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Want to buy a sport jacket (first after 10 years) – RTW, MTM or bespoke? And where?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Omega, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Omega

    Omega Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know whether I should buy RTW, MTM or bespoke sport jacket. I live in a small town 70 miles outside of London, most people here don’t use sport jackets at all (except outdoor ones like The North Face, Regatta and similar), so RTW already seems to be quite a notch above the rest. My friends don’t wear sport jackets. I don’t use a sport jacket at work because of company’s dress code (suits only), but when I am on a business trip, I often meet clients after work. I have several fashion outlet shops nearby – Hugo Boss, Charles Tyrwhitt, TM Lewin, Aquascutum, Austin Reed, House of Fraser, etc - where I can find many RTW jackets at more than 75% discount, I spotted many even for £100 that may require some alterations before wearing (mainly sleeves and waist), rarely a jacket there costs more than £300. However, I have read that when buying a bespoke suit, all consecutive orders after the first one usually work out better because tailor adjusts patterns with each attempt. I’m thinking to order WW Chan suit next year, so perhaps a jacket as a first order might be a good start for my future orders. And it is UK, so I will get wet sometimes, I don’t know how well fused jackets will hold despite good brand name. However, at such a price difference…
    What would be your recommendations for one and only sport jacket? I am money conscious person, but I like quality as well. I have no special requirements for a jacket, it should be good fitting, but not memorable. I really want to dissuade myself that bespoke/MTM is the best way forward :)
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012


  2. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    If you have good money to spend on something you like, not need, go for bespoke.

    But no WW chan, just poor service and too oversea orientated.
     


  3. TomTom

    TomTom Well-Known Member

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    If you can pop into London got Ede and Ravenscroft have a summer sale and you can pick up a beautiful ,classic sport jacket for as little as 140 pounds. Other then that Jermyn street would be a goo place to have look before the sales end. Avoid Boss, Austin Reed and other such firms as the price vs quality index is really poor.
     


  4. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012


  5. Omega

    Omega Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this information. I can get to Bicester and I work near to their shop on New Bond Street so perhaps I can have a look in the shop first, maybe even tomorrow. Do they sell Sartoriale in Bicester or mainly other lines?
    Or it is going to be better to go with Cad & The Dandy? I only suspect they order jackets from Cheshire Bespoke or Wensum. If it is the case, would it not be cheaper to go to them directly?


    Thank you as well. I checked their website - not much choice and prices are close to £400. Yes, it is still ok as long as I pay for the quality. Do you know details on their jacket construction? And would you know if they have a larger choice on sale in the shop than online?


    Thanks to everybody
     


  6. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    At the Pal Zileri outlet at Bicester it is pot-luck, they may have something in the Satoriale range in your size. The first time I went I got the jacket; however, the second time, nothing.

    C&D do not use Cheshire Bespoke or Wensum. They have three construction options http://www.cadandthedandy.co.uk/tailored_suits.php. Website is very limited, they do have access to the same cloth books as any big Savile Row tailoring house.
     


  7. cosmic

    cosmic Well-Known Member

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    I would stick to RTW for your first few jackets, for a few reasons. It's much cheaper, much faster, you can see how they look on you, exchange/refund policies are generous, and it will take a few jackets before you find your personal preferences - what details to pick and which to avoid. E.g. if you get one and a week later you are sick of the colour, or realise the fit isn't as good as you thought, you can just take it back and try another one. With MTM or bespoke you are waiting 4-12 weeks, paying 500-2k+, and once it's made you are stuck with it even if you made a mistake in the colour, style etc. Even if you want bespoke and have the money & patience, you can still 'try' RTW for 1 month for free by purchasing 2-3 jackets, then simply returning them a few weeks later, and only then place a bespoke order for something similar. Learn to walk first with RTW, before trying the more complex and pricey bespoke alternative.

    In London, go into Marks and Spencer Marble Arch (biggest selection of jackets at around £100) and Suit Supply on Vigo Street (jackets at £200-ish). Get measured, then try on all their sports jackets and blazers in the size you are given, plus up or down one size (e.g. if they say you are 40 regular, try 40 short, 40 long, 38 regular, and 42 regular). Remember to do up the top button at the waist when trying for fit. Check the shoulders (should fit fairly snugly and have a straight-ish line from collar to shoulder joint) and the length (should just cover your arse, and be able to wrap your fingers half way around the bottom of the jacket). Make sure you can fit 1-2 fingers between your chest and the top button when done up, but not a whole hand; and that the sleeves are not too short (should come at least to the end of your wristbone - most will be longer but can easily be shortened). Don't get one with working cuffs unless the sleeve is spot-on within 0.5-1 inches, they are hard to alter more.

    Take your time and then pick one you like. Don't alter it, even if the sleeves are too long. Go home, then wear it for the next few days at home, see how it fits, how you like the style and the colour. If you don't like it, take it back and get a refund (with M&S you should be able to do this at your local store), then try another one. If you like it, and are sure the fit is reasonable (if it's a really bad fit, just get a refund on it, don't try to polish a turd) then go to a good alterations tailor in your home town, and get the sleeves and waist (and anything else egregious) adjusted if necessary. Almost always alter your RTW jackets once you are sure you want to keep them, they will rarely fit from the start.

    Stick with basic and conventional style details, colours, fabrics and patterns. 2 button, notch lapels of medium size, twin vents, 4 sleeve buttons, solid or subtle pattern (e.g. herringbone), in either navy, mid-blue, or mid/light-grey. After a month or two with your first jacket, if you are happy with it, go back to the same place and get one in the other basic colours. After you have a navy blazer, blue sports jacket, and grey sports jacket, you can then branch out - but these 3 will serve you well for years in almost all non-suit occasions. Total time - 1 day of shopping, and a few days for alterations. £150-300 all-in cost per jacket, at no risk (thanks to the refund policy). Pop to Jermyn Street for some of the 4 for £90 shirt sale offers, and for £500-1k you have yourself a passable mini-wardrobe. Pretty good deal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012


  8. TomTom

    TomTom Well-Known Member

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    To be honest the Ede and Ravenscroft website is one of their weak points.The selection in their stores is much,much bigger than the website.I visit their shops quite regularly (work near Chancery Lane) but I seldom check their site. Their jackets are all half-canvassed and sometimes even feature a full canvass ( depends on the size) and are extremely well made + plus they will do all the alterations you need in the shop. I own a couple of jackets made by them and they are classics. They are the oldest family run tailors in the World so they must be doing something right J

    So to keep it short -ignore the website and go and see them in person.[​IMG]
     


  9. mikevienna

    mikevienna Active Member

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    As one of the E&R sales assistants told me (when I bought a suit there) that their suits are made in Madagasca (or Mauritius) one of the two but can't remeber which one right now. Neverless I think their quality is good and would happily buy from them again.
     


  10. RogerC

    RogerC Senior member

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    Ede and Ravenscroft is indeed very good. If you can get to Bicester, you might also be able to go to Woodstock, where a new tailor (Cotswold Tailor I think) has just set up shop. They have RTW, MTM and bespoke, depending on your budget and need.
     


  11. cosmic

    cosmic Well-Known Member

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    They do some nice grey flannel trousers as well - a good match for a sports jacket in autumn and winter.
     


  12. Omega

    Omega Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, everybody.
    I work only a few blocks from Burlington Gardens, Ede and Ravenscroft and Gieves & Hawkes currently have sale (I think G&H have sale for almost 1 month now), plus some shop on Savile Row (they sell suits from £499 I think, well, definitely under £900). I checked Pal Zileri on New Bond Street as well – no sale, have only a few jackets, suits from £1150, all fully canvassed according to the salesman.
    I’m quite sure what I want and it is almost exactly what you say, cosmic: 2 button, notch or raised lapels of medium size, twin vents, 4 sleeve buttons (not working for ease of alteration), solid colour in either navy, mid-blue, or charcoal grey, fine herringbone at most, 100s wool or even thicker treads for texture.
    I guess I will go to see Ede&Ravenscroft. Gieves&Hawkes – not sure, I was not impressed with the quality of suits when I was in Bicester Village: yes, it is good, but I could not work out what was better in comparison with TM Lewin or CT suits. Except label, of course :D
     


  13. RogerC

    RogerC Senior member

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    Another possibility would be to go vintage. I'm informed there are a few good shops in Fulham.
     


  14. Putonghua73

    Putonghua73 Senior member

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    Thanks for the Ede and Ravenscroft nod. I too am in the market for a sports jacket, and have similar requirements to the OP - although my budget is around the £300 mark, dependent on jacket, material, fit, etc. That said, my decision will not be made based upon sales, but material, style and, of course, fit.

    I'm going strictly for RTW because my body shape doesn't require too many adjustments [clothes alterations] and I would only go MTM once I have built up my body of knowledge and have specific requirements.

    I'm more interested in exploring different materials and getting a feel for their texture. I'm looking for a sports jacket as near as possible to Norcal_1's in the 'In Praise of Navy' thread. Just exploring options. Patch pockets and in the 9oz-11oz weight range.

    I'm also in the market for grey flannel trousers, so will make a trip on Sunday to a number of retail outlets (usual suspects), including E&R to view their trousers.
     


  15. Omega

    Omega Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, everybody.
    I bought this jacket today. It seems to be quite good fitting, but would like to get feedback if I need any adjustments. Is it ok in size and colour? Sorry for the quality of the picture - I'm not a model or a photographer :)
    Also, I did not realise until I came home that it was half-lined cotton and linen mix, i.e. summer jacket. I wanted to have something for whole year round and 100% wool. Is it going to be a problem if I use it all year round? I am not worried about warmth though. Quality - it is well made.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Thanks
     


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