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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll be in Beijing in a few weeks and I was hoping to get a suit or two made. Seems like Tailor Dave and Senli & Frye are two of the better shops. Any advice or experiences to share about either of them? Any other recommendations in Beijing (or even Shanghai)?

I've never done bespoke or even MTM, so I'd like to have a good first experience if possible.

Q
 

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Dave's makes a solid suit. Decent range of imported fabrics (VBC, Scabal and so on), fully canvassed, generally well made. However, they have a definite house style (they like somewhat heavily padded shoulders, a full break in the trousers etc) and you have to work pretty hard to get them to do it differently. Let's put it this way -- they are not style consultants. But if you are clear about what you want and are prepared to keep at it you will end up with a nice suit. My most recent suit there needed about 5 fittings to get it all how I wanted, but it turned out pretty well. Pricing for a 2 piece (say VBC 100s) starts at around RMB 5k (US$700), and goes up from there dependng on fabric choice and number of pieces. A four piece in Italian super 130s might be RMB 8k for example.

Senli & Frye I have heard about but never had anything made there. I'm planning on giving them a try though. Their reputation is: more fashionable or stylish than Dave's, and more willing to work with you on the styling; more expensive than Yashow but cheaper than Dave's. I believe they start at RMB 2k for a suit and go up from there and I hear that they can do a fully canvassed construction. Never seen any of their work first hand though. I believe one of the principals posts on Style Forum so if you do a search there you will be able to contact him.

Hope this helps

Matt
 

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BTW, I should have mentioned that I went into the Henry Poole shop in Oriental Plaza a few months ago to check it out. Wasn't that impressed to be honest. Didn't check pricing (which I assume is higher than Dave's) but didn't get a good vibe from the SAs, who didn't really seem to know much. English was also weak, at least among the SAs there when I was there, which might be a problem if you don't have much Mandarin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Senli & Frye I have heard about but never had anything made there. I'm planning on giving them a try though. Their reputation is: more fashionable or stylish than Dave's, and more willing to work with you on the styling; more expensive than Yashow but cheaper than Dave's. I believe they start at RMB 2k for a suit and go up from there
Thanks, Matt! That's very helpful. I think I'm going to try them.

Oh, mktue, I have no firsthand knowledge about Yashow. But from what I've read from numerous places is that quality is a mixed bag at best. You might run into fake wool cloths, poor construction, and/or poor styling. A bit of a crap shoot.

Cheers!

Q
 

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MorpheusQ, please post your impressions of S&F if you do use them. I'd be curious to hear someone's first hand opinion

Mktue, you should probably stay away from Yashow or the Silk Markets for suits unless you:

-- really know what you are doing (in terms of fabric, style and fit),
-- have a relationship with a specific tailor there you have built up over time
-- are hard to fit and want a cheap beater suit, or
-- you are looking for some sort of novelty or transitional item

In general, the suits at these places are probably worth what you pay for them ($150-250) -- they are generally not $500 suits you are getting for $150. There are better options in Beijing if you are looking to spend RMB 1,000 - 2,000 on a suit

One overlooked option in Beijing (or Asia generally) is alterations. This can revitalise your wardobe. I have found a very good alterations tailor who does a great job on suits (including jackets), pants etc. A lot of hand work too. For example: For a 3 piece RL suit I had pants taken in and re-hemmed, the waistcoat taken in and on the jacket the shoulders adjusted (!), suit sleeves narrowed and shortened and the jacket chest and waist taken in. It was a complex job, especially on the jacket which basically was coming in a size and a half. It took three days and turned out absolutely perfectly, and all for less than $50. I walked in the day after I dropped it off (to pick up something else) and saw them stitching the jacket by hand, which was nice! Of course this wasn't the first job I gave her and I knew she was good -- but she beat my expectations.

Tailors who do ok to pretty decent made to measure suits in Asia (and there are plenty of these) are often very good at alterations

As an aside, I've had this tailor work on a few different suits of mine this year -- RLBL, Canali, Brooks Bothers Golden Fleece, and some made to measure from various tailors -- and she reckons the Canali's are the best constructed.
 

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In general, the suits at these places are probably worth what you pay for them ($150-250) -- they are generally not $500 suits you are getting for $150. There are better options in Beijing if you are looking to spend RMB 1,000 - 2,000 on a suit
Thanks for the information, Peking_Matt.
Being on a limited budget (and visiting Beijing in October) I would appreciate if you could name a decent tailor working in the range 1,000 - 2,000 RMB.

Have you ever heard of Lisa Tailor?

https://www.beijingtailor.com/

Regards

mktue
 

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Yes, I have heard of Lisa Tailor. Never had anything made there, but some friends have. Generally better than the Silk Market for the money. There are quite a few tailors in and around Sanlitun 3.3 (where Lisa is) so it is not a bad place to start looking

I believe Senli & Frye start around RMB 2k as well

Personally I have never had much luck with the cheap Chinese suits and don't really have anyone I would strongly recommend at that pricepoint. I'm having something made by my alterations tailor at present and if it works out well I will let you know her details

I do know a fantastic leather tailor though who makes great MTM (almost bespoke really) leather jackets for RMB1k-1.5k. But it is usually a few weeks for her to finish. Let me know if you are in town long enough to be interested in that

Matt
 
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