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Cad and the Dandy - My first foray...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Davidmcclen, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Davidmcclen

    Davidmcclen Member

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    Hi,

    I posted this on AAAC also, but like many, I discovered AAAC and Styleforum when seeking to learn more about bespoke and made to measure suits. After reading various excellent posts, I think I am now settled on commissioning a MTM suit from Cad and the Dandy (barring any last minute advice from fellow forum users causing a last minute change of mind...).

    In the course of undertaking my own research I found the most helpful information came from people who had visited, used various tailors and were able to submit reviews and advice. So as to give something back to the community (as I'm kind like that...), and if people are interested, I am intending to give updates and a review on my experience with CATD, the finished article and ultimately post some photos at the end of it.

    So on that note... a bit of background...

    I have to say, my starting point for deciding to venture into the world of bespoke / MTM tailoring has not been sparked by a love of the art form of tailoring...simply a desire to dress and look as well as I possibly can. Inevitably, I ended up here. The high street suit just won't cut it.

    Besides, after struggling through my trainee days and now being a fully fledged lawyer, I figured that it was time to start dressing as such.

    The suit spec is straightforward. Two or three piece. Navy half milled with a thin stripe. Slim fitting and sharp. Something smart enough for court, that won't look out of place in the pub at the end of the day and suitable for a 28 year old.

    I have spent the last few weeks trawling the boards here and at style forum and for the price bracket I am looking at, the options seem to be CATD, Suit Supply, Dress2Kill and A Suit that Fits.

    Something about the D2K and AStF...just seemed a bit naff and so the choice was down to CATD or SS.

    So last week I paid a visit to both.

    First up was CADT at their Savile Row shop. I spent a good 45 minutes in the shop chatting to one of their cutters and another chap who works there - not sure if he is a cutter / tailor.

    Really friendly guys who despite me dropping in unannounced without an appointment made time to speak with me and take me through some of their cloth books.

    Next up was SS. Completely different atmosphere. A little like walking into Uniqlo or H & M. Unless I misunderstood their service, you pick out a suit and then they will alter it on site within a few days. For me, I do not really see the great benefit in this - I have (due to my lack of height) always had my high street suits altered. Whilst it is slightly more convenient to have the suit altered in the same store, for me, this is not sufficient reason to buy a suit there.

    And so...for now the choice is CADT with an consultation booked for next week.

    Like I said, if people are interested I am more than happy to post updates / photos.

    There are couple of pieces of advice that would be helpful if anyone could provide.

    Firstly, have I made a good choice with CADT?

    Secondly, what should I expect at the consultation? What is the usual process.

    Thirdly (and this may be a very silly question), for the measuring, what should one wear to it to ensure that measurements are easy to take - are jeans and a casual shirt OK?

    Finally, I am having a dilemma with the suit trousers - to turn up or not to turn up... any advice?
     
  2. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    Firstly you should settle on your budget, whether you want a full canvass or half canvass MTM, what sort of weight of cloth you wanted.

    Cad & the Dandy seems a good choice in UK.

    I really will suggest to get a three piece because the waistcoat will be always be there when you need it

    The consultation will be the choice of cloth, style, details on the order (e.g. ticket pocket, vents, darts...etc)

    I will suggest to wear your best fitted shirts on the day

    For the turn ups it is a personal choice, but according to your description I don't think it ill be a good idea because turn ups do make people look slightly short

    My advice on the suit:

    three piece, 4" lapel, ticket pocket, Single breasted jacket, double vented, 5 working buttons, 2 button closure.
    A single breasted waistcoat, no lapel, 2 pockets.
    Regular fit trouser, side taps, no turn ups, Hidden pockets and standard outside pockets

    P.s. Make sure you get all the stitchings on the jacket and waistcoat, and working lapel hole

    Rope shoulder is personal
    Minimal (1/4 inch padding) or no padding
    Full chest for comfort

    you are on your way
     
  3. Davidmcclen

    Davidmcclen Member

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    Hi Ad911_11,

    Thanks for the great advice. I think you have settled my dilemma over the turn up trousers.. The last thing I need is a suit to make me look short - I do a good enough job on that front myself...

    Also, you are correct too on the waistcoat front. Always better to have the option.

    If I could perhaps ask a few more questions.

    My budget is flexible - Will there be a substantial difference in the MTM and fully canvassed options?

    You mention hidden pockets in the trousers - what are these? Also are pleats reccomended?

    With regard to braces buttons, the two options are fold out buttons or internal - what would you suggest?

    Finally, with regard to the jacket pockets, I intend to get a ticket pocket as you suggest. I am intending on having cut away pockets - as Ithink this will give the suit a more fitted look. Do you agree?

    Thanks again
     
  4. bluesman528

    bluesman528 Senior member

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    I think you have completely misunderstood them. Sure they will alter a chosen RTW suit on site if you intend to buy it but they have an ordinary MTM program where you choose the fabric, one of their cuts and several options and then they take measurements and produce a suit accordingly. This is not done on site but in one of several specialized factories abroad. After that they will do a fitting with you and change things that are not spot-on then with the local tailor. The Suit-Up MTM program is fully canvassed and you can choose among 600 italian fabrics (prices according to your selection, of course). It's not available in all of their shops but their website says that all London Suitsupply shops are included.
     
  5. Davidmcclen

    Davidmcclen Member

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    Thanks for the Suit Supply info Bluesman.

    Does anybody have any comparisons between Suit Supply and Cad and the Dandy? Who is making the better suits?
     
  6. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    I would argued if you are going for a half canvass, both company do a great job. But I have no experience of full canvass suit supply suits. My friend's C&D full canvass suit is very well made for the price. IF your Budget is flexible then I really recommend full canvass, because they drape better and last longer than half canvass. For the modern look, braces button should be sewn inside the trouser, unless you want fish tails which is not common in the business suiting these days but popular in black tie suits.

    HIdden pockets in the trouser is a pocket inside the waist, which alines with the outside trouser pocket, usually in the right hand side. You should ask for a inner pocket in the besom pocket

    I guess price wise, both companies are similar, but I knew C&D full canvass is bespoke and made in England, And suit supply ones are only MTM

    Hope this helps
     
  7. Davidmcclen

    Davidmcclen Member

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    Excellent help thanks very much - I'm booked in for a consultation on saturday so will provide an update.

    I'm rather excited about the whole thing!

    Thanks again.
     
  8. dirtyturk

    dirtyturk Well-Known Member

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    hi, i went through the same analysis so perhaps i can share my experience as I have dealt with both.

    CATD and SS are two very different companies so it really depends what you want. If you want made to measure (where they take your measurements and make a suit exactly your size in china) then go with SS. They have infinitely more experience and the the larger scale operations mean you get a much cheaper price. I think MtM starts at £400 where as CATD MtM starts at £550 now. And i dont know if cad is fully canvassed at that price. SS MtM is. To give you an idea, 1 year ago, the entry level price for CATD was £300, so they have really been bumping up their prices and I havent seen a noticeable quality difference except in their flashy new website and world tours.
    In short, if you want something to be "built" in a factory, go with the streamlined, efficient company.

    If you want custom tailored bespoke, then don't go with either. CATD will ask you at least £900+ for "bespoke" and for that price, personally, I would go with a tailor with more track record. I think they hire a tailor part time from one of the savile row shops for their bespoke.
     
  9. Davidmcclen

    Davidmcclen Member

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    Hi dirtyturk - thanks for the input.

    Did you end up buying a suit from suit supply or CATD? What were the results like?

    With regard to a tailor with a better track record - at the £900 price point is there anybody you would reccomend?
     
  10. Davidmcclen

    Davidmcclen Member

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    I had my first appointment with the Cad and Dandy on Saturday and have now placed an order for my first bespoke suit - A greatly enjoyable experience - though rather worryingly, I may be hooked...

    I had previously visited their shop and had been talked through the process. When I returned on Saturday I was met by James, who again talked me through the process, explained the various options - machine stitched, half hand stitched and fully hand stitched - and then at my request he showed me some examples of suits - both hand stitched and machined.

    I then spent a good hour looking through their bunches - I already had a choice of cloth in mind - so it was a matter of going through the bunches in search of the cloth I had in my own mind. I was looking for a Navy blue pinstripe with a flannel type look.

    Eventually I settled on a navy chalk stripe, with stripes approx just over a cm apart. I was a bit wary of having too wide a stripe as I am quite short and lean. All in all, after looking through about 30 bunches (yes really!) I found the one.

    Next up, for the lining I went (with some advice from James) for a pale blue lining - described at "light denim".

    I was then measured up by James - on camera as sky news were filming some kind of report. James placed on of their jackets on me to assist with the measuring - and this may sound odd, as the jacket was obviously not made by me - but it felt good and of a quality that was far and above my current wardrobe of hightstreet RTW suits.

    I was then talked through the various options by Marcelle and given some advice.

    I went for a single breasted 2 button jacket with a notched lapel, button hole, 4 sleeve buttons (non kissing), cut away and ticket pocket and double vented.

    For the waistcoat i went for a single breasted, bottom pointed, notched lapel, two pockets, five buttons and with the back made from the lining.

    For the trousers I have gone for slanted pockets, no turn ups, buckle side adjusters, fold out brace buttons, no pleats and no back pockets.

    I will be back in five weeks for the basted fitting and thereafter a further five weeks for the final fitting.

    It was a really enjoyable experience - very friendly and comfortable atmosphere and there is something special in my mind about getting your first bespoke suit from Savile Row.

    One omission was that I had not realised the need for and discount provided for a second pair of trousers and so did not order some - I will however query this and request another pair be ordered so hopefully they will be able to deal with the request.

    I'll be back with any updates along the way - thanks for the advice guys!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  11. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    May I ask whether 'fold out braces button' means the buttons will be on the outside waist of the trouser? If my presumption is correct, this will be very funky trouser

    The style sounds good, do you know whether the lapel will be a high Italian or standard british?

    I am looking forward to some pictures of the fittings and even the finished product. It sounds really good.

    Which cloth did you choose, what is the stats?
     
  12. dirtyturk

    dirtyturk Well-Known Member

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    Hi David, I bought an off the rack suit from suit supply and got the sleeves, pant length, pant waist and suit chest altered (£300 total) and had a MtM from CAD (£650). The CAD suit had to have several appointments, alterations and re-alterations (10 weeks) whereas the suitsupply suit fit perfectly and was ready in a day. I think this is because at SS the in-house alterations tailor is right there. He takes the measurements and then does the cutting and stitching with you in mind. At CAD I was measured by James once and then his colleague the other time, neither of which does any cutting or sewing. So frankly the only benefit of CAD that I found was a more "personal" feel and you get to pick your lining color and that wasn't worth 10 weeks and twice the price for me.

    If I were to do MtM again i think I'd go to Ede and Ravenscroft who are obviously much more skilled given their heritage. They also have a winter sale where you can get an LP 4 seasons MtM suit for £700 i think... Apsley on pall mall also do a semi-bespoke for under £600 but they have a very traditional and conservative style.

    That's just my experience. good luck and keep us posted.
     
  13. Davidmcclen

    Davidmcclen Member

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    Hi ad911,

    Yes the brace buttons fold outside the trousers - there is a pocket inside in which they can be placed when not in use though. I thin it will give the trousers a pretty classic look.

    The lapel I believe will be the standard british.

    I have to admit that I forgot to take a note of the cloth - it is a medium to heavy cloth, navy chalk stripe with a flannely type look about it.

    Really looking forward to the basted fitting and trying it.

    Also as mentioned, the extra trousers have been ordered as was suggested to me.
     
  14. Davidmcclen

    Davidmcclen Member

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    Hi dirtyturk,

    Thanks for the info - I will see how the CATD suit turns out - If it is as good as I hope, I can see myself being a repeat customer.

    As I went for the fully hand stitiched suit I understand that this is as close as you can get to a bespoke savile row suit without paying £3k.

    The cloth is ordered and cut in London, basted fitting and finished.

    I did look at Ede & Ravenscroft and saw their offer which they are running at the minute on MTM but I wasn't too keen on their house style - it looked quite 'boxy' and a bit of an older look than what I am hoping for.

    Has anybody any suggestions for good places to buy reasonably priced good quality braces, pocket squares and ties?
     
  15. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    I would put my hand up TM Lewin, except ties, go to drakes or Jermyn Street, just walk around there and you will find a mass amount of man goods
     
  16. Liquidus

    Liquidus Senior member

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    Welcome to Styleforum and thank you for doing some research before making a thread, unlike this guy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  17. Davidmcclen

    Davidmcclen Member

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    Hi,

    Thought I would give a quick update on my first foray...

    I had my first appointment on Saturday 19th November and ordered the suit as outlined above.

    A few days after making the order it was suggested to me that I ought to have ordered a second pair of trousers and taking this advice I contacted CATD and placed an order for a second pair without any trouble.

    I was emailed on the 5th December to advise that my suit was ready for the basted fitting - I was pretty surprised at how quick the suit was ready - this was only two weeks after placing the order!

    Thanks to the advice on the forum here I went along to the appointment dressed appropriately to try the suit on 10th.

    Upon first seeing the suit, the cloth appeared slightly different than I had remembers but great all the same.

    I first tried on the trousers and was measured up by both Marcelle and Mikey I believe. With regard to further alterations to the trousers they will need to be lengthened, the legs narrowed, the seat taken in, the waist taken in by half an inch.

    Next was the waistcoat. The buttons are to be dropped down a few inches and slightly taken in at the chest.

    Finally the jacket. The sleeves need to be narrowed and the shoulders too.

    I have never had a basted fitting but it seemed that quite a lot of alterations are required before it will fit perfectly. Not sure if this is the norm or not but perhaps others could give an indication.

    It was a really interesting experience and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished article! I imagine that it will be ready within the next few weeks with perhaps some further minor alterations required. I will be sure to post pictures once I have the final suit.

    My first foray has certainly been enjoyable so far but increasingly and expensive interest!

    New shirts and ties have been ordered for the suit, a new wallet bought (slimmer so as to it in the jacket pocket), a new briefcase, new shoes bought and shopping trips planned for braces, handkerchiefs and any other accessories required...

    Like I say above, I would be interested to hear of other peoples experiences of a basted fitting - just how much alteration is usually required?
     
  18. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    There's always alterations of some sort at the basted fitting stage. That's why you have fittings, to nut out the little issues and have them fixed before reaching the final article. All part of the process (and fun) :)
     
  19. dirtyturk

    dirtyturk Well-Known Member

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    nice, keep us posted.

    and enjoy
     
  20. rossjamesparker

    rossjamesparker Member

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    David, thanks for starting this thread and keeping it updated. I am very keen to hear how you get on. I'm also 28 and considering between C&D and SS, so your journey is an instructive one for me.
     

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