Does this tailor really exist?
September 14, 2007 10:09 AM   Subscribe

I've heard rumors that there's a talented Chinese bespoke tailor that comes to SF and books a meeting room where he takes orders and measurements. He then flies back to China (or possibly it was Hong Kong) and assembles the suits. A month or two later, when the suit is completed, he ships it to the customer. Supposedly this man makes a superior quality product for a reasonable price.

Its a persistent rumor I've seen on a number of sites, but for all my searching I haven't been able to find any concrete information. Can you help me track this man down?
posted by lekvar to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
It could be Raja Fashions. They do the whole "book up a hotel suite and take measurements" routine and they go to San Francisco as well as other places in the US and the UK. Although some of the reviews elsewhere on the internet are not brilliant, so approach with caution.
posted by greycap at 10:20 AM on September 14, 2007

Kottke led me to a couple of good articles yesterday:

NYMag article about bespoke suits
English Cut, blog of a Seville Row bespoke tailor
posted by mrbill at 10:21 AM on September 14, 2007

I can't remember his specific details but you may be thinking of an Indian tailor who advertises in the papers. He travels world wide to all the major cities.

I thought about visiting him last year, so I looked into it. I read a few newspaper articles that praised his business. But I also found many personal accounts that judges his suits as 'so-so'.
posted by popcassady at 10:22 AM on September 14, 2007

There should be dozens of such providers. Try goggle with "custom tailored suits" and "new york" or "SF".
This one popped up: but he seems to have his own shop. Normally this guys meet you once a month in a hotel send the measurements to China/India/Thailand and travel to the next city. A friend of mine did it. He was satisfied with the quality. I still have the
flyer at home and can post the name tomorrow.
Actually, a good tailor, as far as I know, takes your measurements twice. He will take your measurements, and then you will have to wear some kind of "intermediate suit" and he will adjust it again. Hence I would be sceptical
about the quality this guys can deliver.

Also be careful which telephone number you will give out. Such business can have very aggressive marketing and may call you once a week until the end of you life (forget about "do not call lists").
posted by yoyo_nyc at 10:22 AM on September 14, 2007

Guess it was "Raja Fashions".
posted by yoyo_nyc at 10:23 AM on September 14, 2007

About 20 years ago I did this with a company in Hong Kong called Tak Tak Tailor and I was quite pleased with the results. I had them make a few things when I was in Hong Kong, and then again a little later when they did their rounds in the US. Both sets of garments were very nice, and they took measurements both times. Obviously, they didn't do a second fitting on the things they mailed to me, although it turned out to be unnecessary anyway.

Back then, they would visit the US every 2 years or so and they visited about 20 or 30 cities. They'd send their clients a list of places and dates, so you could book an appointment with them at their hotel.
posted by Quietgal at 10:28 AM on September 14, 2007

Oh, and apart from their itinerary every couple of years, I never got any advertising from Tak Tak. No junk mail, no phone calls, no hassle. Nice!
posted by Quietgal at 10:30 AM on September 14, 2007

You'll have to define "reasonable." The tailor that everyone on Style Forum raves about is WW Chan who does make occasional visits to the US. Their suits start around $1000 for 2-piece though Style Forum members usually have a much more discerning eye for quality.

Google search also turned up Macomber in HK ($400-1200) and an AskMefi thread a few questions down had a reply about in Thailand ($200-300) that supposedly also does US visits.
posted by junesix at 10:38 AM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

You're probably thinking of Maxwells Clothiers. They travel extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada.
posted by New Frontier at 10:43 AM on September 14, 2007

Maxwell's does made to measure suits and shirts. It's not bespoke.
posted by chunking express at 10:48 AM on September 14, 2007

Though their shirts and suits are quite nice, and pretty cheap.
posted by chunking express at 10:48 AM on September 14, 2007

Ascot Chang books a suite at the Fairmont every year. I usually go and put in my shirt order. They share the suite with a company that makes suits, but as I do not wear many suits I have never looked into it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:17 AM on September 14, 2007

Whether a suit made out of cheaper material by people who are paid relatively little money is a good idea is up to you,

If any MeFites have used the Raja, Chan, or any other of the measure-and-send-to-Asia tailors, it would be useful if they could speak to this. [Preview: I see that 1 or 2 people have above, but not many]

My own experience is with a Bangkok tailor, and the materials were superb, the workmanship was as good as anything you get off the rack at Nordstrom, and it was custom fitted to boot, all for about $300-350 per suit (about 1/3 the price of a rack suit at Nordstrom).

However, I was actually in Thailand, and so I was able to view the materials and check in periodically on the progress to assure that everything was going well. Of course, it's not clear this would be the case if you did the whole thing remotely. But it is clear that oneirodynia's concern about all Asian materials and workmanship being "cheap" (in the low-quality sense) is overblown. If you have a moral concern with supporting local business, then say so, but there's no reason to badmouth the quality of foreign products.
posted by rkent at 11:42 AM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Never said that all Asian materials are cheap- a huge amount of lovely fabric comes from Asia. My point was to examine the reason why something might be cheap. Local small tailors often have very good overseas connections and can get exquisite fabrics at reasonable (though perhaps not the cheapest) prices.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:48 AM on September 14, 2007

I have used Larry Mool. He did a fantastic job on shirts & a blazer. I intend to get a suit or two when he is next in my town.

I think his company is Four Seasons Tailors or something similar.
posted by Sheppagus at 12:21 PM on September 14, 2007

I've had suits and slacks made in China and Hong Kong while I was there.

You better have some guarantee that the clothes you order will fit exactly how you want them when you get them. Be prepared for a long wait if they have to send them back.

I've had to go back up to 3-4 times to get everything perfectly.
posted by mphuie at 12:31 PM on September 14, 2007

I've used Raja to get my husband a bespoke suit. About 4 years ago, and he STILL *LOVES* it. They took each measurement 3 times, and took digital photos of his posture, etc.

Spent less than 400 euro for something that's lasted longer than any off-the-rack and hangs better too.

Should mention he got the shirt custom made by them as well.
posted by Rubythursday at 12:54 PM on September 14, 2007

Well, I'm in London so my experience isn't exactly what you're looking for but perhaps I can offer some insight into what's worked for me.

I've actually found it cheaper to visit Bombay for a week every two years or so to get my tailor made suits and shirts. That time away gives me a great holiday while I get an excellent deal on new clothes.

Also I can precisely specify the material to be used, get measured and do (at least one) intermediate fitting before the final fitting upon delivery of the merchandise.

My tailor in Bombay can do suits in as little as 24 hours, but three to five days gets you the cheapest rate.

Best of all, I avoid duty as I take an empty suitcase to Bombay.

I end up getting the suits for about 75 to 90 pounds each, and shirts for less than ten pounds, depending upon material, extras (two pairs of pants, lining, monograms, etc), the overall size of the deal, and how hard I bargain.

He keeps my measurements and I've ordered shirts that he's later mailed over to me as well. He augments his shops address to include title "DRY CLEANING", and I've never been hassled for duty although they have been opened.

Once you've started wearing tailor made, you'll never go back. I didn't know how much an off the rack tugged at my shoulders until I wore my first tailor made suit.

While other folks seem to have luck with the remote tailor option, taking a holiday every couple of years works for me.
posted by Mutant at 1:13 PM on September 14, 2007 [5 favorites]

i've been to HK a bunch of times.... when i go, I goto the same tailor all the time.... they measure (or re-measure as the case may be)... 2 days later they have 1 suit half made to double check their measurements... then in no time have the full suits completed! Excellent workmanship, I pick the fabric & the designs of everything... the cost is super cheap.... when they ship back to the US you have to pay some tax....which varies SOOOO much, I convinced it's (the import tax) is a scam.

Anyway, there are many who do this...& I mean ALOT. The guy I use is called Nita Fashions
posted by foodybat at 1:19 PM on September 14, 2007

I used Nita in Hong Kong as well. I had my father's measurements (stealthily procured by my mother, with an excellent cover story) and they made up three shirts in 2 dys for him form those measurements. Amazing, quality shirts that are his favorite to this day.
posted by minervous at 1:45 PM on September 14, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everybody, this is more info than I'd hoped.
posted by lekvar at 6:01 PM on September 14, 2007

Raja fashions are good: shirt/suit combo fis le a dream
posted by lalochezia at 12:44 AM on September 15, 2007

My husband had a handsome vintage-styled 3-piece suit made by these folks, after being measured in a hotel room.

We're happy with the suit and the price ($750), not so happy that our credit card was billed the day of the measurement for a product that did not yet exist, and that the customer service in dealing with our concerns about this issue was non-existent. We ended up doing a charge back, since no one would call us back, then accepting the charge on receipt of the suit, which added time and aggravation to the total cost.
posted by Scram at 8:45 AM on September 15, 2007

Mutant's tailor, Aziz, is at the following address:

Diplomat Tailors & Clothiers
5/1, Grants Bldg., Arthure Bunder Road, Nr. Radio Club, Colaba, Mumbai, 400005
Tel: 022 - 22832631
posted by jimmyjimjim at 1:04 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

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