introduction and questions.

Dave Bishop

Starting Member
12
United States
GA
Athens
I am new to the forum, but I have been wearing clothes for most of my life. I am a Southerner with roots going back to colonial Virginia. My taste have always run to the traditional. I genereraly eschew titles such as “trad” “Ivy” “preppy” etc.
I like a sack suit with a 3roll2 lapel, I am not adverse to a 2 button suit or sports coat.
I generally only wear OCBD shirts and I will wear tassel loafers with a suit. I have my share of “go to hell” clothes, but all of this is just part of my style. I don’t like categories for anything or anybody. I treat individuals and circumstances one at the time as the come. I view clothing the same way.

With that preface, I want to ask a few questions. I have read much of the discussion about the various made to measure online offerings from the various vendors.
Of those currently operating is there a consensus of opinion where the best compromise of value vs quality lies? My person experience shopping, I have bought nothing yet, is that most of these operations simply modify standard patterns, sometimes with poor results. I am looking for one that actually builds garments to an individual’s measurements. Do any of these outfits actually do this. I have had lengthy discussions with the so called “stylists” with a couple of companies. My conclusion at this point is the “stylist” is simply a sales person with a measuring tape. There seems to be no in-depth knowledge of men’s clothing or even fabrics. Can anyone offer a different experience with any of these companies?
Who of the made to measure venders find the favor of this group?
Thank you,
Dave
Athens GA
 

katch

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
222
United States
New York
New York
If you can make it to Atlanta, Sid Mashburn has some great stuff
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
20,815
United States
New Jersey
Flanders
I'm sorry that I have no specific retailer, or retailers, to recommend, but can comment upon generic classes or retailers.

First, mail-order MTM, and such, for tailored suits and jacket has been almost universally bad, often, catastrophic. Over the years, there have been dozens of horror stories, with accompanying sad photos of their results. I would certainly not pursue that avenue, and would not recommend that anyone else do so.

You are very astute to conclude that MTM programs, many of which bill themselves as custom, or even bespoke, simply modify existing patterns in existing sizes. I love your description of stylists as salesmen with tape measures, because that precisely the case for those establishments attempting to pretend what they do is something else.

Yes, you can get a suit or other tailored clothing cut exclusively for you. That's bespoke. And entry level with fine quality cloth generally starts in the thousands and goes up rapidly. The ones I've seen that I consider really good, with apologies to those with a less expensive local favorite that they like, are very costly.

But really good MTM, and frankly even good RTW, can fit the vast majority of men very well. The problem is finding good MTM. My experience is the best place to obtain it is from a long established men's retailer who's done a lot of it with a quality manufacturer or a few. The ability to know how to measure, and convert a myriad of nuances of a man's body into the nomenclature used by a particular manufacturer is complex. Those with the experience and skill to do it well are artists in their own right. And they aren't found at the investment capital funded glossy concept businesses you find advertising the heck out their wares.

I know Sid Mashburn, for whom you've received a recommendation, is very well thought of by people whose opinions I respect. That would certainly be a good place to start. And if you can learn of any similar establishments in your area, you'd do well to investigate them also.

Good MTM will allow you to get a very good fit from a quality maker, select the exact cloth your would prefer, and specify a variety of details such as lapel, buttoning preference, type of pockets, vents, etc., and to your exact preferences.
 
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smmrfld

Super Member
1,635
United States
California
Pleasanton
Don’t do online. Recipe for failure, repeatedly tested and proven on this site.
 

Dave Bishop

Starting Member
12
United States
GA
Athens
Thank you gentlemen, I am aware of Sid Mashburn. In Athens there used to be several quality men’s retailers, now there is one. By quality, Southwick, Hickey Freeman et al.

I found a local tailor who works out of a cramped place in an office park. He has good credentials, and good local references. I met with him for about an hour yesterday and he is doing some fairly extensive modifications on a Brooks Brothers blazer purchased on eBay. My sizes are changing and I bought a size too large. I will see what sort of work he does. He answered all questions and exhibited a good knowledge of his craft.
If things work out with him, I might let him do a bespoke suit. He says he can do it, but sometimes has to send out sewing. I am not ecstatic over him not doing everything in house, but it is a one man operation.

At this point I really don’t want to spend too much as my sizes are changing. I have lost 40 pounds since August and have more to lose. My current strategy is to buy quality suits and sports coats on eBay and let him adjust them for fit.
 

fishertw

Super Member
1,872
United States
North Carolina
Boone
I've never used them but I understand that Grady Owings in Columbia is a great brick and mortar store and not that far from Athens. My sense is that they have old line staff who know their way around mens clothing. Just a suggestion.
 

Dave Bishop

Starting Member
12
United States
GA
Athens
I've never used them but I understand that Grady Owings in Columbia is a great brick and mortar store and not that far from Athens. My sense is that they have old line staff who know their way around mens clothing. Just a suggestion.
Thank you, I need an excuse to go the S.C. anyway.
 

Dr.Watson

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
337
United States
South Carolina
Columbia
Fistertw, I think you mean Granger Owings, which is in Columbia. Grady Ervin is in Charleston (beautiful store, but M. Dumas will always have my heart). Granger Owings is a great store, but they have definitely been leaning towards more fashiony-peacock clothes over the last few years.

Probably closer to Georgia is Rush Wilson Ltd. in Greenville. I don't have experience with their MTM, but I think a previous thread said they will still make a 3/2 sack on request. Their options are a little more conservative than Granger Owings.
 

Dave Bishop

Starting Member
12
United States
GA
Athens
Fistertw, I think you mean Granger Owings, which is in Columbia. Grady Ervin is in Charleston (beautiful store, but M. Dumas will always have my heart). Granger Owings is a great store, but they have definitely been leaning towards more fashiony-peacock clothes over the last few years.

Probably closer to Georgia is Rush Wilson Ltd. in Greenville. I don't have experience with their MTM, but I think a previous thread said they will still make a 3/2 sack on request. Their options are a little more conservative than Granger Owings.
Completely off topic, but does the Tally Ho still exist in Columbia?
Many Georgians traded the Georgia jerk for the real Shag there.
 

Dr.Watson

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
337
United States
South Carolina
Columbia