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The Hong Kong Tailors Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Silk, Apr 6, 2007.

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  1. Gatsbyu

    Gatsbyu Senior member

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    Why you think it is awful ? Although it is far far away from good tailoring, you can see tailoring work like this in Peninsula Hotel and Intercontinental Hotel.
     
  2. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    WW. Chan Forward Fitting​



    The second fitting was pretty close to my expectation.

    Besides the trouser was pretty much finished, the waistcoat and the jacket were still half way. I suspected such arrangement would be ideal for any last minute major amendments before delivery.

    Fitting wise, the trouser now fits better and more into my taste. The waistcoat needed to trim up on the back and loosen up the waist. the sleeve pitch of the coat need some small amendment and cuff have to be lengthen, middle seam was also a bit off centered.

    Again Patrick came out this time to my surprise because I had changed my fitting time on spot and I was not expecting him anyhow.

    One thing I am pleased with are the trimmings, much better quality then the other common tailors (i.e. I sometimes supply own trimmings to Grand Tailor if needed). Canvass does feel very good quality and appear to be partly hand stitched and attached (I have fully hand attached canvass coat in Hong Kong before). Cut is certainly more Lai's vibe but more refined.

    Overall, I believe that they have put a lot of effort and the order does appear to have a very English vibe. It is certainly comparable to some of my English stuff made in UK.

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  3. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Many thanks for posting, it is going to be a good addition to your wardrobe your excellent skill and discernment. The final photograph captures your sills superbly even in its half finished state. That you supply your own trimmings to some marks this out as well. All this is one of the reasons why I find a view of the whole of the inside of the jacket shows the attention to detail by the tailor/cutter - or its absence.

    Are you having the trousers without braces or is there absence merely because it is a fitting.
     
  4. seferphier

    seferphier Well-Known Member

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    I don't see much point of asking people on this forum how much they would pay for such craftsmanship. I wouldn't shell out any money for it since I would have to use a cheap fabric to go with it.

    Most of the work done by HK tailors are quite poor and rely on the ignorance of the customers. Most people don't know the quality they are getting and rely on the general look and feel of the suit. In the tailor's defense, it is a hard business since profits are so low. HK tailors need to cut a lot of corners to be able to make a decent margin.
     
  5. Gatsbyu

    Gatsbyu Senior member

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    Like what you said, tailors in HK did poor work. Many of them make money on ignorance of customers. Do you think it is good for the industry and customers ? By asking the question, I hope some meaningful discussion can be done.

    Just today, one user here posts pics of WWChan second fitting. What makes WWChan stand out, from those pics, is not the fit or canvassing, but the tailoring work they used for the waistcoat. Attaching this kind of tailor taping is very time consuming and truly traditional work. Also, the white tape on the dart is closed by manual ZigZag (by moving needle direction back and forth on a normal lockstitching machine). So, instead of using general feel and fit to comment on the coat. Tailoring work is much more useful for it. More important, it is what tailors spend their time on and try to improve, to make a better coat.

    Knowing more tailoring knowledge helps customers spend money on what it deserves. And, it starts from identifying what is bad.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  6. BigbigJohnny

    BigbigJohnny Well-Known Member

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    Very true.
    The waist coat looks spectacular
    However it is too much (price) for me to get one at Chan

     
  7. seferphier

    seferphier Well-Known Member

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    WW Chan's pants are really well done. Impressive work as always.

    Consumers are forcing the tailoring industry into that direction. Most consumers aren't willing to pay. Why pay 5-20k for a suit when you can go to H&M to pick up something for 600 dollars that is similar? Tailoring is a really tough business.

    Threats to tailoring business:
    • Lots of substitutes (eg: fast retailing: H&M, Zara)
    • People gravitate to branded goods
    • High fixed cost (all retail businesses are held hostage by the rent in HK)
    • Extremely labour intensive (Camps De Luca said it takes them 70 man hours for a suit)
    • Lack of supply of good labour (steep learning curve- it takes decades of training to do that kind of high end work). Who wants to work so hard in an industry that pays so little?

    Luckily for the tailoring industry there had been innovations such as fused canvas. It saves time and is easy to learn which reduces the cost to build a suit. You can further increase your profits by outsourcing it to China. You can train someone from scratch pretty easily. Most of the tailoring shops in HK will get wiped out without fused canvas. It is good for consumers that we still have a choice. I paid 3k for a suit in Central. It's a great starter suit. I'm a small guy and I can't buy anything off retail.

    I believe that the tailoring industry will die off in the next decades or two. You will always have "tailors" doing fused canvases but the art of tailoring will be lost soon.
     
  8. Gatsbyu

    Gatsbyu Senior member

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    Similar ?! Gosh, it is really a tough business.
     
  9. Hifilover

    Hifilover Senior member

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    Do you think the jacket is a little short for classic look ?
     
  10. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    I think the jacket length is alright... they have made it longer already.
     
  11. seferphier

    seferphier Well-Known Member

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    We wouldn't say it's remotely similar. But for most people, it seems similar or can't tell the difference
     
  12. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    I should have take the inside of the fitting coat in my first fitting but I forgot. I am sure another chance will come by in my next commission.

    In this second fitting, they have not attach the braces buttons yet so I did not use any braces during the second fitting.

    Hopefully this gave some more insight to members here. Actually I do recall Lai and Grand Tailor also put canvass to the jacket and the waistcoat.

    But for this project, I can say WW Chan did a neat construction job.
     
  13. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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    When I was fitted at AMHC, they used a brace with clips
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  14. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Thanks .

    It is actually the inside of the finished coat that is of interest, the construction is interesting to confirm how it has been made. The inside finishing of some reputable tailors is often poor - as I have found to my cost. That was by a one-time Anderson and Sheppard trained cutter of considerable experience who should simply not have let both suits out of his shop. That taught me a valuable lesson.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  15. klp2332

    klp2332 Well-Known Member

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    The Lai Si Fu Operation feat. Michael -- A Brief Review

    I had the pleasure to have had Lai Si Fu to produce a few pieces (CMT) for me. Lai Si Fu's workshop was located away from the financial districts of Hong Kong in a quaint area called Sham Shui Po. Not surprisingly, you will not find 'extravagance or ritz' here, that is more paradigmatic of the notable tailor houses in Central, or even Tsim Sha Tsui. Rather, Lai Si Fu's operation is a straight to the point, 'no frills' experience. A much better process focused on the clothes themselves, I take it.

    The middleman, Michael, acted as a mediator between Lai Si Fu and I, translating various sartorial terms and offering much advice that an ignorant client, like myself, cannot do without. Michael is knowledgeable, efficient, and responsible -- I can learn a thing or two from him.

    The house cut comprises of thin shoulders, a modern aggressive taper, and some identifiable Shanghai/Taipan Row-esque features. Take a look yourself.

    3 Piece Minnis Fresco - Single-Breasted Peak Lapel

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    There were, however, some minor handiwork and fit issues, especially with the trousers. However, Michael assures me that these can be improved the next time around. After all, this was only my first iteration.

    Tweed/Cashmere Jacket

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    Bonus Pictures

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    The months immediately preceding Christmas and the New Year are most often the busiest for tailors, and Lai Si Fu is no exception. I gather that they are currently swamped with production, so expect a long delivery time.

    Finally, I have commissioned a two-piece Midnight suit from Lai Si Fu. And I am confident that we will be able to resolve some of the minor issues present in our first iteration of the suit. I will promptly report back with full details when I have received delivery.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
    2 people like this.
  16. Limniscate

    Limniscate Senior member

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    Looks pretty solid. Is that the 8/9 oz. or 9/10 oz. Fresco?
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. klp2332

    klp2332 Well-Known Member

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    It should be the 9/10 oz.
     
  18. Hifilover

    Hifilover Senior member

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  19. Isolation

    Isolation Senior member

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    Fresco loves you too <3
     
  20. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    Thank you for your detailed review work. From your pictures, those looks lovely. However, I will like to discuss more generally on Lai's cutting style. One thing that really come across my mind is his "forward" cutting. I always feel he pushes the majority of volume on the front and aggressively trimmed down the proportion at the back. While I am sure with his proportion movement would still be fine, but do you think that a more balanced cut would make one's body shape more flattering? At current most of the masculine lines are at the back but at the front it looks slightly flat and lean. Another matter is I find Lai's coat sits rather low with a long collar band. this makes the coat looks like a "pullover" rather than a structured external piece. With the forward cut, I find Lai's trouser sometimes (depends the taper you wanted) looks imbalanced. Since most of the volume is at the front, sometimes I find the legs looks "crooked" with his trouser on. This is really served as a general discussion and in no way in disrepute to Lai's craftmanship, in fact besides some gritty construction work, he is probably one of the best one can find in Hong Kong for the price tag. p.s. I had been in discussion with Lai on how to make a more balanced cut.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015

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