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Need a tux

SField

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It has been a while and all I have is an ill fitting Armani black label (I don't even remember what it is specifically)... it's way too boxy and doesn't fit anymore.

I want something very special, money isn't the first concern, but I'm not looking to spend for some stupid fabric that has dinosaur skin weaved into it or something. I'm actually going to be wearing it somewhat often (as part of my job I need to go to a lot of fundraisers that require black tie, and obviously I can do white tie too - though I've never been to any white tie event that I recall)

I am quite tall with a strong build. I have wide shoulders and big arms, 34 inch waist (I guess that's fat by the standards here). I am soon going to move to Chicago permanently, and was thinking Oxxford. But, also thought of the opportunity to go bespoke with Kiton or Brioni, think the experience could be really cool. What would you do?
 

Pylon

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If money isn't the primary objective, and fit is - why not consider a bespoke tux?

A new tux is on my 5+ year long-term objectives (I understand what you mean about a crappy, boxy cut) and I have a feeling I'll just save to go bespoke on the tux. This way, I get everything I want in the tux and nothing I don't.

I also wear a tux for fundraisers a few times a year, but not often enough to justify a new one just yet. Not at least before the other suits I wear daily which need upgrading.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by Pylon
If money isn't the primary objective, and fit is - why not consider a bespoke tux?

A new tux is on my 5+ year long-term objectives (I understand what you mean about a crappy, boxy cut) and I have a feeling I'll just save to go bespoke on the tux. This way, I get everything I want in the tux and nothing I don't.

I also wear a tux for fundraisers a few times a year, but not often enough to justify a new one just yet. Not at least before the other suits I wear daily which need upgrading.


"I am soon going to move to Chicago permanently, and was thinking Oxxford. But, also thought of the opportunity to go bespoke with Kiton or Brioni, think the experience could be really cool. What would you do?"

I thought it was clear that going bespoke is exactly what I wanted. I wanted people's input on how they'd compare three of the best houses, Kiton, Brioni, and Oxxford. Please, have at it.
 

unpainted huffheinz

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Originally Posted by SField
I thought it was clear that going bespoke is exactly what I wanted. I wanted people's input on how they'd compare three of the best houses, Kiton, Brioni, and Oxxford. Please, have at it.

Those firms do Made To Measure not bespoke. There is only one bespoke option in Chicago worth considering - Chris Despos. He will probably charge less and give you more options too.
 

zjpj83

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One button, peaked lapel, grosgrain on the lapels and stripe down the trousers. Classic.
 

SField

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yes I definitely want one button, certainly nothing but peaked lapels. Was thinking of maybe ordering two trousers and rotating them. In months like december I'll have so many things to go to that it will be worth it.

I thought that Kiton would do whatever you wanted?
 

zjpj83

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Originally Posted by SField
yes I definitely want one button, certainly nothing but peaked lapels. Was thinking of maybe ordering two trousers and rotating them. In months like december I'll have so many things to go to that it will be worth it.

I thought that Kiton would do whatever you wanted?


The name brands have a set number of different models. These can be modified to a great but limited extent. You will still have a Kiton model that is modified to suit your measurements and styling requests.

With bespoke, you pick all the details, and the model is designed specifically for you. Some will say it is "Groupthink" to argue that bespoke is better than made-to-measure for this reason. I disagree.
 

zarathustra

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Despos, definately. Will give you a better fit than the others, not to mention he is a great guy. I honestly can't see how you can go wrong with him... unless time is a factor.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by zjpj83
The name brands have a set number of different models. These can be modified to a great but limited extent. You will still have a Kiton model that is modified to suit your measurements and styling requests.

With bespoke, you pick all the details, and the model is designed specifically for you. Some will say it is "Groupthink" to argue that bespoke is better than made-to-measure for this reason. I disagree.


I don't have anywhere NEAR the level of expertise of guys like you, matt, Manton etc... am I wasting my time with bespoke? I want something truly special, but maybe I'm not ready for bespoke? A name brand doesn't matter to me at all, I just want something that fits me impeccably and is a pleasure to wear and look at. I have no problems if no one recognizes the name of my tailor or the brand, that isn't my concern.
 

zjpj83

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Originally Posted by zarathustra
Despos, definately. Will give you a better fit than the others, not to mention he is a great guy. I honestly can't see how you can go wrong with him... unless time is a factor.

Agree with this. No personal experience with Despos, but I have done Hickey Freeman and Oxxford made to measure and haven't been completely satisfied. Unless time is a factor, go bespoke, why not...?
 

Full Canvas

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Originally Posted by SField
"I am soon going to move to Chicago permanently, and was thinking Oxxford. But, also thought of the opportunity to go bespoke with Kiton or Brioni, think the experience could be really cool. What would you do?"

I thought it was clear that going bespoke is exactly what I wanted. I wanted people's input on how they'd compare three of the best houses, Kiton, Brioni, and Oxxford. Please, have at it.


Originally Posted by SField
I thought that Kiton would do whatever you wanted?

None of three houses you mention really make a bespoke item as SF members typically discuss bespoke. Below is a quote from one of my posts before the Style Forum server crash in March of 2006. The remarks specifically mention my experiences with Oxxford, Kition, and Brioni. My conclusion was, ultimately to go bespoke.

Oxxford (right there in Chicago) does not do bespoke at all, period, end of story. Kiton and Brioni are primarily RTW and MTM. Kiton's so-called bespoke can be had (along with you!) for somewhere north of $20,000. If you change your mind and want that dinosaur skin woven into the fabric, Kiton's prices will likely exceed $35,000. Brioni's factory-based employees will pop over and measure you in Brioni's nearby hotel penthouse suite. This service is still really MTM (with expensive bells and whistles) when all is said and done.

If you elect to go bespoke and do some legwork, you will likely be better served at a more modest price than the three houses mentioned above. Forum members will have plenty of opinions for you. However, not all of those opinions are qualified by real life experience. So, you be the judge before you fork over the cash. As for Chicago's own Mr. Despos, the photos of his work sure do look nice. It would not surprise me if you consider him.


"My first Oxxford was purchased OTR in 1971. I continued purchasing Oxxford until 2000 when I elected to take the leap to bespoke. Having purchased both OTR and MTM Oxxford garments (by my count around 17 suits, 23 odd jackets, and only 10 or 12 pair of trousers), I was never disappointed with the quality. The finish tailors were always problematic for me. Ironically, most of the OTR garments fit as well as or better than the MTM. I have a terrible problem with the slope of my upper back that results in the ulgy little roll requiring a "Lower the Collar" alteration. Even the Oxxford MTM coats had this dilemma every time. It didn't matter that some of the MTM coats were "measured" by the Oxxford repsentative at a trunk show!

In the mid-1990s, I decided to be slightly more fashion forward and, intermittently, purchased a few Brioni OTR suits (no odd jackets). All of them are the regular cloth. I've never worn one of the Escorial cloth pieces. Although I receive a fair number of compliments when I wear Oxxford garments, I cannot help but receive a compliment when I wear one of my few Brioni suits. The ugly little roll was still present in each Brioni before the tailors corrected it. Brioni is not as comfortable as Oxxford for me. But, I do really enjoy the silhouette in the mirror.

In 2000 I decided to see what all the talk was about concerning something called Kiton. Looking at them on the rack was no big thrill. But I was generally astounded by the feel of the cloth. The price was way too high for me to justify any experiment. A friend suggested I make such an experiment with Kiton via eBay. In a period of about eight months, I purchased four Kiton suits and one odd jacket on eBay. All were new items. The price was very "right" on all the items. I paid about four hundred to six hundred dollars per suit. The odd jacket was my last Kiton. All of the Kiton items were made for American retailers and have a fuller cut than the coats cut for Europe. Suddenly eBay was discovered and prices went through the roof. I don't believe you can touch a new Kiton on eBay for less than thirteen hundred dollars now. The cut and style of Kiton do not impress me. The amount of handwork in Kiton is little, if any, more than in Oxxford. However, the Kiton handwork is more obvious to most eyes. By far, the Kiton garments are most comfortable of the three to wear for me. The feel of Kiton is what truly impresses me.

To get the sturdy elegance of Oxxford, the slightly more pleasing silhouette of Brioni, and the whisper weight total comfort of Kiton, I went bespoke. It took one suit and two odd jackets before my tailor really had the pattern adjusted properly for me. Now, with three fittings being more of a formality rather than a necessity, I get exactly what I want when I want it at a price that is comparable to Oxxofrd MTM and less than Brioni and Kiton.

By the way, I still wear "old number one" from Oxxford. It's a grey herringbone tweed odd jacket. My tailor made it a more currently comfortable fit
a few years ago. My body shape has changed very little since that coat was purchased. Even the old Oxxford trousers had enough to accomodate the extra inch and one-half that appeared on my waist over the years
."

___
 

SField

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Originally Posted by Full Canvas
None of three houses you mention really make a bespoke item as SF members typically discuss bespoke. Below is a quote from one of my posts before the Style Forum server crash in March of 2006. The remarks specifically mention my experiences with Oxxford, Kition, and Brioni. My conclusion was, ultimately to go bespoke.

Oxxford (right there in Chicago) does not do bespoke at all, period, end of story. Kiton and Brioni are primarily RTW and MTM. Kiton's so-called bespoke can be had (along with you!) for somewhere north of $20,000. If you change your mind and want that dinosaur skin woven into the fabric, Kiton's prices will likely exceed $35,000. Brioni's factory-based employees will pop over and measure you in Brioni's nearby hotel penthouse suite. This service is still really MTM (with expensive bells and whistles) when all is said and done.

If you elect to go bespoke and do some legwork, you will likely be better served at a more modest price than the three houses mentioned above. Forum members will have plenty of opinions for you. However, not all of those opinions are qualified by real life experience. So, you be the judge before you fork over the cash. As for Chicago's own Mr. Despos, the photos of his work sure do look nice. It would not surprise me if you consider him.


"My first Oxxford was purchased OTR in 1971. I continued purchasing Oxxford until 2000 when I elected to take the leap to bespoke. Having purchased both OTR and MTM Oxxford garments (by my count around 17 suits, 23 odd jackets, and only 10 or 12 pair of trousers), I was never disappointed with the quality. The finish tailors were always problematic for me. Ironically, most of the OTR garments fit as well as or better than the MTM. I have a terrible problem with the slope of my upper back that results in the ulgy little roll requiring a "Lower the Collar" alteration. Even the Oxxford MTM coats had this dilemma every time. It didn't matter that some of the MTM coats were "measured" by the Oxxford repsentative at a trunk show!

In the mid-1990s, I decided to be slightly more fashion forward and, intermittently, purchased a few Brioni OTR suits (no odd jackets). All of them are the regular cloth. I've never worn one of the Escorial cloth pieces. Although I receive a fair number of compliments when I wear Oxxford garments, I cannot help but receive a compliment when I wear one of my few Brioni suits. The ugly little roll was still present in each Brioni before the tailors corrected it. Brioni is not as comfortable as Oxxford for me. But, I do really enjoy the silhouette in the mirror.

In 2000 I decided to see what all the talk was about concerning something called Kiton. Looking at them on the rack was no big thrill. But I was generally astounded by the feel of the cloth. The price was way too high for me to justify any experiment. A friend suggested I make such an experiment with Kiton via eBay. In a period of about eight months, I purchased four Kiton suits and one odd jacket on eBay. All were new items. The price was very "right" on all the items. I paid about four hundred to six hundred dollars per suit. The odd jacket was my last Kiton. All of the Kiton items were made for American retailers and have a fuller cut than the coats cut for Europe. Suddenly eBay was discovered and prices went through the roof. I don't believe you can touch a new Kiton on eBay for less than thirteen hundred dollars now. The cut and style of Kiton do not impress me. The amount of handwork in Kiton is little, if any, more than in Oxxford. However, the Kiton handwork is more obvious to most eyes. By far, the Kiton garments are most comfortable of the three to wear for me. The feel of Kiton is what truly impresses me.

To get the sturdy elegance of Oxxford, the slightly more pleasing silhouette of Brioni, and the whisper weight total comfort of Kiton, I went bespoke. It took one suit and two odd jackets before my tailor really had the pattern adjusted properly for me. Now, with three fittings being more of a formality rather than a necessity, I get exactly what I want when I want it at a price that is comparable to Oxxofrd MTM and less than Brioni and Kiton.

By the way, I still wear "old number one" from Oxxford. It's a grey herringbone tweed odd jacket. My tailor made it a more currently comfortable fit
a few years ago. My body shape has changed very little since that coat was purchased. Even the old Oxxford trousers had enough to accomodate the extra inch and one-half that appeared on my waist over the years
."

___



Thank you that's a tremendous article. I do have a navy 2b Kiton that I got OTR two years ago. They feel like pyjamas which people have said many times. Are there people out there who can replicate that?
 

JeffsWood

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Originally Posted by SField
I don't have anywhere NEAR the level of expertise of guys like you, matt, Manton etc... am I wasting my time with bespoke? I want something truly special, but maybe I'm not ready for bespoke? A name brand doesn't matter to me at all, I just want something that fits me impeccably and is a pleasure to wear and look at. I have no problems if no one recognizes the name of my tailor or the brand, that isn't my concern.

Bespoke can be very risky. MTM is a much safer option.
 

Full Canvas

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Originally Posted by JeffsWood
Bespoke can be very risky. MTM is a much safer option.

With many reported tragedies by Style Forum members for both true bespoke and MTM, would you please tell us why (in your opinion) MTM is any safer than bespoke? A bad garment is simply bad without regard its genesis. Some MTM is verifiably more expensive than some of the best bespoke work and can take just as long to deliver on occasion.

Originally Posted by SField
Thank you that's a tremendous article. I do have a navy 2b Kiton that I got OTR two years ago. They feel like pyjamas which people have said many times. Are there people out there who can replicate that?

People that have worn bespoke garments (should) have their own requirements built into the design. This presumes the people really know what they want and whether or not it is possible to achieve it. Every fellow that's truly happen with the finished product will give you his "yes" on your question.

Everyone seems to seek a different grail. I don't know that it's not more the hunt for some fellows than it is the kill. Witness member reports of moving on to a different tailor even when the previous tailor seemed to get the job done well. Of course, this can be part of the educational process for the man as well as it might show the limitations of individual tailors. There are design requirements that some tailors can't or won't provide. Ferrari won't build a Porsche for you. That alone doesn't prevent you from having both in your garage.

My bespoke tailor also does alterations on bespoke American, English and Italian clothes. My little part of California seems to have a larger than average percentage of residents whose primary home is somewhere else. They arrive with clothes from bespoke tailors in New York, London, Rome, and Naples and often those clothes wind-up in my tailor's shop for little adjustments. I've examined several bespoke American, Savile Row, Roman (one of the many Caraceni labels), and Neapolitan (London House/Rubinacci and Pirozzi) garments. I leave it to others to discuss the important minutiae. All I can tell you from experience is that my tailor created what I requested. My requirements are simply what I mentioned in the previous post. So, I am pleased with my tailor's product. He might not please other prospective clients. That is why it is so important to develop a relationship with true understanding and the working vocabulary to help with the understanding.

Some people are forced to travel or have the tailor travel to achieve the results they want. When I travel, I don't want to occupy my time with visiting tailors and I certainly don't want to schedule my travel to accommodate a tailor. Some fellows feel differently about this and actually enjoy this. This is bespoke and everyone's method is correct if they get the product they want. If my tailor could not achieve what I want, I might be of a mind to travel to get it. Fortunately, my tastes and requirements are relatively simple and my travel time is utilized differently.

To go bespoke requires your time, your focus, your patience, and your dedication to get what you really want. Since you are relocating to Chicago and you think you know what you want, why don't you talk to Mr. Despos about your requirements? At least that seems to be a convenient starting point. I think he would tell you whether or not he can help you. You have a bit of work ahead of you before you get what you want. If you are seriously committed to your goal of a new dinner suit (tux) you should start as soon as you can unless you feel the need to travel. After all, some people say the exotic is erotic.

___
 

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