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Handmade shirts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by tlfurbay, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    Well, first of all I don't like what I consider excessive hand-stitching on Kiton shirts.  Second, I think that Brioni shirts are exceptionally beautiful and excellently constructed.  I feel that I'm getting much better "bang for the buck" with Brioni shirts.
     
  2. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    I wasn't terribly pleased with the Burini shirt I got; amusing that even the Brioni salesman commented, "Don't get me wrong..it's a good shirt, but there's better..." (the most honest salesman I've ever met)

    koji
     
  3. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    Banks, I'm inclined to agree on the over-the-top hand stitching on Kiton shirts.  I mean, who really needs to have hand stitching on the bottom hem of a shirt???  It's not as though that does anything for the shirt other than the owner's ego.  I love the shirts, mind you, but all the hand stitching is a bit much.  I'd rather pay a little for less hand-stitching.  I guess one can though, in Borrelli or Oxxford or, for even less hand stitching, Barba.
     
  4. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I was told once (by a Japanese gentleman that really knows his stuff) that you can buy suits in Japan that will put Kiton to shame, for cheap, because they are made in Shanghai.
     
  5. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    This should surprise no-one. Gieves and Hawkes (I think, I could be mistaking them for another Savile Row House) have been offering a "Shanghai Bespoke" suit of not disimilar quality and at a considerably lower price compared to their "Made in England" suits. There is a large base of skilled artisans in China, and as another poster pointed out, there is no technology, no know how, that can't be transported anywhere adequate infrastructure exists. There is nothing magical about "Made in Italy" except for some very clever marketing in the 60s. And remember when "Made in Japan" was a bad thing. Not anymore. Japanese manufacture and materials (denim, for example) fetch a nice premium. Given the right marketing (and I sincerely believe that nobody, nobody is immune,) who is to say that we won't all be proudly declaring our custom suits to be "Made in China" in ten years time?
     
  6. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    LA Guy, I believe that it is Kilgour who offer those "Shanghai bespoke" suits. I fully expect some Chinese firms to be able to offer high quality works, although I'm indeed surprised to hear that the quality is superior to Borrelli and Barba.

    I've never been to China but in Southeast Asia the vast majority of the better tailors are Chinese.
     
  7. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    I'm sorry, but I'm old fashioned; if I ever get the money for a bespoke suit, I will not go to Tokyo (dishonouring my heritage here), I will make the pilgrammage to Naples. I've played on excellent Kawais and Yahamas, but they still pale in comparison to the finest Faziolis, Steinways, Bechsteins and Boesendorfers.
    Just my stupid opinion.

    koji
     
  8. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

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    But notice how Shanghai conjures up a lost world of elegance, all art-deco mirrors and red laquer--and maybe there are traditions of craft and style that have hung on somehow for the last 60-70 years. I'll bet the Beijing bespoke would be a much harder sell.
     
  9. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, it does. As others have said, while it's certainly the case that Chinese seamstresses and seamsters are capable of making superlative shirts, most Americans will associate Chinese-made clothing with cheaply-produced crap. You're going to have to do a whole lot of evangelism to overcome this perception, and even then, you'll probably find that it's harder to sell than something made in Italy.

    I'd be interested to see the rundown of the features that make these shirts superior to Borrelli, and I'd be very interested to see the finished product.
     
  10. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I recently saw hand made clothing out of Viet-nam. The workmanship was so amazing. The cost was disgustingly cheap.

    The Carl Myers clothing is made in a factory called Traguardo on Fifth Ave around 26th Street.

    They will make you an excellent hand made suit for around $1500. Very classic British/Italian look. So don't go there looking for a Neoplitian or A & S type garment.
     
  11. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    BTW the best Brioni shirts I've seen are those made for Neiman-Marcus. The Brioni shirts at the Brioni stores in NYC had permanent collar stays and 1/4" stitching on the collars and cuffs. The Neiman-Marcus Brioni shirts have removable collar stays and usually have edge-stitched collars and cuffs.
     
  12. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    [​IMG] I'm not a big fan of edge-stitched collars and cuffs, but the permanent collar stays thing is appalling.
     
  13. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    silly question perhaps, but if you have permanent collar stays, wont their impression be ironed into the shirt when you have it pressed, making it look somewhat odd?
     
  14. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    Surprisingly, no. Permanent stays are usually affixed to the interlining - there are special stays, sewn or glued in, made for permanent insertion. Before I finally convinced my mother to be extra-careful in making sure to remove collar stays from my father's shirts before washing and ironing, she would often leave the stays in. They would come out of the wash looking rather deformed, and only then, before ironing, would she remove them. [​IMG]
     
  15. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    Indeed, those are the best Brioni shirts..I particularly liked a cheapie I got at last call with a wonderful 50/50 cotton/linen blend. It's a GREAT casual shirt, but I'm not fond of the collars on the dress shirts as much as those on the Neapolitans.

    koji
     
  16. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    Actually, the collars on Brioni shirts are the reason I don't buy them (the dress shirts anyway). I've always thought the collars were too short - - I think they look too wimpy when buttoned up with a tie.
     
  17. rws

    rws Active Member

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    "Made in China" will be a hard sell, I think, for many reasons:
    -- Chinese workmanship is considered inferior, generally with good reason;
    -- Chinese goods are known to be cheaply acquired by the importer, making a high price difficult to defend (why should a shirt that costs the importer ten or fifteen dollars be sold in America or Canada for two hundred?);
    -- increasingly, Americans are concerned about "outsourcing" labor abroad (some will pay more for things made here, even though the labor doubtless often is illegal immigrant);
    -- purchases of Chinese goods generally support, directly or indirectly, a repressive regime that does not stint at torture and execution to keep its commissars in power.

    This last reason is particularly telling on my conscience. After a brief stay in Shanghai, Beijing, and elsewhere two years ago, I can no longer buy Chinese goods without guilt; purchases of things made in Hong Kong may be another story.
     

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