Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Sunday, I’m reviewing a new single-breasted suit from Mohan’s Custom Tailors.
I visited Mohan’s Custom Tailors over a year ago to get a cream double-breasted suit done. If you would like to see how the experience of commissioning a suit at Mohan’s is like, I chronicled my experience here. I also reviewed the fit and craftsmanship of the resulting suit here. As it has been quite some time since my initial visit to Mohan’s, I decided to return for a single-breasted suit this time around. Let’s see how it turned out!
Mohan’s Custom Tailors – Video
If you would like to see some hands-on footage of the suit, do check out my Youtube video below!
Mohan’s Custom Tailors – the Fit
Despite the affordable price tag, Mohan’s incorporates a basted fitting for their customers. This additional fitting process, combined with their decades of experience, resulted in a fit that punches above their price point.
Let’s start with the front. Firstly, the shoulders are well done – they lie neatly, without any visible wrinkling or bunching. This is paramount, as bad fitting shoulders are almost impossible to alter. Secondly, the tightness of the jacket is snug as well. When I commissioned my first suit from Mohan’s, I received some feedback from readers who said that the suit seemed a tad loose on my body. As such, I relayed to Max Mohan that I would like a tighter, more modern fit this time, and I think that was delivered. The resulting fit is one that is close-fitting but not overly tight – one doesn’t see the dreaded ‘x’, nor is the shirt underneath exposed. Thirdly, one can see some slight tapering around the waist, giving the jacket a bit of a slimming effect. Lastly, the jacket is of just the right length too, with it ending near the middle of my palm.
The sleeve pitch is also good. The entire sleeve drapes naturally, and one doesn’t see much wrinkling throughout, indicating that the sleeve pitch is spot-on. We don’t see the presence of the dreaded shoulder divots here – one of the cardinal sins of tailoring, in my opinion. In terms of length, the jacket sleeve ends right before my wrist-bone. If I was wearing a dress shirt, it would have exposed about a quarter inch of shirt cuff. Furthermore, one can see that the jacket collar fits well too.
The fit of the back impressed me as well. I’ve stated in numerous of my tailoring reviews that the back is often where I faced the most trouble – I have a severely arched back, and thus fabric often gets bunched up there. This is where the experience (and the basted fitting) of Mohan’s shines, as their in-house tailor Mr. Koh (who has been measuring clients for over 35 years) took pains to ensure that the back of my suit drapes nicely. I’ve been to other younger, affordable tailors before (read some of my older tailoring reviews) and the back was always an area where these younger tailors stumbled due to their lack of experience and a fitting process. One can also see how cleanly the shoulders lie in the above photo.
I’m pleased to report that the trousers drape nicely too. It was my intention to have a more modern cut with Mohan’s for this suit, and thus I indicated that I would like a no-break look for my trousers. I’ve always found no-break trousers to not only look sharper but also cleaner, as there’s no bunching of fabric at the bottom.
Overall, I would say that the fit of Mohan’s is probably one of the best at the affordable sub-S$500 price point. The experience of the Mohan’s team is evident in the good fit of the suit. This experience also shows that communication with your tailor is key. If you desire a more modern cut, make it clear to your tailor, and he will do his best to accommodate the fit to your requests. Even an older, traditional tailor such as Mohan’s can deliver a modern cut – if you relay your preferences beforehand!
Mohan’s Custom Tailors – the Suit
Given the current COVID situation, many of us are currently working from home, and thus have no need for formalwear at the moment. Yet, we still like to go out – a lot, if the throngs of crowds at Orchard is any indication – to nice restaurants, events, etc. As such, I wanted a suit that is versatile, something that can be dressed down for a date night at a nice eatery, but also easily dressed up for a job interview, etc. After some discussion with Max Mohan and his team, I settled upon a lovely light grey mixed wool fabric, something that I did not yet own in my suit collection.
If you don’t have a light grey suit in your wardrobe, you should get one. Light grey is one of the most versatile shades out there, the very definition of business casual, in my opinion. Pair it with a dress shirt, and you should have no problems wearing it in the office. Pair it with a T-shirt (or a turtleneck as I did), and it’s the perfect outfit for a date night at a swanky restaurant. Here, the fabric is solid colour, but subtly textured for a bit of visual intrigue. As compared to the medium grey suit I got from Perfect Attire, this light grey Mohan’s suit is definitely more versatile stylistically.
Given the simple aesthetics of the light grey single-breasted suit, I decided to opt for wide peak lapel for a more striking look. The lapel buttonhole is sewn in a darker grey colour, which results in a nice subtle contrast.
Like most other traditional tailors, one doesn’t get to specifically choose their suit buttons. If you have a certain preference, you can relay that to Max Mohan and his team. Otherwise, Mohan’s will usually match the suit with buttons of a similar shade to the fabric (blue buttons on navy suits, grey buttons on grey suits, etc). Personally, I would have preferred horn/brown buttons for a more striking contrast. I must admit that it slipped my mind to indicate to Mohan’s my preference for contrasting coloured buttons, so if you are intending on commissoning a suit at Mohan’s do bear that in mind!
They say the devil is in the details, so I was really pleased to see that the buttons on my Mohan’s suit are shanked. Shanking provides the fabric space to drape in when buttoned, and is a feature more commonly seen at higher-priced tailors. It renders the button more durable, which should mean that you don’t have to worry about your button dropping off.
The collar on the suit is hand-set too, as seen in the photo above. We see clear hand stitches at the base of the collar, as well as between the collar and the lapel. The “fold-back” piece of fabric seen above is actually seam allowance, which allows tailors to re-cut the collar after a fitting if required. This is almost always done by hand.
Furthermore, you can opt to have functional buttonholes (also known as surgeon cuffs) on your suit, though there is an additional charge. While having functional buttonholes serves little functional purposes, it is often a sign of a well-made suit, showing attention to detail and craftsmanship. I must commend Mohan’s Custom Tailor for the cleanly cut buttonholes too.
You can also opt for a monogram of your choice (name, initials, etc) on the interior of the suit. I went with my name, in the same subtle brown stitching as the inner lining. In addition, there’s a pen pocket as well as a larger pocket for you to keep your phone, wallet, etc.
I was also able to pick a lining of my choice with Mohan’s. Unlike the newer tailors who might show you small lining swatches in a fabric book, the team at Mohan’s directed me to an adjacent shop with rolls of linings lined up against the wall and stacked on tables. After rummaging through everything, I eventually decided upon a subtly patterned chocolate brown lining. It’s formal enough for work, but still with a touch of pizzazz due to its glossy pattern. My only regret is not having similarly coloured brown buttons on the suit – that would have looked superb.
With a modern look in mind, I opted for side-adjusters (always go for side-adjusters over regular belt buckles, it always looks cleaner) as well as a covered fastener. I love how sleek everything looks here!
Now, some of you may be wondering why I decided to pair this light grey suit from Mohan’s with a black turtleneck shirt, instead of a dress shirt as I usually do in my reviews. The reason is simple – I wanted to show my readers how suits can be dressed down. As mentioned earlier, with WFH the reality for many of us currently, very few will wear a full suit with a dress shirt. I’ve been hearing from tailors how customers have trickled up as a result, as many no longer see a need for formalwear during this pandemic. By pairing your suit with a T-shirt or turtleneck, the suit can become part of your “going-out” wardrobe, instead of mere officewear. When the COVID pandemic eventually ends (hopefully sooner rather than later), the suit can then be repurposed for officewear. A suit is actually a very versatile piece of clothing, one that shines in many situations. Be it for the office, a family wedding, or simply a birthday dinner at a nice restaurant, there are many occasions whereby wearing a suit will elevate your style game to the next level.
All in all, I really appreciated how this suit from Mohan’s Custom Tailors punched above its price point. The workmanship of the garment is definitely above average at this price point (especially when compared to other comparably priced tailors in Far East Plaza), and the light grey fabric is stylistically versatile. When paired with the black turtleneck (as seen above), it’s a great outfit for a nice meal. When paired with a more formal white dress shirt, the suit becomes appropriate for the office. Given the traditional nature of Mohan’s, I’m really impressed by the modern, clean look of the resulting suit. There’s not much to complain about, though brown horn buttons would have elevated the look even further.
Conclusion – so Mohan’s Custom Tailors “shiok” or not?
If you’re on a budget, Mohan’s is a safe bet – they are one of the best affordable tailors out there. Max Mohan is renowned in the industry (the Government even did a video on him), and his in-house tailors are vastly experienced. In terms of fit and workmanship, the garments from Mohan’s Custom Tailors punches above their price point. At under $500, you will be much better off getting a suit from Mohan’s, instead of those young tailors with aggressive Facebook ads. Despite the traditional feel of their establishment, Mohan’s has proven to be able to produce modern, clean-looking suits – I don’t think my latest suit from them looks dated at all. They also have a short lead time (1-2 weeks) due to their in-house tailoring capabilities, so if you’re on a tight schedule Mohan’s is an easy recommendation for the price.
Just for my readers, Mohan’s is offering a free shirt with every suit purchase from $350 and up! Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” whilst making your appointment or flash this post at the store to enjoy the complimentary shirt. While suits at Mohan’s start at $350, I recommend topping up an additional $100 for a half-canvassed construction. As such, I recommend the $450 half-canvassed mixed wool suit, which comes with a free polyester cotton shirt. For those looking for better material (important if you’re planning on wearing the suit/shirt frequently), my advice would be to go for the $550 half-canvassed full wool suit, with a free full cotton shirt included. The $100 increment may be substantial, but it is definitely worth it.
Before I end this article, I want to point out that both Max Mohan and his tailor, Mr Koh, are part of the Merdeka generation. Prior to COVID-19, the store entertained a ton of tourists due to their international reputation. However, the pandemic has made tourist orders almost non-existent, with local orders a fraction of what they once were too. Unlike most of the affordable tailors at this price point that outsource their production to neighbouring countries, Mohan’s does their production in-house. In other words, by patronising Mohan’s, you will be lending your support to a team of local tailors and seamstresses, most of whom are nearing retirement age. In these trying times, let’s show our support for our local businesses, especially the older ones who find it more difficult to pivot online – a little help goes a long way in putting food on the table.
View Mohan’s website here.
Book an appointment at Mohan’s by calling (+65) 6732 3892.
Mohan’s Custom Tailors Location:
14 Scotts Road, #02-73 Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213
Mondays to Saturdays : 9am – 9pm
Sundays and Public Holidays : 9am – 7pm
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.