Pickiness

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Arby'sMan.

    If you're not careful, your campaign against Arby's Man will actually make people sympathize with him, like PC Guy.
     


  2. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    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.

    -The tailor made significant format mistakes. They must apologize and correct them. And then they shoudl analyze what went wrong so they never happen again. Mistakes = no return business. In the above example. I -might- have let it slide depending on the look of the end result. Depending on the explanantion excuse, I might or might not ask for compensation (a break in price, a neck tie, etc).


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

    -Nor would I.

    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?


    -Like the first example, the tailor is wrong and must make it right. I'd ask for the correction and would expect some additional compensation depending on how I felt they handled the matter.


    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.

    -If my tailor were to repsond that way I'd know they're just hoping to be done with it and move on. Fail! I'd likely not be coming back.

    A third definition is wanting a great deal of input into the design.

    -For bespoke? I have never done a full bespoke suit but I would EXPECT to have full creative consultation. I'm not getting bespoke just because it will fit well. I'm doing it because, like building a house (not to overtsate things), I want it to be truly "right".
    I'm not a rich man, so perhaps I value gettig everything right more than those folks who pop for a dozen new suits a year. The dollars are more precious to me than some and thus, I feel awful when I spend "big money" and end up not liking the result. I'm sure there are those among the landed iGentry who feel the same way, not to say it's just about the level of have versus have not.


    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.

    -I'd generally agree. I'm working with somebody now who may be starting a bespoke process. And I know they'll let me dabble with them at the drawing board and I'll appreciate that. But I also will make it clear to them to tell me to get out of the way or "yeah- that would be stupid". I'm paying for their expertise. But I want them to be creatively open, too.
     


  3. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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


    So far, everything from my tailor is as I have wished it, save one mistake which I have described before, so it is difficult for me to relate to the types of issues that you describe.

    I would say that if there was anything that deviated from my wishes, initially expressed or realized later, I would not find alternatives to those wishes to be acceptable unless the serendipity (or error) was provident or convincingly better.

    There is nothing special about clothes when it comes to this...I view all categories of consumption in the same way.

    - B
     


  4. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    Yeah, like when Burger King puts the f---ing pickles on the burger when you've asked for them to be left off. Have it your way my butt.
     


  5. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    Yeah, like when Burger King puts the f---ing pickles on the burger when you've asked for them to be left off. Have it your way my butt.

    You that we've banned food analogies, right?

    - B
     


  6. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    If I asked for pleats and got flat, or vice versa, I would expect new trousers. OTOH, back pocket requested on the right and delivered on the left is not a big enough deal to me to refuse to take the pants.

    And, to be clear, I have never asked for peak and gotten notch, or vice versa. The worst mistake I have experienced is, I ordered a suit from an end bolt (the tailor's, not mine) and asked for three piece. He said fine. At the fitting, there was no vest. I was upset. He said there was not enough cloth. I said, had I known that I either would not have ordered this cloth, or would have gotten it DB. In the end, I took the suit at a significant discount. (This partly explains my obesssion with finding the perfect sweater vest).

    Geneva messed up one shirt, once. I ordered two, one was to have a white collar, the other not. They both came back with white collars. They replaced the one without complaint and at no charge.

    Another shirtmaker, however, messed up a lot of things and denied it. I took the shirt, but I never went back.
     


  7. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    -
    I think a problem of this approach is that you are trying to get someone to make something which they may not have the expertise to do. Going to a food analogy, as per vox's request, I am a big beef eater (what an opening), I know what cut I like and how I like it. I can probably get a nice steak from Le Bernadin, but why go to a seafood restaurant for a steak? Worse yet, why go to a diner, where they take the "we make everything" approach if what I want requires a certain cooking expertise? The only "general practioner" tailor that I have seen whom seems to be quite adaptable is WW Chan, and not everything comes out wonderful. My advice in this scenario is the same I told our friend AvariceBespoke, find what it is you like in terms of cut/style and then find a tailor that works in that style. I am not against looking to get what you want from a tailor and giving him instruction, but when you go to a regular guy and tell him, make me a suit that looks like this, the outcome is usually mediocre.
     


  8. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    So far, everything from my tailor is as I have wished it, save one mistake which I have described before, so it is difficult for me to relate to the types of issues that you describe.

    I would say that if there was anything that deviated from my wishes, initially expressed or realized later, I would not find alternatives to those wishes to be acceptable unless the serendipity (or error) was provident or convincingly better.

    There is nothing special about clothes when it comes to this...I view all categories of consumption in the same way.

    - B


    Were those bike shorts that you once posted made to your liking?
     


  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    My wedding suit was originally made in the wrong cloth. Apparently, the vendor had sent the wrong cloth although the number was correct. Without even a moment of protest, I was told they'd remake the suit out of the right cloth and finish the incorrect suit at a significant discount if I wanted it.

    In terms of customer service and fixing mistakes, bespoke has a much better track record in my personal experience than MTM.
     


  10. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    If I asked for pleats and got flat, or vice versa, I would expect new trousers. OTOH, back pocket requested on the right and delivered on the left is not a big enough deal to me to refuse to take the pants.


    I would not have accepted if it was pocket on the wrong side. I'm too mucha creature habit. Thatd' be like asking me to suddenly become left-handed. [​IMG]
     


  11. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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

    I think the line depends on the nature of the request...if the request is reasonable and it is not fulfilled it is not unreasonable to insist that it be corrected. However, if the request is something hypercritical and one (not you in particular) were to complain about it not being fulfilled one would be a pain in the ass (however I can imagine the person would be continually haunted by it every time the looked at the garment).
     


  12. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    -

    I think a problem of this approach is that you are trying to get someone to make something which they may not have the expertise to do.

    Oh- I agree. I'd not go to Rubinacci and ask for a full-leg trouser with mile-wide shoudler pads. I'd fully expect to be working "within their norms" or with some agreed-to level of "creative adventuring" knowing the possible risks.
     


  13. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    My wedding suit was originally made in the wrong cloth. Apparently, the vendor had sent the wrong cloth although the number was correct. Without even a moment of protest, I was told they'd remake the suit out of the right cloth and finish the incorrect suit at a significant discount if I wanted it.

    And so, did you have it redone?
     


  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    -For bespoke? I have never done a full bespoke suit but I would EXPECT to have full creative consultation. I'm not getting bespoke just because it will fit well. I'm doing it because, like building a house (not to overtsate things), I want it to be truly "right".
    I'm not a rich man, so perhaps I value gettig everything right more than those folks who pop for a dozen new suits a year. The dollars are more precious to me than some and thus, I feel awful when I spend "big money" and end up not liking the result. I'm sure there are those among the landed iGentry who feel the same way, not to say it's just about the level of have versus have not.


    I can't afford to buy a new suit every month, but I still think this approach is problematic. Of the things you'd want to be done 'right' in bespoke, there are actually very few that you can effectively control. Most controllable things are format-oriented. It's actually hazardous to direct your tailor on the little detail, particularly when so many are tied to his method of fitting you and constructing the suit.

    For me, 99% of the magic in bespoke comes from the fit. The sillouette and shape are just functions of that. The craftsmanship associated with high-end bespoke could theoretically be replicated in RTW if someone wanted to poor enough money into it--only the fit of bespoke is otherwise unobtainable.
     


  15. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    And so, did you have it redone?

    They made me another suit in the right cloth. The unfinished suit is sitting in Naples, awaiting available funds.
     


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