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Hong Kong Tailor Report from A Suitable Wardrobe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mrphrog, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. drake

    drake Senior member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Westwood, Los Angeles
    I was Chan's customer for a while. Several things made me drop them: - Inflexible style: They can only deviate a little from their house style.
    Not really, Chan was willing give me a short jacket, suppressed waist, flared skirt, etc.. basically whatever I asked for: [​IMG] This is drastically diffrent from what they made for my father who let them do their thing. Chan will pretty much do what you want them to do but you have to tell them what you want and be clear about it.
    - End of CMT service.
    Never used their CMT service but considering how accommodating they are I would be surprised if they told a long term customers no.
    - Prices: Seems to be ever esacalating when the rest of HK remains unchanged.
    When I first started using Chan shirts were $120. They are $130 now. Not ever escalting or really that much of an increase. I think suiting has gone up ~$100?
     
  2. MikeF

    MikeF Senior member

    Messages:
    462
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    Aug 25, 2002
    I am a quite disappointed with my latest Chan suit - the second of two. The first was ordered on a US tour and fit perfectly when it arrived several months later. As importantly, it was made to my exact specifications.

    The second suit I ordered while passing through Hong Kong recently. Despite having asked for a suit identical to the first, the fit got worse, and the construction was not what I had in mind (too much shoulder padding, heavy canvassing, etc.). It definitely seems like it's necessary to be crystal clear about what one wants. I now need to spend $100+ to alter the suit to fit properly. No alterations will fix the construction.
     
  3. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Not really, Chan was willing give me a short jacket, suppressed waist, flared skirt, etc.. basically whatever I asked for:

    [​IMG]

    This is drastically diffrent from what they made for my father who let them do their thing. Chan will pretty much do what you want them to do but you have to tell them what you want and be clear about it.


    Never used their CMT service but considering how accommodating they are I would be surprised if they told a long term customers no.




    When I first started using Chan shirts were $120. They are $130 now. Not ever escalting or really that much of an increase. I think suiting has gone up ~$100?


    Try asking Chan to do a drape cut for you. They are good at making tight suits only.

    Either you have not used them long enough to realize their price hike, or HK based customers are being priced out in favour of Chan's quasi bespoke US tour.
     
  4. Connemara

    Connemara Senior member

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    I had considered Chan as an option in the past, but now that they've ended their CMT service, I wouldn't employ their services.

    Time to save for Rubinacci!
     
  5. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Constantinople
    I'm thinking of having suits made in this criterion: imagine a man who had all his suits commissioned in the late '50s and '60s, but who wants a suit in the early '70s and still can't get out of his Modernist phase. So he has his suits made in a quasi-'60s/'70s look which looks dated inasmuch in that it has various elements that while harmonious are somewhat obvious.

    That's my criterion for a bespoke suit.
     
  6. drake

    drake Senior member

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    LK, havn't you ever wanted anything normal? :p


    I'm thinking of having suits made in this criterion: imagine a man who had all his suits commissioned in the late '50s and '60s, but who wants a suit in the early '70s and still can't get out of his Modernist phase. So he has his suits made in a quasi-'60s/'70s look which looks dated inasmuch in that it has various elements that while harmonious are somewhat obvious.

    That's my criterion for a bespoke suit.
     
  7. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    LK, havn't you ever wanted anything normal? :p

    Drake, I think that Chan suit looks very nice.
     
  8. Viktri

    Viktri Senior member

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Try asking Chan to do a drape cut for you. They are good at making tight suits only.

    Either you have not used them long enough to realize their price hike, or HK based customers are being priced out in favour of Chan's quasi bespoke US tour.


    kolecho, would you mind telling me what the "house style" at Chan's is? I want to see if it matches with my own needs.

    I think the tight suit is what I'm looking for. I'm looking for an athletic fit so waist suppression from Drake's photo it seems like Chan would suit me well.

    However, the $2,300 for a suit is over my budget; I was expecting something closer to $1000 with normal (vbc 130s? I still don't know what it stands for).
     
  9. blnee

    blnee Active Member

    Messages:
    44
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    Mar 13, 2006
    I tend to do an excessive amount of reading on this site in comparison to contributions. That is probably a crime as a lot of the information I carry with me in regards to style have been absorbed from this site and AAAC.
    This subject however struck a personal note so I will relay my experiences with WW Chan.
    I employed their service upon the mostly positive recommendations from the forums (or is that fori). I began in early 2006 by meeting with Chan in NYC. The measurements were taken, I picked one shirting and one suit clothe and commisioned one of each to be made for a basted fitting.
    3 months later I met them again in Chicago. A few quick adjustments confirmed a very conservative but fitted profile. I believe the suit was in the ballpark of $1700 as I used a Loro Piana Super 130s fabric for its lightweight and had two pairs of trousers made. It would have been $1300 w/o the second pair of pants I believe. The shirt was $100 as they were running a special.
    After the suit arrived a had a small issue with the way the arm hole was connected, sent it back and it is fixed to a satisfactory level. Both the suit and shirt fit well and I have a very tall, athletic frame that they worked around.
    In the Spring of 2007 I met Chan again in Washington DC and selected 5 shirts and two more fabrics for suits. Without a basted fitting this time I received my items within 3 months. The total bill ran about $4400; 5 shirts @ $120 (no special anymore) and two suits each with two slacks @ $1700 (both H&S Super 120s).
    I had very good results on all items. I am sure others have had problems and I certainly don't care to call in to question their bad experiences. Maybe I was lucky, maybe I was an easier build, etc. In any case mine was much better than the gentleman who wrote the article and much cheaper.
    I am pretty certain that I could receive better products from a Savile Row or Neapolitan tailor. If nothing else there would likely be a difference in customer service and pleasure of experience, two things that are hard to quantify in cash but valuable nonetheless. This is an assumption of course. I would prefer to not speculate in much more detail on something of which I have no personal experience. When I have an unlimited sum of cash and time I will certainly enjoy the proper bespoke experience. I would have a hard time until that point not using Chan to get custom made items at a very reasonable price point.
     
  10. drake

    drake Senior member

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    Location:
    Westwood, Los Angeles
    Try asking Chan to do a drape cut for you. They are good at making tight suits only.

    Good thing I don't like a drape cut. [​IMG]

    But how is this any different from any other tailor that has a house style and doesn't like deviating that much from it? If anything Chan is more willing to deviate from their house style for their customers than most tailoring firms. Go to A&S and tell them you want a suit like Huntsman and I bet they'll tell you to go to Huntsman.

    Drake, I think that Chan suit looks very nice.

    Thanks man :3

    kolecho, would you mind telling me what the "house style" at Chan's is? I want to see if it matches with my own needs.

    I think the tight suit is what I'm looking for. I'm looking for an athletic fit so waist suppression from Drake's photo it seems like Chan would suit me well.

    However, the $2,300 for a suit is over my budget; I was expecting something closer to $1000 with normal (vbc 130s? I still don't know what it stands for).


    I'd say around $1,500 for good English fabrics. Less for cheaper fabrics (VBC) and more for Italian fabrics.
     
  11. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Nov 15, 2004
    Drake,

    There are tailors in HK that can be flexible. Chan is one of the least flexible. You are lucky Chan fits your needs. When you grow out of this short, tight and padded phase, you will have to shop for a new tailor.
     
  12. drake

    drake Senior member

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    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Westwood, Los Angeles
    The suit I had made after that had very little padding in the shoulders and was even tighter. [​IMG]

    Maybe when I'm like 90 or something I can look into the drape look. [​IMG]

    Drake,

    There are tailors in HK that can be flexible. Chan is one of the least flexible. You are lucky Chan fits your needs. When you grow out of this short, tight and padded phase, you will have to shop for a new tailor.
     
  13. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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    Hong Kong
    I just ask H. Boroman this afternoon, they quote me the price for CMT is HK$5,500.
    Same as A-Man.
     
  14. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Nov 15, 2004
    The suit I had made after that had very little padding in the shoulders and was even tighter. [​IMG]

    Maybe when I'm like 90 or something I can look into the drape look. [​IMG]


    Growing out of short, tight and padded suits does not necessarily mean you need drape.
     
  15. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    Mar 23, 2006
    Location:
    London
    I had considered Chan as an option in the past, but now that they've ended their CMT service, I wouldn't employ their services.

    Time to save for Rubinacci!

    Where do you source your fabric?
     
  16. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    Location:
    The People's Republic of Galveston
    I'd say around $1,500 for good English fabrics. Less for cheaper fabrics (VBC) and more for Italian fabrics.

    Strange. I'm paying $1,500 for a three-piece in the H&S Crispaire (it's about $1,200 for a two-piece), and I'd like to think that represents a "good English fabric."
     
  17. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I just went to WW Chan shop after work.
    It has a lot of books of H&S in any weight, from8/9oz to 13oz+.
    lot of Loro Piana, lot of Zenga, lot of Scabal.
    The price is around Retronotmetro said.

    US1,300 for super120s Scabal. Something like that.
    VBC at around 1,000.

    So I think Will need to take some action to clarify
     
  18. Mr. Pink

    Mr. Pink Senior member

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    My experience with Chan is, on the whole, positive. I've ordered 3 suits and a number of shirts from them. I just ordered some additional shirts and will probably order another suit on their next tour.

    As to the shirts, my first shirt fit perfectly and so has every subsequent shirt. Prices range from $101 to $127 and don't seem to have risen in the past year and a half. Fabrics are limited but fine.

    As to the suits, my experience is a bit more mixed. The first I ordered was a plain navy VBC. It arrived both a bit baggier and with more padding than I wanted. I wore it to the next tour visit, told Patrick what I wanted changed and posted it back to HK.

    At the same time, I ordered a second suit, a charcoal grey herringbone H&S Target 120. I was very clear with Patrick about what I wanted. The now altered first suit and the new second suit arrived a few months later. The first suit was now much better though not quite perfect. I had final alterations done locally and the suit is fine. The second suit, the charcoal herringbone, came back as requested except with still with too much padding in the shoulders. This seemed very odd as the first suit, which was altered at the time the second was being made, came back with minimal padding as I had requested. Again, I met with Patrick at the next tour and then sent this second suit back. It was returned to me with the excess padding removed and the silhouette very close to the ideal I had in mind when ordering.

    On this same visit, I ordered my third suit, a mid-grey nailhead, again H&S 120. Again, I was very clear about silhouette and fit. This suit arrived together with my altered second suit. The pants were too long (on each of the suits, the pants have been made for a full break which is more than I want). I had them shortened locally. Otherwise, the suit was perfect.

    None of the suits I've ordered have been short, tight or padded (when finished). In each case, I chose a fairly middle of the road silhouette, fairly full pleated pants, lean jacket with substantial but not extreme waist suppression and minimal shoulder padding. Each now fits and looks as I envisioned though not without additional alterations, either by Chan or locally as explained above. In this regard, the ordering process with Chan has not been perfect. But I think they represent a good, if not stellar, value. I do not find them to be inflexible but they do need to be pushed on eliminating padding and shortening pants lengths. Their prices are not cheap. My first suit was around $1100 for a 9 oz. VBC 110. The second was around $1650 for the H&S Target fabric. The third rose to $2000 with the addition of a vest. From what I remember of the books I saw on my first visit, I don't believe prices have climbed beyond what might be expected by the increased cost of British fabrics.

    I am wearing my second Chan suit today. In my opinion, it is very nice, far better than I could ever do with off the rack clothes, even after substantial alteration by talented tailor. I've also been able to make choices of fabric, style and details that I couldn't with any rtw or even mtm. I do wish Chan had not eliminated CMT, as I had thought of ordering some Minnis fabric, but the selection of fabrics available on the tour is more than adequate ranging from VBCs through H&S Target and Crispaire through Harrison's and Scabal.
     
  19. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    San Francisco
    I just went to WW Chan shop after work.
    It has a lot of books of H&S in any weight, from8/9oz to 13oz+.
    lot of Loro Piana, lot of Zenga, lot of Scabal.
    The price is around Retronotmetro said.

    US1,300 for super120s Scabal. Something like that.
    VBC at around 1,000.

    So I think Will need to take some action to clarify


    There are CrispAire books at the shop but, as of ten days ago, they did not have the cloth in stock and said they needed four days to get it. That timing didn't work for the writer, who was on a schedule.

    He may have been misquoted on the suit but says "That didn't work to Chan's advantage as I'd have bought on the spot if they'd quoted $1400 USD."

    Of course, then there'd have been less of a story.
     
  20. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    That $2,300 figure sounded way out line to me as well. I strongly suspected on reading that piece that there had been some sort of miscommunication.

    My own experience with Chan has been very satisfactory. The one suit I bought from them (an LP 120 on special), my first order, could have used a bit more waist suppression and the sleeves could have been a tad shorter, but it was nonetheless an attractive, good-fitting garment.

    Subsequently, I have purchased eight jackets from them and been extremely satisfied. I hope to get somewhere between four and six more before I retire in a couple of years. But, then, I may not be as demanding as some of the gentlemen here.

    Getting back to the piece on a Suitable Wardrobe, it was interesting that H. Baroman was so reasonable, comparatively speaking. I had always heard that they were a good deal more expensive than Chan and Ah-Man.

    I would question whether Chan gets "a few hundred orders" from each U.S. tour. They have 11 days scheduled for meeting customers. Let's say they meet 20 customers per day day (a very optimistic figure, since new customers need an hour for measuring), that gives us a maximum of 220 orders for tailored menswear. I suppose some men will order multiple garments, but there may also be some no-shows or no-buys (or men who simply order shirts, as I did once) to offset that.
     

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