Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by zfruch, Jan 8, 2012.
everybody wants nice stuff but nobody wants to pay for them
Thanks for this review Howard. I'll address your points in order
1) True and it's something I'm looking at. The issue is keeping shipping costs as low as possible. You paid less for a full canvas suit hand made by two specialist tailors than our major competitor charges for a factory made fused suit. As we use the same factory to make some of our budget suits I can safely tell you, in your case, our production costs were more than double over the factory made option. If I worked on the same margins I could send you your suit in a nice fancy box as well. However, I can assure you that you would still need to have the suit pressed before you wear it. However there is the issue of professional presentation so this is on the long list our relatively new company is addressing.
2) This is the first time anything like this has been brought to my attention. It's valuable feedback and I'll talk to the tailor about it.
3) I try my best to respond to any emails within 24 hours. I have other business interests though that keep be busy towards the end of the business week so it occasionally takes a little longer.
4) Again in the thousands of suits we have sold this is the first time this has come up. I have a few suits by this tailor and I just had a look and it doesn't appear to be an issue on them. The tailor specialises in making trousers. That's all he does so this is something he should be able to get right
5) Now this is something that I am aware of and it's driving me crazy. It's not something that inherent to us either. For some reason Asian tailors seem to have a problem with buttons and buttonholes. I use 11 different tailors and get the same problems with a number of them. I have had far two much feedback of buttons not being sewn on properly or buttonholes not being fully opened after being stitched. I'm constantly on my tailors backs about quality control and have raised this issue a number of times. We have increased the quality of the buttons used (I'm told your suit had some nice horn buttons) and I'm still working getting the tailors to check the finishing of the buttons. As you said it's a minor issue but it's annoying. I had a pair of jeans made in China and when it arrived it had exactly the same problems
6) This is yet another issue being bought to my attention for the first time. I'll certainly pass this onto the tailors.
7) Yes, I was happy to remake your jacket. However sometimes it's better to have the jacket altered locally and in your case I think it was the preferred solution and as you saw it took only one email to arrange the reimbursement. We don't pretend to be a "bespoke" company and as such don't pretend to offer a "bespoke fit". However, certainly under suits with our "No Worries Guarantee" we make sure that you end up with a suit that's a good custom fit. On any customer's first suit we're happy to work with them to get the "pattern" right.
Like me, you're not a standard body shape and I'm not surprised we had to work a little on your first suit. We now have a finished measurement on your suit and if you buy again the next one will fit better. However, the first thing I do when I get a suit is drop it off for a little tweak to improve the overall fit although, as the tailors are getting to understand my slightly different body shape, I find that each suit fits a little better and needs less alteration. While the vast majority of our customers are more than happy with the fit straight out of the box, if you're like me, you may need to factor in a few extra dollars into your suit purchase for these minor tweaks.
However, I'll point out that you now have a custom made, full canvas suit, hand made by not one but two specialist tailors that you now say fit's "almost perfectly" for the total price of $399. While I will never claim it to be the world's greatest suit, I do think that's fantastic value and that's exactly what we are attempting to offer our customers.
Once again thanks for the review which I found to be more than fair. I'm happy to accept genuine criticism even in a public forum such as this. In this industry there is always going to be issues that pop up however, I am reliably informed from those in a position to know these things that our error and return rate is extremely low. Still, we are a relatively young company and still growing and, after seeing what's been written on this forum about some of our competitors I'm dreading what I may read as we get larger and I'm hoping I am able to get through it without anti-depressants. The points you raised are valid and something I can raise with our tailors.
I'd love to tell you more about us but it's hard to do so without seeming like an advertisement (in my defence here I did write to Styleforum asking about the cost of advertising or sponsorship packages to see if I could fit it into my budget and never received a reply). I have attempted to address the points raised fairly and without too much hyperbole and I do think I should have a right of reply.
I bought the Jade Collection, full canvassed, hand stitched suit from Elitesuit in February. I think it was 02/17. You can see the fabric pattern and color here. http://s1138.photobucket.com/albums/n522/Elitesuits/JSG%20Wool/?action=view¤t=NO73.jpg
The suit was on sale for about USD $530. Regular price was about $650.
Simon emailed me with directions and because I've convinced Simon I know what I was talking about when it comes to men's suits, so he emailed me with 2 separate catalog in PDF files with what appears to be over 100 customizations in jacket and pants.
After spending almost a week of measuring and fine combing through all the customizations, I submitted my measurements and choices to Simon on the following week. I paid to have 2 different tailors measure me plus I had my girlfriend and uncle measurement me on at least 3 different occasions because each time the measurements were about a few centimeters different. So what I did was I took the measurements that were "middle of the road" sort of speak. I was really picky on the specifics. Among of the many requests I made, I asked for minimal shoulder padding (natural shoulders) because I am a weight lifter with rounded shoulders. I don't want to look like a cartoon character in my suit. Also, I have a stocky upper body. I have big shoulders, chests, a wide back, and thick arms but I prefer slim fit suits. So I was actually pretty nervous how the slim fit suit would look on me. I have tons of trouble finding RTW suits that are slim fitting but fit my shoulders and chests. While I fit a size 44 in the shoulders and chest, the mid section is way too big for me. A size 40 fits my mid section well but its way too tight on my shoulders and chest areas. Oh yeah, I also ordered the jacket to be a certain shorter length in order to make my legs look longer.
A few days later, a woman from Simon's office emailed me with a few concerns she had with my measurement. I forgot her name. She asked me to double check the measurement for my U rise and my pants length because both looked a bit too short for her. I told her I have shorter legs and besides all of my pants are low rises (shorter U rise) hence, short legs length. I assured her I knew what I was doing. So after hearing my explanation, she Oked my measurement. Simon emailed me to congratulate me since that woman was pretty happy about my numbers.
I did not hear any response from Simon for about a week. I was waiting patiently for his response. Simon finally emailed me back on the 7th day and he apologized for not responding to me quicker. He said he was ill and was not at the office for about a week. Whatever. I was a bit relived to hear from him. He assured me everything was in order and ready to go.
However, Simon emailed me a few days later apologizing that the initial tailor was not able to fulfill some of my requests. For instance, I've requested for higher armholes, higher gorge, and a lower button stance. I actually send Simon the armhole circumferences and the measurement of how low the first button should be (it was a 2 button jacket). Simon asked me if I would like a refund or he would find another tailor who would fulfill my requests, and who carries a similar fabric.
I thought to myself, "Wow, that Simon sure is a honest guy." For all I know, he could of said, "F*uck this guy. I'll just have the first tailor make the suit and he (meaning me) won't notice the difference." Fortunately for me, honest Simon took initiate to bring me in the light. I opted for a different tailor to make my suit. A few days later, Simon emailed me back and asked for my permission to make the suit. Giving the fact how anal I am, I told Simon to find me a similar patterned and colored fabric with high durability and he would then have my permission to make the suit. The next day, Simon emailed to say everything is in order, they should finish making my suit within 2 to 3 weeks and I should have it about 4 weeks. For all my trouble, he was willing to throw in an extra pair of trousers for free, and he will also make my suit a high priority. Wow, an extra pair of trouser for free?! That's easily a hundred dollars worth of stuff! Sure, why not! Around this time, it has been almost 4 weeks since I placed the order for my suit.
About 3 weeks later, Simon emailed me with the tracking number. A week later, I got my suit in the mail. My suit came in wrapped in a plastic see through bag which was then placed in a black nylon zip up bag which was rolled up and stuffed in a fairly small shipping plastic DHL bag. Whatever, at least my suit was not damaged. There it was! An extra pair of trousers for free!
Ok, now on to the fit. OMG, I couldn't believe how perfect the shoulders fitted. I mean when I placed both of my arms at my side, there were no creases on the shoulders whatsoever! I was really amazed! Kudos to Simon and the bunch. However, the midsection of the suit was way big. I could fit a fist and a half between my stomach and the first button. It made me looked like a burrito. I know for traditional sack suits, you are suppose to do that but for me, that's a no no. The sleeves were about ¼ inch to ½ too long for my taste and the pants waist was about 1.5 inches too large and the pants were about 1 inch too short. I modeled my suit for my family members and they also agreed with me. I took a few pictures to send to Simon. Simon returned my email shortly and ensured me all the alterations were easily fixed. He also said the tailors made the suit with extra fabric on purpose so I can have the choice to take away some fabric if I liked. Simon also said for my first suit, it was an excellent effort but he suggested for my next suit, I should have ½ inch reduced in the shoulders. I don't agree with that because with the current shoulders sizes, it is still a bit tight around that area. Oh well, at least the jacket looks pretty good on me.
I told Simon that he has done so much for me, I offer to split the cost of alteration with him. He agreed to my suggestions and informed me all of my alterations should not exceed USD $100.
I took my suit in last week to a local tailor. Unfortunately, my sleeves had functional cuff, she was not wiling to shorten my sleeves from the cuffs. She has to take out the extra fabric from the shoulders. OH HELL NO! Don't touch those perfectly made shoulders! So I decided to take in the waist about almost 2 inches for a more suppressed waist, to bring in the pants waist, and to let out an inch of hem. The whole thing cost me USD $78. Not bad. I should be collecting my suit sometimes next week.
After all is done, I will post pictures of my suit with the before and after alteration. I will update you guys in a few.
If you are reading this, Simon, thank you very much for all of your efforts. You guys did a banging job on my suit!
Ok, I updated my review with the link to my suit. It was on sale 2 months ago for about $530.
This sounds like a put up job to try to give this tailor a veneer of respectability it does not merit in the slightest. I do not believe a word of "barrelntrigger's' glowing report. Had the tailor been worth his salt little of it would have been needed - so truly amateurish and a signal to avoid.
Wow! My first internet troll and his second disparaging comment on a business he has never dealt with.
As we get noticed more I’m expecting to have to deal with some negative feedback. In this business, no matter how hard you try, there are always going to be some customers who are not satisfied and unfortunately it’s usually the unhappy customers who make the most noise.
So I’m going to have to accept the criticism when it comes and hope that most people see it for what it is. However, if you want to make unfavourable comments about my business how about buying a suit first? Then you have the right to rip into me.
Earlier in this thread (post #8) ancdmd said “I’m looking forward to some testimonials from clients here on SF”. In response to that two posters (completely unprompted from me) posted reviews that said that the suits weren’t 100% perfect but they were happy with the overall result and the service they received for the money.
Barrelntrigger’s suit is a perfect example of the Elite Suits concept I so clumsily tried to explain earlier. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that he obviously works out at lot and as a result he has a very well developed chest that would make buying anything off the rack difficult. On top of that he had a rather long list of very specific tailoring options that he wanted in his suit.
I can assure you now that very few online MTM companies could have successfully made this suit. Certainly none of the larger more prominent ones. I deal with some of the same tailors as they do and there is no way I would have sent this order to them. They make a good inexpensive suit but they aren’t set up for such precise tailoring. However, I suggest that a lot of them would have accepted the order and just sent back what they could which would not have satisfied the customer
So I originally sent the order to one of Asia’s biggest suit manufacturers who have a highly impressive MTM division. Patterns are drawn by CAD and cloth cut by lasers (the cutting table is one very remarkable machine) and the suits are sewn by seamstresses so you get that human interaction that automated machine sewing just can’t replicate. Using CAD to draw the patterns means that they are able to offer a large number of tailoring options but once you step outside of these the computer can’t adjust to it. So even this company couldn’t satisfy all the customer’s requirements. Accordingly, I cancelled the order and emailed barrelntrigger with other options.
The first was a complete and no hassle refund. The second was to use another tailor. The vast majority of online MTM companies are either fronts for single tailor shops or contract out to the Chinese suit factories. The result is they have only one option for their tailoring. We have 11 tailors in the Elite Suits family spread all over Asia and this gives us options that most other online companies simply don’t have. We have three specialist bespoke tailors that make suits under contract for bespoke tailoring companies all over the world and I would have preferred to send the order to them. However, they are considerably more expensive and I didn’t want to go back to a customer on his first order asking for more money. Luckily I have a couple of options on the roster between the suit factories and the bespoke tailors.
Barrelntrigger accepted my suggestion. However he had also asked for a high degree of waist suppression so I also explained that even we had limitations of what we could achieve online and without the customer in front of the tailor it may prove difficult to achieve exactly the result he wanted and that the suit may need slight alterations post delivery and we would work something out on the cost which is exactly what happened.
The end result was barrelntrigger received a custom made hand tailored full canvas suit made from a good grade Australian merino wool and tailored to his very specific requirements and still got change out of $600. Good luck getting that at your local tailors and even better luck getting that from most of the other online suiting companies.
In response to another members request he posted a review of his purchase and while it’s a good review that shows he was happy with both the service and the final result, I also think it’s reasonably balanced and mentions both the good and not so good.
It would have taken some time to write such a comprehensive appraisal of his experience and he didn’t have to do it and I certainly didn’t ask him to. Yet for some unexplained reason you decided, with no evidence whatsoever, to accuse him of being a shrill and then also satisfied your urge to make some rather offensive comments that are ill-informed, unwarranted and completely unjustified about a business you have had no dealings with and know absolutely nothing about.
Frankly I think that’s a little sad and thankfully I’m sure that most people will recognise that it says far more about you than what it does about Elite Suits.
What great sagacious words from a gentlemen of fine taste! You, sir, are an inspiration to us all! We should erect an monument in your grace and inscribe your words of erudition so the whole world will know what a remarkable man you are! Brava!
I'm curious to see as many pictures as possible before making my mind to order or not.
I'm done with the online MTM experiment. Their product is pretty decent. Service is great.
Ignore the shoes. They have been out of my rotations. The suit could use some fine tuning but at this point, I'm not even tripping.
Thanks for posting, but I am afraid there is bit more than just fine tuning required here.
That's why I prefer getting properly measured by a tailor.
Understood - that makes a lot of sense.
My take on online MTM companies is that when you are ordering your first suit it's a good idea to send in your best fitting suit for them to use as a model. Just hope you trust them enough for them to mail back the same suit in the shape you've sent. I think anyone who is interested in building a wardrobe this way should first order the most affordable model the company sells and upon receiving it, make the adjustment and update the company with it. Your future purchases should progressively improve on the fit.
I have just received my order from them - 2 suits and 5 shirts. The first suit arrived and the jacket fitted well, the trousers were very tight, and 1 shirt a good fit. Having sent back meassurements for the trousers I have today received my second suit and the remaining 4 shirts, and supposedly re-made trousers. The jacket is now a diabolically small size ! the trousers are no improvement and the material that the shirts are made of is a cheap polyester not cotton as advertised.
I unfortunately ordered a third more expensive suit and I will try and get a refund for this order - wish me luck.
Avoid these people like the plague. There are so many BETTER options out there, even in Australia. AVOID!
Separate names with a comma.