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kotmj
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Kotmj, I was looking through your tumblr and I saw how you did the swappable buttons. My tailor does it differently and I think it might have the edge. Might be useful info if you decide to do it again.

 

Essentially, the button hole at the back is vertical, as opposed to being parallel, to that on the front. And sized smaller as well. That way the button at the back doesn't really show when the coat is unbuttoned. More discrete, I think. I had the horn button sewn onto a shirt button instead of another front button.

 

Did you have to experiment with button placement/coat cut to prevent pulling?

 

I do have a question though: some coats, notably those on A&S have slanted shoulders. I'm aware that the ability to achieve this is based in large part on anatomy (that is, it's probably easier to have a sloping effect when somebody has sloped shoulders). To what extent can cutting/tailoring help create an impression of sloped shoulders?

 

And, also, concave shoulders.

 

Simply put, is it possible to create a coat with concave shoulders (and sloped shoulders) for somebody with fairly straight shoulders?

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Kotmj, I was looking through your tumblr and I saw how you did the swappable buttons. My tailor does it differently and I think it might have the edge. Might be useful info if you decide to do it again.

 

Essentially, the button hole at the back is vertical, as opposed to being parallel, to that on the front. And sized smaller as well. That way the button at the back doesn't really show when the coat is unbuttoned. More discrete, I think. I had the horn button sewn onto a shirt button instead of another front button.

 

Did you have to experiment with button placement/coat cut to prevent pulling?

 

I do have a question though: some coats, notably those on A&S have slanted shoulders. I'm aware that the ability to achieve this is based in large part on anatomy (that is, it's probably easier to have a sloping effect when somebody has sloped shoulders). To what extent can cutting/tailoring help create an impression of sloped shoulders?

 

And, also, concave shoulders.

 

Simply put, is it possible to create a coat with concave shoulders (and sloped shoulders) for somebody with fairly straight shoulders?

 

Forgot to answer this.

 

Thanks for the info on alternative methods of executing swappable buttons. I think the way I do them is quite serviceable. I can't see how rotating the anchor buttonholes to form right angles to the cuff buttonholes have any advantage, since the anchor holes are quite obscured.

 

I can think of only three ways to make shoulders appear more sloping.

 

1. Have a taller collar/make neckscye closer to the neck

2. Make a custom shoulder pad that is small, which really only pads the last 3" of the shoulder.

3. Forget about padding and go for structure instead of bulk.

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Savile Row Tailors v Neapolitan Tailors (2013)

 

Here's my humble interpretation:

 

I'm disclosing my choice of tailor, for the sake of transparency, but would like to add that I like to believe that I'm objective in disbursing views -- my tailor has been cutting on the Row all his life.

 

I wouldn't go insofar as to call the strength that Savile Row has in the realm of tailoring 'a name' that no longer holds any weight. Are SR tailors' skills unrivaled, and are they at the very pinnacle of their craft? Probably not. The Japanese are extremely exacting. Do Savile Row suits offer a superb price-quality ratio? Possibly not. But are the top SR houses above average, and among, at least, the top 2% of tailors worldwide? Quite likely.

 

Characteristics of a SR suit:

 

I think that a Savile Row suit, in general, is less playful. It creates more of a commanding presence, projects a more serious countenance, and harks back to Pax Britannica -- when Britain ruled the waves.

 

In my experience -- conservations with tailors on the Row, and having stuff made up -- SR suits tend to try to disguise anatomical flaws and they attempt to make up a suit that recreates proportions of the Vitruvian Man (that is, develop a more athletic torso). Thus, it's very typical to find that on SR, suits tend to have an extended shoulder to create a bit of chest, and a more prominent waist (with the exception of A & S). English tailors like to give the body definition, more shape, and thus makes one look more commanding and athletic. They pay more attention to correcting a dropped shoulder that might betray weakness to be exploited when one is arguing in the hallowed halls of the English Parliament, disguising a wide girth that hints at poor self-control, or shaping hips that are irregular. They're also firm believers in proportion and timelessness so whilst one might have the spalla camica on a Neapolitan coat, or a wider than normal lapels on a suit, the English tailors, like their stiffed-lipped forebears shun these frivolities. After all, traditionally, they made for dignitaries, kings, and generals, and one would be hard-pressed to find a royal opting for, say, excess cloth streaming down the shoulders.

 

These men have power and they don't need to flaunt it in their dress.

 

The English, keen believers in efficiency and productivity (a mindset that drove the industrial revolution) always look for more efficient ways of completing a task with less effort. They do not care much for the way a seam is lapped, or not, if they think it's functionally useless. They tolerate hand-sewn buttonholes. They don't care about cutting the shoulder seam on the bias if the amount of time expended to do that is not commensurate with the benefits. Forget romanticism. Think tradition, think of a country proud of their history and where they are today, and they're not afraid to turn their nose up on what they believe to be inferior.

 

I think that the type of women that a SR suit will attract are the more mature kind; they're more solemn.

 

HuntsmanDB1_zps66570c12.jpg

Prince-Charles-double-breasted-suit_zps75b476e0.jpg

PGrant_GQ_28oct10_PhilipSinden_zpsc6a79155.jpg

 

65868_333402490107557_1546871734_n_zps1432b0f0.jpg

 

Neapolitan tailors:

 

Again, having looked hard, and thought carefully about whom to use, I feel that the Neapolitan suits are more contemporary, less old-world. Tailors care less about the dropped shoulder than they do about creating an air of nonchalance, whether consciously or not. As a corollary to that, they pay less attention to giving definition to the body, after all, to do so, is to look studied. Think of a flaneur surrounding himself with women, recreating the zeitgeist of 18th century Casanova in a modern setting. The suits are less studied, and feature more handwork, very likely because the machines required cost a great deal, and that labor in Naples is cheap, but that's a guess of course. The suits evoke an air of playfulness, a touch of flamboyance. Full of joie de vivre. Colour.

 

tumblr_ma2y50k3Ue1r9whjqo1_1280_zps97826443.jpg

546896_400130846748391_1952932156_n_zps3fb3eb02.jpg

 

Does this make one suit less than another? I don't know.

 

The key is to ask yourself, what image do you want to create, and if you have a dropped shoulder, and a non-existent chest, with no v-shape to speak of, would you want a suit that 'rectifies' the problems, or a suit that embraces you, problems and all.

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Forgot to answer this.

 

Thanks for the info on alternative methods of executing swappable buttons. I think the way I do them is quite serviceable. I can't see how rotating the anchor buttonholes to form right angles to the cuff buttonholes have any advantage, since the anchor holes are quite obscured.

 

 

Might be wrong on this, but on my coat, there's barely any overlap at all, so if reversible buttons were made up, the buttonhole at the back would have to be sufficiently large to fit the 32L button. Won't the horizontal buttonholes (at the back) show when the coat is buttoned up, and when some movement pulls the fabric? Also, when one buttons the coat, one pulls the buttons in a horizontal motion (as opposed to a vertical movement), so wouldn't long buttonholes that are cut horizontally mean that the buttons are not secure enough when one tries to button the coat? Finally, I just though it'd be less obtrusive to the eye if the back buttonholes are parallel to the coat edge as opposed to horizontal, but that's just a stylistic preference.

 

Those were some concerns I had in mind when I was having it made up. But you might be right, and it might not matter at all.

 

On an irrelevant note, ever heard of J P Thornton's International System of Garment Cutting?

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Desvaro, Sacoor Brothers has some plain ones for RM40.On ebay, you can get a PS for as low as RM15 inclusive of shipping.

 

Btw, who made your suit in your above post?ah loke?

 

 

Yes Ah Loke made this in middle of 2011. Kotmj helped me a lot with the selection of the cloth, subsequent fittings etc. Wouldn't have turned out as well without his help.

 

Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out.

 

On a side note, I dressed up in my suit for the Swan Lake production at MPO. The level of dressing showed by most people were really appalling. Those who wore suits wore it because they had to, while those in the cheaper sits wore polo t-shirts. Sigh

 

Savile Row Tailors v Neapolitan Tailors (2013)

 

Thanks for the writeup, it was really good especially for someone like me who doesn't have any experience with either of the two.

 

Also, good thing the half-naked lady was featured only at the end of the article, otherwise I don't think I would have been able to comprehend haha.

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Savile Row Tailors v Neapolitan Tailors (2013)

 

Here's my humble interpretation:

 

I'm disclosing my choice of tailor, for the sake of transparency, but would like to add that I like to believe that I'm objective in disbursing views -- my tailor has been cutting on the Row all his life.

 

I wouldn't go insofar as to call the strength that Savile Row has in the realm of tailoring 'a name' that no longer holds any weight. Are SR tailors' skills unrivaled, and are they at the very pinnacle of their craft? Probably not. The Japanese are extremely exacting. Do Savile Row suits offer a superb price-quality ratio? Possibly not. But are the top SR houses above average, and among, at least, the top 2% of tailors worldwide? Quite likely.

 

Characteristics of a SR suit:

 

I think that a Savile Row suit, in general, is less playful. It creates more of a commanding presence, projects a more serious countenance, and harks back to Pax Britannica -- when Britain ruled the waves.

 

In my experience -- conservations with tailors on the Row, and having stuff made up -- SR suits tend to try to disguise anatomical flaws and they attempt to make up a suit that recreates proportions of the Vitruvian Man (that is, develop a more athletic torso). Thus, it's very typical to find that on SR, suits tend to have an extended shoulder to create a bit of chest, and a more prominent waist (with the exception of A & S). English tailors like to give the body definition, more shape, and thus makes one look more commanding and athletic. They pay more attention to correcting a dropped shoulder that might betray weakness to be exploited when one is arguing in the hallowed halls of the English Parliament, disguising a wide girth that hints at poor self-control, or shaping hips that are irregular. They're also firm believers in proportion and timelessness so whilst one might have the spalla camica on a Neapolitan coat, or a wider than normal lapels on a suit, the English tailors, like their stiffed-lipped forebears shun these frivolities. After all, traditionally, they made for dignitaries, kings, and generals, and one would be hard-pressed to find a royal opting for, say, excess cloth streaming down the shoulders.

 

These men have power and they don't need to flaunt it in their dress.

 

The English, keen believers in efficiency and productivity (a mindset that drove the industrial revolution) always look for more efficient ways of completing a task with less effort. They do not care much for the way a seam is lapped, or not, if they think it's functionally useless. They tolerate hand-sewn buttonholes. They don't care about cutting the shoulder seam on the bias if the amount of time expended to do that is not commensurate with the benefits. Forget romanticism. Think tradition, think of a country proud of their history and where they are today, and they're not afraid to turn their nose up on what they believe to be inferior.

 

I think that the type of women that a SR suit will attract are the more mature kind; they're more solemn.

 

HuntsmanDB1_zps66570c12.jpg

Prince-Charles-double-breasted-suit_zps75b476e0.jpg

PGrant_GQ_28oct10_PhilipSinden_zpsc6a79155.jpg

 

65868_333402490107557_1546871734_n_zps1432b0f0.jpg

 

Neapolitan tailors:

 

Again, having looked hard, and thought carefully about whom to use, I feel that the Neapolitan suits are more contemporary, less old-world. Tailors care less about the dropped shoulder than they do about creating an air of nonchalance, whether consciously or not. As a corollary to that, they pay less attention to giving definition to the body, after all, to do so, is to look studied. Think of a flaneur surrounding himself with women, recreating the zeitgeist of 18th century Casanova in a modern setting. The suits are less studied, and feature more handwork, very likely because the machines required cost a great deal, and that labor in Naples is cheap, but that's a guess of course. The suits evoke an air of playfulness, a touch of flamboyance. Full of joie de vivre. Colour.

 

tumblr_ma2y50k3Ue1r9whjqo1_1280_zps97826443.jpg

546896_400130846748391_1952932156_n_zps3fb3eb02.jpg

 

Does this make one suit less than another? I don't know.

 

The key is to ask yourself, what image do you want to create, and if you have a dropped shoulder, and a non-existent chest, with no v-shape to speak of, would you want a suit that 'rectifies' the problems, or a suit that embraces you, problems and all.

 

boys - this is an excellent write-up, and mirrors my own experiences well. Personally I like SR style but with Neapolitan handiwork. A soft but drape-less cut. So basically a hybrid in many ways.

 

Of the tailors you've tried, who is your fave? Apart from the ones you can't name.

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So a lady came in yesterday and enquired about clothes for tango dancers. She told me she runs a tango school across the street and wants to invest in some clothes for her staff.

 

Then later, she returned and asked me about Brioni. She said she didn't understand why they were so expensive.

 

Then later, while we were closing, she came in again with 7 suits on hangers -- three were Brioni RTW, a Zegna, and some Armanis. I was very, very, very, maximally impressed by the brionis, and told her a few things about the suits, why they are so good, etc.

 

She then said she will leave the brionis in the shop so that I can study them, etc.

 

I learned later that her husband is a tycoon and lives near Pavilion in KL and she owns the shoplot I was in and another property across the street. She kept asking me about my suits and if I would travel to customer's places, etc.

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Xu -- that was meant to be a short post that somehow metamorphosed into a write-up. Sorry if it was too long to read.

 

Having used a fair number of tailors in England in my search for one I'm willing to develop a long term rs with, I do think that there are two that are particularly striking, 1) John McCabe of Whitcomb and Shaftesbury who got my first coat right from the get-to. He's worked at numerous SR houses (A director at Kilgour, head-cutter at Carr, Son & Woor, Hogg, Sons and Johnstone, and Dege and Sons, now Dege & Skinner), some of which are presently defunct because of monetary issues, but were, in their heyday, the cream of the crop. 2) KHL who is relatively decent, and cuts a Huntman silhouette at literally, half the price. McCabe does that very well too. Don't forget that these tailors have worked together, circulated all over the Row, and were likely apprentices to the same 'masters', after having studied a particular drafting system.

 

They have been ordered according to preference, first being most preferred. I settled on these two not least because they offer a much better price-quality ratio, but also because I find them easier to work with, and much more accommodating. McCabe, for instance, was willing to work with me on my swappable buttons, a whim that the bigger houses would be less likely to indulge because it's too much out of the norm and not worth the time.

 

Don't forget that a making smth up at a smaller house means you get far more undivided attention, not that Poole isn't good. They spent over an hour and a half chatting with me. But I don't think a coat at Poole sufficiently differs so much from what I can get at either and that warrants paying 900 pounds extra. I'd pay more if they're better -- I'm a stickler for perfection -- I just don't think they're better.

 

Never used Italian tailors. 'Cept for NSM.

 

Closer to home -- I only use Iris in Singapore.

 

And in HK -- I've used all the big names with the exception of Baroman. I don't quite like Chan's coat that much. They were my first bespoke tailors so, I used to like them, but after trying better tailors in England etc, I think the English coats have a far far far more elegant silhouette. This is not just my opinion. I've randomly sampled women and asked their feedback. JK. But, it's true. I checked with a number of women, they think the silhouette of my English coats look more elegant than Chan.

 

Kotmj, carpe diem! You're on your way to riches.

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Boys, how about some McCabe fit pics?

 

I thought I posted them. Let me know what you think.

 

Here. Ignore shirt collar.

 

I specified strong roped shoulder, with chest, and a pinched waist -- those are stylistic preferences.

 

Gauge the coat, as well, by how clean it looks. I have a hunched back, non-existent chest, a dropped shoulder, and forward pitched arms. Right hip is also slightly bigger, which is why you might see very slight rumples on the Chan coat. Invisible here.

 

This coat has swappable buttons, and is 1/4 lined in paisley lining.

 

McCabe

 

Londontailor2.jpg

Londontailor1.jpg

 

McCabe

 

First fitting for a 9 oz checked sports jacket that will have a bi-swing back and crescent pockets.

 

photo21_zps21a74947.jpg

 

photo22_zps1cf936b5.jpg

 

 

Henry Poole

 

Compare this with Simon's Poole suit, that is in a heavier weight, which should make up better No less. Again, ignore stylistic preferences, and compare how clean each looks relative to each other.

 

ScreenShot2013-01-24at195328_zpsa6707894.png

 

Chan's first coat

 

Take a look at the shape, and the arms, particularly the right arm. Back is similar to picture below.

 

900x900px-LL-ebf5f487_DSCF5672.jpg

 

Chan's 2nd coat. Look at the back, there's also a bad collar gap. And, not to mention, this is on the second coat.

 

Chancoat5_zpsadc2e78a.jpg

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Yups. There's drape. Compare with the Chan, where there's no drape at all. I'm thin with no chest. So the chest you see on McCabe's coat is not quite me. ;D

 

If I have time, I'll try put up pictures of KHL's suits. Hard to find people to take pictures of me.

 

Here's a good example of the difference in silhouette between an English coat, and a HK tailor's (and some Italians) coat.

 

Left is by Yao, and right, by an English tailor.

 

Note the shape of the coat is very different. I tend to think the coat on the right gives one's body more definition, and, to me, looks more elegant to the eye. Not everybody might like the flared skirts, however. What I can vouch for is that, 8/8 women I asked prefer the shape of the coat on the right. HHAHAAH.

 

edityao_zpsbd63d495.jpg

 

This is not me, btw.

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Interetsing comparison pics. The English coat is generally 'bigger' isn't it. Longer skirt, more cloth in the chest, wider lapels, more closed quarters. Even the sleeve looks slightly fuller. More presence, you might say.

 

I would certainly see the value of English-style suits if I had to wear them to an office every day.

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^ I think it's partly to do with their extended shoulders. HK tailors tend to cut it off right at the end of the shoulders, whilst on English coats, it's slightly extended (even Anderson and Sheppard does this), though, they'd do this particularly if you've no shoulders, and take it in if you're big built etc. So, nothing is set in stone. It's really about what you want to do. And, yes, more presence, but not smth one would wear out to chill with friends. I have my sports coats at all my tailors cut differently, less rope in the shoulders, slightly softer canvass, less waist, less flare in the skirts etc.

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Whom would you use as a poster boy for Neapolitan tailors? It was hard deciding whom to use. This is a generalization, of course, but, Neapolitan suits tend to be cut like that by default. NSM also do soft suits.

 

Regarding my choice -- I used Luca and Lino because they're iconic to most, in the same way Grant and Charles are. I used that picture of Luca because it fits the image that Neapolitans tend to portray. You'll understand what I mean when you visit Naples, and contrast what you see when you're around the Row and Burlington Arcade. Neapolitans are warm, and more vibrant than the English, and well, in that picture, there's eye-candy!

 

Neapolitans' style isn't bad, like I wrote, just more casual, and different. More nonchalance, and less about 'remedying' problems. A little like A & S in some sense, though if I was getting smth super soft, I'd go to Naples, not A & S. Though, this doesn't mean that the English can't cut a casual coat. They can.

 

Take your pick here then :)

 

A Rubi on the left, Manton who uses Solito (middle) etc --

 

http://3.bp.blogspot...ee%2BiGents.jpg

 

A Napolisumisura DB --

 

http://imageshack.us...img1427ed4.jpg/

 

click on the icon when you're at imageshack.

 

Matt who uses Rubinacci --

 

http://i22.photobuck...ofan121810s.jpg

http://i22.photobuck...cketfront2s.jpg

http://cdn.styleforu...fan111311m.jpeg

 

Or general search queries here --

 

Rubinacci --

 

https://www.google.c...iw=1267&bih=713

 

Solito (also another great) --

 

https://www.google.c...iw=1267&bih=713

DB -- http://img138.images.../2/1950a2aa.jpg

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I would add Jeremy Hackett to the list of dudes who wear a great English-cut suit.

 

And: We always talk about what seem to be the two poles of tailoring: London vs Naples. But what about the Roman cut? The Milanese cut? Florentine, if there is such a thing? I don't know too much about them.

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