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My Jantzen suit experience: A detailed recap

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by overdog, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. overdog

    overdog Senior member

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    Over the holidays I went to HK and got a suit made by Jantzen. I thought about WW Chan, but that's just a little too much for me to afford right now. The general consensus on Jantzen on this forum seems to be that the suits are not top of the line quality, but are a good bang for the buck. Since there is not that much written out there about Jantzen suits, here is a detailed recap of my suit-making experience: I went to Jantzen's new store location rather than the old location, thinking that was the store that Ricky would be in. In the new location, there are two experienced guys. One guy has a mustache and is named David, although he tells people to call him "Uncle." The other guy has glasses. These two guys take care of all of the suit measuring and consultation. There are also around 3 college-aged lackeys working for Uncle and the glasses guy, primarily to help with the shirts. Day 1: I read that the best time to go is early afternoon while most locals are at work. I arrived at the storefront around 2 in the afternoon. The place was packed. There were at least 3 or 4 customers being helped and 1 or 2 more waiting to be helped. I stood around for a good 5 minutes or so looking through the fabrics on the wall before anybody even acknowledged my presence. Finally, Uncle came over and I told him I wanted a solid grey suit. A two-tone charcoal/navy fabric caught my eye, but I ended up going with an Italian Super 130s charcoal worsted wool. After a talking price for a little bit, we settled on 1 suit with an extra pair of pants and 1 shirt for HKD 4300, or roughly 550 USD. I was told that if I had picked one of the cheaper fabrics, it would have been about $50 cheaper. Next, I told him my specifications. I wanted a pretty fashion neutral suit, so I can't comment on whether Jantzen can successfully make a suit wih more uncommon specifications, such as an ultra-high gorge or ultra-slim lapels. I asked for a slightly soft shoulder, but not devoid of all padding. I asked also for higher armholes, waist suppression, and a slightly slim silhouettte. For the pants, I asked for one cuffed flat-front pair and one cuffed single-pleated pair, both with side adjusters and no belt loops. Uncle took my measurements while he simultaneously listened to me tell him my suit specifications. He was also intermittently chatting with other customers. I wondered whether he would remember everything I told him. After my measurements were done, I was told the first fitting would be 2 days from then, and the final product would be ready the day after that. Then I put in my shirt order with one of the lackeys and I was off. Day 3: I arrived mid-afternoon. The place was swarming again. While other customers coming in for their suit fitting got try on a sleeveless, half-finished version of their jacket, I was given some kind of pattern made out of super-thin beige fabric to try on. I was skeptical at first, but after I tried it on, surprisingly, the fit was close, requiring only a few adjustments. Uncle was the one doing my fitting. I have no idea why I didn't get to try a half-finished version of my suit jacket, but I didn't ask. The pants I tried on were also made out of the same thin material. I felt a bit awkward since all of the other customers could see the polka dots of my boxers through the thin fabric. I was told the final product would be ready in 24 hours. As for the shirt, the lackey forgot which fabric I chose for my shirt, so they didn't make it yet. I had to pick it out again. But the turnaround time for shirts is typically 1-2 nights. They told me their workshop is right there in Wanchai on HK island, so it wasn't like the orders were getting sent to China or anything. Day 4: Uncle and glasses guy were busy helping new customers, so one of the lackeys gave me my suit to try on. Immediately I noticed that they got a couple of my specifications wrong. I asked for no belt loops but the pants had belt loops along with the side adjusters. I didn't say anything, since I figured I could probably get a tailor to remove the belt loops later if I decided I didn't want them. Also, on the flat front pants, they did not cuff it, although I asked for cuffs. I didn't think that was a big deal, so I didn't say anything about that either. I was satisfied with the fit except there was some excess fabric on the back of the jacket, with the right side having more excess fabric than the left. I tried explaining this to the lackey for almost 10 minutes, and he just didn't seem to understand. Or maybe he was just trying to avoid having to send the suit back to get altered. He even blamed it on wrinkling and tried to steam it, even though there were no wrinkles. Finally, I got fed up and got glasses guy's attention. He quickly saw the problem and made some marks for alteration. Day 14 (I went to another country for 9 days): This time I got to the store exactly at 11:30, the time they open. Only the alterations lady and one lackey was there. No Uncle and no glasses guy. Only Uncle knew what my order number was. I sat and waited patiently for 20 minutes for Uncle to arrive. Meanwhile, another foreign guy who arrived after me got really testy. So I let Uncle help him first. Finally, I got to try on my suit. By then, many customers had come in. One of the lackeys was assigned to assist me again. By then, I had realized that the lackeys were useless for everything except helping you put on your cufflinks. I examined my suit, deemed it satisfactory, and then paid the bill. Conclusion: I am overall pleased with my suit. I basically got a fully-canvassed custom suit with an extra pair of pants for $500. I'm guessing the suit is mostly machine made, although my eye is not well-trained enough to tell. The price is reasonable. Jantzen is very accomodating to your timeframe. The customer service was not terrific, but not unpleasant. The salespeople are nice, but just really busy. I have no prior experience with bespoke, so I might not know what I'm missing out on. Please critique the fit. I know the pants are a little long. I didn't bring any dress shoes with me to HK, so I was wearing boots to the fitting. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     


  2. maxnharry

    maxnharry Senior member

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    Thanks for posting that - we haven't had a post about Jantzen's suits in quite a while. Looks like you got a good result for a great price. The fit looks good for such a quick turnaround.
     


  3. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    The collar of that suit fits very poorly. It both ripples in back and is too open in front.
     


  4. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Some things that caught my eye: (1) the collar gapes around your neck, (2) the right shoulder appears to be ever so slightly more extended than the left, (3) the left sleeve is too long, (4) from the back, your right shoulder looks lower than your left, (5) there is still some rippling under your neck visible from the side, and (6) the jacket bunches a bit at the small of your back, also visible from the side.

    Are you standing naturally? You seem to be holding you right arm closer to your side than your left; maybe this is what's making the shoulder look a little off to me. Or the fact that the collar doesn't fit your neck might be causing the jacket to move about as you take pictures; it looks torqued funny in the picture of you from behind.

    The fit in the chest and waist looks nice. The length looks nice on you. For $500, pretty decent at the end of the day.
     


  5. DirtyHarry

    DirtyHarry Active Member

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    You know about 99.9% of people wouldn't even notice those things.
     


  6. overdog

    overdog Senior member

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    I noticed the rippling under the collar after I got home. This was very hard to see in the store, since they only have a single mirror and I could not see the back of my jacket without twisting my torso around.

    My right arm is slightly longer than my left. I made sure to tell them this when getting measured. At the time of the fitting, I thought the sleeves were okay, but now it looks like the left is slightly too long. I doubt I'm going to get this fixed, due to the surgeon's cuffs.

    The whole fitting process at Jantzen was rushed. They were eager to get done with you and move onto the next customer. I tried to take my time in examining the suit myself closely, but obviously I missed a few things.
     


  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    The whole fitting process at Jantzen was rushed. They were eager to get done with you and move onto the next customer. I tried to take my time in examining the suit myself closely, but obviously I missed a few things.

    Yeah, but that's not to say you didn't get a good value. There's a reason why a $5,000 bespoke suit costs 10 times more.
     


  8. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Were your interactions with the Jantzen folks in English? Forgive the excess smileys, my daughter has requested.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


  9. overdog

    overdog Senior member

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    Mix between English and Mandarin Chinese. Uncle and glasses guy were fluent in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. The lackeys could not really speak very much English.
     


  10. Toiletduck

    Toiletduck Senior member

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    In honesty, I think you could have gotten a better fit if you spent more time talking to them and insisting they get the details right. In HK, you fight for your moneys worth, especially if its your first suit [​IMG]
     


  11. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    You know about 99.9% of people wouldn't even notice those things.
    We are the few, the obsessive, the .1% who do.
     


  12. luk-cha

    luk-cha Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    In honesty, I think you could have gotten a better fit if you spent more time talking to them and insisting they get the details right.

    In HK, you fight for your moneys worth, especially if its your first suit [​IMG]


    huan yin xia ci zai lai![​IMG]

    so people will be over intimidated in J as the seer amount of traffic that goes thru the doors but i think for what you paid i would be a bit dissapointed as by HK standeards that was not over cheap IMO
     


  13. stickonatree

    stickonatree Senior member

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    so when i make it out to jantzen myself, should i be expecting more for my suit from them?

    i don't want to seem like the prick who spends hours fussing over minute details, but then again i want it to be made right if i'm paying $500 for it (which, imo, isn't much, but according to luk-cha, it is in HK).
     


  14. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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    I know a place in Central, Hong Kong, making a 2pc suit for HK$998.
    Of course, it is a fused suit, and totally machine made. But it cutted to your measurement, it fit and look great. Can last for 2 to 3 years.

    US$500 is a low end of the mid price range in HK standard, IMO.
     


  15. luk-cha

    luk-cha Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    so when i make it out to jantzen myself, should i be expecting more for my suit from them?

    i don't want to seem like the prick who spends hours fussing over minute details, but then again i want it to be made right if i'm paying $500 for it (which, imo, isn't much, but according to luk-cha, it is in HK).


    for the kinda suit that J will put out most place in TST will cost you 2.5-3K HKD and you are talking what super 150 itailian cloth

    perhaps they charged you high as to try to put you off if you take then fine if not no hard feelings to them

    also why shouldn't you be the prick? (i bet they wont even remember you when you) it is the minute details that will make the suit look shit or even how you feel about it. it is you that has worked hard to earn the money to buy the suit and if they say can do it how you like then that is how it should be delivered to you no???
     


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