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  1. #1
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    October 6th, 2006
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    Default A visit to Rajawongse

    So I'm visiting Rajawongse in Bangkok next week.

    Does anyone have any tips? I will be buying a suit and several shirts.

    Do they use MOP buttons?

  2. #2
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    October 6th, 2006
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    Default

    Uh-oh, might have to wing this one alone it seems!

    Anyone?

  3. #3
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    May 14th, 2005
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    How did the trip to Rajawongse turn out? Any comments? I'm quite curious, as I'm a bangkok resident these days, but not a Rajawongse customer. Should I become one?

    --chuck

  4. #4
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    Default

    Am interested as well. Had them execute a blazer via remote control. Came out nicely.

  5. #5
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    October 6th, 2006
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    Default

    Hey there

    Finally some interest

    I guess you guys used the search function? Well, on with it...

    Firstly, for all persons interested, Rajawongse is not the same level as Savile Row in terms of fabric quality and selection, or style etc but they make a great fitting suit at good prices.

    Bodominiums, I would at least suggest you try them out. I have done many, many hours research into the tailoring scene of Bangkok and the story of the wandering soul settling on Rajawongse is definitely the most common. They also come recommended by the US Embassy which has really been a god-send to them. The Embassy is huge (600+) and basically loves them to bits, which means that Rajawongse has a very high proportion of foreign customers to Thais (I didn't see one Thai buyer and I did spend a fair amount of time there.)

    They have a steady stream of business, 100% word of mouth (either organic or because newspapers write articles about them). Overall it is quite impressive but I regret insisting that my sleeves were slightly too long on the suit. Otherwise, very good. After the second fitting I pointed out a bunch of little changes I wanted and they came to the party on them which was good.

    The suit was a super 180s, and I'm fairly sure it was an Italian fabric. Victor recommended it to me after I asked him for a navy. It is luxurious, I almost feel guilty wearing it.

    If you have certain styles you are enamoured with just bring a picture to give them an idea.

    The shirts are 100% Egyptian cotton 2x2 80s. You'll have to decide for yourself whether 80s is enough for you, but I am wearing my shirts a lot, attracting a lot of compliments. I'm not an expert in tailoring (yet) but the workmanship just feels second to none.

    Fabric choices. I felt like there could be more than there was for the suits, especially if you are departing from the blue/black/charcoal solid/pinstripe model.
    Last edited by Newton; November 17th, 2006 at 06:59.

  6. #6
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    July 14th, 2005
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    Default

    Prices?

  7. #7
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    November 5th, 2006
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    Iíve maintained a residence in Bangkok since 1981. Even thoí Iím stationed along the Afghan-Pak border, my family still resides in Bkk in my absence.

    Thereís some fast and loose talk about Thai tailors here. Indeed, there is a wide range of quality. Sukhumvit Road has both quick and dirty tourist fare, and some very fine craftsmen. Rajawongse and even the son, Rajaís, are at the upper end of that tourist trade, although Iím not sure I would agree about their bespoke status.

    My take on the client list is that once you fall into the rice bin (hitch onto the gravy train) of the AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) and the Embassy, it becomes a self-fulfilling legacy. CoDel (Congressional Delegations) are a dime-a-dozen coming through Bangkok, and all of them want a good tailor. With a decent selection of material, practically any tailored suit will be better than the usual sacks worn by arriving civil servants -- even the famous names. The reasonable costs for excellent suiting and decent tailoring brings them in. That does not necessarily mean that the workmanship is truly fine, even if they look much better than they did when they arrived.

    My suggestion for a Bangkok tailor better than that lot would be the original Artís Tailors (bypass the several outlets) on Thaniya Road (which runs between Silom and Suriwongse). Extensive Japanese patronage has allowed them to raise prices over the years, but the workman ship here is still well above Rajawongse, Pinkyís and that ilk.

    Still, these guys are also great value. Also included in that group would be Milanoís (further up Sukhumvit near Soi 47), and Perryís (also a long AmCham favorite) on upper Silom Road (just north of Thaniya). Thereís another excellent tailor that several of my pals swear by inside the Peninsula Plaza (just south of the Grand Hyatt) opposite the E. Zegna shop (canít think of his name).

    Whereas years ago it was the Hong Kong tailor, today it is Bangkok. Other than the obviously crappy tourist rip joints posing as tailors around the cheap bar zones, good value can be had.

    It is also important to remember that the time you invest in selecting the fabric, in the fitting sessions, and the attention you devote throughout, will lend a great deal to the quality of the final product. With your own care and attention, you can come away very satisfied.

    Cheers

  8. #8
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    October 6th, 2006
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    Default

    Rajwongse - Suits US$300 shirts US$25 don't believe anyone else because these prices are fairly new.
    Last edited by Newton; November 19th, 2006 at 19:43.

  9. #9
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    February 16th, 2006
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    If I may ask, is the quality produced by the Bangkok tailors catching up on the decent-quality Hongkong tailors?
    ďThe only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurement anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me.Ē

    George Bernard Shaw

  10. #10
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    October 26th, 2006
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    in actual fact, I think it may have overtaken hongkong. A few shops around Sukhumvit that do do good work. Don't know if they're better or worse then the ones mentioned above (arts, milano etc), but for sure it's good work.

  11. #11
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    May 14th, 2005
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    I am extremely happy with my standard bangkok tailor, Pinky's, on Sukhumvit road about 2 blocks from Raja's and Rajawongse. Same price range, less hassles and probably more low-key all around. Right now I have a Pinky making me some trousers and a suit. He is also working on a dress and some shirts for my wife.

    There is definitely some crap here but there are also some diamonds in the rough. I was just talking with my wife yesterday that I think I'm done buying clothes off the peg. It's just not worth it living in Bangkok.

    The guy who made my tuxedo is a true master and works with the creme de la creme of Thai society. Foreigners simply don't shop here. His prices are 2x - 3x more than Rajawongse or Pinky's. I'm giving him another special commission soon. His shop is July Tailor on Saladaeng road, a mile or two from Sukhumvit.

    I've found fabric choices to be limited, especially at the top end. If you can bring your own cloth then I think it will truly be the best of both worlds here.

  12. #12
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    March 2nd, 2007
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    I just had a suit made at Rajawongse. Overall very impressive: I also chose 180 Italian fabric (I think all their cloth claims to be wool/cashmere), and it's very luxurious; the service is good and the suit fits very well.
    One thing I would say if you plan to go there is that their 'house style' as much as there is one (they do ask you about details and fit) is very slightly on the 'Italian' side of things (for example, my suit has a slightly slanted breast pocket, and the lapel is somewhere between Emporio Armani and Savile Row). The finishing is good, with lots of pockets in the right places, and good buttons; unfortunately they didn't do sleeve (fake) buttonholes, just buttons. I'm sure they would allow for such improvements in the future.
    I plan to get another suit soon (either by post or on my next visit to Bangkok), and will be sure to give even more precise instructions. I paid a bit more than 300 dollars, but I did get three piece. Also, I think the cloth chosen may affect price.

    Does anybody have experience of Rajawonse online?

  13. #13
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    July 6th, 2005
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    I find it hard to believe that there is any suit made of Italian super 180s that be profitably sold for for $300 US.

  14. #14
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    May 14th, 2005
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    I've seen some pretty interesting selvage here in Bangkok. A Vicuna and Mink combination, for example. It's all fiction.

    Thailand's labor costs are low but its fabric costs are nothing special on the low end and are atrocious on the high end. Real high-end cloth - dormeuil, holland & sherry, scabal, etc. - has a luxury import duty in Thailand and costs about 2x more than it does in the USA or the UK. The thai baht has also been appreciating against the dollar, up 20% in the last year or so.

    The truly high end places stock very little cloth. It's too pricey to warehouse. If you are buying Super 180's cloth off a bolt longer than 5 meters in Bangkok then it's almost certainly bogus. Both of the higher-end tailors I frequent carry their highend cloths in single suit lengths or more likely just as samples.

    That being said, Bangkok is a great place to have clothing made if you plan ahead. Drop me a line if you will be in town and I can guide you to some of
    the better tailors here, at least the ones I've used in the year or so I've lived here.

    The bang for the buck here is amazing, providing you do your homework and go in with your eyes open. Spending some time on the ground, at least a week in my mind, will also go a long way to getting the best fit. Quality can sometimes be expedited but it really should not be rushed.

    --chuck

  15. #15
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    April 11th, 2004
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    If your tailor July is 2-3 times the less expensive ones, and they cost $300, then where is the savings over Hong Kong?

  16. #16
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    January 12th, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gong Tao Jai View Post
    I find it hard to believe that there is any suit made of Italian super 180s that be profitably sold for for $300 US.
    Exactly. The fabric you get from Rajawongse and the other cheap tailors is horrible and nothing but a waste of money.

  17. #17
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    May 14th, 2005
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    Default July doesn't compete on price...

    I've never bought a suit in Hong Kong. For me, the savings come from the fact that I live here. All of these guys are a $2 taxi ride from my office.

    In Bangkok, you can pay $100 for a suit or you can pay $1000. If you pay $1000 at the right place it will be world-class. If you pay $100 anywhere it will be crap. Labor is cheap here but the master tailors don't work cheap anywhere.

    How much does the best tailor in HK charge? July is probably the best tailor in Bangkok. Another forum member suggested him to me and I have been extremely impressed with his work. I don't have a Savile Row suit but it's hard for me to see much room for improvement beyond his work. My other tailors freely admit they aren't in his league.

    July is a tiny operation who doesn't make clothing for tourists. His suit making process takes 3 fittings over the better part of a month. Upper class Thais who can go to any tailor they want regularly choose him.

    I know from the forum that there are great tailors in Hong Kong. There are also great tailors in Bangkok. The top end guys (July, Art's, Perry's) in Bangkok cost more than even the best sukhumvit toursit-focused tailors. They fill a different niche, so that is not unexpected.


    --chuck

  18. #18
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    April 11th, 2004
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    Is that price with or without fabric? What is the price without fabric?

  19. #19
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    January 12th, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodominiums View Post
    The top end guys (July, Art's, Perry's) in Bangkok cost more than even the best sukhumvit toursit-focused tailors.
    I wouldn't put Perry's in the same class as July and Art's based on my experience. They were just as bad as the typical Sukhumvit tailors, but with more expensive prices. Maybe it was just me, but I'd never give them any business. I think they do a lot of business from US Embassy staff, but so does Raja's and Rajawongse, which just goes to show that the typical US Embassy staff don't know much about quality custom clothes.

    A $1000 suit at July includes the fabric - their least expensive fabrics or maybe even one notch up. Their most expensive fabrics will run you well over $1000.

  20. #20
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    May 14th, 2005
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    It's $1000 with cloth at July. He said that he'd make me a suit for 16,000 thai baht ($450USD) if I brought my own. I am going to take him up on that offer soon.

    FYI I've had very good luck at Perry's. I think he gets more tourist business than the other 2 I mentioned but I've been happy with him, especially in his shirtings which IMHO are excellent in fit and in cloth options.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bresch View Post
    Is that price with or without fabric? What is the price without fabric?

  21. #21
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    April 11th, 2004
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    The above posts are probably amongst the most important on AAAC, for a variety of reasons, and this thread should be sticky-ed in the travel section by the moderator is possible.

  22. #22
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    May 14th, 2005
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    Default Now that it's worthy of being archived

    Since there's talk that this thread is worthy of immortality via sticky, here's some useful contact info for the Bangkok tailors I've noted in the thread:

    All 3 of these guys are within a block or two of each other at the BTS Sala Daeng / Silom MRT station on silom road, near the Patpong
    'entertainment' area.

    By Taxi, tell the guy to take you to 'Bee Tee Esss, Salla Dang' and you'll be all set. I imagine if you call that these tailors can arrange to pick you up at your hotel.

    Art's Tailor Thaniya
    62/15-6 Soi Thaniya Silom Road, Bangkok.
    Tel.: +66 2 236 7966


    July Tailor
    30/6 Saladaeng Road Silom
    +66 2 233 0171
    http://www.julytailor.com/


    Perry Tailor
    60/2 Silom Road
    +66 2 2339235


    I'm not sure if Art's makes shirts but July and Perry do. July shirts are great but fabrics on hand are limited. Perry has a very good selection of shirtings (especially for bangkok) in the showroom . I think Perry's shirts are as good as July. In both cases, make sure to specifically ask for MoP buttons if you want them.

    If you go there, please tell me your experience. I'm always interested in a different perspective.

  23. #23
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    May 16th, 2007
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    Hi there,

    I just came back from my three weeks vacation in Bangkok and Hong Kong. I went to see Mr. Sompop, July tailor in the beginning of my trip, checked out fabric selection and work. Finishing on the outside of finished coats are very nice, button holes, stitching, collars, etc. Unfortunately he didn't have (probably did not want to show) a half made jacket so that I could check the construction. I roughly asked that a jacket is fully canvassed, and the answer was yes, so I didn't bother trying to check further.

    Knowing the price is quite significantly cheaper compared with Adamo, Leichard, Sydney, and somewhat cheaper with WW Chan -- whom I later visited and commission a linen shirt -- I commissioned a winter jacket with his fabric and two suits with my own cloths. The first fitting came three days after with coats cut and loosely sewed together and a layer of canvas fully line on the front for which I was happy to see that. However the hand padded lapel was missing, but I thought that it could be because of the rush. Trousers were made up the same way. Some adjustments were made and eight more days for the second fitting, which during this time I was visiting Hong Kong.

    At the second fitting, the coats are almost finished, so do the trousers. They all have a very good fit and good finishing. Only minor alterations were made. I asked for a smaller amount of shoulder padding, and right arm sleeve length to be lengthen a little due to my asymmetry. At this stage, I however detected the fusing inside, and the chest piece canvas. This is unfortunate for me despite all the good work for the rest of the coats. It's my own fault that I didn't check more carefully in the fist place. I inquired why the fusing is there and if it is possible to get a coat with no fusing. The answer was no, because it has to be there for some reasons.

    I picked up the finished suits and coat on my last day in Bangkok. That's just two weeks and a bit for a quick service. The coat and the suits look lovely, despite my disappointment with the fusing.

    Personally, I however will stick with Adamo -- who already made me a beautiful Spring/Autumn sport coat which is really soft both in construction and look -- for the time being since I live in Australia, or perhaps commission something from WW Chan if I have a chance to visit and stay in Hong Kong more frequently.

    Ciao, C.

  24. #24
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    I emailed July Tailor a few weeks ago and they said they could not do fully canvassed jackets, only half-canvassed. If their price is comparable to Chan, which is fully canvassed, I'm not sure why anyone would choose them if they knew their limitations.

  25. #25
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    Resurrecting this thread, I want to ask: is it possible to get fully-canvassed suits ANYWHERE in Bangkok?

    Also, can anyone summarize for me the benefit of full-canvassing so I can make sure it's really worth finding? From what I recall, it is most useful in creating a divot-less surface on the jacket, making it appear stiffer and fuller, is that correct?

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