Suits

Mark1966

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No but if you find one.....
 
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No but if you find one.....
If you're looking at getting one tailored you'd be much better off booking a short trip to Bangkok, when I've looked into it locally I've been quoted over $1000AUD.

Instead I'll be getting a couple of suits tailored at Bangkok's finest and it'll cost me just over a grand for the tailoring and a holiday :D

Will let you all know how I go, flying off in just over a month!
 

Monsta_AU

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There's plenty of places you can buy off the rack at very very good prices, then get them tailored.

If you are a fairly normal shape like myself, it's not a bad option. I have to go to a 36" pant and get them taken in as I have very stocky thighs and the 34's are a fraction tight.

I have been buying my suits from Trade Secret of all places. I can get fine woolsuit with an extra pair of pants in a very good material for just over $200. It cost me $60 per pair of pants to be altered, the jackets are fine on me.
 
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There's plenty of places you can buy off the rack at very very good prices, then get them tailored.

If you are a fairly normal shape like myself, it's not a bad option. I have to go to a 36" pant and get them taken in as I have very stocky thighs and the 34's are a fraction tight.

I have been buying my suits from Trade Secret of all places. I can get fine woolsuit with an extra pair of pants in a very good material for just over $200. It cost me $60 per pair of pants to be altered, the jackets are fine on me.
Yeah I'm funnily shaped, on my 6th suit at the moment and I've still yet to find something that fits me well even after having alterations done. Worked out pretty nicely actually, was planning the holiday anyway and then a mate told me you could get suits made dirt cheap so I was onto it straight away...
 

Monsta_AU

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While I am not particularly taken with the choices of suit or materials, the Top Gear UK boys had suits made during their Vietnam Special. The prices are stupidly low.

 

Mong.

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Just to update this thread, RM commented on Vietnamese tailors. I was just in Hoi An which is full of them catering for westerners, and even the two most professional looking stores (both with a good word of mouth reputation) had tailored suits from $70US with some good deals on shirts too. The (alleged) best place in town had a huge range of great looking fabrics and silks, they were in the $100 plus range but I saw a few people who were mighty happy with the clothes from there.

I had a chat to an Irish bloke who had three suits done for around $500, and when he came back the tailor had run up two shirts and a waistcoat as freebies. I got a look at one of the shirts and the tailoring work looked exceptional.

Do meticulous research if anyone considers this. Lots of people making mediocre stuff for not much less than the quality stores. I had a pair of leather boots made that turned out really well, I just asked people coming out of stores what they thought of their own purchases and had a look at their stuff. Worked a treat, I found a little store with an old gent who sat me down and sketched what I wanted so I could make adjustments and be clear on what the finished product would be. He even pulled out his lighter to prove it was authentic leather before I took them home.

Definitely a case of finding diamonds in the rough, but they're there and doing pretty good work for cheap.
 
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Nick the Knife

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The tricky thing in Hoi An is that whilst there's literally HUNDREDS of individual stores nearly all the actual work is outsourced to a handful of off-site workshops elsewhere in town. So really it's tricky to know if you're going to get decent quality or not.

So you just have to apply the usual rules that one should always try and apply when shopping for tailored clothes.....don't leave pickup too late, e.g to final pickup/inspection with a few days to spare having to leave the city etc - and don't pay final balance unless you're 100% happy with the item. My wife had a few things made in Hoi An and wasn't happy with them at all......we went to one of the ones that was meant to be 'better', the very camp/weird Mr Xie...the guy's a cartoon character/the gayest man on the planet....he was actually very annoying to deal with.

Just make sure you're 100% clear with what you want and check they've not cut corners and done a rush job - if it's even slightly off complain and have it fixed.
 

Mong.

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All the above is true. I'd only consider two places and they both outsource to the same place, and my understanding is that they have an exclusive arrangement with one particular family who don't take on outside work. One of the places is called A Dong Silk, I forget the other.

ALWAYS refuse to pay up front in full for the reason that Nick pointed out. If you pay up front and get dodgy products, they're much less inclined to help you. If you owe them money, they'll usually bend over backwards to fix it.

To be quite honest, I'd go to Singapore if I was planning a trip for clothes. Hoi An can just be very economical.
 

Nick the Knife

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One of the places is called A Dong Silk, I forget the other.
Ummmm yes....errrr.....whatever you do don't get get Mong's recommended tailor's mixed up with the similarly named retailed outlet that trades under the name ,"A Silk Dong".......lets just say they sell VERY DIFFERENT products all together. :blink:
 
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I got a sports Jacket in Singapore. Seems very nice and is quite well made. They tried to push shirts / trousers etc on me but I said I had to see the quality of the jacket first. Probably won't do Sg again for clothes, Hong Kong is apparently better and I haven't been there yet!

James
 

Mark1966

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Figured rather than starting a new thread ...

You may have picked up from my comment earlier in the thread it is time for a new suit (or two) for me. I'm at the age where my body shape has changed (a little thicker around the middle) but also where I can probably afford a little more. On the other hand I do like a bargain and don't like paying more than I have to!

So with the time I've saved not collecting I've been researching options.

P.JOHNSON - Tailors is certainly highly recommended as indicated above, but really start at $1,800. They do have a MTM offshoot The Suit Shop with prices from $750 if you are in SYD or MEL.

There are any number of online MTM suppliers. Places like -
For every good review - there is a bad one, for every rave there is a rant. Their business model, order online and outsource construction to Asia should result in cost savings and their descriptions of the construction and the options available is impressive. Many still rely upon you having a good tailor locally to alter and in a real downside for me, in most cases you cannot really tell what the fabric is like. I know some will provide swatches but even then it gives a poor representation of what it looks on you.

The fabric and feel was what I wanted. I had a fair idea of how to tell a good fit - the video below is probably the best primer I found that explains the different things to look for (ignore the American acent - it is good!)


So I ended up back with B&M stores.

Staff in the large department stores (Myer, David Jones) are hopeless and a lot of the brand suits are just overpriced. I looked at a local institution - John Hanna menswear as they go through to 'bespoke' and I figured with that range they might offer some helpful advice. In some ways they did - just directing me to an OTR suit as I am blessed with a fairly standard size. The suite was nice enough but $900 and nothing special really. Fused construction but nice fabric - I wanted to look at other options.

The common recommendation of many online forums is M.J. Bale started by the guy who was behind Herringbone. They generally get good reviews but I wondered if the styling was a little too young for me. Ended up wandering in to check them out yesterday and came out with a Columbus Suit and Saunders Jacket and matching Saunders Trousers. Effectively two suits for $1,437 including the tailoring on the trousers (they come long and unfinished to allow correct sizing).

I went for the larger block rather than the very tapered one. The half canvassed construction is clear in the soft drape and the fabric was great. I'm very curious as to how the 50% Cotton 40% Wool 10% Silk blend in the Columbus suit will hold up but it has a great look and feel new.

Ask me again in a couple of years about these but if you are in the market - worth checking out IMHO.
 
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Mark1966

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Looks sharp! Looks suitable
SUITable - boom tish!

BTW - all above prices are for jacket and single pair of trousers. I usually get two trousers and may get a second pair but simply didn't think about it till afterwards!
 

Monsta_AU

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MJ Bale is the best of the locals if you ask me in terms of value, workmanship, fabric quality etc.

Otherwise, short of a trip to Vietnam I would suggest checking the visiting HK tailors. They are popular with some of the legal firms that I work with - most of these guys have somewhere between 14 & 21 suits in rotation as they wear them pretty much every day.

http://www.englishbespoketailors.com - Currently in the country for meaursements & orders, although have finished for Brisbane. They usually have a trip special offer, I don't have it to hand currently.

http://www.himarkmartintailors.com/ are also in the country. In Brisbane today and Sydney later this week followed by the rest of the country. They seem to be a bit cheaper than English Bespoke.

I have personal connections who use both, and are very happy with the results.
 

Mark1966

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MJ Bale is the best of the locals if you ask me in terms of value, workmanship, fabric quality etc.
That would be my assessment on research to date - but early days for me in terms of wear.

Otherwise, short of a trip to Vietnam ...
Which can be problematic by accounts I've read. Some good, some bad and hard to tell unless you are there long enough to see finished product before paying.

...I would suggest checking the visiting HK tailors. They are popular with some of the legal firms that I work with - most of these guys have somewhere between 14 & 21 suits in rotation as they wear them pretty much every day.

http://www.englishbespoketailors.com - Currently in the country for meaursements & orders, although have finished for Brisbane. They usually have a trip special offer, I don't have it to hand currently.

http://www.himarkmartintailors.com/ are also in the country. In Brisbane today and Sydney later this week followed by the rest of the country. They seem to be a bit cheaper than English Bespoke.

I have personal connections who use both, and are very happy with the results.
That is interesting. I did consider these but was turned off by a number of reviews talking of crowded hotel rooms with lots of people there at once and high pressure sales tactics to upsell from the advertised base deal to higher quality but more expensive fabrics. I've never met anybody who has used them and your link to a customer is the closest I've heard of mate. Most commonly it is a friend of a friend who has used them.

Given my body shape is pretty close to OTR measurements I'm not sure that MTM is going to add much to the fit and my logic is for the same price I'd get a better fabric with OTR as the ost is going into that rather than the custom manufacture. Sensible?

I am still interested in them as an option in future and might look at them next time I'm in the market. With Himark starting at $US590 and English Bespoke at $US750 which is $A760/970 respectively (excluding any special deals) they are still a sizable investment.

As an aside - do those websites look very similar to anybody else? A quick WHOIS has Aroon Mahtani appearing in the details for both - I'd say related corporations pitching at slightly different markets.
 

Arnold J Rimmer

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I have heard a lot of good reports about MJ Bale as well.

Sorry that Elite Suits never got back to you. I know Simon travels a lot between Sydney and Shanghai, so it possible that he missed your message. It may be worth a follow-up email, if you are still on the hunt for a tailor.

I wore my pinstriped suit out a month or so ago for the first time since buying it. Now, either it has shrunk while waiting, or this fattening hobo cuisine has messed with my midline. I got into it, but it wasn't as easy a fit as when it first arrived...

Looks nice though. I picked my wife up at the airport, and made out like a chauffeur, but with a trilby instead of the regular driver's hat. She was suitably impressed, so it must be ok.
 

Drubbing

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I think most of us have to make some compromises on off the rack suits. Jackets for me are always either too big or small on the shoulders, or too tight or loose. I bought one in Trenery recently because of the sales and an extra VIP discount. I made my compromise by going smaller with the 'modern' (skinny fit) and it looks sharp, but is just too snug to do up buttons, which I rarely use. I only need a suit a few times a year anyway. If suits are important to you, no doubt the best way is tailored, and getting the cut that suits you.
 
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