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made to measure suit question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by fppiv, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. fppiv

    fppiv New Member

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    I apologize if this has been asked before. However, I would be grateful for any insight. I'm preparing for my first "made to measure" suit purchase and have looked at the following manufacturers: Samuelson, Tom James, Hickey-Freeman,  and Canali. Each store I go to gives me a different answer as to which would be better and the Tom James rep I've spoken to claims their suits are best. As I am very much new to this experience, I want to make sure I do it right. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. cpac

    cpac Senior member

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    In a similar price range, you ought to consider (also) Brooks Brother's Golden Fleece line. I've heard very good things about those suis, particularly if you go when Martin Greenfield is doing the measuring.

    As far as how to decide, since it's M2M, you'll get the styling details you want regardless, so I'd look at:

    Basic suit cut/shape - try on OTR versions of the different makers suits (to the extent possible) and see if one or the other has a cut that you particularly like.

    Building relationship - a M2M suit is a big purchase, and you'll want to make it with a store/salesmen with whom you'd like to build a relationship.

    Enjoy.
     
  3. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Personally, if you in a city that Martin Greenfield visits during Brooks Brothers made to measure events (normally twice a year), I would go with a Brooks Bros. Golden Fleece MTM. Better made than Hickey (slightly) IMO, with slightly better styling. They have an excellent book of 2x2 ply fabrics (made in the Vitale Barberis mill, I think, which came as a surprise to me). I think it's called the "Best Available" book, or something like that. Samuelsohn will run cheaper than HF, and is just as good a suit. Canali is a totally different cut, but is a great suit as well -- though I imagine their MTM are steeper in price. I've not heard that many good things about Tom James, but I've always been told to be wary of those with two first names. [​IMG] When all is said and done, concern yourself with silhouette first, fabric options second (I'm not a huge fan of HF Loro Piana offerings), and price third.
     
  4. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Well, great minds think alike.
     
  5. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    Question for you.
    1. Do you must get MTM suit? Cannot you wear RTW suit?

    2. If you have "odd problems" with RTW suit, not all MTM suit can resolve those problems. Those maybe fixed at a bespoke level.

    3. Canali does not have MTM program, I think. Canali gives you jacket and pants that are RTW, but in different size.

    4. I personally would not do MTM. I did MTM once, the jacket turned out to be worse than RTW. For a designer MTM price, you can probably do OK bespoke suit from your local tailor.
     
  6. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

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    Totally agreed.
     
  7. Panzeraxe

    Panzeraxe Senior member

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    The biggest consideration for MTM is the experience of the person who is fitting you. That's one iof the main reasons why people are recommending you get the BB Golden Fleece MTM as you'll be fitted by none other than Martin Greenfield. However, if you simply walk into a BB in Minneapolis and get fitted there, the end product may very well not be worth it.

    The Hickey store on 5th Avenue could also be an option - stay away from large department stores that offer a MTM service (Barney's, Saks etc.) as the people fitting you are salespeople not tailors.

    Panzer
     
  8. Panzeraxe

    Panzeraxe Senior member

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    What city are you in? - if you're in / close to NYC you could get bespoke/semi-bespoke for less than $1,500.

    Panzer
     
  9. NBankston

    NBankston Member

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    I have to agree. I have done MTM Zegna and Hickey and have been disappointed with both. Essentially, they mix and match RTW jackets and trousers. Sure they do a bit of tailoring, nip here and a tuck there, but any decent tailor can do what they do and most likely do it better. Might be worth it if you have an 8" or larger drop but you'd better fit into their RTW jacket and pants. If you don't, you're likely to be disappointed. If I were going to do MTM again (which I am not), I would choose the mfgr whose RTW line fits me best.
     
  10. caledoniasoul2

    caledoniasoul2 Well-Known Member

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    For my two cents id avoid MTM unless measured by greenfield.

    I recieved my Hickey MTM suit recently. I would not do it again given the price level....at that money i will attempt a bespoke or semi bespoke- i was measured well but the suit just lacks something fitwise that i cant put my finger on.

    no personal exp with greenfield but have heard almost universal praise
     
  11. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If you're near to New York, visit Oxxford on 57th or Brooks 346.

    Based on a sample size of three, I personally don't consider the other Brooks stores competent to sell MTM even it Mr. Greenfield measures you. For one thing, the cloth selection is inadequate. Email me and I'll be happy to share horror stories from my last four orders (yes, it took a while to overcome a forty year habit).

    I will respectfully disagree that one can find bespoke, near bespoke or even bespoke's distant relative for $1500 in the United States. Just the cloth for a good suit costs $600 or more.

    You may be able to bring your costs down further by having one suit MTM at Oxxford, buying your own cloth, and giving the suit to a visiting Hong Kong tailor as a sample to use with the cloth. Unfortunately, the best Hong Kong tailors don't visit this country.

    The ones that do will give you a result that won't wear very well but the initial cost is low.
     
  12. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    I'm curious about who you consider to be the "best" Hong Kong tailors. I've heard many people describe A-Man Hing Cheong as being the best, but the one suit I've seen from them did not seem appreciably better than WW Chan's work. I have shirts from various HK sources, but my only HK suit experience is with WW Chan.
     
  13. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I only get shirts in HK and so have no personal experience with A-Man but have heard that they are among the two best in HK.

    The differences are not visible because they are in the sewing. Fewer stitches per inch reduces production time and also reduces suit life. More machine stitching reduces production time and also reduces suit life. Cotton or nylon thread instead of silk reduces cost and reduces suit life.

    There is an old story about a challenge. I don't recall the source but in the challenge an Anderson & Sheppard suit was compared to a suit made of the same cloth and in the same style by one of the better HK tailors. When new, the HK suit actually looked better than the A&S.

    After five years of wear the examination was reprised. The HK suit was worn out and the A&S suit barely broken in.
     
  14. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have one A-Man suit, made in 1997. It's my only Hong Kong suit. I was never very happy with it, and stopped wearing it some time ago.
     
  15. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    (Will @ June 08 2005,10:55) You may be able to bring your costs down further by having one suit MTM at Oxxford, buying your own cloth, and giving the suit to a visiting Hong Kong tailor as a sample to use with the cloth. Unfortunately, the best Hong Kong tailors don't visit this country. The ones that do will give you a result that won't wear very well but the initial cost is low.
    I'm curious about who you consider to be the "best" Hong Kong tailors. Â I've heard many people describe A-Man Hing Cheong as being the best, but the one suit I've seen from them did not seem appreciably better than WW Chan's work. Â I have shirts from various HK sources, but my only HK suit experience is with WW Chan.
    Ask naturlaut; although it seems he's been pretty disappointed with all his forays in HK tailoring. koji
     
  16. Panzeraxe

    Panzeraxe Senior member

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    I can name five tailors in NYC itself that offer bespoke/semi-bespoke for $1,500 or less:

    1. Traguardo
    2. Mr. Ned
    3. Gilberto
    4. Ercole
    5. Winston

    Panzer
     
  17. darkoak

    darkoak Senior member

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    Maybe the HK suit was so good, the owner wore it often, and barely wore the A&S?
     
  18. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    (Will @ June 08 2005,15:13) After five years of wear the examination was reprised. The HK suit was worn out and the A&S suit barely broken in.
    Maybe the HK suit was so good, the owner wore it often, and barely wore the A&S?
    yup that was my reaction as well, esp when one considers a little thing called human nature. People tend to look at their $5000 suit and their $500 suit and say "ill wear the cheaper one every day as i dont care if it wears out more quickly" - and subject it to far more grinding on office seats, more friction in extra walking etc etc - and it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. See various threads on the boards re "i need a suit i can wear on the subway" and "where can i have my really expensive, perfectly fitting suit copied so i have a cheaper one to wear out" et al for evidence of this.
     
  19. caledoniasoul2

    caledoniasoul2 Well-Known Member

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    pazeraxe

    What can you tell us of gilberto? anyway to compare him to Traguardo or Winston (most like trad)

    As per my prior post im disappointed in my hf mtm and looking for a mid level tailor.
     
  20. Panzeraxe

    Panzeraxe Senior member

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    Unfortunately, the only one I have used (or rather have a suit in-process with) is Traguardo. So far everything is going very well - apart from the initial fitting I have had 2 more over the past few weeks, and I have a final one coming up in a week or so.

    The suit (dark blue birdseye, Super 130s) is coming along nicely - 2-button, natural shoulder, significant waist suppression, double vents with a ticket pocket, and light blue patterned fancy lining.

    I'll post pics once I have the final article.

    Panzer
     

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