Stepping up to bespoke?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by chorse123, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    I'm curious to hear from some of you regarding your decision to order your first bespoke suit. When did you make the decision? What made up your mind? I'm toying with the idea right now. I don't have a huge need for a suit, nor do I even have the money right this moment, but it's something I would love to do, and am considering saving for one suit. I generally shop the super-discounts, but have been able to get a number of garments of very high quality which I love and which fit well, though far from perfectly.

    Of course, for the cost of Option A (one true bespoke suit, say, $4000), I could order Option B: a MTM suit, MTM jacket (or two), and a few pairs of trousers from someone like Mr. Ned. Oh and a pair of special order Gaziano Girling shoes.

    Oddly enough, I think my wife would probably support Option A more. Then again, it would probably mean I couldn't buy anything ever again without catching some grief.
     


  2. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    I'm curious to hear from some of you regarding your decision to order your first bespoke suit. When did you make the decision? What made up your mind? I'm toying with the idea right now. I don't have a huge need for a suit, nor do I even have the money right this moment, but it's something I would love to do, and am considering saving for one suit. I generally shop the super-discounts, but have been able to get a number of garments of very high quality which I love and which fit well, though far from perfectly.

    Of course, for the cost of Option A (one true bespoke suit, say, $4000), I could order Option B: a MTM suit, MTM jacket (or two), and a few pairs of trousers from someone like Mr. Ned. Oh and a pair of special order Gaziano Girling shoes.

    Oddly enough, I think my wife would probably support Option A more. Then again, it would probably mean I couldn't buy anything ever again without catching some grief.



    Option C: Go with Option A and lie about it to your wife. That's my recomendation [​IMG] "Oh this old suit? It's nothing, I've had it for years. Don't tell me you've never seen it before."
     


  3. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    Not even an option. She knows my wardrobe far too well!
     


  4. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    honestly, here is what I would do - go to a good cloth store in Manhatton and buy cloth for 4 or 5 suits. Take you wife for a week to thailand. on the first day, get fitted for a suit in cheap fabric. if you like it, have 5 suits made in your good fabric, meanwhile, travel to an island for 4 or 5 days, lie around on the beach and drink local rum and and mango juice, eat thai food. coem back, pick up your suits, fly hom.

    cost you about the same as a bespoke suit from saville row, and, for your purposes, will be just as good.
     


  5. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    It all depends on what stage your wardrobe is in. Do you already have enough clothes to get you through the week? I know I do. So at this point it's saving up for a few big purchases rather than lots of medium purchases. I would go with option A, but, again, that's just where I am --- wardrobe-replacing rather than wardrobe-building.
     


  6. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    This is not truly relevant to your question about a bespoke *suit*, but I recently commissioned an odd jacket. I decided to go this route because (a) I'm a difficult fit for RTW garments, (b) I've found and bought nice suits at the major discounters like SOF, but I've found exactly zero odd jackets in my size and in patterns/colors I would wear, (c) the price of bespoke will be equal to or less than high end MTM (e.g. Oxxford), and (d) I'm in a major city for the year and I hope to use this opportunity to establish a relationship with a quality tailor that will continue for many years and result in a great wardrobe.
     


  7. Master Shake

    Master Shake Senior member

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    Good post. I'm also taking the step up to full bespoke, having made an appointment with Mahon during his NYC visit. I think it partly stems from the fact that, with no small thanks to the forum, I have become much better educated on and therefore more fanatical about fit, craftsmanship, and silhouette. It is virtually impossible for me to find off-the-rack items that meet these criteria, and when I do, I am very unwilling to pay the price demanded for something that I will always find imperfect.

    I also am more into classicaly elegant clothing, have somewhat conservative tastes, and am only interested in two-button suits, so I rarely come across something I like at sale and that I would tolerate the imperfect nature because of the lower cost.

    I would much rather pay $4k for a bespoke suit than, say, $3k for a well-made MTM that will still not be perfect, or rather made specifically for me. That's basically what it has come down to.

    BTW, I haven't gotten to the point that I'd pay bespoke rates for trousers, shoes, and probably not for sportscoats. I still get trousers from Mr. Ned, but will probably get my sportscoats MTM for now. I'd rather devote my bespoke moneys to suits. [​IMG]
     


  8. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    JS,

    My thoughts are that given the sales opportunites in the city in which we live (and given VCH, EBAY etc) and unless you are hard to fit, I'd take a Borrelli/Kiton/Attolini off the rack anyday versus trying to get a tailor in the $2000-$4000 range to get you exactly what you want in a first suit. For $2000 (many times even less), the options are almost endless, it's just a matter of waiting for the right sale/ebay auction etc. Since you have time on your hands, this is not an issue. The bespoke road is usually one which takes some time to get to a place where you are 100% satisfied.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts.
     


  9. horton

    horton Senior member

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    I think you can go true bespoke for less than 4k. At least here in Boston you can do it for significantly less from really good tailors: Joe at Rizzos used to work at Louis and will do a three fitting bespoke for significantly less.

    I started with a workhorse suit, 2 button single vent, blue nailhead in a great fabric by Lesser. I plan on one a year for true basics.

    I fit RTW fairly well, and there are times I wonder if I'm better off getting great RTW on sale (and I still by plenty of RTW). However, everytime I wear my bespoke I end up convincing myself that there's no substitute. If you can afford it, I'd recommend it. I'd also recomment starting with the classics which you'll wear often and then build out.
     


  10. EL72

    EL72 Senior member

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    I'm with Ed on this one. Unless you are a very hard fit, you can never match the value of getting a high end RTW suit at 75% off by going bespoke. Bespoke tailoring is not a one-off deal either, you have to develop a long term relationship with a tailor to see a higher payoff.
     


  11. Carey

    Carey Senior member

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    I am not a perfect 42L, and I can't always find exactly what I want in stock. I have one Sameulsohn MTM suit, and one Samuelsohn MTM Navy blazer. I picked Samuelsohn becuase at $1200 for a suit in an A or B grade fabric, the quality is excellent for the price point.

    With MTM they measure your shoulders, chest, arm length, Length of your torso down your back, and measure some angles for your shoulder, and some other stuff I can't remember. You can pick "Surgeon" cuffs, so you can have working button-holes on the suit sleeves. You also pick center or side vents.

    Samuelsohn has three or four different silhouettes and you can pick the one that best suits your body and sense of style. You would do the same with a tailor, but at a much higher cost and hopefully significantly better construction.

    From my experience, an MTM garment will fit you much better than an off the rack garment. There should not be a compromise in fit, anywhere.

    If going bespoke is really going to spend all of your capital (what's in your pocket and with your wife who will always be on your ass when you want something else later - which inevitably you will), go MTM and build a very good wardrobe. If your budget can handle more than a suit and a sportscoat, then get some MTM shirts, too.
     


  12. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I'm a very hard fit - but I have always gone with bespoke, after the first 2 suits I bought at 22. I think that the best value of bespoke is avoiding the rock star tailors - I buy all of my clothing in developing countries, and it does offer a good value. espectially if you can control the fabric. I would never spend $4000 on a suit - but I also wouldn't pay $2000 for an off the rack suit, either.
     


  13. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    My first bespoke was a WWCHan. I can be reasonably lucky with OTR and did not NEED the suit. It was very much a luxury.

    That said, for me, the fun was not just in the result, a bespoke suit, but also in the process as well. I enjoyed the fittings, the choosing of the fabric, the agonizing over unimportant details, the back and forth. Basically, the overall experience was worth the extra expediture. I think it worth doing at least once - if I had the budget, I would do it more frequently.
     


  14. dkzzzz

    dkzzzz Senior member

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    My first bespoke was a WWCHan. I can be reasonably lucky with OTR and did not NEED the suit. It was very much a luxury.

    That said, for me, the fun was not just in the result, a bespoke suit, but also in the process as well. I enjoyed the fittings, the choosing of the fabric, the agonizing over unimportant details, the back and forth. Basically, the overall experience was worth the extra expediture. I think it worth doing at least once - if I had the budget, I would do it more frequently.


    Buenos Aires vacation + MTM suits.
     


  15. aportnoy

    aportnoy Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I agree that unless you are a complicated fit (and even if you are) a lot of the benmefit of bespoke is experiential. Developing a relationship with someone sartorially inclined who makes your dream garment come to life as well as indulging yourself are all to be considered as part of the bespoke payout.
     


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