Hello everyone and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be documenting my tailoring experience at The Suited Label.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve visited a new tailor and gotten a proper suit done. When COVID hit and WFH became the norm, it just didn’t make sense to get suited, so I pivoted and covered more lifestyle content such as hotel reviews instead. But with more returning to the office this year – and with the post-pandemic world around the corner – I felt it was time to resume the usual content of Wah So Shiok, and thus decided to pay (relatively) new tailor The Suited Label a visit. Let’s see how my experience went.
The Suited Label – the Brand
The Suited Label entity was established just last year, with a mission to offer affordable tailoring without compromising on quality. However, the Suited Label is actually the front-end (B2C) of Delphin Fashion & Workwear, which was established in 2015. Delphin Fashion & Workwear used to provide alteration and crafting services for multiple tailors in Singapore, essentially being a local workshop in the same vein as Lai En and Yong Seng (if you know, you know).
However, business took a hit when the pandemic occurred, with multiple of Delphin’s tailoring clients folding. They then decided to establish a front-end, B2C entity, literally cutting out the middleman. Thus, The Suited Label was born.
As a result, all cutting and drafting are done in-house – a rarity at this price point, where most tailors simply outsource the workmanship to workshops such as Delphin. An in-house production translates to increased consistency and quality, as well as a lower lead time. It also means that alterations can be made on the spot. In-house workmanship also allows all suit jackets from The Suited Label to be half-canvassed, with full-canvassed construction available at a premium.
In other words, the actual production of the garments is done in-house by experienced seamstresses, while the front-end consultation of styling and fabrics are done by the younger duo of JJ and Evan. The combination intrigued me to try them out – The Suited Label may be the only tailor I know to possess this unique blend of youth and know-how.
The Suited Label – the Experience
The Suited Label is situated in an industrial building at the heart of Toh Payoh. It’s a 10-minute walk from Braddel MRT, and I confess that the location wasn’t the easiest to find. If you need help locating them, The Suited Label actually did a video providing (much needed) directions here.
The Suited Label’s showroom is located on the third floor – a corner unit. I’ll be honest and say that the showroom is pretty bare-bones. It’s not the biggest and is definitely more functional than aesthetic. There’s a makeshift feel to the place, which is perhaps unsurprising given that The Suited Label has been in operations for less than a year. The team relayed to me that they are currently on the lookout for a new space in a more central area.
This isn’t my first rodeo, so I decided to get right down to business and asked JJ and Evan to show me some fabrics. The Suited Label broadly offers four different tiers of fabrics – more information on their website here. I wasn’t a fan of the entry-level rayon fabrics. The mid-range mixed wool fabrics seemed decent, but as I haven’t commissioned a full suit in quite some time I decided to opt for a more premium “branded” fabric.
The duo brought me a variety of options – VBC, Drago, Holland & Sherry, and even Zegna. However, a particular green checkered Reda fabric caught my eye. Being a linen-wool mix, it also felt light and breathable. Both JJ and Evan concurred that it was an astute choice, informing me that Reda is actually one of the best-selling fabrics that they carry.
With the fabric chosen, we moved on to choosing the buttons. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that The Suited Label offers genuine horn buttons, which I felt complemented the green Reda fabric perfectly.
Next was the lining choice. Although generic polyester linings were available, I decided to opt for a more premium Bemberg lining. Bemberg lining feels more breathable than regular polyester, and is well worth the premium. The feeling where your arms sometimes feel sticky after long hours of wearing a suit? Well, the inclusion of Bemberg lining is supposed to combat that, allowing your arms to feel nice and comfortable even after a long day at work. For more information on Bemberg lining, Tailor On Ten did an article on the topic here. The caveat is that there are no flashy designs available – Bemberg linings only come in solid colours at The Suited Label.
As for the design, I decided to go with a single-breasted design with a notch lapel and flap pockets, as well as side-adjusters on the trousers – versatile and classic. And to differentiate it from the green Irish Linen suit I did with Meiko Tailor, I opted for a single vent at the back and a more modern no-break look for the trousers.
To round off the outfit, I also did a classic white shirt – 100% cotton, easy iron – with The Suited Label. Although patterned shirting fabrics are available, I decided to stick with solid white as the suiting fabric already had a checkered texture.
With versatility being the prevailing priority, I chose the 1 Button Angle shirt cuffs. Those with more formal tastes should opt for a French cuff, but buttons are definitely more convenient, especially for everyday wear.
As the finishing touch, I opted for the Classic Spread collar, which would look appropriate with or without a tie. The Suited Label has some dummy collars available, so you can visualise the different collar options better – especially useful if you have never made a tailored shirt before.
The Suited Label – Measurements
After JJ and Evan took my initial measurements, I returned in 3-4 weeks for my first fitting.
In an effort to streamline processes, there’s no baste fitting process at The Suited Label. Instead, the jacket, pants and shirt are all nearly done up.
Nevertheless, the fitting felt like a regular baste fitting process. Right off the bat, we identified an issue with the shoulders, where excess fabric was visible.
We surmised that it was probably due to my unevenly sloped shoulders, as the fabric bunching was only evident on the right side (left in above photo due to mirror image). Evan promptly whipped out a protractor to calculate the angle of my sloped shoulders so they could rectify the issue as best as possible. I was impressed at the tool, which is usually only seen in more expensive tailors such as HST.
In addition, JJ also pinned up some extra fabric at the back as he felt it could be taken in further. The usage of pins and chalk – quintessential tools of the trade – is a good sign, and is not always a given at more affordable tailors.
Alterations were also made to the pants – I feedbacked that it was too narrow at my calves. A slim fit is good, but it shouldn’t impede comfort.
We then moved on to the shirt, where there was once again visible excess fabric on my right shoulder due to its unevenness. Evan promptly pinned the extra fabric up and assured me that it would be altered.
As my uneven shoulders were causing an issue with the fit, Evan and JJ decided to call out their “lady boss” – who has decades of experience in tailoring – to have a look.
The watchful eye of “lady boss” (the duo affectionately refer to her as 老板娘) reminded me of my fittings under Uncle Chung of Meiko Tailor and Ye Shifu of HST. It was immediately apparent that she had the know-how to recognize the error with the fit as she explained to me how the higher slope of my right shoulder was causing the fabric to bunch up.
She also noticed my arched back, which was causing wrinkles at the back. She promptly pinned up the excess fabric to ensure a better drape.
After pinning up the necessary areas, she assured me that all areas (specifically the shoulders, back and calves) would be remedied, and be ready for collection in another 2-3 weeks. I have to say that having “lady boss” examining the fit was reassuring. It’s like going to an “uncle” barber – you get the sense that you’re in safe hands.
Conclusion – so The Suited Label “shiok” or not?
I was left impressed by my experience at The Suited Label. They seem to be a perfect blend of youth and experience, offering a more modern style and cut as compared to similarly priced “uncle” tailors like Mohan’s and Ehkay Corner Tailors, but with more expertise and technical know-how than younger tailors such as Stitched Custom and Esquire’s Atelier due to their in-house production capabilities. The downside is the ulu location and the bare-bones showroom, but if those aren’t major concerns then I believe The Suited Label offers great value propositions.
Those interested in tailoring with The Suited Label can make an appointment with them via Whatsapp at 8757 8152. Just for my readers, The Suited Label is offering 10% off on all purchases. Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” while making your appointment, or show this article in-store.
Read Part 2 of the review – where I review the fit and craftsmanship of the garments – here.
View The Suited Label’s website here.
The Suited Label’s Location:
998 Toa Payoh North, #03-09, Singapore 318993
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok 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.