Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean tailoring review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m reviewing the fit and craftsmanship of the sports jacket, shirt and trousers I commissioned from Closeknip!
If you have not yet done so, do read Part 1 of the review here first, whereby I chronicled my experience of having a sports jacket, shirt and trousers commissioned at Closeknip.
Without further ado, let’s see how the fit of the garments turned out!
Closeknip – the Fit
With Leslie Chia – who helms bespoke tailoring Pimabs – presiding over my measurements previously, I had high hopes for the fit. Thankfully, the eventual result did not disappoint!
The front of the suit looks great! Firstly, the shoulders fit nicely – they lie neatly, without any visible wrinkling or bunching. This is paramount as the shoulders are almost impossible to alter once crafted. Secondly, there’s slight tapering at the waist, giving the wearer a welcome slimming effect. Thirdly, the jacket is of the right length as well, ending just past the middle of my crotch – just long enough to not expose the dress shirt underneath (a pet peeve of mine). Lastly, the jacket is of the right tightness too, with little to no visible wrinkles emanating from the jacket button.
The fit of the sleeves is good. The sleeves are of the appropriate width, with the sleeve pitch nailed as one don’t see much wrinkling throughout. In fact, many of the wrinkles seen in the pictures above are due to the natural creasing of linen, rather than improper fit. We also don’t see the presence of the dreaded shoulder divots here – one of the cardinal sins of tailoring, in my opinion! The sleeve length is spot on as well, ending at my natural wrist-bone, and short enough to expose about half an inch of the shirt fabric. Elsewhere, the jacket collar fits well too, with it resting on the shirt collar nicely without an unsightly gap in between.
Just to prove that I’m not bullsh*tting, here’s a picture of the sports jacket when it was still crisp and unworn. Look at the drape of the sleeve – that’s simply stunning.
I’m happy to report that the drape of the back is pretty clean as well! As aforementioned in my previous reviews, I’ve a severely concave back, and usually this results in unsightly wrinkles at the back. Kudos to Leslie on achieving such a clean fit even without a baste fitting – his experience and meticulous attention to detail is evident here. Again, whilst there are some creases visible, those are attributed to the linen fabric, not because of bad fit. If I’m being really critical, there’s still excess fabric visible near the upper portion of the back (resulting in vertical wrinkles) but even then it’s only slightly perceptible.
As of the trousers, they too drape beautifully – there isn’t unsightly bunching of fabric near the end of the trousers, unlike other tailors that I’ve reviewed previously. The length of the trousers is great too, showing off the leather loafers I had on beautifully.
Lastly, the shirt fits good too! The shoulders fit nicely, accommodating for my slant shoulders. There’s a nice tapering to the waist as well, though it isn’t that obvious in the obvious photo due to the creases present – and unfortunate trait of soft fabrics like cotton. Furthermore, the shirt is of the right snugness, and one don’t see wrinkles radiating out from the buttons.
Overall, the fit of the Closenknip garments surpassed my expectations, especially considering the fact that they don’t utilise a baste fitting process! If this is the level of the fit from the made-to-measure Closeknip, I can’t fathom how the fit of the bespoke PIMABS is like.
Closeknip – Craftsmanship
As mentioned in Part 1 of the review, Closeknip shares the same back-end as their bespoke sister brand, PIMABS. As such, the craftsmanship of Closeknip’s garments is pretty darn good!
Because sports jackets tend to use textured fabrics (such as tweed or corduroy), Leslie suggested going with a linen fabric for the jacket. I love it – the textured look gives it a casual and rugged vibe, and I adore the coffee brown undertones. It’s simple, yet subtle with details that keeps it interesting. Linen (unlike tweed or corduroy) is highly breathable too, which is great for Singapore’s humid weather. However, as mentioned earlier linen is a material that creases easily. I personally think the creases of linen adds to its laid-back summer character, but if you’re the type that must have a crisp suit, then you might want to give linen a miss and opt for the typical wool.
As suits from Closeknip are half-canvassed, there’s the lapel roll that’s characteristic of canvassed suit. Personally, the first thing I look at when I see a suit is the lapel roll – it hints to me instantly the quality of the suit. The lapel roll isn’t as distinctive as a full canvassed jacket, though Closeknip tells me that they are working on bringing in full canvassed options really soon.
Moving on to the details, the jacket comes with pic stitching along the lapels as well as the pockets. Pic stitching is often hand-stitched, and is a painstaking affair. As such, it’s a detail that’s often only found in more expensive tailors. Furthermore, the barchetta pocket turned out lovely – I love its subtle, elegant curve.
In addition, I think Leslie’s stylistic input turned out fantastic too! Firstly, the amber urea button provide a nice contrast against the off-white linen fabric, yet its brown shade complements both the coffee undertones of the linen jacket as well as the brown shirt. Similarly, the brown buttonholes complement the jacket and shirt fabric well too! Lastly, I absolutely adore the patch pockets. Patch pockets are a first for me – my previous suits all had the conventional flap pockets – and I love the casual, yet debonair look that it gives off. This certainly won’t be my last suit with patch pockets!
They say that the devil is in the details, so I was really pleased to see that find the buttons on my Closeknip jacket shanked. Shanking provides the fabric space to drape in when buttoned, and is a feature more commonly seen in higher priced tailors. It renders the button more durable, which should mean that you don’t have to worry about your button dropping off.
Another noteworthy detail is the Milanese buttonhole, which surprisingly comes default on all Closeknip suits. The crafting of the Milanese buttonhole is a painstaking process – a single wrong stitch, and the seamstress will often have to start over. Like pic stitching, barchetta pockets, etc, it’s a feature that is often only seen in bespoke tailors.
On the topic of buttons, the buttonholes of the Closeknip jacket I got are functional as well! While functional cuffs serves little practical purposes today, it is often a sign of a well-made suit, showing an attention to detail and craftsmanship. The sleeve buttons are in a kissing arrangement too (when the buttons overlap each other), which I think adds another stylistic touch to the outfit.
Furthermore, the collar is hand-set. The “fold-back” piece of fabric seen above is seam allowance, which allows tailors to re-cut the collar after a fitting if required, and is almost always done by hand. To me, the difference between an average suit and a good suit lies in these aforementioned subtle details!
Moving on to the inside, I think the lining turned out quite nicely! The lining was Leslie’s recommended, and I think he was spot on. It’s fresh and young, yet not overly loud and brash as some linings can be. The colours – white and blue – also complement the off-white jacket and blue trousers well.
A half-lined jacket (as opposed to full-lined) is much more breathable, highly beneficial in Singapore’s devilish hot climate. Despite utilizing less fabric, an half-lined jacket typically costs more due to the additional effort it takes. In a half-lined jacket, the seams on the inside have to be finished as well – there’s no hiding any bad stitching going on inside the jacket. As such, it is pretty uncommon to find half-lined jackets off-the-rack or even at affordable tailors, and is generally a feature only found at custom tailors.
As for the trousers, I love them – it might be my favourite one thus far. Firstly, the mixed wool fabric is light on the skin, comfortable and very breathable. Secondly, I adore the blue colour with the orange windowpane pattern, it’s a stylistic look that complements the brown shirt. Thirdly, I appreciate the subtleties of the reverse pleats as well – unlike regular pleats, the reverse pleats on the trousers above face inwards instead. It’s a detail that most are unlikely to notice, but one that those in the know would appreciate. Lastly, I love the hidden tab of the waistband – it keeps the look clean without buttons.
As per usual, I went with side adjusters instead of belt loops. I find side adjusters to present a cleaner look, and it also absolves me of the headache of finding the right belt to pair with my dress shoes. In any case, why do you need a belt if your trousers are tailored to your size? Furthermore, there’s also subtle pic stitching along the trouser pockets, which is another great detail present in Closeknip’s garments.
The shirt fabric is one from Hubeross, and I must say it’s probably the best shirt fabric I’ve tried on till date. It’s thin, comfortable, breathable, and feels great to the touch. The white mother-of-pearl buttons serves as a nice contrast to the rich brown tone of the shirt, and also complements the white sports jacket nicely. I also like the brown button stitching on the shirt!
Lastly, Leslie also made sure to include sufficient allowance on the left shirt cuff to accommodate a dress watch.
All in all, I have to speak highly of the craftsmanship of my Closeknip clothing. Not only do I love the fabrics and the styling, I also appreciated the subtle touches that the Closeknip garments possess. When it comes to suits, I generally look at 6 subtle details: lapel roll, fold-back collar, functional buttonholes, shanked buttons, pic stitching and the Milanese buttonhole. These are details that you most likely will only find at expensive bespoke tailors, yet they are all present and even come default on Closeknip’s clothing. Leslie shared with me that this was intentional – he was accustomed to providing these features at his bespoke brand PIMABS, and saw no reason to not do the same when it came to Closeknip. Colour me impressed!
Comparison – Closeknip vs Sors Studio
The tailor that – to me – shared the most similarity to Closeknip is Sors Studio. Both Gary (of Sors Studio) and Leslie take pride in their roles as designers and image consultants. With apartment-like showrooms and unique designs, both tailors offer clothing that is sure to make their customer stand out from the crowd.
In terms of the experience, I really liked both – the settings and interactions felt intimate and casual, and in both instances I felt that I was conversing with a like-minded compatriot rather than someone who was trying to sell me stuff. Both Sors Studio and Closeknip went above and beyond too, with both advising me on things such as which haircut would best suit my face, even skincare, spectacles, perfume, etc! When it comes to fit, I would say that both are comparable, at least when it comes to shirt and pants. I have not yet commissioned a suit jacket from Sors Studio (we did a vest previously), and thus I’m unable to compare the fit of the suit jacket between both tailors.
Where both differ is in their personal style. Gary loves striking prints, and uses them in suit linings, shirt trimmings, and even as the back of vests (as shown in the previous photo)! In contrast, Leslie espouses “less is more”, and prefers to use contrasting colours and patterns in his clothing. Style is subjective, and I can’t really deem one style to be better than the other – Sors Studio is more Versace, Closeknip is more Tom Ford.
Lastly, Gary continues to do the baste fitting process at Sors Studio, while Leslie eschews it in Closeknip. While the fit of the Closeknip garments are great even without the baste fitting, the baste fitting is undoubtedly one of the hallmarks of tailoring, and if you seek to delve into the sartorial realm, it’s a must to experience it at least once. However, due to the lack of the baste fitting, the Closeknip tailoring process is also a more convenient one, whereby the individual don’t have to drop by the tailor as much and for as long. If you’re a busy individual with a tight schedule, Closeknip would be better for you.
Ultimately, which tailor is better for you depends on your individual style and needs. If you’re a fan of graphic prints, Sors Studio incorporates unique designs to their clothing stunningly. If you’re more minimalist in your style, Closeknip plays with fabric, colours, and patterns well to achieve a subtly elegant look. If you wish to experience the baste fitting process, pay Gary a visit at Sors Studio – for busy individuals, or for those who have already tried out baste fitting at tailors previously, Closeknip is a convenient alternative. I personally think you can’t go wrong with either tailor, and would advise paying both of them a visit!
Conclusion – so Closeknip “shiok” or not?
Hell yes. Firstly, the fit is great – even better than some of the other tailors (with baste fitting) that I’ve reviewed previously. Secondly, I love the style of the outfit, and must thank Leslie for pushing my stylistic boundaries! Lastly, I find the workmanship of the garments to be superb as well, with features such as functional buttonholes, button shanking, Milanese buttonhole, pic stitching, half lining, folded back collar and barchetta pocket being standard inclusions on Closeknip clothing (except on the essential suit package). I’m pleased to report that Closeknip possesses both style and substance!
Unlike the other tailors, Closeknip has a paid membership system whereby customers can opt to pay $150 for an annual membership, which entitles customers to discounts of up to 20%, as well as a welcome gift box and discounts at exclusive partners of the brand. Just for my readers, Closeknip has kindly extended a 10% discount on the Closeknip membership, meaning that Wah So Shiok can opt-in the membership system (and the discounts that come along with it) for just $135. For more information on the Closeknip Club, I did an article on it here. After the discount, a sports jacket starts at $699, while a three piece shirt package starts at $480.
Book an appointment through Closeknip’s website here.
Read Part 1 of the review here.
Update: I revisited Closeknip, and reviewed their Safari Jacket here.
Closeknip’s Location: 20B Cavan Rd, Singapore 209851, 3rd Floor
Interested parties are encouraged to book an appointment at (65) 87003354, or email in at HELLO@CLOSEKNIP.COM.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!