Hong Kong -- Where to Go for Custom Clothing?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Girardian, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Girardian

    Girardian Senior member

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    I may be heading to HK very soon. I'll have some time while there to pursue sartorial interests, though not a lot of money to spend.

    Some questions:

    1. Where are the best shops to visit for MTM/Custom suiting and shirts with high quality, good fittings, and reasonable prices?

    2. Are there any good (online or elsewhere) summaries of "dos" and "donts" when visting a reputable custom shop for the first time?

    3. Does it make sense to try and visit some place like Jantzen to get meaured there / see the fabrics first hand?

    4. Is HK a good hot spot to get suiting as well as shirts? And are there tailors there who do handwork on par with Savile Row? What about the best quality/price ratio suiting?

    5. And what about ... custom shoes?

    (My imagination far outstrips my budget)
     
  2. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    Quick thoughts before bed:

    1. WW Chan, A-Man Hing Cheong, and Baroman are the most famous tailors. Some members here, including myself have extensive experience with Chan and I recommend them. A quick search will reveal more. Jantzen make nice suits for less, though noticeably inferior to Chan from what I've seen and touched. Generally you can have three fittings done in a week if you let them know in advance.

    All those shops make shirts, too. Jantzen are probably the best deal, with the widest selection of fabrics, though they will not carry a name like Acorn or Thomas Mason even if the shirtings are overruns from those merchants.

    2. There have been a couple recent threads specifically discussing first time visits to HK tailors. A search will reveal more general comments, too.

    3. Of course.

    4. Yes. No - do not expect Savile Row quality. But you will get an excellent fitting and built suit for 1/3-1/4 of the price. Choose better (English - Scabal, Holland & Sherry supply the best books generally to be found in HK) cloth and the results will be more impressive.

    5. The only local cordwainer I know of is Kow Hoo. Unless your feet simply cannot be fit in RTW shoes, I would not go for them. For the same price you could easily find some more elegant shoes.
     
  3. Girardian

    Girardian Senior member

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    I'll be in HK (if this pans out) for a week -- possibly getting in on a Saturday, departing on a Sunday. While it sounds like this may be enough time for a Chan fitting, I hate to rush a custom suit and I may be in China for part of the visit and therefore may not be available for three fittings.

    I was mostly considering shirts, which from the threads it seems Jantzen can do in a flash.

    In addition to the questions above -- any pointers on working with Jantzen in person (i.e. do they do a good job of measuring you and getting you well set up in person or do they have a "house style" that you need to 'instruct against' because their defualt measurements betray a style?)
     
  4. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    Yes, that should be enough time for a suit from Chan. Just e-mail them beforehand and set up an appointment. They are closed on Sundays, but if you get measured on Saturday your basted fitting should be either Monday or Tuesday.

    Jantzen (and Chan) can make a shirt in less than twenty four hours. Ricky does a good job measuring. It will probably take a couple fittings to get it right, though. Just don't be shy with either about how you want things. HK tailors are very flexible.
     
  5. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    For A Man, my friends and I have had positive experiences. As I recall Manton was less satisfied.
     
  6. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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  7. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Some people think very highly of Gordon Yao. I don't think he has a website, but what little I have heard is totally positive.

    Since I have a well-established relationship with Chan, were I going to HK, I'd stick with them. They seem to have my pattern down very well.
     
  8. Girardian

    Girardian Senior member

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    I own many suits but this will be my first custom job. I am blessed with a fit that is very agreeable to an off the rack 40R by most makers and I find a good tailor can turn an OTR into a MTM piece for me because so few alterations are required.

    That said, I would like a custom suit and I plan to go to Chan unless I hear others speak up (especially those who have been measured in HK) about other tailors.

    Typical questions:
    What are all of the details that I should specify when ordering a suit?

    What would *you* order if you were ordering *one* custom suit?

    I don't want to be too subjected to "house style."
     
  9. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=3684

    Jacket
    - Lapel width
    - Gorge height
    - Real or false lapel buttonhole
    - Button stance (high, normal, low)
    - Breast pocket height (high, normal, low)
    - Shoulder padding
    - Armholes (tight, normal, loose)
    - Sleeve taper/circumference
    - Real or false sleeve buttonholes
    - Number of sleeve buttons
    - Sleevel buttons normal or "kissing"
    - Jetted or flapped pockets
    - Single, double, or no vents
    - Jacket length (long, normal, short)
    - Inside pockets (up to you)

    Many of these options depend on your own body shape.

    Trousers (lot more simple)
    - Button or zipper fly
    - Pockets (on the seam or slightly angled)
    - Rear pockets (both buttoned, one buttoned)
    - Fork height (tight, normal, loose)
    - Leg taper
    - Leg width
    - Cuffed (height of cuff) or plain
    - Single, double, or no pleats, forward or reverse
    - Square latch, latch with button loop (that thing above the fly that closes the rest, I don't know the proper name for it)
    - Belt loops or brace buttons


    Be very specific with what you like and want whereever you go in HK. They are all very flexible. Which means you should have an idea of what you want.
     
  10. Girardian

    Girardian Senior member

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    Initial thoughts:

    Jacket
    - Lapel width - undecided- Gorge height - undecided
    - Real or false lapel buttonhole - real
    - Button stance (high, normal, low) - normal to high
    - Breast pocket height (high, normal, low) - normal
    - Shoulder padding - light
    - Armholes (tight, normal, loose) - normal, slightly raised
    - Sleeve taper/circumference - undecided
    - Real or false sleeve buttonholes - functional ... of course
    - Number of sleeve buttons - four
    - Sleevel buttons normal or "kissing" - normal but close
    - Jetted or flapped pockets - flapped
    - Single, double, or no vents - double
    - Jacket length (long, normal, short) - normal
    - Inside pockets (up to you) - something to hide a cell and a single pen pocket
    - Outside extra pocket - I'm inclined toward a ticket pocket but fear these may go out of style soon.

    Trousers (lot more simple)
    - Button or zipper fly - probably zipper. I like buttons but they're a bit inconvenient
    - Pockets (on the seam or slightly angled) - slightly angled
    - Rear pockets (both buttoned, one buttoned) - one
    - Fork height (tight, normal, loose) - undecided
    - Leg taper - slight
    - Leg width - undecided
    - Cuffed (height of cuff) or plain - undecided, depending on the suit cuffed, 1.25-1.5"
    - Single, double, or no pleats, forward or reverse - single reverse mid-depth
    - Square latch, latch with button loop - latch with button loop- Belt loops or brace buttons - both (OK shoot me ...)
     
  11. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    There are also the basics:

    Peak or notch
    SB or DB
    Buttons (SB) - 1, 2, 3 - and how it should roll
    Buttons (DB) - 6x2, 6x1, 4x1
    Waist suppression
    Lean or swelled chest
    Clean or draped
    Straight or hacking pockets
    Roped or non-roped shoulders



    Oh, a couple other things.

    Lining (and if you like a different sleeve lining)
    Normal waist, side tabs, brace back
    Rise (low, medium, high)
     
  12. Girardian

    Girardian Senior member

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    I will plan to visit Janzen twice. Once to have a couple shirts made, then to try them out and make sure they are right and then to order more.

    I have e-mailed Chan re: an appointment. Probably going to go for a suit and sell some of the OTRs that I have.
     
  13. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    Here are a couple things I suggest after looking at your partially completed list.

    High gorge is more flattering unless you are a giant or very slim.

    Definitely ask for tapered sleeves. They should be somewhat fitted at your wrist.

    Kissing is what I would consider standard, where all the buttons are placed side by side - no space, no overlap.

    Bring what you normally carry in your pockets to the fittings.

    Get the fork or crutch of the trousers as high as possible to lengthen the leg line.

    Don't get belt loops and brace buttons. Frankly the trousers need to be cut differently for each purpose. Go for a compromise and you have neither fish nor fowl.
     
  14. Girardian

    Girardian Senior member

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    Additional thoughts:

    Peak or notch - tough one. I like peak but with a 3 button (possibly rolled to two) I may go notch ... but peak would be a nod to custom tailoring
    SB or DB - SB for now. I have four DB suits.
    Buttons (SB) - 1, 2, 3 - and how it should roll - Probably 3 rolled to 2 but rolled so I can button to three if I wish
    Buttons (DB) - 6x2, 6x1, 4x1 - N/A
    Waist suppression - yes please, I'd like this to look tailored and not boxy.
    Lean or swelled chest - clean but masculine, so probably lean with a bit of a swell
    Clean or draped - Clean
    Straight or hacking pockets - undecided, probably straight
    Roped or non-roped shoulders[/quote] - roped but not with too much shape or padding

    Overall what I'm looking for is something that's confident and assertive, while still showing appropriate restraint. I want the suit to excude confidence and assurance, but remain in style long term.

    Also, I want a cut that's agreeable to a slight weight loss around the waist. This is on the agenda.
     

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