spoon tailor -hong kong bespoke operation in San Francisco

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Gong Tao, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. cropknox

    cropknox Active Member

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    Yeah, small shops tend not to carry much inventory, especially the higher end stuff . . . it basically comes with the territory when you get into the world of custom made clothing. Shops like Spoon Tailors are basically a cottage industry. You just have to patient. The suiting selected had to be ordered too, which took two - three weeks.

    I had my first fitting last week and I was impressed. I spoke at length with Andrew and the cutter (Andrew and Kevin's father I think). One thing that ought to be noted here is that Spoon simply a MTM tailor. Their process definitely passes the criteria to be considered fully bespoke.

    1) Andrew or Kevin take measurements at the consultation
    2) A very generic pattern is cut
    3) At the first fitting, the cutter notes how the basted pattern sits and what need to be done
    4) Per what he sees at the 1st fitting, the cutter re-cuts a unique for the client
    5) Subsequent fittings occur once the garment is more finished where details are dialed in
     
  2. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    +1 to the above

    I'd also add that February is a difficult time to get anything made in China - most factories and workshops close for the weeks around Lunar (Chinese) New Year, to allow their employees to go home to visit their families. In many cases this is the only time all year that the workers are able to return to their home village/town/city.
     
  3. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    You should wash it a couple of times and then gauge the fit.
     
  4. ultramantaro

    ultramantaro Senior member

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    So they charge you 800+ for a suit that's made overseas in presumably Shenzhen? Wow.

    I'm curious as to the cuts of the suits that come out, and the legitimacy of the fabric that's of the pricier kind like many posters have shown.
     
  5. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    I've seen no evidence that their fabric is anything but legit, I'm not sure what you're asking / implying here.

    Do you think $800 is a lot, or a little?
     
  6. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    +1, and if you're still not happy, talk to Andrew. In my experience they'll alter the shirt at no charge - but keep in mind that shirt alterations go back to HK and take a few weeks. Once they make the change to your measurements they'll make future shirts to match.
     
  7. ultramantaro

    ultramantaro Senior member

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    If they make their suits in Shenzhen then 800 is yes, a lot. If made in HK it would be a fair price, and made in US (assuming min wage labor) would be a deal.
     
  8. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    BTW at $180 for Thomas Mason, you would do better to buy fabric from SF user badsha and use Spoon's CMT service. My typical cost for a shirt is about $140: $75 for the fabric + $65 for the tailoring. That's for high thread count Grandi & Rubinelli fabric, which is easily on par with TM Silverline & Goldline. Top of the line G&R 200/2 Skytwill ran $110 (for 2.5 meters), so for a shirt that's comparable to the Alumo Soyella that Spoon would charge $250+ to make, I paid $175 net.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  9. thomaspaine

    thomaspaine Senior member

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    BTW I spoke with Andrew about the fit and they're going to alter the shirt free of charge.

    I think I'll try CMT next time. They provide good service, but I can't afford to drop $180 on a shirt.
     
  10. otheme

    otheme Well-Known Member

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    Today I got back my third suit with Spoon, and I am beyond ecstatic.

    As I posted earlier, my first suit wasn't 100% there, and that was largely due to Spoon's sewers in HK/China not following exactly the pattern cut by the master tailor, Mr. Lee (Andrew and Calvin's uncle). The second suit suffered less of that problem, but still didn't have the exact lapel gorge position I wanted. At that time, they were still using the same sewer.

    But now, according to Andrew, they have hired a new sewer(s) and eliminated that problem. This happened around the same time when they started offering full canvas suits. Apparently, their current sewer is older, more experienced with full canvases, and, most importantly, puts together the suit exactly as it was cut. The result -- what I told Mr. Lee how I wanted everything, got executed 120%. Lapel width, gorge position, button stance, sleeve head size, chest size, waist suppression, etc.

    This is the photo I showed Spoon, to be used as a reference:

    [​IMG]

    And this is the result:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I was so happy with it, that I wore it out of their Westin store. And for the next 15 minutes when I walked around Union Square, I got countless looks from the ladies, one guy telling me on the street I looked very sharp, and one retail store clerk asking me where I got it from.

    Spoon is the best hidden treasure in town. However, for those of you who haven't done bespoke suits before, keep in mind that it rarely happens that your first suit would give you exactly what you want (and this applies to any tailor). This is because most people only want a "look" but do not know to communicate that to a tailor (e.g., arm hole height, lapel shape/position, button stance, shoulder/collar shape, chest/waist suppression, sleeve pitch/width/length, etc.). Meanwhile, the tailor is usually reluctant to give you an aggressive cut as the first suit, because he doesn't know how comfortable you are with a suit that looks sharp but feels "tighter" from the off-the-shelf boxy ones. Also, don't be afraid to make many trips for alteration -- Mr. Lee was never tired of re-working things.

    Now I think I'll throw away some old stuff and shop for more fabrics on Ebay :D
     
  11. cropknox

    cropknox Active Member

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    Why on Earth would you presume they substitute fabric? I have really no reason to doubt thier honesty. Spoon is very well respected in younger SF Finiancial District/Downtown circles. During my first fitting, Andrew made a point to show me the LP selvage marking and factory tag. As to whether their workshop is inland or on the coast, I don't really know. Everyone at Spoon speaks Cantonese with pronounced Hong Kong accent for whatever that's worth.
     
  12. otheme

    otheme Well-Known Member

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    Shenzhen or HK, equal-quality labor costs about the same, otherwise one side will starve to death. Efficient market, right? BTW, IPAD3 is also made in Shenzhen.

    I don't care if it's sewn in Afghanistan. I am gladly paying $800 for a service that allows me to talk directly to the master tailor during basted shell fitting, the same man who personally cuts my pattern and does unlimited number of follow-up alterations. The fact that it's the same hand that cuts/sews the fabric and feels the suit on my body, that's priceless. Name me one shop in the US or Europe that can offer this kind of service at this price level.

    When one commissions a tailored suit, he is buying a service. The material and manufacturing cost is only a small portion. If this is incomprehensible, may I suggest BR factory outlets?




     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  13. badsha

    badsha Senior member

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    English cloth? Andrew Rogers. He might take your order if you ask nicely.
     
  14. otheme

    otheme Well-Known Member

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    Kennon, did you ask for any alteration when you got the suit back the first time? If I were you, I'd take the suit and shirt back and get them both altered until the fit is right. Ask the tailor to pin the suit so you can see the difference.

    Here is what I think of the suit:

    (1) the collar needs to be re-attached, obviously, until it hugs your neck.
    (2) the chest seems a bit too big
    (3) sleeves can be narrower
    (4) some extra fabric on shoulders, they are not flat
    (5) pants too long, and too wide
    (6) shirts sleeves too long, too wide, chest and waist are both too wide.





     
  15. lysandar

    lysandar Senior member

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    I'm not particularly gifted nor as experienced as many of the other gents in this forum - and its great that you like it - but the end-result could look better. For starters, the shoulders seem to be far more padded than your reference photo; coupled with the extension of the pad well beyond your shoulder point, doesn't seem like a good look to me.

    There also appears to be plenty of ruffling going on in the sleeves (pitch issue? too much excess cloth?) as well as tightening across the midsection of the suit (pulling downward - a button stance or balance issue?). Perhaps folks with more experience in such matters could shed better light.
     

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