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Ww chan suits: worth the money?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ligament, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. Ligament

    Ligament Active Member

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    Dear Fellows,

    I am considering a meeting with the WW Chan tailor in Chicago for a MTM single breasted suit. Currently they have a deal for such a suit in Loro Piana Super 120s for $875.

    My other option is to ebay an Attolini, Borreli, Oxxford, etc.

    My problem is this: I'm a big guy. Shoulder width is 21.5", normally wear a 50R or so, 18.5" neck. Finding these sizes from any of the Italian makers is very difficult on ebay. Oxxford nearly as difficult.

    So would you suggest I go for a WW Chan or wait for a lucky ebay purchase? I no longer have much faith that I will find a suit I really like in my size on ebay.

    Would you please comment on WW Chan suit quality? Workmanship? Service?

    Best.
     


  2. ChanFan

    ChanFan Member

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    I travelled to Hong Kong two years ago and had a suit made by Chan. I selected a gray Australian lamb's wool by Zegna and had it made in a three-button style with side vents, and in total it came to about $1,250. All in all, I felt they did an excellent job. Almost all of the detailing was superb, and the fit was, of course, very good as well. I have since had a navy blazer done there and decided to try a shirt as well. These I ordered when they were in New York last spring. I was very satisfied with the blazer and like the shirt as well. The fit on the shirt was just slightly off in the sleeves, which are maybe a 1/4" longer than they should be. The price for the shirt was excellent though (much less than Ascot Chang where I have gotten my shirts in the past), and I will definitely reorder from them after requesting that they reduce the length of the sleeves in future orders. All in all, I would definitely recommend them. The one drawback of ordering here in the States is that you will not get the benefit of multiple fittings, but I'm sure they would be happy to make any adjustments to your suit should you have any issue with it when finished.
     


  3. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Distinguished Member

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    If you search the archives there are dozens of posts regarding their workmanship, service and value. Good example thread:  old thread  I think the consensus is that they make a very good suit--IMHO better than anything you will find at or near retail, plus tax and alterations, in the same price bracket.  If you are easy to fit and good at bargain hunting you can find better RTW suits for cheaper, but if you need extensive alterations, or don't have time to bargain hunt, it's a very good way to go. About half of my suits are from WW Chan and I like them very much.  I get suits from them because it is convenient, I can pick the style, and the suits always fit on arrival.  I typically end up having to do lots of alterations to RTW suits, so for me it is much easier to pick a swatch and tell them how to style the suit than bargain hunt and have a local tailor do the alterations (the only alterations guys I trust are each 30-40 minute drives from my home or office). I would recommend getting your first suit (order only one until you're sure they got your measurements and style right) from their least expensive fabric.
     


  4. discostu004

    discostu004 Affiliate vendor

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    if you're a 50r i have a cashmere houndstooth brioni jacket for sale.
     


  5. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    WW Chan's measurements will be almost certainly spot on the first time they measure you. I've noticed that they like a little longer jacket as well as sleeves, so depending on how you wear your shirt sleeves (I like a snugger cuff that sits right at the bottom of my wrist), make sure they know that and cut the sleeve accordingly.

    Additionally, if you like your jackets shorter, let them know that.

    But, even with their nuances, their measurements are fantastic and the suit will look and feel good. Very comfortable -- fabric lies perfectly at the neck to accomodate your posture. Incredible how they do this without being bespoke. And the pants fit just unbelievably well.

    The fabrics are great -- an infinate amount of choices, even from the "deal" swatches (at least 100 to choose from). Handwork exceeds Canali and Corneliani significantly. From my experience, the craftsmanship of the jacket is at least on par with Belvest.

    Note that their "house cut" is British, with at least 3 inches of taper in the waist and fairly square shoulders -- think Zegna with more padding, especially at the sleeve cap. Though I liked me first suit a lot and will wear it often, I like the soft Oxxford shoulder more. So I sent a picture to Chan for my second suit and they said it would be no problem to do the soft natural shoulder with very very little padding. I recommend you bring pictures with you and speak up about the cut you would like.

    In terms of choices, that's what I like the best. I'm right now getting a medium grey Loro Piana fabric with double vent and soft three button for $875. Where could you find that deal in a store with the fit and level of work of a Chan.

    Go for it.
     


  6. My View

    My View Senior Member

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    I have had a suit, a blazer and several shirts made by WW Chan.  But I have the privilege to go to HK often, so I had a few fittings (for the suit and blazer) in their shop before taking delivery of the goods.

    The workmanship is excellent and the service is impeccable.
     


  7. Alias

    Alias Distinguished Member

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    As much as certain people decry Hong Kong as a cesspool of slave labor and tailor-shop hacks, Kai's review of WW Chan proved otherwise. You'll be getting something very decent for a 1/3rd the price of the usual bespoke suit.
     


  8. brescd01

    brescd01 Senior Member

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    If Chan came to Philadelphia I would use them at least once, I am completely convinced. But I am not going to travel to Washington or NYC on their schedule just to take advantage of their low prices. Plus, I think people should clarify the definitions of MTM and bespoke. I think Chan's suits are bespoke, even with one fitting. I do not think that because there is one fitting only they must be MTM. They just have to be better at getting measurements right the first time. Any comments? By the way, I know that if I used them I would have the same experience because the delight of choice you describe was for me the main advantage of a bespoke tailor here in Philadelphia.
     


  9. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Distinguished Member

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    Too bad Philadelphia doesn't make their cut. Not that it will help, but perhaps we can put in a good word for your city when they come through.

    I agree with you on the definitions of made to measure vs. bespoke being less than clear. Made to measure, as it has been explained to me, means a suit that takes a preexisting pattern and modifies it to fit you. So if the maker doesn't have a preexisting pattern for the model of suit you want, or if you want significant modifications, you cannot get it. That is not what Chan does. They create a paper pattern for each customer and can modify it at the customer's will or need. That's custom work. In popular usage I think most people would use "bespoke" as a synonym for "custom."

    And they are really good at getting measurements right the first time. My friend who got a three-fitting suit done in their Hong Kong shop was surprised that my single "fitting" suit seems to fit me as well as his fits him. The only change I have made to their initial pattern, through five suits, was telling them to raise the gorge by an inch after the first suit.
     


  10. Kai

    Kai Distinguished Member

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    I would recommend Chan, particularly if you are big and hard to fit. I have nothing but praise for their workmanship and customer service. If you are used to ready to wear, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how good you look in a bespoke suit.
     


  11. gieves&hawkes

    gieves&hawkes Member

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    I have a bit of a prejudice and I must go with a Gieves and Hawkes suit. The first one I found was at a Value Village for $5.00. It was the best suit that I have ever had. It is a heavy tweed, but in England it goes for around 1,000 pounds.
    Pricey, but worth it.
     


  12. JLibourel

    JLibourel Distinguished Member

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    Not to hijack the thread, exactly, but has anybody heard from Chan lately? I e-mailed them a couple of months ago asking to set up an appointment for their November tour. They replied that the dates of their tour were not finalized and that they would get in touch with me by regular mail in late September. Well, here we are in October, and I haven't heard from Chan yet. Unless there is a letter postmarked Hong Kong waiting for me at home, I guess I had better e-mail them tomorrow. Anybody else have a similar experience?
     


  13. Ligament

    Ligament Active Member

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    I just emailed them two days ago, and got a response within hours, very complete at that. Most likely they lost your email, just email them again.
     


  14. keys

    keys Senior Member

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    Same thing w/ me.

    I last spoke w/ them via email in early Sept. they said they'd be in tuouch w/ me shortly when they finalize their appt. schedule. Still waiting......
     


  15. JLibourel

    JLibourel Distinguished Member

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    A postscript to my above post. I e-mailed Chan on Saturday and got back a reply today. Mr. Chu advised me they had just airmailed the info a couple of days ago. Fortunately,they were able to schedule a most convenient appointment for me in Beverly Hills. Will be looking forward to my first (semi) bespoke suit.
     


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