Bangkok tailors

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MikeF, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    Cheers SH. Finally some clarification regarding the infamous "imported textile tax" in Thailand, which appears to be grossly exaggerated. So it seems a healthy margin is made on the selling of fabrics and no one has tried to undercut the current market, or those that could simply don't have the tailoring skills to compete with the current group of tailors.

    Interesting hypothesis. Surely the time frame of this transition would be at least a decade.

    I always wondered why there seems to be a generational gap between the established tailors (Perry's, Art's, July, and Broadway) and the younger, European trained tailors (Narin and Tanisara).

    Are you suggesting that even Tanika could be convinced to accept CMT? It would seem that they make most of their margins off using their own fabric so I don't see how you could convince them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014


  2. Sam Hober

    Sam Hober Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have not met any Bangkok tailors that I remember so I don't know who would accept your own cloth.

    With that said Thailand is a flexible country and charm and politeness goes a long way...
     


  3. jweiht

    jweiht Well-Known Member

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    I called tanika to postpone my fitting due to the unrest. I asked if they would accept me bringing my own fabric, and they replied to bring it down and they will decide.

    they did say they usually would not do so, but it depends on the relationship I guess.

    with regards to the skill of tailors, I fully agree that it is due to demand.

    I recent chatted with a old timer tailor in Singapore and he says no one truly have the skill anymore to do a floating canvas.

    the "sifu" has passed on and the practice in the past was not to impart everything to their students. Even the surviving old timers lost the touch because not many suits are done that way for a long time.

    I guess people started buying designer OTR in the 90s and alter, and not many visit the tailors anymore.
     


  4. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    I have bought dozens of Thai silk scarves and wraps for Spitfire (aka Ms Halifax) that are just amazing. She and I spent a day walking around Baan Krua searching for handmade silk weaves being made on rickety old looms, of which we found only found one. If my Thai was better, I'd even consider traveling to the North East to visit some of the villages.

    KiwiMan told me about Narai Phand under the President Tower which also had some great handmade Thai silk souvenirs. Has anyone else found any notable places in Bangkok to find handmade Thai silk, either by the length or as a finished article?

    Very interesting about Tanika's exception on CMT. How many times have you dealt with them JW?

    Regarding the 90s, your explanation seems reasonable; it was all about having the right label on the inside of your jacket...
     


  5. jweiht

    jweiht Well-Known Member

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    They did not reject neither did they commit :). 1st time customer, but i guess the chemistry was there.

    My dad was pretty successful in the 90s, and has more than 30 suits/jackets/overcoats from Lanvin, Boss, Zegna, Donna Karan..etc I wondered why didn't he go tailor from the start, but I guess its about wearing an Armani in those days yeah?

    He has left me all of them but I can't wear them!! Wished he didn't buy them and left me the cost of those jackets instead LOL.

    I guess as demand for bespokes suits went down, these skilled tailors became realistic that fused MTM is the way to go. Why bother earning 2-3 times the amount for a bespokes, but the expectation is 10x more and it takes 2 months to commission. Just set up a shop in a tourist haunt, go for volume and they "can't" return anything once they go back to their country.

    Having said that, we do have more young designers who strike it out on their own as bespokes artist for suits and shoes. But maybe I should comment more in a Singapore thread instead LOL, but I would say I've yet to find one that impressed me.
     


  6. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    I'd subscribe to that thread as an observer, especially if you do end up finding one that impresses you... only a matter of time as curiosity is a powerful force.
     


  7. aldiver

    aldiver New Member

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    Yep, 5% import tax but dont forget the 7% VAT, so you are looking at 12% to bring in fabrics plus the charges for handling etc ontop....HALIFAX would love to see a few more photos of your jacket buttons....another reason that tailors don't like taking fabrics for CMT is if there is a problem, and more fabric is needed, if it's their fabric they can sort it out, if it's not and they only have 3.5 metres they have a problem and the customer will know and it can't always be sorted out.. I was recently in Cambodia and hand woven products are everywhere....silk, cotton all sorts......maybe check that out?
     


  8. jweiht

    jweiht Well-Known Member

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    I was in Cambodia a couple of times last yr for biz.

    Went to a recommended tailor but the fabric was limited and the sample suit wasn't good.

    all in all, it seems shirts are a safer bet in Cambodia. They do have good seamstress and dress makers tho, but not for menswear
     


  9. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    Sorry, I've been a little busy. You are absolutely right about the jacket buttons; upon closer inspection you can see the recurring pattern on all the buttons and the colouring is too subtle to be true horn. That's rather annoying as I explicitly remember them saying they would use horn buttons.

    [​IMG]

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    I also have a white linen button down, a pale yellow OCBD, olive cotton trousers, and the linen trousers to match the linen jacket. I haven't put these up because the posted items cover most of the craftsmanship. Just let me know if you want to see these items, or more close-ups of the buttonholes, seams, pick stitching, etc
     


  10. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    Actually, there is some subtle variation... perhaps some more images will help.

    [​IMG]
    Back of sleeve buttons

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    Front of closure buttons

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    Back of closure buttons
     


  11. jweiht

    jweiht Well-Known Member

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    Finally, I had some time to upload and shares some pictures of the pants from Narin. I do like them, as the are comfortable and drapes well.

    These have been with me for 5.5 yrs, and still holding up pretty well.


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  12. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    The buttonholes on Narin's trousers are definitely superior to Tanika's. Did you specifically ask for the curtains?
     


  13. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    Just thought I might add several more observations I have made regarding my Tanika wears.

    (1) The seams are single needle stitched but are inside out (ie the two rows of stitching are visible on the right side); rather idiosyncratic
    (2) There are 18 stitches per inch (I may have said 16 somewhere...)
    (3) Despite the jacket buttonholes being hand stitched, I don't think the shirt buttonholes are

    [​IMG]
    Right side of the side seam

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    Wrong side of the side seam and gusset


    [​IMG]
    Wrong side of the cuff buttonhole

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    Right side of the cuff buttonhole


    Relating to the tax discussion, some stores allow you to claim back the 7% VAT; could this include the tailors?

    Cheers,
    HPH

    PS JW, when are you heading over again? It would seem that the yellow shirts are running out of steam (/protesting is becoming too economically painful)...
     


  14. jweiht

    jweiht Well-Known Member

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    I'll be back in 2 weeks my friend. Really looking forward to it!

    I wish that we could claim VAT on it as well, but I'm not too sure about it.

    Now that it's been some time owning the linen suit, are you still as impressed? Their prices for full canvassed suits are very expensive, they do earn alot of the fabrics and I guess they are only a handful that is able to do full canvas.

    I guess the high mark up for premium fabric is also due to insurance. Just in case they cut it wrongly and need more cloth.

    Btw, I think I may have stumbled into a pretty good tailor here in SGP :). PM me for more details
     


  15. Halifax

    Halifax Senior member

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    That suggestion would add weight to the rationale behind their stance against CMT. It could also explain why Narin does offer CMT, as he is "confident" in his cutting. Perhaps Tanika said to you that CMT may be possible as their cutter (I assume Tanisara) is building in confidence. However, they wouldn't have a jacket pattern for you so that complicates things.

    One could speculate for hours on this topic...
     


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