Adventures in Bespoke Tailoring

I posted this picture years ago, when talking about Shattuck’s “telephone test” - how Frank shows that the structure of a well cut coat should not move when you pick up a phone.
View attachment 48170

It’s collar, shoulder and fronts, driven by a number of features, most importantly arm hole and shoulder construction. Please note this a fully buttoned db coat.

Not only the collar doesn’t move, neither does the shoulder, unlike those tyrannosaurus rex coming out of your clavicle. That first arm hole in the blue coat is wide as the (sinking) titanic - looks like a MTO pattern rather than true bespoke.

View attachment 48171
Yes. Shooey's shoulders disappear. But be fair. You are not flinging your arm out, as Shooey is.
 
Yes. Shooey's shoulders disappear. But be fair. You are not flinging your arm out, as Shooey is.

I’ll do a pic in the next few days, but bending the arm the way I’m doing it puts further strain on the structure by locking free sleeve movement. With a straight arm, the sleeve has room to pull back and release tension from the shoulder head.
You’ll see once I post the picture
 
I have just googled 'collar gap' and found a video where a tailor says it is caused by one or two things. 1. Not enough cloth in the back of the jacket. 2. The balance (between the shoulders) is wrong.

Is he right?
 
I have just googled 'collar gap' and found a video where a tailor says it is caused by one or two things. 1. Not enough cloth in the back of the jacket. 2. The balance (between the shoulders) is wrong.

Is he right?

There’s a number of things, including those two.
add the collar structure itself (ie the shape of the neck, how the collar’s back is stitched and iron shaped on the side towards the neck to “hug it till you choke it” as Frank would say) , front to back balance, armhole size, and how the coat sits on the shoulders (related to your second point) and you’ve got most of it.
 
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There’s a number of things, including those two.
add the collar structure itself (ie the shape of the neck, how the collar’s back is stitched and iron shaped on the side towards the neck to “hug it till you choke it” as Frank would say) , front to back balance, armhole size, and how the coat sits on the shoulders (related to your second point) and you’ve got most of it.

I’m no fan of Crompters, but googling I found this article which I think covers it pretty well.
 
I posted this picture years ago, when talking about Shattuck’s “telephone test” - how Frank shows that the structure of a well cut coat should not move when you pick up a phone.
View attachment 48170

It’s collar, shoulder and fronts, driven by a number of features, most importantly arm hole and shoulder construction. Please note this a fully buttoned db coat.

What happens when you sit down and your stomach expands, do you need to unbutton it? That cut wouldn't work for me, l need some room.
Not only the collar doesn’t move, neither does the shoulder, unlike those tyrannosaurus rex coming out of your clavicle. That first arm hole in the blue coat is wide as the (sinking) titanic - looks like a MTO pattern rather than true bespoke.

The armholes are supposed to be high, I can slip 2 fingers under my armpit. I need extra padding to even out the shoulders too, so probably a bigger armhole. Sure, your coat moves less, but my needs are different to yours. For my tailor to fit a body like mine is a miracle, some compromises need to be made.

So what does that say about Kirby's coat, are they low armholes too? His coat moves much more than mine does.

The armholes on my Oxxfords can also fit 2 fingers, and they are supposed to be high armholes.



Anyway, will be interested how you do the `hail a cab' position. I want to see if Frank make big daddy collars.
 
armhole size, and how the coat sits on the shoulders (related to your second point) and you’ve got most of it.

I was watching a video from Hitchcock about collar fit and armhole size. So if my armholes are too big shouldn't the collar be moving off my neck?

The interesting thing is, my tailor tells me the armhole area has been pushed down by my armpit (the blue one) because he made the armhole slightly too high. He would know. Maybe the extra padding on top makes them look lower than what they are?

Some say only 1 finger under the armhole, but to me that is not much room. Is an extra finger really that much extra?
high-armholes-5.png
 
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What happens when you sit down and your stomach expands, do you need to unbutton it? That cut wouldn't work for me, l need some room.

Shooey, when you sit you should ALWAYS unbutton your coat. This is gentleman behavior 101. I shouldn't need to explain this to you.

The armholes are supposed to be high, I can slip 2 fingers under my armpit. I need extra padding to even out the shoulders too, so probably a bigger armhole. Sure, your coat moves less, but my needs are different to yours. For my tailor to fit a body like mine is a miracle, some compromises need to be made.
The bigger the armhole, the bigger the movement of the shoulder upwards, like in your blue coat. See pictures below.

So what does that say about Kirby's coat, are they low armholes too? His coat moves much more than mine does.

Shooey, I really do want you to become a Big Collar Daddy, but for that to happen you need to stop following these false idols like Kirby (he's a Big Collar tool as far as I can tell - he might be Big Shoo Daddy, but he's got nothing on coats) and also start taking your tailor with a grain of salt.

The armholes on my Oxxfords can also fit 2 fingers, and they are supposed to be high armholes.

Are these RTW? Some RTW/MTM (see Oracio Luciano coat below) have smaller armholes by design. But if you read Crompters' piece you'll see a good explanation - MTM tends to work with bigger armholes just because they fit more people.

Anyway, will be interested how you do the `hail a cab' position. I want to see if Frank make big daddy collars.

Exhibit A:
Frank's coat (I've lost some weight since the picture I posted before), buttoned. The collar is choking me, and there's minimal movement of the sleevehead..

IMG_6089.jpeg


Exhibit B: Frank's coat, unbuttoned. sleevehead comes down a bit, sleeve is much more relaxed, less creased.

IMG_6090.jpeg


Exhibit C: Dan Macangus coat, buttoned.
English style, quite a bit of structure on the shoulder, but less structure than Frank. Dan is really good, but probably not as technically experienced as Frank. Collar remains tightly in place, but there's some deformation of the sleevehead (not as much as in yours though).

IMG_6095.jpeg


Exhibit D:
Maestro Panico's completely unstructured coat, buttoned. A very relaxed fit, you can see there's of course no movement on the sleevehead (as there's no underlying structure to it), and a very tight armhole keeps everything in place. There's some collar gap on the OPPOSITE side, due to the coat being buttoned in this position, I suspect.

1715328390784.jpeg


Exhibit E:
Orazio Luciano RTW/MTM coat, buttoned. A little bit of structure on the shoulder (less than English, more than Panico's), broader armhole than the bespoke coat, not as big as yours. Shoulder moves a bit, sleevehead is a bit out of shape but in line with English bespoke. Minimal collar gap on the OPPOSITE side, and on the side of the neck as opposed to the back. I think there's something about Neapolitan button point and lack of structure that might create this. I have to investigate more.

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Shooey, I really do want you to become a Big Collar Daddy,
Scorecard
-------------

BIG collar daddy = Shooey and Belinmad
Sleeve pitch daddy = Shooey. Belinmad??
Armhole daddy = Belinmad, but not Shooey at the moment.


but for that to happen you need to stop following these false idols like Kirby (he's a Big Collar tool as far as I can tell - he might be Big Shoo Daddy, but he's got nothing on coats)
He is no idol, that is for sure. He is a junioor shooman (knows little) and coatman (collar gap daddy). He should also stop wearing a fedora and wear a homburg instead, it would suit him a bit better.

Kirby and Hugo are typical igent types. They are easily lead by people who don't know anything, so they end up with coats that come off their neck and coats that swing open. At least with me, armholes can be ordered smaller.

and also start taking your tailor with a grain of salt.

Why? Dropped in for a chat today for 2 hours (rare to get that time)...learned more things than l could ever imagine.

Are these RTW? Some RTW/MTM (see Oracio Luciano coat below) have smaller armholes by design. But if you read Crompters' piece you'll see a good explanation - MTM tends to work with bigger armholes just because they fit more people.
rtw coats. So an inch under the pit is too much?

Will get back to the rest later.

btw, Impressed that Frank's coats don't move off the neck at all. Lets face it belinmad belinmad , we are both big collar daddies, and people like us are few. We had a good talk about Frank today and his collars.

Will get back to the rest later.
Exhibit A:
Frank's coat (I've lost some weight since the picture I posted before), buttoned. The collar is choking me, and there's minimal movement of the sleevehead..

View attachment 48177

Exhibit B: Frank's coat, unbuttoned. sleevehead comes down a bit, sleeve is much more relaxed, less creased.

View attachment 48178

Exhibit C: Dan Macangus coat, buttoned.
English style, quite a bit of structure on the shoulder, but less structure than Frank. Dan is really good, but probably not as technically experienced as Frank. Collar remains tightly in place, but there's some deformation of the sleevehead (not as much as in yours though).

View attachment 48179

Exhibit D:
Maestro Panico's completely unstructured coat, buttoned. A very relaxed fit, you can see there's of course no movement on the sleevehead (as there's no underlying structure to it), and a very tight armhole keeps everything in place. There's some collar gap on the OPPOSITE side, due to the coat being buttoned in this position, I suspect.

View attachment 48180

Exhibit E:
Orazio Luciano RTW/MTM coat, buttoned. A little bit of structure on the shoulder (less than English, more than Panico's), broader armhole than the bespoke coat, not as big as yours. Shoulder moves a bit, sleevehead is a bit out of shape but in line with English bespoke. Minimal collar gap on the OPPOSITE side, and on the side of the neck as opposed to the back. I think there's something about Neapolitan button point and lack of structure that might create this. I have to investigate more.

View attachment 48181
 
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Some say only 1 finger under the armhole, but to me that is not much room. Is an extra finger really that much extra?

it's not just how many fingers, but more importantly the shape (I had this discussion with one of the tailors, but to be honest I don't recall all the details). The typical RTW armhole will have a more circular shape thus not only "taller", as you call it, but also wider, while the truly bespoke one will be more oval-shaped, and will have a pitch that follows the pitch of the shoulder (depending on whether your stance is shoulder-forward or shoulder-backward).

Also the distance from the top of the shoulder to where the armhole starts on the top (there's a technical name for this but I can't remember it). Broad wide shoulders with loads of structure (think Sexton) will have a very different armhole shape than a Neapolitan cut like Panico's.


Why? Dropped in for a chat today for 2 hours (rare to get that time)...learned more things than l could ever imagine.

Because, to be honest Shooey, when I look at your jackets (and you don't do yourself a service by posting either highly cropped pics, like that of your shoulder, or once where the stance/angle makes it hard to understand the balance) they look more from a MTM/MTO pattern than truly bespoke. And the whole "secret sauce" is marketing BS. An honest tailor should always be happy to discuss technical details. I've spent countless hours with my tailors doing this, and that's how I learned all these fascinating bits and bobs about coat construction.

What's the tailor's name? Is there a website/instagram where one can see his work?
 
Big names with a glorious past, but not so glorious anymore.

Henry Poole collar gaps
Kirby with his usual collar gap with the managing director with his gap too. Kirby may not be a suit daddy, but he is a daddy of some sort, ie, a collar gap daddy.
Collar gap - Henry Poole, Kirby and others.jpg

but he brings Eddy along to Poole, and poor old Eddy ends up with a shocking collar cut to fit no-one. Look at how shapeless Eddy's collar is...so shapeless that it pulls off the side of the neck and at the back. Eddy's Poole collar look like those on many of King Charles' coats.
Collar gap - Henry Poole bespoke 1.jpg

Then there is the king of collar gaps, Huntsman. Just a few of many l have saved in my collar gap files. I hear their glory days are long behind them. Aren't they passing on the old knowledge to the young generation?
Collar gap - Huntsman bespoke 7.jpg


Off the sides, and off the back. Sheesh.
Collar gap - Huntsman bespoke 6.jpg
 
Because, to be honest Shooey, when I look at your jackets (and you don't do yourself a service by posting either highly cropped pics, like that of your shoulder, or once where the stance/angle makes it hard to understand the balance) they look more from a MTM/MTO pattern than truly bespoke.

How about this photo. Balanced?

Coat made bigger to fit 21 oz winter high waisted trousers with 3 ply turtlenecks. Very slight waist suppression. Aussie shirtmaker.

One shoulder is about 3 inches higher than the other, but my tailor designed it so the difference is not too noticeable, and the sleeves look about the same length.
New bespoke sportscoat.gif
Me - bespoke sportscoat 1.gif
 
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How about this photo. Balanced?

Coat made bigger to fit 21 oz winter high waisted trousers with 3 ply turtlenecks. Very slight waist suppression. Aussie shirtmaker.
View attachment 48188

Yeah better.
There’s definitely something going on with the balance, not only front to back but also left to right (right side is higher). Does your right shoulder sit much higher than your left one?

Also sleeves and armhole are definitely too wide, as is the right shoulder, maybe as you say to accommodate your bulletproof knitwear, but still, they detract from the overall cut quality of the coat.

I personally find the button point to be too low for your body type, and the collar size to be disproportionately small front quarters.

What do you want me to say - The jacket does not scream bespoke to me.
 
Yeah better.
There’s definitely something going on with the balance, not only front to back but also left to right (right side is higher). Does your right shoulder sit much higher than your left one?

Yep. + my arms are twisted, and my back is all weird. I am a tailor's nightmare, one of the most difficult for people to make a coat for. For my tailor to make a coat that fits me like that is a miracle. + my legs are all messed up too, with big thighs and calves with ZERO backside (completely flat), so making trousers is also a tailor's nightmare.

Uneven shoulders.
Me - handmade suit.gif
Also sleeves and armhole are definitely too wide, as is the right shoulder, maybe as you say to accommodate your bulletproof knitwear, but still, they detract from the overall cut quality of the coat.

I wanted my sleeves wider, love it like that. Hate narrow sleeves.

I personally find the button point to be too low for your body type,

It looks low in photo, but it is not in reality. I think the lapel role tricks the eye.

and the collar size to be disproportionately small front quarters.

What do you want me to say - The jacket does not scream bespoke to me.
Well l like it. If you saw me in rtw you might change your mind, my tailor has worked miracles and solved many problems, but some issues are so serious he can't solve all problems without inviting other troubles. Some compromises need to be made....eg,if he does too much of a certain thing, other problems arise. If he makes something else perfect it will throw other things off.
 
D-Well is launching a competition - which one of these is Shooey and which one is belinmad?

1st prize a .pdf copy of Manton's essay "Flight 93 Election"
2nd prize a signed copy of his book "The Suit"
3rd prize a pic of Manton with Trump




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That’s all that matters.

Yes, and l don't think you would find a tailor in Australia who would do any better. My tailor almost makes me look normal, and he makes me look o.k in my clothes - for a tailor to do that for a body like mine is a miracle. I am not your average guy who can look decent in a rtw coat and fantastic in bespoke. I can wear the world's top bespoke and l would only look o.k at best, and if l look o.k l am doing far better than l could have ever dreamed.
 
Yes, and l don't think you would find a tailor in Australia who would do any better. My tailor almost makes me look normal, and he makes me look o.k in my clothes - for a tailor to do that for a body like mine is a miracle. I am not your average guy who can look decent in a rtw coat and fantastic in bespoke. I can wear the world's top bespoke and l would only look o.k at best, and if l look o.k l am doing far better than l could have ever dreamed.

Is there a reason why you won’t share your tailor’s name?
 
D-Well is launching a competition - which one of these is Shooey and which one is belinmad?

1st prize a .pdf copy of Manton's essay "Flight 93 Election"
2nd prize a signed copy of his book "The Suit"
3rd prize a pic of Manton with Trump




View attachment 48192View attachment 48193


It is a collar competition to see who is the biggest `collar daddy'. I thought l might have won the competition, but Frank Shattuck also makes collars that don't budge. The Shooman The Shooman and belinmad belinmad are both big collar daddies.
 
 

He has a slight gap, and those terrible narrow sleeves l can't stand (like shirt sleeves). Those tight sleeves would drive me crazy. Maybe his suit doesn't move when he raises his arm, but so what....how many times a day do we keep our arms raised? I'd rather a comfortable coat than a straight jacket, but hey, that's just me.
 
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The perfect bespoke coat

The one thing my conversation with belinmad belinmad has revealed is how individual bespoke really is. No-one likes the same things. I see belinmad belinmad coats and l can't stand any of them, and if l had to wear those coats with the narrow sleeves and high arm holes l would absolutely hate it.

You see, I know what l like, and l have unique requirements, and that is why l go bespoke. I have larger arms under the shoulder area, so l want larger sleeves and a wider armhole, and l like the look and feel much better than narrow sleeves. When l cross my arms or sit at my desk with a coat on, l don't want tightness in the sleeves or at the back too much, and if that means having a larger armhole where my jacket moves a bit while raising my arms, then so be it, it IS worth the compromise.

I also had my shoulders extended very slightly so l could get that straight drop of the sleeve from the shoulder that I love so much along with extra room in the coat while maintaining the clean look. If l didn't do that my arms would be puffing out at the sides. Best decision ever, and l don't need people advising me because bespoke is such an individual thing. I am probably more lucky than most because I know exactly what l want out of bespoke, but my ideas of greatness are probably different to most people's.

To me, bespoke is about covering many of my imperfections while having me look o.k with clean cut. It is also about comfort and incorporating my idea of style (wide trousers etc). My tailor gives me everything l ask for, but naturally some of that will come with compromises because bespoke is not magic, it can't solve all problems (there is a fine balance), but it can certainly do amazing things because it can transform me from a walking box with uneven shoulders into a bloke that looks decently turned out. I don't like most of the bespoke l see online, but l love my bespoke.
 
What about this? MTM in China and then locally tweaked.

20240511_153121.jpg
 
See....too many igent rules dictate rules on what is right and wrong. In my experience most of these igent rules are pure garbage.
 
What about this? MTM in China and then locally tweaked.

View attachment 48198

No.
China MTM often take short cuts. My tailor tells me.....
For eg, they use much less much material in making the trousers, so the pockets gape out like ears at the sides. They have no clue how to make a proper trouser pattern, and trousers cut for braces are usually unbalanced. Chinese MTM trousers are cut to make you look like an oom papa man (all wide and dowdy at the top) because those ears make you look wider without a nice clean straight line.
The collars often come off the neck and not enough material in the chest.
You can't tweek something locally to good effect is the pattern is garbage.

Will try and find pictures later.
Look at all the S.F MTM in China, all of it is garbage.

Spier and Mackay trousers with rabbit ears
Spier and Mackay.jpg

Oom papa trousers that make you look big at the top. His ears would stick out (pockets), so if his coat was removes he would look big and dowdy in his trousers.

See red circle where the trousers are starting to bag out (no clean line). They make him look older and more dowdy. Big puffy trouser at top. They all do it like that. If they used more material they could straighten it all out, but they skimp on material and charge you top dollar. Don't fall for the made in China scam.
Spier and Mackay oom papa.gif
 
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^
To be fair, those are not MtM garments. The top video is a pair of $30 off the rack cotton chinos that look to be a size too small for that guy’s hips.
 
^
To be fair, those are not MtM garments. The top video is a pair of $30 off the rack cotton chinos that look to be a size too small for that guy’s hips.

Doesn't matter, that would be the standard pattern they use for MTM. Whether it is rtw or mtm, those standard patterns have ears that stick out, and that can never be changed.
 
Doesn't matter, that would be the standard pattern they use for MTM. Whether it is rtw or mtm, those standard patterns have ears that stick out, and that can never be changed.
The pocket ears are a product of poor hip fit and easily fixed. If these were MtM, you would adjust the hips accordingly.

IMG_7088.jpeg
 
Doesn't matter, that would be the standard pattern they use for MTM. Whether it is rtw or mtm, those standard patterns have ears that stick out, and that can never be changed.

So just to clarify, your tailor told you that ALL Chinese factories, regardless of who the client is, use MTM patterns that don’t allow for enough fabric around the tights, such that you get “pocket ears” in every single pair of trousers that comes out of China?
 
So just to clarify, your tailor told you that ALL Chinese factories, regardless of who the client is, use MTM patterns that don’t allow for enough fabric around the tights, such that you get “pocket ears” in every single pair of trousers that comes out of China?

He has seen a lot of this from China, it is common place. Other countries also do it like Africa, they cut corners while charging big prices. Do ALL do it?...who can say.

I understand that there are big factories in China making for numerous MTM companies, and it seems like many are trained in the same cutting techniques that cut corners. I see so many trousers in decent fabrics with ears these days selling for high prices.
 

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