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Pickiness

Manton

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I posted this in the Logsdail/Raphael thread, but it quickly got buried in the ensuing SF Cool Clique circler jerk that thread became. Because I do not feel I was succifiently attacked for it, and because I think the topic is worth exploring, I am reposting it here:

On this question of annoying clients, there is more than one way to be picky. Some allegations of picky are indeed unfair.

For instance, you ask for a particular detail and don't get it. If you insist on it, is that picky?

Some things I have let slide. For instance, I like my trousers to have a rear pocket on the right side only, with a cut through buttonhole. I have had this screwed up in various ways: pocket on the left side, two pockets instead of one, flap when not requested, etc. Yet I have never refused to take a pair because of this. I have, however, noted the mistake and asked that future orders be made to my specs. And they have.

Bigger mistakes: asking for notch and getting peak -- that I would not let slide.

Now, insisting that it be done right may nonetheless piss off the tailor. It will cost him to get it right. The enlightened thing is to realize that remaking it is A) the right thing to do, and B) a gesture of goodwill that will encourage future orders. But not all tailors see it this way. So they can view your insistence on a "do over" as unreasonable intransigence on your part. Tailors can hold such unreasonable grudges and blame the client for being "picky." But who really is in the wrong here?

Another definition of picky is to be hyper-critical of every fit detail. Even here there is a sliding scale. For instance, one suit I got from a tailor had several, glaringly obvious fit problems. At first he would not acknowledge them. Then he said they were minor. Then he said he would fix them. He didn't. Then he said, No one is ever 100% so we will do better next time. There was no next time.

Some can be very minor, but nonetheless real. I had one coat on which the right sleeve pitch was off. At first, the tailor took it and fixed it. It was still off. When I pointed that out, he got testy and denied it, blaming my shirt. It was clear that he was not going to take it back. Since I liked the coat in every other respect, and liked the tailor, I took it and got it fixed elsewhere. His next coat, I note, got the sleeve pitch exactly right on both sleeves.

A third definition is wanting a great deal of input into the design. Now, some tailors are willing to let the customer have a lot of input, others virtually none, and others some. I have no problem with this, so long as it is made clear up front. What I do find mystifying is why some Internet avengers loudly insist that any client who expects to have any input into the process must be a busybody and impossible. This is bespoke, after all. If a tailor is willing to make changes based on a client's wishes, what business is it of any third party?

If you find a tailor who's cut is exactly what you want without any changes, then great. Similarly, maybe it's not what you thought you wanted, but once you wear it you realize that you love it. Also great. But if you mostly like it but want a few things changed, and he will do that, that can be great too. Does that make you "picky"?

The "final frontier" as it were would be to get down into the nitty gritty of pattern drafting. Only one tailor I have worked with allowed this, and I never really delved into to too deeply. I just made a suggestion here or there, and then watched him alter the pattern based on that suggestion. The results were good, more owing to his knowledge than my suggestion. Most tailors, however, would object, and with good reason. I doubt that good results are the norm, and rather suspect that they are rare. No matter what the educated amateur thinks he knows about pattern drafting, the tailor knows more. Moreover, he has a system and body of habits that works for him. Even if you can get him to agree to deviate, you are really just asking for trouble.
 

RJmanbearpig

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You will never get exactly what you want. No matter who is making it for you.
 

TheFoo

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I can't stand format mistakes (the wrong lapel, cloth, button configuration, etc.) and I wouldn't feel bad about having my tailor do whatever is necessary to fully remedy. To me, such a mistake signifies that you just didn't get the garment you ordered. I would call these categorical mistakes.

On the other hand, there are mistakes of degree: a shape or line is different than expected, something is higher or lower, etc. This is a grey area for me. If the overall effect is pleasing, I don't really care. I'm probably a little too easy to assuage: I'd be happy even if the tailor makes something up and tells me that's the way it's supposed to be. However, if the end product looks mediocre, I'd encourage some pushing and prodding. And if the tailor blatantly neglected to do something I asked for (a higher gorge, for example), I'd ask for a full remedy unless I'm happily surprised by the results.

I don't specify much. I picked my tailors largely for what they do on auto-pilot, and most of my requests were put in on my first orders and never needed to be repeated.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by RJmanbearpig
You will never get exactly what you want. No matter who is making it for you.

This is true. The best result you can hope for is a happy surprise.
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by edmorel
Anyone have that "attention whore" pic with the chick doing the handstand?

This is not fair. You raised a point that gets mentioned a lot but that has never been adequately explored. What is too picky v. justified insistence on getting A) what one asked for, and B) a good product?

If you want to make the thread about me, ask about some of my experiences and I will relate them. The ones I did relate are all to illustrate a point.
 

RJmanbearpig

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Originally Posted by edmorel
Anyone have that "attention whore" pic with the chick doing the handstand?

I have to say, despite being an attention whore, she is quite attractive.

Also, Mantsn, who is the SF Cool Clique?
 

Kuro

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I believe it depends on the level of details that are being insisted on. Perhaps it is my inexperience, but I would expect to just let the tailor do his thing based on his house style, but with some general parameters that I want (single breasted, double breasted, etc..). Maybe I'm not that picky (or do not know exactly what to be picky about), but I can imagine micro-managing every detail could be irritating. I suppose the trick is to know whose house style is optimal for your build, etc. (I would like to know how to determine what is optimal for my build).
 

edmorel

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Originally Posted by Manton
This is not fair. You raised a point that gets mentioned a lot but that has never been adequately explored. What is too picky v. justified insistence on getting A) what one asked for, and B) a good product?

If you want to make the thread about me, ask about some of my experiences and I will relate them. The ones I did relate are all to illustrate a point.


Well you made this new thread about you after you felt you were ignored in the other thread. Obviously, you (not you in particular) need to feel "good" about what you buy, be it food or clothes. When I ask for a well done hamburger, if it comes medium I eat it but am not as happy had I been if it were well. If they bring me a chicken sandwich, then I will return it. I think we all know what is right and wrong, including tailors. A peak lapel when notch is requested is not soemthing that a tailor should expect the customer to eat. A lapel which is 1/8 inch smaller than the client requested should be eaten by the customer. I think it's pretty black and white. I answered your question. Answer this one, have you returned an item to a tailor for a difference of under 1/4 on anything (except sleeves) or for a besom pocket when you wanted flap?
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by edmorel
Answer this one, have you returned an item to a tailor for a difference of under 1/4 on anything (except sleeves) or for a besom pocket when you wanted flap?

No. I have asked to have a lapel slimmed down, however, and it was cheerfully done. I once asked for a suit to have 3 open patch, and got it with a welt breast pocket. I took it. That same suit was supposed to be unlined, but it came lined. The pocket I think was just a mistake, but for the lining he had an explanation that made sense. He had also reversed the pleats on the trousers, but was able to switch their direction easily without having to remake them.

A couple of times tailors have seen things that I had not noticed or not cared about and insisted that they redo them. That has actually happend more often than my own requests for changes.

I reposted this because I think it is interesting to explore where the "line" is between reasonable and unreasonble. I expected the answers to vary, but so far the three who have answered -- you, me, mafoo -- see it pretty much the same way. That probably upsets you. I am comforted.
 

Kuro

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Originally Posted by Manton
No. I have asked to have a lapel slimmed down, however, and it was cheerfully done. I once asked for a suit to have 3 open patch, and got it with a welt breast pocket. I took it. That same suit was supposed to be unlined, but it came lined. The pocket I think was just a mistake, but for the lining he had an explanation that made sense. He had also reversed the pleats on the trousers, but was able to switch their direction easily without having to remake them.

A couple of times tailors have seen things that I had not noticed or not cared about and insisted that they redo them. That has actually happend more often than my own requests for changes.

I reposted this because I think it is interesting to explore where the "line" is between reasonable and unreasonble. I expected the answers to vary, but so far the three who have answered -- you, me, mafoo -- see it pretty much the same way. That probably upsets you. I am comforted.


Does my answer not count, or I am not part of the SF Cool Clique?
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by edmorel
When I ask for a well done hamburger, if it comes medium I eat it but am not as happy had I been if it were well. If they bring me a chicken sandwich, then I will return it.

I ask that food analogies be banned.


- B
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by Kuro
Does my answer not count, or I am not part of the SF Cool Clique?

I didn't really find an answer to "where's the line" in your post.
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by voxsartoria
I ask that food analogies be banned.


- B


Arby'sMan.
 

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