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The suiting thread


kotmj
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I just had an interesting encounter with a proprietor of a furniture shop based in Ikano. Normally, I try not to recount my customer encounters on an open forum such as this because more often than not, they will be reading it. But this one seems oblivious to the fact that I'm kotmj and doesn't seem to know of the existence of this forum.

 

"I go to trade shows several times a year and deal with Italians. Man, those guys dress real sharp. Not like normal suited people -- their suits are really special, like made just for them, really impressive. And then I'm like wearing my Hugo Boss which I don't even like that much. There's too much difference between them and me. That's why I thought I'd get a suit from you then later I'm going to Bangsar to buy Crispins."

 

He was genuinely shocked at the prices I was quoting him. Then it occured to him to ask me how much "Crispins" cost.

 

"Oh about RM6K. The owner is coming soon; I'll likely accompany someone there." He looked at me like I was pulling his leg.

 

"But there are also Carminas which are cheaper," he said. I told him Carminas are about RM2.8 to about 3K. This seems like genuinely disappointing news to him. He was utterly deflated by the prices.

 

But nothing was worse than when he asked me when the suit will likely be ready.

 

"Hah!? I thought can get it made within one month. But how come people go to Bangkok for 5 days then come back with several suits?"

 

Jajajajaja...

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Today, I visited an 80-year old tailor in his shop. As I walked into his shop in an upscale retail area, he kept staring at me with ever widening eyes.

 

"How are you doing!" he exclaimed. "I haven't seen you in years. But I've been hearing about you."

 

After an exchange of pleasantries, I told him why I was there. I had caused a small rip in a baste, and have heard from someone that he is able to repair rips in cloth by painstakingly re-weaving the cloth in the area of the rip.

 

"Oh, I can't do that anymore. Too old. I got that reputation because I once worked under a Shanghainese master who was good at it. We used to charge RM15 per inch to reweave a rip. But I can't anymore."

 

I didn't want to press him on why he can't anymore. It maybe failing eyesight, or shaky hands.

 

We had a nice chat then I left.

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It wasn't actually prudent use of my time to go see him for a rip. It would make more sense for me to just buy replacement cloth and recut the damaged panel of cloth. After all, I'm very busy.

 

The real reason I went to see him is because I wanted to see him after all these years and because I have a good excuse.

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I had an 18-year old customer in the shop earlier in the week who kept kicking me for not having a fb page, or any presence on "social media". I had tried making a fb page in the past, but I find fb extremely Japanese in layout and therefore infuriating to use. I rarely am on anybody's fb unless it's business-related, and do not keep a personal fb page. However, I realise the whole world is supposedly on fb. So, here it is:

 

https://www.facebook.com/jeremytoktailor/

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It wasn't actually prudent use of my time to go see him for a rip. It would make more sense for me to just buy replacement cloth and recut the damaged panel of cloth. After all, I'm very busy.

 

The real reason I went to see him is because I wanted to see him after all these years and because I have a good excuse.

 

Your sifu? 

 

I had an 18-year old customer in the shop earlier in the week who kept kicking me for not having a fb page, or any presence on "social media". I had tried making a fb page in the past, but I find fb extremely Japanese in layout and therefore infuriating to use. I rarely am on anybody's fb unless it's business-related, and do not keep a personal fb page. However, I realise the whole world is supposedly on fb. So, here it is:

 

https://www.facebook.com/jeremytoktailor/

 

I hate FB. 

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Nope, not the sifu. But I spent a lot of man days (man months?) in the same room as the octagenarian tailor and have interacted a lot with him. The thing is, he is quite limited in many ways so I never learnt much from him, or he from me despite the proximity and interaction. Just mundane banter. The relationship could have been so much more, but I was young and stupid then, and he was very limited personally.

 

Glad to know I am not alone in disliking fb.

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The last time a post was removed and the member banned was maybe two years ago. The post was made by MOP, who has the distinction of having been banned seven times on styleforum. No other admin intervention since then that I can remember. MOP was subsequently unbanned and remains free to post today.

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And within hours you've got yourself a negative review that recommends your competitor lol.

 

Looks like forum is monitored closely.

 

To say JT and Bespoked are competitors would do them both a disservice. Same industry but they both cater to very different clientele, personalities and budgets. 

 

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I've been on fb nearly two days now, and my, what a revelation! All this while I saw fb as barely any different from a pictorial blog like tumblr. It is -- if you register as a private individual. But I registered as a "local business". This causes fb to transform itself into an advertising machine. Now it becomes clear why Zuckerberg is so wealthy.

 

Basically, fb is able to sell you eyeballs. For something like USD 5, fb can get about a thousand eyeballs to look at a post you nominate. For significantly more money, fb can display your fb page to many thousand eyeballs per month. You can define a set of criteria of what sort of eyeballs to display to. People who live in a 20km radius from your shop, who have declared they have an interest in men's clothing, and are aged between 18 and 40.

 

No wonder I keep hearing "please like us on facebook". I have never liked anyone on fb. I have no idea why I should do that. In the same way I have no idea why I should accept a friend invitation, which I have never done. It turns out that the more likes you get, the more eyeballs fb is willing to get you for the money you pay them, something fb categorizes as "paid" views. But your liking a post or page also makes it more likely for your circle of friends to see the same thing, something fb calls "organic" views.

 

I can imagine entire businesses built on the back of facebook advertising.

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Last night, received an email.

 

[i think I should return to your forum with my usual id, sartodinapoli, and let alone MOP.

 

Good idea?]

 

I replied

[You are free to do as you wish]

 

Somebody should be saying that his mother is a Nazi officer groupie, and it is not clear who MOP's biological father is, only that he's a Nazi.

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IMG_20161208_195336.jpg?raw=1

 

A customer told me that, eh, the lapel roll seems to have dimished over time. Returned to the norm, so to speak. Lapel roll, you may be interested to know, is entirely in the province of the coatmaker. It is not related to the pattern. So I passed the message on to the coatmaker and here is the first of our running production with extra lapel roll...

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