Monday, August 15, 2011

Menswear Tailoring Varies in Quality Around the World

Copyright (c) 2011 Alison Withers

Even if bought ready to wear it can be an expensive investment to buy a man’s lounge suit that will last for a reasonable length of time and survive heavy wear.

Moreover, since humans come in all shapes and sizes it may be necessary to have suit alterations if the owner wants the suit to fit perfectly, flattering their shape and contributing an overall smart, impressive and professional appearance.

The whole exercise can become even more pricey if a man is considering a custom-made or bespoke suit, but since both would be made to measure alterations would not add to the cost.

Many men try to keep the outlay on their suits down by having them made in overseas countries, perhaps when they are away on business or on holiday.

A firm favourite for bespoke tailoring for many years was Hong Kong and it has long been possible to get a suit made to measure in just 24 hours. Various travel guides, however, say that the buyer gets what they pay for.

This comment is typical: there are the really cheap, really horrible little places all over the place where you'll get a suit that should fit well and hopefully will be the style you want, but might not last you longer than a year.

Then there are places where you will get a high quality, fully canvassed suit that will be beautiful and would be cheaper than bespoke or even a high end designer suit at home.

Another reports that he has had suits made to measure in both Singapore and India and while the ones from Singapore were always spot on, the Indian ones looked like a converted sack with poor finishing and attention to detail.

Another man who has tried it says that Thailand was reasonable for light weight material.

This may also be an explanation for the criticism of the Indian tailors' efforts. Men in S Asia are generally smaller and much more slight than Europeans and the man's lounge suit is perhaps not so generally worn even in the office.

Consequently, however skilled the tailors may be, they are not so familiar with cutting, handling and stitching the heavier weight fabrics that are used for the lounge suit in the Northern hemisphere. It may be that the same explanation applies to fitting garments to a larger physique and getting them to hang correctly.

Even though the reports from men who have tried it are that it is possible in certain parts of the world to get good quality, expert tailoring at a much lower price, the home of the best quality work is tailoring in London, where the techniques originated.

Tailors in many countries, particularly in S Asia, are famous for producing made to measure men’s clothing quickly and cheaply. But reports are that the quality varies and the tailoring in London is still the best. By Ali Withers.

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