As I walk along Queen’s Road Central, I have an odd feeling. There appears to be a constant pressure across my back, from shoulder to shoulder. Something is resting on each part of it equally.
It is, of course, my new suit, and such is the feeling of having something that is actually made for you that it is odd to feel consistency of pressure; to feel that this stretch of cloth has been made to fit across this stretch of skin.
It’s quite a pleasurable feeling, as is glancing down and seeing my trouser cuffs rest just so on the top of my shoes, or checking the time and finding exactly an inch of cuff between my suit sleeve and watch.
(An additional benefit of bespoke clothing here – the shirt I had made has a left cuff ever-so-slightly bigger than its right, as I tend to wear a large watch. This was a suggestion of my own – again, research is the key, these tailors will only change something you tell them to change.)
Overall, a very satisfactory outcome. I find it hard to see why I would ever buy a suit or shirt off the rack again. Of course, there are little things that you immediately want to change. I spotted one when I went to pick up the suit: the jacket waist was a little wider than I like. This was changed for the next day (useful to have the time to do this if you can manage it). But even when I picked it up finally there were little things I noticed within an hour of wearing it.
The trousers, though flat-fronted, had the deep pockets and roominess of pleats – so there was perhaps a little more material around the trouser front than I would have liked. And though the waist of the trousers fitted perfectly, I regretted asking for no belt loops or any other adjustment mechanisms – side pulls of the type I have on other trousers might have been more practical in case I lose or gain a little weight over the coming months.
But these are small things. Things that can be changed and things that were largely my fault for not mentioning. For every one of these niggles in a bespoke suit there are 10 off the rack.
Over time, as I plan to go back when I return to Hong Kong in November (the mind already plays over the possibilities – overcoat, tweed suit, Prince-of-Wales check?) these additional adjustments will become second nature. I haven’t had suits made for me for very long. And, importantly, as Mr Tam now has my paper patterns in his files I don’t have to remember anything I previously specified, just the little improvements.
My thanks to Edward for his efforts. If anyone would like his contact details they are more than welcome. I’m sure he is not the best tailor in Hong Kong, but he comes recommended by me in a city where they are 10 a penny.