Tell me everything about custom suits.
June 29, 2011 4:07 AM   Subscribe

I have the opportunity to have a custom suit made in western Japan (Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto). Money is no object.

I need to know everything about having a suit made. I need to know what is the best of the best and how to choose a tailor. I will probably have some shirts made as well. What would you do in my situation? I have never worn a suit that was more than a few hundred dollars.

To satisfy your curiosity a very very wealthy customer said to me "you need a suit" and who was I to argue.
posted by Infernarl to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Ask your very, very wealthy customer who does his/her suits. The end.
(Also, lucky you!)
posted by LuckySeven~ at 4:38 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ask your very, very wealthy customer who does his/her suits. The end.

Yup. This is your chance to get referred to the best.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:41 AM on June 29, 2011

Sure, I'll take pictures if all goes well. Wealthy customer doesn't wear suits. There isn't really anyone I can ask.
posted by Infernarl at 4:42 AM on June 29, 2011

Senba in Osaka is the old textiles part of town.

There is a large wholesellers building there open to the public. That is where I would go. I am trying to find the name of the building. It is several blocks-length in size. It is at the end of the shotengai that ends/starts in Senba. There might be tailors in the shotengai itself you could visit. At any rate, visit Senba.
posted by vincele at 4:47 AM on June 29, 2011

pour yourself a really good cognac and head over to ask andy.
posted by ouke at 4:48 AM on June 29, 2011

Senba Center Building (in Japanese) is where I would start. There is a shotengai that starts near there. Ask around.

Here's a map of the building.
posted by vincele at 4:53 AM on June 29, 2011

Final post in this thread, excuse my multiple postings. The old men in the shops around Senba Center Building really, really know textiles. I'd trust them with any order.
posted by vincele at 5:00 AM on June 29, 2011

Search through the archives of Style Forum and see if any of the members there have had good experiences with particular tailors in Japan.

If you're going to spend a lot of money on a suit, my advice would be for it to be conservative and timeless in style, suitable year-round. It will last pretty much forever, so you want this suit to be the most versatile.

Also, see if you can arrange multiple fittings, or at the very least, expect to go back to the tailor after it's completed so they can make adjustments.

Seriously, though, if your customer wants you to have a suit, he must have a tailor in mind. I don't wear suits to work, but I own suits. He must be the same.
posted by deanc at 5:11 AM on June 29, 2011

Not that you'd want to emulate the dude in any other fashion, but Mubarak probably has the slickest suit I've ever seen.
posted by Grither at 5:12 AM on June 29, 2011

I agree that your wealthy client probably has someone in mind. But if he gets his suits made abroad (very possible) then that may not be practicable.

Possibly your safest option would be to look for bespoke tailors who do international trips, as there is not much public information about Japanese bespoke online. I know Some saville row tailors like Richard Anderson will make visits to Japan. If money is no object, then I would hang around on thelondonlounge which is the heart of discussion on "bespoke" online to get a feel for the language of bespoke (also reccomended, blogs like Permanent Style and ASW. Most bespoke tailors will also have an excellent in house shirtmaking service as well nowadays.

Essentially, given that you are being given a gift with a rough value of 600,000+ yen- its probably only polite to do some personal research.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 5:57 AM on June 29, 2011

DMG and Katsura are apparently well-known Osaka bespoke tailors. Vincele's recommendation of Semba is a good one, but I think you'll find it's full of wholesalers rather than tailors, so it will be an intermediate step rather than a destination.

For this sort of thing you are best off asking elsewhere in Japanese, since unlike Tokyo, Kansai is not an international center of bespoke tailoring (as you may have gathered), and I doubt many non-Japanese will even know where to start.
posted by armage at 7:16 AM on June 29, 2011

You lucky bastard.

Personal recommendation is the way to go. Do you have any other clients who wear good suits? Are you ever in place where men in excellent suits gather? Does your client have an accountant or banker he could introduce you to? Do you know anyone who is friendly with a CEO, diplomat, politician etc?

deanc is bang on - go for timeless. That means 2 buttons, navy blue / dark grey / black, medium notch lapels, worsted wool, three or four cuff buttons, probably single vented etc. Do not try to assert your individuality in your best suit. You are aspiring to a platonic ideal.

Oh, and get good quality shoes, shirts, ties and cufflinks - skimping on these will draw the eye away from your suit.

I need to know everything about having a suit made.

You can learn a lot from reading the top ten posts at English Cut. It won't tell you the name of a tailor in Japan, but you will understand a lot more about top-end tailoring.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 8:48 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

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