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The suiting thread


kotmj
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This is what i'm looking forward to.So far that my local tailor have me in they blacklist just bcoz i ask for something they doesn't know and do.

Well, from the few PMs I've received from you, it's very obvious you are clueless about how to build a commercial relationship. You can't even make simple inquiries of a tailor that aren't offensive. I've gotten tailors or whatever to do unbelievable things for me. The sort of things you will never do, because you are insufficiently self aware.

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It's also interesting to discuss how to get a tailor to give you his best. Having been on both sides of the fence, I have some ideas. However: Some ideas are robust in the sense that they work even when everybody knows about them. In fact, the more well-known these ideas are, the more good they generate. Some other ideas OTOH, work better when few people know about them. I'm not sure if the ideas I have in this regard are the robust sort or otherwise.

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Some of the tactics I've seen used:

 

a) big initial order

b ) promise of frequent future orders if the first goes well

c) an intense look into the eyes of the tailor after order has been placed. I think the look is supposed to communicate "We have an understanding, yes? You won't disappoint me, right?"

d) mention of a suit made for him by another tailor, and how it was very good (though if it was that good, the question begs to be asked why he is sitting in front of another tailor and about to make an order)

 

I'm sure more will come to me.

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You got me right,coz im quite introverted and lack of commecial.

But they had my shirts made better and better,just i tak boleh tahan liao ><

Edit: thanks for sharing the taticals,i think i've used and maybe i'm used in a wrong way,ha?

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I'm probably too trusting and lenient, since I don't seem to use any tactics to get a tailor to do his best for me...or at least I'm not aware I consciously do anything.

 

I merely trust the tailors I've used to deliver as expected. I can't see myself being like our Baron to AL!

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I'm probably too trusting and lenient, since I don't seem to use any tactics to get a tailor to do his best for me...or at least I'm not aware I consciously do anything.

 

I merely trust the tailors I've used to deliver as expected. I can't see myself being like our Baron to AL!

 

The Baron exerts massive commercial pressure on AL. Poor Ah Loke would probably give up his firstborn grandson if the Baron requested it. You don't get to be a Baron by being like the rest of us :)

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f) Not nitpicking on the first or first and second orders.

 

 

Wholeheartedly agree with this. One must not expect 'perfection' with the first order, you'll probably only get 60-70% of your ideal fit in the first collaboration. This is not necessarily not due to the lack of skill/expertise by the tailor, but a misalignment between your expectations, and what your tailor thinks are your expectations.

 

Also, don't get caught up with the 'details' (handsewn this and that) of your commission before you nail the fit, which is the most important factor.

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I dont nitpick on details but i do expect the fit to be at least near ideal at about 90%. Is that unreal expectation? I really dont think so because for me personally i dont micro manage and i'm not anal about the general fit in comparison to TS. And further to that ive gone some of the worst tailors (by Kerbau standards) like in Bangkok and Koh Sa Mui or even De Catano and they got me right 90% of the time so why cant a more expensive tailor get it better.

 

If going by 70% right that to me is quite a big gap, do then i take a gamble that he will get 90% right the next time. What if he didnt and i've already spent over 5 grand with him and got 2 ill fitting suits. I know its about building relationship but seriously if your in the corporate sector if you met 70% of your KPI, your barely making the grade.

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I don't actively try to get the tailor to perform for me but here's what I do:

 

Research like hell. Nothing counts more than legwork. Have a conversation with them. And when I've decided ...

 

I try to strike a genuine relationship with the tailor with an eye towards ordering more in the future if all goes well. I must say, however, that whilst I don't expect a 100% perfect coat with the first order, I do expect relatively easily remediable parts to be cleaned up (for instance, if the shoulders are a tad too wide, but still looks reasonably good I'll overlook it because it's a massive alteration job). For the prices I pay, I expect near-perfection. I tailor expectations according to how much I pay -- it's just not fair, IMHO, to pay 1/4 of the price of an expensive suit and expect handwork to be similar.

 

I also don't 'nitpick' outright, opting instead to discuss about the problem, why it has happened, and how it can be fixed. I tried a cheaper tailor -- Graham Browne -- based on Crompton's review and he took 5 attempts (after two fittings) to get my left sleeve right. There was puckering around the armhole. Plus a whole lot of other problems like buttons misaligned etc. I was bloody irritated deep down but I always kept my cool and said, 'hey, let's work on this again, is it the pitch, or did you stitch it in too tightly etc'. He rectified it in the end, but the suit isn't really to my fancy overall and I probably won't even wear it. Lesson learnt -- he's not for me.

 

I do lose my cool if a tailor accuses me of stuff, or tells untruths. I once used a tailor (whose name I shall not disclose) who when I pointed out that the buttons were misaligned on a waistcoat, told me I was wrong. It was plain that it was misaligned and I brought the waistcoat to his apprentice and insisted that the apprentice speak up -- apprentice concurred that it was misaligned. Coat I had made up with them was also quite terrible, but that's another story. Handwork was perfect. I got word that he used to be a SR coatmaker, and not a cutter, and I think, possibly, that was why his handwork etc was perfect, but the silhouette etc, not so.

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Then again (around these parts at least), when you're talking about fit, it's a very subjective thing to the tailor. Most aren't very conscientious and what may be deemed a bad fit by the fora could be passable, perhaps even exemplary, to the tailor.

 

On an unrelated note, I just learned that a recent dinner that my company organised saw the attendance of 2 people from the tailoring business with an establishment on Jalan Maarof. I have no idea about the business, but I assume they were probably the owner and his son, which I gather from indistinct commentary around are those who run the business now.

 

The thing is, I didn't actually notice anyone who was dressed extra well that evening - and by extra, I mean simply a touch above the rest of the generic populace of men in Malaysia. I'd like to think I have an eye for spotting out dressers who dress better; perhaps not even necessarily having to be particularly superior, so that says something.

 

Then again, I don't have very much exposure to those in the tailoring industry (cutters, coatmakers etc.) so I don't know how they generally dress.

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The only method I would employ (or probably can employ) is by making myself more memorable to the tailor. This can; of course, be principally in two ways - for the right or wrong reasons. This, I imagine, can be achieved through many ways. Every nuance can potentially be memorable to the tailor without you having intended for it to be. You could be remembered for being easy with money and more willing to agree with the tailor's price (though I think this would only be applicable for tailors around these parts; AL for instance, since bargaining is not exactly a norm, I fathom). Or perhaps being particularly obsessive about a certain something. Like pink pick-stitching. But maybe even those are so prevalent nowadays.

 

But without being particularly worth remembering/memorable to the tailor, you're just another normal customer the first time round.

 

At least, that's the way I see it.

 

I don't think I've made a conscious effort to be memorable to AL, but perhaps it's because he always associates me with a friend (a close friend from school who happened to commission two suits at the same time I commissioned my first with AL) that he remembers me a bit more than the throng of wedding-suit customers. With the current tailor (whom we all know) who's cutting my Kerbau cloth, I vest enough trust in him to deliver. So I merely come up with input on what I know I want, but leave most of the aspects of fit to him.

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Went for a final fitting for my sports jacket today so the back could be touched up.

 

Thought I'd post some pictures.

 

Sleeve is affected because the back is being pinned up. I've fired an email to the tailor to inquire about the checks and why they're not aligned on the front of the coat. Maybe because it's not been tugged properly. I don't know <-- he replied. Ans is that it wasn't tugged properly.

 

IMG_3289_zpsf828ca1b.jpg

Inspired by this Huntsman number with minor differences --

 

ScreenShot2013-01-09at192150_zpsa6100b53.png

IMG_3290_zps665ab760.jpg

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