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Any experience with J. Hilburn for Suits?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by pickleweed, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. pickleweed

    pickleweed Member

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    hey guys,

    my sister recommended me trying j. hilburn for suits. ive been searching for reviews, but cant really find anything regarding their suits. shirts, yes, suits no. has anyone used them for a suit? would love to hear how it turned out. and how do they compare to other MTMs?

    i get the feeling that their a pyramid scheme for MTM suiting, and im not really sure how i feel about that. but i guess if the results are good enough, then i can get over it.
     


  2. pickleweed

    pickleweed Member

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    im meeting with the lady tonight. shes going to show me samples of their fabrics, a completed suit jacket to get an idea for the quality and cut, and she'll supposedly take my measurements. im not ready to buy yet, but ill report how it goes.

    do you have any photos of what you've received from them?
     


  3. CousinDonuts

    CousinDonuts Senior member

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    First of all, any time that someone asks about J. Hilburn on SF, one of the early responders is always a first time poster, with glowing reviews. Makes me wonder if someone at the company trolls social media and forums to specifically respond. In an earlier thread, one of the consultants themselves suddenly showed up minutes after a question was asked.

    Anywho...I have met with a local rep a few times last year as I too was interested. For the record, I have tried MTM from Astor & Black, Indochino, Suit Supply and Kent Wang. I chose to use KW over Hilburn in November.

    From my brief interactions and research, here are rough pros and cons for suits.
    Pros - measuring is done in person; you can touch the fabrics; suits are made in the same factory in Spain as Burberry; if the suit doesn't fit they'll remake, and if you simply hate it they will give you a refund (something A&B wouldn't do)

    Cons - they don't carry a ton of fabrics at once (but had all the staples); suits are new for them; the reps are more peppy style consultants and not tailors; not a lot of info or reviews on SF or internet in general.

    I can't remember right now how extensive the options are. They have all the basics - peak vs notch, double/single vents, working/non working buttonholes...but I do not remember if you can change the shoulder construction - soft, regular, roped - lower or raise button stance, stuff like that.

    In my mind, you have to rely on the pictures they put in the lookbook to see if they have any tailoring issues. I know you'll probably say that the stylists and photographers would be able to hide flaws with clipping and angles, but look at some of Indochino's product shots. I thought the Hilburn stuff looks pretty good but maybe a tad boxy at times. Again, not so much sure if that's a house cut per se or just what they did for the particular model.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013


  4. pickleweed

    pickleweed Member

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    that helps a lot actually, thank you.

    i thought the suits were made in hong kong?

    im looking for a slimmer, a bit more fashion cut. hopefully they can accomodate that, because even though i thought the lookbook stuff looked nice, it was a bit conservative. ill find out tonight :)

    and i always assume that they take extra care for the suits used in the photoshoots. im pretty untrusting of adverts lol
     


  5. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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    This is indeed bizar.


    But if they live up to this, that's pretty good.
     


  6. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Yes and that is why your report is of little value. CONSUMER reports are helpful, those of representatives and others with an interest are not worth the time. salesmen say anything but their prayers.
     


  7. pickleweed

    pickleweed Member

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    and i appreciate your honesty about the alerts. but this is the kinda thing that scares me off a bit. i want a company that makes quality suits, not hunts the internet for good press. no offense, of course. im sure businesses can be capable of both, but in my experience, when they do that, they seems focused more on flash and less on substance.

    out of curiosity, how do you become a"style adviser"? are there really any requirements for it other than being available with a tape measure? (and i apologize if i sound rude at all. It just sounds an awful lot like those bogus insurance marketing pyramids which i hope this is better than)
     


  8. pickleweed

    pickleweed Member

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    well, here's the results-

    most everything that cousindonuts said was right on the money.

    i met with the syle advisor last night. she was a nice woman who came by with a couple jackets and books of fabric swatches. I didnt really get the feeling she was really providing anything beyond a mobile salesperson. which was pretty much as i expected. what i found interesting, is that seemingly every adviser that has answered a thread in any search i did, as well as the woman who i saw all tend to have 2 years experience....small sample size i know, but found that to be weird as hell. what kind of put me off, was i asked about the construction/canvassing and she had no idea what i was talking about, but i digress.....basically she was there to walk you through the customization options and take measurements.

    anyways, the suits. the suits she brought over werent in my size and were only reference points to the actual construction. so from that it was impossible to tell how they actual fit, and you're reliant on the photos from the advertisements. they did have a more fashion forward cut like i wanted, but she had limited pictures of what it actually looked like on a person. construction-wise, from what i could tell, it was at least half canvassed, but she didnt know and i dont consider myself an expert in any way. stitching looked clean, and it overall looked well put together. the fabrics were also nice, but didnt have near the selection i imagined they would. simply put, the plain fabric samples i received from black lapel seemed to be almost identical to the ones they had to show. but hilburns are apparently sourced from italy, and black lapel's arent. again, im not expert, but i had both in my hands and they seemed identical to me. if i needed something more outlandish then i suppose that would make a difference, but im in the market for plains, or simple textures. buttons seemed pretty cheap plastic, which was a real disappointment considering the price. as was mentioned earlier in this thread, the suits are made in the same factory that does zegna, so there are some extra points for not being pieced together in china in my eyes.

    i decided to pass on hilburn simply for reasons of economics. i could recieve IMO an identical fabric option, and from what ive gleaned from reviews, quality construction, from black lapel for 400 dollars less. so im going to go that route. sure, ive got to measure myself and gamble in that respect, but im not sure how much better a traveling salesperson is truly able to take measurements than i am. For the price difference, i was hoping to see a bigger difference.

    my 2 cents, for what they're worth.
     


  9. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Cousin donuts made the wise choice of going the Kent Wang route.
     


  10. Twotone

    Twotone Senior member

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    I met with a J. Hilburn rep today and took a look at a sport coat, shirtings and suit fabrics. The sport coat said "Made in Portugal." It felt half canvased with fusing. The fabrics were "no name" without reference to country of origin or mill. J. Hilburn strikes me as the Amway of MTM clothing. Reps are hired without training -- she had no idea of fabrics, construction or source of material. They will hire anyone and say "go get them." Based on what I saw, their shirts are worth $50 and suits $400 tops. No way would I pay their asking prices for shirts or suits -- mytailor and moderntailor are much better options IMO.
     


  11. Bucho

    Bucho Active Member

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    I met with a local rep a few weeks ago to look into an outerwear vest. I didn't get the vest but ended up ordering a cashmere sweater, a shirt and a suit. The shirt and sweater came today and so far, I am impressed. The sweater, for $200 was is super soft and they claim baby cashmere. I don't know if it is, but it is all I could ask for at the price and is every bit the quality of far more expensive sweaters. I own a few Loro Piana and it may not be that quality, but at 1/5 the price, it is a steal. The shirt is beautiful and fits. Very well. I am a weightlifter and it is very hard for me to buy shirts I got a lovely purple twill with black stripe shirt that gives me room in the shoulders and arms but tapers nicely down the body. I will be ordering more. My suit arrives next week. I bought the suit in their catalogue they list as 140s wool from the barberis mill in Italy. I am anxious to see the fit and quality and will post when it arrives. I have had a number of suits made for me so I have some sense of quality although I am really just a consumer and not a clothing expert. So far, so good

    By the way, my sales rep has been great. Knowledgeable and not pushy. For me, the thing that convinced me to try hill urn was the 100% return guarantee. No shipping or returns fees.
     


  12. Deb F

    Deb F Member

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    Bucho, Just curious how your suit fit...
     


  13. noblecustom

    noblecustom Member

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    I sell through J. Hilburn on the side, mostly to myself and a few close friends, not as an actual business. I would say the suits are good, but not the best value. Limited options and fabrics make it tough when looking for something special. To me, their shirts are where they shine, I avoid the $160 fabrics and tend to go with the 99-119 price point and have been happy with the shirts. For suits, think of them along the line of in between off the rack and custom. I bought a Hugo Boss suit, Gaubello and made in Portugal like J. Hilburn and would say that the J. Hilburn was better quality. Are there better deals to be had? For sure, but they aren't terribly made and offer free remakes which is great. I just wish there were more customization options.
     


  14. Bucho

    Bucho Active Member

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    I am sorry to say the suit did not work. When the suit arrived the first time, the jacket was way too tight around the chest and in the arms. I had given the rep several jackets that I had made so that she could have the measurement of something that did fit me. When the suit arrived after the remake, it was still tight, but more importantly, the repairs were horrible. The arms looked like they had giant pads and the stitching was amateurish. The front of the suit, the chest, was bowed and the shoe thing just looked like it was poorly fitted. I refused another alteration and I am waiting for the refund. I am told it may take a few weeks so we shall see. I was very disappointed because the suit in the brochure promised 140s wool, but when it arrived, it wasn't soft like 140s normally is and it didn't lay well. This is just one person's experience, but I won't be using them again.

    One further note: I had ordered a second shirt with the suit. When it arrived, it wasn't what I had ordered although I was charged for the $25 upgrade in both the button material and the back placket. The rep first told me I didn't order the upgrade, but when I made her check the receipt, it showed the upgrade. She took the shirt back and I am still waiting for the re-make.
     


  15. randomnoob

    randomnoob Senior member

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    I'm interested in J.Hilburn as well. Some background on what brings me here as this is my first post..

    I'm 30 y/o, self employed, and have managed to dodge any need for decent clothing thus far. My g/f has been asking me to get some "adult clothing", and then last month the 65% off Ralph Lauren employee discount code was leaked, so I ordered a bunch of stuff. In my panic to get the order placed in time, I didn't make the greatest choices, but I did end up with a few nice Black Label sweaters and a couple Purple Label pants that the g/f really likes. What I couldnt get is any suits or dress shirts because they're just not going to fit. I don't have all my measurements yet, but after a quick stop as Jos. A Bank (which resulted in a horrific shirt) I found my basic measurements are:

    Neck - 16.5
    Chest - 38
    Sleeve - 32 (guy probably measured 31 but they don't have that)
    Waist - 32
    I also have very wide lats at the armpits. Most of my chest measurement is in the lat width rather than my chest sticking out

    Problem is you buy a 16.5 / 32 shirt it's built for Danny DeVito. Didn't think the off the shelf RL shirts would be much better so I skipped the 65% off on those. J.Hilburn has come up but I would like to see more options
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014


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