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Member Since 12 Oct 2011
Online Last Active Today, 11:53 PM

#32656 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 11 January 2018 - 11:29 PM

So I met with the says.com writer today. She's an avid photographer, who is also a Sony A7II user (I used to own that camera myself). We also both own the Sony A6300. She's very into photography, much like myself.

She said she heard about me through her colleagues, which was why I was included in the list. The way she described it, it would appear I am relatively "known" amongst these circles. Reflecting on this now at night at home, this tells me how important it is to have an accessible price point offering for young (20-something year old) urban Chinese Malaysians. It's a lot of work for not much money, but it means you come into contact with the broader society. Over the years, I've become more upmarket, and with this comes a certain isolation from "regular" people. Hopefully if the young Malay cutter decides to work for me, I can re-introduce the lower end offering. As well as start accepting shirt-only customers again. I actually want to remain a mainstream option, and not become elitist. It's like how Mercedes used to make large, expensive sedans and nothing else. Then came a change of strategy: to make the premium offering in every category of cars, hence now the A, B and C-class Mercedes. Eventually, even Porsche went this way.

I asked her many questions, but the question which elicited the most useful reply was: "Most of us tailors do not understand digital marketing. Typically, you open shop in either a shopping mall or in a shoplot in a commercial square and rely on the human traffic outside the shop for your customers. Knowing what you know, what would you do differently?"

She was faced with such a question for the first time, and was flailing.

I said: Assume your father is a tailor and he is retiring. He wants you to take over. Business has been declining for the past few decades. What would you do by way of marketing, knowing what you do as a digital marketeer?

Her answer, though not new to me, is something that I want to do sooner rather than later.

#32632 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 08 January 2018 - 10:01 PM

I nominated today to be my work-free day, so I mostly did what I wanted today, as opposed to what I must. So on an off day when I could do anything I want, what did I do? Mostly just four things:

1. Slept till I naturally awoke and could sleep no more
2. Had a vegan, low cooking oil lunch
3. Had a good coffee
4. Went exploring the golf course with the dog
5. Write on this forum

I have a relatively well-funded bank account (thanks to some of you), so lack of funds is not an impediment to a more cash-intensive day. I find that, the older I get, the cheaper I am to maintain. Who would have thought?

I felt very reflective the whole day. I reflected mostly on the dynamics of the tailoring business. In particular, I thought about the competition. They have become noticeably more sophisticated. There are also new entrants. Nothing particularly interesting, however. For a number of years, I had a constant recurring thought: that a business is like a bird table. I've never had a bird table, but I read somewhere that not all bird tables attract birds. Even when generously heaped with bird feed, some bird tables remain exasperatingly vacant of birds. To have birds flocking to a bird table, you need to understand the psyche of birds more than you need good feed. Here an excerpt from the British Bird Lovers website:

"Place your bird table where it is quiet and the birds will not be disturbed, so if possible put it in your back garden rather than the front. Don't place it by a path or other area where there is a lot of human traffic. However, remember that part of the fun of feeding birds is that you can watch them so don't place it too far from the house.

"Make sure the birds have a good all round view from your bird table so they are safe from predators such as cats and squirrels when they feed. Avoid placing it near fences, trees and dense bushes.

"Your bird table should be positioned in sheltered spot so that it does not get too much direct sunlight or cold wind.

"A small bush or tree about 2 metres from the bird table gives the birds somewhere safe to perch so they can see if it is safe to feed. They can also use it for queueing up for a place on the table and retreat to it quickly if they are disturbed.

"A raised bird table is easier to view so either get one that is already mounted on a post or one that you can hang from a branch. Some birds such as blackbirds, thrushes and chaffinches prefer to feed from the ground so think about getting more than one feeding station."

And you thought all you need is some sunflower seeds, huh?

I'm surprised at the improvements the competition have made to their bird tables. They've made great advancements in non-traditional areas of competition. I thought they'd continue sleeping.

I've always tended to avoid competition. Mostly because when I compete, I lose. The wisdom of avoiding head-on competition became even more apparent to me when I was in university, because unlike in the real world, university is packed with super smart people. Good news is, once you get out of university, the people in the real world look so dumb.

But to get back to my point: I minted a competitive strategy for myself during my hyper competitive university days (when there were constant competitions against very smart people). It boiled down to a single mantra: Outsmarting smarter people. The problem with smart people is that they are like very muscular wrestlers. They always seek head-on competition within the rules set by the organisers. They want the gold medal. They want the sort of success that everybody sees as success.

In reality, the possibilities afforded by life are limited only by your imagination. It is not necessary to compete with others, especially not in an arena fenced by ropes with a referee and watched over by organisers. You can do something where nobody thinks to compete in, and do very well. No competitors. No arena. No fence. No referees. No organisers. You do your own thing. The field of endeavour is wholly unorganised. And the gold medal? What do you do with one?

Anyway. Now that there are smart competitive people putting their bird tables close to mine, I was wondering today how the future should be like. Where do I do things, so as not to be too close to them (metaphorically speaking).

#32587 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 18 December 2017 - 03:21 PM

The new trouser maker looks like good news for your customers.
Might need to get more trousers from you then.....
Please update as you have him make more for you.

Huh? Aren't you the farn kwat chai who brought in a foreign tailor? Do you want me to tell the story of what happened to the last guy who did that.

#32573 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 14 December 2017 - 03:26 PM


#32562 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 12 December 2017 - 11:49 PM

It's been a very long time since there is anything exciting in this business. By exciting, I mean along the lines of MOP. Recently however, my social media posts have been passionately commented upon by a particular person, let's call him by his abbreviation WH.

He started off pointing out what he thought were weaknesses in either fit or make, making these comments in the fatherly tone as a more experienced tailor. Very quickly, within a few days, the comments became vicious. He said all my clothes were made by Wardrobe's factory (I have not had a single garment made by them. In fact, I've never set foot in there.) A picture of a sublimely beautiful tuxedo lapel he said was "the worse lapel ever". He said I should "know my place". When I had two mannequins on display at The Intermark, he said he hurried over with another tailor to view them. He then proclaimed them to be crap. All this in the comments section of my FB & Instagram. Of course I deleted them.

The problem when you take on someone like a kotmj is that... well, he's kotmj. Chances of coming out of it unscathed is slim. While he took pains to disguise his real identity, I found out today he owns a tailoring shop in the center of KL, in a particular Wisma. Which I will not yet name. It opened very recently. He has but two likes on his business fb. One of those likes is he himself, using an alternate account. The other like is also probably from an alternate account.

He sort of stopped commenting of late. I don't actually mind a bit of such intrigue, and hope he continues. Because the old kotmj gets to come back.

#32553 Movies with good wardrobes

Posted by kotmj on 05 December 2017 - 10:26 PM


Murder on the Orient Express. Damn, are the suits good! The tailor is a certain Andy Kapetanos of Savile Row, who has his own practice and whose website is under construction.

The story is a little predictable, but the set and wardrobe and acting by the lead actor are all worth watching.

#32524 Collateralised debt a.k.a. The Cloth Thread

Posted by kotmj on 28 November 2017 - 07:31 PM


Kilos of cloth. And bunches.


Like press conference after a serbuan polis where they discover shabu shabu


The highlight is the Escorial. I spent the last 15 minutes just gasping at the incredible feel of the cloth. Magnificent.

#32399 Collateralised debt a.k.a. The Cloth Thread

Posted by kotmj on 01 October 2017 - 11:15 PM


Sold four suits in this the past week

#32373 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 18 September 2017 - 02:03 PM

^^^ Thank you. I get to learn something new again today.
Last stupid question, so it is technically possible to just cut one whole piece without a backseam? Advisable or dumb idea? Assume no pattern matching required, just plain cloth.
Also, I just checked some of my Borrelli's and they are cut as in B. Now you have got me curious, I am gonna check all my other suits too.

The center back seam does some work--- work which isn't done when the seam is omitted. However, I think the cb seam is the least important when compared to not having a separate side body or front darts.

#32367 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 15 September 2017 - 12:19 PM


Diagram A is how 99.9% of jackets are cut today. Diagram B is how almost all Savile Row jackets were cut in the (glorious) past, but which today is receding. Notice the side body is not separate from the front. Diagram C is how Liverano does it.

No reverse engineering. I saw pictures and figured it out.

#32363 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 14 September 2017 - 09:37 PM


The second JT jacket to feature a boutonniere Milanese

#32357 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 14 September 2017 - 03:43 PM

A Liverano doesn't just not have front darts, it also has no side body. Which is why fat people look even bulkier, and skinny people look like they're swimming in it.

Joking. I made two in this style so far:



I charge RM1k extra to omit one dart, and another RM1k to omit one side body. So rm4k extra for a Grade A homage. Still only a fraction of the price of the original.

#32256 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 19 August 2017 - 10:33 PM


Ahhh, finally adequately calorified. I ate right opposite the narrow alley of the hotel. Sukhumvit is like a Japanese ghetto. 50% of the people on the street are Japanese. So many beautiful Japanese women like those you see in Japanese AV. In the little eatery above, I was the only non-Jap patron.


Everything in Japanese


The cook puttered non-stop in the kitchen for half an hour to prepare this unremarkable dish.


Where I am now. I had to frame the picture such that the two completely naked hookers I hired are not visible.


I have three main impressions from the Liverano trunk today.

#32141 What are you wearing today?

Posted by kotmj on 20 July 2017 - 01:06 PM

This is one of those lunches that take up the whole afternoon.

#32093 The suiting thread

Posted by kotmj on 10 July 2017 - 05:35 PM


I've been trying out the stock Rundschau method for jackets for the past 8 jackets or so. So far, deeply impressed. You're looking above at what is essentially unmodified Rundschau slim fit.