So Dylan & Son is another one of these skinny suited faux artisans with non-existent customer service? Sounds just like a be-rabbited tailor on the island.
After having a few shirts and suits made with Dylan & Son and one with Nani Iris Tailor, I thought I write a quick review for all of those who are still trying to figure out which is the right place to go to. Also given some of the really negative comments about Dylan, I thought it's good to put things a little into perspective.
Good thing, all garments that I made with any of them are very nice to wear, if I have time I will post some pictures. Both tailors took ample time for at least 3-4 fittings, making sure everything was perfect and did alterations after things were done (I lost a few kilos around the waist in the past months) w/o questions or complaints.
I am not focussing too much of the quality of the workmanship. There are too many details here, and I am by no means at the highest sartorial level, so I suggest you just go down to the shop yourself and see if you like what they have and if it meets your standard.
Now plusses and minuses, let's start with Dylan:
+ He gives very good advice on style, this can be extremely helpful if you are now to the sartorial world. I had a few ideas that he talked me out of and a few things he suggested I didn't think of before, and I was always happy with the end result, better than if it was all own direction only.
+ He takes a lot of time on the first garment to talk through how your wear your stuff, tie now tie, seasons, going through a large number of materials, I spend a good 2h in his store before making the choice on the first suit.
+ He sources some more interesting materials that you don't find everywhere, he doesn't mind to order lining or shirting from mills that can take very long to deliver.
+ I also like the ties that he is either sourcing or making himself.
+ I do like the shop front as well, it's fit's the premium product.
+ His prices for the Oxford shirts (often a 20% off deal) are very reasonable.
On the minus side:
- He's a little pricey. Now that I have made a few more garments at different places, I would say he's probably 25% higher than Nani for suits, shirts re almost the same and the quality doesn't warrant that up-charge. I have always negotiated a little discount with him, so ended up paying only maybe about 10% more than Nani, still it's more. Shirts I made range from 110 - 250, suits from 1.3k to 2.8k always depending on material.
- He only likes to work with his own material, this is something which ultimately will make me coming back less. Getting more into quality garments, I decided that I prefer to source my own stuff (many bargains to be had) and then only pay for actual tailoring service.
- He's a good marketeer and not a good sales man. I can see where the comments from people came about feeling of not getting the best treatment. Some people called this arrogant, but I actually think it's different, he's just not as easy going with people.
- He is not as flexible with unusual request, e.g. I wanted a different collar style . At first he said it's not possible, then after some convincing on my side, he said it's ok, but he would recommend against it, but did it. When I saw the final result, I decided that I would have preferred the standard spread collar.
Now for Nani:
+ Takes even more time and care on the fitting. First fittings are made in Muslin, so no risk that you might have to live with something on your chosen fabric, just because something went wrong in the first cutting or some misunderstanding when you ordered.
+ It's a fun place to go to, I enjoy chatting with everyone in the shop and you feel immediately welcome, never pressured to buy anything.
+ She uses her own materials and also your material. Where Dylan takes an upcharge, I feel she is more honest on the pricing and hands down discounts she gets. She also has some cut lengths in the shop, which helps if you have difficulty imagining the material from a small fabric swatch. Obviously much smaller range if you limit yourself to those, but sometimes, you might find just the right thing.
- Didn't like her selection of Button's and linings as much as Dylan's I liked almost everything that Dylan had, for Nani it took more searching though her inventory.
- The shop is more old school messy tailor shop, I do prefer the slick clean modern shop front. Again a matter of taste.
- While she is great on advice for fabrics, I didn't find her too helpful on style advise. It's more along the lines of 'whatever you prefer' vs. Dylan is 'this would suit you well'. This is less important when you know what you want and what suits you, but for your first garment, it might come into play.
With both of them, I always had to check on a number of things, e.g. both initially forgot the slip yoke (Nani fixed it, Dylan gave me a 50% off), was happy with both of those solutions. Other small details, e.g. missing flower loop, etc. Bth of them take long time to get your stuff done, this is good and bad.
So in summary, I would return to both places, but probably more other to Nani, better value for money. If you have other thoughts, please feel free to reply, but I hope this helps some people who are looking for a place to Tailor at reasonable prices in Singapore.