Bespoke Shirt option in NYC and rest of USA Help needed

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by tutee, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. antikantian

    antikantian Senior member

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    I've only used two shirtmakers, so I can only offer comments based on my limited experience. I was using Mel Gambert (I think they are based on NJ, and I also believe that their shirts are produced in-house. I can't comment on if this is truly bespoke with individual patterns, but their customizations seemed fairly extensive). The quality and fit of the Gambert shirts was pretty good, but their turn-around time was atrocious.

    I'm now using Turnbull & Asser, and I do believe that they produce individual patterns. I can't really say what they are willing to modify, as I only made a few tweaks to the sample shirt, as the fit was almost perfect. Their turnaround time has always been in the 3-week range for all of my orders, which I think is pretty good coming from the UK and then stopping through the NYC store before being forwarded to me.

    The bespoke manager at T&A did mention to me that Charvet is also another bespoke option in NYC (in addition to Ascot Chang which was previously mentioned), but I have no first-hand knowledge of them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012


  2. Axelman 17

    Axelman 17 Senior member

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    +1, great post
     


  3. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    I wish! Charvet only offers stock specials (not even MTM) via its NY retailers (Bergdorf, Saks etc.).
     


  4. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    tutee, I sense that you already know most of the facts presented and philosophies expressed in this thread.

    If you already have a rapport with Ercole's and you wish to try an alternative to Geneva, why not give Ercole's a shot? If it is a new line of business for them, they would seem less likely to be inflexible.
     


  5. tutee

    tutee Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thank You for these suggestions. I did remember the name of Ascot Chang but wasn't sure of their offerings.


    I was not asking for these this bespoke shirt makers for my immediate needs but rather I wanted to know what else was out there currently in market in terms of options. A friend was also interested in getting some shirts and asked me about his choices and I wasn’t exactly sure so I asked here.

    Actually I have no styling concerns with Geneva. Being that I am pretty extreme on conservative dressing at least when it comes to tailored clothing, there is hardly a stylistic request I will ask from Geneva that they will not be able to do.

    My (slight) concern with Geneva although has to do with the inconsistency in making and trimming portion of the shirts. It seems like every three or four shirts there is a batch that is just rushed through or for whatever reason does not come out quite right. For example, loose threads here and there on buttons and stitching going off the straight path or for example from misaligned on cuffs. Often when I have pointed out these making and trimming mistakes to Eugene (to his credit) he admitted them as valid requests and corrected them. But the fact remains that I have to check each and every one of shirts carefully prior to leaving their premises. Now that is something I don't like to do at least not over there. Why you may ask?

    I have often felt while visiting them that I am intruding upon some urgent business that they need to take care of first. I always make appointments and try to make my visit as short as possible but still it is hard for me to shake that feeling that my subsequent orders of 2-3 (shirts at a time) are not enough to merit their time. I find it difficult convincing myself to order 5 or more at a time, especially since there has been such inconsistencies.

    However since most of the fit issues have been resolved over the time I am likely to continue with them till I can find a shirt maker that can certainly provide with perhaps a better experience at comparative and not too much of added cost.


    Yes this is indeed true. But there should be some consistency in overall service. For example in my entire bespoke journey over the course of years there have been only two instances in which I truly had a bad experience. One was with a famed SR house and the other was with a particular tailor who was an off-shoot of the first firm. Considering the fact that there are legions of unsatisfied and unhappy customers for both of them I highly doubt I was being a “PITA” to them.


    I agree with you 100% on this and have never done this in my life. I only point out the things to a tailor with which I am familiar with (& understand) and not because someone else on a blog (or wherever) thinks such and such even though I do not see the problem myself.


    Will do. However, I tried shirts from Dege many years ago when he was there. With the prices I paid the results were just meh to say the least. I like to avoid foreign options now whenever possible. Given that Dege shirts were hardly any better (if at all) than Geneva I see little point in perusing that route.


    A very valid point and a tempting option but oh no! Why? I am too protective of my rapport with him with for trousers. It took my years and years to end up where I am with what he makes for me. It is a bespoke heaven for me. Never in my life I have been more satisfied with a bespoke product. Seriously.

    Now a new venture may or may not succeed on similar level. I surely can give it a try and if the results are not good then keep to the old stuff but the way human psychology works... it usually is very hard to isolate such things. So not sure if he will be able to see it that way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012


  6. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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    Sweet! A TT (Tutee Thread)!
     


  7. newyorknoir

    newyorknoir Senior member

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    I recently spoke with the head guy (who seems to always be there) at the Charvet in Bergdorf Goodman and he said that they do in fact do MTM.. I think this is a new thing, because a year ago they didn't offer this. It will cost you around $700.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012


  8. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    I know of this service, and accompanied a friend who tried it early this year. Really just a stock special - the MTM service offered in Paris is different.
     


  9. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    I was bit disappointed with the initial bespoke shirt that Charvet made for me last year...

    Shirts that I ordered through BG actually fit better (even with the try-on, fitting, pinning, etc.). Shirt was basically a hot mess.

    I returned shirt, had another fitting and they recut the shirt.

    Fit is now acceptable, but the pattern still needs a few adjustments.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012


  10. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    ▲ This ▼.


    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]


    What you seek is the rare realization between a certain level of a maker, and what's in your head - as exampled by your trousers with Ercole. Other examples shared here include Vox/Steed, PooPooSFMatty/Rubinacci, the Ashin Boyz and their Riveranos.

    At his Cooper book signing G. Bruce Boyer took off his Mr. Cheo jacket and rolled it up to show me soft tailoring and how well the jacket sprung back. The looks in his eyes told me he had this level of client and maker realization with Mr. Cheo. Boyer further confirmed it with a story wherein many of Cheo's clients rush to order clothes from him upon hearing rumors that he might retire - only to have him not retire after all.

    No matter the names (I have bespoke shirts from Anto, Renee Bassetti, Alex Kabbaz, Jon Green), I am afraid there is no getting around trialing and "erring" at the level which you are seeking - and being disappointed and losing some money on the way. Folks on the forum who share do help give an idea who might work well with certain client's perspective.

    It's like going on a date - you two either spontaneously get each other, or you don't. Lucky you are if you match with a maker stylewise, makewise, and fundwise.

    As edmorel alluded to above, as these guys have been doing this for a very long time, and they're more likely to make you "their" shirts rather than "your" shirts - unless a highly level of spontaneous understanding occurs.

    - M
     


  11. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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  12. tutee

    tutee Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Can you please share some of your experiences with Anto and Jon Green. Especially with Anto as there is almost next to no information on their shirts.

    And perhaps then allow me to ask the big question, with which of these shirt makers are you most satisfied with? or to speak in what you described above have the best "chemistry" with and why?


    :) I hope Mr. Boyer was alluding to his special relationship with Mr. Cheo as a customer when showing you that phenomenon rather than suggesting the fact only "soft tailored" jackets are capable of doing it. I have seen Huntsman jackets from 60s do this nicely as well and it has next to nothing to do with how "soft tailoring" is understood by consumers.

    (Please do NOT take this comment above too seriously as the last thing I want for this thread to turn into something other than shirt discussion) more smileys to convey the point :happy::)
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012


  13. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    The experience with all shirtmakers were about the same (I would imagine like most other operations) - measurements, fabric selection, styling discussion, sample, re-evaluations and fittings, and then made once "there." "There" would still be tweaked if subsequent orders are placed.

    The process and thrill of "getting my ideas about shirts" out of my head didn't last as long as I thought. More sustaining was the hierarchy of collar, cuffs, and body shape and fit that arose as important to me.

    I still have "an ideal" after trying all these shirtmakers:

    Alex Kabbaz for construction (no other compares).

    Renee Bassetti for fit, but with Kabbaz or Anto "finishing." Rennee is mainly a women's shirtmaker, and so her shirts have, for the lack of a better expression, a feminine finish about them. Alex's and Anto's are decidedly masculine. Difficult idea to express, but that's how I feel upon wearing the shirts.

    Jon Green overall (best realization of collar, cuffs and body). I think I got here by virtue of convenience and chemistry. Without trying much, with each visit the other clothes Jon makes there is progress or better resolution of what I consider beautiful, and so shirtmaking got tacked onto the rest. I think some keys were the feelings of "not trying too hard," "spontaneous agreements," and "real changes with each visit." Not to say there weren't missteps, but what sustained were "not trying too hard" and being able to "realize" ideas. I suppose this is somewhat akin to Manton settling with Geneva after trying various shirtmakers. Interesting that when I visit Jon we hardly talk about clothes anymore - the process just goes by itself, at least it seems so.

    So, Jon Green overall (especially the collar. It's subtle, but the below three collars are different)

    [​IMG]


    Bassetti (shirt body. But would have Kabbaz/Anto make it with their techniques)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Kabbaz (cuffs and construction - hard to see the details here, but up close they're impressive)

    [​IMG]

    I've no representable photos of Anto shirts. I was a different size then, and so not comparable here.



    Understood! It was great to meet the Mr. Boyer the Sartorial Scholar though.

    - M
     


  14. PASstudy

    PASstudy Senior member

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    In the Northern NJ area I would have to agree with the mentioning of Gambert in Millburn/Newark for Bespoke/MTM shirts. I am looking into their suits but their shirts have proved fantastic. I suffered an injury earlier that makes shirts/jackets especially heard to fit.

    The Gambert shop was quite patient and thorough in measuring and fitting the shirts. Fist time there was a min order of 3 required but since then I have seen people order a 1 off. Prices are ok ($150-350). The turnaround time is about 4 weeks for shirts and when I asked, 8 weeks for suits/pants.

    I am not 1000% sure how extensive the customization is but I can tell you any aspect of the shirt needing adjustment after choosing a fabric was handled without problem. There are at least 2 shops of Gamberts I have been to (and I hear a 3rd). One is on Washington St in Newark and appears to be the site of their factory (huge open space, lots of old ladies on machines). They have a small room to choose fabrics and style. It's very no frills but the shirts come out pretty good.

    The Millburn location (300 Millburn Ave) is more of what you'd expect a Bespoke shop to look like. Large leather chairs, fabrics on the walls, shirt/clothing samples on display, old timey pictures adorning the walls, you get the idea. Here Paul McClutchey (sp?)is essentially running a 1 man show. He takes a bit more time with his measurements and will walk you through every aspect of the shirt to be sure you know what you want or to help you if you don't know what you want but know what you need the shirt for.

    Not sure if it's just the pampering or more likely the slightly better fit of the Millburn location, but of the 6 shirts I have, the 3 from the Millburn location look & feel better. I think Gambert is a great alternative to trekking into NYC.

    I am also looking into DeCarlos Bespoke in Jersey City, NJ but I can't find much info online. their website is barebones (http://decarlosbespoke.com/) but if anyone has any knowledge, info, let me know here or via PM.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012


  15. tutee

    tutee Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    :( I was looking forward to them the most. can you please at least share some experience about fitting or their process? No pictures needed. How do they compare to Kabbaz for example or other shirt makers (process and product)? I have the impression that their base clientele are Hollywood "big timers" and movie business and that is why I have felt very reluctant to proceed with them. The Fioravanti phenomenon in NYC if you will.

    You thoughts and comments will be good to read. Thanks for the pictures above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012


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