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Oxxford MTM suit questions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bry2000, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. lisapop

    lisapop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Mar 6, 2005
    Believe it or not, people have actually guessed, correctly so, that I'm wearing an Oxxford suit specifically because they recognized the signature Oxxford wide boutonniere.  Scary.
    Grayson
     
  2. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Well-Known Member

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    812
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    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    I'm a regular and loyal Oxxford customer.  I know the product pretty darned well.  Also, I have bought bespoke in London and New York as well as American MTM.

    From my experience, Oxxford is the best suit and value in the luxury class of bespoke and MTM.  Period.

    For me, it's as good as bespoke based on my experience.  They have my shoulder, chest, skirt, waist, and armhole proportions down perfectly.  I have found the models that suit me, and changes have been made to my pattern.


    I.  The Basted Try-On

    With MTM the basted try-on is a waste of time.  I've been told this by some industry insiders including a bespoke tailor who also sells MTM and one of the top MTM salesmen at a big MTM department.  In many MTM operations, the basted try-on is solely for schmaltz (i.e., romancing the customer).  Some so-called "custom" clothiers, who shall remain nameless, pawn-off their MTM suits as "bespoke" and go through a basted try-on which is a charade.  I have gone through this game in my past experience with other establishments in NYC.

    I have never had a basted try-on with Oxxford.  I never saw the need for one.  


    II.  MTM vs. Bespoke

    First, Oxxford is MTM at its store and at the various stores across the country.  They dont' pretend to be anything else.

    I cannot comment on the so-called bespoke program at Louis Boston.

    This and the other fora have had a raging debate as to what is better,  bespoke or MTM.

    I'll concede that nothing is equal to a bench made bespoke suit made in close consultation and collaboration with a top cutter/tailor who has full control over the cutting and sewing process.  If you love clothes and if the process excites you, then it can be a heady experience.

    However, I'll give you bespoke addicts a little bit of a shock.  I've tried bespoke in London and NYC (six suits, four sportscoats, and five trousers in the last three years), and I have found that overall, Oxxford is equal to bespoke.  On some things my London tailor excelled, and on some things Oxxford was better.  Same with the NYC bespoke guy.  On an overall rating Oxxford was equal.  

    One area in which Oxxford excelled is consistency.  Each garment was consistently excellent and uniform in craftsmanship.  I cannot say the same about my bespokes.  

    Based on my experience, if you are pretty average, then you'll fit into an Oxxford MTM.  No, Oxxford might not be suitable for Gov. Schwartneger.  However, for the average guy it is fine.

    Now onto the subject of value.


    III.  Value

    Unless cost is no concern, then you can skip this discussion. However, if cost is a factor, Oxxford is a better value than the bespoke that I have encountered.

    First, I should define my bespoke experience as being in the upper middle market.  I haven't used off the Row and Hong Kong tailors.  My London tailor (on the Row) charges 2,000 pounds as his base price.  That's almost $4,000.  The top guys in NYC charge from $3,500.  The typical price is $4,000.  Some are over the $4,000 mark.

    Oxxford's base price is $2,400.  If you get a better cloth from the MTM program, the price is about $3,000.  Of course, you can go higher.  An equivalent cloth from a bespoke guy would push-up the bespoke price from $500 to $1,000 higher, therefore, the bespoke suit would be almost $5,000 with a "special" cloth.

    If you buy an end bolt at the Oxxford Store, you can get the equivalent of $3,500 suit for $2,400.


    IV.  Cloths

    I have found the selection to be excellent.  I have ordered both with the MTM books and the merchant books, such as Dugdale and John Hardy.  The Holland & Sherry range is excellent.  My usual problem is too many choices and too few dollars (and room in the closet).

    True, they don't have Lesser's.  I guess they could get it on a special request, but I have found the Smiths Cloths, Dugdale, and the other Isles offerings to be excellent.  The Lesser's would be duplicative.


    V.  Conclusion

    Based on my experience, Oxxford is as good as it gets.  

    I can concede that some might have tried Oxxford and found it lacking for whatever reason.  If those customers have found a better MTM or bespoke maker, that's great.  I do not begrudge anyone from voicing an opinion.  I also do not begrudge the other MTM shops and bespoke makers from earning a living.  I also encourage people to step up to the plate and try bespoke if they have the "itch" to experience it.

    However, based on my broad experience with different bespoke makers, MTM programs, and clothiers, Oxxford works for me, and I am very happy with it.  I have no reason to experiement further.

    If I am a bit of missionary for Oxxford, so be it.
     
  3. lisapop

    lisapop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    534
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    Mar 6, 2005
    Individual mileage may vary.  I have thrown away more English bespoke suits in my lifetime than most people will ever own, and I also own Oxxford MTM suits.  For me, my Oxxford suits cannot hold a candle to my custom-made suits.  MTM is what it is and most often will not replicate the fit & form of a well-tailored custom suit. Funny thing, those friends, family members, and colleagues who boast about how brilliantly their MTM suits fit, and even how their Savile Row bespoke suits fit, don't see, or don't want to see, just how ill-fitting their suits really are.  Just don't have the heart to rain on their parade.  I can stand on the most fashionable streets of Manhattan and just shake my head in utter amazement at how many men walk by wearing exhorbitantly expensive, embarrasingly badly-fitting suits.  Pity.  But, blessed are those for whom MTM suits fit like the proverbial glove.  
    Grayson
     
  4. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    812
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    To Bry2000:

    To call salesman Tashae a "criminal" is most uncalled for.

    He is an honest and gentle man who has customers who have been with him for 25 years. He is held in great respect and admiration by his former sales staff at Bergdorf's who regularly drop by the store.

    If you don't like a store, its product, or its sales staff, just pass it by. There is no need to defame a humble salesman.
     
  5. slaavwmr

    slaavwmr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    NY/NJ
    Son of Brummel, since you appear to be the expert, let me ask you a question.

    What takes 8 weeks to make the suit?

    Also, does Oxxford let you make any changes to the suit they sell OTR? Or do they just fit you for the suit they sell OTR?
     
  6. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,686
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    Mar 3, 2004
    Grayson, what in your opinion are the places in which RTW (or even MTM) lack in perfect fitting? For me, I'd say that pants are the most difficult thing to have properly fitted in RTW. In addition, I think that a perfect sleeve cuff is something that you can only get in bespoke (and potentially MTM). For me, going bespoke will be a little bit about fit, a lot about styling, and a lot more about having creative control in collaboration with an artisan.

    Don't you think that most of the ill-fitting suits on men who could otherwise afford top-notch tailored pieces are due to (1) getting the improper rack size in the first place, and (2) not getting the necessary but completely doable alterations?

    I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.
     
  7. Luc-Emmanuel

    Luc-Emmanuel Well-Known Member

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    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Paris, France
    I don't get it. what is really MTM ???
    The only thing which bugs me in RTW, even the smallest sizes, is the coat's length. Suits in France don't come in S, R or L sizes : so you are stuck with a Regular, which I feel is sometime too long for me.
    Will a MTM program let you decide your jacket's length (and I don't mean altering it, because it ruins the silhouette) or not ?
    Otherwise, I don't really see the premium in MTM versus RTW with adequate alterations...

    luc
     
  8. lisapop

    lisapop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Mar 6, 2005
    MTM is basically retrofitting a garment to the customer where the measurements and specs of that garment have been predetermined.  Problem is most customers' measurements don't match up precisely with those specs arbitrarily established by the manufacturer.  How could they, given no two men are built exactly alike? The only way, for 99.9% of men, to achieve a precisely-fitted garment that takes into account every imperfection and every individual anatomical trait, is by starting with a clean slate in the form of an individual pattern as the foundation.  With the prices of MTM programs approaching those of excellent fully custom tailors, the debate between custom and MTM becomes moot.
    Grayson
     
  9. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    Dear Grayson:

    The time span from MTM order to final delivery averages about 6-7 weeks. Generally, 8 weeks is a safe guideline. Generally, the factory will deliver the suit within 4-5 weeks. Of course, union holidays, such as Christmas week, can affect the schedule.

    On MTM they will cut the buttonholes in the store if requested. They will sew the double sided buttonholes in the shop. Generally, the in-shop alterations take 1-3 weeks depending upon the work.

    The store will perform significant alterations on RTW. They have cut-down shoulders on RTW for me. They will do all sorts of alterations on the pants. I believe that they will re-cut pants if possible and if necessary. Of course, there is an extra charge.

    I have been a MTM customer. However, I had a good weight change, and I was able to purchase RTW this last summer. I now purchase both RTW and MTM. My last sportscoat was RTW (Crittiden model), and the only alterations were letting out the waist a bit and cutting and sewing the sleeve buttonholes. I liked the model so much that I ordered one in MTM.

    Again, if you're a confirmed bespoke enthusiast you might be disappointed because it's MTM. You won't be working with a cutter who can take you into the workshop and show you how he is adjusting the pattern. However, I am not alone in my viewpoint that its MTM is as good as bespoke. I know others who have the same opinion.

    If you're interested, call the store, and feel free to mention my name. The staff is pretty flexible and can deliver on most if not all requirements.

    Mark Seitelman
     
  10. classicgrey

    classicgrey Well-Known Member

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA

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