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 The Tailoring Thread, Bespoke. Nothing beats a perfect fit

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Old Red Eyes
post Nov 26 2017, 11:33 AM

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QUOTE(Takashi1978 @ Oct 7 2017, 11:50 PM)
Thank you all who came from the forum and from others.....great to meet the members and make new friends...
I'm interested to learn more about the trousers in this set of pics. Are those your creation?

Old Red Eyes
post Nov 26 2017, 02:02 PM

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Yep! those look great.
Old Red Eyes
post Dec 1 2018, 02:39 AM

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QUOTE(kotmj @ Sep 26 2018, 08:05 PM)
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Peak lapels, patch pockets, Neapolitan construction. Cloth is Carlo Barbera Riserva 1911.

Anybody care to guess location where this was shot?
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I'm guessing just about two 'blocks' down from Piazzo San Marco in Venice, where it opens up into a kind of indoor/outdoor mall.

Old Red Eyes
post Dec 2 2018, 04:46 AM

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QUOTE(yanhui95 @ Dec 2 2018, 04:36 AM)
Hi guys, would appreciate some help on this:

How much is Lord's going for nowadays? I'm looking for a 2 piece wool suit with extra pair of trousers

I'll only be back in KL for two weeks and need the suit done by then, is this possible?

Cheers
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Where will you be otherwise?

Old Red Eyes
post Dec 2 2018, 11:12 PM

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QUOTE(yanhui95 @ Dec 2 2018, 06:34 AM)
I'll be back in London after that  smile.gif
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I see. Well, I don't know the price at Lord's, but I'm guessing somewhere in the 4000-5000 range. (I suppose it could be more, but I doubt it's much less.) Are you looking to save some money off Savile Row pricing, or are there other matters at play?

Old Red Eyes
post Dec 2 2018, 11:48 PM

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QUOTE(yanhui95 @ Dec 2 2018, 11:27 PM)
Yeah it's pretty much down to saving (quite a bit of) money as Saville Row would cost no less than RM15k  sweat.gif  but yeah thanks for the rough estimate!
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Gotcha. I've done a little scouring around, and KL is not quite the same as Bangkok or Saigon as a tailoring town. That is to say, it doesn't have the same culture of one or two-day turnarounds for tourists, and at super low prices. That would be a good thing, of course, if it meant that the quality instead was so good that it commanded time and money. But I'm not seeing that. I did find one tailor that I used for complex alterations on a jacket and who I was pretty impressed with, and they gave me that 4000-5000 price range, which is probably worth a shot. But at the same time, they just didn't breed anywhere near the confidence that a place like London would. I'm almost thinking that you are better off trying to find a high end in Bangkok or Saigon, as opposed to going the middle of the road in KL. (And I'm not aware of any examples of high end in KL.)

Old Red Eyes
post Dec 25 2018, 03:13 AM

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QUOTE(Fireken @ Dec 17 2018, 10:12 PM)
It seem you are quite familiar with Bangkok Tailor. Mind recommend Bangkok tailor for me. I'm planning to get a Dark Navy Casual Suit and 1 pant (possible 2). Casual mean the suit can go for formal and as well with Jean. I'm allocating budget of RM500 to RM600. Is the amount reasonable or do i need to up my budget? This is my first tailor made suit and really need guidance on this matter. I see many information on the internet but lack of guidance in term of material, style, pocket, button and any other things i need to take know. Appreciate assistance and thanks in advance.

Note: I like the KOTMJ latest picture suit but i believe it definitely going to cost me a boom. At the moment, i'm tight on budget and i hope one day i could own one as well.
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I've been using The Prince, which is located at Erawan Plaza, for several years, as have the other guys in my company when we travel there. If you do end up wanting to go there, ask for John, and if you tell him I recommended him to you (please feel free to send me a PM), then he may give you a bit of a discount or at least a little extra attention. I am afraid, though, that his prices may be a bit higher than the range you've given. Well, maybe I should take that back. I tend to pay a bit more than that (more like 1000 ringgit for a suit) because I insist on an all-wool fabric, but he might have some blended options that could suit you in that price range.

Basically -- and in my opinion, at least -- all the tailors of this type, of which there are dozens and dozens in the Sukhumvit area alone, are very similar. They can turn around a legitimate made-to-measure-ish suit in a very short period of time and at a very reasonable price, which to me represents great value, at least at suits of that level. I've found it to be more a case of finding someone you like working with and can communicate with well, and who seems to have your best interests at heart. That's the reason I have stuck with the Prince, despite knowing that there are dozens of others in the area who could do the same job and probably do it cheaper, if that was my number-one priority.

Here is what I would do if I were you. I'd try to budget 800 ringgit for the suit, and no less. You could walk into any standard Bangkok tailor and come out with a pretty good product for 800, I think. My next question would be how long do you want it to last. If you plan to use the suit for more than 30 or so wearings, I'd try really hard to up that budget to 1000-1200, so that you could invest in a better fabric. That's really the sole reason for the price to go up, and that's important to know in order to play the game, so to speak, with these kinds of tailors. Presumably their overhead costs are the same regardless of the cost of the piece goods, so if you are going to pay more you better be getting a better fabric. (This can be a little tricky and complex -- as, for example, if you ask for a nice all-wool lightweight worsted and demand nothing in a blend, they may take you as someone with deeper pockets and aim higher when they quote a price -- but it's easy enough to manage once you realize the basic formula, which is that cheap fabrics result in very cheap suits in Bangkok and moderate fabrics result in cheap to moderate priced suits.)

So, decide if you want something mostly disposable (occasional wear, like once a month over two years) or if you want something to last through many more wearings, and then budget accordingly. The cheap fabrics will suit you fine if you won't spend a lot of time in them. And from them, either take a recommendation (such as mine), or just walk around and visit some shops and see what feels right. Stick very firmly to your budget, as long as you have enough time in the city to shop around. Trust me, as soon as you walk away from one offer because it feels too high to you, you can find that exact same offer at another place just down the street. Now, the flip side of that is that you shouldn't think you could walk around long enough to find someone who will make you a piece from luxury fabric for 500 ringgit, because that is never going to happen. It's more to say that you shouldn't feel compelled to take what feels like a bad deal. There is more supply than demand in Bangkok, so be sure you don't let yourself get forced into a bad deal.

When it comes to "style, pocket, button" and such, I really don't think you should have concern, especially since you are going with something traditional (an excellent strategy for your first buy, I say). Any shop you go to will be well versed in classic and current trends, I'd imagine, and will be happy to talk you through it. (John at the Prince certainly would.) These days we are probably still going with the standard two-button jacket, perhaps a narrow lapel (notch, not peaked) if it suits your body type, standard pockets, plain-front pants, and so on. Pleated pants seem to be coming on, but depending on your body type and how ambitious you want to be, you are probably entirely fine going with plain. You can choose to have a plain hem on the pants or have them cuffed (turned up). None of these things are really critical, though, and if you don't have strong opinions about them coming in, then I wouldn't worry and I would let the tailor guide you. After all, that's what they are there for.

I hope this helps somewhat, but please do let me know if I could answer any other questions. Oh, I forgot to mention shirts. To me, that may well be the better buy in Bangkok, as you can get something quite fitted to you for only 120-160 ringgit. It's really important to get the collar and sleeves right. You may be one of the lucky ones who can buy off the rack and have both these details fit precisely, but if not, you should really ask your tailor to make you a couple pieces. You won't regret it.
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 25 2019, 04:48 AM

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QUOTE(QuickFire @ Jan 21 2019, 12:02 PM)
Where do you guys send your suits for dry cleaning in KL? Will any dry cleaning service be sufficient?
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Jeeves will be the best service you can possibly find, I think. Pressto (or whatever it is called) is very, very solid for everyday kind of things.

Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 12:42 AM

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Just wanted to pop a couple quick updates into this thread.

As for dry cleaning, I've now used both Jeeves and Pressto. I found Jeeves to be extremely conscientious, and I'd have absolute confidence in sending them my best items. I have sent trousers and shirts to Pressto, and I've been extremely impressed by their workmanship and attention to detail. Both companies are highly recommended.

On tailoring, I admit that it's been a mixed bag here in KL. I tried to use Jeremy Tok for shirts, but that turned out about as poorly as one could possibly imagine. (Apart from sleeves I couldn't physically wear, I also got a collar I didn't order -- and a very, very strange collar at that, something that looked like it wanted to be a modern Neapolitan style but instead looked like something fit for a clown. I also got no follow-up service from the tailor, meaning that I guess my deposit for four shirts is now surrendered for this one clownish shirt I can never wear.) I did find a guy in Seremban 2, though -- Daniel at Prestige Tailors -- who does very careful and thoughtful work, for prices far below what you would pay in KL. I've done shirts and a pair of trousers through him, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do with a suit.

Lastly, Za Altera has proven to be very, very competent for all kinds of alterations. I've been using the branch at Bangsar Shopping Centre. I find that I'm better off buying nice stuff off the rack and having it altered, compared to putting all my eggs in the basket of a (sometimes unknown) tailor.
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 04:40 PM

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Here's a view of the clown collar. Let it be noted that I requested a standard point/spread collar, certainly not a button-down. And I'd think that a style of button-down this extreme would entail some discussion with the customer.

Here's the deal. I know what the shirtmaker was going for here. I know all about the button-down collars that are popular now. But this is NOT an example of the type! This has truly garish proportions, not the subtle curves that make this style work, when it works well. It's truly clown-ish. I can't think of a better word.

But here's the bigger deal. I sat for a half-hour with the guy, and I described what I wanted and why I wanted it. My needs were very minimal. I wanted point-collar single-cuff shirts in white and blue. For him to come out of that with giving me a clown shirt is truly disappointing.

I'll also note that the forearms are so tight as to almost be unwearable, even if I was comfortable being a clown. The fitting shirt had fine forearms, the actual shirt not. I mean, this was really a disaster of a process. It's hard to imagine much more going wrong.

Lastly, I included another picture of the elbows, just because I wonder. I don't have a single other shirt in my collection that has such stains on the elbows. Maybe that's because when I wore it I dipped my elbows in some dark stuff...but given the rest of my experience, I have to wonder if maybe the fabric isn't treated or something. No idea, and I suspect the fault is all mine, but I just think it's strange that this is the only shirt I have that looks like this.
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 04:59 PM

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Now let me pop in with some observations, aided by experience in Southeast Asia.

It's a real truth that KL is not a great, or even good, tailoring town. It's a bad tailoring town, at least when it comes to classic menswear. These things really do rely on communities -- like, there is reason tailors got together on Savile Row and shoemakers in Northampton. There are things that get together in KL, but those things are not classic menswear.

Bangkok is far, far the better bet, I'd guess, for most everyone in Malaysia who is looking for something made to measure. I kid you not that you are better off paying the airfare back and forth, to get what you need. You will find in Bangkok a can-do attitude. You will find in KL a smug can't-do attitude, the reasons for which I have no idea why.

I was attracted to Jeremy Tok because he was an engineer who was supposed to bring a revolutionary approach to tailoring. I found that he's a guy in way over his head and someone who can only succeed if he continues to stake his claim as the only non-Malaysian guy in this very, very sad market.

If you can afford a trip up to Bangkok -- which I'd think you could, if you are looking for custom stuff in the first place -- then you should do it. PM me for recommendations.

This post has been edited by Old Red Eyes: Jan 27 2019, 05:00 PM
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 05:25 PM

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Here are images of a Ring Jacket shirt alongside the Jeremy Tok. Note that the Ring Jacket collar is already a bold an aggressive style, with long points that you will have a hard time finding anywhere else. The clown shirt decided to take that and double it! Honestly, pictures just can't capture how bad this collar is. It would be more of a joke if I hadn't paid 250 dollars for it.

As for the sleeve, look how narrow it is. I honestly can't wear this thing comfortably, even if I could get past the collar.

It's so, so bad that it leaves me to wonder how a shirtmaker actually thought it was a good idea. A very, very novice shirtmaker, I'd imagine. Very novice.
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 05:39 PM

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Here's a picture of a standard collar, by Prestige Tailor in Seremban 2. This was made from the very same Soktas cloth, at a price less than half that of Jeremy Tok. Daniel has other cloths, too, including some very nice higher-end ones.

He didn't do a fitting shirt for me, per se, but instead made one up. However, when we found there was an issue with the fit, he remade it free of charge. It's very worth noting, too, that this was a one-off, and not a four-shirt minimum like at Jeremy Tok (the last thing I want is more of a bad thing!). I really can't recommend this guy highly enough, especially given my past experiences. He made me a pair of trousers that have impeccable fit, and I'm not the easiest to get right.
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 05:42 PM

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Small thing, perhaps, but do you notice how Jeremy Tok doesn't brand his shirts like the others do? To me it speaks to an absence of pride in craft -- which I can certainly imagine.
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 06:01 PM

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Like, how is that a collar style that works for anyone, much less for a person who ordered something completely different. This collar is completely jacked up, even for someone who wants it!

It is so, so hard to describe how bad this experience was. That's what I got for my 250 bucks...that ridiculous-looking shirt.

This post has been edited by Old Red Eyes: Jan 27 2019, 06:03 PM
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 06:55 PM

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QUOTE(jutamind @ Jan 27 2019, 05:52 PM)
Old Red Eyes may I know how much per shirt and per trouser that Prestige Tailor charge on average?
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I think it's around 250 ringgit per shirt, which to me is a steal for Soktas fabric. (You can get shirts in Bangkok for more like 160, but from lesser cloth.) I think I paid 400 for the trousers. It's possible that he has lower-priced shirt options if on a budget...but I'd recommend the good fabric if you can.
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 09:55 PM

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QUOTE(niakulah @ Jan 27 2019, 07:11 PM)
Yikes! That is a disaster! That shirt obviously doesn't fit you. That might be why the collar is not rolling as it should (3 of my JT shirts have that collar).

What was his response when you told him about the problems with the first shirt?
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He told me to bring it in, and I'm quite sure that he would stand behind his work and do all he could to make it right. But I really don't have time for a tailor to fix his fuck-ups, particularly given how long he has between deliveries, and particularly given how bad he messed this one up (weird roll collar when I asked for point). I go out of my way to get to him -- literally, as he's located in a condo building -- and I don't expect to have to hold his hand and help him know what a point collar is and how much width to allow in the forearm. I expect to be paying for something when I go to a tailor, and the very least of it is that they know what they are doing.



Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 10:15 PM

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QUOTE(niakulah @ Jan 27 2019, 07:11 PM)
Yikes! That is a disaster! That shirt obviously doesn't fit you. That might be why the collar is not rolling as it should (3 of my JT shirts have that collar).

What was his response when you told him about the problems with the first shirt?
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You got a picture of you in the JT shirt?
Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 10:18 PM

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QUOTE(niakulah @ Jan 27 2019, 10:08 PM)
That's too bad that he got your collar mixed up. Between my 7 shirts with him, I have his point, semi-spread, and button down collars.

I particularly enjoy the collar roll of his button down (which is why I have 3), but you really have to know what you're getting into. Not everyone is familiar with the style, or know that it is never to be worn in unbuttoned.

It's a very American style, as we see on young Bruce Wayne here:
[attachmentid=10173577]

My colleagues did think I was nuts the first time I wore it to the office!
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That picture you posted is nothing like the carnival shirt I got. Mine flares to a point with a crazy, crazy immediacy. It is truly nothing that any reasonable person could wear. The spread between the buttons is insane. It's just awful, no way around that. It's an entirely unprofessional piece of work. It looks like an amateur decided to make shirts and thought to do something racey. It's really so, so bad.

Old Red Eyes
post Jan 27 2019, 10:23 PM

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QUOTE(niakulah @ Jan 27 2019, 10:08 PM)
That's too bad that he got your collar mixed up. Between my 7 shirts with him, I have his point, semi-spread, and button down collars.

I particularly enjoy the collar roll of his button down (which is why I have 3), but you really have to know what you're getting into. Not everyone is familiar with the style, or know that it is never to be worn in unbuttoned.

It's a very American style, as we see on young Bruce Wayne here:
[attachmentid=10173577]

My colleagues did think I was nuts the first time I wore it to the office!
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You can see in my pics above...the collar spread, meaning the measure between the buttons, if they had managed to get it right, would be huge. Ungodly huge. The points are way, way, way longer than anything like the American style you quote. It's just a farce. A genuine farce. I know what a button-down collar is -- as does most of the world, I'd imagine. (It's not that hard.) This is not that.


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