Best Country for Custom Suit AND Shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Damarius, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    short answer - bangkok. spend 2 days getting measured, then go to an island for 2 days, come back for another measurement, to up north for 2 days, come back and spend 2 days closing up and getting everything the way you want it.

    you'll get suits at a quality of brooks brothers, made to your specs. nothing great, but what you want
     
  2. mcbrown

    mcbrown Senior member

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    OP, I'm sorry you are frustrated with the responses. But, believe it or not, people here know what they are talking about, and I hope you stick around long enough to realize that.

    In an attempt to be constructive, I will say that my Chinese in-laws have been able to find a tailor in Southern China that does pretty great work (on women's clothes, so I can't recommend them for suits) at a shockingly low price by Western standards. However, my in-laws have several advantages that I presume you do not, otherwise you wouldn't be asking here:
    • They are presently living in China, and therefore have been able to invest the time to find a great local tailor by trial and error. You do not have that luxury.
    • They speak the language, allowing them to interact constructively in the process and deal with tailors who do good work but don't speak English. You will presumably be limited to English-speaking tailors or their intermediaries, and there will always be a language barrier.
    • They are able to get preferential treatment by being repeat customers and, more importantly, engaging on a common cultural level to deepen the relationship. You are the rich Western tourist flying through once and only once.

    So in my estimation, if you are willing to learn Mandarin, live in China for several years, and try out dozens of tailors, I bet you can eventually find one who will make a world-class suit of decent materials for under $500. Short of that? Not so much.
     
  3. Damarius

    Damarius Member

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    I appreciate your constructive replies. I speak fluent Mandarian however I learned in in college and have not travelled to every single asian country.

    My plan was to to purchase high quality materials, and bring them with me. My understanding is the labor in asian countries can be between 250-400 per suit. Therefore in essence I am saving allot of money because the same suit would cost me almost 2k or more in the United States. I understand I would need to do my homework and maybe have him/her tested my making a dress shirt prior.

    I admit I am not a suit expert, however I have been researching this topic for a long time.

    My other option would be to buy Jos A Banks Signature Gold Platinum collection. Right now they are running a sale buy 1 get 2 free. Therefore I would have anywhere from 400-600 per suit after alterations.

    I welcome your input however just because you may not have performed this task or think everyone should go to New York and spend 5k on a suit does not constitute negative feedback. Looking for advice of those who have researched this option.

    Thank you!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  4. md2010

    md2010 Senior member

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    If you want cheap suits made in Asian countries go to Bangkok and you can have suits made with in 24hrs for less than $200.
    I wouldn’t recommend bringing expensive/quality fabrics to these tailors . Its like if you have a Ferrari you take it to Ferrari to service you don’t take it to your corner doggy repair shop.
    In this world you get what you pay for. If you pay $300 you will get a suit that is worth $300. Which is not a bad thing(well you dress according to your means). Anyone who spends over $2k on suit you can tell from a mile that the suit is quality made.
     
  5. Damarius

    Damarius Member

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    My other option would be to buy Jos A Banks Signature Gold or Platinum collection, retail they are over 2k. Are those worth the expense?

    I know they would not be a Brioni but they are the premier line of Jos A Banks, if that even means anything.
     
  6. dirkweems

    dirkweems Well-Known Member

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    Are you having a laugh?

    Jos A Banks makes cheap suits. That is their business model, their DNA, their corporate culture their whatever. You may not be able to afford a bespoke Savile Row suit, but buying the premium line at Jos A Banks is not the solution. Somewhere in between the most expensive meal at KFC and the tasting menu at Per Se are very many good dining experiences. The same goes for suits, tailors and clothes.
     
  7. vimkgt

    vimkgt Active Member

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    I'm currently in Beijing right now and will echo the sentiment that you get what you pay for. We have tailors here who can make you a suit for 1000-1500RMB (about $160-240) and others who range from 3000 - 6000RMB on up. I feel that the cheapy suits here are only good for the times you want to experiment with some styles or get something bizarre that you know you won't wear too often.

    At 1000rmb you'll get a cheap MTM suit from a ready made pattern, modified in a few places for your size and with whatever customizations you ask for (ticket pocket, patch pockets, etc). It'll take at most a week, maybe 3 or 4 days if you're in a hurry. Totally fused and you have to pick the material carefully because some of the stacks they have are not 100% wool no matter what the tags say.

    For the tailors that charge 3000+ it's more "bespoke" and they'll cut the pattern for you and suit is half-canvassed. 5000-6000+ range would be fully canvassed (maybe more handiwork too but I never ordered one personally).

    For my money, I shop for good deals on eBay and have them shipped to China or shipped to relatives in the US and pick them up when I visit. You can sometimes get deals on new Zegna or Oxxford suits for around $500 and the quality of those suits is far better than even the 6000RMB suits in China... a 6000RMB suit is worth exactly 6000RMB but the $500 Zegna was worth $2000+ at full retail price.
     
  8. sqroot3

    sqroot3 Senior member

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    haha

    wow. 1000 rmb for a mtm wool suit (assuming one, as you say, picks the true fabric)--be it fused--sounds like a fantastic deal for a beater suit.
     
  9. md2010

    md2010 Senior member

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    Why not buy PRL suits. Sometimes on sale they could be under $500. Made in Italy and quality is decent. Then spend another $100-$150 and get it altered. I have just picked up one prl Garrison(made by Corneliani) for $420 form prl outlet store.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  10. usctrojans31

    usctrojans31 Senior member

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    You shouldn't ask for advice and then get petulant when you receive if. If you're merely looking for validation for your choices, ask a small child.
     
  11. Damarius

    Damarius Member

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    I am not looking for validation. However your response lacked any sort of educated response or relevant information. I am glad I could assist in your post count. Was looking for actual feedback from those that have tried to perform the task that I am inquiring about.

    I have received that from a few well informed members on the forum.

    I consider this question answered and closed.
     
  12. guymac12

    guymac12 Senior member

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    You should really be careful in choosing "custom tailored suits" for your lifestyle and for $200? I would be bothered and slightly curious on many aspects of the suit before eventually purchasing from the merchant.
     
  13. AlexE

    AlexE Senior member

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    OP, is this a serious posting?

    If the question is whether you can get a custom suit made for 500 a piece: The answer is yes. What remains open is, if it will fit well and be of good quality. Maybe you do not care too much if it is fused or canvassed, a perfect fit or a half-way decent fit ... in this case Thailand, Vietnam are your safest bets to stay within your price range. However, even at Southeast Asia prices I am not sure if you will be able to stay within your $500 limit if you wanna buy and use "really high quality fabrics".

    With regards to custom shoes for $200. Well maybe someone will put something together for you, but honestly I cannot see how a custom shoe for $200 put together in a week can be any good. I am also not sure if there are many cheap custom shoemakers in Souteast-Asia.
     
  14. ddsg

    ddsg Well-Known Member

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    I've had quality suits made in Vietnam for under 500, but the tailor I used catered nearly exclusively to the local expat crowd (not many other people have the time to wait 1 month or more for a suit). The problem with getting suits while on vacation is that time constraints will limit you to the garbage tailors that sell to tourists and have little if any sense of workmanship.

    As for custom shoes, they are highly unnecessary for someone with your budget. Get AE or Meermin at that price point, unless you have freakishly formed feet. I say this from experience from having lived in a country with access to an extremely wide range of custom makers, custom does not always equal better.

    You're going on vacation, forget the suits and shoes. Otherwise you'll find yourself having to plan around returning to the same city multiple times for your various fittings and won't be able to fully enjoy your vacation. Also, bringing enough fabric with you to make 5 suits will take up a large amount of space and might lead to issues with customs.
     
  15. Damarius

    Damarius Member

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    I have decided to just go all out. Decided I will have a few great suits instead of alot of cheap one.

    Decided to pull the trigger on a Brioni and some JM Weston shoes. It is the very best that I can afford for now.
     

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