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Orchestral conductor needs to upgrade tails!!

Greg Luke

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I'm an orchestral conductor and have two sets of tails that I use for concerts and performances. Both are generic and "entry-level" - for instance, one was a set purchased from a tux rental store.

It's time for an upgrade and I need advice for vendors that do custom tailored nice tails. Obviously not going to be cheap, but that's the point of the upgrade. Very few companies seem to do tails (obviously many do tuxes), so I'd love your advice!!! Ideally $5k or less.
 

Quesjac

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Here's a few questions to begin: What's your location? RTW or bespoke? How soon do you need to upgrade?
 

Greg Luke

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Here's a few questions to begin: What's your location? RTW or bespoke? How soon do you need to upgrade?
San Francisco Bay area in California. I'm not sure what RTW means, but it would be a little more traditional as it's for classical symphonic orchestra. There isn't a timeline, so getting it right would be more important than immediately! I do have two good generic tails, generic tuxes (2) and a good performance suit. Need to upgrade the tails but can take the year to get something nice made.
 

Greg Luke

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Here's a few questions to begin: What's your location? RTW or bespoke? How soon do you need to upgrade?
Also, I'll be in London for concerts next summer and in DC this fall and get head to certain vendors - if there are exceptional people in those locations, would love recommendations there too.
 

Quesjac

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Also, I'll be in London for concerts next summer and in DC this fall and get head to certain vendors - if there are exceptional people in those locations, would love recommendations there too.
RTW = ready to wear, ie. already made in a standard size. As you say, not too many makers still make tails RTW, though the more traditional English ones, eg. Ede & Ravenscroft, still do.

If you want bespoke you will have a very wide choice in London, at a range of prices and levels of quality.

I'd plan to visit a few tailors in London to have the conversation, as well as trying on the RTW models you like the look of, and take it from there. I don't know about tailoring in DC but others may chime in.
 

dieworkwear

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I use Steed for suits and sport coats. I'm sure Edwin, the cutter there, can do tails. Price is within your budget and they can meet you in London. They also travel to DC and San Francisco about four times a year, which would expedite things.

Their general house style is soft, sloping shoulders with a slightly fuller chest (what's known as a drape cut). The shoulders aren't as soft and rounded as what you generally see from Neapolitan tailors, but it's also far from what would be considered structured. That said, since they handmake all of their shoulder pads, I'm sure they can adjust for whatever you need. My general feeling though is to go with the house style on any first commission (regardless of the tailor)

http://steed.co.uk/

You can see some of their work here

https://www.instagram.com/steedbespoketailors/

There are some other tailors who come through San Francisco -- Huntsman, Poole, Sexton, Hitchcock, Anderson & Sheppard, WW Chan, etc. You can use Permanent Style's trunk show calendar to see who comes to the area

https://www.permanentstyle.com/trunkshows
 

breakaway01

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Something you will want to ask a potential tailor about is how they will cut the coat differently for conducting. As you will have your arms up, the coat will have to be cut differently so that the shoulders do not rise up. It’s more than small armholes; the sleeve cap will also have to be quite flat as well AFAIK.
 

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