Suit Review: Este Bartin

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! This Sunday, I’ll be showing how the suit and shirt from Este Bartin turned out. In part 2 of this review, I’ll be showing and commenting on the style, as well as the fit of the suit and shirt. If you haven’t already, do read part 1 of the review here, whereby I chronicled my experience at Este Bartin.

Me in my Este Bartin suit.

Without further ado, let’s see if the suit and shirt fits well!

Este Bartin – the Fit

Due to the incorporation of a basted fitting process, I had high hopes for the fit of the suit. I’m pleased to report that for the most part, Este Bartin met my expectation!

The front looks good.

Let’s start with the front. Firstly, the shoulders look good, with no rumpling or wrinkles visible. The shoulders lie flat, which is great as the shoulders are perhaps the most important aspect of the fit. Poorly fitted shoulders are near impossible to alter, so having the shoulders fit well is already half the battle won. Secondly, the jacket closure is good. There is slight creasing, but one does not see the dreaded “X” forming around the midsection. Thirdly, the button stance is not too high as well, giving the suit an overall proportionate look. In addition, one sees clear tapering around the waist, which lends a slimming effect to my figure. On this note, I must stress that a “boxy” suit is really unflattering – even if you have an off-the-rack suit, I suggest taking it to a tailor to have the waist area taken in. The slim-cut silhouette really does the look wonders, in my opinion! Lastly, the length of the suit looks good here as well, with the dress shirt underneath not exposed. Overall, I think the front of the suit looks great!

The back is not perfect, but it is good.

The upper portion of the back is relatively good, with little wrinkles seen. The jacket collar fits well too, with little visible separation between the shirt and jacket collar. The problem area lies at the arch of the back, where some wrinkles could be seen radiating outwards.The fact that I have a severely arched back results in the presence of loose fabric at that area, which creates the wrinkles. Compared to similarly priced MTM tailors that I’ve visited, the back on my Este Bartin suit is visibly cleaner. However, a true bespoke tailor would have worked towards cutting and taking in the excess fabric in order to accommodate my arched back. For example, I felt that HST Tailors (which I reviewed previously) did a great job dealing with my arched back. To be fair, that did require multiple fittings (3, to be exact), which naturally leads to a much longer lead time (months compared to 3-4 weeks at Este Bartin). In addition, the suit from HST Tailors also cost almost twice as much as the Este Bartin suit. That being said, this shows that even though Este Bartin do incorporate a basted fitting process, expectation should still be tempered – don’t expect a Saville Row fit here.

The sleeves are decent, but definitely could be improved.

The fit of the sleeves on my Este Bartin suit is decent. Firstly, the length of the sleeves are on point, showing just the right amount of shirt cuff. For me, the sleeve length is usually one of the first things I look at to determine whether a suit is custom or off the rack – off the rack suits often have sleeves that are too long, ones that obscures the shirt cuffs. The sleeves here are also wide enough to accommodate my watch, and I faced no restrictions when moving my arms. However, the sleeve pitch is off here, resulting in the visible wrinkles pictured above. It looks like the sleeve pitch should have been rotated forward in accordance to the natural position of my arms. That being said, the sleeve pitch is one of the hardest aspect of the fit to nail as it depends on the client’s natural stance and posture – and these (unlike other aspects of the fit) cannot be measured with tape and recorded down in numbers. Thomas Mahon, one of Saville Row’s most prominent tailors, once said: “…even after all the diligence of checking again and again, things can go wrong, and pitch is often where disaster strikes.”

No break look nailed.

With Este Bartin, I decided upon a more comtemporary “no break” look. I have to say, Este Bartin nailed the length of the pants here! The pants briefly caresses the top of my dress shoe, with no folds and creases (known as “breaks” in tailoring speak) seen above the bottom of the pants leg.

Shirt fits good as well!

Similar to the suit, the shirt I commissioned from Este Bartin fits good as well! The shoulders are fitted well, laying nice and flat with no wrinkling or bunching of fabric visible. Similar to the jacket, there’s a slight tapering around the waistline here as well for a slimmer look. In addition, the length for the shirt sleeve is good too, ending just past the wrist-bone.

My watch easily slides underneath the shirt cuff.

Being a watch aficionado, having the shirt cuff wide enough to accommodate my dress watch is paramount. I’m pleased to report that Este Bartin did a splendid job here, as my dress watch slides under the shirt cuff with ease.

Overall, I think that the fit of Este Bartin is pretty good, with the benefits of the basted fitting process clearly evident in the fit here. I would say that Este Bartin probably has the best fit out of all the sub-$500 MTM tailors that I have visited and reviewed till date. However, it is important to note that the fit is not perfect, and compared to bespoke tailors, there remains a significant difference in quality of fit. That being said, bespoke tailors command at least twice the price and lead time of Este Bartin, so it’s not really a fair comparison.

Este Bartin – the Style

Let’s now see how my customisation choices turned out!

Coloured buttonhole.

As with all my suits, I opted for a pink buttonhole on the lapel of the suit. I rather like it here – it adds a pop of colour and contrast to the jacket.

Pink coloured button threading as well!

I went with the same shade of pink on the threading of the last sleeve button – again, I like the accent it gives here. For Este Bartin, the sleeves are non-functional, meaning that you can’t actually unbutton the sleeves and roll it up.

Buttons actually turned out nicely here!

As mentioned in Part 1 of my review, one doesn’t actually get to choose the suit buttons at Este Bartin – the tailors would pick the buttons they find most complementary to the colour of your suit. In my case, they decided upon a set of faux-wood buttons. I think the wooden texture and colour of the buttons actually works quite well with the rich wine colour of the suit, so props to the tailors over at Este Bartin on their style choice here!

Unfortunately, we are missing the lapel roll here.

I’m personally a fan of the lapel roll, as it tends to be a stylistic mark of a handcrafted suit. In my opinion, the lapel roll adds depth and dimension to a suit jacket. Unfortunately, the lapels here are rather flat and hard-pressed, almost looking like they have been ironed on. While not always the case, the lack of a lapel roll hints at the lack of a hand-set canvas – which is the case here, as the suit jacket from Este Bartin is fused, not canvassed.

A simple, black rayon-blend lining for the suit.

To temper the striking nature of the wine suit, I went with a classic black suit lining for the jacket. Nothing much to comment about here – it’s understated on the inside. What I would comment on is the breathability of the rayon-blend lining. As compared to the usual polyester lining found at affordable MTM tailors, the rayon-blend lining here is more breathable, resulting in a more cooling jacket that wouldn’t leave you sweating like a dog in heat after a brisk walk through the CBD!

These bronze side adjusters are awesome.

I simply love these bronze side adjusters. Bronze is all the rage in watches currently, and when I saw these offered as a customisation option at Este Bartin, I immediately went with them. The beauty of bronze is that the metal would slowly patina over time, developing its own unique character in the process. Bronze side adjusters are rare in affordable tailors (they are a much more common sight at bespoke tailors), so shout-out to Este Bartin for carrying them!

Purple mosaic shirt, dark purple buttons.

I find that the purple mosaic pattern of the shirt added a nice visual contrast to the wine coloured suit. I generally find such combinations a safe bet – solid coloured suits with patterned shirts, and vice versa. The dark purple shirt buttons here are interesting too, providing a nice complementing accent not just to the shirt but to the suit as well. Overall, I think the shirt turned out pretty nicely!

All in all, I think that the customisation options for the suit turned out rather well! Sure, it’s no frills, but everything came together in a complete package.

Shootout: Este Bartin vs ethan men

I’ve decided to compare Este Bartin with ethan men as both tailors are made-to-measure, affordable (<$500 SGD), and have a emphasis on the versatility of their suits. The idea of versatility and having the suit appropriate for both work and play was stressed at both tailors, and therefore I felt it was natural to compare the two together!

My ethan men suit.

From a build quality perspective, I have to say that ethan men have a slight edge. This is largely due to the half-canvassed construction of ethan men’s suits, as opposed to the fused construction of Este Bartin’s suits. For the uninitiated, suit construction generally fall into three tiers – fused, half-canvassed, and fully canvassed, in ascending order of quality. In addition, ethan men do carry a line of easy-iron, low maintenance shirt fabrics. Elsewhere, the fabrics, lining, button materials that ethan men and Este Bartin uses are comparable, though I have to give Este Bartin credit for carrying those bronze side-adjusters!

The basted fitting process at Este Bartin.

In terms of experience, I would say I preferred my Este Bartin experience due to the incorporation of the basted fitting process, which ethan men lacks. The basted fitting process really elevated the tailoring experience of Este Bartin, giving focus to the craft aspect of tailoring. As mentioned in part 1 of my review, the vibe at Este Bartin has more of a homely feel to it. In contrast, my experience over at ethan men was quick and professional, with a focus placed on efficiency. That’s nothing bad in itself – in fact, often professionals prefer efficient service as it saves them time (and potentially money). However, I personally have a passion for the handcrafted art of tailoring (I wouldn’t be reviewing tailors otherwise), and therefore would still say that I prefer the Este Bartin experience and its basted fitting process more.

Me wearing my Este Bartin suit for a fancy dinner.

When it comes to fit, I have to give the win to Este Bartin. The basted fitting process allowed the Este Bartin team to iron out some kinks with the fit, which eventually resulted in a better fitting suit. As compared to my ethan men suit, I honestly felt better and more confident in my Este Bartin suit. The back of the Este Bartin suit is cleaner, and the jacket length is spot on. The sleeves are slightly better on the Este Bartin jacket as well. It might not always be the case, but 99% of the time a suit that was based upon a basted fitting will fit better than one without.

Overall though, which tailor is better for you largely depends on your needs. I love the way my Este Bartin suit fits, but the ethan men suit definitely has the better construction. In theory, due to its half-canvassed construction, the ethan men suit should be more durable. As such, which tailor you go to largely depends on your priorities – do you want a suit that fits better, or one that last longer? However, if you have never experienced a basted fitting process, I’ll recommend considering Este Bartin as the experience is generally quite memorable and enjoyable, especially for first-timers.

Conclusion – so Este Bartin “shiok” or not?

Definitely. I had high hopes for the fit of Este Bartin’s garments after going through the basted fitting process, and the final fit of the suit did not disappoint! Sure, it’s not perfect – compared to bespoke tailors, there’s still a significant difference in the quality of fit – but for a $474 suit, I would say that the fit is pretty good. If fit is key for you, I’ll definitely recommend checking out Este Bartin, especially if you’re on a budget!

My Este Bartin suit.

For those interested in commissioning garments from Este Bartin, simply flash this article to enjoy 5% off all Este Bartin’s products! With the discount, a 2 piece suit from Este Bartin starts at $474 SGD, shirts start at $75, pants at $104, and vests at $171. Given their sub-$500 price point, I think that the garments from Este Bartin were great. I would also recommend readers to check out their Circular Road outlet. Not only is it more accessible and spacious as compared to the Braddell Tech one, it is also the less busy of the two (most regulars patronise Este Bartin at their Braddell Tech store), meaning that you are more likely to have the place to yourself (and the tailor’s undivided attention) on any given day.

In addition, Arden Teal shoes can be found stocked at Este Bartin as well! If you haven’t already, do read my review of Arden Teal’s shoes here.

P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

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Este Bartin’s locations:

1) 15 Lor 8 Toa Payoh, #04-09 Braddell Tech, Singapore 319262

Hours: 

Sunday 11AM–5PM
Monday 11AM–8PM
Tuesday 11AM–8PM
Wednesday 11AM–8PM
Thursday 11AM–8PM
Friday 11AM–8PM
Saturday 11AM–5PM

2) 66 Circular Rd, Singapore 049420

Hours: 

Sunday Closed
Monday 11AM–8PM
Tuesday 11AM–8PM
Wednesday 11AM–8PM
Thursday 11AM–8PM
Friday 11AM–8PM
Saturday 11AM–5PM