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The Made-to-Measure Thread

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Well, that same notion applies to bartenders, as well. Yet, if you’re a dick and don’t care to find out what suits my palette, I don’t care about your drink and won’t pay for it.
Yea, I mean, my comment was mostly tongue in cheek. But there was a time on here when curt, slightly unfriendly fitters/ tailors were considered to be better than those who were eager to cater to every whim. I originally linked some threads, but didn't want to dig up old dirt, so I edited my comment. But there are some hilarious threads on here where customers have gotten into famous fights with tailors/ fitters.

In their vanity book, Anderson & Sheppard brags about their once unfriendly service. I think Graydon Carter wrote something in his opening to the effect of: "I would ask my fitter what he thought of some idea, and the fitter would curtly reply, 'well that's an idea,' and the matter would be dropped."

I've only been on the receiving end of some unfriendly service twice, and it's unpleasant. I agree I wouldn't go back to someone, or even give them my business, if I didn't like the service. Although lots of examples of people going to tailors with unrealistic expectations.
 

Nobilis Animus

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I've said it before, but this business of particular tailors or MTM makers being beacons of knowledge and founts of style who dress all their customers in the same manner begs the question of why go to the tailor at all? If you want a preconceived idea of a suit, then buy from a designer - it'll likely fit better and be more appropriate, especially if they work for you (i.e. you fit their mould of an ideal customer). In fact, the better ones offer bespoke services for select clientele.
 

bdavro23

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Yea, I mean, my comment was mostly tongue in cheek. But there was a time on here when curt, slightly unfriendly fitters/ tailors were considered to be better than those who were eager to cater to every whim. I originally linked some threads, but didn't want to dig up old dirt, so I edited my comment. But there are some hilarious threads on here where customers have gotten into famous fights with tailors/ fitters.

In their vanity book, Anderson & Sheppard brags about their once unfriendly service. I think Graydon Carter wrote something in his opening to the effect of: "I would ask my fitter what he thought of some idea, and the fitter would curtly reply, 'well that's an idea,' and the matter would be dropped."

I've only been on the receiving end of some unfriendly service twice, and it's unpleasant. I agree I wouldn't go back to someone, or even give them my business, if I didn't like the service. Although lots of examples of people going to tailors with unrealistic expectations.
You bring up a good point here about the role of the fitter. Obviously, getting the fit correct is a big part of it, but I think another part that gets lost often is stopping people from making bad decisions. For many people, getting a custom suit or jacket is a big expense and is often related to a special occasion. Its tempting to get a loud cloth or iGent-y details, and sometimes thats ok. I think the fitter/ sales person has an important role in understanding the client, the context in which the garment will be worn, and trying to steer the commission in the right direction. How you steer that particular ship is nearly as important as the direction you steer.

For people who arent enthusiasts, buying clothing and putting together appropriate looks can be difficult. Its difficult for many enthusiasts too! I think this is part of what you are paying for when you buy custom clothing. I have a friend who owns a menswear shop that does MTM and he is one of the best dressed and most stylish people that I know. He is also a recovering lawyer and when he was practicing, he wore wonderful outfits like he wears now that were hopelessly inappropriate for his work environment. Context is very important.
 

bdavro23

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I've said it before, but this business of particular tailors or MTM makers being beacons of knowledge and founts of style who dress all their customers in the same manner begs the question of why go to the tailor at all? If you want a preconceived idea of a suit, then buy from a designer - it'll likely fit better and be more appropriate, especially if they work for you (i.e. you fit their mould of an ideal customer). In fact, the better ones offer bespoke services for select clientele.
There is certainly some truth to what you're saying, but thats an awfully broad brush you're using.
 

Nobilis Animus

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There is certainly some truth to what you're saying, but thats an awfully broad brush you're using.
It's more the perception of some people, not everyone, who are usually new to dealing with tailors or MTM makers.

Perhaps it's a bit of a generalization, but it seems to me that approaching a maker with the idea that they know what the customer needs more than the customer himself could be one of the reasons for poor outcomes. Designers will at least make clothes to perfectly fit their exact idea of their preferred client.

I would suggest to anyone that they first know what they actually want. If a tailor insists on doing things his way over the client's, well... that sounds more like a bad designer.
 

bdavro23

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It's more the perception of some people, not everyone, who are usually new to dealing with tailors or MTM makers.

Perhaps it's a bit of a generalization, but it seems to me that approaching a maker with the idea that they know what the customer needs more than the customer himself could be one of the reasons for poor outcomes. Designers will at least make clothes to perfectly fit their exact idea of their preferred client.

I would suggest to anyone that they first know what they actually want. If a tailor insists on doing things his way over the client's, well... that sounds more like a bad designer.
I think many people, most perhaps, dont really know what they want. Or at least havent thought things through all the way. There are plenty of things that sound like a great idea on paper, but become much more limited in utility when its made, or worse, look like a costume. I think the role of a good fitter/ maker isnt to tell someone what they need, but rather ask questions and find out the purpose of the garment. If they do a good job of that then they are in a position to help the client make good decisions.

At the end of the day, the client has to make the decisions, but they shouldnt do that in a vacuum. I'm not sure how buying from a designer resolves any of these issues, but I will say that if you can find what you like/ need in RTW and it fits well, then generally thats the way to go.
 

classicalthunde

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I think the fitter/ sales person has an important role in understanding the client, the context in which the garment will be worn, and trying to steer the commission in the right direction. How you steer that particular ship is nearly as important as the direction you steer.
This is a big part for me, a lot of places can offer customization options but a good fit and sound advice is more difficult to come by and I think more valuable in the long run. I may want a Spalla Camicia charcoal grey suit with patch pockets cause I saw it on Permanent Style, but I'm not Simon Crompton, I dont have his build, and I dont have nearly the depth of wardrobe to justify a niche piece like that. For someone who only has a classic navy suit and tuxedo, a Frankenstein Neapolitan-business suit is something that I should probably be talked out of...
 

Nobilis Animus

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I think many people, most perhaps, dont really know what they want. Or at least havent thought things through all the way. There are plenty of things that sound like a great idea on paper, but become much more limited in utility when its made, or worse, look like a costume. I think the role of a good fitter/ maker isnt to tell someone what they need, but rather ask questions and find out the purpose of the garment. If they do a good job of that then they are in a position to help the client make good decisions.

At the end of the day, the client has to make the decisions, but they shouldnt do that in a vacuum. I'm not sure how buying from a designer resolves any of these issues, but I will say that if you can find what you like/ need in RTW and it fits well, then generally thats the way to go.
I agree, there ought to be back and forth communication between the customer and the maker.

Where designers can be superior to RTW, even in their off-the-rack offerings, is in their approach to making clothing to fit a certain demographic/build/silhouette rather than trying to fit everyone. It doesn't solve the issue of creating new designs, but it may fix some of the fitting issues. Tailoring is more like trying to design and fit the clothes simultaneously, which is why communication from the customer is key.
 

Nobilis Animus

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This is a big part for me, a lot of places can offer customization options but a good fit and sound advice is more difficult to come by and I think more valuable in the long run. I may want a Spalla Camicia charcoal grey suit with patch pockets cause I saw it on Permanent Style, but I'm not Simon Crompton, I dont have his build, and I dont have nearly the depth of wardrobe to justify a niche piece like that. For someone who only has a classic navy suit and tuxedo, a Frankenstein Neapolitan-business suit is something that I should probably be talked out of...
Good advice is definitely necessary for those new to custom clothes, and more common in individuals than companies - i.e. the individual fitter rather than a brand image.

I'm not sure though that a tailor will be able to inform a client's tastes properly, no matter how well he cuts. Co-incidentally, a Neapolitan business suit is something almost anyone should be talked out of, IMO.
 

bdavro23

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Theres been lots of words recently, and too few pictures. This is my navy jacket and this is the happiest I've been with any of the incumbents of that position. The cloth is a great Scabal Lambswool/ Cashmere blend that has a lot of body as well as some visual texture. The shirt has the collar that I have transitioned to and will be using for my future orders. The trousers are an older pair of VBC flannel from a previous maker that are due to be replaced, but the cloth is nice.

PXL_20201008_164903065.jpg
PXL_20201008_164913451.jpg
PXL_20201008_164922004.jpg
 

FlyingHorker

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Yea, I mean, my comment was mostly tongue in cheek. But there was a time on here when curt, slightly unfriendly fitters/ tailors were considered to be better than those who were eager to cater to every whim. I originally linked some threads, but didn't want to dig up old dirt, so I edited my comment. But there are some hilarious threads on here where customers have gotten into famous fights with tailors/ fitters.

In their vanity book, Anderson & Sheppard brags about their once unfriendly service. I think Graydon Carter wrote something in his opening to the effect of: "I would ask my fitter what he thought of some idea, and the fitter would curtly reply, 'well that's an idea,' and the matter would be dropped."

I've only been on the receiving end of some unfriendly service twice, and it's unpleasant. I agree I wouldn't go back to someone, or even give them my business, if I didn't like the service. Although lots of examples of people going to tailors with unrealistic expectations.
I can't remember if it was you who posted it, but there was a comedy skit about this about a big guy who goes to the tailor.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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I've said it before, but this business of particular tailors or MTM makers being beacons of knowledge and founts of style who dress all their customers in the same manner begs the question of why go to the tailor at all? If you want a preconceived idea of a suit, then buy from a designer - it'll likely fit better and be more appropriate, especially if they work for you (i.e. you fit their mould of an ideal customer). In fact, the better ones offer bespoke services for select clientele.
I'm not sure what you mean. But one of the advantages of going to a tailor is that he or she can better address how a suit or sport coat is supposed to fit. Most people don't know how a jacket is supposed to fit, so they need someone to guide them. Broadly speaking, sales associates are also not very good in this area.

If you go to a good tailor, they may also be known for a certain house style, which sometimes exists outside the realm of fashion (I hate using style vs fashion dichotomies, but hopefully you know what I mean). Ready to wear is much more driven by trends. But if you go to a tailoring house, that suit may be able to be worn for many decades, rather than whenever the trend for narrow lapels or whatever goes out of fashion.

The best tailoring houses, I think, are often know for a specific house style and are able to guide you towards better choices. They can also help you achieve a more flattering silhouette, which is possible in bespoke since very small changes can make a big impact on how you look. That may not always be possible with RTW or MTM since you're working with block patterns.

Obviously, this depends on your ability to find a good tailor, which is a challenge in and of itself.

Very broadly speaking, I'm generally not impressed with tailors who promise to deliver whatever the client wants. Those places lack "flavor," for lack of a better word. The suits end up looking boring.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Perhaps it's a bit of a generalization, but it seems to me that approaching a maker with the idea that they know what the customer needs more than the customer himself could be one of the reasons for poor outcomes. Designers will at least make clothes to perfectly fit their exact idea of their preferred client.
From what I've seen, poor outcomes happen when the customer interjects too much. (Assuming you've found a good tailor, anyway)
 

norMD

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I Really like the western inspiration earlier in this thread. Any other suggestions for IG accounts to follow?
 

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