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Venturing into the world of tailor-made suits...

Halifax

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Dear styleforumers,

Over the past few weeks I have been considering the purchase of a tailored suit. This would be a first for me as, up until now, I have purchased off the rack suits on sale. The prospect of a tailored suit is tempting but I do not like making an investment without first performing due diligence on the subject. As such, I appeal to the members of this forum to help me better understand the tailored suit market.

I appreciate that this topic is rather broad so here are some specifics. I plan to travel to Thailand for a little over a week and have read a multitude of opinions regarding tailors in Bangkok. Despite this reading, I still have not formed a clear notion of what competitive advantage Bangkok Tailors have over other international tailors. I am under the impression that those wiling to pay over 2000 USD would be best served by Saville Road or USA tailors who offer floating canvas with a fabric from Biella or Yorkshire. Those willing to spend 1200-2000 USD would most likely consider Tailors in Hong Kong or even Shanghai again for floating canvas but restricted to pure wool European cloth.

Looking at suits priced less than those aforementioned becomes grey so I will now discuss my perception of prices strictly in Bangkok (I have little knowledge about the offerings of Indian tailors). I shall use a two piece suit for business/casual purposes as a basis point (although I would like to know if a two piece tuxedo would be priced differently).

A fused suit using Asian fabrics seems to be priced 400-500 USD if the cut and stitching is up to scratch. I assume suits priced less than this are made of plastic bags, which does not interest me. Requiring the suiting fabric to be 100% wool milled in Europe will see an increase in price of ~100% (800-1000 USD). I’m not sure how much prices would change if a half-canvas construction was considered, or even just padding the lapel with canvas – would this be dramatic? In addition, does the promise of buying several suits have any influence on the price and what is the etiquette regarding price negotiations?

I would appreciate any insight into what would be considered the ‘optimal’ pricing point for a tailored suit in Bangkok and whether this investment is poor when considering the international market. Discussion about other international tailoring markets is also welcome as the main purpose of this post is general edification into tailored suits.

Please note that I do not want to dive into the metaphorical deep end with my first purchase of a tailored suit.
 

comrade

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It is refreshing to see a cost analysis of the various options available for "tailored", I
assume you mean "bespoke" suits. Two inaccuracies however:

1. Two thousand dollars as the starting point for Savile Row bespoke is off by
several thousand.

2. I have never seen a suit from Thailand- I haven't seen many, that was not
inferior to mid-level OTR suits made in USA.
 
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jcmeyer

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In addition, does the promise of buying several suits have any influence on the price and what is the etiquette regarding price negotiations?

I have three suits that were made for me, all from the same tailor. The first time I got him to throw in a basic french cuff white shirt.

The second and third suits I actually had done at the same time - basic charcoal 3pc and navy 2pc - because I figured I knew what I wanted (and what I wished to update from the first attempt). It worked out well, and did allow me to negotiate about a 20% reduction in the total price -- although who knows how set those prices really are to begin with and I also have a good relationship with this tailor as he did hundreds of dollars in alterations for me prior and since.

That said, unless you're in a hurry, have a specific need, or just really know a lot about what you like/want from your experience with OTR suits, I might recommend getting only one done first so that you can wear it for a bit before going back to do another. That way you'll have some time to asses the elements/measurements you like and those you may not love to be able to optimize a bit more on the second try.
 
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Halifax

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Comrade,

Thank you for your prompt response. I wasn't quite sure of a suitable title since bespoke and made-to-measure seem to blur in Asia. For intensive purposes, I'm only considering bespoked suits but until you have dealt with a tailor (or deceptive fabric merchant touting MTM), it is hard to know if a truely bespoked service is being provided. Perhaps members with experience in the Asian market can better make this distinction - and if the quoted prices are realistic.


My apologies. I had not done extensive research beyond 2000 USD as this is well outside what I would be prepared to budget for my first purchase. I simply knew Saville Road was beyond this price point. Additionally, these markets are rather displaced relative to me (in Australia).

Quote: What would be the specific prices you are referring to regarding the OTR. Are you referring to something like a Brooks Brothers suit, bought during the semi-annual sale inclusive of alterations (500-800 USD). From this, can it be inferred that no bespoked suit, similarly priced (less than 1000 USD), in any market can match such an OTR suit?

My impression is that OTR tuxedos are noteably more expensive in the USA than the more casual notched lapel variety.

As I previously mentioned, my experience in the realm of bespoke suiting is non-existant so I'm happy to be correct were appropriate. My post was to gauge the value of considering it as an alternative to OTR. Also, I have no idea about the Eurpoean market but I expect it is the "above 2000 USD" category.
 
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Halifax

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That said, unless you're in a hurry, have a specific need, or just really know a lot about what you like/want from your experience with OTR suits, I might recommend getting only one done first so that you can wear it for a bit before going back to do another. That way you'll have some time to asses the elements/measurements you like and those you may not love to be able to optimize a bit more on the second try.
I may have a travelling companion interested in a suit, cut from the same bolt. From a pragmatic stand point, I thought this may allow the tailor to more efficiently used the fabric (perhaps not). In addition, I know Thai's generally perfer to 'do business' than 'not do business'; I just wanted to know if this applies to Thai tailors offering bespoke suiting and wether this can be used as an avenue for price negotiation. I'm curious to know what influence purchasing power has in other bespoke suiting markets.

Halifax
 
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Halifax

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Fellow Stylers,

I was curious if Art's Tailor Thaniya and Tramp Tailor OP in Bangkok have a contact email? If these tailors do in fact correspond via email, would you be willing to provide this information and to whom the email should be addressed.
 

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