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First bespoke/MTM suit and charcoal herringbone?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by teacher2, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. teacher2

    teacher2 Well-Known Member

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    Howdy,

    Basically, this post is split into 2... and I'd super appreciate help with either or both of them, as I go to Thailand and buy my first non OTR suit on Wednesday.

    Part 1 is about what style of suit to get.
    Part 2 is about what I need to ask for in shirts and suit (material, yolk, etc).

    1.
    I'm going to get a charcoal suit in Thailand next week. I'm leaning towards a herringbone pattern, with the most boring two-button Hugo Boss cut.

    But, I can't seem to find too many herringbone patterened suits. Are they not fashionable atm? A tiny houndstooth is also an option that I'm considering - but I think I may need to be ab it older to wear it comfortably. I wouldn't mind pinstripes, but I have a navy pinstripe suit and a medium-grey pinstripe suit at the moment.

    I'm pretty sure that I don't like windows.

    So, how about a fairly dark charcoal herringbone suit?

    Like http://imageshack.us/f/822/26935627.png/ but perhaps a bit more of a charcoal than a black.

    I am a graduate working at a Big 4 accounting firm.

    2.
    My first choice is http://www.dress-for-success.com/ (Rajawongse).

    I will be getting shirts and the suit.

    What do I need to ask for?

    It'll obviously depend on what they have, etc... but, the sort of things I'm looking for are:
    Shirt:
    Double cotton shirt (I don't really understand this, I just want thick, good quality cotton.. but got told to go Double Cotton)
    with split yoke
    and mother of pearl buttons
    I know the type of collar I want, and the colours and styles.
    Some for cufflinks, some not for cufflinks.

    Suit
    good quality material - prob super 100??
    2 buttons
    light shoulder pads

    What else am I missing? What suit/shirt material do I want? My favourite current shirts are Herringbone Sydney branded shirts... if anyone knows what the thick ones of those are like.

    My suits are Marc CBD suits are Super 100. They were fantastic at first, but are now a bit ballsy, after only a year. And a pair of pants split. And another pair of pants got a hole inside the pocket.... and I've only had them for a year (and only wore them about 105 times (shared between 2 jackets, 4 pants).

    So, can I get 'nice' material that is durable? If so, what do I want?

    In my mind, Super 120/150 *IS* less durable than Super 100... but Super 100 wasn't really durable enough for me (though, probably would get it, as opposed to getting a lower quality fabric).

    Again, any help would be super appreciated!

    Regards
     
  2. taxgenius

    taxgenius Senior member

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    If Super 100 wasnt durable enough for you then you probably used some crappy fabric. I have suits in 120s and 130s and have had no problem with durability.
     
  3. countdemoney

    countdemoney Senior member

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    Herringbone can work, but for you I would suggest the following:
    a. solid
    b. sharkskin (also called pick and pick)
    c. Bird's eye

    Any one of those will be appropriate in nearly any professional environment.

    Windowpane is normally considered casual or creative - i.e. you could only wear it in a professional situation on a Friday or while visiting a client in the creative arts.

    Consider buying a 2nd set of trousers with your suit as you seem to be wearing them hard. If you rotate the trousers, you will get even wear/color fade and your suit purchase should last significantly longer.

    Suits wear by rubbing. Look at what in your routine causes rubbing with your suits. Common culprits include seat belts, shoulder bags and desks/chairs.
     
  4. cbbuff

    cbbuff Senior member

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    It sounds like you were wearing the shit out of the two suits you had. A larger rotation will help with durability somewhat. There is somewhat of a tradeoff in the feel and durability of worsted wools. But you should be just fine in the 120s and 130s range.

    A charcoal herringbone is a solid choice. Mid grey and navy are also good. Consider doing a solid.

    Like anything else, getting the fit right is most important.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Nothing wrong with herringbone.

    However you should think long and hard about wasting your money on Thailand tailoring. There are the odd places that are OK and we have seen some here BUT as one inexperienced in MTM you are more likely to come to grief than succeed.

    I really do not think a few comments here would assist you and it is a long way to go back for changes or to complain. There is the language barrier in the consultation and the likliehood that the tailor will see the oportunity to sell you crap for a high price - you will think you are getting a bargain because that price is low in terms of what you might pay at home, the only stitching up will be you!

    Sorry to pour cold water on this but you need to think realities.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  6. teacher2

    teacher2 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for your thoughts. I am VERY open to hearing even more though :) I'll take all advice into consideration.

    Taxgenius, thanks for that. I'll get super100 or super120 then. Definitely won't get lower.

    Countdemoney, thanks for your thoughts. Are you able to provide any guidance as to your reasons? What is wrong with HErringbone? Like I said, I don't see it around a lot, is there a reason for that? I definitely will get two trousers, and definitely avoid windows.

    Cbbuff, yes, a solid charcoal is one of the options I am considering. I'm quite sure I don't want pinstripes, as that would mean all three of my suits were pinstripes. RE: Fit, yes. I have 'budgetted' more than enough fitting sessions in the itinerary ... so I'm not too worried about fit. Mainly quality. :).

    GBR. I think you are on the right track. People should think 'long and hard' about it... but, that doesn't mean that people shouldn't do it. I mean, going somewhere a tuk tuk driver takes you after you asked them to take you to the Grand Palace, but they take you to a suit shop is one thing.... and just walking into a tailor off the street randomly and selecting them may not be so great either. However, the tailor I want (linked in OP) seems highly recommended by Google. A few complaints from StyleForumers, but not really from many other people.. Besides, if I don't like the styles, or the fabric, or the service, or the language barrier... if they seem to be strongly pushing me their standard style (perhaps thick shoulder pads, short length)... I can just walk out. At the end of the day, I need a new suit, if this works out fantastically, it'll save me thousands over the years. If it doesn't work out, I waste, say, $400 and move on.

    However, even if I do 'waste $400' by getting a crap suit.... I will A: Learn never to do it again. B: Hopefully get a handful of awesome shirts. C: Have the 'tourist experience' of buying tailored clothes in Thailand. D: Have a crappy suit that I don't mind thrashing out to bucks night, or clubbing in Koh Samui, or whatever. Sure, if it's so crap I won't wear it to work... but, I'll still get SOME use out of it.

    Additionally, if I was to get Herringbone... do you all think a white and charcoal pattern (similar to that linked in the OP< but more charcoal than black)... or say a charcoal and black pattern?

    Cheers,
    R
     
  7. countdemoney

    countdemoney Senior member

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    Actually, I love window panes, just not for work.

    In your current role you have two goals.
    1. build a basic professional wardrobe
    2. not stand out from your team, clients or supervisors.

    Why I don't think herringbone is the best purchase for you at this time:

    1. A business quality herringbone will be small - it will look like stripes at a distance thus another stripe suit in your wardrobe.
    2. A wide herringbone will look like it should have been done in tweed or should have been an overcoat in tweed and therefore not professional.
    3. A herringbone suit will also preclude you from wearing a herringbone shirt - the size of the two herringbones will clash - limiting you in the start of your wardrobe
    4. It's not a common business fabric, potentially making you stand out in the wrong way from your clients and peers.
    5. You don't have a solid suit for evening wear, both sharkskin and bird's eye look like solids at a distance, allowing you to have some character and expression to your cloth, but not wedding you to a solid.

    Herringbone is beautiful stuff and I have my eye on one from the Harrison Hartwists book (one day, sigh). If you really want a herringbone, I would do it as a tweed sportcoat or as a travel overcoat.

    No matter what, at the end of the day, *you* are the one who must be happy with your purchase. So if you still want to go your own way - do it - and don't look back.
     
  8. teacher2

    teacher2 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your very comprehensive reply. How does this sound then? Birds eye has grown on me. I looked at it last a year ago when I got my current suits, but hadn't really considered it this time. It is now my preferred pattern to purchase next week. Obviously, everything below is subject to talking to the tailor, but.

    Suit:
    Charcoal birds eye (like http://www.jaeger.co.uk/images/Suits/AW11SUM280076B00200/AW11SUM280076B00200-cutout-zoom.jpg )
    Good quality super 100 or 120 wool
    no or very light shoulder padding
    single breasted
    mid size notch lapels
    2 button
    'normal' 4 button (not-functional) cuffs (Ie:-> No need for surgeon cuffs).
    double vent
    bemberg lining – not polyster.
    Half canvass (cheaper, quicker to make... and almost as good... in a $400 suit)
    Cut and styled (pockets, etc) like the most boring Hugo Boss suit (eg: http://www.averagejoesblog.com/aver...t/uploads/2011/04/hugo-boss-tailored-suit.jpg)

    slight taper on pants
    slight break on pants
    single pleat on pants
    two working back pockets


    For the shirts, I'll bring in one favourite shirt.... but:
    Top quality cotton (double cotton?) with split yoke and mother of pearl buttons.
    Some with cufflinks, some not.

    My major question though, is, do I want double or single pleats? I wanted single pleats... but wikipedia says double is more comfortable (and currently, more 'normal')... if they are more comfortable, I might as well get double pleats... assuming that they are still fashionable?

    Thanks so much again,
    R
     
  9. teacher2

    teacher2 Well-Known Member

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    Bumpity bump bump bump... plane leaves in about 8 hours or so... any sort of validation (or constructive criticism :p) would still be super appreciated.
     
  10. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Senior member

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    Cambridge, England
    

    Having pleats at all is not really fashionable at the moment, though I expect it may soon swing back that way, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have them. Personally, if I was going to get pleats, I would have a small single pleat, never double. But this is because I am very slim; if you are larger then the extra comfort of double pleats may be a good idea. It really depends on you.
     
  11. teacher2

    teacher2 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    Single pleats it is.
     
  12. countdemoney

    countdemoney Senior member

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    Get what you like once you see the cloth in person. Enjoy your trip and your new suit.
     
  13. shilleck

    shilleck Well-Known Member

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    shouldn't solids be the first choice when getting your first bespoke suit? just to be safe, then if you like the quality of the suit and how it was made then later add a few patterns in.
     
  14. cbbuff

    cbbuff Senior member

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    If the tailor is good, listen to them on the shoulder padding. Tell them you would like a lightly padded, natural shoulder, but your body shape will determine if you may need a bit more padding than other might.
     
  15. connor09

    connor09 Senior member

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    I mostly wear solids to work to maintain a conservative look.
     
  16. teacher2

    teacher2 Well-Known Member

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    Well, back from Thailand now. Since you guys helped me, I guess you deserve a review.

    Be warned, this is long, and I won't get my suit for another week or so...
    Cliffnotes - 2 fittings, 1 jacket, 2 pants, 3 shirts, cufflink, tie for 16,000 Baht. Happy with the service and measurements. Will re-review when I get the suit. Will TRY to re-review in a years time.


    Rajawongse, on Sukhumvit, Near Soi 4, in Bangkok, Thailand @ http://www.dress-for-success.com/

    Seemed to go well. I was in Bangkok for 4 nights, then back in Bangkok around 9 days later, but only for a few hours... and that was a Sunday when they are shut. He said I could pick them up from my 'old hotel' or a nearby shop on that Sunday.... but it was just easier to get him to post it back to Australia for me (turns out that was our only option, but we didn't know that at the time). Hopefully I get it in the post in a bit over a week. I'm positive he could have made it inside the four nights (Well, we went to his shop when we were there for only 3 more nights left for us in Bangkok, given the time our plane landed).... but, he didn't want to rush it, and I wouldn't have let him anyway.

    I had the measuring then two fittings.

    He was fantastic.

    Besides the father or son, very few (effectively none?) staff appeared to speak English, and always referred me to either the father or the son when I started speaking.... which meant that sometimes, service took 5-10minutes... but, they had seats and offered beer and water.

    Their charcoal birds eye didn't look quite formal enough for what I wanted (and was SUper 180 wool/cashmere), so I did, actually, end up with a Charcoal Herringbone. It is a very small, subtle, pattern, and looks solid from a distance. I'm not 100% sure that I'll be comfortable wearing Herringbone shirts (of a different size pattern) with it.... but I've only got three HB shirts at the moment (and, remember, I now have 3 suits, so won't always wear this light HB suit).

    Ended up with:
    1 Jacket
    2 Matching Pants
    3 Shirts
    1 Cufflink pair
    1 Tie.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he chucked in another cufflink pair and/or tie into the delivery bag... but, we didn't haggle to include either, yet he threw one of each in when I paid the balance.

    He did the whole 'This shop doesn't haggle on price thing'... whilst we were haggling, and then he still dropped an extra 600 baht from the price.
    The suit was 12,000 Baht.
    Then for another 4,000 Baht I got the extra pants and 3 shirts (and free cufflink and tie). I think he fairly easily offered me the extra pants for 2,000 Baht instead of the normal (IIRC) 4,000.... but wasn't particularly easy to 'haggle with' for the rest of it.
    IIRC shirts were suppose to be 2,100 baht each...but, perhaps not?

    I paid 16,000. I'd call that a bit of a win, considering what he wanted to charge me. I was hoping to only pay 12,000 all up (when I was still researching)... but came to the conclusion that was unrealistic (see, eg, another high quality tailor at http://www.tailoronten.com/pages/prices ). Delivery was, unfortunately, 1,500 Baht. But, I suppose, posting that many suits just isn't cheap via FedEx and, that's just the way life is.

    Of course, they keep my measurements on file...so if I'm happy with this lot, I can easily order more. Especially more shirts.... but, if delivery will be $50 again... it'd probably only be really a great deal if you go in and grab five shirts or more. IIRC, at 2,100 baht this is $70. Add $50 delivery. = $120 for one shirt. You just wouldn't bother. But, at five shirts, it'd be $80/shirt.... and you might even be able to do a deal like buy 4, get 1 free? Not sure.

    I ended up with a half-canvass jacket (they ONLY offer half-canvassing).

    The only real part I'm a little worried about, is I chose a Super 150 wool/cashmere blend... I wanted a lower number, and pure wool... but, the material seemed nice (they had a made-up jacket there of the same material, which looked nice, as well as the fabric roll). He assured me that all of his suit fabrics were wool/cashmere blends, and they all wear very well. I should have found out what percentage cashmere it was. He told me to email him when I get the suit, so I'll do it then and ask.

    Then, of course, when I try on my suit, I'll be sure to post back here with how it fits, feels, etc.

    After reading posts like http://www.styleforum.net/t/97245/downside-of-wool-cashmere-blend-for-suiting I have much more confidence in the cashmere/wool blend. Considering that, all things considered, it's a fairly cheap... I'm only assuming it'll be like 8%. I don't know why 8% rings a bell, but it does. I have no confidence in it being 8%... but, if I was forced to guess a number, it'd be 8%. The comment in that thread was:
    ... but, that isn't a terrible review and Google seems to like 5-10% cashmere suits a touch more than Film Noir Buff.

    I'll try to remember to re-post in a years time. Considering I'll be wearing 3 suits Mon-Fri.... you'd expect me to wear this maybe 40-45% of the time (probably my highest quality, and certainly the best fitting and newest), my navy pin stripe 30-35% and my grey pinstripe (I so need more non-blue shirts to wear with this) 25-30%....

    So, in a years time, you'd expect me to have worn this new Rajawongse suit about 100-120 times... how will it fair? I guess if I like it still, it will be time to expand my wardrobe to four suits in a year. Will it be from Rajawongse?
     
  17. Testudo_Aubreii

    Testudo_Aubreii Senior member

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    It sounds like you did well. Thanks for the review. Please let us know what your impressions are of the fit, silhouette, and construction.

    Do not expect perfection or even an excellent fit. It is very rare that a bespoke tailor gets it right the first time. I recommend looking to see if the fit is noticeably better than off the rack. If you do notice that it's better, you might consider going back. If not, stay away.

    A charcoal mini-herringbone should be just fine. I think I agree with some that a navy solid would have been somewhat more useful, given that you already have a gray stripe and and a navy stripe. The herringbone will emphasize the vertical, just like the striped suits do. But a charcoal small herringbone is a classic, traditional fabric. It is basically a more formal version of a charcoal serge. Great for sober day occasions.

    I would not wear it with a herringbone shirt. Solid poplins or twills or mini-checks. Butcher stripes if you're feeling bold.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  18. teacher2

    teacher2 Well-Known Member

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    So, got my clothes today.

    First, the bad news. I didn’t get any MORE free ties / cufflinks.

    Now, the good news. I like everything else about it... more on that in a minute. First, what do other people think? My mother is the world’s most cynical person. She was dead sure I was getting scammed... but she likes it, now that she has seen it. My GF, and her mother, both said the material feels and looks nice.

    It all fits perfectly. I think I’d get the shirt sleeves 1cm longer next time... but that is all personal preference.

    I cannot find a single fault with the construction, cut, finishing, etc.

    Some things that I forgot to check if they were included ‘standard’, like felt around the jacket collar, were happily present. The pockets, including the inside jacket pockets, were perfect. My name was, surprisingly (and elegantly) embroidered inside the jacket. All in all, the little details (and bigger details like half canvassing / good material) were all done well.

    Again, I note that, in Thailand suit terms, it was expensive... at around $565-$580, inc. delivery... but, in Australian terms, for a 2 pants suit, 3 shirts, a tie, cufflinks.... it was cheap. I note that some designer brand suits on deep discount specials do get down to around $600 or so... – but, note, that is for only one pair of pants – and not including 3 shirts, cufflinks and a tie... and would not made to measure/bespoke.

    All in all, I would definitely order again from them. I’m not 100% sure that I’d be completely confident ordering another suit from them online, even though they have all my measurements, etc... but certainly shirts... and probably a suit. I would definitely order a suit from them if I went back to Thailand.

    Stupid question of the day, is my suit made to measure or bespoke? I’m assuming made to measure, but I’m not sure?

    Cheers.
     
  19. dorolf07

    dorolf07 Well-Known Member

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    from my understanding of it made to measure has a team of tailors to produce the suit, unlike bespoke which only has one expert tailor who does everything..also bespoke is precisely measured to fit the person.
     
  20. teacher2

    teacher2 Well-Known Member

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    dorolf:
    bespoke = made from scratch.
    MTM = cut to fit from a mold.
     

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