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The Made-to-Measure Thread

othertravel

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@othertravel hmm I wonder if that was done correctly? As I understand it, collar gap is fixed by "shortening" the collar.

iammatt from AAAC

"Shortening the collar is where the tailor takes off the collar of the jacket and shortens the backneck either by taking in the center seam, or by taking in the shoulder seams on the back side. The collar is then reattached and since it is now longer than the area that has been taken in, it needs to be shortened slightly at the ends. "
Thank you for posting this. I don’t think they did that. That said, it kind of turned me off from using them in the future, although I still love their shirts and trousers. Will try different MTM options in the future.
 

FlyingHorker

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Thank you for posting this. I don’t think they did that. That said, it kind of turned me off from using them in the future, although I still love their shirts and trousers. Will try different MTM options in the future.
Understandable man. Collar gap is one of those things no one will notice but menswear forums, but it's been enough to make me uncomfortable wearing a particular jacket and feel unsatisfied.
 

Despos

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Here’s a relatively recent commission from Spier and Mackay.

At first I was really impressed at how it turned out:

View attachment 1485624
View attachment 1485625
But, it has a glaring problem they were unable to fix.

When the suit came in, there was a huge collar gap problem. They said it was fixable by taking the collar in.

That addressed it a little bit, but whenever I move around, the jacket has a tendency to shift on my frame and reopen the gap.

It’s unfortunate because everything else turned out nicely. But it’s the only suit in my collection with that issue, and makes me less likely to wear it.
Collar gap is from improper shoulder slope. The front shoulder needs to be squared up. Find a competent tailor who understands this and have it altered elsewhere. The collar is sized to the neck run. If they shorten the collar to hug the neck and don’t address the shoulder slope you didn’t improve or correct anything.

Matt’s explanation is about eliminating the roll under the collar not specifically collar gap
 

othertravel

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Collar gap is from improper shoulder slope. The front shoulder needs to be squared up. Find a competent tailor who understands this and have it altered elsewhere. The collar is sized to the neck run. If they shorten the collar to hug the neck and don’t address the shoulder slope you didn’t improve or correct anything.

Matt’s explanation is about eliminating the roll under the collar not specifically collar gap
Your advice is greatly appreciated. I will do that once things get back to normal.
 

Despos

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Well, perhaps I am going a bit too far back. There are clear house biases today, which were developed over the course of the 20th century, but I believe I am correct about their inclinations not being the source of classic style. Whatever their origin myths (used in the sense of "muthos" and not intending to imply their falsity or veracity), these were responses to a challenge from ready-to-wear businesses which were popping up in the late 19th century and who definitely tried to push clients into a particular stylistic mould.

With the caveat that my experience may not be applicable to everyone: I have suits from Poole, Huntsman, Dege, Meyer and Mortimer, and several off-row tailors who nevertheless were trained there and have similar quality. Some of them were my choice, and others hand-me-downs from family members. I do tend to like military-esque cuts myself, but I definitely enjoy French suits as well and softer constructions (although not in the Italian style). I'd say that each suit is slightly different, but by my own choice, and all are complimentary to my tastes.



True, simple requests are much more likely to at least not be awful.

I'd say that in questions of fit, MTM does not occupy the mid-range of men's clothing. Bespoke is ostensibly the top (controversial), but I would say that a good designer suit is actually the next downwards step. Let's say that a particular designer makes suits that will fit 20% of a given population. So your odds of getting a perfect fit from the designer suit are 1 in 5. The ready-to-wear shop makes suits into which you have a 0% chance of properly fitting, because they do not fit anybody particularly well, even with adjustments. MTM fits most people better, but again none perfectly, so it's really only a tier above RTW, in my own opinion.
Trying to grasp why you elevate the “designer suit” as something more. Every suit maker designs for a prototype figure. Nothing is made randomly or without a specific point of view. Even entry level clothing.
RTW imitated great tailoring houses. Ralph Lauren was mindful of the design and proportions of Anderson & Shepherd. Tailors were the innovators of style. RTW followed.
Will continue to read this thread because I don’t get a lot of what is said here, not just from you, workwear too. Both your interpretations of your experiences are your own and not universal. Working with tailors isn’t linear. You are working with individuals who each have a point of view and an approach to working with their clientele. Clients are drawn to an approach, a point of view and choose a tailor that resonates with them.
Styling garments for a client has two elements. Their physique and their personality. You have to fit both. This is tempered with knowing the context of where and how the clothing is worn and knowing the audience in that context. Clients only need to be aware and possess enough insight to communicate their preferences. What they like and don’t like.
That’s my approach. I ask a lot of questions, some seemingly irrelevant but they inform me of what I need to know to understand what to do. I like to work this way. The better I understand who I am dressing the more trust the client has.
 

Despos

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Hence the questions about cocktails, restaurant preferences and craft beers, all have a bearing on side adjuster allowance, I finally realize,
Finally makes sense, huh?
 

dieworkwear

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Will continue to read this thread because I don’t get a lot of what is said here, not just from you, workwear too. Both your interpretations of your experiences are your own and not universal.
Not sure how this is different from what I described.

I believe the gist of disagreement came from this paragraph:

What bothers me - not too much, but just slightly - is the general feeling I get from reading most bloggers and "menswear" writers that a tailor has his house style, which is correct and classic, and that one should find the tailor which best suits their own style and who can guide them in their tastes. What I am positing then is that if this is the case, there is very little difference between tailoring and designers.
Which goes back to an earlier discussion of how much a tailor should acquiesce to a customer's requests. My point was that the best tailors often have a point of view -- a house cut, a silhouette, a way of making things. You are first and foremost buying into that style/ cut. From there, I appreciate when tailors are willing to push back when a choice doesn't make sense, such as Mariano mentioning to me that he would not do a hook vent for his house style. It just wouldn't make sense for his company.

I disagreed with Nobilis Animus in that I do think that people should find a tailor that best approaches their sense of style, and who can guide them to better decisions. Obviously, there is room for personalization (fabric choice being the most obvious). But you are hopefully relying on someone who can help explain whether some choices make sense given your needs.

When I think of tailors who will make anything, I think of cheap tailoring shops who have various options on a menu -- English style, Italian style, American style. They will make contrasting buttonholes, patch pockets on formal suits, etc. Whatever the customer wants. These companies don't seem to produce good work.

Or customers who go into a tailoring shop and ask for weird things, such as trying to get English and American tailors to produce some Liverano suit they saw on the Internet. This also leads to bad results.
 

induere_to

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When I see a suit with contrast buttonholes, I usually suspect the customer has bad taste; not that they have an inadequate tailor.

Also, I put patch pockets on a formal suit once because... I was told not to.
 

Nobilis Animus

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Trying to grasp why you elevate the “designer suit” as something more. Every suit maker designs for a prototype figure. Nothing is made randomly or without a specific point of view. Even entry level clothing.
RTW imitated great tailoring houses. Ralph Lauren was mindful of the design and proportions of Anderson & Shepherd. Tailors were the innovators of style. RTW followed.
Will continue to read this thread because I don’t get a lot of what is said here, not just from you, workwear too. Both your interpretations of your experiences are your own and not universal. Working with tailors isn’t linear. You are working with individuals who each have a point of view and an approach to working with their clientele. Clients are drawn to an approach, a point of view and choose a tailor that resonates with them.
Styling garments for a client has two elements. Their physique and their personality. You have to fit both. This is tempered with knowing the context of where and how the clothing is worn and knowing the audience in that context. Clients only need to be aware and possess enough insight to communicate their preferences. What they like and don’t like.
That’s my approach. I ask a lot of questions, some seemingly irrelevant but they inform me of what I need to know to understand what to do. I like to work this way. The better I understand who I am dressing the more trust the client has.
I guess I wrote quite a bit, but readily admit that my experiences and point of view are my own.

It seems to me that good tailors will ask a lot of questions and try to fit their work to the customer's needs and requests, while guiding customers to make better choices at times. Perhaps the designer suit isn't quite so high, but they get quite a lot right these days when it comes to fitting without much alteration.

Anyway, there's always the possibility I may be wrong. I do think, however, that as far as MTM goes, it's even more important that a client be able to communicate exactly what he wants.
 

dieworkwear

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These are some photos of Colin Harvey, who was one of the more famous cutters at Anderson & Sheppard. There's a photo at the beginning of the A&S vanity book that shows Harvey's shears. Those shears now belong to Edwin DeBoise at Steed, who trained under Harvey.

When Bruce Boyer first went to Anderson & Sheppard in the 1970s, he was assigned to Harvey. As Bruce described him to me, Harvey was the most elegant man he met. And since Harvey had such great taste, Bruce would often lean on Harvey for advice. He'd run ideas by him: turnback cuffs on a twill blazer (Harvey answered with "a bit studied, don't you think?") or a particular tweed fabric ("that's not loud, but it mutters"). As Bruce put it: "I think he liked to bring out a man’s personality, while at the same time maintain a sense of complete correctness."

At it's best, I think that's the role of a tailor. It's not so much substituting another person's taste for your own, but leaning on someone who has thought more about these matters and has greater experience. Not all tailors are interested in style; some are just technicians. But that's when there's someone at the "front of house" can help. Gennaro Rubinacci played this role when he was alive, and his son Mariano does the same today. It's not like they dress their clients as they would dress themselves, but they may have better taste and can help guide you towards better choices.

I was recently shopping for a watch and thinking about getting a Sub. A friend who owns a clothing shop, and I think has excellent taste, told me I should get an Explorer instead (a 1016). He says it fits my personality better. I'm still debating it, but such advice to me is similar to what a tailor should do -- not just make a garment, but help guide you towards better choices. Rubinacci clients here often say they went to Rubinacci because they wanted Mariano's advice. That approach makes sense to me.

Anyway, here are some photos of Harvey. I believe he was known for wearing a side body on his A&S suits, as he liked a slightly flared skirt. A&S coats don't typically have a side body. First photo is summer formal; second pic is from the 70s; third is him with a young John Hitchcock.




Uncle Colin.jpg

Colin Flowers.jpg

ScannedImage.jpg
 

Despos

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Use both side body and one piece front. Side body here is separate from the front panel. Seam runs from armhole to the hem
SIde Body.jpg


One piece, the side and front panel are one piece. the dart ends at the pocket.
1 piece.jpg
 

Nobilis Animus

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I am right there with anyone who says they rely upon tailors to guide them in the making of the suit. They have greater experience, and can guide or dissuade a client who wants something they've tried before and know to be unworkable, or that it would alter the balance, etc. They may even actually have better taste than the client if the client is new, ignorant about tailoring, or prone to whims and fancies.

Where I am lost is in this notion that the tailor, not the client, has the greater authority in matters of stylistic choice if it is apparent that the client is possessed of good taste himself (this is what I find being touted on those blogs I mentioned earlier). Yes, absolutely, if the client needs the advice of the tailor it would be silly not to bounce ideas off of him.

But I am talking about more than simple details. Most people probably never commission jackets with slanted shoulder seams, for example. Or try new ideas with a jacket that actually work, like the one Davide Taub cut back in 2015: http://davidetaub.blogspot.com/2015/05/gieves-hawkes-bespoke-car-drivers.html

Again, if Poole and Co. had refused to help invent the dinner jacket, it might never have been devised. Without the clientele to invent the types of historical style which tailors use to dress their clients, there wouldn't be a "classic taste" at all. That's all I have left to say, I suppose.
 

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