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Bespoke Suits in HK

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by sklim8, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. sklim8

    sklim8 Member

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    Hello all,

    I am a newbie who is finally looking to take the leap of faith into bespoke suits. There are certainly lots of information in this forum, and based on my research I have narrowed down my choices to WW Chan and Lee Baron (I live in HK). I purposely picked the two, as they seemed to be well recommended and representative of two different price points.

    When I contacted them, WW Chan quoted me HK12,000 (more for Loro Piana and the like) and Lee Baron quoted me HKD 4,000. Even if LB ends up costing me more let's say 5,500, it is still less than half of WW Chan's minimum level.

    With the caveat that I am a total newbie, never done bespoke before etc., I am trying to figure out what I am getting for the added cost. Duly noting several contributors saying that they would much rather have 1 great suit v. 2-3 decent ones, I still wanted to delve into what the main differences are between a "great" suit vs. "decent/good" suit.

    I guess this may end up being a question to those who have tried both, but if we set the quality of Chan at 100, where would LB be? 95? (in which case, I would most certainly go for LB) 80? 65? Also, where does the difference lie? I live in HK so I don't have to rush either shop with putting together the suit. Will the fit be markedly different? Is the difference in the details, such as stitching of the buttonholes? (which seems to be one of the signs of great tailoring, and something I do not have an appreciation for yet) Or is there a marked difference in comfort/fit etc.? Will one last significantly longer than the other?

    The style I would like to try is the "Napoli" style. It seems this style is quite different from what I thought made a suit a suit, and there are details which seem near artistic. Most importantly, I am really curious to see what no padding/and generally less in-line materials feel like.

    Again, please understand that I have very little knowledge on bespoke suits, and my questions may not make sense. In such case, I apologize in advance, but would appreciate words of wisdom. I am just getting into buying nicer suits, shoes etc. (I was into watches for a while), but have just moved into the world of suits and shoes. I went a bit crazy on shoes over the past half a year (at least from my standards), so I guess I am trying to look for excuses to spend less on suits.

    Thanks for your replies/attention in advance.
     
  2. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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  3. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    I believed the chan price you got will be their basic Italian fabric. For LP expect at least $25000 HKD (I mean their good books, such as the miracle or pure cashmere range, the standard four season will be around$20000 for two piece)

    Lee style is more structures, will not do hand stitched canvass even if you like the soft feel.

    The Napoli style is nothing special, and if the avatar is truly you, a skinny build will not fit you that much. Better go for firm padding, soft chest to give a clean British look, in fact Chan doesn't do true Italian style.

    Chan definitely worths the money, but I am not a fan of their customer service and I generally don't like their business position as oversea orientiated.

    Lee baron is good for a durable product, but will be a step below Chan for sure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  4. Classic Car

    Classic Car Senior member

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    Hand stitched canvass can be hard if the tailor put more stitches on it, such as Huntsman. It is very difficult to tell the difference between hand stitch or machine canvass without actually cut open to see. The quality of the canvass is more important. If is worth to pay more than double the price of the whole suit for hand stitch canvass instead of a machine.
     
  5. wumingde

    wumingde Well-Known Member

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    You are getting a great suit with Chan or LB. However, I think you should try on some suits in the store and see which one you like the most. Then figure out the bespoke process. The two brands might have a completely different fit based on their house style. I am not knowledgeable of bespoke clothing, but I think that for a newbie, you should be careful with your first bespoke purchase considering the amount of money you are spending.

    Shoulder padding gives you a corporate shoulder look. I generally don't like the look. Plus, I think natural shoulders (no padding) look and feel more comfortable. If one brand fits you better than the other and is cheaper, by all means go for that one. Concern yourself with the fit first before worrying about quality.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. Ivon

    Ivon Senior member

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    I should be in HK/China for a couple of weeks just before Xmas. How many fittings are required at Chan and can they do the basted fitting in say 10 days after measurements are taken? Can anyone comment on the house style, from the picturesI've seen, it has a classic British sensibility, what would be the closest Savile Row house in spirit? Thanks.
     
  7. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    You really do neeed to use the Search fuinction to learn about HK tailors. you will learn far more by this than you can ever hope to see in yet another thread on this subject.

    The simple answer is yes to the baste fitting and style is what you want.HK tailors are far more flexible and will produce to your instruction rather than a perceived house standard.
     
  8. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    You too need to try research more: You will learn more than you can ever expect to see posted in a new thread. As you live in HK have you discussed with those friends who use the better houses? have you excluded Y William Yu and Gordon Yao (both on Mody Road) ?

    Of the two you mention, then Chan every time.
     
  9. Ivon

    Ivon Senior member

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    Thanks for the reply, I just saw that this thread was active and is kinda like what I was starting to consider. It's a working vacation and I will only be in HK at the beginning and end of the trip. I understand bespoke tailors can do just about anything one can think of, just enquiring about their strengths and tendencies along with the logistical issues. I just need the skinny, rest I'm sure I can improvise, a WW Chan suit has been one of those "when I get around to it" things for me.
     
  10. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    That is misleading
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  11. Classic Car

    Classic Car Senior member

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    Can you explain what is misleading?
     
  12. sklim8

    sklim8 Member

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    You are right that the price was for basic fabrics (VBC) and as I noted, more for LP etc.

    I guess this is more of an experiment. I have OTR suits with firm padding etc., which fit quite well, but wanted to try out this "Napoli" style, though as you said, it may not look great on me.
     
  13. sklim8

    sklim8 Member

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    I understand your post as saying that hand stitched canvass is superior enough to machine stitched, that it is worth paying more than double?
     
  14. sklim8

    sklim8 Member

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    Thanks for your comments. I do have about 5 decent OTR suits. I am moving on to/trying out bespoke to figure out if it is something I want to pursue on an ongoing basis. I am not particularly unhappy with the OTR suits I already have.
     
  15. sklim8

    sklim8 Member

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    I did research GBR. However, I felt like I hit a wall/ceiling on my research, and wanted to seek advice.

    Unfortunately, don't have friends who do bespoke - all do designer houses. One tried Jantzens and liked it, but was not attracted based on posts here.

    I excluded Yu and Yao, which are both excellent and around the same price point as Chan. However, the point of my post is not which is best in the 12K HKD price point, but more of - what am I paying for with the extra 6000 or so from LB to WW Chan.

    If unlimited funds, sure Chan everytime. But I wanted to do a CBA.
     
  16. ColdEyedPugilist

    ColdEyedPugilist Senior member

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  17. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    A good bespoke suit will feel nothing when the wearer puts it on. I have Lee's product and their construction feels strong, probably due to the use of heavy canvass e.g. Horsehair.

    More money also means better finish, better fit.

    A true softi style will feature low twist cloth, simpler weave construction plus a hand stitched canvass, from the chest though the lapels and all down the waist.
    I am pretty sure using English made cloth will not give the softness.

    Short shoulders on coat is also important for soft tailoring

    When I look at the big Napoli firms they all have rather firm shoulders

    Huntmas definitely don't do soft style.
     
  18. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    BTW I mean firm shoulder as Tom Ford mini padding style, not Nutter 60s shoulder
     
  19. Classic Car

    Classic Car Senior member

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    O.K., I agree that Chan use higher quality (or thinner) canvass for their soft style. Chan also put more stitches than Lee. Chan is a step higher than Lee but price is double. I like Chan product too but as a beginner to bespoke, where should he get started for his first suit?
     
  20. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    For bespoke, just like any other, afford the best you can.
     

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