Every man needs and deserves a great suit — there will be a point in time where you’ll need a suit, so it’s always a matter of when and not why! But with so many tailoring options out there, it’s easy to feel paralysed before you even begin.
Today, we’ll be comparing three of Singapore’s renowned tailors in the hopes of setting you on the right path! First things first, I had to acknowledge that I needed another suit.
I already have one from both the mid and lower tier, so I knew I had to get one from a higher tier. That’s where I was introduced to Kingsmen Shop, a tailor known for their excellent work with over 70 years of experience.
For Good Measure
Walking into the store in Far East Plaza, I was met with a warm welcome from Joyce, who quickly got things going.
She started recommending certain looks based on how often I would be wearing the suit, where I’d be wearing it, the versatility of certain colours, as well as its general lifespan.
And with a single glance as well, she noticed and accounted for my sloped shoulders. An observation which only the most experienced of tailors can make. That’s an insane amount of attention to detail.
Joyce then started stencilling out the panels of the suit, with a few notes for the seamstresses. Each panel received its own special bit of attention, such as the inclusion of belt loops, pockets, functioning features as well as pick stitching; a symbol of luxury that differentiates bespoke suits.
She assured me throughout the process and we left after making an appointment for the basted fitting – my last chance to make changes after putting the suit on my body.
Two weeks later, I was finally introduced to a skeleton of my suit. With visible threads and markings on the suit, it was far from the finished product.
However, all my reservations were cleared once I tucked my arms into the sleeves and let it rest on my shoulders. It couldn’t have fit me any better. It truly felt like it was meant to be.
Joyce then made sure my sleeve length was to my liking. I like to have my shirt peeking out from my sleeves and have some allowance for my watch to show, in which she duly obliged.
I was already satisfied even though this was only the half-way point and the next two-week wait would be an excruciating one.
We were finally presented with the suit, a month after the first appointment. It was surprising to see the magic they created with my less than precise requests. The finished suit was a thing of beauty.
The shade of blue radiated in the sunlight and also gave off the suave feel that wouldn’t look out of place at even the fanciest of events.
Kingsmen Shop Suit (S$1,600)
A symbol of luxury, the pick stitching for the lapel was a subtle feature that was done beautifully. It doesn’t scream bespoke suit, but goes for more of a gentle whisper.
Working buttons is another sign of a good bespoke suit. Some tailors would do that without asking but the good ones will do as you wish whilst also educating you on the history and etiquette of bespoke suits.
Side vents create the illusion of a slimmer and lengthier abdomen. Although more attention-grabbing, it’s definitely more unique than the more commonly seen, centre vent.
Side adjusters are more suited if you’re looking for a sleeker overall look, and with it you could do away with a belt.
A quarter break for the trousers for that contemporary look, showing the world that you know how the pants should fit.
Dickson Menswear Suit (S$300)
I pit my new bespoke suit against my two older ones, and started by looking at a black one that I got from Dickson Menswear.
As you can see, the lack of pick stitching is quite obvious here. With the overall look making it puffier than it seems.
These buttons are not functional in the least and don’t provide the flexibility for an occasion like what the Kingsmen Shop suit does.
The suit is also a little tighter since it was made years ago and my body has definitely changed since then, however, something about the length here just doesn’t feel right.
After seeing how sleek the side adjusters made the pants look, going back to belt loops seemed like a step backwards.
The pants were done with a half-break which actually look great here. The stacks were on point – the saving grace!
Dorcas Stitch Suit (S$699)
The slimmer lapel found on this Dorcas Stitch suit is a safe option as it works with most body types, especially if you have the proportions of Barney Stinson.
Non-functioning buttons again which in this case, cheapens the suit in my opinion. It looks very stock in a way that you could pick this off the rack in TOPMAN and you won’t be able to tell the difference.
You can see a huge difference here. The lower back is scrunched up due to the vents not being deep enough. It crumples the fabric as you sit.
Side adjusters once again but this time positioned slightly lower than normal.
The ‘No-Break’ style of the pants here are great. Being a grey suit, it’s more forgiving in a way that you can show some character through your choice of socks.
Well, there is no be all and end all to suits but you can come mighty close to one. And if you’re looking to invest in one to cover most bases, you’re better off shelling out for a good one from the start.
In this article, we made comparisons between Kingsmen Shop, Dickson Menswear and Dorcas Stitch.
I can safely say that Kingsmen Shop trumps the others in most categories. Price-wise, it may be a little steep with added costs for each feature but the overall look and process is top-notch.
From Joyce’s veteran eye, attention to details, suggesting only the best to me, I’ve never felt more satisfied with every step of my experience in creating a bespoke suit. From the initial meeting to the collection date, I have no regrets.
Price: $1,600 (Kingsmen Shop bespoke suit)