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The Hong Kong Tailors Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Silk, Apr 6, 2007.

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  1. sfStartups

    sfStartups Member

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    Exactly! How can I increase my competence? I have a list that I'll share (it's not edited well), of what I'm looking for. I want the tailor to do their thing but I want them to generally follow the below list. I have read countless times on this forum and elsewhere this statement "OTR looks better than most bespoke" and I want to avoid this.

    suits:
    no silk lining, need something breathable
    fully canvassed
    horn buttons
    hand stitching on lapel etc (pick stitching)?
    working buttonholes
    natural/soft shoulder padding
    suppressed waist?
    A&S soft coat?
    dual vents
    2 buttons
    two pairs of pants

    trousers:
    lining or no lining?
    belt loops
    suppressed waist?
    suspender hooks
    no pleats
    no cuffs
    no back pockets

    patterns I like (find out what can be worn separately or as a suit only): prince of wales, herringbone, solid navy, any check, tweed
     
  2. AxelFunke

    AxelFunke New Member

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    IL SARTO

    Being a long term customer i just was told that it is normal if a premium priced suit - 16000 Hzk$ - with premium fabric falls apart / rips apart after what effectively was a two month usage. No acceptable replacement offered. One does not buy Mercedes and expect it last less than a Toyota, does one...?
    Further to that inner lining seams where opening, buttons falling off, etc.

    !!! BE WARNED !!! GO ELSEWHERE!
     
  3. phillycheese

    phillycheese Well-Known Member

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    Jun 21, 2012
    
    I've provided some feedback on thise tailors already. Just to add,silk linings breathe very well since it is a natural fabric, but it doesn't wear as long. That is why people prefer Bemberg Cupro which is also a natural fibre but wears longer. I also heard people use ermanzine but not seen it ever in Hk. Your list is very superficial and all tailors can do that. The more skilled ones will notice your particular body shape (slope of shoulders, length and proportion of torso, shoulder drops, etc) and manage accordingly. You will hear more bad reviews about travelling tailors because it is hard to get it right without several fittings sometimes, especially on first suit. Pick the tailor that you are comfortable with and work with them. If Chan's cost bother you, then you are not really going to work well with them because in the back of your mind you are thinking cost and not fit. Go with what fits your body rather than the trend. Eg Justin Timberlake fit on fat guys just look silly. Good hunting.
     
  4. BigbigJohnny

    BigbigJohnny Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what material of your suit is.
    Some Italian wool with high thread counts wear out easily.

     
  5. AxelFunke

    AxelFunke New Member

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    Zegna! I expect more than just a total of 2 month usage time!
     
  6. AxelFunke

    AxelFunke New Member

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    And however, one does not pay for a Mercedes and receives a Toyota.
    Full replacement was expected but rejected!
     
  7. IsABellyDad

    IsABellyDad Active Member

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    Quote: Based on my very limited experience... Chan is actually pretty transparent on their pricing. If you visit their shop, there is a thick folder containing the price for each fabric (for jacket, pants, vest, and 2 piece or 3 piece is just adding them together). If you order, say, 1 jacket and 2 pairs of pants in one go, you will get a 10% off for the 2nd pair of pants (the staff says that's because they can save some cloths when cutting together, which may be true, but I see that as a kind of volume discount). Every now and then, they may offer an overall 10% for certain fabrics (the staff says that's because they have purchased a large lot and thus got a discount from that fabric supplier, e.g. Loro Piana, and thus they can pass the discount to the customer).

    HK$ 18,300 can get you pretty good fabrics from the top tier fabric suppliers. There are definitely cheaper choices if you are not particular with the fabric.

    Unlike some other "top tier" tailors in HK, Chan does not accept CMT. (Well, it seems that, in recent years, some other "top tier" tailors also do not accept CMT unless you're a repeating customer or you're referred by a repeating customer.)

    It's unlikely that you will get definitive answer on which tailor is better - as the experiences from different people really differ (and even the same person getting suits made from the same tailor can vary suit by suit... with good tailors typically getting better and better as paper patterns are retained and thus improvements can be made). However, the advice that you should budget for ample time for fittings (both the time spent for each fitting and the number of fittings) is important, which I think is quite difficult for people not living in HK.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely right, I doubt that they would want to do so simply because of the time taken which could be better spent on 'normal' garments.

    You will not find any/many tailors in the Tuen Mun area given it is a backwater for visitors. You would need to go to TST or else Central/Admiralty or Wan Chai.
     
  9. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    They don't discount anyway and why should they make a loss for you? Don't think that all markets behave in the same way, that is ridiculous.
     
  10. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    You simply do not understand how this market works and you are trying to make it conform to your idea of what it should be or do. It won't.

    You should also understand that Asian tailors operate at the low end of the market, they best tailors have their origins in the Cantonese region.
     
  11. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    Tailoring is an art, not a science, what is right for one person is not for another. Different tailors work in different ways and none will satisfy all. You must adapt to the market's ways.
     
  12. sfStartups

    sfStartups Member

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    Explain to me how this market is different than any other? A relationship based business goes both ways...the customer has rights and responsibilities, as does the business. Do I really need to explain the benefits to a company to offer bulk ordering discounts? You seem to be blinded for your love of all things sartorial and the mystic that's created around it. At its core, it is a business. A ruthless one that has seen massive downsizing and M&A.

    As I write this, another email notification comes in and now you are up to three posts in a row chastising me. I can see how you have 6k posts. The complaints are numerous when it comes to bespoke. From the fit sucks to complaining that they take months longer for orders to tailors just shutting up shop and running off with the money. Keep operating in the same fashion if you want but I don't see it getting any better.

    When I go to my local flower shop, I know the owners and they know me. We have created a relationship over the years which includes, yes, special discounts to keep my loyalty. There are five other flower shops in walking distance, they have to do something to retain me. I don't ask them to grow flowers quicker, or have flowers that no one else has in stock, just like I didn't demand that I violate the laws of economics and not appreciate scaling in this situation: I didn't say because I am ordering 10k worth of merchandise, they must violate said laws and provide me all the merchandise tomorrow! Obviously that's unreasonable and probably not possible.

    I find it funny I am arguing for capitalism. Might be the first time I've ever done that. haha
     
  13. BigbigJohnny

    BigbigJohnny Well-Known Member

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    Dec 16, 2013
    Which line of Zegna?
    I have both Trofeo and Traveller at my wardrobe - they are still in excellent condition after 2,3 years.



     
  14. Penfold

    Penfold Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    London
    Wild guess but that new job which requires 15k's worth of suits and shirts is not at a non-profit, right?

    There are package deals offered by some of the tailor shops in Hong Kong. 8k HKD gets you two suits and two shirts, that kind of thing. Generally these places are at the lower end of the range and don't appeal to SF posters, so we never hear much about them. Likely the fabric is no-name garbage and the suit will put together in a Shenzhen workshop using fused construction.
    The middle and top end of the market sell themselves more on perceived quality, refinement etc and discounting is pretty unlikely I'm afraid. Getting suits made is a bit of an ego trip for a lot of people and the laws of supply and demand don't apply in quite the same way. Many people think that the concept of Veblen Goods is relevant here - beyond that you might also consider that supply is fairly constrained as production is not easily scaleable. Natural variation in demand is dealt with by delaying production where possible and prioritising workload.

    Are you in the USA out of interest? If so, where? There are one or two operations which are based Stateside, measure you up there but make in HK. Spoon Tailors in San Francisco being perhaps the best example. http://www.styleforum.net/t/225112/spoon-tailor-hong-kong-bespoke-operation-in-san-francisco/240

    On the YWY vs Gordon Yao comparison I wrote one back in February. http://www.styleforum.net/t/33568/the-hong-kong-tailors-thread/2145#post_7680319
     
  15. bamboo

    bamboo Well-Known Member

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    Sep 12, 2012
    If you see them in person with multiples orders at a time, you may be able to ask some sort of discount if you ask nicely.
    I think they would not give a discount on internet based inquiry.

    You must be very lucky to get your suits spot on for the first try from both style and fitting point of view.
    In the thread there are recent unhappy customers' report of Chan and Yao who commissioned suits with tight schedule.
     
  16. bamboo

    bamboo Well-Known Member

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  17. Penfold

    Penfold Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    London
    Lai sifu isn't too busy right now so my tweeds were finished pretty quickly.

    Anyone know where the nearest grouse moor is? I'm guessing somewhere in the New Territories, right? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Tweed from Schofield and Smith's St Andrews bunch at 50 quid a metre, tie dark red wool challis from Sam Hober, purple shorts model's own.
     
    2 people like this.
  18. Stiva

    Stiva Well-Known Member

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    428
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    Mar 15, 2013
    Penfold, that is an excellent result. Might have gone for no roping in the shoulders, but great! What weight is that?
     
  19. BigbigJohnny

    BigbigJohnny Well-Known Member

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    Dec 16, 2013
    It seems not smooth under the collar from side picture, is it due to one-piece back?
     
  20. Penfold

    Penfold Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    London
    

    480g so 16/17 oz. Had to turn the aircon to Arctic before taking the fit pictures.
     

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