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Looking for help with unique questions from Korea.

geldedgoat

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Before I start with my questions, I feel a short introduction will help you to better understand my situation.

I currently reside in Daejeon, South Korea, and I make regular trips to Seoul (every other weekend). I'm 25 and have never, until recently, considered buying a suit, much less a tailored one. I've always very much been a t-shirt-jeans-and-whatever-I-can-find-at-the-local-thrift-store kind of guy. However, after working for nearly 2 years now at my first real job, I've earned a fair bit of disposable income, and I've developed an intolerable itch to spend some of it on a nice, tailored business suit.

Unfortunately, I noticed, after not too much research, that a nice suit may forever be out of my reach. All of the nicer suits are apparently made from some sort of wool blend, which I can't wear for reasons I've decided (in retrospect) to leave out. I talked with a friend of mine who is in love with the tailored shirts he regularly has made in Daejeon, and he fancies himself somewhat of an aficionado on high-end men's fashion. He was willing to indulge my questions for a short time, and I learned a few things: 1) the best fabrics available to me are silk, cotton, and linen; 2) there are many options that need to be considered when having a suit tailored; and 3) I should go online and research what those options are.

So, 6+ hours later, here I am, still almost as clueless as I was when I started looking into this. I've learned the difference between American- and British-style suit-jackets, the terms bespoke, break, and pattern-matching, and various other things that seem to only apply to suits made with wool (like canvassing). Now, because almost all of this information was dredged from old posts within these forums, I've decided to make an account here and come to y'all for help.

And now, with all that being said...

Is there a decent online resource for an aspiring suit-lover such as myself... something with various styles and options, but most importantly PICTURES that show an idiot like myself exactly what they are? I checked out the FAQ sticky for this forum, and the links contained therein did indeed have a fair amount of explanations for various terms... but everything was explained using other terms that I didn't know.

What's the nicest I can expect my suit to be, considering the materials I'm limited to (silk, cotton, and linen)?

Are there any decent tailors in Seoul or Daejeon? I'm willing to spend anywhere from 300,000 to 700,000 won, the high-end of that range only if I can be convinced that the extra money is a worthwhile investment. I did a few searches on this forum and was rewarded with a couple of threads, unfortunately they were at least a year old (and both contained posters who mentioned their preferred tailors would be moving shortly). Again, I'm interested in tailors who can work with my specific fabrics and also those who offer pattern-matching (as I'm OCD enough that spending a lot of money on a suit that doesn't have this option would drive me insane). Also... Shiny suits - no. Big, poofy suits - no.
 

Tarmac

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A tailored silk suit would be very expensive. I would guess most tailors in korea wouldn't even know where to get suiting made out of silk.

Also, I don't understand why you would be fine with silk but not wool. If you are vegan I don't think silk is appropriate for you.

Your best available option would be cotton. In most cases it will be much more wrinkle-prone, but that's the cost of not being able to use wool. The one positive is that the material will be very cheap.

Your other option would be some sort of synthetic.

In any case, you will have a hard time looking like the traditional businessman in a great suit, because great suits are traditionally made out of wools.
 

teddieriley

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I had no clue being vegan (or semi-vegan for that matter) had anything to do outside of what one eats. Not that I purport to know anything about the vegan lifestyle, the last time I checked, they don't kill sheep to make wool.
 

TheFoo

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In case you weren't already aware:

1. The way a suit is constructed has nothing to do with whether the cloth is wool. The canvassed structure is common to all high-quality classically-tailored jackets. A jacket can also be fused or unstructured (no fusing, no canvas), but the type of cloth is not determinative.

2. Shearing wool from sheep doesn't kill them. They regrow their hair and it is sheared over and over again.
 

geldedgoat

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I was a little concerned about including that little bit in my initial post. I'll go back and edit it out, as my reasons for not being able to wear wool are irrelevant; it really has no place in this discussion. My apologies for mentioning it in the first place. Let's just pretend I'm allergic.
wink.gif


Synthetics are out of the question. I've been brainwashed to believe that quality clothing is made from natural materials.

I would guess most tailors in korea wouldn't even know where to get suiting made out of silk.
Are you referring to pure silk or a silk blend? Do cotton/silk or linen/silk blends exist for suits (again, completely ignorant here)?

In case you weren't already aware:

1. The way a suit is constructed has nothing to do with whether the cloth is wool. The canvassed structure is common to all high-quality classically-tailored jackets. A jacket can also be fused or unstructured (no fusing, no canvas), but the type of coth is not determinative.
Actually, no, I wasn't aware of that, heh. I guess I need to redo my research on that.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by geldedgoat
Synthetics are out of the question. I've been brainwashed to believe that quality clothing is made from natural materials.

No, it's merely the truth.

I would think an all-silk suit would be impractical and not look very business-appropriate (if that matters). The problem with linen and cotton is that they tend to be rather seasonal appearance-wise (warm weather oriented) and more casual, but they are perfectly conventional choices for a suit.
 

lee_44106

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You, unfortunately, are **** out of luck.

Lots of people come here trying to "learn" how to dress like a grown up, but demand or expect to accomplish that in hours and days. While I agree that looking at pictures of well-fitting suits is best, it is best AFTER basics have been thoroughly understood.

Try to read some books first. I recommend ones by Alan Flusser and Bernhard Roetzel. Some current magazines that are also helpful would be the Japanese publications like Men's Ex. Also, check out the What are you wearing sections.
 

Tarmac

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This is like asking "hey who makes great shoes in England? Oh one thing, they can't be leather."
 

dsmolken

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Start simple and don't spend a lot of money. You don't even have to start with a suit. Buy some cotton, find an inexpensive tailor, and just have a pair of trousers made. Take a well-dressed friend along with you. If you don't know whether you should get pleats or cuffs or belt loops, ask the tailor or the friend what would work better for your physique and your needs. Once you have the trousers post pictures on this forum to get more feedback.

You'll learn a lot and the things you read on the forums will make more sense. You will also learn a ton when you see the difference between how these trousers fit compared to what you're currently wearing. That's something you can't get from a forum or a book.

After that you can get an inexpensive suit, or if you're still not confident about what you want maybe just have a linen sportscoat made. After that you should be much better-prepared to have your nice suit made.
 

ysc

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I want to know exactly what the problem is with wool, it sounds embarrassing.

A friend had a dj made out of raw silk and from a distance you would not know it wasn't wool, only up close is the different texture really noticeable
 

geldedgoat

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You, unfortunately, are **** out of luck. Lots of people come here trying to "learn" how to dress like a grown up, but demand or expect to accomplish that in hours and days.
\tThis is like asking "hey who makes great shoes in England? Oh one thing, they can't be leather."
I fail to see how my posts warranted either the tone or content of either of these responses. I never asked for advice on how to dress myself (and really, where do you get off making a comment like that? Did I insult your mother by asking for advice here?). And I certainly never demanded that I be able to get the finest suit available made from my preferred materials instead of wool. Maybe I should clarify my questions a bit. I know what styles and patterns I want. What I don't know is the language of the trade (i.e. what those styles and patterns are actually called, as opposed to 'that sleek looking collar that folds back in on itself'). Having never commissioned a suit before and lacking ready access to a tailor I can converse with (I'm in Korea, and my Korean is only decent enough to talk about food and getting dates), I lack the knowledge of the actual terms and what they apply to. And, like I said before, the 'dictionaries' that I did find contained style and option definitions that were defined using other terms I was unfamiliar with. My friend who's had work done here before told me his tailor knows 'tailor-English' but nothing more, so presenting him with a list of options (named properly rather than described) would likely result in getting what I desire. Also, I've become well aware that business suits made from nothing more than cotton, silk, and/or linen are unconventional; it didn't taken me that long to figure out that almost every single suit out there contains wool. That's what prompted my second question, "What's the nicest I can expect my suit to be...?", which you'll notice is vastly different from "Where can I find the nicest suits (oh, by the way, they can't be made from wool)?" The latter is apparently what Tarmac interpreted my question to mean. I realize my restrictions place me in an awkward position, which is why I came to a place like this to seek advice on how to make the best of my situation (not how to make my situation the best). And yes, speedster.8, I did find that thread. That's the one I was referencing when I said, "I did a few searches on this forum and was rewarded with a couple of threads, unfortunately they were at least a year old (and both contained posters who mentioned their preferred tailors would be moving shortly)." That threads seems rather dated when it ends with an unanswered post asking if a tailor has moved on two months after he would reportedly do so.
Start simple and don't spend a lot of money. You don't even have to start with a suit. Buy some cotton, find an inexpensive tailor, and just have a pair of trousers made. Take a well-dressed friend along with you. If you don't know whether you should get pleats or cuffs or belt loops, ask the tailor or the friend what would work better for your physique and your needs.
That sounds like wonderful advice, and I wish it were that simple. But without knowing exactly what to call each option, I doubt I'd get very far. I've been told all the tailors here lack the conversational skills to allow me to explain anything. But still, that sounds like excellent advice, and I'll do exactly as you suggested once I know enough terms to get even a pair of pants done. Thank you.
Wonder if he knows how they get the silk away from the silkworm.
I want to know exactly what the problem is with wool, it sounds embarrassing.
I'm well aware of how silk is obtained, and I can assure you that using silk is logically-consistent within the confines of my ethical code. If the wool-thing is causing your curiosity to burn a hole in your head, feel free to message me, and I'll be more than happy to explain it. === Edit: I forgot to include this link. http://www.tweed-jacket.com/GALLERY%...ions/index.htm This site has a variety of options with accompanying images, and this is exactly the kind of thing I'm after. Unfortunately, this was the only site of its kind I was able to track down. And I also forgot to ask this (as a follow-up to my previous comments about canvassing): are there certain patterns and options that only lend themselves to wool fabric, or can anything be done with any kind of fabric?
 

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