T&A Bespoke

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by wja, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. wja

    wja Well-Known Member

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    It was implied, in another thread, that there may be a problem with buying bespoke from T&A. I would be very interested to know what it is. Thanks, Bill
     


  2. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Hmmm. An O'Reilly fan?

    If you are stateside, there are places you could do better. Generally, smaller shirtmakers will pay more attention to your needs than one which makes 6-7000 shirts a week.

    Barton & Donaldson in Phila, Anto in LALA.

    The only problem with any firm like T&A is that you are a small needle in a HUGE haystack.
     


  3. wja

    wja Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Mr. K. I bring this up because, after nearly 20 years of good service, I seem to have become lost in that haystack.
     


  4. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    The pros of ordering from Turnbull:

    1. Unique shirt designs exclusive to the store.

    2. Some unique styling options not available in the mass, MTM makers, such as the 3 button barrel cuff and the James Bond Cuff.

    3. Nice sales help.

    4. Beautiful pearl buttons and finishing.

    5. They have no problem in fixing a problem until it is right (perhaps this is a "con".)


    Now, for the cons:

    1. The production can be eratic. Can take as long as 6 months for an order. One possible reason is that NYC let go Robert Gillotte as its bespoke manager. He constantly followed-up to get orders done and sent. He also followed-up to get the orders right the first time, and there were very few returns.

    2. Fitting is long-distance. Simon or Michael in NYC are merely e-mailing your measurements to the factory. The pattern and production are done in the factory in the English countryside. They also e-mail a photo. Do not be surprised if a sample shirt has to be re-done.

    3. As a result of the fitting and manufacturing being long-distance, you would not work closely with the craftsman who makes the shirt, and you would not have the imput that you would have with an Alexander Kabbaz.
     


  5. wja

    wja Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I have a problem which has been going on since May. I've been back twice since but Simon was out of the shop each time. I think that I should give himself a chance to make things right before I vent here, in public. Happy Holidays.
     


  6. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    Just received my first "try" bespoke shirt from T&A London.

    They made a hash of it, committing every "fit" error that A. Kabbaz described in his previous posts.

    But on the plus side, I received the shirt within 2 weeks of ordering it, they were very accomodating to design a shirt quite unlike their standard house style, great fabric selection even when foregoing the exclusive poplins which can be too loud but rather looking at the higher count cottons which tend to be more elegant, and the price was not wildly out of line given the T&A premium one would expect to pay.

    Most importantly, given that the try shirt often comes out wrong, part of the bespoke experience , I am sure that T&A will correct it on my next London visit and get it right next time. While fit needs to be perfected, quality and service was excellent. I very much enjoyed the shopping experience in T&A, London and will be giving them my trade in future.
     


  7. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Well, I have not ordered bespoke shirts from T&A only MTM from NM. But, even though the NM measurements were correct, the sleeves on the first shirt I ordered were too long and they needed to be taken in. As well the shirt took over 3 months longer than promised. The subsequent two orders were closer to the correct sleeve sizing, but still required that the sleeves be taken in. As well they ran at over 8 months of production time.

    I then tried to contact T&A via telephone and email on innumerable occasions, even Andy Gilchrist tried to help me out in contacting them, but alas I was never able to get the attention that I would deem necessary for the prices charged. None of my questions were answered in a timely fashion, if at all. I was told 3 separate prices by 3 separate sales people for the same type of shirt with the exact same fabric, collar style, and cuff option. As well, I was told of 2 different ways that they send sample shirts and determine your correct size. Such disorganization is dumbfounding, 3rd world seraglios have better organization.

    Then on my last trip to Manhattan, I went to T&A one and one half hours before they closed on Friday, and was told that the store closed early. Thus I had to return Saturday morning (when you only have 5 days in New York, you are limited to a finite amount of time and must be quite precise with use of that time). Hence, after trying to get someone's attention for well over 20 minutes, they finally obliged me and took my measurements (I decided to indeed try to order shirts directly from NYC, since after all I was at the end pleased with my NM-ordered shirts) and I requested that they send me two of the small fabric sample books to my house, since I was not returning back to my hotel and was not going to carry them with me all day long.

    Alas, I never received the fabric samples and thus I ended my business with T&A.

    Jon.
     


  8. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    That's outrageous. What a disappointment.

    T&A is an institution and their shirtings are unique.
    You could freshen your look by just adding some of their shirts to your exisiting wardrobe.
    I wouldn't give up on them.

    My London experience was completely the opposite: smooth, punctual, efficient, curteous, accomodating. I had three salesmen waiting on me at the same time. There's a very nice gal from Kentucky there as well.

    Couldn't have been more pleasant if they served me a martini while browsing the books and books of samples.
     


  9. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    WHAT. NO MARTINI? Now that's outrageous. [​IMG] Seriously though, I am envious that you have had such luck with them. They had a woman from Kentucky working in London? Fascinating. Jon.
     


  10. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    Yes, the martini bit was a disappointment but honestly, the store, its style, history and staff are so welcoming that I could happily wile away a rainy day there. Now if only they had a bar....
    ....not only a gal from Kentucky but Eric Clapton dropped in for a chat and to buy some socks. Everyone was as matter of fact as could be.
    Everyone needs T&A socks, afterall.
     


  11. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Kabbaz-Kelly Fine Custom Shirtmakers Serving martinis with pride since 1937 631-267-7909
     


  12. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    Alex, I've got a feeling that I would be very happy in your shop shooting the breeze.

    You've spent alot of your time educating me about your craft and that's really very much appreciated by me.

    Plus, I've got to say, I think there's a fine writer lurking in you.

    I hope to pass by some day and introduce myself....I'll bring the shaker and whatever else.....what's your preferred brand?
     


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