Jump to content

kotmj

Members
  • Content Count

    9,382
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    534

Everything posted by kotmj

  1. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Well, while on the topic of major fuckups (of which I've had my share over the years), I have this story to tell. I accompanied a customer to Bangkok to commission a suit from a travelling Florentine tailor, whose price back then was RM30k for a 2-piece suit, and whose price is Rm40k nowadays. Said customer took more than an hour to select a very particular kind of grey cloth from a sample provided. It has a very particular texture. Super 130's Loro Piana, if I remember correctly. During the first fitting, he found that the baste was not in his selected cloth. It was a similar shade of grey, but without the particular texture.
  2. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Let's kick off this thread with a jacket I found in the workshop. The owner of the jacket had brought it to a cutter to have it copied. The cutter, in turn, gave it to the coatmaker with a "Nah, copy." To be clear upfront, I do not like this coat. Let's look at the coat. What catches the eye first is the barchetta breast pocket, immediately signalling a Neapolitan origin. The second element that announces itself is the miles upon miles of super-obvious pick stitching, which upon closer inspection, reveals a machine origin. Once upon a time when tailoring was still honest, pick stitching is supposed to be as inconspicuous as possible. It says so in every tailoring textbook. It also actually had a structural function of keeping edges crisp, or of holding pieces of cloth together. This particular pick stitching, OTOH, is purely decorative and is so loosely sewn, it has no hope of holding anything together. What really bothers me about this pick stitching is that you find it even on the front dart. What purpose could it possibly play there? Indeed, it is unfortunate we need front darts to achieve shape, which is why tailors press it so flat so as to make it less obvious. Puttting in a row of that super-puckering pick stitching makes the darts draw attention to themselves. But notice also the severe puckering around the front of the sleevehead on both sides. It is clear the coat has been dry cleaned before, and by a second-rate dry cleaner at that. The buttonholes were machined, but I have to say they are very good imitations of hand-sewn buttonholes. The lapels are padded by machine. Everything about this jacket is machined. In the picture immediately above, you notice black and burgundy shapes in the blurry background. I shall have more to say about those. They just could not let go of the pick stitching. You find more of that obnoxious stuff on the inside of the jacket. I have never seen anything more exuberantly pick stitched. Hah, made in Spain, eh? But why the barchetta? Here's why: Which explains everything. The black and burgundy shapes belong to a very expensive jacket in the making. It represents the successful conclusion of a salesman's salesmanship, and it is an embodiment of somebody's dream of elegance. Both the cloth and the lining is Loro Piana. Unfortunately, it is black, and it is fused.
  3. kotmj

    Dress shoes

    PhiloVances pair of old distinguished Edward Greens before restoration. The quality wafts from the screen...
  4. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    I had to get an Americano and a chocolate chip shortbread to soothe and console myself over a traumatic experience. Yesterday, the CEO of a property developer messaged me, saying the shirts his driver picked up from me earlier in the day "didn't fit". Yeah right, I thought. It's almost impossible for the shirts to not fit. The shirt muslin was cut to a pattern drafted just for him, using values that we've used successfully for countless other customers. Then, I fitted that muslin on him, eliciting his feedback in the process. I do this 3-10 times per week, for the past 9 years. Subsequently, his paper patterns are edited to reflect the findings during the fitting. Only then were the Alumos cut and sewn, and hand finished with embroidery and buttons. He presented himself in the shop this morning. The first shirt was too tight. The second shirt was way too big. I was dumbfounded. I told him the shirts are not right, and that for subsequent appointments to fix this, I'll drive to his place. Of course I apologised. When he left, I did a quick post mortem. Nothing about the shirts was right. As soon as I could, I drove to see the shirtmaker. It appears this customer's pattern was not used in the production of his shirts. Patterns from two other customers were used. Everybody was dumbfounded. So, I now have to reorder the Alumos. The customer probably thinks I'm a charlatan.
  5. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Went to 1U today to exchange a H&M t-shirt. I bought it the last time I was in 1U, when H&M again disallowed trying on clothes in their fitting rooms. I needed a larger size. At the cashier, a remarkable scene. There were only four customers in the whole shop. All four were at the cashier. All four were wanting either exchanges or refunds. The ratio of such cases must be very high, because customers had to try on the clothes at home. One of the staff was on the phone with a more senior staff. His colleague asked him to tell the senior staff that they are not sure if they have enough cash bills in the counter for more cash refunds. In other words, cash sales for that day could barely cover cash refunds. Their outlet is deeply loss-making.
  6. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Pattern for a bowtie, which we will make today as part of a tuxedo. It is made to exactly the customer's neck circumference, 15.5".
  7. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Maybe a bit too solemn. This to compensate. (That's a Stradivarius. )
  8. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Can someone tell me, what do people do when they work from home? When people are not consuming, what are people producing (from home)? Don't consumption and production go hand-in-hand? One cannot exist without the other. Please excuse me, I'm so limited. Reading the newspapers, I am lead to believe that people are very productively working from home. I presume they are producing something that a customer is paying for. Except, people are not buying much of anything nowadays. So what are all these millions of people producing from home? (Emails?) This must be the worst year in many decades for physical retail. My sympathy goes to the retailers. Here's a bit of consolation, a bit of beauty in rough times.
  9. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    I have observed a disturbing phenomenon. People have their masks on, but it is under their chin, hanging from their necks like swimming gogles. With their masks so positioned, they go about their days completely oblivious to any form of distancing. Three middle aged extremely neurotypical people in Bentong bantering with each other in very close proximity. Two Bangladeshi cleaners in Genting walking together almost touching while talking at each other with their faces barely 30cm apart. A group of young Malays chatting with each other in very close proximity, directly facing each other. All with masks, but covering their necks. The general idea behind masks is to avoid aerosol from the mouth reaching another's mucus membranes. People have all but abandoned any consciousness of this, if they ever had it in the first place. I don't think they ever understood the reason behind wearing one. Ah, the neurotypicals. Nothing they do make any sense to us who are cognitively gifted. They don't know and they don't care to know. Listening to their banter really gives me a glimpse into their internal lives---the lives of morons. I am so grateful to be born gifted.
  10. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    I don't understand the Mr Jeremy thing. It should be Mr Tok. With the Malays and Indians, you can say Mr FirstName. But not with the Chinese.
  11. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Dear Mr Jeremy, We write to inform that we had earlier requested from Celcom’s solicitors the address of Syed Sadid Alyahya Bin Syed Hashim (“Syed Sadid”) and that the information be provided in the form of an affidavit as directed by the Court. Please be informed that the Celcom’s solicitors have replied to us today enclosing an affidavit by their client on Syed Sadid’s information (name, NRIC, address and email address) and document as attached. In view of the fact that we have obtained all the necessary particulars to initiate legal action, may we have your confirmation to proceed with drafting the Writ and Statement of Claim against Syed Sadid? We look forward to your reply. Kind regards,
  12. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    This morning, while in bed perusing vacancies (I am eternally curious about all kinds of things), I discovered a type of job I had hitherto been ignorant about. It is called "clienteling". The job title for such a role would be like Private Clients Relationship Manager. In essence, it is about contacting individual clients---primarily through WhatsApp today---and telling them about things which would be of interest to them, and which they might want to buy. This is different from physical retail in that the client is not physically with you. Clienteling is typically used to move high value items to high net worth customers. Those of you who know me know that I would be totally awful at clienteling. I have no interest in chatting with customers on WhatsApp. I don't know why that is. I just know it is. I've always been this way. This weakness costs JT hundreds of thousands a year in revenues. I shared my discovery with the Malay boy just now. I told him how I would totally suck at clienteling. He tells me he is good at it. I asked him: You like doing clienteling? Not everybody has the psyche and interest for it. He says it's totally his thing.
  13. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Today, I went where nobody dares to go: I went to 1U. It was very deserted. But beyond that, the situation looks forlorn. A number of shops appear to me to have closed indefinitely, since their window displays are stripped of merchandise, and even the merchandising equipment are arranged as though awaiting transport out of the mall. Quite a percentage of shops has also remain closed. The sole Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue on display at Watatime has disappeared. Even the Nespresso boutique is in hibernation, which is odd because it's owned by Nestle, and because it is in an atrium space, which makes it a prominent reminder to all that all is not well at 1U. Of the two basement parking levels, B2 has been sealed off. I saw only about a dozen cars on B1. I then read that the Food Republic food court has permanently closed at 1U. So much destruction. I think for many of the tenants, their space in 1U has been loss making even before the recent shutdown, and the shutdown just made them see that it is a lost cause to continue operating there.
  14. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    I was just talking over the phone with a lorry driver who is supposed to be good at moving sewing machines. I told him we are located near 1U. Upon hearing this, his enthusiasm for the job waned considerably.
  15. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    I have found that unlike people like Goethe who did his best thinking while out on long walks in nature, I do mine best while seated with pen and paper. Alas, unlike Goethe, the sort of thinking I do is very unglamorous. Rental agreements, planning how to move 11 sewing machines, whether to continue pursuing legal action, etc.
  16. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    The market value of a kidney may not be high enough to cover tuition.
  17. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    So 1U has come out saying 21 of the 6000 people who work in the mall have been tested positive for covid. That's a 0.35% current infection rate. Some may have gotten it earlier, showed no symptoms and have recovered. The test doesn't detect these. Also, the molecular test is notorious for producing up to 37% false negatives, which is why you see certain people being tested repeatedly. The mix of mall management and tenant staff numbering 6000 in 1U is a great proxy for the PJ population. Applying the 0.35% infection rate to the Petaling District of 1.661 million people gives an estimated 5800 cases of current infection in Petaling alone.
  18. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    I expect this CMCO of kl/pj to last for several months. It is very good at dampening consumption, since you're not expected to shop recreationally. If the retail sector has been suffering so far, it is just about to get worse. I also expect most of the country to enter CMCO soon. There has been a tremendous amount of domestic tourism on a level never seen before, which means the virus has spread everywhere. I was actually planning to move to a larger space at Plaza Kelana Jaya. But recent developments make that look unwise. It may be better to take the opposite direction: the contractionary approach instead of expansionary. JT should further evolve into the cockroach that survives the nuclear holocaust. I may move into a smaller unit within the same building. The sort of unit we used to be in. This as a precautionary move to further shrink the cost structure. Even Liverano in Florence had to change. It recently started offering tailoring courses---with high tuition fees. Anybody can apply. Prior experience in tailoring is not a prerequisite. (The cash is. Bring the cash!)
  19. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    They are fine for more genteel times, but you need pragmatic, rugged people for tough times.
  20. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Here we go again. Surat majikan, roadblocks, chicken employees, etc. Have you noticed the huge difference between those who must work or they starve, and those for whom work is a way to make pocket money (because shelter, food, and a car is provided by parents)? Thankfully, I have one employee (the Malay boy) who belongs, like me, in the former category. The other two have refused to come to work. I don't think I will hire any more people in the latter category. They are so soft, entitled, complaining, and ultimately useless.
  21. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Completely empty except for me. Normally, you'd have to stand around waiting for a table to be vacated.
  22. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    Yesterday afternoon, I was in 1U to buy supplies and for lunch. It was eerily deserted. There were very few shoppers. I'm typing this from a Korean restaurant in Ampang. I'm here for a bibimbap without egg and without sesame oil, aka my starvation diet. This restaurant is typically packed on weekend nights. Today, I'm the only patron.
  23. kotmj

    The suiting thread

    I actually tell all my staff not to hang the measuring tape around their necks. It looks unbecoming, I tell them. I never do it myself.
×