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My first bespoke suit arrived (WW Chan) comments, questions, and pics

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jpe, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. jpe

    jpe Active Member

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    I had a few days in Hong Kong last month, so based largely on the recommendations from this board, I decided to have a go at a bespoke suit from WW Chan. I haven't needed to wear suits a lot in the past, but will need to do so more in the future. For reference, my other suits are from Barbera, Oxxford, Borrelli, and Isaia. My build is such that I can wear a 40R off the rack and have it look good with very few alterations. Combined with the fact that I did not pay more than $1000 for any of these, it has been hard to justify the need for bespoke.

    I essentially had two full business days in Hong Kong. Knowing that I had limited time in HK, I contacting Chan ahead of time and asked if it would be possible to arrange multiple fittings in this short period, and have them finish the suit after my departure. They said no problem, and scheduled me for a 9am Monday morning appointment with Patrick. In the end, we were able to fit in three full fittings.

    I knew that I wanted a 3-roll-2 side vent jacket with natural shoulders and double pleated, cuffed pants; essentially a duplicate of my favorite Barbera (by Attolini?) suit, which I wore to the initial fitting. Since they did not stock any H&S fabrics, I selected a 130s grey chalk-stripe from Scabal, which cost ~$1300USD. Patrick measured me, observed me wearing my own suit, and then held this one for reference purposes. He recommended to take length off of the sleeves and the overall jacket length (more than 1''). I thought this was reasonable, as Saks screwed up the sleeve length. For the jacket, he said it would improve the overall balance, and I figured I would give it a shot.

    The results:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Observations/ Comments/ Questions:
    -The fittings are critical. I cannot imagine doing this with only a set of measurements. The adjustments that seem small when a garment is only basted would simply become impossible later (tighten the armholes, lower the crotch in the pants, etc.).
    -As has been noted by others Patrick is excellent to work with. I appreciate the fact that he does not try to push you into something, but is willing to express an opinion when it counts. This particularly frustrated me with AMHC and others where they basically refused to listen to me.

    -Overall, I am very happy with the result. The fit of the pants is superb, probably amongst the best I have. The jacket I am largely happy with, but could probably use a few tweaks:
    -I think the overall length and the length of the sleeves is just a bit too short. In turn, this causes the overall stance to be rather high. For example, the center button is 1'' higher than my other suit.
    -The back could be cleaned up just a bit; this should be easy. Maybe also just a bit more shape through the body.
    -During one of the fittings, Patrick said he was going to remove some of the shoulder padding. I could go for even less.
    -Overall, the jacket just feels heavier than my other ones. Does this come from the canvas? Is it possible to request a lighter one?
    -The collar/ lapel feels fantastic. However, some other things like the waistband on the pants feels kind of stiff, almost like it is fused to a rather stiff backing/ lining. Is this possible, and I can request otherwise?

    Any other comments or suggestions are appreciated, as I plan to meet Patrick in SF this weekend to go over some improvements.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  2. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    I agree - I think the sleeves and jacket are a tad short. Overall it looks really good though.
     
  3. LegB4Wicket

    LegB4Wicket Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    Jpe,

    Nice suit and the fabric looks very nice.

    I concur the sleeves are about an inch to half-an-inch too short. It's difficult to say for sure as it looks like your one of your arms is about three inches longer than the other in the first photo.

    From the back, I like the jacket's length but from the front it's too short. Not meaning to be rude, but did you put on some weight since the first or second fitting? That could have altered the jacket's balance.

    If you look at the side photo, it seems there is two inches difference between the front of the jacket and the back.

    Trying not to offend,

    LBW
     
  4. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    I don't think the coat is too short, though the front/back balance is obviously off. The right sleeve is a 1/4-1/2" short. The left doesn't seem so bad, especially given the perspective of the camera. Sleeve pitch needs to be fixed.

    The pictures are a bit misleading because of the angle, especially in the first. The buttoning point does seem high, but in real life, probably not as egregious as it seems. The front quarters should be a little more open, IMO.

    You can request a lighter lining in the wasitband and lighter canvassing, too. The default, I think, is to a couple layers of horsehair.

    I think the trousers could be altered to correct the slight dip in the back.
     
  5. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

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    Sep 28, 2004
    Good suit. The bespoke process seems somewhat error prone. However, I guess you can fix the issues with additional suits. The sleeves are shorter than the suit cognoscenti demand but it look fine to me. I guess the issue is how comfortable you are with them.
     
  6. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Nov 15, 2004
    Jpe,

    Nice suit and the fabric looks very nice.

    I concur the sleeves are about an inch to half-an-inch too short. It's difficult to say for sure as it looks like your one of your arms is about three inches longer than the other in the first photo.

    From the back, I like the jacket's length but from the front it's too short. Not meaning to be rude, but did you put on some weight since the first or second fitting? That could have altered the jacket's balance.

    If you look at the side photo, it seems there is two inches difference between the front of the jacket and the back.

    Trying not to offend,

    LBW



    I am based in HK and have had a number of suits tailored with Chan. Chan house style leans towards shorter jackets. The back also tends to be longer than the front panels (contrary to say Flusser's recommendation to have the front panels longer than the back). The overall silhoutte reminds me of some old Apparel Arts illustrations that I saw in the thelondonlounge. The other default house trait is the somewhat narrow shoulders, fitted chest and back. This silhoutte suits people with broad shoulders and small hips IMHO. On the right body, this silhoutte looks very sharp.

    Since I don't fall into that category, I am going to ask Patrick to cut my jackets longer, fuller and with broader shoulder lines in future commissions. I would like to get a good pattern of drape cut with high armholes as I prefer to have more freedom of movement. The trousers will need to be narrower as a result of lengthening the jacket.

    Sorry to digress.
     
  7. chapunso

    chapunso Well-Known Member

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    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I think it fits you perfectly, including the selleves showing cuff. the jacket is fine too. good job. Too much crap posted in this chat room and "too many experts"
     
  8. Drizabone

    Drizabone Well-Known Member

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    Jul 17, 2006
    The style nazis will have us in tears if we let them. Why then do we join this forum if not to listen and to learn? A little gentle correction to patent lapses in taste is OK but dismissive cant is unhelpful. After all - de gustibus non est disputandum.
     
  9. Mr. Checks

    Mr. Checks Senior member

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    I think it fits you perfectly, including the selleves showing cuff. the jacket is fine too. good job. Too much crap posted in this chat room and "too many experts"

    I'm not sure what this means. To the newer people here, when someone posts pics and asks for input, there is a presumption they will get just that. This advice will help them avoid the same mistakes with their next order (or, just to air a disagreement about style, no one is pointing a gun to someone's head).

    The sleeves are grossly short in the first pic, look close to okay in the third one.
     
  10. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    I think the button stance is a little high. Agree the sleeves could come down half an inch. I really think you need to shorten the trousers a little. Everything is high high high, and they are nearly pooling at your ankles.
     
  11. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    I disagree, the trousers are fine if that's the kind of break he likes.
     
  12. Get Smart

    Get Smart Senior member

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    I think the length of jacket/sleeves look just fine. Altho I can see why most here think the sleeves are too short. Your right shoulder dips quite a bit compared to the left and maybe that's throwing something off on the sleeves.

    If you're buttoning the middle button of your jacket, that is a hella high button stance, something that would work with a different cut but maybe not this one.

    I'm curious if you like this better than your Barbera OTR suit and if you'd have another go with bespoke.
     
  13. Mr. Checks

    Mr. Checks Senior member

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    I think the length of jacket/sleeves look just fine. Altho I can see why most here think the sleeves are too short. Your right shoulder dips quite a bit compared to the left and maybe that's throwing something off on the sleeves.

    If you're buttoning the middle button of your jacket, that is a hella high button stance, something that would work with a different cut but maybe not this one.

    I'm curious if you like this better than your Barbera OTR suit and if you'd have another go with bespoke.


    In pic 1 it looks like he's showing two inches of sleeve. Does Thom Browne have that strong an influence here[​IMG]
     
  14. Get Smart

    Get Smart Senior member

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    In pic 1 it looks like he's showing two inches of sleeve. Does Thom Browne have that strong an influence here[​IMG]

    You think? to me it looks like about 1" which *in my book* is at the *just right* point. But I agree it's more than conventional practice.

    at least there isn't 2" of sock showing at the hem.
     
  15. Garfieldthecat

    Garfieldthecat Senior member

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    It looks like the curves on each front half of the jacket are shaped differently. Your left side curves away, but the right side is almost vertical.
     
  16. Jovan

    Jovan Senior member

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    I agree with the views on the button stance. I'd go much lower, myself.
     
  17. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Overall, I think it looks excellent. Beyond that, at the risk of adding to the "crap" [​IMG] I'd concur in the consensus of opinions - including, I think, your own. To wit: the button stance seems a bit high, and some minor shaping in the back might improve things (which are already pretty darn good). The sleeve length thing obviously is a matter of personal preference - I pretty much like how you have it. They do seem a bit uneven, either because your arms or different lengths or because of your stance. If you want to be nit-picky it should be easy to tweak once you figure out exactly what's going on there.
    Congrats on a very nice suit - I hope you get a lot of enjoyment from it.
     
  18. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    I think it fits you perfectly, including the selleves showing cuff. the jacket is fine too. good job. Too much crap posted in this chat room and "too many experts"
    Pray tell, what could possibly constitute more useless "crap" than pointless posts that don't respond to his request for constructive criticism?
     
  19. jpe

    jpe Active Member

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    Thanks all, what a wealth of comments. First of all, I am not offended by any of the comments; second, I think some level of disagreement is good. That is what personal preference is all about, and for those who haven't formed strong opinions, hearing the debate can help to solidify one's own thoughts.

    First, the pictures. Yes, the first one is a funny angle that accentuates the short look of the jacket in front. I also don't think my right shoulder is 3'' lower than the left. My wife looked at the picture and asked "Why are you standing like that?". I just didn't have a chance to re-take.

    The sleeves. Definite consensus that they are at least 1/2'' too short. I cheated a little bit here and am wearing a bespoke shirt for which I feel the sleeves are also a bit short (though to be fair to Chan, this is the one I was wearing for the fittings). The Thom Browne comment is funny; when I first tried the jacket on with one of my other shirts, that was exactly my reaction. For my preference, they are too short.

    Did I gain weight? Well, this visit to HK was on a tail end of a 30 day vacation of eating and drinking my way through France, Italy, and Budapest, so it is certainly possible. However, as others have noted, I don't think this is the balance issue. Hanging the jacket, it is clear that the back is longer than the front, as opposed to my others which are the opposite. It is interesting to hear that this is in some ways Chan's house style. That may be ok, except for the fact that I came in knowing what I wanted and having a good reference. That they deviated significantly from this, is a bit disturbing (not much though). For my preference, I would like a bit more even balance.

    Button stance. I think I prefer 1/2 to 1'' lower. I guess this will also provide more open quarters. Is this too risky to request without going through a full fitting process again?

    Trouser lenth. This is how I tend to prefer them. I will leave as is for now, but maybe adjust my preferences over time if it looks too sloppy.

    Bespoke vs. OTR? Tough call. I will do at least one more round with Chan, but I don't think I will stop by OTR on sale. To me, they just fill different needs. I really love the way this particular Barbera suit fits and feels, but Saks botched the alterations, which detracts a bit. There is also more variability in the Barbera suits depending on who made them. I like Isaia a lot.

    -Jeff
     
  20. Mr. Checks

    Mr. Checks Senior member

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    Good sport.

    I love the fabric, BTW
     

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