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I think you mean you can get a much better made off the rack suit for about the same price as a lower priced made to measure suit.
In some cases yes, but you're generally not going to be getting, for example, an Cesare Attolini suit for under $1000 even on Ebay unless there are some tradeoffs for getting such a low price.
 

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In some cases yes, but you're generally not going to be getting, for example, an Cesare Attolini suit for under $1000 even on Ebay unless there are some tradeoffs for getting such a low price.
Of course not. Even discounted by 20% before proper alterations and tax, Attolini and Kiton new and off the rack are higher than typical bespoke prices with tax (even in Paris and on Savile Row, which have the highest bespoke prices in the world). And 20% off is the only non-clearance discount you will get for a new Attolini and Kiton off the rack and even then, only in June and December.

I was thinking more along the lines of new and off the rack from Canali, Corneliani Mainline, Hickey Freeman Mainline, Samuelsohn and the like, even with proper alterations.

I apologize for not clarifying that.
 

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I always heard that the key to a good MTM experience is how capable the person who measures you is. I've only bought MTM suits through two people, both of them very capable, and I've had only positive experiences.

So, I would think the online thing would be bad unless you had someone really qualified to measure you.
 

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I always heard that the key to a good MTM experience is how capable the person who measures you is. I've only bought MTM suits through two people, both of them very capable, and I've had only positive experiences.

So, I would think the online thing would be bad unless you had someone really qualified to measure you.
It's a big part of it. The person doing the measuring needs to not only be good at measuring but also know how to get the best results from a particular MTM system. On top of that, the MTM system needs to be based on good blocks and be versatile. The typical online MTM systems are too simplified, and the blocks don't work for many (or most) people.
 

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Of course not. Even discounted by 20% before proper alterations and tax, Attolini and Kiton new and off the rack are higher than typical bespoke prices with tax (even in Paris and on Savile Row, which have the highest bespoke prices in the world). And 20% off is the only non-clearance discount you will get for a new Attolini and Kiton off the rack and even then, only in June and December.

I was thinking more along the lines of new and off the rack from Canali, Corneliani Mainline, Hickey Freeman Mainline, Samuelsohn and the like, even with proper alterations.

I apologize for not clarifying that.
Kitons tend towards high prices even on the secondary market. I've lucked into a few brand new Attolini suits for under $1500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
They may not have posted their experiences in this thread, but plenty of folks have posted their experiences in this forum over the years.

It looks like you have a big hankering to order online a made-to-measure suit. If the itch is nagging you that much, scratch it. If you are pleased with the suit, you win. If the suit turns out to be a disaster, you still win, because you will have learned a lesson you'll never forget.

Go for it. Get it over with.
I'm more just surprised that this still isn't a viable option in our current world. It'd seem like something that could have worked out a long time ago. My girlfriend is pretty much the queen of custom, able to find people in all corners of the earth who will make her a custom-anything. Yesterday we were bottling homebrewed beer and she busted out some bottle caps she had made just for her. Those were custom products that offered no real benefit other than they made her smile.

It's definitely a major bummer to think that it's so hard to find that same experience with a suit, in the current age of technology and information sharing we all enjoy.
 

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I'm more just surprised that this still isn't a viable option in our current world. It'd seem like something that could have worked out a long time ago. My girlfriend is pretty much the queen of custom, able to find people in all corners of the earth who will make her a custom-anything. Yesterday we were bottling homebrewed beer and she busted out some bottle caps she had made just for her. Those were custom products that offered no real benefit other than they made her smile.

It's definitely a major bummer to think that it's so hard to find that same experience with a suit, in the current age of technology and information sharing we all enjoy.
Fit on a human body is not binary, thus the peril of online tailoring. Her bottle caps will fit any standard bottle neck. There is no standard human body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Fit on a human body is not binary, thus the peril of online tailoring. Her bottle caps will fit any standard bottle neck. There is no standard human body.
Thus the measuring part? No two anything on earth are identical. In the era of laser-based sensors that could measure every inch of the human body, I'm surprised we don't have a sufficient enough understanding of the shapes of human bodies to make this realistic.

It looks like this issue comes up about every 5 years and the answer is always the same with zero progress. That seems at odds with the world I know, where technology improves the answers to difficult questions over time. If that's where we're at, I hope someone fixes that for the future. It seems like a major missed opportunity.
 

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Thus the measuring part? No two anything on earth are identical. In the era of laser-based sensors that could measure every inch of the human body, I'm surprised we don't have a sufficient enough understanding of the shapes of human bodies to make this realistic.

It looks like this issue comes up about every 5 years and the answer is always the same with zero progress. That seems at odds with the world I know, where technology improves the answers to difficult questions over time. If that's where we're at, I hope someone fixes that for the future. It seems like a major missed opportunity.
I think technology will continue to inch closer to what a skilled tailor can do, for the reasons you mention. But what will be much more difficult to replicate, if ever, is the "art" behind tailoring, where being mathematically perfect is precisely NOT the same thing as beautiful. The Italian word "sprezzatura" comes to mind, a beauty that lies to a certain degree in studied imperfection. Pretty hard to capture in an algorithm.
 

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I think technology will continue to inch closer to what a skilled tailor can do, for the reasons you mention. But what will be much more difficult to replicate, if ever, is the "art" behind tailoring, where being mathematically perfect is precisely NOT the same thing as beautiful.
The same thing sort of applies in the world of cuisine. The best cooks don't rely on recipes. (I'm not talking about chefs in spendy restaurants; I'm referring to the grandma who time after time wows her family with the meals that come out of her well-used kitchen.)

Ask the elderly women from Thailand or Vietnam or Cuba for their recipe for those incredibly delicious entrees and sides you just enjoyed at their tables. They won't know what you're talking about. They cook so well not because they follow recipes but because hundreds of years culture have imbued them with culinary skill. And they keep adding a few improvisations of their own.

"Yes, but how much curry powder did you use? How many tablespoons of chopped garlic did you add? How do you know how much onion to stir in? Is that a mint leaf? If so, how many did you use?"

Grandma can't answer you. She never measures a thing. She knows because she knows.

Somebody skilled enough in the culinary arts could analyze the fruits of Grandma's labors and reverse-engineer a credible recipe. Then you could follow that recipe to the letter. To the fraction.

But what you end up with-though it may taste pretty good-won't be as good as Grandma's.
 

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The same thing sort of applies in the world of cuisine. The best cooks don't rely on recipes. (I'm not talking about chefs in spendy restaurants; I'm referring to the grandma who time after time wows her family with the meals that come out of her well-used kitchen.)

Ask the elderly women from Thailand or Vietnam or Cuba for their recipe for those incredibly delicious entrees and sides you just enjoyed at their tables. They won't know what you're talking about. They cook so well not because they follow recipes but because hundreds of years culture have imbued them with culinary skill. And they keep adding a few improvisations of their own.

"Yes, but how much curry powder did you use? How many tablespoons of chopped garlic did you add? How do you know how much onion to stir in? Is that a mint leaf? If so, how many did you use?"

Grandma can't answer you. She never measures a thing. She knows because she knows.

Somebody skilled enough in the culinary arts could analyze the fruits of Grandma's labors and reverse-engineer a credible recipe. Then you could follow that recipe to the letter. To the fraction.

But what you end up with-though it may taste pretty good-won't be as good as Grandma's.
Sounds like my mother's baking. While she thought of herself as a wonderful cook, unfortunately, she wasn't, but anything she baked, including things she had never previously attempted came out perfectly and delicious every time. Used to kid her that she had a "white thumb."
 

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Sounds like my mother's baking. While she thought of herself as a wonderful cook, unfortunately, she wasn't, but anything she baked, including things she had never previously attempted came out perfectly and delicious every time. Used to kid her that she had a "white thumb."
My mother was the same, she was a terrible cook but a great baker. She was the type of person who would have 3 guests for lunch and offer 4 desserts. Of course, everyone at the table had to have a quarter of each dessert because she didn't want any leftovers.
 

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The biggest limitation currently with MTM is the ability of the person taking the measurements in do so consistently, as well as different people doing this uniformly. I think those who are actually making the garment are capable, but if you have one person go to any MTM store, I'd be willing to bet that if he got a different person taking the measurements each time, he'd wind up with different measurements at one place or another.
 

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The biggest limitation currently with MTM is the ability of the person taking the measurements in do so consistently, as well as different people doing this uniformly. I think those who are actually making the garment are capable, but if you have one person go to any MTM store, I'd be willing to bet that if he got a different person taking the measurements each time, he'd wind up with different measurements at one place or another.
There was a guy on here many years ago named Sator (he's on the Tailors something or something Tailors, London Lounge and Style Forum) who thought made to measure was something along the lines of a lazy alternative to bespoke. I might agree with him on that.

I disagree with him, however, that most Savile Row tailors are subpar. There are some that aren't what they used to be (such as Anderson & Shepherd, Dege & Skinner and Gieves & Hawkes).

Huntsman and Henry Poole have also turned out a few duds recently, and only on their own employees, no less. But other than that, I haven't seen anything subpar from Savile Row. In fact, what I've seen, even recently, is impeccable, as always. Maurice Sedwell is the best from what I've seen.
 

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I've had experiences with both MTM online and MTM retail before (plenty in fact). I can understand the concerns that people have with trying out MTM online for the first time, especially so if its a tailor that you have never worked with. I too, felt the same.

While browsing through Ethan Wong's blog, I noticed that he mentioned about a tailor in Vietnam that made a rather vintage looking suit for his friend. Of course, the vintage style was based on the request of his friend but I thought it looked pretty good!

I reached out to him on Facebook and decided to decided to make a suit with him, as there was a 20% promotion.

Chose a navy VBC (Wool/ Linen) fabric. Sent him my measurements and photos of my body (front, back, side). There wasn't a fitting session per se but he would send me photos during the process. The first suit turns out ok. The pants were quite spot on but for the jacket, I had to bring to a local tailor to make some adjustments.

Snapped some photos for the areas to adjust and sent it to him.

Made another 6x1 jacket with him and this time round, no adjustments are required. Turned out pretty well, and better than I thought it would be. Not perfect, but good.

Thought its good value for the money that I paid for. Probably the only online MTM tailor that I will go to.
 

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My experience was at Oliver Wicks. The shortcommings were in the cut, as I described in great detail above. Both the jacket and trousers were poorly cut, even though they got the measurements spot on. A poor cut is a poor quality issue. A good cut takes more skill and more effort. Based on most photos I've seen from other online MTM brands, the results have the same problem I had.

Your original post mentioned about how these online tailors "seem too good to be true". We're all trying to inform you that it is indeed the case.

I have not bought any RTW tailored clothes recently, but all of my RTW was from quality brands that had seam allowance, usually about 1 inch on either side of the rear centre seam. It can't be let out very much anyway because that's not where the extra fullness will help. They also never had too much waist suppression, which wasn't a problem a decade ago when RTW clothes were designed to be taken in. A jacket does not need to be opened up to tell how much extra fabric is there. A good tailor can feel how much seam allowance there is by feeling through the lining.

You need to try on different RTW suits until you find one that is close to your body shape and have small adjustments made. I'll admit that it's much more difficult to do that now than it used to be due to suits being cut trimmer.
Have to agree with Matt here. Better to shop around for a quality RTW and then get it adjusted. I get a lot of my day to day suits from Ede & Ravenscroft and have found that I need minimum adjustments as their style is just perfect for me. Of course their garments have extra fabric for any possible alterations.
 
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