1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Hong Kong Shirt Makers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by chiefhk, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. chiefhk

    chiefhk Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Hi All, I am trying to get views on the various well-known Hong Kong shirt makers to see if it's worth me making a change. I have been using Ascot Chang for almost all my shirts with the exception of a few from David's shirts. Overall Ascot Chang has been pretty good for the most part but I think consistency in the workmanship has been slightly lacking for the premium that they charge. David's shirts didn't turn out as well as I was hoping, the quality and attention to detail didn't seem on-par. I tried Jantzen almost 8 years ago and the shirts turned out pretty badly so I won't be going back there again.

    I was wondering what the views are on the quality/workmanship/pricing for tailors like A Man Hing Cheong, Gordon Yao, WW Chan? Is it worth making the switch given Ascot Chang has the reputation of being the best? Any other tailors I should be considering that would have the same quality and skills?

    Thanks all! Any input would be much appreciated
     
  2. chiefhk

    chiefhk Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Any thoughts/opinions on the subject matter? I've also heard of Loa Hai Shing being mentioned but haven't seen much on them

    Thanks!
     
  3. Penfold

    Penfold Senior member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    London
    Is cost a factor here or do you really just care about getting the best? If it is the latter then you should probably stick with AC - I don't think anyone can approach their level of quality and reputation.

    I've found Graly shirtmaker in Wan Chai who has made me some perfectly decent shirts in his house cloth for 450 HKD each, chosen from amongst the many bolts of cloth that are in his store which I find easier than the game of Hunt The Sample Book at Jantzen.

    The shirts came back with some loose threads here and there but the construction seems solid and I got what I asked for. Buttons aren't MoP but I could source those myself for maybe 65-75 HKD a set if I tried.

    I'm going to tweak the fit and then take him some lengths of Thomas Mason shirting fabric I've just bought from a wholesaler in Sheung Wan.

    Are they quite as perfect as Ascot Chang's product probably is? Definitely not. Are they a cost-effective alternative - for me yes.
     
  4. chiefhk

    chiefhk Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Thanks! While cost is definitely a consideration, I'm looking for quality. Guess the point here is to try and determine if the cost-performance ratio for ascot Chang justifiable and it sounds like they're probably right up there?
     
  5. cchen

    cchen Senior member

    Messages:
    2,536
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    NYC / HK / London
    I've tried several shirt makers in HK and I still find AC the best. Have you tried talking to them about the quality issues you encountered? They've always bent over backwards to correct any issues that I've had.
     
  6. Isolation

    Isolation Senior member

    Messages:
    1,953
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Location:
    London
    I use Jantzen and Moda Republic. I like the pricepoint. I think it's good value. I've got two shirts from WW Chan but can't really offer any useful insight in comparison to other makers. I have had good experience with Jantzen and Moda.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  7. chiefhk

    chiefhk Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    

    Thanks, they've definitely tried to rectify any issues which for the pricing would be something expected. Guess it seems like the consensus feels they're still the best in hk
     
  8. chiefhk

    chiefhk Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    

    What is your opinion of the shirts made by ww chan?
     
  9. Isolation

    Isolation Senior member

    Messages:
    1,953
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Location:
    London
    I have to be honest I haven't worn them too much but it's mostly because the fabric I chose is not very versatile. It fits better but honestly I can't say that I feel the improvement is worth the extra cost. I'm very happy with the 350-550 price point.
     
  10. vinveritas

    vinveritas Senior member

    Messages:
    113
    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    I've had 5 shirts from WW Chan. What I like best is that the thick MOP buttons are shanked. The fit is what follows from the single fitting. For example, the sleeves take into account the actual respective lengths of my arms. But is it value for money at USD 175-200 from my last purchase? Am thinking of trying AC for comparison. :D
     
  11. chiefhk

    chiefhk Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    

    Thanks
     
  12. chiefhk

    chiefhk Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    

    Would be great to hear your thoughts if you do try AC
     
  13. Jasbear

    Jasbear New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2014
    I am new to the forum. I will be in Hong Kong next month and would like to have some shirts made.
    Are there any recommendations in the 100-150 USD range?

    Thank you
     
  14. pc282

    pc282 Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    On Penfold's recommendation, I finally gave Graly a try. I recall walking past the shop on many occasions and never gave it much of a thought. I find it quite a gem and far,far better experience than Jantzens, and above all else a better product. In terms of the price differential(450 vs 360 HKD), Graly is more than well worth it - small caveat might be the turnaround time,which can possibly be more than a couple of days?. On 3 separate instances, I've had multiple shirts made and soon to approach a dozen. I'm a very satisfied customer with the house cloths and resisted the temptation to splurge with the Thomas Mason offerings. I got lucky with the white herringbone fabric and I was modestly surprised how luxurious it turned out. Tim, the owner and tailor, was quite helpful, making recommendations and didn't once winge - as I continually modified my requests over the 3 iterations (i.e. monogramming advice, slimmer fit, angled cuffs, pointed collar to spread collar, etc.). I own a few AC shirts, purchased RTW over the years(annual sale). I'll admit the TM fabrics are indeed superior, but if similar shirts were put to a "wear" test, Graly is quite comparable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  15. Penfold

    Penfold Senior member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    London
    Very glad (and rather relieved) that you like it. Let's hope Tim doesn't get too busy, that standards don't slip or that prices don't shoot up, but with the longer lead times and off-the-beaten track location I don't think there's too much danger of Graly going global anytime soon.

    Tim is currently making me my 10th through 13th shirts, and I have plans for about the same number again. He might seem a little cold at first but he's really a patient guy who will work with you to get what you want, and that's worth the money over being made to feel like a worm at Jantzen any day. Getting to choose from the fabric bolts is much better than looking through sample books IMO and because he's just a shirtmaker there's no upsell to suits or anything else.

    I've started to take him mother of pearl buttons bought up in Sham Shui Po so perhaps he'll get the hint and offer them to customers. FYI they were $172 HKD for a gross (144), but you'll need different sizes for placket, collar, gauntlet and button-down respectively.

    The one thing I have found is that it's best to only order one variety of shirt at a time - so my last order was for more casual shirts in cotton and in linen detailed with the same collar/cuff/pleat/placket and fit options, but the next is going to be for very formal dress shirts. Don't cross the streams....
     
  16. pc282

    pc282 Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    ghostbusters and shirting, [​IMG]

    I highly doubt Graly will be swamped with new business. From my limited understanding, it appears alot of his clientele are repeat customers, foreigners mixed with local HKers. Only on 1 random occasion was there another customer. they were there for shirt pick-ups. My concern is that his business will get pushed out as Wan Chai gentrifies. As far as rising prices, it pains me to know labor and rent inflation is inevitable. This is HK after all.

    By the way, I know exactly what you are referring to with the "loose threads, here and there." Graly shirts are not perfect quality but pricewise, they are a fraction of AC-esque shirts. At the other end of the spectrum, I've patronized Jantzen on and off over the past 11 years(as far back as when they are at World Wide House). At one point, in despair, I went back to RTW shirts for a couple of years because it wasn't worth the hassle. Compared to the Jantzen crew, Tim wins the Mr. Personality award. Grrr .... now, time to phase out my Jantzen shirts!

    Do you think MoP buttons make that much of a difference? Feel free to share pics of your new formal dress shirts, when you have time.
     
  17. Penfold

    Penfold Senior member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    London
    The buttons on the pink shirt are Graly's standard ones.

    The second photo shows trocas buttons that are 3mm thick on the left and MoP buttons that are 2mm (or maybe even a whisker thinner) on the right, on top of some Thomas Mason linen shirting that is currently being made up CMT.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Styleforum - where men can discuss button choices in discreet anonymity with other men...
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  18. pc282

    pc282 Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Wow, thanks for the pics! - MOPs truly stand out. In a weird way, I feel very enlightened. Any chance you can PM me or disclose your SSP button vendor? I turn sheepish whenever I venture over to Kwln. That should give you an idea of how often I leave HK side.

    Very nice linen you've picked out, sharp eye you have.
     
  19. Penfold

    Penfold Senior member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    London
    The MoP ones are a lot thinner which you may or may not like. I looked at the buttons on the RTW Jermyn Street shirts I used to have from Harvie & Hudson and TM Lewin, and those were pretty thin too. The quality of the MoP is similar, maybe the SSP ones are a bit less pearlescent but really I'm not too fussed. I do care more that the buttons have a rim, oddly.

    Anyway, there a ton of haberdashery shops along and around Nam Cheong St in SSP. I liked these guys best and they weren't too fussy about selling small quantities - just say you want a sample and ask for a specific number in a specific sizes - buttons are measured in lignes (pronounced lines). You'll want mainly "18 ligne 2mm MoP" buttons for the placket and cuffs (if they're going to button) - easiest to buy a gross - 144 ($172 HKD). Then you'll want "16 ligne" size for the collar and perhaps sleeve gauntlet buttons and optionally "14 ligne" size for the collar point buttons on a button-down shirt. You'll need many more 18 ligne buttons than 16s or 14s, because there are so many more buttons on the front. Plus get a load of little plastic ziplok bags so that when you place your next order you can give Tim the right quantities and sizes of buttons - but they were $9 per 100 from a stationery shop.

    [​IMG]


    The linen is pretty nice, and is being joined by a shirt in this linen, with smoke MoP buttons. They'll both have button cuffs, no placket and longer, softer collars more suited to being worn open-necked. Like the blue chambray shirt below on the left.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The house fabrics are definitely a good deal (the 100% cotton ones anyway). Thomas Mason does still have merit too:

    [​IMG]

    became

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
    2 people like this.
  20. pc282

    pc282 Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Kind Appreciation, Penfold. You are a fountain of shirting knowledge.

    This is getting quite technical. Forgive me for asking,

    1. you recommend "16 ligne size for the collar buttons and sleeve gauntlets. are you referring to the top most button on the placket, on a non button down dress shirt? I never noticed the top collar button being a slightly smaller size than all of the other placket buttons.

    2. i didn't specify on my Graly shirts, which are all non-button down. all the buttons are the same size(placket,cuffs and gauntlet). is this a faux pas?

    Tim has a batch of premium house fabrics, that he sells for 550 HKD. those are worth a look,feel - although the stripes or checks may not suit your fancy. On my last store visit, these premium house bolts were whittled down from the original qty. FWIW, he wrote down the thread count (160 or 180?) on my receipt but I tossed it. Softer hand and better wear than the standard Graly house fabrics, my TM from AC and Alumo from AC.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by