How to define "value" in tailoring? $635 to perform alterations to one jacket - at Bill Cairo custo

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by lalaland, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. lalaland

    lalaland Well-Known Member

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    So I got a $1,500 pure silk Canali blazer in a truly beautiful cream herringbone pattern for almost 90% off at an Off Saks outlet - $169 - in a 42R, which fits my chest - but is a tent everywhere else.

    I took it to a local high end tailor who comes highly recommended on this forum - also with a reputation for being expensive - and does a lot of bespoke suits - Bill Cairo Custom Tailor of San Marino - to see if it could be made to fit, or if I should just return it.

    He said the jacket is "well balanced" - whatever that means, and set about pinning it up.

    15 minutes later we decided to:

    -Shorten the jacket 3/4 of an inch.
    -Take the jacket in a lot to fit my drop, which is requiring taking material out of both the front and the rear - slicing it open at four side seams. This also entails removing the patch pockets and placing them back on.
    -Close both rear vents because after bringing it in the vents were going to "scissor" outwards
    -Bringing the shoulders in 3/8 of an inch on each side.
    -Bringing material up in the back to eliminate some wrinkling and a duck-tail effect over my ass.

    I figure this is a total of 12 "changes" - and then I'm going to be in for $800 including purchase price, which seems like a decent value for a silk Canali in a classic style that should fit like a glove and last for many years.

    But still - $635 in alterations? The bespoke blazers at Bill Cairo start at $2,500, so i guess everything's relative. . .

    I don't feel like he tried to "sell" me on the work, but he wouldn't negotiate the price. He also turned down work on two other jackets I brought him, where he could have easily taken advantage of me instead and rung up a higher total ticket.

    Do you get what you pay for at these high end tailors, or are there a lot of lesser-known clothing artists out there who can perform major surgery just as well for 1/2 the price?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012


  2. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    Sad thing is you pay for the consistency and reliability of their work, the jacket sounds like to undergo a recut so it is going to be expensive.

    I would not worry too much as long as the garment fits, and as you also said the price you pay can't get you any bespoke.........
     


  3. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Senior member

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    Sounds like a pretty extensive alteration; the shoulders in particular are probably the most expensive part. They also involve removing and reattaching the sleeves, which is one of the most difficult operations in the whole process of making a coat. It's not really surprising that it would cost so much to have it done properly.
     


  4. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Seems you have either been taken for an idiot or else it was so badly fitting that passing on it in the first place might have been better.

    What ever this tailor's reputation, I am not convinced that such extensive work is satisfactory.
     


  5. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    I can't get why someone would buy such an apparently badly fitting jacket in the first place.


    Performing miracles probably is expensive.
     


  6. Birks and Grey Socks

    Birks and Grey Socks Senior member

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    Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't sound like a good deal at all. Judging by the large amount of $$$ shoulder work, I'd say you'd be better sizing down to fit your shoulders, and then letting out material in the chest. There's always at least 1-2" to let out between all the seams.
     


  7. Master Shake

    Master Shake Senior member

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    +1. That's the better way
     


  8. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    :nodding:
     


  9. JPHardy

    JPHardy Senior member

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    Assuming the work is great.

    Ask yourself, if that jacket was $800 on the rack would you have bought it? I think probably not.
     


  10. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    This^^.
    And could you have bought 3 BETTER fitting jackets that needed some tailoring(assuming $800) and take to a just as good, regular priced tailor.

    Also, please poast flicks of said jacket...next time...poast a b4 and after!!
     


  11. guymac12

    guymac12 Senior member

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    You can get a brand new bespoke suit for that amount.
     


  12. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    We better see some flicks....
     


  13. Stirling

    Stirling Senior member

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    Next time make sure it fits your shoulders, that way any other alterations you require shouldn't require major work thus keeping costs lower.
     


  14. Mute

    Mute Senior member

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    Bottom line sounds like you bought a jacket that was far too big. If you buy something that is completely off on sizing, your "value" is out the door, if you want it to fit you properly. I doubt you'd get that kind of extensive work done for much cheaper. At least, not from someone I'd trust to do that much reconstructive surgery.
     


  15. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    :brick:
     


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