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What’s a $4,000 Suit Worth?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TRINI, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. MikeDT

    MikeDT Well-Known Member

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    Because he's too expensive and Ercole is taking all his business?

    Customer, Make me a suit.
    Tailor A, That will be $4000 please.
    Customer, HOW MUCH!!!?..bye bye.

    Customer, Make me a suit.
    Tailor B, That will be $2000 please.
    Customer, Sounds reasonable, when will it be ready?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  2. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    Any thoughts on a factory-produced, custom-tailored suit? Have the pattern by drawn and cut for your body, and fit by the cutter at the end, but do the tailoring using mass production techniques, perhaps using excess capacity or time in a factory. I know certain tailoring traditions depend on having tailors trained a certain way in order to construct a suit from their patterns correctly. But if a custom tailor knows a factory's production line, and can customize his pattern-making to that line while giving you a custom fitting, that would seem like a more scalable way to do things, and it may even be cheaper.

    I remember a long time ago, some people had their EG custom lasts done on the standard EG production line. It won't have all the custom bells and whistles, but it seemed like the fit was very close to the custom shoe.
     
  3. edmorel

    edmorel Well-Known Member

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    A Y, jeffreyd is most qualified to answer. In my limited experience, what you propose is done and does work.

    Ercole does not sit and cut/sew every suit himself. Apart from his own workers, he may outsource some of the work. At $2000 a suit with 400-500 in materials, rent and salaries, you need to have the capacity to do a good number of suits to make it worth it.
     
  4. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ed. I'm hoping too that Jeffrey will say something about this. Do you know if Martin Greenfield's custom stuff is done like this? There seems to be several companies that are pretty close to this, like Oxxford, Kiton, and maybe Attolini, but they're just a step or two away from actually doing it.
     
  5. dirkweems

    dirkweems Well-Known Member

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    Sorry imanewbie. You are very wrong. I'm no movie star and I don't go to major million dollar parties. I'm just a working man, a real nobody. I wish my suits cost $4,000. They cost a bit more than that. I like wearing clothes that fit, and clothes that are my own. There is nothing special or extremely one-off and original in what I wear. You've probably passed me on the street and may have thought " nice suit". I'm not the only person on SF who wears bespoke suits from Savile Row. There are many other rather ordinary/normal non celebrity people here who probably spend more on their bespoke suits than I do.

    Movie stars are the worst dressed people. They dress no better than tramps. And when they dress for the red carpet they are usually wearing clothes loaned to them for the occasion by a major fashion label just so that the star mentions the name on tv or in print. The clothes don't fit well...sleeves too long, big trouser break etc. in the old days movie stars always wore suits and always looked like stars. They patronized Savile Row. Now it's shorts and flip,flops.

    The fact that the tailor cannot afford to make a suit for himself is because the opportunity cost is too high. If he spends 70 hours making a suit, it better be one he gets paid to make. As he doesn't go out and see clients, a suit for himself is a luxury he cannot afford at the moment.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Maximus Mark

    Maximus Mark Well-Known Member

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    Great article. Once you go bespoke, you can't go back.

    I prefer to support a local bespoke tailor as well (Trend custom), though my suits are more in the $2K range as he has a staff of junior tailors and seamstresses for production.
    Psychologically at the $4K+ mark you'd expect superlative amounts of handiwork and construction. This is where I have a hard time justifying the cost, since this is rarely the case.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  7. jerrybrowne

    jerrybrowne Well-Known Member

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    Heh. I like the play-by-play. Nice.
     
  8. David Reeves

    David Reeves Well-Known Member

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    Have a go at selling some 4k suits on your own, without a brand behind you or a store, see how long it takes you in man hours just to sell one.
     
    2 people like this.
  9. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Well-Known Member

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    I'm just talking about the impression the article gives. I have no idea. But I could see how once you've got a built in customer base that you've worked hard to acquire, selling the suits could have reasonable marginal cost, whereas there aren't such cost savings in the making of the suit.
     
  10. ChiliPalmer

    ChiliPalmer Well-Known Member

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    His company is called Arcangelo Sartorial.

    There is no website. He has a profile on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/peter-frew/48/115/182) and is associated with some Custom Tailoring trade groups, but otherwise the man is out of sight, out of mind.

    Yet he is as busy as he can be.

    People who are in the market for bespoke suits and the like know where to find them. Goods such as these are bought, not sold.

    That makes all the difference in the world.
     
  11. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Well-Known Member

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    Im not sure if this is relevant but i thnk this is done to some extent with some SR firms in that two cutters from two different firms might be using the same tailor to put their respective suits together. I mean i can sort of see this working if lets say you have a factory that produces on the level of Brioni/Oxxford and you have cutters cutting patterns and just sending over the pieces to have them assembled at the factory. But then again to train that about of workers to that level is going to be pretty hard. If I'm not mistaken Brioni has their own school for that where students learn for 4 years before putting needle to cloth
     
  12. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    I thought SR and North Hampton are both big circle jerk group with different firms use the same outworkers for some of the more standardized work...
     
  13. add911_11

    add911_11 Well-Known Member

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    For the suit guys, yes, but not so sure about the shoe guys.

    SR may only survive with freelance workers, had they need to pay insurance and pension, they might as well learn Chinese and work in Mainland, at least there are many people who will buy their heritage.

    One way to help, craftsmen should try to do something that attracts more 'young' customer, from private school kids to young professional, I knew a lot of them spend as money as SFer buying junk from D&G and Armani.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  14. Elegantly Wasted

    Elegantly Wasted Well-Known Member

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    Would those craftsmen provide a look/style similar to D&G and Armani? I bet such youngsters don't even want to hear the terms "conservative british" or "old neapolitan".
     
  15. add911_11

    add911_11 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it can be. Tailor can easily follow the GQ trend, with bespoke qualities.

    In fact, the fit that most SFers love are very modern, not even slightly traditional.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. MikeDT

    MikeDT Well-Known Member

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    :)

    I was writing couple of small role plays for students to act out this morning

    ............
    Tailor A, That will be $4000 please.
    Customer, HOW MUCH!!!?..bye bye.
    Tailor A, But..but..but..hold on sir!.....
    (Tailor A then tries to convince the thrifty customer why he should spend $4k on a suit and not $2k).
     
  17. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Well-Known Member

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    Thats essentially what i said but you put it more errrr "eloquently" lol
     
  18. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    to answer the OPs question technically, btw, on B&S, about $269, with free shipping of course.
     
  19. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the SR system of using outworkers (and the Italians do this as well) is still within the bespoke tradition of having lots of handwork. I was thinking more of a factory like Suit Supply or Indochino where machines do most of the work. I wonder how much latitude there is in their machines to accomodate a custom pattern.

    NPR today had an infographic as a follow-up to the article:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012...een-a-99-suit-and-a-5-000-suit-in-one-graphic

    It's not entirely accurate, because the lines between high-end MTM, RTW, and custom is pretty blurry with respect to construction techniques and material.
     
  20. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Well-Known Member

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    Ahh i see. Well theoretically if there are still people manning the machines I'm sure there could be some latitude. If I'm understanding your concept right what you would be essentially be looking at is having a cutter take measurements then sending it to a place like in this video. (the first 3 mins of the video shows mass cutting of fabrics so thats what you are replacing)



    i don't really see why you couldn't do it, maybe they could suit supply or indochino could section of a part of their factory specifically for this type of work? Just like how zegna sections off parts of theirs for Tom Ford, Gucci, Dunhill etc?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

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