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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

I've recently moved to Hong Kong for work and will be sticking around for awhile (6 months at the very least). I've gone through and read some of the older threads on HK and the tailors over here so i guess i have some idea of the tailoring landscape. Given that some of the threads were fairly old, I thought it might be worthwhile revisiting the topic.

I am planning on having a number of suits made while i'm over here but as a first step i intend to have some shirts made first to get an indication of the tailor. A couple of (probably very newbie) questions on shirts:

1) Sleeve placket with or without buttons? I pretty much strictly wear french cuffs unless i'm not wearing a tie -- is there an argument in favour / against a button on the placket on the sleeve? Thoughts?

2) Again, french cuff shirts - i seem to recall reading somewhere that french cuff shirts with a shirt pocket are... "crass" -- what's the consensus on this and why? Pockets, yay or nay?

3) Pleats or no pleats? I'm used to no pleats but really not fussed, for my neck, i am broad across the shoulders and back -- is this an argument for me to ask for pleats?

4) Stiff or soft cuffs and collars? Again, i like the former, what's the consensus here?

5) Split yoke -- what's the argument for / against?

6) Cut-away collars -- inappropriate for business?

7) Fabric - sea island cotton? What's the difference really?


In terms of HK tailors, i'm looking for one who understands the more modern (hate to say it, "athletic") cut. I know everyone swears by the Big 3, but honestly i'm not looking to spend that much on a suit. My ideal price range would be US$500-600 tops. My only requirement would be half-canvassed (full would be nice) and obviously cut and fit.

When it comes to shirts, i know Jantzen and David's Shirts are probably my best bets -- how do they stack when it comes to putting together a suit? Any other suggestions for shirts / suits for my price range?

Any suggestions / thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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Welcome. I'll answer what I can, but I don't know anything about the HK tailors.

1) I don't like buttons on the sleeve gauntlet, especially not on French Cuffs. I don't want to see a button on the sleeve if there is not one on the cuff. Without a button the gauntlet shouldn't be quite as long. It should be able to stay closed without a button. It looks much cleaner.

2) I don't like pockets on any shirt I ever intend to wear with a jacket. French cuffs are more formal, pockets are casual. So they really don't go together. And because French Cuff shirts are worn with a jacket always, you have a few pockets in there to use.

3) Your body doesn't affect the choice of pleats or not because the shirt should fit you properly no matter what. If you are comfortable with no pleats then that's fine. Side pleats are okay too if you want them. Just stay away from the centre box pleat; IMHO they look unsightly and don't function very well.

4) I like stiff, but I don't know what others say.

5) Some say a split yoke will conform to your shoulders better than a single piece, and I buy into it. But others don't. A shirt maker would be best qualified to answer this.

6) I find cut-away collars too formal for business, but a wide spread is fine.

7) Sea Island is much finer and smoother, but you have to decide for yourself if it is worth it.

I can't answer the rest about HK tailors. I hope I could help a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies.

1) Gauntlet notplacket -- gotcha, i'm learning. How long would you suggest the gauntlet should be in the case of those sans buttons?

2) Great point. I hadn't thought about that.

3) If your body doesn't affect the presence (or otherwise) of pleats, what's the point? I always thought pleats were there to give you abit more room to move around in should you need it? Forgive my ignorance, but what are side pleats?

From what i understand the disparity between a good shirtmaker and a good suitmaker is much wider in HK than you would find in other countries, thus the question.
 

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Why don't you try "My Tailor" by Hemrajani Brothers who are located T.S.T. P.O. Box 95197, Kowloon, Hong Kong. They do a big business in the states. Contact them via the internet at MYTailor.com and get the exact address in HK. Make sure you speak to some one who understands english.
 

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My Shirtmaker

I have my shirts made by Graly Shirtmakers at Shop C1, 13 Lun Fat Street, Wanchai, HK (right around the corner from Cosmos Bookstore). Tel. number is 2527 6879. I've had good luck with them. All they do is shirts. Prices range from $US50-$US60 and they have a wide selection of fabrics.

Hong Kong can be hit or miss and you'll probably end up trying a few places before you find one who's on your wavelength. I've had suits made at Veena Fashions (5-6 Middle Road, Kowloon, Shop No. 14, Ground Floor, Far East Mansion Arcade). Tailor's name is Harry. Phone number is 2723-8377. I rarely spend more than $400 there. Had some nice linen suits and a wool/cashmere topcoat made for around $350. Makes good shirts, too.

Ask around--word of mouth is your best bet. Also, make sure the tailors know you live there. A lot of the scam artists assume you'll never return to Hong Kong if they think you're a tourist and cut corners, so to speak.

Good luck.

Bespoketrout
 

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Thanks for the replies.

Graly is literally right around the corner from me so i might check them out. Will a good suitmaker produce an equally good tuxedo?
Not necessarily. Ideally, attention to detail matters as much in a suit as a tux, but I think there is less room for error in a tux. Closer fit. Satin lapels show warping much more than wool, for example. I know a few tailors make tuxedos over in Admiralty Center in Central, but I can't vouch for them either way. One or two claim to specialize in them.

Good luck at Graly. I've had a lot of luck with them and have shirts sent to me in the US on a regular basis.

Bespoke Trout
 
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