This article is a collection of thoughts from three Suit Shop clients, both TVG Founders and Peter Anstee shadow written by myself.
Images by SHELBY HAYDEN PHOTO
It’s easy to forget what real customer service is about. We live a world where our retail experiences are predominately online or, on the rare occasion when we do venture out to a bricks-and-mortar store, we find ourselves in a sterile shopping mall served by an adolescent sales assistant who knows less about menswear than we do about Gold coloured, Quartz watches with cheap interchangeable NATO straps.
In 2014 we aimed to highlight the items that are handmade, bespoke, personalised and speak to the origins of their craft. Whether it’s whisky or watches, tannins or tailoring, we don’t just look for beautiful products but we like to know where they come from, who made them, and what separates them from the high street. We also like to experience the purchase. Ideally we will be helped by someone who is as passionate and knowledgeable about luxury as we are.
This is where Suit Shop comes in. The recent off-shoot of the revered P Johnson Tailors, Suit Shop offers, in TVG’s opinion, the best value made to measure service in the country. From the minute you walk into their space, tucked away in the corner of Sydney’s iconic Strand Arcade and Von Haus Building in Melbourne, you know you are in safe hands. Greeted by the equally as immaculately dressed Nick, Lyo, Remy or Rob (in Sydney) your first thought is, ‘am I going to come out of this experience looking as good as these fellows’.
I think that’s where Suit Shop really shines, their tailors are models of their own product, every time you have a question they can relate it to something they are wearing and how it may or may not be styled differently. You do have to be careful with expectation however, being an off shoot of P Johnson the entire Suit Shop team has trained under Patrick and wear a lot of P Johnson and admittedly less Suit Shop.
What’s important is to understand the difference before you arrive. Suit Shop gets the best elements of P Johnson including the expertise, training, details and styling but it is a different product – only P Johnson will create a completely unstructured jacket for you. Outside of this you might not have as many clothes to choose from for your suit or shirt but the quality of construction and styling is the best in the country at $1000.
It sounds narcissistic but the Suit Shop team know that in 9/10 cases you’re looking for a product as close to what they’re wearing as possible, not that they ever show it. We’re talking about the details, length of cuffs, width of lapels, height of trousers, button choice, monogram positioning and that’s before you get to the shirts.
For me the shirts are as good as made to measure gets (without going to P Johnson), sensational collars, discreet monogramming and the most practical cuffs on any shirt I’ve ever owned. I’ve retired an entire wardrobe of mediocre shirts in favour of my Suit Shop ones. Every aspect has been considered, from how a client wears his watch to how the shirt or jacket will look in a casual situation (if you’re considering separating it).
From cloth to cut the gents at Suit Shop are always happy to guide you, depending on what style you’re after (corporate or casual), but are never forceful and are adamant (bordering on obsessive) that you will end up with a suit you love. The gents are also bordering on obsessive with the fit, noticing things only trained specialists could ever know. They even pick up on things you’d completely forgotten,’have you had a shoulder injury on your left side?’ reminding you of the fall you had in Aspen many seasons ago. ‘Your left pectoral appears to be slightly larger so we’ll make these adjustments to balance the jacket’. Once the garment is ready to be collected you’re treated to another thorough check and if it’s not spot on, it gets fixed, even in areas I feel are generally overlooked in MTM, like the height of the collar.
Over the forty-five minute fitting you don’t simply feel you are getting measured for another suit, you feel you are amongst friends, passionately discussing all things menswear and more. Suit Shop is not only about a top quality product at a fair price. It’s about service. And that’s what keeps bringing us back.
WE’RE GIVING ONE TVG READER THE CHANCE TO WIN A MADE-TO-MEASURE SUIT FROM SUIT SHOP TO THE VALUE OF $1000. WE’LL ALSO BE SELECTING TWO RUNNERS UP WHO WILL WIN A MADE-TO-MEASURE SHIRT EACH.
James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.
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