What is Bespoke Tailoring?
Bespoke Tailoring is "A garment cut by an individual , for an individual, by an individual."
In the modern world, designers more than the craftsman, the craft of tailoring is an old fashioned cottage industry which people are more likely get in touch with fast fashion. Sad to say the art of bespoke tailoring is in danger of extinction.
Savile Row is the last outposts where still the aficionados of bespoke tailoring whereas it started developing very well in 1930s in Hong Kong. The division of the bespoke tailoring industry position called cutters and tailors. The cutter designs the cut and then cuts out into pieces. The tailor is the craftsman to really puts the pieces into a suit. The knowledge of the actual craft of tailoring, distinguish the cut from designers to produce it with experienced hand stitching into a fine products is called "The Art of Bespoke Tailoring". The difference between bespoke tailoring and made to measure is that about the cut and craftsmanship. An individual cut for each customer, depending on his measurements, requirements and precisely adjusted for his body shape and character is the bespoke tailoring only. Made to measure means to use a standard cut to adjust as possible as fit to the customer's need. The experienced hand stitching is a feature of bespoke tailoring as opposed to the machine sewing. And this artwork is carried out literally by hand and demands a level of skill that cannot be emulated by any machine, no matter how ingenious. The experienced hand of a seamstress is still required to finish off a breast pocket or hand stitch a border which comes to inserting a sleeve with delicate stitches. The suit are evident in the incomparable softness, lightness, flexibility and comfortable fit. By comparison of the golden years of the past, Bonham Strand is one of few local stores in Hong Kong still follow the golden rules to run with cutters and tailors together in retail & workshop. And 24 hours promising to supply a suit is impossible for bespoke tailoring. A minimum of several days from measuring to the first fitting is the rule, and enough time for hand stitching is important for a fine and delicate garment.
Bespoke Tailoring garments are made individually from understanding the physical peculiarities like "dropped right shoulder" "forward stomach" by body measurements each time. It aims to produce the best fit garment for customers discreetly and neutrality.
Unlike off-the rack and “made to measure” suits, genuine bespoke tailoring suits:
never use templates, blocks or reference model suits
are never altered from off-the-rack mass produced factory products
never use an assembly line process or come from a factory
Bonham Strand (Hong Kong) suits are made by designers, cutters and tailors with an average of 40 years of experience and their skilled apprentices.
Our cutters and tailors are responsible for basting stitch, hand craftsmanship for jackets, vests and pants. Unlike mass production custom tailors, we do not “assembly-line” our suits whereas fundamental sew worker are responsible for individual elements such as pockets, linings and sleeves.
After cutters hand-cut and prepare each suit, tailors are responsible for making the entire jacket, vest or pant. Final adjustments and fittings are made by cutters and tailors specializing in suit finishing and alternations.
Our Deluxe Custom Shirts and Accessories are Almost as Popular as our Suits
Crafted attentively, passionate from zero to a deluxe garment as our suits, shirts and accessories are the mission to satisfy our Bonham Strand customers worldwide. Crafted from the finest materials and embracing classic artisanal standards, our shirts and accessories are a perfect complement for any occasion.
Bonham Strand guarantees to deliver products with the perfect fit and finish. We are committed to delivering our clients a traditional bespoke experience unique to Hong Kong. All of our products are crafted in Hong Kong tradition by master tailors.
1. Fabric Selection
Bonham Strand offers a range of traceable Italian and England fabrics, which come in varying weights, thread counts, colors and patterns and used by some of the biggest high street names, for example REDA 1865, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Loro Piana, Zegna, Drago, Kerry Knoll and Dormeuil. The swatches are updated from season to season to ensure they are in style.
The fabric should be chosen based on the customer’s primitive use of the bespoke suit.
3. Professional Measurement
Not only being accurate, master tailors carry out the measurement according to the customer’s personal preference through constant communication and understanding. Experienced tailors can decide the allowances to add or deduct based on the measurement.
Quality is guaranteed by having the same tailor responsible for the measurement and the subsequent processes.
2. Suit Customization
Customization is highly valued and great attention is paid to every single detail according to different customer’s preference. Style of the blazer’s lapel, slit, pockets, vents can be chosen individually. Pants can also be different by selecting the style of pockets and pleat.
What’s more, buttons are usually an overlooked aspect of a man’s suit, but we offer thousands of button choices to match the fabric and add a distinctive feature to your substantial piece.
4. Pattern Cutting
The paper pattern is completely bespoke instead of using the basic block. Every single chock marked is based on the measurement by the hands of tailors with 50 years of experiences. The paper pattern cut will be stored for future reference or repeat orders.
5. Baste Fitting
The basic parts of the suit are sewn together simply using a simple, white cotton “basting thread” for fitting purpose. This enables the tailor to check the basic fit of your pattern, and also allows more chances for later alteration. The basted garment has unfinished lapels, no buttons and no buttonholes.
In the first fitting, the tailor assesses the accuracy of the measurements. Alterations are made to the basted suit by using chalk to make notes on it. At this stage, the style can still be changed if the customers change their minds.
6. Second Fitting
At this stage the suit will be almost completely finished. The final adjustments will be marked up and then carried out by the tailors. Depending on the situation, there can be more than two fittings. Adjustments will continue to be made until the suit is perfect and the customer is completely satisfied.
The initial baste thread is opened up and the garment is re-cut after the second fitting. The flexibility of the wool fiber allows the tailor to make multiple alterations. All the customer’s recommendations from the two fittings are added on. The length, width, size and style are altered by manual pressing to create the perfect fit for them.
8. Button Holes Sewing
The bespoke suit is completed with handmade button holes, one of the hallmarks of the customized suit. They are first cut and then sewn to avoid loose edges from developing. The buttons are also hands sewn to create a neck for them in order to fit the keyhole.
Bonham Strand guarantees to deliver products with the best fit and finish. Every suit is an art piece to the masters which was created solely for each unique character. Enjoy!
Stories of Bespoke Tailoring
British Suits - Natural Classic Gentleman Temperament
In the traditional British suit, there are classic rules to make the suit precisely to look more gentleman. The shoulder usually slope slightly, the sleeve always undone or made it shorter than usual for turned up when the gentleman can wash his hands. There is a horizontal loop to hold the stem of a flower worn in the buttonhole on the underside of the left lapel especially in Savile Row customers. The waist of the jacket is higher and the coat tails fall softly who used to specialize for office uniforms and riding clothes. "Stomach in , chest out" of the pants are cut to rest high on the hips and use suspenders or make by buckles or elastication to help to hold up to looks confidently and fit best on slim men. The classic British suit has two long side vents and comfortably to let hands put in pockets which regarded as a good manner in England but regarded as a bad manner in German. For classic British Tweed Jacket is always with a vent but very unusual without vents.
White pinstripes on dark blue, Gray pinstripe on Gray, Dark Gray or Black pinstripe, Nail-head pattern, Plain worsted pattern, chalk stripe and very dark prince of Wales Check or Glen check are the undisputed classic fabric choices for British suits which still remains the uniform of most stockbrokers, bankers, lawyers, and politicians.
Italian Suits - Express Individuality of elegance
The Italian always sure of his own individuality and importance and impressed upon him by his family and the culture. They are not only simply wants to be dressed correctly but also dressed elegantly in top class garments. These attitudes are very different from the British. The Italian looks for elegance in his clothing, lifestyle and the suits is therefore the first and foremost be elegantly selected in the lightweight, soft fabric and refined in the fashionable cut and produced with excellent craftsmanship to show off the own kind, naturally elegant gentleman's style in the world. Such points are the borne in mind as we see the craft of Italian Suits undoubtedly the top labels stood in the bespoke tailoring world.
ShangHai Tailors- Slow, detailed and delicate traditional cut
In 1920s, Shanghai bespoke tailoring industry develops well because Shanghai being as a well known business port for foreign businessmen traveling a lot. The Shanghai master tailors merge their shanghai detailed minded and delicate styles into bespoke tailoring cuttings they learnt from foreign tailors. The Shanghai Tailors are very keen on made the suits into an artworks, they put all their time, effort and heart into it. The Shanghai cutting with more stitching and parts to make the suits firmed, smooth and very comfortable fitting. Their handicraft details could shown as high standard craftsmanship artworks such as Milan eye, round pen pocket of the jacket and sesame like stitching hidden into the suits. Shanghai Style suits looks very smooth to best fit the people but not slim fit cut as called " traditional cut" as Mandarin Suits.
Canton Tailors- Express, flexible and fashionable best fit cut
The Canton Tailors are well known to the world because Hong Kong as a worldwide port for not only businessmen traveling to but also very important the military naval ship parking of. Their buying power increasing a lot of orders to Canton tailors. But their time is very limited when they come up to land, and Canton tailors are very good at flexible deals in everything. Therefore, the canton cutting fusion different countries style and techniques to fit their clients' needs. They dispatch different parts of clothes to several tailors to finish the suits. That is why the tailors only expertise on their own parts of the suits, cannot finish the whole suits by one tailor. Huge amount of orders enhance their craftsmanship a lot, to be express, to be elegant, to be fashionable. The Canton cutting could be modified into varies range of styles to fit the clients' need such as recent Korean style fashionable and very slim fit cut. The Canton Cutting shown as slightly light and less stitching but still firmed and looks "fashionable" cut as Fashion Suits.