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made to measure suit question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by fppiv, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Well-Known Member

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    I had a Gilberto jacket. It was canvased and the quality was fine.
     
  2. minimal

    minimal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    315
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    Oct 7, 2004
    There is an old story about a challenge. I don't recall the source but in the challenge an Anderson & Sheppard suit was compared to a suit made of the same cloth and in the same style by one of the better HK tailors. When new, the HK suit actually looked better than the A&S.

    After five years of wear the examination was reprised. The HK suit was worn out and the A&S suit barely broken in.


    Sorry for the late reply on this, but the "challenge" was written up in an article in the then-relatively-new Conde Naste Traveller magazine in the late 1980's. I still have that issue somewhere, but I do not remember the reprise article. The result of "the challenge" was that the Hong Kong suit was better overall in construction and fit, but that the writer more liked the way the A&S felt when worn.

    I was pretty young when I first read that article, but was really amazed at the whole process. A tailor whose store you could not just walk into, but needed an introduction for? I was fascinated.

    That article, and one other amazing sartorial piece that was in "New York Press" in the ealry 90's, are on my list of when-I-have-free-time-I'll-type-in items. You would all enjoy them I'm sure.
     
  3. thinman

    thinman Well-Known Member

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    Although I have had a mediocre MTM experience with a Samuelsohn jacket that has more shoulder padding and broader shoulders than I prefer, I would offer a counter-example to all the bad MTM experiences described here. I ordered a MTM Oxxford suit from a small menswear store where I was measured by a salesman, not a tailor, and I'm *very* happy with the result. When the suit arrived, only the trousers needed cuffing; even the sleeve lengths were correct (I say lengths because I have one arm 1/2" longer than the other, rather than the more usual 1/4"). I did scout the store 1/2-dozen times before ordering and had the best-dressed salesman do the measuring, though. The store is also on Esquire's list of 50 best menswear stores in the country, FWIW.
     
  4. whnay.

    whnay. Well-Known Member

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    I have one A-Man suit, made in 1997. It's my only Hong Kong suit. I was never very happy with it, and stopped wearing it some time ago.
    Manton mind sharing who you've been pleased with....
     
  5. bowtiemeow

    bowtiemeow Member

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    For North American manufacturers, I had suits MTM by Samuelsohn, Oxxford, Hickey Freeman and H. Freeman. Both Oxxford and Hickey Freeman had made mistakes and did not follow the instructions specified in the order forms. It was extremely frustrating to me and I have stopped ordering from them. When my sales reps followed up with them, I don't think they even cared. H. Freeman is very mediocre. Of these four manufacturers, I am most satisfied with Samuelsohn and the price is less expensive than Oxxford and Hickey. It's a Canadian based company.
     
  6. Sprezzatura Custom

    Sprezzatura Custom Well-Known Member

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    I think that with made to measure a great deal of people end up disappointed because of the fact that they choose a maker that uses a body that is not similiar to the aesthetic/silhouette they are looking for.

    If your looking for a close fitting Spencer Hart type look your not going to go and do a Samuelsohn MTM, regardless of whether it is good quality and vice versa.

    By going with made to measure you should expect the following benefits over RTW:
    - Better fit as certain adjustments can be made such as button point, jacket length. Ability to be fitted when their drop exceeds those of the stock garments.
    - Wider selection of fabrics over RTW
    - Details such as picking your own linings, surgeon cuffs, buttons,
    - Be able to select styling details on coat such as peak/notch, jetted/flap/patch, # of vents, stitching etc.

    If you go in understanding this, and pick a brand which is similiar from the get go in the aesthetic which you are looking for, you will have far greater chances of success with your MTM.

    So debates on whose MTM program is better are fruitless since I would think the end goal is to get a fit that makes you happy, not how much handwork one brand has over another.

    I've sold a tonne of MTM Coppley/Samuelsohn in my time working in retail, and I have a good picture why alot of ppl come away unhappy with MTM. In many situations where a customer likes the fit of say Dior or Dolce and Gabbana, and wants this type of silhouette the SA proceeds to put them into MTM to save the sale when we dont have stock or a fabric they are looking for. Of course with our industry we operate on 100% commission and the sales associate proceeds to selling them a suit based on a block which is a classic fitting garment. The end result almost always is an unsatisfied customer. I believe here in lies the cause of many peoples dissatisfaction with MTM.
     
  7. OxxfordSJLINY

    OxxfordSJLINY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Coram, New York, United States of America, 11767
    I think that with made to measure a great deal of people end up disappointed because of the fact that they choose a maker that uses a body that is not similiar to the aesthetic/silhouette they are looking for.

    If your looking for a close fitting Spencer Hart type look your not going to go and do a Samuelsohn MTM, regardless of whether it is good quality and vice versa.

    By going with made to measure you should expect the following benefits over RTW:
    - Better fit as certain adjustments can be made such as button point, jacket length. Ability to be fitted when their drop exceeds those of the stock garments.
    - Wider selection of fabrics over RTW
    - Details such as picking your own linings, surgeon cuffs, buttons,
    - Be able to select styling details on coat such as peak/notch, jetted/flap/patch, # of vents, stitching etc.

    If you go in understanding this, and pick a brand which is similiar from the get go in the aesthetic which you are looking for, you will have far greater chances of success with your MTM.

    So debates on whose MTM program is better are fruitless since I would think the end goal is to get a fit that makes you happy, not how much handwork one brand has over another.

    I've sold a tonne of MTM Coppley/Samuelsohn in my time working in retail, and I have a good picture why alot of ppl come away unhappy with MTM. In many situations where a customer likes the fit of say Dior or Dolce and Gabbana, and wants this type of silhouette the SA proceeds to put them into MTM to save the sale when we dont have stock or a fabric they are looking for. Of course with our industry we operate on 100% commission and the sales associate proceeds to selling them a suit based on a block which is a classic fitting garment. The end result almost always is an unsatisfied customer. I believe here in lies the cause of many peoples dissatisfaction with MTM.


    You hit the nail right on the head regarding made to measure, Spezzatura Custom. [​IMG]

    Another thing that far to many people on AAAC and here on SF either don't realize, ignore or deny is that nowadays, bespoke and, to a lesser degree, semi bespoke is simply not an option for most people regardless of whether or not they can afford it. What are the reasons for this? Many people cannot afford bespoke or semi bespoke yet still want tailored clothing that is made just for them. Or, most (but certainly not all) people that can easily afford bespoke or semi bespoke either have the time but not the patience, the patience and not the time or neither the patience nor the time for bespoke or semi bespoke yet, again, still want tailored clothing that is made just for them.

    Very few or relatively few people nowadays that can afford bespoke or semi bespoke have both the time and the patience for what is an incredibly lengthy tailored clothing (i.e. suit, sportsjacket, dress pants, odd vest-dress and formal, overcoat, tuxedo and tuxedo separates and formal overcoats) purchase yet, once again, still want tailored clothing that is made just for them.
     
  8. OxxfordSJLINY

    OxxfordSJLINY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    659
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    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Coram, New York, United States of America, 11767
    Although I have had a mediocre MTM experience with a Samuelsohn jacket that has more shoulder padding and broader shoulders than I prefer, I would offer a counter-example to all the bad MTM experiences described here. I ordered a MTM Oxxford suit from a small menswear store where I was measured by a salesman, not a tailor, and I'm *very* happy with the result. When the suit arrived, only the trousers needed cuffing; even the sleeve lengths were correct (I say lengths because I have one arm 1/2" longer than the other, rather than the more usual 1/4"). I did scout the store 1/2-dozen times before ordering and had the best-dressed salesman do the measuring, though. The store is also on Esquire's list of 50 best menswear stores in the country, FWIW.

    What is the name of the small men's store where you bought your made to measure Oxxford suits from, thinman? Is it a privately owned small men's store like Thomas Miller (in the Woodbury Commons Shopping Center in Woodbury, NY) and Victor Talbot's (in the Greenvale Plaza in Greenvale, NY)? Or, is the small men's store you bought your MTM Oxxford suits at a chain?

    FWIW, Thomas Miller claims to be the number one store in the New York Metropolitan area in made to measure clothing, especially in made to measure tailored clothing (suits, sportsjackets, dress pants, odd vests-dress and formal, overcoats, tuxedos and tuxedo separates and formal overcoats). That is, Thomas Miller claims to be the number one store in MTM in the New York Metropolitan area in all around experience (30+ years of experience) and in sales and satisfaction (both frequency of satisfaction and in levels of satisfaction).

    Also, FWIW, even though the recent negative experiences with Oxxford that we have been reading about on SF and AAAC recently that people such as mafoofan, rssmsvc, ranchsooner (on AAAC), trmaldo, iammatt, bowtiemeow and some others are not quite as isolated as I originally thought, and certainly not by any means, the vast minority, they are still quite isolated overall.

    And, those who have problems or have had problems with Oxxford (a majority, overwhelming majority or vast majority of the problems with Oxxford are mostly-but certainly not entirely-fit and overly high expectations for MTM from a clothing brand; service problems are quite rare, workmanship problems-95-98% of which are strictly subjective are extremely rare overall) are definitely the minority.

    However, according to what I have seen on every clothing forum out there (including SF and AAAC), the same problems from Kiton, Brioni, Attolini and all other clothing brands are any amount more abundant and any amount more severe than with Oxxford.

    Despite his serious (dare I say severe?) dissatisfaction with Oxxford, iammatt did admit to the fact that, in general, it is impossible to do better than Oxxford without going bespoke.
     
  9. maxnharry

    maxnharry Well-Known Member

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  10. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Well-Known Member

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    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    If you're near to New York, visit Oxxford on 57th or Brooks 346.

    Based on a sample size of three, I personally don't consider the other Brooks stores competent to sell MTM even it Mr. Greenfield measures you. For one thing, the cloth selection is inadequate. Email me and I'll be happy to share horror stories from my last four orders (yes, it took a while to overcome a forty year habit).

    I will respectfully disagree that one can find bespoke, near bespoke or even bespoke's distant relative for $1500 in the United States. Just the cloth for a good suit costs $600 or more.

    You may be able to bring your costs down further by having one suit MTM at Oxxford, buying your own cloth, and giving the suit to a visiting Hong Kong tailor as a sample to use with the cloth. Unfortunately, the best Hong Kong tailors don't visit this country.

    The ones that do will give you a result that won't wear very well but the initial cost is low.




    1. The Oxxford Store has moved to E. 56th St. between Madison and Fifth Avenues. Speak to George or Tashae at the store, and feel free to mention my name.

    2. Alas, the Oxxford price has gone up to almost $3,000 a suit even if you supply the cloth. (Your own cloth can run from $300+.) You can get lucky and find an end bolt. Nonetheless, it is the best of MTM's from the commercial factories, and my experience has been excellent. My pattern has been customized and individualized for me.

    3. When I was a Brooks customer Mr. Greenfield offered to buzz-by 346 Madison to fit me if I wished. He often visits Brooks to meet customers. Perhaps you can arrange to see him when he visits another customer? Therefore, you won't have to wait for the trunk show.

    4. J. Press started offering MTM made by Greenfield. I think that Jay Walter at J. Press would be an excellent introduction. Also, the prices are a little lower than Brooks, and they offer Harrison's cloth under $2,000. Brooks no longer carries Harrison's or Smith's.

    5. I agree with Will that the Brooks cloth offerings have declined in order to maintain its prices. There has been an influx of Italian cloths, and the English selections have taken a backseat. In that connection, J. Press has better cloth since Mr. Walter has a long-standing relationship with Isles Textiles, the leading seller of British cloth in the USA.

    6. Don't be afraid of experimenting. I recommend trying one suit. See if the retailer/manufacturer work for you. You're not buying a buidling. You're buying an outfit. When you get more experience you can look to building a collection of clothes to last decades. At your stage of the game you need an outfit for work or events.

    7. If budget is a concern, then look to either LS or Mr. Ned.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Sorry for the late reply on this, but the "challenge" was written up in an article in the then-relatively-new Conde Naste Traveller magazine in the late 1980's. I still have that issue somewhere, but I do not remember the reprise article. The result of "the challenge" was that the Hong Kong suit was better overall in construction and fit, but that the writer more liked the way the A&S felt when worn.

    I was pretty young when I first read that article, but was really amazed at the whole process. A tailor whose store you could not just walk into, but needed an introduction for? I was fascinated.

    That article, and one other amazing sartorial piece that was in "New York Press" in the ealry 90's, are on my list of when-I-have-free-time-I'll-type-in items. You would all enjoy them I'm sure.



    The author of that piece wrote a follow-up a few years later.

    The first article had a critique from a so-called professor of NYC's FIT. He opined that the A & S was very poorly sewn and that the Hong Kong suit was the better of the two.

    In the sequel, written a few years later, the author found that the A & S aged very well, but the Hong Kong suit aged poorly. I am guessing that the Hong Kong suit was inferior in construction, materials, and cloth. He said that the A & S was as good as the day that he picked it up.

    Therefore, the author found that the Savile Row product lasted longer and superior.

    The author re-visited A & S to give them the good news, but he was shown the door because of his initial article favoring the Hong Kong garment!
     
  12. rssmsvc

    rssmsvc Well-Known Member

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    If you're near to New York, visit Oxxford on 57th or Brooks 346.
    I had the exact reverse experience, I found Brooks to be able to deliver their suits exactly when promised and had excellent customer service. They gave me a pamphlet when picking up the suit that had their guarantee. Now, I don't believe it was manufactured with the same amount of handwork or anything close to an Oxxford but it fits me wonderfully and I get compliments on it often. The only thing I couldn't get them to do well for me were double forward pleats to the same look as a RLPL. Oxxford does do a great job on forward pleat pants. With Oxxford I am still waiting on them to be honest and tell me where 2 missing suits and 2 missing odd pants are , and have heard from a few other forum members who are having the same nightmare. I know others have great experiences with Oxxford and I wish I could share in that with them but they have been rotten to me and the main reason I decided to work with a tailor for important future suits and sportcoats. This was after over 1 year of waiting and hearing one excuse after another. You may want to browse: http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...ad.php?t=75580 http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...ad.php?t=75581
     
  13. taxgenius

    taxgenius Well-Known Member

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    For North American manufacturers, I had suits MTM by Samuelsohn, Oxxford, Hickey Freeman and H. Freeman. Both Oxxford and Hickey Freeman had made mistakes and did not follow the instructions specified in the order forms. It was extremely frustrating to me and I have stopped ordering from them. When my sales reps followed up with them, I don't think they even cared. H. Freeman is very mediocre. Of these four manufacturers, I am most satisfied with Samuelsohn and the price is less expensive than Oxxford and Hickey. It's a Canadian based company.

    What were your issues with H. Freeman?
     
  14. OxxfordSJLINY

    OxxfordSJLINY Well-Known Member

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    Coram, New York, United States of America, 11767
    I had the exact reverse experience, I found Brooks to be able to deliver their suits exactly when promised and had excellent customer service. They gave me a pamphlet when picking up the suit that had their guarantee. Now, I don't believe it was manufactured with the same amount of handwork or anything close to an Oxxford but it fits me wonderfully and I get compliments on it often. The only thing I
    couldn't get them to do well for me were double forward pleats to the same look as a RLPL. Oxxford does do a great job on forward pleat pants.

    With Oxxford I am still waiting on them to be honest and tell me where 2 missing suits and 2 missing odd pants are , and have heard from a few other forum members who are having the same nightmare. I know others have great experiences with Oxxford and I wish I could share in that with them but they have been rotten to me and the main reason I decided to work with a tailor for important future suits and sportcoats. This was after over 1 year of waiting and hearing one excuse after another.

    You may want to browse:
    http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...ad.php?t=75580
    http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...ad.php?t=75581


    I feel awful for you that you have had these problems with Oxxford, rssmsvc, even if it does not show as much as it should show. Ditto regarding how I feel for other people that I mentioned that had problems with Oxxford, again, even if it does not show as much as it should show.

    However, I hope that in the end that things will work out well with you and Oxxford unlike the other people that I mentioned who had problems with Oxxford, who ended up being forced to give up with Oxxford altogether, unfortunately. [​IMG]
     

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