Hello everyone, and welcome to another tailoring review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m reviewing the fit and style of the suit and shirt I commissioned from Esquire’s Bespoke.
If you have not yet done so, do read Part 1 of the review here first, whereby I chronicled my experience of experience of having a 2 piece suit and shirt commissioned at Esquire’s Bespoke.
Without further ado, let’s first see how the fit of the garments turned out!
Esquire’s Bespoke – the Fit
Given that Esquire’s Bespoke incorporated a basted fitting in their tailoring process, I had high hopes for the fit. I’m happy to report that for the most part, they didn’t disappoint!
The front of the suit jacket fits perfectly. Firstly, the shoulders are well fitted. They lie neatly, without any visible wrinkling or bunching. This is great, since the fit of the shoulders are probably the most important component of the jacket as ill-fitting shoulders are almost impossible to alter. Secondly, the tightness of jacket is perfect as well. One doesn’t see the “dreaded X” around the jacket button here, which usually occurs when a jacket is too tight. Thirdly, there’s also slight tapering around the waist, giving the jacket a fitted look. Lastly, the jacket is of the right length too, with it ending near the middle of my crotch area and not exposing any of the dress shirt underneath.
I’m pleasantly surprised by the fit of the sleeves, given the suit’s affordable price point. The sleeves drape naturally, and one doesn’t see much wrinkling of fabric throughout. This indicates to me that the sleeves are of the correct width, and that the sleeve pitch is near spot on. 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 great as well, ending at my natural wrist-bone, and short enough to expose a quarter 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.
What really impressed me was the fit of the back. I’ve a severely arched back, and this usually results in bunching of fabric at the back. As mentioned in Part 1 of the review, Aaron took note of my arched back during the basted fitting process, and the result is simply superb. Amongst all the affordable tailors (<S$400) that I’ve reviewed, this back from Esquire’s Bespoke is definitely the best thus far. Well done!
While the suit jacket fits like a charm, the trousers do have room for improvement. While the length of the trousers is nailed (with it ending just right above the loafers), the trousers doesn’t drape as cleanly as I would have liked. One can see visible wrinkles after the knee area, which indicates that the fit is a tad off.
Like the suit jacket, the shirt fits well. The shoulders of the shirt lies nicely without any wrinkles, and makes me look more broad-chested than I actually am. The shirt is of the right tightness too – it’s quite comfortable, and one does not see any wrinkles around the buttons. No complaints here!
Overall, I have to say that the fit of Esquire’s Bespoke is the best I’ve personally experienced amongst all the affordable tailors (<S$400) thus far. The suit jacket fits great, and so does the shirt. While there is room for improvement in the fit of the trousers, I’m definitely more than satisfied with the fit of the garments I’ve commissioned from Esquire’s Bespoke!
Esquire’s Bespoke – the Style
In my opinion, Esquire’s Bespoke strong sense of style is what separates them from the other affordable tailors.
This is my first time commissioning a linen jacket, and I have to say I love the fabric. Linen has generally been seen only in “summer” suits, which tend to be lighter in colour and more casual. It’s also lightweight and breathable – perfect for the Singaporean climate, whereby it is practically summer all year round! In addition, I love the textured look of linen. It’s unmistakable, it’s full of character, and it instantly makes you feel like you’re on your way to a vacation in the Cayman Islands. Aaron tells me that the vast majority of Esquire’s Bespoke clients still opt for mixed wool suits, which I find a shame. I think everyone should have at least one linen suit in their collection – it’s comfortable to wear, and give the wearer added panache!
Esquire’s Bespoke had to sacrifice something in order to get its price down to just S$359 (after promo code below), and one of those corners cut is the construction of the suit. By default, the suits of Esquire’s Bespoke come fused. While fused suits have come a long way – most fused suits no longer develop bubbles, even after years of use – they are definitely still not as durable as a canvassed suit. In addition, the lapels of a fused suit lack the lapel roll one would find on a canvassed suit. Personally, I think a fused suit is fine if you’re not planning on using the suit regularly, especially when the suit is meant more for special events such as weddings or prom. That being said, if you like the style and fit of Esquire’s Bespoke, and want to commission something to wear to work everyday, Esquire’s Bespoke does offer canvassed suit options for a price premium (~S$250).
I went for wooden buttons on the linen suit, and I have to say I think it turned out quite well! Set against the white buttonholes (which also complements the white trousers), the wooden buttons enhances the laid-back, summer smart casual vibe of the suit.
They say the devil is in the details, so I was really pleased to see that the buttons on my Esquire’s Bespoke suit jacket are 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!
Similarly, I went with wooden buttons for the sleeves. Like the buttonhole, Esquire’s Bespoke allows one to choose the colour of the stitching of the sleeves’ buttons – I chose white, to complement the white buttonholes and the white trousers. Unfortunately, the buttons aren’t functional by default, which isn’t a surprise given the affordability of the suit.
For the inner lining, I went with a resplendent red lining from Huddersfield. It’s not too fancy, but still possesses a subtle pattern that prevents it from being boring. I personally think it adds a nice contrast to the sky blue linen fabric, the yin to its yang. In addition, the suit lining is made of viscose, which is more breathable than polyester. It’s important that the lining be breathable, for obvious comfort reasons!
I chose seersucker as the fabric for the shirt, and I absolutely adore it. It’s the perfect complement to the linen suit jacket. Like linen, seersucker is lightweight and breathable, making it the perfect fabric for the hot tropical climate of Singapore. Secondly, seersucker too has a distinct textured look that gives it its own character. Paired again with wooden buttons, I find the white/blue striped seersucker shirt to accentuate the “summer” look of the suit well. Similar to linen, I believe seersucker to be a severely underrated fabric – I encourage you guys to give it a shot!
As a watch enthusiast, it is paramount to me that my dress shirt has enough allowance to accommodate my watch. Esquire’s Bespoke did well here, giving me an increased width allowance on the side (left) where I usually wear my watches. In addition, I love the blue batik shirt cuffs. The batik pattern is unique and striking, and immediately makes the shirt stands out from the other dress shirts I have.
Speaking about batik, I too went with the batik trimmings for the shirt collar! The result is simply stunning. It’s something special for sure, and sets Esquire’s Bespoke apart (in terms of customisation options) from other affordable tailors. Till date, I’ve not yet heard of another tailor offering batik shirt trimmings, so kudos to Esquire’s Bespoke for being innovative in their style! If you’re not afraid to don a bolder look, I highly encourage going for the batik shirt trimmings – it will be definitely be a conversation starter.
Here, we see Esquire’s Bespoke own interpretation of Gurkha trousers. As the name suggests, the styling of Gurkha trousers references the trousers worn by Gurkha soldiers of the British Army (some of them remains stationed in Singapore), and features a high, cummerbund style waistband with a buckle/button fastener. In my opinion, Gurkha trousers are one of the most elegant pant designs you can get, possessing infinitely more charm than the standard pants with belt loops. If you’re someone looking to be more adventurous in your style, do give Gurkha trousers a try!
All in all, I would say that Esquire’s Bespoke strong sense of style is evident in how the various customisation options turned out. From uncommon materials such as linen and seersucker, to unique suit linings, shirt trimmings and trousers options, Esquire’s Bespoke definitely punches above its price point in terms of both fit and style!
Comparison – Esquire’s Bespoke vs Stitched Custom
Based on my personal experience, Stitched Custom is the tailor that is most akin to Esquire’s Bespoke in both style as well as price. As such, I’ll be comparing Esquire’s Bespoke to Stitched Custom today!
In terms of fit, Esquire’s Bespoke definitely has the upper edge, largely due to their incorporation of a basted fitting process. Both the sleeves and the back are done better on the Esquire’s Bespoke suit. As Stitched Custom does not use a basted fitting process, there was room for improvement in terms of the fit.
From a style perspective, I have to say that I too found Esquire’s Bespoke to be stronger. There are more unique fabrics (linen, seersucker, batik) available at Esquire’s Bespoke, as well as a wider variety of suit linings and customisation options (such as Gurkha trousers). However, Stitched Custom does stock a better range of accessories, with items like cupid cufflinks to zhng your outfit.
Where Stitched Custom has the upper hand is in the suit construction – their suits are half-canvassed by default, while Esquire’s Bespoke suits are fused. On paper at least, the suits from Stitched Custom should be more durable. That being said, I did find the craftsmanship of Esquire Bespoke better, due to features such as shanked buttons and a hand-set collar.
In addition, Stitched Custom has a much shorter lead time (1-2 weeks), compared to Esquire’s Bespoke (1-2 months). Their showroom is much bigger as well (probably twice the size of Esquire’s Bespoke), with proper fitting rooms. Furthermore, they also carry a rather unique “CS fabric”, which is stretchable and thus feels more comfortable to wear throughout the day than traditional mixed wool.
Personally, I think both affordable tailors have their strengths. If I’m looking to tailor something striking for a special occasion, or simply looking to add another look to my wardrobe, I’ll go to Esquire’s Bespoke. If I’m looking to tailor something to wear everyday for work, or if I’m in need of decent fitting garments for next week’s business trip, I’ll lean more towards Stitched Custom. Which tailor is better thus ultimately depends on your needs!
Conclusion – so is Esquire’s Bespoke “shiok” or not?
Definitely so. For the most part, the fit of their garments are great, with the style even better. I especially liked the texture of both the linen jacket and the seersucker shirt, as well as the unique batik trimmings. I love the style of the cuffed Gurkha trousers too! The craftsmanship is not bad as well given the price point, with features such as shanked buttons and hand set collars being a surprise. While Esquire’s Bespoke suits fused by default, there’s always the option of upgrading to a canvassed construction if you plan on wearing the suit regularly. I absolutely adore how my suit turned out – it has to be one of my favourite looks thus far.
For those interesting in commissioning a suit from Esquire’s Bespoke, they have generously offered a 10% discount off their regular suit prices. Interested parties are highly encouraged to book an appointment first here – which states Wah so Shiok as a referral source – to enjoy the 10% discount! After the discount, a linen suit (like the one I got) would cost just $404. For those with a higher budget, I wholly recommend going for the fully canvassed VBC wool suit, which after the discount is a mere $989. In addition, readers also get to enjoy special pricing on shirts (starting $79), pants (starting $89), and vests (starting $120) when they purchase a suit.
Book an appointment with Esquire’s Bespoke here.
Read Part 1 of the review here, whereby I chronicled my experience of getting a suit and shirt tailored at Esquire’s Bespoke!
Update: Esquire’s Bespoke has rebranded themselves under the new name, Esquire’s Atelier. The location has changed to Chinatown.
Esquire’s Bespoke Location:
64A Pagoda St, Singapore 059223
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
Wong Li Heng