correction. My shirts are not $100 more than T&A. $250-300 higher would be more like it.

    For men who assume that they can walk cold into T&A as a brand new customer and get a bespoke shirt just because Prince Charles does ... think back to the Fioravanti "A" list / "B" list discussion.

    And for the truly sartorially inclined, it is neither Roetzel nor any of Flusser's. Boyer's "Elegance" (possibly out-of-print) remains the number one pick of the late 20th Century.
     
  18. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    It is out of print, but it's easy enough to find on the used book sites. I'll give you that it's a good book, but Roetzel and Flusser's pictures blow Boyer's all to hell.
     
  19. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    I'll give you that. In the old days, we used to read. We only bought Playboy for the pictures.
     
  20. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Alex - but great to have you back. I second Alex's recommendation of Elegance. I was fortunate enough to get a copy sometime in the last year.
     

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