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Full Review - Richard Lim Tailor – PLUS - Finished Navy Summer Jacket Pics

coolal

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This review has been a long time coming. I really wanted to make sure I had taken the time to develop a relationship with the shop and a feel for their ability to hone in on style and fit.

I first started using Richard Lim in January of 2009. Since then, I’ve had three jackets commissioned and one pair of trousers. The third jacket is the navy Brisa summer jacket that I’m showing today. This jacket represents the convergence of three goals: 1) Hone in on fit 2) Find the most appropriate construction technique 3) Find a unique stylistic marker to set the jacket apart, subtly (iGent double take).


Richard Lim
patterns.jpg



House Style:

First off, Richard Lim and his shop High Society do not have a “house style”. This is one of those things that subtly influences their bespoke process and makes it somewhat different than most of the experiences I have read about.

The biggest difference is that there is ZERO push back when it comes to stylistic choices. I’ve never had to fight against a prevailing opinion on how something ought to look. Richard Lim and his staff are more than happy to execute almost any stylistic choice and flair that I can think of.

This does lead to one word of caution. The experience with Richard Lim works best if you already know what you want. Because there is no prevailing house style that they are most comfortable with, it becomes very easy to end up ordering something you may not like stylistically; simply because there are so many options.


Richard and My Cutter Hann With the Finished Jacket
fittinga.jpg

fittingb.jpg



That said, if you have a rough notion of what you’d like, or better yet, an idea of what you really don’t like; they are more than equipped to guide you on the detailed choices and help with every step of the decision process.

There are two prevailing characteristic to every jacket I’ve seen from Richard Lim: the lapel roll is absolutely lovely. It’s the first thing the catches my eye on every piece I’ve been shown. Second is the line the lapel follows from the gorge to the quarters. It’s very X shaped, which leads to tastefully open quarters. Something I really love.

Additionally, a little detail I’ve noticed from jacket to jacket is the subtle creative license Richard Lim takes when interpreting finishing details that were not specifically covered. From what I’ve seen on my jackets and the ones I’ve inspected in the shop, the details really change depending on the fabric used and the overall look of the jacket. At the end of the day, I trust my requests to go through Richard Lim’s sartorial filter and end up better for it.


Basted Fitting
navybrisafrontclosed.jpg


Construction Methods:

Standard: The standard construction is fully canvassed, with hand padded chest, collar and lapels. On the jackets, every visible stitch is done by hand. The shoulders are constructed to preference. During my basted try-on, the jacket is a completely natural shoulder. Wadding or padding is added if desired. The summer jacket has a bit of cotton padding in each shoulder.

Optionally, Richard can construct jackets with half canvass construction and fully fused when requested. The lining options also spread the gamut from fully unlined, with all seams lined and taped down, to quarter / half lined, and special requests.

The summer jacket is fully canvassed, self lined in the chest, and piped with the same fabric that lines the arms and finishes the seams. I specifically stated that I wanted to make the jacket as light and airy as possible without using fusing.

Depending on the type of lining you have, it’ll either be felled by hand or machine. My first jacket used a vintage silk lining that was felled by hand. The second was bemberg and that was felled by machine.

All work is done on the premises in a workshop behind the front showroom. It’s truly amazing that they can combine onsite manufacturing with a bespoke process at the prices they charge.


ironep.jpg
threadsv.jpg



Something to keep in mind:

Every time I’ve walked into Richard's shop, there is always at least one garment hanging for some type of entertainment industry client. The last few times I saw some of the pieces that Prince will / has already worn on stage for his American tour. Other times there are suits ready to be worn on set and during awards show season, even more outfits ready for the red carpet.

What I’m trying to get at is the fact that this shop is VERY used to working with designers. Their whole approach is geared towards the type of client who really wants to get exactly what they’re thinking of. There was zero pushback when I brought in a sketch of what I wanted my second jacket to look like. Most recently, when I walked in with a cardboard lapel shaper, they were more than happy to use it for my next jacket.

More importantly, they will also tell you when they don’t have the experience to pull something off. I have yet to run into this and looking around the shop (they also work with leather and accessories) I can’t imagine where their expertise ends.


How It Started
lovat.jpg



First shot of the finished product
frontarmup.jpg


Pricing:

The pricing is where Richard Lim goes from being a good find to a well kept industry secret. My suspicion is that between the loyal Korean clientele, designers / costume artists, and the rare person who discovers them independently, they really don’t get much (if any) press.

C.M.T for jackets starts at $545 and $250 for trousers. The pricing model reflects the individual needs of clients, thus special requests add to the cost. For example, hand pick stitching will add $25 while hand sewn working button holes will increase the cost about $35.

One fitting is standard. If you need additional fittings factored into the schedule, such as a forward fitting, this also adds to the price (~$35). From my experience, the first fitting is already so dead on; I have never felt I needed another. Additionally, after the jacket is finished, Richard Lim has ALWAYS performed any needed tweaks, at no additional cost. My suspicion is that if you need more fittings before completion, this is what adds to the final price.

The final price for my jacket, with all requested details was $625 + tax. In particular, the lining technique and working button holes added to the cost.

To say that I’m happy with Richard Lim is a profound understatement. Before finding his shop, I considered the $800-900 range fair ground for a really decent jacket. That’s, RTW, mind you; from a place like Facconable where I used to do almost all my shopping. Now I can’t imagine ever paying anywhere near that for RTW, let alone ever wanting to buy off the rack again.

Shots from the front, right and back
frontarmside.jpg
rightak.jpg
backarms.jpg
 
Last edited:

edmorel

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Thanks for putting the work into this post, whether or not anyone is a prospective client of Richard, this is the kind of stuff that makes SF a worthy read. While it is not my style, it does look good on you. My only issue would be to get him to raise and shorten the diameter of the armholes, I know high armholes are an SF meme, but in this case it looks necessary. The notch is not to my taste, is that something you asked for? Also, you may want to make the pocket flaps bigger.
 

Skyler

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Richard Lim remains one of the great underrated tailors around. He doesn't - so far as a know - travel but the work he does in the LA area is superb. true value: high quality at astonishingly reasonable prices - and the pics of your coat are ample evidence of that.
 

acecow

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Ohhh, it's in Los Angeles? Very-very nice... Thanks for the review! How's the fabric for the price?
 

coolal

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Originally Posted by acecow
Ohhh, it's in Los Angeles? Very-very nice... Thanks for the review! How's the fabric for the price?
The Brisa is actually very surprising, in that it lives up to the London Lounge hype. Normally, while shooting a garment for a post, I sweat profusely under modeling lamps while setting everything up. With the 13oz (!!) Brisa and this construction method, I was completely fine. Rather astonishing.
Originally Posted by edmorel
Thanks for putting the work into this post, whether or not anyone is a prospective client of Richard, this is the kind of stuff that makes SF a worthy read. While it is not my style, it does look good on you. My only issue would be to get him to raise and shorten the diameter of the armholes, I know high armholes are an SF meme, but in this case it looks necessary. The notch is not to my taste, is that something you asked for? Also, you may want to make the pocket flaps bigger.
Thanks a lot for the comments, Ed. I think we all owe SF on some level. I know I would have never found Richard if it wasn't for a few posts on here. I'm very sure a lot of members feel the same with regard to discovering your products. Stylistically, almost everything on this coat will be to my credit (or fault). I went pretty insane with the details. The pocket flap size, the blunting of the edges almost everywhere (at the botton of the vent, flap, and lapel) and the notch design are all what I specified. It's certainly a sartorial experiment and an evolution from my last jacket. The armholes are almost perfection. I like a bit more mobility and breathing room under my pits, but I agree, it could be tweaked a tad in the next order.
 

TheTukker

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Originally Posted by edmorel
Thanks for putting the work into this post, whether or not anyone is a prospective client of Richard, this is the kind of stuff that makes SF a worthy read. While it is not my style, it does look good on you. My only issue would be to get him to raise and shorten the diameter of the armholes, I know high armholes are an SF meme, but in this case it looks necessary. The notch is not to my taste, is that something you asked for? Also, you may want to make the pocket flaps bigger.

Wow - rarely do I see a post that hits all the comments I wanted to make....

+7
 

coolal

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Here are some detail shots:

Interior Detail
insidedetail.jpg


Open Peak and Barchetta Pocket
pocketlapeldetail.jpg


Sleeve with Blunted Corner
sleevedetail.jpg


Sleeve and Vent Blunted Corners
sleeveandvent.jpg
 
Last edited:

coolal

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Originally Posted by coolal
How It Started
lovat.jpg

Originally Posted by WhateverYouLike
Did you actually request that notch?
Yes, definitely requested it. The notch design is almost dead on when compared to the lapel shaper I provided.
Originally Posted by Lonneker
Wow - rarely do I see a post that hits all the comments I wanted to make.... +7
I'm glad you also appreciated the review
biggrin.gif
Armhole will definitely be tweaked in the next jacket. As for this jacket, I couldn't be happier, so I won't mess with it. Pocket flaps will be same size if I want it to be "trendy" and longer to be more "classic"; depending on the fabric. As for the notch, well that ties into point #3 that I was trying to address with this project. I wanted something unique that also works with my tastes. I might tweak the open peak a bit, but I think I've locked into a design I'll be using a lot more in the future.
 
Last edited:

TheTukker

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Originally Posted by coolal
I'm glad you also appreciated the review
biggrin.gif


Yep - just to be clear: while I am with Ed on his 'critique' of the commission, the more important point in his note was certainly the fact that this "kind of stuff that makes SF a worthy read". This is a great thread - much appreciated.
 

Wes Bourne

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Good review.

Ed, if you're taking notes: Panta x Richard Lim triple reverse pleats.
 

AxlJack

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Nice review

Like the work............ excluding the lapels but props for that element
 

coolal

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Originally Posted by Lonneker
Yep - just to be clear: while I am with Ed on his 'critique' of the commission, the more important point in his note was certainly the fact that this "kind of stuff that makes SF a worthy read". This is a great thread - much appreciated.

Thanks Lonneker, that's how I originally interpreted your comment. What means the most to me is that people appreciate the thread and can make their own informed opinion on what they'd like to do.

Originally Posted by Wes Bourne
Good review.

Ed, if you're taking notes: Panta x Richard Lim triple reverse pleats.


What is the word on triple reverse pleats? I didn't notice this till you pointed it out.

Originally Posted by texas_jack
Very nice, conservative and nice.

Very interesting that you think it's a conservative look. Thanks for the compliment!

Originally Posted by AxlJack
Nice review

Like the work............ excluding the lapels but props for that element


Thanks for the props. I figure not everyone would like the lapel, but that's what makes it unique
wink.gif
 

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