Hong Kong Bespoke
March 15, 2006 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Your experience with Hong Kong Tailors.

Please share your experiences with Hong Kong Tailors, who do you recommend? Who should be avoided? Is someone better at one thing (shirts) than another (suits)? What should I know before going in? I'll be there this summer, and thus am not just looking for someone who does US tours for measurements and ships the work back.

I did search Askme, it seems that although it's been mentioned several times, it's always been tangential to a general bespoke question, or a HK tourism question. Thanks!
posted by subtle-t to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Go see Sam. I him make a suit and a few shirts while I was in Hong Kong a few years ago. Around $300 for the whole shebang (including ties and links). In the ensuing years, I lost 45 pounds. When I took the suit in to a local tailor to have it altered to my current size, the tailor flipped out over the quality of the workmanship. He told me that he rarely saw suits that well made.

Once you're in his books, you can order new suits. He'll ship cloth swathes to you. You pick the cloth you like, and he'll shipt the finished suit. Nice guy, good prices, excellent quality.
posted by syzygy at 3:40 PM on March 15, 2006

I HAD him make...
He'll ship cloth SWATCHES...

Sam pays more attention to quality and detail than I did in my original answer.
posted by syzygy at 3:43 PM on March 15, 2006

The fellows over at the Style Forum are enamored by WW Chan for suits and Ascot Chang and Jantzen for shirts. This thread has some good tips on things to keep in mind while ordering suits/shirts in HK.
posted by junesix at 4:06 PM on March 15, 2006

I went to a place and got 3 shirts made by an Indian tailor. I made arrangements to pick them up on my return flight 4 weeks later. An exact date was specified and agreed up. I left a 20% deposit. I came back on the agreed upon date to find out that the store was closed for the day. Calling the phone number did nothing. However, I'm pretty sure it was an oversight on their part and unfortunate timing on my part. If I had a choice I'd probably get it done in Bangkok instead.
posted by furtive at 4:17 PM on March 15, 2006

I was in Hong Kong over the Christmas holidays, just three months ago. I bought the suit plus 2 shirts package for HKD 3300 (about USD 425) from Taipan Row. The fabric is mid/upper-range, tailoring is excellent and everything fits me perfectly -- every bit as good as the Zegna suit that I bought just a month before for EUR 1100. Now that I trust their workmanship, I'm willing to splurge for high end fabric.
posted by randomstriker at 4:23 PM on March 15, 2006

BTW While Hong Kong is still home to some of the best tailors in the world, it isn't a bargain basement. Expect to pay about half to a third of what it costs on Savile Row. If you're not looking for the very best suits and you'll be in that part of the world for some time, consider making a trip to Vietnam or Thailand. You can get a decently high-quality suit made there on the cheap, again probably half to a third of what it costs in Hong Kong. The money you'll save if you're buying a few pieces will more than make up for the cost of the plane ticket.
posted by junesix at 4:24 PM on March 15, 2006

I've had some shirts made by Ascot Chang and I can vouch for the quality. Top-notch, and I still have two of the four eight years later. Had the collars and cuffs replaced by them. The other two succumbed to large stains caused by me.

However, I ordered them here in NY. I have no idea about the prices there, but they are not cheap here.
posted by lackutrol at 5:24 PM on March 15, 2006

Response by poster: Junesix, what is your experience with Bangkok tailors? Any recommendations?
posted by subtle-t at 7:21 PM on March 15, 2006

No personal experience with tailors in Bangkok.

My advice about Thailand/Vietname tailors is via a former roommate living in London that frequently makes trips out there. He's a banker so he's quite well-versed in the details of a good suit. Everything's he's said is corroborated by my maternal uncles in Taiwan - stingy bastards with an eye for high quality :)

Bangkok has a garment district with a high density of shirt and suit tailors. A hotel concierge could point you in the right direction. If you have a good idea of what you want and have an eye for quality workmanship, I think it shouldn't be difficult to find a respectable tailor. This LA Times article had good things to say about Cotton House and Rajawongse.

I'll see if I can get names from my former roommate.
posted by junesix at 2:28 AM on March 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

I have a friend who just had a shirt made by a guy in Hong Kong (I think it was Johnny Wong) and from what I know he is happy with it. I asked him if Johnny does women's shirts, because I am a woman and like the idea of a shirt made just for me (long arms, long torso, long legs, very thin... no luck in American shops). He said Johnny does not do women's. Darn

I would like to hear responses that involves the tailoring for women's clothes.
posted by bilabial at 7:17 AM on March 16, 2006

I've just come back from Sam, whom I chose based on the recommendation in this thread. I had them make one suit and 4 shirts, the suit was super 150 wool and cost HKD 2500, while the shirts were HKD 350 a piece.

While I am happy with both suit and shirts stylewise, I'm no expert on tailoring, so I cannot really vouch for the workmanship just yet. Ask me again in a few years, when I've worn the suit for some time.. However, looking at the credentials in his shop, I'd say he's a safe bet: it is literally packed with thank-you notes from everybody from Mark Foley (eh, he might have good taste in suits..), Bruce Willis, James Brown, Bill Cllinton, seemingly the entire British royal family, and dozens more. Seems the jet set and high flyers use this guy regularly.

However, I came there as a regular guy off the street, not bringing my business card and not sharply dressed, and I was a bit miffed by the service. Sam himself merely recognised my existence at times, and at one point I had to demand to try on one of the shirts which they just insisted would fit me. They were right, of course, but I still found it a bit odd. Also, I never saw a single catalogue or sketch of different style alternatives, I was stuck at trying to explain to my best knowledge how I wanted everything to be. The staff were somewhat helpful, but if you go there, make sure you have a clear impression of what you want (preferrably bring pictures or shirts you like, etc). Also, from peeking at their huge ordering books, I'd bring a business card as well, it seems that these small things matter when dealing with HK tailors...
posted by jonmartin at 5:40 AM on December 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

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