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Poll: Attolini vs. Rubinacci vs. Steed

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Montesquieu, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    I relied on the tailors' judgment for fit.

    Ideally your experiences would eventually evolve into a combination of what the tailor sees, and what you see.

    Even better is if, once evolved, what you see and what he/she sees are nearly the same.

    The one way street maybe good initially, but one would hope that you aren't spread so thin with variety such that your own sense of what fits or stylistically should be does not develop.

    Don't want to be a Jack of many trades but Master of none . . .

    - M
     
  2. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    Ideally your experiences would eventually evolve into a combination of what the tailor sees, and what you see.

    Even better is if, once evolved, what you see and what he/she sees are nearly the same.

    The one way street maybe good initially, but one would hope that you aren't spread so thin with variety such that your own sense of what fits or stylistically should be does not develop.

    Don't want to be a Jack of many trades but Master of none . . .

    - M


    I like to give a general idea and direction of what I want but the input of the cutter is also very important .

    Their technical knowledge and understanding of fabrics, cuts ,silhouettes is paramount to my final decision.
     
  3. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    I agree with [​IMG]: one doesn't need to the Internet or an expert standing by to get good results from bespoke, and that perhaps trying to digest 3 different tailors in 1 year might have been too much. And we have to remember that these are 2D photographs, so the result IRL may be quite different.

    --Andre
     
  4. Redwoood

    Redwoood Senior member

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    I agree with [​IMG]: one doesn't need to the Internet or an expert standing by to get good results from bespoke
    [...]


    Now, I'm curious. What does one need for bespoke success? Obviously it's not guaranteed given the countless bespoke (alleged) tragedies on this forum.
     
  5. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I agree that there may be more here than meets the internet eye.
    To me, it's a sad state of affairs when the client needs to have enough experience/knowledge that he is expected to hold a competent tailor accountable to deliver a proper fit. That just seems wrong. I like an educated client but to a different end. The more he knows the better he can comprehend the results of the custom clothing process and appreciate the difference but not to direct a tailor at what he should be proficient.
    Montesquieu,
    Try Caraceni Milan and start a new thread.
     
  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Now, I'm curious. What does one need for bespoke success? Obviously it's not guaranteed given the countless bespoke (alleged) tragedies on this forum.
    Some thoughts: 1. Get your expectations straight. Know the tailor's house style. Know the pitfalls of bespoke. Don't expect perfection immediately. 2. Pick the best tailor you can afford. Unless the difference is extreme, I'd go so far as to pick the better tailor than the one whose house style is closer to what I like. 3. Be clear about the garment you want, but don't bring a spec sheet. "I want a tweed odd jacket with patch pockets that buttons three-roll-two" is good. "Here is my CAD drawing of the lapel shape I'd like you to implement with millimeter precision" is not. Maybe the greatest lesson one can learn on StyleForum is how to describe a jacket by its basic components. 4. Take your time: order one garment before ordering more. Kinks will inevitably show up that neither you nor your tailor noticed before. 5. Manage the relationship, not the tailoring. Enthusiastically engage by asking questions and pointing things out, but don't instruct. The tailor has his way of doing things that he is comfortable with and proud of. Cross his ego and experience at your own hazard.
    I agree that there may be more here than meets the internet eye. To me, it's a sad state of affairs when the client needs to have enough experience/knowledge that he is expected to hold a competent tailor accountable to deliver a proper fit. That just seems wrong. I like an educated client but to a different end. The more he knows the better he can comprehend the results of the custom clothing process and appreciate the difference but not to direct a tailor at what he should be proficient. Montesquieu, Try Caraceni Milan and start a new thread.
    But hasn't he already tried a few very good tailors? With results like these, isn't the clear implication that it's not the tailors completely to blame? Moreover, it seems like none of the apparent problems are so bad they cannot at least be corrected on future orders. Montesquieu's error, in my book, was ordering so many garments in serial so quickly. Why not pick one of the three he's already used, and have them tweak a bit? Adding another world-renouned tailor to the mix will just force him to go through the same startup pains he's already gone through with the others.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Redwoood

    Redwoood Senior member

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    Thanks for your response, Foo.

    Some thoughts:
    [...]
    2. Pick the best tailor you can afford. Unless the difference is extreme, I'd go so far as to pick the better tailor than the one whose house style is closer to what I like.
    [...]


    Now, the question is, of course, how do you define "good" when it comes to tailors? how do you find "the best" ?
     
  8. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    I like this conversation

    We spent quite a bit of time discussing how to make the jacket for me. On areas where we agree for example, both Antonio and I wanted to cut the lapels wider, but for different reasons. He thinks the wide lapel helps to balance the wider chest, while for me, I wanted wide lapels to balance my wider face. We both wanted to have front and back drape for movement. We also had ideas the other did not think of, for example I made very specific requests to have no padding for the shoulders at all, and Antonio was very specific on where the button point should be, despite my initial doubt.

    I think the input from both the customer and the tailor was able to make this a very personal commission. I still look like me in this jacket, and there is no mistake, from the details and execution, that this is a Liverano jacket as well.


    from here.

    - M
     
  9. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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    Do you see a marked difference between Attolini MTM and bespoke, or am the only one? The MTM has no shaping in the chest. It looks like they just took a RTW jacket and cut at the sides.

    I realize that you love the 'pectoral bowl', but could this impression also not be caused (in part) by different fabrics/canvas in the different commissions?

    There is nothing controversial about how exceedingly fantastic I look.

    Well, nothing looks uncorrectable to me and I stand by my opinion that you don't need to be an expert to get good results from a good tailor. I knew as little as you did when I first started with Rubinacci.

    Just stepping up for Monte (since you're making the direct comparison): while I will refrain from commenting on the former quote, I am not sure that (at least a number of) Monte's commissions came out worse than your Rubinacci commissions.
     
  10. jason.wu.05.09

    jason.wu.05.09 Senior member

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    Gorgeous, gorgeous sport coats.
     
  11. EBugatti

    EBugatti Senior member

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    Was this meant condescendingly? I was and am still learning, and I trusted that tailors' fit judgment over my own. Given my three days experience in bespoke relative to their decades, this seemed prudent to me.

    I doubt that I'm the only bespoke client who doesn't micromanage fit, especially when working with tailors in another language.


    As a client of the great Neapolitan tailors, and a native Italian speaker, I can tell you going to get fitted by yourself (as I assume you did), not speaking Italian (as you note), and most likely giving off the impression you were a neophyte was probably not advantageous. With Italians (even famous bespoke tailors) giving them the impression that you know what you are talking about is KEY to getting proper service--it's their cultural mentality, and though they will not admit it, it runs too deep to be ignored. This is not so much the case in the UK. But it is a definite factor in Italy, unfortunately.
     
  12. Montesquieu

    Montesquieu Senior member

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    Some thoughts:

    1. Get your expectations straight. Know the tailor's house style. Know the pitfalls of bespoke. Don't expect perfection immediately.

    2. Pick the best tailor you can afford. Unless the difference is extreme, I'd go so far as to pick the better tailor than the one whose house style is closer to what I like.

    3. Be clear about the garment you want, but don't bring a spec sheet. "I want a tweed odd jacket with patch pockets that buttons three-roll-two" is good. "Here is my CAD drawing of the lapel shape I'd like you to implement with millimeter precision" is not. Maybe the greatest lesson one can learn on StyleForum is how to describe a jacket by its basic components.

    4. Take your time: order one garment before ordering more. Kinks will inevitably show up that neither you nor your tailor noticed before.

    5. Manage the relationship, not the tailoring. Enthusiastically engage by asking questions and pointing things out, but don't instruct. The tailor has his way of doing things that he is comfortable with and proud of. Cross his ego and experience at your own hazard.


    Great advice. I'm satisfied with how I followed #1-#3.

    With respect to #4, I very consciously chose not to do this. Folks on SF have consistently said that it takes three or more progressive commissions to perfect a fit and pattern. I ordered all three Rubinaccis in one visit. I placed Attolini and Steed orders over a variety of visits, but oftentimes I'd order one while doing a first or second fitting of another; they weren't progressive. Why? I was caught up in the adventure of experimentation, enjoying the diversity of styles, in love with the fabrics, appreciating the experts with whom I interacted, and running short of time to replace everything before returning to the US, where nothing has ever fit me. So I'm left with kinks that, relative to what I had RTW, seem lovable in comparison. I'm sufficiently happy with all but one order. They express me well. Perfection may not yet have been reached, but it's proximity is close enough for happiness and far enough for motivation.

    My regret is #5. As others have noted, there's a level of knowledge required to bring out the best in a tailor, and that is part of graduating from client to valued relationship. At work, I stretch and coach my team to achieve greatness. I didn't do that with my tailors, and they probably regard me as an enthusiastic but interchangeable client. Two years into this, I have a ways to go. I'm inspired by those who have achieved better fits from my same tailors, thanks to their personal expertise and cultivated relationships. Style is fun. I'd love to improve my partnerships another two notches.
     
  13. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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  14. maomao1980

    maomao1980 Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I always remember catching certain comments made by Rubinacci's staff in Italian about certain customers and it was quite revealing of a certain attitude...

    I hope no honorable mentions about certain SF customers...
     
  15. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    I hope no honorable mentions about certain SF customers...

    No comment...

    I did not know them at the time ...

    I just arrived on SF and Iammatt made such an interesting case for Rubinacci's garments that I decided to go to Mount street for my first bespoke suit.

    I got more cosy with the two girls than with Luca or Mariano...
     
  16. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    With Italians (even famous bespoke tailors) giving them the impression that you know what you are talking about is KEY to getting proper service--it's their cultural mentality, and though they will not admit it, it runs too deep to be ignored.

    I think some of these tailors probably could not be arsed to service people who are ignorant and cannot appreciate the good work that goes into a garment. I can see their point of view, but it sucks as a customer.
     
  17. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    I think some of these tailors probably could not be arsed to service people who are ignorant and cannot appreciate the good work that goes into a garment. I can see their point of view, but it sucks as a customer.
    ..

    It is why I'm secretely laughing at people who are telling me they only have to speak English to be understood around the world and therefore do not need to learn anything else..

    To be understood yes, to be liked not really ..Most people are by nature lazy and are seeing speaking English as an annoyance or just at best a difficult task...
    The language barrier is an obvious problem in establishing a working relationship with somebody and tailoring is not different regarding that particular matter.

    I have been served very well in Italy(except Rome) because i made the effort to speak their language..
    It is something the Italians,French and Spanish are very sensitive to...
     
  18. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    But it is a definite factor in Italy, unfortunately.

    This doesn't have to be Italy. I could happen anywhere, plenty of examples in NYC.

    Another poster whose experiences are like Montesquieu's is Whnay. I wonder who he will settle with.

    - M
     
  19. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This doesn't have to be Italy. I could happen anywhere, plenty of examples in NYC.

    Another poster whose experiences are like Montesquieu's is Whnay. I wonder who he will settle with.

    - M

    Huh? I am not sure whnay has indicated anything close to what you attempt to read into his posts.
     
  20. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    As a client of the great Neapolitan tailors, and a native Italian speaker, I can tell you going to get fitted by yourself (as I assume you did), not speaking Italian (as you note), and most likely giving off the impression you were a neophyte was probably not advantageous. With Italians (even famous bespoke tailors) giving them the impression that you know what you are talking about is KEY to getting proper service--it's their cultural mentality, and though they will not admit it, it runs too deep to be ignored. This is not so much the case in the UK. But it is a definite factor in Italy, unfortunately.

    Really? Granted, I've never spent time in the UK, but I think the phenomenon you're describing applies in equal parts to merchants everywhere, not just tailors in Italy.

    All I can say is that I don't think I was ripped off in Naples, I don't speak Italian, and I'm as much a neophyte as Montesquieu. The main difference between us was our rate and mode of consumption. It shouldn't surprise if the quality of results differ.

    I was caught up in the adventure of experimentation, enjoying the diversity of styles, in love with the fabrics, appreciating the experts with whom I interacted, and running short of time to replace everything before returning to the US, where nothing has ever fit me. So I'm left with kinks that, relative to what I had RTW, seem lovable in comparison. I'm sufficiently happy with all but one order. They express me well. Perfection may not yet have been reached, but it's proximity is close enough for happiness and far enough for motivation.

    I understand what you're saying. I loved my first jacket the most, even though it is probably the most imperfect. As you say, there is an element of romance and adventure to be found in the bespoke process. It's tragic when one doesn't allow himself to savor it.

    At work, I stretch and coach my team to achieve greatness. I didn't do that with my tailors, and they probably regard me as an enthusiastic but interchangeable client.

    Well, I don't think you need to coach them--in fact, that sounds like the wrong approach. I'd deal with them like doctors. They are experts, yes, but the more transparent and open the patient, the easier it is for them to do their job right.

    I think some of these tailors probably could not be arsed to service people who are ignorant and cannot appreciate the good work that goes into a garment. I can see their point of view, but it sucks as a customer.

    I don't doubt there are a lot of tailors as you describe--but I don't think you can reasonably draw that inference from Montesquieu's experience.

    Another poster whose experiences are like Montesquieu's is Whnay. I wonder who he will settle with.

    How's that? Whnay's Rubinacci orders exhibit none of the problems we see here.
     

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