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The OneShirt: A Phoenix from the Ashes [4/24/13 UPDATE: A SHIRTMAKER, AN ENGLISHMAN, CHAMBRAY, AND F

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    You could buy cotton, sure, but there are lots of expensive and fine cottons. The SG Chambray is hands down the most expensive and sought after polyester in the world. That's something unique and special.

    I say this with the caveat that I might not be normal, as I have some shirts made from cut up bed sheets, though in my defense they do have better pattern matching than whnay's rubinacci shirts.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  2. zalb916

    zalb916 Senior member

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    I'm confused. Multiple shirtmakers (Carl and Freddy) repeatedly claimed that it was not good based on their touching it, feeling it, and looking at it. The shirtmakers who seemed to claim it was good either a) had an interest in selling you the stuff (Rubinacci and Anna) or b) were speaking to you in person and probably didn't want to offend you (Eugene and Stephen).

    I'm happy to use Freddy. I almost never pay attention to the fabric maker when I go to him. He tells me a fabric is good. I trust him. He's never trying to upsell. I look at it, touch it, see if I like it, then order it. Pretty simple. Freddy's just an honest guy. In fact, he convinced me to sell the SG stuff I got from Will.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
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  3. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The thing is, though, there IS something nice about that Chambray. Its a bit rougher and fuzzier than broadcloth, but not as thick as Oxford, and has in interesting nap and a very dry hand. I am as anti-poly as anyone. But why can't someone make that same style in all cotton? It would be nice.
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I really want an all wool plain weave shirt. Do those exist? Acorn makes a 20% wool shirt, but it is a brushed twill.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  5. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    they do exist but they are heavy. Can't wear with jacket & tie.
     
  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    First of all, Eugene has no incentive to commend the stuff. I'm sure he'd rather sell me Alumo.

    Second, just as shirtmakers who sell the stuff have an incentive to talk it up, so do those who don't sell it to talk it down. They have other shirtings to sell, after all.

    Third, my whole point is that you cannot rely on tailor/shirtmaker opinion precisely because it varies between individuals so much. Now, if they all agree, that counts for something. But one tailor or shirtmaker's opinion is neither here nor there. As consumers of this stuff, we need to be more circumspect and look for broad, meaningful consensus (reputation).

    Never trust your tailor too much. He is, through it all, a salesman.
     
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think this is only true when you compare it to chambray from high-end makers like Alumo.

    When you look at the universe of cheap, workwear chambray, it is suddenly completely un-special. They are ALL a bit rougher and fuzzier than broadcloth. They ALL have the same sort of mottled coloring. I'm pretty picky, and I cannot see a qualitative difference when comparing SG's chambray to the infinitely cheaper stuff CEGO has sent me.

    I would imagine the fuzziness comes from using shorter staple cotton fibers. After all, the longer the staple and the more expensive, the smoother we expect the resulting shirting to be. Rough and fuzzy isn't a challenge is it?

    In fact, I think it would be a neat project to get one of the Japanese denim makers with the old shuttle looms to make us exactly the sort of chambray we have associated with SG--but in all cotton and at a fraction of the cost.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
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  8. zalb916

    zalb916 Senior member

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    Of course Eugene has an incentive to commend it. You are a customer of his. You just spend hundreds of dollars buying fabric that you thought was great. If he tells you to your face that it sucks than he risks offending you. That's certainly an incentive. If he was fibbing a bit to avoid offending you, I don't really blame him. It's a tricky spot for tailors and why many probably just prefer to use fabric they obtain themselves.
     
  9. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    buy a light weight suiting i have made shirts from a 7 oz worsted wool
     
  10. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Eugene has always been honest to me about the cloth I bring him. Some he has praised, some he has said is junk. He does not praise to flatter nor condemn to sell, in my experience.
     
  11. zalb916

    zalb916 Senior member

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    I'm not suggesting he praised the fabric to make a sale. I'm not suggesting he was being deliberately dishonest. It's more that it is human nature not to want to offend someone who's standing in front of you, spent a lot of money on something, and clearly excited about it. If Eugene is a nice guy (and by all accounts he is), his brain is going to have a hard time saying to foo, "this fabric sucks."
     
  12. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The first thing he said was: "This is total shit."

    And, again, you're ignoring the incentives of shirtmakers like your own that don't have the stuff to sell. Have you ever heard a BMW dealer load praise on Mercedes? Nope, quite the opposite--because they don't sell Mercedes.

    I'm not saying Freddy is crooked or dishonest--but as you say, he is human and has his own interests to serve.
     
  13. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    To be clear...did SG ever lie about the fabric makeup? Or did everyone just assume it was all cotton and never ask until now?
     
  14. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    And what did you think of them?
     
  15. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    How wld one interpret this?

    *though we deal, by and large, through re-sellers and merchants, so I'm not sure we should be faulting SG directly per se. SG might price their fabrics commensurate with the quality, and re-sellers, being re-sellers, mark it up and treble the price because they know there will be buyers.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  16. wmb

    wmb Senior member

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    Agreed -- love my eoe bd's...
     
  17. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If those tags are written by SG, definitely misleading
     
  18. zalb916

    zalb916 Senior member

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    My point about my interactions with Freddy was not meant to address this point that you keep making. It was meant to address your point that "We buy stuff like SG chambray on reputation." I'm saying that I don't order fabric for my shirts that he makes based on reputation. When I pick fabrics with him, there's never a discussion about the manufacturer. That is what I meant. Maybe he is totally crooked, but he's not using the supposed reputation of the fabric company to fool me.
     
  19. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes. They told Torsten it was 100% cotton, then retracted recently.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  20. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If you are making choices without respect to the reputation of a fabric maker, then I'd argue that you aren't making informed choices. Your shirtmaker, like any other, is unreliable on his own.
     

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