Thursday, 22 December 2011

Featured





Audi Magazine Singapore, Q4 / 2011.

Credits:
Jorg Dietzel (copy)
Roy Lim (photo)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

By Appointment Only

Dear customers,

We will be closed on the following dates: 24, 25, 26, 31 Dec 2011 and 01, 02 Jan 2012. In order for us to serve you better during this festive season, we will be operating by appointment only. Please call or leave us a private message in Facebook to book a time slot :)

UPDATE: Our domain is back online! Please send your questions to enquiries@dylanandson.com

Friday, 28 October 2011

Work In Progress


Dear customers,

Thank you for the tremendous support over the past year. In order to serve you better, we will be closed for an upgrade renovation from 7 to 27 Nov 2011. Normal business will be expected to resume on 28 Nov 2011. Do check back regularly for updates.

If you have a collection to be made within this period, please send us an email stating your full name and invoice number one day in advance. In the mean time, you may still contact us via our email (enquiries@dylanandson.com) or Facebook.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Getting Waisted

Proportion is key. When Michaelangelo sculpted David, it was rumored that he made the torso a little bigger, so that it will appear to be in better proportion when people look up at the statue from below.
(On a side note, I thought that Greek-goddess-looking sculpture would look awesome if she's got the middle finger out instead LOL)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is really no right or wrong in the world of aesthetics. However, there is a general consensus on what contributes to a pleasing visual. Proportion is one such attribute, and perhaps the most critical of all.

One of the very first things I learnt in fashion college was to draw fashion figures. We were taught that these figure drawings look more elegant when the legs are drawn longer. This applies to both the male and female physiques. We employ a system of drawing called "nine-heads" to guide us in achieving that desired silhouette. Since these drawings are the foundation to any collection, it is extremely important we present them well (and to score good grades, obviously).

The contrapposto - a typical 'perfect form' of a women's figure. In reality, a women's legs are never that long. But it looks pretty darn good if we can create an illusion of length.

What I would love to see more of is a redux of the classic, higher waisted trousers for men. Now, before you tie me to a tree and stone me to death for being an old-fashioned geek, I'm not saying that you should start wearing your trousers right at your naval (anatomically, your 'true' waist is where your belly button is). A 2.5" distance below the naval is a good place to start.

If you take a look around, most of the guys on the street are wearing their pants at the wrong level. There are pants cut specifically to be low-riding, though this is actually quite rare. Most of the guys just put their hands into the pockets and pull their pants down, making it appear low-waisted. What this does is bring the fullness of the hips down towards the thighs. Also, you'll end up with a dropped crotch. Not flattering.

Having a proper rise have several advantages -

First of all, it creates an illusion of length to your legs, like the fashion drawings we do. Admit it; most of us would kill to add a couple of inches to our height. Super low-waisted trousers make your torso appear longer than your legs, throwing the whole look off-balance and out of proportion. In other words, you look stumpy.

Secondly, if you're a suit wearer, it minimizes the chances of your shirt peeping through the jacket at the waist when it is button up.

Immaculate proportions (and sophisticated color co-ordination!): classic jacket body length, appropriate lapel width, high-rise trousers, minimal break on legs. Since the last button of any jacket is always left undone, their shirts will likely be exposed at the waist through the jacket if they were sporting low-riders.

Thirdly, it makes it easier to achieve this uber-cool tie-tuck at the waist :)


Lastly, higher-waisted trousers are not just for old-fashioned uncles above 50. This stigma has got to go. I don't know what I'll do to the next guy who tells me "Hey why are you wearing your pants so high? Like uncle man". Give his pants a well-deserved, balls-splitting yank upwards, perhaps.

If the dude on the right is old-fashioned, I don't want to be forward.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Ca$hmere

(nothing is written here because no words can do this amazing bunch of cloths justice)

Cashmere is one of the world's most luxurious wools, and it is certainly reflected in its pricing. To put it into perspective, a low percentage cashmere-blend sweater will be in the $250 region at mass retailers like Uniqlo, whose price point for similar non-cashmere products is around $50. If you've tried on some of these 5-10% cashmere-blend products, you'd agree that it has got a nice, supple and smooth handle. Suddenly, the regular cotton sweaters aren't so appealing anymore.

Now.

100%. Pure. Cashmere.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Comfort & Style

Campaign photoshoots and visual merchandising mannequins are excellent platforms for conveying styling suggestions. They provide a straight-forward, concise and lasting impression on the consumer's mind. It is an important tool for brands to project their kind of aesthetic, associating the label to a specific look they try to create. You'd never mistake a Jil Sander campaign for a Versace.

These shoots are no doubt beautiful to look at - it's virtually 'perfect'. Of course, when you pay a couple grand for a spread, you'd expect nothing short of perfection. Unhappily, things are never so perfect in reality (if only I can Photoshop away my receding hairline). What appears to work in the magazines often don't translate as seamlessly into real life. This is especially true in the actual fit of the clothes.

Jil Sander: 6-button, peak lapel double-breasted suit in royal blue with black buttons, ticket-pocket and a 28" waist.

First of all, those dudes are professional models. They are blessed with chiselled cheeks, measure 6'4" sans shoes, have washboard abs, piercing blue eyes, amazing hair and bronzed skin. They are paid to look good. They have the ability to make thrift-store clothes look like they're worth hundreds. Throw mud on them and they'll make it look like Hershey's. What works on them doesn't always work on regular guys like you and me :(

Secondly, photography is an instant. You only have to look great for that split second the camera clicks. Take a look at the picture below. It's a great picture - handsome model, perfect lighting, excellent color co-ordination on the summer outfit. What you might not notice is how insanely tight the suit is - the trousers is literally bursting at the seams. And it's a cotton suit, which will feel a lot more restricted in the same cut compared to wool ones. Therefore, unless it's a cotton-elastane blend, it's not gonna feel very comfortable if worn for an entire day. An uncomfortable man is hardly a stylish man.

Photo from GQ.

Now, take a look at the next two pictures below. Real men in real settings. Looking at them, only one word comes to mind - comfort. Granted, it's a linen and wool suit they're wearing, but the cut is so much more forgiving. It fits well and is easy on the eyes. One of the main reasons why those damned Italians always look so smashing in their suits is because they are so comfortable in them, it's like a second skin. They are as comfortable in a three-piece suit as you will be in your pajamas.

Photo from The Sartorialist.

Photo by Tommy Ton.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why street-style photographers are all the rage for the past few years. It just feels more authentic and most people can relate to that.

Throughout the years, I have experimented on the lengths and widths of my clothes. I've been to both ends of the equation - super slim and baggy, cropped and extra-long. I've tried going as skinny as humanly possible and Yamamoto-esque roomy. I experiment, so that you don't have to. At the end of the day, I always go back to those clothes cut with a sensible, classic fit. I still love some of my more avant-garde and ultra-fitted pieces, but they have gradually become white elephants in my closet.

Classics will never go out of style. Tried, tested and proven.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Silent Stripes

Stripe trousers are a mainstay in menswear. They are classic, formal and appropriate for everything corporate. However, not all stripes are born the same - some are wider, some are narrower.

The other element is the density of the stripes. The familiar one is the pin-stripe, which is quite distinct and visible. The opposite of that is the chalk-stripe. It appears as if a chalk is dragged lightly along the fabric, leaving faint lines on it. This is an excellent choice if you are a minimalist - very subtle and quiet.

Perhaps something to consider for your next commission.


Chalk-stripes (left) and pin-stripes (right).

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Knotty Issue

Bespoke pure wool tie in charcoal grey Prince of Wales.
(Cloth by Holland & Sherry)

Ties - a critical component in menswear which serves absolutely zero function. Come to think of it, what was the dude thinking when he invented the tie?

Hang on. Perhaps I'd just take this totally random piece of fabric and loop it around my neck, nevermind if there's a good chance of me being strangled to death.

Ties don't always have to be made of shiny silk. Matte and textured wools or linens are excellent alternatives.

Regardless. Here at Dylan & Son. Sartorial, we love it. And you should too. Forget about all the complicated knots with even more intimidating names. The only knot you need to master is the easiest of them all - the four-in-hand. How to? Like everything else in life, when in doubt, YouTube away.

Albiate Milano 1830 100% pure Egyptian cotton shirt in baby blue checks with European cut-away collar.

Learning this knot takes 5 minutes. Mastering it requires a little more effort. You might beg to differ, but I feel ties look the best when they are dimpled and gently skewed to one side. Excessive symmetry in menswear makes the wearer look too fastidious - almost to the point of being anal.

Not cool.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Featured


Credits:
Jack Phillips
Liv Lewitschnik
Nelly Gocheva
Poppy
Tan Hai Han

Friday, 2 September 2011

Classic Patterns - Houndstooth

Menswear can be rather restricted - you have to conform to a general guide on appropriate attire if you want to be taken seriously. Nope, you can't wear that pair of neon yellow pants to the board meeting next week. Unless you're the boss, of course.

The next time you make a commission, consider getting a pair in a patterned cloth, like the classic grey houndstooth. Patterned cloths provide that extra dimension to an otherwise flat ensemble.

Sometimes, it is good to try and explore a bit. There is a lot more to menswear than just plain black pants.


Houndstooth is such a distinctive pattern. It instantly amps up your outfit.
Cloth by Fintes Drago Super 150's (Italy).


Doesn't look too outrageous now, does it? It appears almost like a solid grey pair from a distance. And why am I wearing sandals to work? Because I can.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

National Service

I have been entrusted with the sacred task of protecting our Motherland (read: reservist) from 15th August to 2nd September. During this time, my old man will be fronting the shop and I will only be in by around 6.30pm on weekday evenings. I will be in from 12pm - 6pm on Saturdays.

My dad is a veteran tailor with 40 years of experience, so new customers will be in good hands in terms of body measurements. My regulars will know that all my customer records are stored in my good 'ol Mac. However, the only Mac my dad knows of is the one that comes with fries and a coke. Since he won't be able to access my database, I would strongly encourage potential customers to make an appointment with me via enquiries@dylanandson.com. Also, please remember to bring along your receipts should you come for collection, or provide us with your receipt number.
Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

What's Your Worth?

One of the major components of bespoke tailoring is the choice of materials. Your fabric selection directly impacts the financial health of your bank account.

This begets the question - is this material I'm choosing worth the amount of money I'm forking out?

Amongst the gazillion fabric choices available in the market, you will always find some that are almost identical to each other. Certain classic designs, like banker stripes or the bird's eye, can be easily spotted in the retail market. Some people will remark:

"This blue striped fabric is so common, I can find it at G2000 or Zara. No way I'm paying $100 for a shirt in this fabric."

Banker stripe shirts
Left - $129. Right - $549.

"This grey cloth so 'uncle', I can get one exactly like that for $50 in Chinatown."

Bird's eye weave trousers
Left - $139. Right - $459.

The fact that the fabric design is more mainstream does not depreciate its value. You gotta feel it to appreciate its quality and cost.

However, if you honestly cannot feel any disparity between the two, there's no shame in going for the lower priced option. It is only after continued exposure and experimentation of fabrics in various quality levels that you will learn to appreciate the good stuff.

The bespoke experience is a multi-levelled one. Start from the lower-priced range and slowly work your way up the sartorial ladder. You don't jump straight to a $600 shirt for your very first commission.

It's like buying a car - how many people actually get an Aston Martin for their very first set of wheels? You get a Hyundai and upgrade to an Audi before you finally morph into James Bond (yes, that's still a pretty big jump, but you get the drift).

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Words of Wisdom - Respecting Your Hosts

"You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the people around you." - Tom Ford

A perfect example of this is at weddings. You'll always find that odd guy who goes to wedding dinners, held in posh hotel restaurants no less, in his turned-up-collar polo tee, slouchy jeans and SAF running-shoes.

I strongly believe in dressing appropriately for the occasion. It is also a form of respect to your hosts if you can pay a little more attention to how you present yourself in front of all their other guests. Try and think, like "You know I'm not a shirt, tie and jacket guy. But I'm gonna do that, just for you, on your big day".

I'm sure your hosts would appreciate that.

If they don't, make a mental note to appear at their house-warming party in your muddy football shorts and boots.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Featured


Much love and appreciation to Ms. Yi Shu from the Actually MAG team.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

New Labels


In other news - we've just switched over to our new Dylan & Son. Sartorial labels!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Keeping Your Cool

It's official - summer's here. The heat wave we've experienced over the past few days was pretty brutal, and it's only going to get even warmer in the coming weeks.

Superior breathability makes linen the ideal summer fabric.

One of the most comfortable summer cloths is linen. Depending our your profession, linen may or may not be suitable for your workplace. It is a fabric that exudes a laid-back vibe, while maintaining a distinctly luxurious flow.

Linens are made from fibers of the flax plant, which explains it's excellent heat-dispelling properties. Linens usually have a distinctively uneven color-tone.

100% pure linen feels ridiculously comfortable with a light and cool hand. It's no coincidence that so many dudes in the Middle East/Europe wear them during their hottest months, when anything below 40 degree celsius is considered cool. Trust me, you don't want to be caught in Dubai/Rome in the middle of June wearing your dark indigo raw-selvedge A.P.C's. Once you've experienced the amazing comfort of linen, you'll wonder how you used to do without it.

One of the unique characteristics of linen is its natural wrinkling, which creates a beautiful drape no other fabric can duplicate. Now, a lot of folks steer clear of linens due to this creasing. However, this is precisely how linen is supposed to look. Don't fear the crease - embrace it. Personally, I feel perhaps another reason why people are apprehensive about linen apparel is because most of what is available in the market off-the-racks are of the loose and baggy variety. Just because it's not a formal fabric doesn't mean it can't have a trim, tailored fit.

Again, fit is everything. Linen shirts don't always have to be touristy-looking, adorned with tribal motifs, cut extra-baggy and left untucked. Get a clean, crisp one tailored and wear it like you would an Egyptian cotton dress shirt.

Experience the comfort of linen: receive a 15% discount on all linen commissions from now until the end of June.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Notice

We will be closed this Saturday (7th May 2011) due to the General Elections voting. Business will resume on Monday (9th May 2011).

Monday, 25 April 2011

A Sartorial Gift


Cash vouchers are now available for purchase, in denominations of $20, $50, $100 and $150.

Terms and conditions: Vouchers -
  1. must be duly stamped and signed for authorization.
  2. should be fully utilized. No change will be given.
  3. must be utilized within 1 year from issue date.
  4. are non-refundable/exchangeable.
*Vouchers are to be purchased with cash only.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Watch and Learn

Sir Paul Smith said: "You can find inspiration in everything; and if you can't, look again". Look at the picture below and be inspired.


Photo by Mr. Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist.

Why this is such an excellent look:

1) THE FIT - This gentleman is not exactly a skinny guy. He's not obese, but he's definitely not Jil Sander slim. The jacket is slightly nipped-in at the waist, so that it shows a gentle curving silhouette. It appears to have sufficient room for him to move about comfortably.

Jacket sleeve length is spot on perfect. Notice that when he bends his left arm, the jacket and shirt sleeves ride up his wrist, exposing his watch. A lot of folks are very concerned about this effect. They'd very much rather cut the sleeves significantly longer, so that it shows less of their wrists when they bend their arms (a similar philosophy in my socks post). Of course, this is a case of personal preference. Personally, I don't spend a lot of time with my arms bent at an angle all day long, so I'd rather the sleeves be cut exactly on my wrist. Overly long sleeves look extremely sloppy, especially if it's with french-cuffs.

Trousers length is inch-perfect as well, with an ever gentle break. Slightly tapered hem, but not seams-bursting skinny. Great 1.75" width on the turn-cuffs.

2) COLORS - The overall palette is neutral and pleasant; very spring/summer. Beautiful shade of creamy-khaki on the suit, with a pop of blue-check shirt (that guy who told you checkered shirts make you look fat is lying - delete him off Facebook), anchored down with a dark solid tie. Sky blue watch compliments the shirt.

3) DETAILS - And by 'details' I don't mean triple-button collars or floral-lined cuffs. More so along the lines of pocket squares, watches, shoes, socks and how you pull the entire outfit together.

Great extra-wide spread on the shirt collar, a rather distinct European touch. You don't wear a 4" wide peak lapel double-breasted by accident - this man clearly knows what he's doing, and a confident man exudes charm. Unbuttoned shirt cuffs as a personal quirk. The pocket flaps on his jacket seem to be turned-in, suggesting that he actually puts stuff in the pockets - solid prove that style and function can co-exist peacefully. A white pocket square shows some consideration, and gorgeous monk-strap shoes provide an excellent finish.

Oh, and not forgetting the orange lollipop. Style points +2.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Help Us To Help You

"For my shirt, I want it slim, but not too slim. For my trousers, I don't want it to be very long, but please don't make it too short."

That pretty much sums up every tailor's worst nightmare.

How slim is too slim? How long is too long? Yohji Yamamoto's interpretation of the word "slim" is vastly different from Hedi Slimane's (in fact, I don't think the word even exists in the former's vocabulary). In Thom Browne's mind, a good length for a pair of trousers is nowhere near that of, well... everyone else's.

This is the reason why it's extremely helpful to bring along a shirt/pair of trousers closest to your desired fit when you visit a tailor for the first time. It might not fit exactly the way you want it (that's why you're going to a tailor), but it serves as a good reference. Having a sample allows for effective visualization.

How does an 18" shoulder feel like? Is a 13.5" hem opening too small for me? Will a 40" out-seam length bunch up on my shoes? You probably won't have a clue. After all, it's all just numbers. Of course, we can make a fairly accurate estimation based on the overall outlook of the customer's profile. But why leave it to chance when you can nail it the first time?

So, help us to help you in achieving your ideal fit. Resist wearing your baggy drop-crotch jeans, that sleeveless gym tank top and rubber Havianas when you go for the initial measurements.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Wool Trousers 1 : 0 Denim Jeans (Full Time)

England and Italy - undisputed leaders in textile manufacturing.

Suiting cloths manufactured by mills in the UK or Italy are synonymous with quality, luxury and heritage. Though both areas use top-grade wool, amongst a host of other precious fibers, and utilize high-tech machineries to produce their cloths, some differences exist between Italian and British fabrics.


Generally, Italian fabrics tend to be very soft and lithe, almost feathery if you will. A pair of trousers cut from premium Super 150's or higher pure spring/summer wool will feel incredibly light. You do not even need to incorporate a layer of lining on the thighs - it's insanely comfortable against the skin. This is excellent for our warm climate. And because pure wool is 100% natural, it has superior breathability. Despite its lightness and soft hand, it still retains good structure - such is the wonder of wool. You have to feel it to believe how heavenly it feels. No kidding.

Italian cloths are very popular among the gentlemen living in tropical climates.

English fabrics, or from the surrounding regions of the UK, tend to feel a bit more substantial. This is partly due to the fact that English weather is almost always cold and wet. Heavier cloths usually have better drape and it hangs beautifully. However, being heavier doesn't necessarily mean it's going to feel like a oven. Breathability is one of the major factors in dispelling heat.

Holding up a pure wool sample against the light and you'll see the fine weaving that provides great breathability.

So, which is better - Italian or the UK? Well, it depends on each individual. Some prefer Italian cloths because it feels like you're wearing nothing at all. Others prefer a little more weight and heft - they'll feel naked if they can't feel their pants.

Either way, it's time to throw that old notion "Oh, wool is a warm fabric and it's unsuitable for our weather" into the bin - it's utter rubbish. I highly doubt the person who tells you that has ever worn a pair cut in Guabello Super 150's. As mentioned in my previous post - if you can wear raw selvedge jeans in our climate, you can wear pure wool. Unless, of course, if you're allergic to wool fiber. In that case, that's just really sad :(

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Brighter Days Ahead

We are now gradually shifting into spring/summer - the weather is getting warmer and we're seeing more of the sun. Some people will say that there are no seasons here in Singapore. That's rubbish; it's a proven fact that we've got two seasons here at home - the hot/wet season, and the shopping season. Everybody knows this.

Here Comes the Sun (part II): Prepare yourself for brighter days ahead.

These cloths took a 15-hour long haul flight to reach our sunny shores.

Anyway, in conjunction with the arrival of Mr. Solar, we've brought in a whole new range of high-quality, pure cotton suiting cloths from Harrisons of Edinburgh 1863, UK. Available in over 20 delightful shades, from the extroverted electric blue to conservative sand-tones, there's something for everyone. This bunch of fabrics are of the perfect weight (ok, for you number-crunchers: around 330g/m, 11oz) for a pair of trim, tailored chinos. Great smooth hand, with an ever-subtle sheen and wonderfully soft, yet not overly light or filmsy.

From now until 31st March 2011, receive a 10% discount on all Harrisons of Edinburgh cotton chinos.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Sea of Change

Two major happenings in the world of high-fashion recently - one is bad news, the other great news.

BAD :( John Galliano's suspension from Dior was pretty shocking, following allegations of his anti-semitic rant in a Parisian café, which also reminds me of Jean Touitou's controversial interview. Main difference here being Galliano's drunk, while Touitou's completely sober. Regardless, both crossed the line of what's acceptable and what's not.

I don't know, but I do have a slight sympthy for Galliano. As a well-known designer, he gives the impression that everything's glamorous and beautiful. But behind the scene, nobody can possibly fathom the immense pressure he faces. Especially for someone as iconic as himself; having the pressure to top himself season after season. Greatness is expected and anything less will be unacceptable.

GOOD :) Kim Jones got hired at Louis Vuitton as style director for menswear! I absolutely loved the work Jones did at Dunhill for the past couple seasons. Can't wait to see what kind of magic he'll conjure up next at LV.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Happy Feet

A lot of men are often extremely reluctant to show their socks. Some are so concerned, that they will have their trousers cut longer, so as to minimize the show of socks when they are sitting down. Yes - they'll rather have a bunch of fabric drooped around their ankles than to flash some cotton foot-glove. It's almost become like a taboo.

Where's the love, man? Are socks really that detestable and repulsive?

Menswear is shackled down by many rules and things that you can't do, so we're actually quite limited in terms of platforms for exhibiting individual creativity and personality. To me, socks are one of the easiest and most efficient ways to jazz up any outfit. Perhaps it's about time to give the unvaried and characterless black socks in your drawer their well-deserved break. In fact, let's give them a permanent break - let's chuck them into a zip-lock bag and retire them into a dark corner inside your wardrobe. Hooray.




Here Comes the Sun: cheerful, bright and playful. We all can do with a 'lil more fun in our lives. What better place to start than from the feet up?

Life is not simply black and white, so burst out some colours. You don't always have to consciously colour-match your socks, shoes and trousers. It's more about experimentation, and the clash of colours, patterns and textures can sometimes produce amazing results.

If you're skeptical of the day-glo colours at first, go for a darker tone. Deep purple, red wine/ burgundy, dark maroon, teal and moss green are excellent choices for that subdued, yet quirky feel. It just seems so much more... considered, compared to the sea of monotonous blacks and greys that every other mother's son in the office is sporting.

Open your mind and have a go at it. You might just be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Getting Dressed For Life

One more great reply from GQ's Style Guy Mr. Glenn O'Brien, who responded to a fella's comment about getting teased by his sloppily-dressed colleagues for wearing a suit to the office:

"Tell the uncool guys around the watercooler that you're not dressing for them; you're dressing for life. If they persist, you might add that you're going places, and in those other places, people don't just wear and do the absolute minimum. Life isn't about being up to code - it's about far exceeding it."

Like it or not, we live in an image-driven world. The sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner we can move on. Creating the correct image for yourself can open doors to various opportunities. How you present yourself is also a reflection of how serious you are about the project/job prospect/event.

Non-verbal self-introduction: Hi. My name is Slop and I don't take pride in what I do.

The enviornment one is in can have a huge influence on one's dressing. Yes, peer pressure is not just an issue for teenagers reaching puberty.

The next time that dude in your office with the fraying-collar shirt and droopy-crotch trousers with holes in his back pockets teases you about being dressed up for work, stand back, smile at him politely and softly walk away.

Dude's struggling in life. Be sensitive.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

In The Press

The Business Times (19 Feb 2011)
Men Go Bespoke
Credit: Melissa Lwee

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Like a Virgin

Perhaps a reason why some men are apprehensive about visiting a tailor is because of a lack of knowledge on the subject.

No, this is not gonna happen. At Dylan & Son. Sartorial, we promise not to laugh at our customers.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is a group of very well-informed and knowledgeable gentlemen who live and breathe tailoring. They can tell the difference between a Super 130's and a Super 150's, how a 9-oz cloth feels in comparison to an 11-oz, they will specifically request for a 22-SPI instead of a 15-SPI for their shirts and frown upon the notion of a fused-chest jacket.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, it's good to be sure of what you want and knowing what you're getting. After all, tailoring is not exactly cheap, especially when premium materials are involved. However, all that information, or lack thereof, can be quite intimidating for the average Joe contemplating his maiden visit to the tailor's.

Information overload: Why do I feel like I'm mugging for my college examinations all over again?

C'mon now - what the hell is a SPI? The Singapore Paranormal Investigators? And when he finally summoned up the courage to just oh f*ck it and enter the store, he's suddenly consumed by questions hitting him in all directions.

What should I tell him? I've got this question burning inside me for a long time, but is that a stupid question to ask? What is the appropriate look for me? I like this picture of a model in a Dior Homme, but will I be able to pull that off?

All legit questions, no doubt.

My answer to that is to really just go with what you like, hopefully with the help of some sound recommendations, of course. For example, if you're touching two similar fabric samples and honestly can't feel the difference between them, even though one is a lot more expensive than the other, you might as well go for the less pricy option. Do not be pressured into getting the more expensive option if you're still exploring to find your preferences. In due time, with more experience under your belt, you will gradually learn about the differences in fabric quality (fingers crossed).

The difference between them is subtle. But it's there.

Going bespoke is a continuous discovery process. You'll slowly learn what works for you and what doesn't, you'll get more informed about the intricate details over time and become more sure of your personal preferences. When everything starts to fall in place, you will be able to appreciate the unique bespoke experience a lot more than when you first decided the take the plunge.

PS: SPI stands for stitches-per-inch. It literally means the number of stitches present in an inch on the seams of a shirt. Yes, people actually count the bloody stitches. It's that ridiculous.