London - MTM/Semi-bespoke suit advice needed (Budget: Below £1k)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Benzoid, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Benzoid

    Benzoid Member

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    I am most concerned about the fit (hence why my fear of machine stitched suits). Also, their specialist adviser will be the one attending to me and I doubt it is a skilled tailor. Hence my hesitation.

    I also had a good relook at Steed semi-bespoke and decided to put them in my 'drop in' list. Perks are that I would be measured by Edwin (hopefully, if not I'll request for it) and it would be done in their style which I do quite like. However at that price range (£850), there is Cad and the Dandy which offers bespoke + full canvas fitting which may be a better option.

    To Ich_Dien: It does not have to be in London if the travel is worth it. Definitely would not mind heading out!
     


  2. cold war painter

    cold war painter Senior member

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    Maybe my understanding is off, having never used MTM, but doesn't MTM essentially imply that it is cut from a block then adjusted?

    Getting measured by a skilled tailor who then develops a pattern for that specific individual is bespoke, I always thought. I have no idea what semi-bespoke means.

    If you go for Steed you will almost certainly be measured by either Edwin or Matthew and I'm sure either would do an excellent job.
     


  3. Benzoid

    Benzoid Member

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    I have emailed most of the tailors mentioned above to get more indepth information on how they do things (e.g. do they cut a pattern or not, or work from set blocks. Some claim to do a new pattern even for semi-bespoke. It is essentially MTM I would reckon.) Friends over at AAAC and this forum also seem to put Jasper Littman in good standing! I've seen the interview video and the suits do look pretty nice (albeit a little structured).

    As it stands I have the following range available. All prices are at start for a 2pc suit:

    Steed: £850
    AW: £695
    JL: £789
    CATD: £850 (bespoke)/ £700 (semi-bespoke)
    Graham Browne: ~£850-£1k for bespoke, but after seeing certain posts I think I might pass on this one.
    Sims and MacDonald: £1.2k for bespoke (£1k for house cloth) with an interest free running account

    I may upgrade to a bespoke suit in a few years time (after getting a few more MTMs of course) so hopefully I can find a tailor who can understand and fit me best.
     


  4. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    Yes, but. Whatever the original meaning, bespoke also implies that the cutting etc. is done in-house. What I would understand by that grey area in the middle, whether one calls is MTM+ or semi-bespoke or something else is that the measurements may be taken by a trained tailor and a pattern made, but the cutting etc. is done elsewhere and not by employees of the tailor in question, and may even be outsourced to another country. In this case there is usually no intermediate stage where a baste fitting is done, although adjustments will be made to the finished suit if necessary.

    I had this discussion with the tailor who measured me, when I had my last suit made. He said that what they did could technically be termed 'bespoke' because of the proper measuring process, they always told customers what the process was so that they did not feel cheated. Mind you, at that price, I don't know how anyone would expect traditional full bespoke...
     


  5. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    Semi-bespoke - own pattern, straight to finish.

    I would class my Sean O'Flynn shirts as semi-bespoke.
     


  6. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    I think Cad & the Dandy is the best bet here.
     


  7. cold war painter

    cold war painter Senior member

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    Thank you, I've learnt something. IIRC Steed's semi-bespoke is put together in eastern Europe, or was a year or two ago, that may have changed.




    Due to having no intermediate fitting, you mean? O'Flynn got my pattern nearly right on the trial shirt with only one minor adjustment needed so that model certainly seems to work well in his hands.




    Sadly these sorts of threads (although not necessarily this one) often seem to boil down to "how can I get a bespoke suit on a MTM budget".
     


  8. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    I had a English and Town classic suit from them, will recommend,
     


  9. connor09

    connor09 Senior member

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    Alexandra Wood is certainly more fashionable if you are the type to dress more and for your budget it fits righ t in.
     


  10. WhippingBoy

    WhippingBoy Active Member

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    Ok Folks,

    The Wraith is wrong in this instance. The best deal for a MTM/Semi Bespoke suit in London is. without question, my newest find, Elizabeth Radcliffe
    She cuts them herself, and sews most of the garment herself. they are fully canvassed and you will get several fittings. The parts she contracts out are done in London!

    Elizabeth is ex Edward Sexton. Price kicks off at about £800

    Her bespoke is even better, she does EVERYTHING herself. Not a Chinaman or Banker in sight. Stonking great value at £1.5K

    She works out of Cockpit arts
     


  11. TomTom

    TomTom Well-Known Member

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    I own a couple of E&R MTM suits and they are probably some of nicest and best constructed suits I own (a lot better quality that for instance G&H RTW). But I guess at the end of the day it's all about what suits you the best. Good luck in your search.
     


  12. Benzoid

    Benzoid Member

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    Many thanks for all the comments above!

    WhippingBoy: Have you tried an MTM/semi-bespoke suit from Elizabeth Radcliffe yet? I'm quite tempted to go for her MTM service given that she does a fully canvassed suit at that price!

    I have also emailed several tailors and got the responses today.

    Steed: MTM = cut from a standard block then altered. Currently half canvassed (fully canvassed options may only arrive in 2013 but it is not definite). Made in a factory in Czech Republic but then brought and finished in-house for any alterations.

    AW: No standard block, but they laser cut the suit to the exact specifications. Half canvassed. All the work is done in the UK (workshops in Yorkshire). Suit is then brought in and finished by hand (although I have no idea how much handiwork goes in).

    If I do end up getting a suit from AW, I might post pictures up (seeing as how they are none on this thread) to see how things compare.

    Again many thanks to the posters above who have been very informative!
     


  13. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    Proper bespoke at C&D is done by John DeBoise or their other tailor (whose name currently escapes me) in-house. Their MTM is done offshore.
     


  14. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    I still think C&D is the best option out of the big names half canvassed MTM, try Graham Browne if you like real classic fabrics, in fact never do light fabrics with UK tailors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012


  15. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    You don't need to visit Graham Browne just because you want classic fabrics. I daresay that most tailors will have the big names (Holland & Sherry, Harrison's etc). In any case, I think the priority for the OP is to get a well-cut suit (with fabric playing an important, though slightly secondary role). In addition, if a first suit is a nice shade of navy or charcoal, most, if not all tailoring houses will have something they can offer.

    As I've reiterated, I've only seen a couple of suits coming out from Graham Browne that would pass muster, and my poor experience there has changed my opinion on them. The adage is true -- if it's (Graham Browne's prices) too good to be true, it probably isn't. If, however, the OP has had some experience bespeaking suits, and has confidence in directing the tailor, then you might consider using Browne, though there are many tailors better than him at marginally higher prices.
     


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