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When you should go bespoke

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Blackhood, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. SuitRowCharles

    SuitRowCharles Member

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    Yes very true. But there are limits to bespoke...:) Which we once had to kindly explain to a client who wanted his jacket button holes moving up 2 inches..
     
  2. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    That will depend on the level of customer service. Rubinacci once completely recut and replaced the fronts of one of mafoofan's coats.
     
  3. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

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    Quite right.

    This article by Will is instructive, where he estimates upkeep costs for an established bespoke wardrobe at $14,000 a year (http://asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com/2012/01/beau-brummels-on-14000-year.html).
     
  4. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    To be fair, these people tend to fit the qualifier of "having a ton of cash." But their vanity may be lower.


    I could buy a Ferrari today. It would be assinine. Bespoke clothing would be much less assinine, but I prefer to allocate the marginal few hundreds or thousands of dollars a month to other purchases/dining/vacations/savings and the variety of other things that I think make more sense. Clearly, there is no magic number, but I think it is pretty fair to say that you need a ton of cash to go bespoke by default without ruining your financial future or short-changing the rest of your life. Should I have added those qualifiers as well? They seem obvious enough.
     
  5. SuitRowCharles

    SuitRowCharles Member

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    Very few sensible tailoring houses will do that for free.
     
  6. SuitRowCharles

    SuitRowCharles Member

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    Very few tailoring houses will do that for free.
     
  7. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    This would equate to ~10% of the hypothetical $250K man's income after taxes and deductions. If he saves half, then ~20% of disposable income. ~$40 every single day.

    Anyway, I'll try to quit being Buzz Killington.
     
  8. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Senior member

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    At first I read that as, "the marginal few hundreds of thousands of dollars a month..." and damn near had a heart attack.

    Honestly it's all very personal. I'd be willing to bet there are a lot more people, given the opportunity to afford a Ferrari, that would 100% do it at the expense of a few trips or nice dinners a year. It's really a matter of priorities. A Ferrari also has much deeper roots in vanity to my thinking (but I'll save that for another day).

    I only wrote what I did because it best describes my situation. I'm by no means a big tymer, but live comfortably and make more than I need at my age. Accordingly, I see a few custom items here and there as a hobby/indulgence. However, I don't think I would ever spend top-dollar on clothes, nor would I make bespoke the "only way I can wear a suit." I've learned enough here (and elsewhere) to know what I like and what I should look for. Accordingly, I don't need to buy a $5k sport coat or a $10k suit. This makes it easier to manage and plan for my indulgences.

    I think we are saying the same thing. I find it very hard to believe some members on here are spending wisely and/or within their means. Which is really fucking dumb.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  9. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Apparently Rubinacci is one of them. Presumably it is built into the price.

    My understanding is that bespoke shoes, in particular, prices in the occasional necessary remake.
     
  10. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    For me, a good general rule is that if replacing a garment would be uncomfortable financially or otherwise upsetting for non-sentimental reasons, I can't afford to buy it even if I have the cash. There's no way I could justify spending $5,000 at this point in my life for every suit I buy. I've considered going bespoke for one piece of tailored clothing per year and cutting back on the number of my MTM purchases to partially fund this, but I want to be able to enjoy my clothes and I can't really do that if I'm concerned about what might happen to them every time I wear them out, take them to the dry cleaners, etc. Meanwhile, I am satisfied with and enjoy my MTM garments and am not afraid of what might happen to them when I wear them out somewhere or drop them off at the dry cleaners.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. SuitRowCharles

    SuitRowCharles Member

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    Yes, maybe they have built it in. Great service to offer but I have only ever done it myself or seen it when there was an error on our part, rather then the client changing their minds.
     
  12. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    archibald: "Meanwhile, I am satisfied with and enjoy my MTM garments and am not afraid of what might happen to them when I wear them out somewhere or drop them off at the dry cleaners."

    Good point. I bought a lot of not-cheap cashmere over the last two years and there is no question that worrying about damage/moths/how to properly clean them is baggage that comes in addition to and correlates with the financial burden. In that sense there is virtue in cheaper things - no need to worry.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  13. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Senior member

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    I may be in the minority, but I've never really worried or assumed a higher level of care is required for anything I buy. Granted I don't treat my stuff like shit, but I also really don't worry about wearing anything, whether that be a sweater or shoes or a suit. One of the great things about "buying better" is seeing something come into its own through wear and tear.

    It would really take the piss out of "enjoying" clothes if I worried about them all the time.
     
    4 people like this.
  14. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

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    And no doubt look more at ease in them, than wearing a much more expensive suit that you feel antsy about getting damaged.
     
  15. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    By and large I agree, and I don't wear any clothing cautiously. But washing cashmere is a delicate operation. Can't just throw it in the washer/dryer. So I do take a bit more care not to spill when eating.
     
  16. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    I do something like this every year, thank god it's not more often. How far you will go is difficult to say but there is a line.

    I had one guy tell me at his fitting on his custom suit that he wanted his welt pockets on both suits positioned 3/4" lower because he wanted the whole welt visible despite a wide lapel. I was quite stunned by this, no one in 15 years has asked me to do this and he didn't tell me this rather odd and particular preference when he placed his order. I had to replace the panel on both $2500 suits, my margin on one of the suits was completely gone. I really didn't want to do it but what could I do? He had the balance. I delivered them both, it was a bad experience for me, he got what he wanted, but I will never make him anything again.
     
  17. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Oh yeah, you can't just change your mind that's bang out of order.

    When did you work at Gieves? Have we met?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  18. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    To what extent did you push back?
     
  19. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    I'm English so probably not as much as I should have! I did flat out (but politely) refuse to do it at first because I genuinly felt it was ridiculous and I explained the costs involved. I asked him if he would cover or split the cost of the alteration, he just wouldn't do it. The suits were lovely as well one was a Loro Piana Prince of wales flannel the other a Dormeuil Royal 12. When I took it to Primo in Queens they looked at me like I was crazy for telling them to replace the front under those circumstances. The whole operation took $1000 out of my margin in real money not to mention time.

    I think doing stuff like this though is why I have a 100% 5 star rating on every site. We always hear about clients getting a bad experience from makers but I wish we could review clients sometimes!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  20. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Same here for now. I own a lot of things I like a lot and greatly enjoy wearing but don't see any of them as irreplaceable or worry about them. I suspect this would change if I dropped $6,000 on a suit at my current income level though.
     

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