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I have never used Jantzen, but Skip used to make my shirts. My experience with them is a little over 12 years old for reasons unrelated to any dissatisfaction. Skip's production was at that time, I think, in Harrison NJ. I have no idea if he's gone offshore, and what effect that might have had. I was always very pleased with the fit, quality of work, selection of fabrics and delivery times. He was also very willing to modify any aspect of fit or styling and almost always got it right the first time.

My understanding at that time was that he was primarily a jobber for high end labels, and did custom as a side line as it had been his family business, and he did it well.

Added: I bought shirts from Skip when he had his own small retail shop in Millburn, NJ. I just Googled his website, and find no mention of any direct retail business any longer. It did say, however, that his shirts are still made in the U.S.A.
 

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Flanderian.
The factory you are thinkning of belonged to Skips' uncle, Mel.
skip worked there for a number of years, before opening his own place in Newark.

construction between the two shirts is fairly comperable. Janzten does a much better job of matching stripes sleeve to yoke, sleeve to sleeve placket. Jantzen will also offer all sort of stupid details at no charge. skip does not cut a split yoke, where jantzen will.

I can not compare siziing and cutting methods as I have never had anything made by jantzen.
I do know that I can get a very good fit from Skip. but this is after many years of working with him
the selection of fabrics from skip is far better. from opening price points in 50/1 up to sea Island cotton and goods from Thomas mason, lora piana and soktas.

Of course price from skip is much higher? but you will be able to feel the swatches when being fitted by the dealer.
You will also be fitted by someone who understands the process. Hopefully you will get a much better fitting shirt.

Carl
 

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Flanderian.
The factory you are thinkning of belonged to Skips' uncle, Mel.
skip worked there for a number of years, before opening his own place in Newark.

construction between the two shirts is fairly comperable. Janzten does a much better job of matching stripes sleeve to yoke, sleeve to sleeve placket. Jantzen will also offer all sort of stupid details at no charge. skip does not cut a split yoke, where jantzen will.

I can not compare siziing and cutting methods as I have never had anything made by jantzen.
I do know that I can get a very good fit from Skip. but this is after many years of working with him
the selection of fabrics from skip is far better. from opening price points in 50/1 up to sea Island cotton and goods from Thomas mason, lora piana and soktas.

Of course price from skip is much higher? but you will be able to feel the swatches when being fitted by the dealer.
You will also be fitted by someone who understands the process. Hopefully you will get a much better fitting shirt.

Carl
Thanks for the clarification regarding the factory location. Since you've mentioned it, I think at one time Skip's brother Mel jr. may have had a factory in Harrison also. Don't know if it's the same one their dad had.

I find your observations regarding pattern matching surprising because I was always very pleased with that aspect of Skip's work. But I don't refute your observation, because as a professional, you will certainly notice things that I don't know enough to pay attention to.

Perhaps it's common among quality shirtmakers, but one of the things that pleased me most about Skip's shirts is how he shapes the collar band where the top button buttons. He cuts the two ends, one where the button is sewn, and the other for the receiving buttonhole as an ellipse, so irrespective of whether you request a locked collar, or some tie space, the shirt will almost never show above the knot.
 

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I know of many factories all over the world that would like me to give them work.
cheaper labor is nice but not going to change my business much.
there are details in the construction of skips' shirt that i prefer over Jantzen
I have a huge inventory of fabric in my shop. the idea of shipping fabric around the world to just come back again is cost prohibitive.
I also like the fact that if I have a problem I can be in the factory in 45 minutes.

there is also a learning curve to manipulate the block pattern and get the desired results.
so I will stick where I am. i am actually making more and more shirts in my own workroom.

Carl
 

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Mel is Skip's uncle.
Mel Jr. was Skip's cousin. He passed away a number of years ago
Thanks for the further clarification. Sorry to hear about Mel Jr., I used to know him slightly.

Bravo on using Skip, I think a lot of people have been made happy by his work. I think all your reasons are good ones and help you better serve your clients. And it's very nice to see some work stay in the U.S., and the knowledge and skills that go with it.
 

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Here is the question, if money is not a factor who would produce a better shirt?
I never have used Jantzen and have no interest in using them.

Sole argument for Jantzen: cheap.

Arguments against Jantzen: a) poor customer service; b) getting your order is a gamble; c) fabrics are poor and hit and miss; and d) you are not being measured "live."

I would go with Gambert through Cego or another retailer.
 

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I prefer Mel Gambert to Skip Gambert - more flexibility...
"Mel Jr. was Skip's cousin. He passed away a number of years ago"

If Mel Jr. pased on, who's running Mel Gambert? Do they still have the factory in Harrison, if not, do you happen to know where they're making their shirts? Just curious.

I'd been to the old Harrison factory on business, Mel was a nice guy. Also used both makers. At that time, 15-25 years ago, Skip was actually more flexible, and IMO produced a signficantly better product.
 

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I never have used Jantzen and have no interest in using them.

Sole argument for Jantzen: cheap.

Arguments against Jantzen: a) poor customer service; b) getting your order is a gamble; c) fabrics are poor and hit and miss; and d) you are not being measured "live."
I have heard that Jantzen is pretty good at *replicating* a shirt that you mail to them.

I haven't read any posts on this forum about recent orders with Janzten getting lost.

Please let me know if you have had a different experience than this with Jantzen since the beginning of 2008.
 

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"Mel Jr. was Skip's cousin. He passed away a number of years ago"

If Mel Jr. pased on, who's running Mel Gambert? Do they still have the factory in Harrison, if not, do you happen to know where they're making their shirts? Just curious.

I'd been to the old Harrison factory on business, Mel was a nice guy. Also used both makers. At that time, 15-25 years ago, Skip was actually more flexible, and IMO produced a signficantly better product.
Mel Gambert Sr., his wife Lorraine and son Mitch run the factory...they are in Newark (I think right up the street from Skip and on the Harrison border)...15-25 years is a LONG time...much has changed ;) ...I have toured the factory and asked a million and one questions regarding things they "can" do...I have yet to be told "no"...I use them as well as Geneva for my clients and couldn't be happier! (I also think Gambert's "Imperial make" gives Geneva a run for their money - they do a REALLY nice job!)
 

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Mel Gambert Sr., his wife Lorraine and son Mitch run the factory...they are in Newark (I think right up the street from Skip and on the Harrison border)...15-25 years is a LONG time...much has changed ;) ...I have toured the factory and asked a million and one questions regarding things they "can" do...I have yet to be told "no"...I use them as well as Geneva for my clients and couldn't be happier! (I also think Gambert's "Imperial make" gives Geneva a run for their money - they do a REALLY nice job!)
Thank you very much for the detailed update! Yes, 15-25 years is a long time, too long. ;) I'm glad they're able to offer what you need, and very glad too that the art they practice is stil making beautiful shirts and happy people.

If Mel Sr. is the original Mel Gambert, I'm astonished he's working, bless him! But I'm really not certain how many generations we're talking about. The original Mel Gambert of Mel Gambert Shirts had what might be described as an entertaining personality, and he was a master shirtmaker.

Again, thanks so much for the update. :icon_smile_big:
 
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