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Using a local unkown tailor fo a bespoke suit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by blackstone, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    Having recently moved to Brasil and being unable to return the the UK anytime soon, I was thinking of using a local tailor that I have found to make me a bespoke suit. He uses either material fro UK or Italy (Ermenegildo Zegna).

    I have recently had some trousers shortened and the waist taken in by him and the job looks really good.

    Obviously, a bespoke suit is something totally different. I have seen some examples for his work and to me, they look really good.

    But what should I look out for and what questions should I ask before deciding on having a suit made.

    At the moment, the one thing that is holding me back is the price. I have been quoted around 1500 usd.

    Any advise would be much appriciated.
     
  2. NORE

    NORE Well-Known Member

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    Nothing else to do but take the plunge in the house style and hope for the best. (unless you know folks who have used him before). If it turns out well you can use that as a springboard toward future commissions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  3. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    thanks, thats what i as thinking.

    at the end of the day 1500 isnt a huge amount of money and if the material is good and the cut is ok, at worst it would be an average work suit.
     
  4. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    I had many suits made by "unknown" tailors. I am of the school that your relationship with the tailor is very important. being a good customer to a small tailor can get you good results.

    good luck
     
  5. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    I am of the same train of thought.

    I plan to take a few more items for alterations with him on saturday and then discuss more about the bespoke suit. I also want to check if he does shirts.

    One thing that slightly dissapointed me was that he wont shorten a sleeve from the shoulder, only the wrist.

    Ona a seperate note, if I went for a suite made from the Ermenegildo Zegna material, could I expect the same material that would be used in an actual Ermenegildo Zegna suit?
     
  6. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    Whilst it can be fun to experiment with a new tailor and sometimes one can strike lucky, that does seem expensive unless you sure of his capabilities. Examine his completed commissions and go in when someone is being fitted so that you can judge the garment being worn.

    Pass?
     
  7. greger

    greger Well-Known Member

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    One person that was asking me about learning from a certain tailor, that he meet from Chile, When he describe to me how he said to do some parts of a body coat all I could think of is this Chilean Tailor is was very good. A shame to see a tailor of that skill doing alterations. Some tailors are famous on the internet, but, are they really as good as some of the unknown? Short of being a tailor it is hard to know what another tailor can do. Some tailors found that they can make more money doing alterations, so that is what they do. Some tailors don't keep up with the prices they are worth, which is really good for the customers.
     
  8. celery

    celery Well-Known Member

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    @greger

    I don't think it's just a matter of their tailoring abilities that dictates if one becomes well known or not. Location, working capital, marketing, luck, time; these all play a significant role in determining success. No reason a tailor from Brasil or Chile couldn't do exceptional work, but there are many reasons why no one might know them.

    I say, if the work looks good and you like the choice of materials, go for it.
     
  9. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    @ celery

    I think thats the problem in Curitiba. Not many big international companies and the tailor is hidden away down town. It turns out that he used to do suits for my finance's dad and he really liked them but as time when on, he was able to buy cheaper suits from the high street despite them no being of the same quality.
    This guy has been in business for 41 years. For the samples i have seen, the work does look good. the alterations he has done for me so far are by far the best that i have had done to date and he had some great looking material.

    i have made my mind up, im going to give him a go. i will go back on saturday when i have more time to see more samples and discuss the cut, mterial etc.

    i will keep everyone posted.
     
  10. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Quote:
    These kinds of guys often produce excellent work, and they are (literally) dying out. If you have recommendations from people you trust and you've seen his work, I would use them while you still can. The quality traditional small-volume bespoke tailor is on the verge of extinction in many places.
     
  11. koolhistorian

    koolhistorian Well-Known Member

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    My 2 euro cents - ask him how much it will be a CMT for a blazer (SC), frankly because there you see the tailor's skill. If the price is ok, buy over e-bay a decent POW SC length (just to see how the pattern alignment is done, details, etc) for something like 50 pounds or less and give it a try.
    The other technique is to enquire old customers - the brazilian gents I've met were always good dressers (ok, mainly diplomats) so there is a chance that they were using very good tailors.
    The thing is that there might be a chance that his CMT price will be 1/3 of the price and the rest being the fabric - you can source over the net a good deal of high quality fabric at a good price.
    Good luck, and keep in mind that it takes over 3 suits to get spot-on fit from a tailor.
     
  12. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    You need to figure out what's important to you and see if he can meet it- it sounds like you're more interested in construction and skill than say fit or creativity in design. I'm much more interested in the latter and I was very disappointed with a coat I had made on Savile Row, the tailor was very dismissive of my stylistic requests, despite the 'sewing' or whatever being excellent. I've found a couple small, independent tailors that actually listen to me and I enjoy what they do for me at a fraction of the cost. Sounds like this guy might let you be hands-on and a part of the process, which I think would be great.
     
  13. Pliny

    Pliny Well-Known Member

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    IMO sounds worth a try. But recommend u go trial jacket only first. lesser initial outlay while u decide whether the relationship is working. add trews if it wrks.
    what i did
     
  14. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, being very naive here but I dont understand the acromyns. whats cmt, pow, sc?

    i agree with what you have said about a lot of the brasilian gents and this tailor actually tailors for the ex-mayor of curitiba and now governer of Parana state.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  15. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    after speaking with him, albeit in portuguese and my portuguese isnt good, i believe he will accomodate the style i want so im not so worried about that.
     
  16. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    i did think of this but would you recommend a test jacket over a test pair of trousers?
     
  17. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Well-Known Member

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    CMT = 'Cut, Make, Trim'. Which means you supply the tailor with fabric and he charges only for the labour and trimmings.
    PoW usual means Prince Of Wales, which is a type of check pattern. SC means Sportcoat.
    So he is suggesting that you buy a sportcoat length of Prince Of Wales checked fabric (though, for checking pattern matching, any type of check will be just as good) then ask the tailor to make it up into a sportcoat to see how good his work is.
     
  18. texas_jack

    texas_jack Well-Known Member

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    Just be careful of getting him too much out of his house style. If he's been cutting the same suit for 40 years he may not be as adept at making a different style as either of you think.
     
  19. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    Im actually after a PoW suit.

    I currently have a Armani Collezioni suit which is now far too big for me. would this work as to a cmt test?
     
  20. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    good point. i will keep that in mind!
     

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