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Which plaid?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by A Y, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    An update on the cloth and suit after a quick jaunt to San Francisco this weekend to meet Tom for my first fitting. No pictures, unfortunately. The suit is looking very promising, and the cloth is fantastic: nice hand and drape that feels smooth and spongy to the touch, and the pattern isn't at all obtrusive on a large scale. From far away, it looks dark grey.

    I also found out some interesting things:

    - San Francisco is apparently the maddest stop of Tom's US tour. On Monday, their first day, they were seeing clients from 9 AM to 9 PM, with 2 half-hour breaks for meals, and it will be pretty much like that today as well. Things can go awry when they fall behind schedule (someone's late for example), because some people are overlapped with others and each session is only about 30 minutes long. But he seemed to be handling it well and efficiently, and Lucy charmed waiting clients in the hotel lobby. Even New York is laid back by comparison.

    - A&S drape cut is NOT a sack! When there are brief summaries of Savile Row style, A&S is made out to be formless, compared to Huntsman and other similar house styles. It's actually quite fitted (my jacket had to be let out a bit because it was too fitted), and far more so than any OTR Italian brand I've tried, but, and this is the big difference, the A&S cut doesn't give you any shape you don't have already. The hard styles give you shape with shoulders, flared skirts, etc. In terms of philosophy, I think this is very similar to the Neopolitan style. Interestingly, the only place I've seen a comparable fit is a fellow forum member's MTM Kiton KB-model jacket where he had very specifically asked for a native Neopolitan fit from a factory tailor/fitter, instead of the roomier jackets we get here.

    - Speaking of the jacket, the first fitting was somewhere more constructed than a forward (basted) fitting, but less than the full suit: no pockets, button holes, collar facing (I could see the lapel stitches on the canvas), or lining. Part of the reason is that for a first-time client, it's easier to take apart for alterations since the pattern may not be right yet, and it's also lighter to transport. 30 to 40 jackets' worth of lining add up to a lot of luggage weight.

    - The most unexpected thing I learned are how big a role the pants play. For good reason, a lot of talk about custom centers around the jacket, but the pants can be the subject of much custom work and help the jacket. I couldn't believe how good the pants look: my legs looked like they were going on forever. The pants are cut a bit slimmer than I had expected, too, but this was in line with my requests for the look of the suit. A lot of times, people talk about a house style as if it were a rigid thing, but I think it's more of a philosophical framework by which to frame the customer's requests. I'm sure trained eyes can tell that the suit is A&S-influenced from a distance, but the suit is very much cut to and reflects each person's desires.

    So far so good. I'm very excited about seeing the final product in a couple of months.

    --Andre
     
  2. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    - San Francisco is apparently the maddest stop of Tom's US tour. On Monday, their first day, they were seeing clients from 9 AM to 9 PM, with 2 half-hour breaks for meals, and it will be pretty much like that today as well. Things can go awry when they fall behind schedule (someone's late for example), because some people are overlapped with others and each session is only about 30 minutes long. But he seemed to be handling it well and efficiently, and Lucy charmed waiting clients in the hotel lobby. Even New York is laid back by comparison.
    Which brings up the eternal question about dressing in San Francisco... Where do these people go, because nobody ever sees well dressed men in San Francisco. Thanks for the update. Sounds like a great experience.
     
  3. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Well-Known Member

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    4457 Reminds me of Edward, Prince of Wales. It makes a strong statement.
     
  4. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to have missed this thread first time round.

    The cloth you chose is really very nice. I was looking at it myself a few months ago and thought it had a lovely pattern and a nice hand as well. My only reservation, which stopped me commissioning a bespoke suit, was that it was a trifle too light. I can't quite be sure from your photo, but my memory is that it really was quite lightweight. I was after something a touch heavier that I could wear in the spring and autumn as well so ended up deciding against it. But for a summer suit, very nice choice! I think you will be very happy with the final product.
     
  5. ceaton

    ceaton Well-Known Member

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    4466. But again, because that's what my favourite suit is made from!
     
  6. Jovan

    Jovan Well-Known Member

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    Well, this solidifies my decision for using Tom when and if I run into a considerable sum of money. Thanks for sharing, Andre. [​IMG]
     
  7. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Well-Known Member

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    May I inquire about the relative price? Is it, say, about what a MTM Oxxford in that fabric would be? More? Less? Does it have more handwork than Oxxford?
    thanks
     
  8. Tomasso

    Tomasso Well-Known Member

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    May I inquire about the relative price? Is it, say, about what a MTM Oxxford in that fabric would be? More? Less? Does it have more handwork than Oxxford?
    thanks


    I believe that Mr. Mahon would charge a bit more than Oxxford with less handwork.

    http://www.englishcut.com/archives/000006.html
     
  9. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    To add to Tomasso's comments, the custom suit will probably fit you better (unless you are exactly Oxxford's model). It's also much softer than Oxxford. Oxxford probably wins by a large margin on construction, but its styling always leaves a bit to be desired.

    --Andre
     
  10. cpac

    cpac Well-Known Member

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    just w/r/t the original question, I'd go witht he bottom right.
     
  11. Tomasso

    Tomasso Well-Known Member

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    Oxxford probably wins by a large margin on construction, but its styling always leaves a bit to be desired.

    That may be true for RTW but Oxxford MTM offers tremendous flexibility in design choices, much more than any other MTM maker. There's really nothing that they won't do to modify a jacket pattern(shoulder padding, gorge, button stance, front quarters, collar, waist, etc....) or trousers(rise, pleats-flat, dimensions at cuff, knee and thigh.) As for fit, in addition to its standard MTM program, Oxxford also offers a program where a pattern is cut and a fitting is scheduled. This program is offered only at their workrooms and involves a surcharge.
     
  12. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    That may be true for RTW but Oxxford MTM offers tremendous flexibility in design choices, much more than any other MTM maker. There's really nothing that they won't do to modify a jacket pattern(shoulder padding, gorge, button stance, front quarters, collar, waist, etc....) or trousers(rise, pleats-flat, dimensions at cuff, knee and thigh.)

    I think this would be great for someone who has a very strong and technical sense of what he wanted, but I think that even enthusiasts like posters of the clothing forums don't necessarily know all the details that go into a great-fitting and -looking suit. We've seen examples here of the Schubert custom shoe experiments and Jantzen shirts that have tried to imitate other styles, but they invariably look like a poor copy. I think it's easier to start out with a house style that you like, and go from there.

    --Andre
     
  13. Jovan

    Jovan Well-Known Member

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    I think I'd be pretty at home with the Mahon/A&S house style from all I've seen. I don't terribly like lots of shoulder padding or canvassing, and the cut seems just right.
     
  14. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    The cloth you chose is really very nice. I was looking at it myself a few months ago and thought it had a lovely pattern and a nice hand as well. My only reservation, which stopped me commissioning a bespoke suit, was that it was a trifle too light.

    An update: I got the suit yesterday, and it looks very nice. I'm amazed at how much of the fit he got right including things that the MTM guys never get, but as always there will be a few tweaks necessary here and there, which we will discuss when I meet Tom in SF this Monday. Interestingly, in the forward fitting, the pants were high-backed requiring suspenders, but they're now sidetabs only. He must have thought my butt looked too big or something. [​IMG]

    Holdfast's comments are very interesting because now I see that a drape-style suit requires a heftier cloth than 9 oz. It still looks pretty good, but I can see how it would hang better with more weight. I'll take pictures maybe tonight when I wear it for the first time for a Momix performance, where I will probably be severely overdressed, but I'll take one for the team. [​IMG]

    --Andre
     
  15. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    I had a great Monday: I went to San Francisco to see Tom Mahon for him to check the fit of my suit, and I also had great lunch with Iammatt. After lunch we went to meet Tom, and had a great time talking about clothes, his philosophy of tailoring, and other things. (We found out he flies planes when we asked why his new business cards had Spitfires on them.)

    The best surprise for me was seeing Matt's Rubinacci suit. Now I understand drape, and it's something that can only be judged in person: pictures can convey some of its charm, but you really have to see it in real life, because its effect is 3D in nature. It's an amazing suit that really stands out in real life, and I have never quite seen anything like it before.

    I've attached a picture of the three of us below. I'm on the left, Tom's in the middle, and Matt's on the right.

    --Andre
    [​IMG]
     
  16. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andre.

    I also have to say that Tom is a terrific guy and your suit and the others he had in progress all looked great. Your fabric choice was, in my mind, correct.
     
  17. Master Shake

    Master Shake Well-Known Member

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    Andre,

    Thanks for posting the pic. The suit looks great -- there's more suppression and shape than I would have imagined there could be in a drape suit. This makes me look even more forward to my appointment with Tom in NYC.
     
  18. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member

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    The suit looks beautiful Andre.

    My earlier comments about weight were more about being able to wear it across a few seasons in the kind of temperate climate I have in the UK. My Ede suits are not particularly drapey at all so I wasn't considering that aspect when judging the weight (though I did take into account how it would hang in general). Logically a slightly heavier cloth should drape better than lighter ones but really, when you have a suit that looks as dapper as the one you're wearing in that photo, such issues are hardly worth considering! [​IMG]
     
  19. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andre.

    I also have to say that Tom is a terrific guy and your suit and the others he had in progress all looked great. Your fabric choice was, in my mind, correct.


    If I'd known I'd have met you guys for lunch. My appointment was at 11.
     
  20. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    If I'd known I'd have met you guys for lunch. My appointment was at 11.
    Lets plan it for next time. Have you switched over from A&S to Mahon?
     

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