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Seattle bespoke - Kuhlmans?

stickonatree

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Hi all,

I haven't posted here in a while now, glad to see the new changes and thriving community that's still here!

I'm looking into a Seattle area bespoke tailor to make my wedding tux, and it seems like there are only 2 choices - Gian and Kuhlman. I can find plenty of info on Gian, both good and bad, however I can't seem to find anything on Kuhlman. I talked to him a few months ago and he seems to know all of the various "test" questions I posed to him to test his knowledge. He quoted me a rough estimate of $1,000 for bespoke, which is pretty insanely cheap for bespoke. He also told me he does everything in-house.

Does anyone have any experience getting a suit or tux (or anything bespoke or MTM) from Kuhlman's? Any info would be greatly appreciated! :)
 

Edgein

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Is he in Seattle or Bellevue? A friend had some clothes made by a tailor in Bellevue and was happy with his work. Don't know if he's still around. I could ask. May take a day or two and I'll let you know. No info on either of the others you mentioned. There is a tailor in Belltown that's very expensive and from what I understand, quite good as well.
 

Coburn

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Siegfried Hartmann is in Bellevue.
I'd like to know more about Kuhlman -$1000 seems more like MTM prices
 

stickonatree

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Actually I goofed - it's supposed to be at $2k prices, not $1k!

I've used Hartmann for a bit but I thought he only did MTM?

Edgein - are you also talking about Hartmann?
 

Edgein

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Still working on it. I'll respond asap.
 

Svenn

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I talked to him a few months ago and he seems to know all of the various "test" questions I posed to him to test his knowledge.

What exactly were these questions? Honestly, it seems unlikely to me that there is some amazing bespoke tailor hidden in Seattle that has escaped discovery... if you're not coming up with anything then that probably means all youre gonna get is MTM, or worse yet, glorified MTM passed off as bespoke. You have to realize that the full SF conceptualization of 'bespoke', being able to customize EVERY detail of the suit, is rarely available in the modern world, and is partly why the igent world has narrowed down the number of acceptable tailors to so few, mostly in Europe. If youre just looking for a quick tux then it's probably fine just to go with a local MTM option, but if you're looking to customize lapel width, collar height, canvassing structure, cloth choice, finishing details, etc etc, nobody local is going to be able to offer that to you at a reasonable price. I have a couple local cutters that I experiment with, and a tailor overseas that implements it... this is after very unsatisfactory experiences on Savile Row, Hong Kong, among other places. Then again I realize I'm extremely picky, so if you find what you're looking for, all the best and certainly let us know :)
 

Coburn

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I see that Gian Decaro has a new web site claiming bespoke suiting.
Is this true bespoke or just MTM?
 

Svenn

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I see that Gian Decaro has a new web site claiming bespoke suiting.
Is this true bespoke or just MTM?

Someone I talked to said he does indeed do bespoke for an extra cost, but he doesn't sound like the kind of personality that will let you customize much. There are tons of 'bespoke' tailors out there who in reality will just make you a house cut with a few tweeks, but aren't really going to let you have much say more than that. To me that defeats the purpose, and who gives a damn if he drew out my pattern on the cloth with chalk.

I'd recommend to seattle friends seeking to develop a bespoke wardrobe just to spend the extra $900 on airfare to hongkong or bangkok... yea it'll cost equal if not more than a local 'bespoke' option at the start, but once they nail down youre pattern you can get perfect suits churned out at $400, rather than having to repeat $3000 suits.
 

Coburn

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I'd recommend to seattle friends seeking to develop a bespoke wardrobe just to spend the extra $900 on airfare to hongkong or bangkok... yea it'll cost equal if not more than a local 'bespoke' option at the start, but once they nail down youre pattern you can get perfect suits churned out at $400, rather than having to repeat $3000 suits.

Did you do this? Who is the tailor?
 

robin

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I have not ordered anything custom from Scott Kuhlman yet but I am a regular customer of his through his store and I have been able to handle several jackets that he's made over the years, all of which seemed pretty nice. (fwiw, I've also heard great things about this custom work from other local folks)
 

pranaferox

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Yep, for several years now... the tailor overseas or the cutter in seattle?
I'm also interested if there is someone you'd recommend in Bangkok. My girlfriend's family lives there, so I'm over there fairly regularly.
 

stickonatree

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What exactly were these questions? Honestly, it seems unlikely to me that there is some amazing bespoke tailor hidden in Seattle that has escaped discovery... if you're not coming up with anything then that probably means all youre gonna get is MTM, or worse yet, glorified MTM passed off as bespoke. You have to realize that the full SF conceptualization of 'bespoke', being able to customize EVERY detail of the suit, is rarely available in the modern world, and is partly why the igent world has narrowed down the number of acceptable tailors to so few, mostly in Europe. If youre just looking for a quick tux then it's probably fine just to go with a local MTM option, but if you're looking to customize lapel width, collar height, canvassing structure, cloth choice, finishing details, etc etc, nobody local is going to be able to offer that to you at a reasonable price. I have a couple local cutters that I experiment with, and a tailor overseas that implements it... this is after very unsatisfactory experiences on Savile Row, Hong Kong, among other places. Then again I realize I'm extremely picky, so if you find what you're looking for, all the best and certainly let us know :)

Thanks for the response! for Kuhlmans and Gian both are "bespoke" with caveats - both are not done in house, and they wouldn't reveal their source(s). while not necessarily a bad thing it does set off an alarm. they both let you customize many options, including my questioning for lapel width, curl, button stance, shoulder roping, outsourced full canvas, structuring, etc. While i know there are more parts to a jacket than these, i'll have to say that probably only these 2 tailors even will let you customize these options, therefore "seattle bespoke."

(un)fortunately like yourself, i have been on the forums for a while now and have become quite a snob when it comes to suiting, and now with my tux-ing as well :embar:

and that's a great tip about going to HK to get that pattern done instead. i haven't thought of that before and people will probably think i'm crazy, but i can already see the potential cost-savings adding up!

and lastly - love to know your overseas/asia tailor as well!
 
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Svenn

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^I'm surprised they let you customize that much... yes that is slightly creepy they won't reveal their sources. My hunch is they use someone in HK or China, as do many American bespoke options. All the better reason just to go to HK yourself to avoid the middle man. Others may claim that Western tailors have superior tailoring abilities, better shaping to the jackets, etc, but honestly I much prefer my unstructured Thai jackets to my fully canvassed Savile Row behemoth, which cost ten times as much, and will cost hundreds as much over a lifetime if I want to tweek the pattern, get different styles, etc. The tailor I used in Bangkok is Narin, he does a good job except the sleeve caps are a too high for my tastes.
 

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