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Visiting Lancer Bespoke, Shanghai

kid1002

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Hi all,

My name is Michael, and I'm an expat based in Shanghai, China. I am also a freelance photographer and was recently introduced to bespoke menswear by my peers. In the past I've been wearing RTW garments from Beams F, Brilla per il Gusto, and Brooks Brothers while I spent some years in Japan. Today I want to share my experience visiting and commissioning my first bespoke garment from Lancer Bespoke, a bespoke tailoring house in Shanghai.

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(Lancer Bespoke - Courtesy of @kenneth.cy.ling on IG)

I was introduced to Lancer through menswear photographer Charles Yang's blog in Chinese, which you can find here. Lancer's head designer, Kenneth Ling, is a well respected gentleman among the Shanghai menswear community, and Lancer, of which he co-owns, grabbed my attention immediately after I read Charles blog. I had the opportunity to visit his shop in late March, and after re-visiting and getting a few shirts made bespoke, I decided that Lancer Bespoke's where I wanted my first bespoke jacket to be made.

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(Kenneth Ling, Head Designer - Courtesy of @lancer.bespoke on IG)

Stepping in to the shop, I was warmly greated by Kenneth and a good cup of espresso. The overall atmosphere of the shop oozed elegance and class, but at the same time it also put me at ease without feeling tense.

Choosing Fabric & Measurement

For my first jacket, I decided to go with a classic navy sport coat. I chose a dark navy fabric of mock leno weave from HFW's "Fresco III" bunch. Kenneth was attentive to my preferences and had also suggest other high-twist fabrics from Drago (Bluefeel) and Smith Woolens (Finmeresco) as alternatives; however, I insisted on going with Fresco as that's what I did most of my research on.


(Mock leno weave Fresco in dark navy - Courtesy of HFW's catalog)

Measurement was conducted by Jerry, who was the lone cutter I had the chance of meeting in my several visits to Lancer Bespoke. I must admit everything was a bit overwhelming to me during measurement, so I left everything to Jerry and Kenneth to suggest. In terms of style, I went with some details that can be found in a typical casual jacket: patch pockets, quarter-lined, notch lapel, 3-roll-2, spalla camicia, and light padding on the shoulders.

Basted Fitting & Other Fitting Experiences

Kenneth was very easy to reach via WeChat, so even after I have left the shop I was able to stay closely connected to Lancer Bespoke. I would be lying if I didn't mention I was a bit too excited waiting to be contacted for a fitting, so I did contact Kenneth several times between then and my basted fitting.

I was contacted around 2 weeks later by Kenneth himself for a basted fitting.

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This was quite a confusing experience for a first time bespoke-commissioner. I didn't understand a lot of what I was looking at then, but thankfully Kenneth and Jerry were able to guide me through some of the alterations to be done.

I have pretty wide shoulders for a 5'9'' / 66kg man, so I asked if they could make the shoulder padding even lighter to put less emphasis on my shoulders; however, Kenneth pointed out that I have accentuated collarbones that may make my shoulder-section look uneven if too much padding was removed. In the end I had to make a tough decision: either make myself not care about the smoothness of the shoulder lines, or keep the padding as is.

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(Quick and dirty demonstration of accent on my collarbone with a RTW jacket from BB)

Other posture points included uneven shoulders and uneven arm lengths. We also adjusted the coat length as Kenneth asked if I would wear this jacket with jeans more than with wool trousers.This was something I would have not though of if not asked, so kudos to him pointing out.

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(In between fittings I also picked up some shirts I had commissioned)

First fitting came two weeks after the basted, with some shoulder width and sleeve pitch adjustments made. Second fitting came one week after the first, with final adjustments made to sleeve lengths.

Garment Pick Up & Final Thoughts

Around mid-to-late May, I picked up my jacket at Lancer Bespoke. As you can see, the whole process took around a month and a half, which I was told is a fairly typical turnaround time for a first time customer at a bespoke tailoring house.

I picked the garment up from another staff in Kenneth's absense, as Kenneth had flew to Beijing for their trunkshow.

The garment was presented along with a nylon garment bag and a wooden hanger, all branded with Lancer Bespoke's logo. I was satisfied with my commission. The jacket, in my humble opinion, is as well cut as I have seen from others. Gorge line has high while the lapel size was just right for a modernized yet classic look. Most of all, this jacket was comfortable to move around in - one of the reasons why I chose to go with Lancer Bespoke.

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It is now half a year past my pick up and I had already commissioned another jacket from Lancer Bespoke during the month of October. This time I chose a wool-silk-linen blend from HoE's "Indigo" bunch. Obviously this is not in time for Shanghai's coming winter, but it's my first step into something more bold both pattern-wise and fabric-wise.

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The Fresco jacket has been a work horse for me in the past few months. It proved to be hard wearing, crease resistant and easy to care for, matching all of the qualities I was expecting when I had chosen this particular fabric. Only complaints I may have would be that it's quite scratchy when worn with short sleeved T-Shirts and knitwear (which I do wear this jacket with from time to time).

Another detail I have found months into wearing is that I have been wearing this more with shirts and less with sweaters, so the sleeves and cuffs seemed a bit on the wide side for my taste. I'll be taking this to alterations at Lancer when I have head to their shop later this month, preferrably.

I'll probably updated this once I try and commission for a pair of trousers in the future.

Thanks for reading,
M
 
Last edited:

Steepleman

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It looks good on you from what I can see in the last animated photograph. Somewhat hard to tell though.
 

mercury

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Jul 28, 2009
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Thanks for taking the time to write this up.
Would like to see more fit pics of the finished jacket!
 

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