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Advice for a groom (what to look for in a suit, and shopping in Hong Kong)

tsg20

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I'm going to be in Hong Kong next week, and I'm thinking of having a suit made for my wedding. The days when I have the need of a dinner suit seem to be over, whereas I do occasionally attend events requiring lounge suits, so I'm inclined to go with a lounge suit over a tuxedo. I'm basically after some advice as to where I should go (tailors that seem to be suggested again and again are Ascot Chang, WW Chan, and Jantzen - any thoughts?), and what I should ask for.

One reason that I'm thinking of having a suit made is that my dimensions don't seem to be typical for off-the-rack suits - I'm 6 feet tall and 140 pounds. I do have one off-the-rack charcoal grey suit that I had altered to fit a little better, and it's OK, although still a little large on me. For the wedding I'm looking for a dark suit (it's an evening ceremony), and both my fiancee and I have an instinctive distrust of a dark blue suit; she leans towards having it be black. Any advice on appropriate things to look for with shirts/ties/shoes/braces/belts etc would be appreciated, too - I'm an academic, so essentially never have to wear smart clothing, and consequently I'm pretty ignorant about it (apart from the suit mentioned above, all I have in the way of smart clothing is the shirt I wear with it, a slimfit white shirt from Thomas Pink, which was the only shirt I could find that was anywhere near skinny enough for me).

Any advice, both on Hong Kong and on suits etc, will be much appreciated!
 

Concordia

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There are many threads about HK, black suits, and weddings.

Consensus on suits seems to be that Chan is a safe bet if that's your price range. A-Man also serves tourists pretty well, but Chan has the advantage of travelling to the US. So you can do follow-up orders if you like the first suit.

You should be able to get a suit inside a week if you get measured early on. My only advice there apart from the usual things with new tailors is to be very careful about the kind of shoulder line you ask for. Chan will do anything, but sometimes tend to building them out a little too far. Have a clear idea about what you want in that line.

Also, if this is your one and only good suit, think now about fabric weight and maker/seller. Most HK shops don't do fabulous quality cloth as London or Milanese firms might. but they have some lines that are better than others. I think Chan's top brand is Holland & Sherry, which is a bit of a grab bag but does offer some fine, classic stuff. Don't be snowed by some of the fancier labels. "Super 120 (or 150)" means not much to you, the consumer. Some brands like Loro Piana are wildly overrated and overpriced.

For weight, HK will probably stress tropicals. If this is a winter (i.e., snow on the ground) suit, 12-13oz worsted is your best starting point if you can find it. 10oz will be fine for the warmer three seasons, except for the very hottest/wettest months. For that, you want 8-9oz tropicals, fresco, linen, etc.

Oh-- unless you're terminally trendy, ditch the black. An elegant charcoal or Oxford grey will be much more useful in non-nightclub society.

As far as accessories go, you might get a bargain there, but tastes are so different that you might end up with something that looks ostentatious or cheesy back in the States. An awful lot of designer-ish looking stuff is sold there. So, unless you're getting married the day after you get back OR have some reason to be married in a souvenir of HK, wait a while before getting tie and your black cap-toe oxford shoes.

Shirts are a good idea to line up if you think you'll need them-- Ascot Chang is not a place I'd go back to but their workmanship is fine and they have a New York beachhead if you need service or repeat orders. Chan might also do a credible job but you should ask around first. There is/was also a firm called David's that might also have a NYC outlet, that is sort of famous. Whatever else you do with shirts, allow enough time for fittings and maybe even a laundering before you pull the trigger on the rest of your order. It's easy to walk out with a shirt that almost fits.

Braces might be available there (and it's an excellent idea to have your suit trousers cut with a high back and pleats to make best use of them). But for maximum security you probably want a pair of Thurstons and I don't know that you'd get a better price in HK on those.
 

acidboy

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Concordia pretty much nailed it.

The better stores to go there for shopping are located in IFC mall and Landmark. In Causeway Bay, there used to be a Mitsukoshi Department Store that should be closed by now, but were selling Aquascutuum and other British branded suits, coats and overcoats on the cheap.

Also don't go to Jantzen on weekends. Enjoy some dimsum. There's a champagne brunch every Sunday morning at the Conrad that is superb. Avoid the night markets and bazaars. And if you're travelling mostly by subway, get an octopus card.
 

luk-cha

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as most have said about where i will try and give some pointer in regards to style.

if you are looking for a more dressy suit i would choose something like a single breast 1 button peak lapel, as this will give you enough formallity to be able to wear for all occasions, it can be dressed up and down quite well too
 

chobochobo

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I thought that one of the perks of being an academic was dressing up for High table
 

tsg20

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Originally Posted by chobochobo
I thought that one of the perks of being an academic was dressing up for High table


Yes - but I have to wear a gown whenever I do that, so it doesn't really matter what I wear underneath!

Thanks for the helpful replies. I guess one thing I'm considering is the Dior Homme/Slimane look (ie really skinny), as I have the appropriate frame - but is that the kind of thing that Hong Kong tailors will be able to make, and is it the kind of thing that will look ludicrous by next summer anyway?
 

Sator

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My basic recommendation for grooms is that if you should match to your bride. If she is in a formal wedding dress then you should wear formal dress as well - otherwise it is kind of like wearing a t-shirt and flip-flops. For a daytime wedding this means morning dress or at least a stroller. A lounge suit is informal dress and is fine if your bride is wearing an equally informal dress ie a standard fashion dress. For an evening wedding you should consider white tie or if you prefer a semi-formal look, a dinner jacket.

Morning dress is standard wear for weddings in Japan and given that Hong Kong was part of the Commonwealth for so long I imagine the dress traditions will be closer to other Commonwealth nations. In most Commonwealth nations (UK, Australia, New Zealand) morning dress is still the most correct attire for a groom. The same goes for Europe. The American forum members will tell you that morning dress is rare in that country and that all sorts of gaudy "pseudo-tuxes" are commonly worn - in the middle of the day!

Also patent leather shoes should only be worn as part of evening full dress. For day time weddings Oxford shoes are preferred.

Please save the black lounge suit for a funeral - unless you consider the end of your "freedom" to be an event worth mourning over. If you really have to wear such funeral attire to your own wedding I suggest you make sure your bride is also suitably attired in a black fashion dress or something similarly informal.
 

Sator

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Oh - I just realised there is no mention of where you are based.

The fact you use the American term "tuxedo" rather than the British English "dinner jacket" suggests you are from the US and you are just visiting HK.

If you are indeed based in the US and you insist on wearing informal dress (ie a lounge suit) even when your bride is in a formal wedding dress then my best suggestion for a daytime wedding would be a navy or light grey lounge suit for a daytime event with morning dress recommended only to the staunch traditionalist. To make a lounge suit more formal I would recommend having it made with peaked lapels - perhaps with just a single button closure. A waistcoat (vest in the US) either dove grey or buff in colour would help make the look more formal too.
 

tsg20

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Thanks for the advice, especially the tip on the peaked lapel. Yes, it's an evening wedding in Chicago. The bride will be wearing an evening dress, and is happy for me to wear what I want.

Any further tips about getting a slimcut suit or otherwise would be appreciated...
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by tsg20
Thanks for the advice, especially the tip on the peaked lapel. Yes, it's an evening wedding in Chicago. The bride will be wearing an evening dress, and is happy for me to wear what I want.

Any further tips about getting a slimcut suit or otherwise would be appreciated...


OK if it's an evening wedding my preference would be the dinner jacket - as with most forum members.

Here are a couple of alternatives to standard options that look pretty sharp:







They are all evening wear. White-cream coloured dinner jackets are best reserved for warmer weather.

If you are still insistent on a lounge suit then a darker colour solid would be better for the evening. Single and peak lapels is dressier but double breasted suits would also work extremely well.

As far as cuts of coat go please go with the suggestion of a good tailor. Designer cuts are usually more flattering to the designer's bank balance than they are to you and look silly after about a season.

There are plenty of posts on silhouettes of suits to be found in the search engine. Manton's book is also worth a read as is Alan Flusser's.
 

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