Bespoke: The Beginning of the End

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by RSS, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Yes, that was my elliptical (!) of saying that.
    I took it to have a double meaning. But I take everything to have a double meaning ... I'm Episcopalian.
     


  2. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    that's rather dicturish

    It also symbolizes the highest stage of reincarnation for Kunkle.


    - B
     


  3. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Where is that post about the reincarnation cycle of SF members? As I recall ... RJman had many hands ... Foo even thought RJman was the RJwoman.
     


  4. Mr. Moo

    Mr. Moo Boxercise Toughguy

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    I liked that RSS and I had a nice discussion over PM. I like RSS.
     


  5. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I agree Moo ... but be careful ... you never know about that Vox! Next thinng you know ... you and I'll be having socks.


    [​IMG]
     


  6. Mr. Moo

    Mr. Moo Boxercise Toughguy

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    I agree Moo ... but careful ... you never know about that Vox! Next thinng you know ... you and I'll be having socks.

    Unprotected socks? Why, I never!
     


  7. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Unprotected socks? Why, I never!
    But if we wear our shoes ... protection!
     


  8. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    If this forum is any indication, RTW that can altered to fit nearly as well as good bespoke is extraordinarily rare. The work that goes into shaping a bespoke jacket just can't be replicated on a mass production scale.

    A pretty specious argument. I regularly see people both on this forum and in other places where they ought to know better with jacket sleeves far too long. This is not, however, evidence that only bespoke tailors can provide proper-length sleeves.

    A good alterations tailor can do wonders. There is no doubt that good bespoke will produce a better fit within the the parameters of how you define proper fit. But there is no mythical perfect fit. Rather, there is a decent-sized range of what might be a proper fit. Within that range it is a matter of personal preference. Good RTW + a good alterations tailor can easily deliver something within that range, even if it does not completely comport with some specific conception of "perfect."

    The bottom line is that bespoke is supposed to be fun. If someone is pursuing bespoke because they are aghast at the idea of the "awful fit" available from RTW, they don't need a tailor, they need someone to adjust their medications.



    Well, naturally. FTR, I have a very similar DJ, except it isn't midnight blue.

    ???

    There are dozens of choices to be made and the various acceptable permutations of those details are in the thousands, not including choice of fabric.

    But the point here is that making those choices is part of the fun. Manton put an enormous amount of intellectual energy into his DJ and I am quite sure he enjoyed every minute of it.

    A good tailor is a collaborator, not some eccentric artist who flies into a rage when someone questions his vision. Discussing the various details isn't "micromanaging," it's part of the fun. Having said that, you choose your tailor based on his preferences and abilities. If you want drape, don't go to Huntsman.
     


  9. George

    George Senior member

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    I remember waiting almost 2 years for an A&S dinner coat & trousers. When they were here ... I was elsewhere. When I was there ... it was a holiday. Damn those bank holidays!


    We only have 8, soon to be 9 in 2012. We have one of the lowest amount of public holidays in Europe.

    One thing about bespoke ... my tailors have always planned for what the future might bring ... and what it brings has typically been heavier than lighter. Every few years I have to set about loosing ten pounds ... if I am to stay in my wardrobe.

    That's one of the things about Bespoke it forces you to watch your weight.

    Now, what's this new tweed you have, Orange checks...?
     


  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    A pretty specious argument. I regularly see people both on this forum and in other places where they ought to know better with jacket sleeves far too long. This is not, however, evidence that only bespoke tailors can provide proper-length sleeves.
    I wasn't making an argument, just indicating an example of what I believe to be a larger phenomenon. I can't speak for your situation or perception, but I haven't seen many examples of tailored RTW that fit as well as good bespoke.
    A good alterations tailor can do wonders. There is no doubt that good bespoke will produce a better fit within the the parameters of how you define proper fit. But there is no mythical perfect fit. Rather, there is a decent-sized range of what might be a proper fit. Within that range it is a matter of personal preference. Good RTW + a good alterations tailor can easily deliver something within that range, even if it does not completely comport with some specific conception of "perfect."
    I never said anything about achieving a "perfect" fit. However, some things fit better than others, no? It's one thing for a jacket to fit at certain key points (the collar, the shoulders, the waist, etc.), but it is quite another thing for it to be shaped nicely between those points. It's my understanding that the latter is best achieved by constructing a garment from the canvas outward to fit a particular body. Amongst other things, an alterations tailor isn't about to re-cut or modify a jacket's canvas, and he isn't going to spend hours ironing a jacket into shape. Perhaps, to you, whether a jacket is shaped nicely is a marginal detail, but to me, it is very significant.
    The bottom line is that bespoke is supposed to be fun. If someone is pursuing bespoke because they are aghast at the idea of the "awful fit" available from RTW, they don't need a tailor, they need someone to adjust their medications.
    I don't know who made this rule, but I think it's a bad one. Yes, I happen to have fun ordering bespoke clothes, but I don't think that fun is essential to making the bespoke process rewarding. We are all enthusiasts here, but we do not make up the majority of the clients who see bespoke tailors. Many men just want the best suit they can get for their money.
    There are dozens of choices to be made and the various acceptable permutations of those details are in the thousands, not including choice of fabric.
    Assume the case of a business suit--how many acceptable permutations are there?
    A good tailor is a collaborator, not some eccentric artist who flies into a rage when someone questions his vision. Discussing the various details isn't "micromanaging," it's part of the fun. Having said that, you choose your tailor based on his preferences and abilities. If you want drape, don't go to Huntsman.
    I think you are wrong on two levels. First, a tailor is only a collaborator insofar as he is working to make you happy, which makes your preferences matter. However, you and he are not a team or playing equal roles. It would be awkward to call other service professionals "collaborators": do you "collaborate" with your doctor? In fact, 99% of a tailor's work is done without your input or participation. It can easily take a few dozen hours to put together a handmade bespoke suit--you are there for a small fraction of that time. Many of the problems that need to be solved in order to finish your order may never even come to your attention. Second, though it might be a stretch to call a tailor an "artist," he certainly practices a craft. The reasons that a tailor chooses a particular approach may often have much more to do with engineering than with stylistic choice. Unless you've studied tailoring, you aren't fit to tell a tailor to override a decision he thinks is correct from a structural, functional perspective in order to achieve a personal, aesthetic goal. At the end, he's the expert.
     


  11. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    We only have 8, soon to be 9 in 2012. We have one of the lowest amount of public holidays in Europe.
    Well, over the years I must have hit every one of those eight. Perhaps some twice. Once I flew home from Sydney via London ... just to see the tailor (no appt. of course) ... leaving myself one day in London. Guess what? Bank Holiday!

    Now, what's this new tweed you have, Orange checks...?
    A rusty orange with a medium blue windowpane. It calls for less rather than more of me.
     


  12. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    Well, over the years I must have hit every one of those eight. Perhaps some twice. Once I flew home from Sydney via London ... just to see the tailor (no appt. of course) ... leaving myself one day in London. Guess what? Bank Holiday!

    Have you ever seen one of these?

    [​IMG]

    It's widely used...even the Sumerians and Mayans had their versions.


    - B
     


  13. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Vox ... you are such a tease. You show me then you give no information ... just as you suggested I do with coat/tailor. At least tell me what that thing is!

    Usually I'm staying more than a day ... and visiting relatives ... so hitting a bank holiday isn't a problem. But on the way home from Sydney ... it was a spur of the moment decision to head west and stop in London with only one day before flying on to New York for other matters. No that wasn't smart ... what could have been 21 hours of flying ended up being 32 or more. But just think of all the extra frequent flyer miles!

    But ... I'm just a silver lining kind of guy.
     


  14. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    It's widely used...even the Sumerians and Mayans had their versions.
    [emphasis added]

    So ... any theories about what happens on 21 December, 2012?
     


  15. David Reeves

    David Reeves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    Micro managing is not for civilians. Production is tricky. I think though people can sometimes get overwhelmed by the possibilties of Bespoke especially if they can't really afford it easily. Your better off looking at work that the tailor has done this is the only thing that matters really.

    It's funny the ammount of client input you get as a tailor. I do a lot of suits for a wealthy German family. I only deal with the clients wife now and she places commisions for her two sons and husband in the last consultation I spoke to her on the phone for 15 minutes and she told me to pick 5 nice cloths out and make them up.....that was it! 5 bespoke suits.

    I had another guy that ordered one shirt after 2 hours talking about every excrutiating detail. I had to use my regular order form and two full sheets of notes for his order. When he got it back he complained that the monogramme was not "sans seriff". I refused to do further business with him after that. I mean who likes to be micro managed?
     


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