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      12-03-2013, 09:41 PM   #1
lincvert
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Custom tailored suits

Does anyone have experience with full custom tailored suits? I've tried made-to-order two times as well as heavy alterations and been unhappy with the results. I'd prefer east coast (near DC) but would consider anywhere in the US.

Is anyone else so far off the rack sizes that nothing seems to work? I'm only posting in health and fitness because I'm assuming others who work out regularly have the same issue.
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      12-03-2013, 11:44 PM   #2
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No help on the east coast thing. But I did notice that once I understood my measurements and desired cut, everything became so much easier.

Numbers are numbers, no matter where the fitting. But, overseas labor is always cheaper!

chuckles...

Good luck man.
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      12-04-2013, 12:30 PM   #3
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I've needed some custom suits. With my upper body shape, the suits that fit my body, do not fit my arms... I'll hulk out of them if I move the wrong way.. I have been looking for a good place as well.
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      12-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RambleJ View Post
I've needed some custom suits. With my upper body shape, the suits that fit my body, do not fit my arms... I'll hulk out of them if I move the wrong way.. I have been looking for a good place as well.
That is my issue, not quite the hulk but if it fits my chest the body (waist) is way too big to alter.
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      12-04-2013, 08:46 PM   #5
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i been using a guy who comes to our office 4 times a year from HK. He actually travels up and down the east coast for his clients. Custom made suits from 750 to 950, custom shirts from 90 - 125. Perfect fit all the time.
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      12-04-2013, 09:08 PM   #6
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www.styleforum.net

browse for a hundred hours there... you will have no more questions.

don't ask this stuff on a BMW forum.
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      12-05-2013, 11:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
Why is that? BMW guys don't wear suits or something
wearing suits and being in a position to give good style / tailoring advice are not even closely correlated to one another
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      12-05-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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Where have you bought MTM (made-to-measure) suits from?

Online MTM companies are extremely hit-or-miss and you'll usually need to have them tailored locally to be spot on.

Bespoke suits are a whole different animal and are probably what you're talking about when you say custom.

Like anything custom, it's all about the person doing the work.

My personal experience: I'm 5'10" 200 pounds with a larger chest, broad shoulders, large thighs/ass, but a narrow waist (Think fullback style build). I bouce around between 44r and 46r jackets depending on the fit.

Generally, my biggest problems are in the shoulders, chest, thighs, and seat.

Oddly enough, the OTR (Off-the-rack) suits that fit me best are the Lauren (Ralph Lauren) trim fits.

Made to measure is all trial and error- I've gone through 4-5 tailors in the past couple years and still trying to find someone that is affordable and does good work. I can't give you advice on what works, but I can certainly give you advice on what DOESN'T work.

Oddly enough, the best tailor I ever had was also the cheapest. She would alter a full suit for less than $50. Comparatively, the same work from a place like Nordstrom would have cost me around $200 (bring in jacket waist with a large V taper, shorten sleeves, bring in pant waist, shorten inseam, and a full taper of the pant legs).
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      12-05-2013, 02:26 PM   #9
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I have the same issue bro. If you're built like me (or me like you, whatever) then I certainly feel your pain. I'm a 48 jacket and a 33 waist. And I don't skip leg day. I can't buy anything from a Men's Warehouse etc. By the time they get the pants (which are usually 4" away from the jacket) to fit, they're Frankenstein and the pockets are all jacked etc.

If you know all your measurements, then there's a sick site to get shirts www.blanklabel.com Also I found that the Van Heusen fitted shirts work well. They have regular, slim and fitted with fitted being the most slim in the waist. If you're like an 18" neck they should fit your neck/back/arms but be slim enough in the waist to not look like you've cinched a draw string sack around your waist.

For suits, Hardwick Clothing (which is 100% USA made) sells some good suits as separates which work well. You can order them in a 48 chest but slim waist and then order pants in whatever waist and rise (zipper length is rise). I hate how some pants have a long rise and it looks like you're wearing old man pants that should be pulled up. I usually get their short rise and do have one medium rise pair. Their suits are pretty affordable too, 100% wool is like $350 or so. You might be able to find a local tailor that can order them and then finish them for you (pant cuff etc.) If you can't find a local guy, several online suit places sell them.

Other than that, there are tons of custom suit guys. The Thomas James guy is always in my firm, but a decent suit from them is $1000. They want like $180 for a shirt. I think the blank labels are better and normally about $80. If you want to get a good suit, they make some good stuff. Their $699 suit is worse in fabric (wool/poly blend) than the Hardwick suit for $350. Plus they're sewn in like Brazil or something.

The top of the line, other than some full bespoke shop, is Hickey Freeman. The Thomas James guy reps them as well. A good suit from them is about $2500.

You want a super 120's suit (defines the pick count for the fabric) to get that really nice wool feel. The brand of suit doesn't really matter if the fabric is the same.

One thing for everyone to keep in mind is men's sizing. Most men that are a 46" jacket are also a 42" or so waist. Most guys get a belly, so jackets are fit more to accommodate a growing belly more than broader shoulders and a wide back. Also, if you've got big shoulders/traps it'll make sleeves short. A sleeve is measured from the middle of your back to your shoulder, then down your arm, so canon ball shoulders and good traps eat up inches quick.
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      12-06-2013, 05:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proflyer View Post
I have the same issue bro. If you're built like me (or me like you, whatever) then I certainly feel your pain. I'm a 48 jacket and a 33 waist. And I don't skip leg day. I can't buy anything from a Men's Warehouse etc. By the time they get the pants (which are usually 4" away from the jacket) to fit, they're Frankenstein and the pockets are all jacked etc.

If you know all your measurements, then there's a sick site to get shirts www.blanklabel.com Also I found that the Van Heusen fitted shirts work well. They have regular, slim and fitted with fitted being the most slim in the waist. If you're like an 18" neck they should fit your neck/back/arms but be slim enough in the waist to not look like you've cinched a draw string sack around your waist.

For suits, Hardwick Clothing (which is 100% USA made) sells some good suits as separates which work well. You can order them in a 48 chest but slim waist and then order pants in whatever waist and rise (zipper length is rise). I hate how some pants have a long rise and it looks like you're wearing old man pants that should be pulled up. I usually get their short rise and do have one medium rise pair. Their suits are pretty affordable too, 100% wool is like $350 or so. You might be able to find a local tailor that can order them and then finish them for you (pant cuff etc.) If you can't find a local guy, several online suit places sell them.

Other than that, there are tons of custom suit guys. The Thomas James guy is always in my firm, but a decent suit from them is $1000. They want like $180 for a shirt. I think the blank labels are better and normally about $80. If you want to get a good suit, they make some good stuff. Their $699 suit is worse in fabric (wool/poly blend) than the Hardwick suit for $350. Plus they're sewn in like Brazil or something.

The top of the line, other than some full bespoke shop, is Hickey Freeman. The Thomas James guy reps them as well. A good suit from them is about $2500.

You want a super 120's suit (defines the pick count for the fabric) to get that really nice wool feel. The brand of suit doesn't really matter if the fabric is the same.

One thing for everyone to keep in mind is men's sizing. Most men that are a 46" jacket are also a 42" or so waist. Most guys get a belly, so jackets are fit more to accommodate a growing belly more than broader shoulders and a wide back. Also, if you've got big shoulders/traps it'll make sleeves short. A sleeve is measured from the middle of your back to your shoulder, then down your arm, so canon ball shoulders and good traps eat up inches quick.
"Canon ball shoulders and good traps eat up inches quick."

Best line I've read on this site in a while. Good write-up there.
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      12-06-2013, 05:15 PM   #11
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Zegna and Brooks Brothers are best places to go for custom suits IMO.
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      12-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealth.pilot View Post
Zegna and Brooks Brothers are best places to go for custom suits IMO.
If you want to shell out well over $1000 per suit, yes.

BB has good prices on suits, you just need to match the suit separates. Getting a true custom tailored suit at BB is pricey. For me, I was able to snag two suits for $400 total by matching suit separates a few years back. My younger brother, however, is a serious powerlifter and even mixing up the slim-fit suits doesn't help. He was quoted over $1,000 for a true custom suit, and we were getting a discount (we've been doing business with our BB rep for 10+ years).
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      12-06-2013, 10:05 PM   #13
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$1000 for a bespoke suit is cheap.

if it fits right and is good fabric then that is a good deal.
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      12-06-2013, 11:20 PM   #14
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Great responses, bespoke is definitely what I'm looking for. I wasn't familiar with that term but searching it on Yelp has resulted in a number of local places I plan to check out.

I used to be able to mix and match or buy off the rack with alterations when I was a 44 or 46. I'm 6'4", 240lbs with a 50" or 52" chest and shoulders with a 36" waist. The amount of tailoring it takes to get a jacket right is crazy. Most places won't even try it. At this point price is no object - I just need a few good fitting suits.

Thanks!
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      12-07-2013, 03:08 AM   #15
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Yelp?
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      12-09-2013, 11:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tico1028 View Post
If you want to shell out well over $1000 per suit, yes.

BB has good prices on suits, you just need to match the suit separates. Getting a true custom tailored suit at BB is pricey. For me, I was able to snag two suits for $400 total by matching suit separates a few years back. My younger brother, however, is a serious powerlifter and even mixing up the slim-fit suits doesn't help. He was quoted over $1,000 for a true custom suit, and we were getting a discount (we've been doing business with our BB rep for 10+ years).
Replied to your PM as well.

Everyone who wears a suit MUST go get measured by a tailor. Pay them $15 and have them measure you for a custom suit/shirt. Plus, even if you order one online you'll have to have the inseam finished (cuff) and they could then maybe take in a little here and there to make it really fit nice. I can't even begin to tell you guys the difference between a tailored suit and not. It's so easy to spot the rookie from the pro in an instant.

So, go get measured then start shopping. You'd be amazed what you can order online knowing your measurements.
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      12-09-2013, 11:28 AM   #17
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I use a similar service, guy comes in 3-4 times a year fits everything, then you get the items in 4-5 weeks. Price starts at $500 for suits up to $2k+ and $50-100 for shirts depending on material. I've had good luck with him in terms of fit, but he also had a warranty in case it didn't fit. My wife got some stuff done and had to have it altered the first time. He honored his work and paid for the alterations.

In the past I've used Tom James (terrible and expensive relative to others) and a few local shops. All were lacking because the person measuring didn't do a good job. That's the hardest part IMO, the rest is just guys in a factory reading measurements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usta View Post
i been using a guy who comes to our office 4 times a year from HK. He actually travels up and down the east coast for his clients. Custom made suits from 750 to 950, custom shirts from 90 - 125. Perfect fit all the time.
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      12-09-2013, 05:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lincvert View Post
Great responses, bespoke is definitely what I'm looking for. I wasn't familiar with that term but searching it on Yelp has resulted in a number of local places I plan to check out.

I used to be able to mix and match or buy off the rack with alterations when I was a 44 or 46. I'm 6'4", 240lbs with a 50" or 52" chest and shoulders with a 36" waist. The amount of tailoring it takes to get a jacket right is crazy. Most places won't even try it. At this point price is no object - I just need a few good fitting suits.

Thanks!
Unfortunately many of them are NOT Great Responses.

Brooks Brothers is not a good place to go for a custom suit. They offer MTM suits which border on the definition of "custom." They're also going to be fairly overpriced and the likelihood of the tailor being worth a crap is very low.

You have to understand the serious differences between OTR, MTM, and a true Bespoke suit.

An OTR suit altered by your local tailor is not custom. Every OTR suit should be altered and these are certainly not "custom."

MTM suits as I said border on the definition of "custom." The suit maker takes into account more measurements, but they are certainly not catered to you. All MTM suits should be altered by your local tailor and especially the ones you order online. MTM suits are the most cost effective approach to getting a good suit that fits close, but they should not be confused with Bespoke suits.

Bespoke suits are made from yards of cloth. They usually require several refittings and are truly custom made. If you're asking this question, you CANNOT afford a Zegna bespoke suit and I'd dare to say that no one in this thread can. A true Bespoke suit from Zegna would easily run you $5000 and probably closer to $10k.


Look at it like this:

Off the rack suits- the equivalent of buying an m3 with the options you want from the dealership.

Made to measure- Buying an M3 and adding custom parts to it to make it exactly how you want.

Bespoke- Asking BMW to create an entirely new car for you that no one else has. It might say BMW on it, but it wouldn't look like anything else.


My advice is this: A made to measure suit from a reputable tailor is the most cost effective approach. It won't be perfect, but it will be damn close. True bespoke suits are extremely pricey and if you can find someone to make you a true bespoke suit for under $1200 you've hit a gold mind.


Here in Austin, a good MTM suit with basic 120s fabric will start at around $750. The cheapest Bespoke suit maker I could find was around $1200 and he does work out of his house. A similar suit from a reputable company would cost around $1800-2000.
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      12-09-2013, 07:05 PM   #19
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Unfortunately many of them are NOT Great Responses.

You have to understand the serious differences between OTR, MTM, and a true Bespoke suit.
All responses can't be spot on but I just filter through based on personal knowledge.

I've been buying BB wrinkle free shirts for years but wouldn't consider a suit from them. OTR isn't an option and I've done two suits MTM and been unhappy with both after many alterations after the alleged "custom" fit. The last one was from Nordstrom and they gave up and sent for a second suit which still wasn't right.

I wasn't familiar with the term bespoke previously and have searched extensively outside of this thread using the appropriate term. I doubt that I'll gamble on $5k out of the box until a tailor can prove themselves, but I was prepared to stay in what seems to be a reasonable range of $2-$2.5k.

As always YMMV and I wish I knew someone with a similar build who was a proven bespoke tailor in the DC area.
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      12-09-2013, 07:46 PM   #20
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Since you mention price is no object the you might want to check this place out. Click on the how it works link on the site.

http://www.altonlane.com
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      12-10-2013, 11:09 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lincvert View Post
All responses can't be spot on but I just filter through based on personal knowledge.

I've been buying BB wrinkle free shirts for years but wouldn't consider a suit from them. OTR isn't an option and I've done two suits MTM and been unhappy with both after many alterations after the alleged "custom" fit. The last one was from Nordstrom and they gave up and sent for a second suit which still wasn't right.

I wasn't familiar with the term bespoke previously and have searched extensively outside of this thread using the appropriate term. I doubt that I'll gamble on $5k out of the box until a tailor can prove themselves, but I was prepared to stay in what seems to be a reasonable range of $2-$2.5k.

As always YMMV and I wish I knew someone with a similar build who was a proven bespoke tailor in the DC area.
I wasnít directing my comments at you, but rather those who were giving you bad advice. Most of this is subjective, so itís normal to have a difference in opinion, but some people were simply giving you bad/wrong advice.

And if I were you, I wouldnít discount the MTM suit just yet. As you and I both know from past experience, a suit is only as good as the person making it. You can spend $5000 on a custom suit made with Italian Super 180s, but if it fits like shit, itís going to end up collecting dust in the closet. You really can get CLOSE with a MTM and save yourself $500-1000/suit.

Another suggestion: You might search around on Styleforum.net (as others have mentioned) to see if there are any reputable tailors in your area. Thereís a lot of bull s*** to sift through (just like on e90post), but you can find a lot of good advice.

Also, to give you a rough price comparison:
-Tom James quoted me $1500 to make two MTM suits, 2 MTM dress shirts, and 2 ties. That was using their basic all wool fabrics and the price went up from there. Thatís a pretty good price, but my past experience with TJ has been less than favorable.
-A local guy that does work out of his house starts at $1000 for a full bespoke suit which also included a bespoke dress shirt. He quoted me $3300 for three Italian Super 140s suits with three bespoke dress shirts. Thatís an extremely good deal for what Iíd be getting, but itís on the higher side of what I personally want to spendÖ.itís hard to spend that much knowing that I could ruin a $1100 suit by dropping cigar ash on it or something similar.


Also, you didn't really as about dress shirts, but my order from NattyShirts just shipped. I paid $100 shipped for three MTM dress shirts and I'd be happy to let you know how they turn out when I get them. I figured at that price, it was worth taking a chance on them.
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      12-23-2013, 07:53 PM   #22
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i use rockys custom clothes in sherman oaks, caÖ

i do however know that he travels around to events in diff states, you can check out his webpage and see whats up. His suits are $$$ fit like a glove and his custom shirts are $$$ as wellÖ

pricing is actually pretty fair as well.
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