Tailors in Singapore

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mac.james
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Post by mac.james » Sun, 30 Oct 2011 6:56 am

Ksl, where would you recommend I go? I don't have any idea of suit pricing in the far east so I am hoping not to get ripped off. Would $450 be about right for a decently tailored suit with super 100s wool, and is raffles place the right place to go for that?
ksl wrote:
richie303 wrote:I use a guy called Andrew Liew (he comes to my house, so not based anywhere in particular I don't think :S) His dad started the business a many years ago doing tailoring for US Navy Servicemen. He is well versed in Expat fittings and is very reasonably priced. Shirts are around $70-$90 a piece and suits are around $600 with 2 pairs of trousers. all depending upon material of course!

He will tailor from his patterns or copy something you have without issue!

PM me if you want his number, I don't want to put it on a public forum, I don't think it's fair!

Andrew does all his own tailor work! He is a one man band pretty much, he's good.


Well if his dad was tailoring for US navy only when they called into port then he lost all the British trade. I know TJ's family was servicing the British Army Navy and RAF back in 1970, because I was stationed at Meiktila barracks corner of Dover Rd in 1970, at the time the majority of tailors were camp based knocking out suits in 24 hrs.

Change Alley were TJ was located was a market place back then and i know that they have other family shops too in the area.

Orchard Rd area and you will pay top $ for the same suit becuase the rents are higher don't believe me write down the particulars of the material you choose including the weight and check over in Raffles Place area!

To pay $600 for a suit is on the high side probably because it's Orchard area or tourist price, even with an extra pair of trousers and gold leaf underpants. I would avoid Orchard knowing I can get the 600$ suit for $450 in Raffles Place

SE pricing is about right for a good quality, local honest tailors and shirt prices should be cheaper too than $70 to $90 more like $35 to $60 with choice of material. Always better to visit a few tailors to, get a feel of the people, you want proof of their stories and signed guest books tell a lot. Visitors passing through well end up paying top$.

You must be really careful of the freelancers here in Singapore, there are middlemen touts that visit your home to measure you up and mark up the price they normally have the gift of persuasion to make you think you are getting a bargain like throwing in 2 pairs of trousers.

The sewing is almost always done by contracted machinists from a central point today which service several groups of tailors.

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Post by Marzuki » Sun, 30 Oct 2011 11:13 am

$250 for a pair of pants?!! That's very expensive. I went to a tailor in UOB Centre (2nd floor? 3rd floor? Can't remember, sorry) to get a pair of ladies pants done and they charged me $85. And this is made with crinkle free material that requires little or no ironing.

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Post by EasyPeasy » Tue, 01 Nov 2011 11:14 am

You asked a broad question about a service, preferences for which can exceed the limits of OCD mania.

I would guess that you have not spent much time researching, and your expectations are not stringent. That can be a blessing. Try your hand at the tailors mentioned so far; it is hit or miss if you can't sink a lot of time into this and can be a intensely personal journey.

I would advise you to ignore comments about price; these are not very useful until you know what quality you want. People will say you need to spend up to $1k on a suit, because you need XYZ cloth; or you can pay $250 for something wrinkle resistant. Both options can be silly depending on requirements and the tailor.

If you're chasing best value, focus on craftsmanship. Learn about what separates quality tailoring and crap (to you). Inspect finished pieces awaiting delivery for indications of what you expect. Respect tailors or clerks who are eager to work with you to get what you want. Don't pay for anything that does not meet your personal standards; accepting crap is bad for the industry. Don't buy into false pretenses; it's the craftsmanship that counts.

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Post by ksl » Sat, 05 Nov 2011 9:28 pm

mac.james wrote:Ksl, where would you recommend I go? I don't have any idea of suit pricing in the far east so I am hoping not to get ripped off. Would $450 be about right for a decently tailored suit with super 100s wool, and is raffles place the right place to go for that?
ksl wrote:
richie303 wrote:I use a guy called Andrew Liew (he comes to my house, so not based anywhere in particular I don't think :S) His dad started the business a many years ago doing tailoring for US Navy Servicemen. He is well versed in Expat fittings and is very reasonably priced. Shirts are around $70-$90 a piece and suits are around $600 with 2 pairs of trousers. all depending upon material of course!

He will tailor from his patterns or copy something you have without issue!

PM me if you want his number, I don't want to put it on a public forum, I don't think it's fair!

Andrew does all his own tailor work! He is a one man band pretty much, he's good.


Well if his dad was tailoring for US navy only when they called into port then he lost all the British trade. I know TJ's family was servicing the British Army Navy and RAF back in 1970, because I was stationed at Meiktila barracks corner of Dover Rd in 1970, at the time the majority of tailors were camp based knocking out suits in 24 hrs.

Change Alley were TJ was located was a market place back then and i know that they have other family shops too in the area.

Orchard Rd area and you will pay top $ for the same suit becuase the rents are higher don't believe me write down the particulars of the material you choose including the weight and check over in Raffles Place area!

To pay $600 for a suit is on the high side probably because it's Orchard area or tourist price, even with an extra pair of trousers and gold leaf underpants. I would avoid Orchard knowing I can get the 600$ suit for $450 in Raffles Place

SE pricing is about right for a good quality, local honest tailors and shirt prices should be cheaper too than $70 to $90 more like $35 to $60 with choice of material. Always better to visit a few tailors to, get a feel of the people, you want proof of their stories and signed guest books tell a lot. Visitors passing through well end up paying top$.

You must be really careful of the freelancers here in Singapore, there are middlemen touts that visit your home to measure you up and mark up the price they normally have the gift of persuasion to make you think you are getting a bargain like throwing in 2 pairs of trousers.

The sewing is almost always done by contracted machinists from a central point today which service several groups of tailors.
http://tjtailor.net/contact_us.html you can bet you will not be disappointed with service and quality, they have some great references and still serving there overseas customers after they move back home. The family go a long way back to when i was stationed here in 1970. They used to be in Change Alley now at 24 Raffles Place in the Clifford Centre ground floor, address on the website.

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Post by meanbean » Mon, 07 Nov 2011 5:02 pm

Got a few shops at Excelsior Shopping Centre (near Funan IT Mall). I made a few there, its worth the money

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Post by kwcm » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 11:35 pm

It might be because I haven't looked around enough, but looking at a lot of the tailors and their shops, my main hesitation is whether they can deliver the kind of style that I'm after. I recall getting two suits made in Singapore a few years ago and asking specifically for a slim fit (often portrayed as the "italian style" and now reasonably common with the more popular suit brands). What I got was the slightly more old fashioned boxy fit, and when I asked for a re-alteration, I was told that it was already a slim fit and any slimmer would be a "bad" fit.

I'd love to get some suits done. But jackets fit me quite well off the rack, and I'm now hesitant on getting tailored suits in Singapore. I'm sure there are good tailors here, but there are so many average and "rip-off" ones that it seems like quite a risk when ultimately, for me, it doesn't seem like they can do much better than an off the rack.

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Post by ksl » Sat, 03 Dec 2011 10:42 pm

kwcm wrote:It might be because I haven't looked around enough, but looking at a lot of the tailors and their shops, my main hesitation is whether they can deliver the kind of style that I'm after. I recall getting two suits made in Singapore a few years ago and asking specifically for a slim fit (often portrayed as the "italian style" and now reasonably common with the more popular suit brands). What I got was the slightly more old fashioned boxy fit, and when I asked for a re-alteration, I was told that it was already a slim fit and any slimmer would be a "bad" fit.

I'd love to get some suits done. But jackets fit me quite well off the rack, and I'm now hesitant on getting tailored suits in Singapore. I'm sure there are good tailors here, but there are so many average and "rip-off" ones that it seems like quite a risk when ultimately, for me, it doesn't seem like they can do much better than an off the rack.
I agree it is very risky in Singapore for many things, not just tailors, though many of us have been around a fair number of years, to know to walk away from the touts that pray on short term visitors. I still use the family that used to operate on the army camp where I was stationed, along with TJ who is now in the Clifford centre at Raffles place.

If you are happy with suits off the peg, just have them altered to your style! Though I would avoid Orchard Rd and other touting areas for tourists, they are normally much more expensive.

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Post by kwcm » Sat, 03 Dec 2011 11:09 pm

[quote="ksl"]
I agree it is very risky in Singapore for many things, not just tailors, though many of us have been around a fair number of years, to know to walk away from the touts that pray on short term visitors. I still use the family that used to operate on the army camp where I was stationed, along with TJ who is now in the Clifford centre at Raffles place.

[/quote]

Actually - I do need a few alterations on a couple of suits I have and after a bit of googling and hearing your recommendation, I'm going to give TJ a try. In the end, the risk of getting bad operators while searching for good prices is still better than having no chance of getting a reasonable price (which will be the case in Australia, the world's most overpriced country at the moment).

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Post by BillyB » Sun, 04 Dec 2011 12:32 am

The problem is that people really don't know what they are looking for when opting for a custom fitted suit. They hear all the chat about it being cheap in Asia so they want to jump on the bandwagon and fill their boots when they start making a bit of cash. How can they judge a tailor when they don't know what constitutes 'best practice'.

It's like asking a blind-man to pick out his best porno video......

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Post by Superglide » Sun, 04 Dec 2011 3:32 am

Darn,

I used to go to some tailors in Singers as well, when still living there, thinking I'd get a good deal on a good quality shirt, pants or suit.

Well, nowadays I go to outlet stores in Europe and find excellent quality stuff for good prices and the stuff lasts me a bit longer, as instead of Ah Beng tailor this and that, I get Hugo Boss or Zegna, who imho outstand Ah B.

Assuming it's expats asking for stuff, why not buy it when back in Europe (sorry for the Americanos and Aussie Kiwis)?

Better quality, same price.
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Post by kwcm » Sun, 04 Dec 2011 5:06 pm

[quote="Superglide"]Darn,

I used to go to some tailors in Singers as well, when still living there, thinking I'd get a good deal on a good quality shirt, pants or suit.

Well, nowadays I go to outlet stores in Europe and find excellent quality stuff for good prices and the stuff lasts me a bit longer, as instead of Ah Beng tailor this and that, I get Hugo Boss or Zegna, who imho outstand Ah B.

Assuming it's expats asking for stuff, why not buy it when back in Europe (sorry for the Americanos and Aussie Kiwis)?

Better quality, same price.[/quote]

I do agree that at some of the premium prices some tailors in Singapore charge, I would buy suits in Europe instead. I will admit that the reason for considering tailored suits in Singapore (or Asia generally) is because I'm hoping to get the benefit of cheaper prices through lower labour costs, lower logistic costs and lower taxes, all benefits which should be able to be passed onto the consumer. If quality and workmanship were of the utmost importance, I would never consider a tailor made suit here. There are probably some excellent tailors here that are comparable to, say, Jermyn street etc but I do think it's probably rare and too difficult to find amongst the many average operators.

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Post by thismyvoice » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 12:06 am

If you are afraid of getting ripped off, you can give the cheap tailors at Seah Im food centre a try. There are a couple of tailor shops right at the end of the food centre.

A pair of pants will cost you about $30 for the cheapest quality. Better quality material will cost about $10 more. All price negotiable. With that price, anything decent will be a bonus. :D

I suspect they outsource the work to tailors in Batam ... thus the cheap price.

Personality at Peninsula Plaza is decent enough, but you have to pay a bit more.

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Post by BillyB » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 10:34 am

thismyvoice wrote:If you are afraid of getting ripped off, you can give the cheap tailors at Seah Im food centre a try. There are a couple of tailor shops right at the end of the food centre.

A pair of pants will cost you about $30 for the cheapest quality. Better quality material will cost about $10 more. All price negotiable. With that price, anything decent will be a bonus. :D

I suspect they outsource the work to tailors in Batam ... thus the cheap price.

Personality at Peninsula Plaza is decent enough, but you have to pay a bit more.
$30 for a pair of pants and negotiable? What are they made from, bin-liners?!

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Post by thismyvoice » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 6:40 pm

BillyB wrote:
thismyvoice wrote:If you are afraid of getting ripped off, you can give the cheap tailors at Seah Im food centre a try. There are a couple of tailor shops right at the end of the food centre.

A pair of pants will cost you about $30 for the cheapest quality. Better quality material will cost about $10 more. All price negotiable. With that price, anything decent will be a bonus. :D

I suspect they outsource the work to tailors in Batam ... thus the cheap price.

Personality at Peninsula Plaza is decent enough, but you have to pay a bit more.
$30 for a pair of pants and negotiable? What are they made from, bin-liners?!
Cotton, maybe mixed with polyester. They are usually willing to lower the price if you place order for 3 or more pants. My advice is to go for the better quality material. It is still cheap. The pants might not be as comfortable but hey, for that price ... can't really complain.

Raw material is relatively cheap. It is usually the rental and workmanship that are expensive. That is why I suspect the tailoring is outsourced to Batam.

Staying in Singapore can be a lot cheaper if you know your place around.

:)

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Post by kwcm » Tue, 20 Dec 2011 4:06 pm

I had an experience recently with a tailored suit. Problem is that I've never paid for an expensive tailored suit from London before to compare so here are some things which I've noticed which may or may not mean that the quality I've received is not as good as I should expect. Or perhaps they are things i should have specified at the outset, but then again, if you're not someone who knows a lot about suits, how would you know what to ask? Anyway:

- the tailored suit material turned out to be slightly stiffer than I expected. T is could be because of the ironing/pressing. It may also "soften" after a few wears. But the reason I notice this is that I'm always touching the material of suits off the rack at department stores / zegna / boss etc and off the rack always seems to be that much softer to the touch that what I received. My suit was supposed to be super 120s or more, but to be honest, there's no way I can tell if that was what was actually used (does anyone know how I can tell, theres not the usual labels you get from an off the rack).

- the jacket sleeve buttons are much closer to the edge than I've ever seen, and there aren't even fake button hole seams sewn in. I probably could have asked, but given that most off the shelf has button seams sewn in, I would have thought this was standard.

The fitting is definitely better than off the rack, which i guess is the minimum one should expect from a tailored suit. But I think I will need to wear it a few times to really gauge whether it is a well made suit or not.

The point of this? Well I guess if my observations above are not wrong, then another way to see if a tailor is worth taking the risk on is to watch for these things when you're next in a shop and you take a look at the shelf with the completed suits for other customers.

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