Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I review my experience tailoring with the local tailor Suit Commune.

Suit Commune is a relatively young tailor, being established in late 2020. I first knew of Suit Commune through Arden Teal – the brands share the same space in Tampines, and Mabir (owner of Arden Teal) asked me if I wanted to try out its services.

I’ve worked with Arden Teal for over 5 years now, so Mabir’s recommendation carries weight. As such, I decided to pay a visit to their Tampines showroom, which is located right opposite IKEA Tampines/Courts Megastore. Note of caution: the location is admittedly a little ulu, especially if you’re not driving.

Update: Read Part 2 of the review here.

Suit Commune – the Consultation

The showroom is efficient and organised, although it is a tad cosy.

Upon entering, clients can find Arden Teal’s leather goods on the left, and Suit Commune’s fabrics on the right.

I immediately noticed the striking nature of Suit Commune’s customer commissions – not many would tailor a brown double-breasted suit, for example. From the offset, it was clear that Suit Commune caters to more stylistically adventurous clientele.

Currently, Suit Commune is helmed by the duo of Priscilla (who started the business) and Aaron. Notice the eye-catching nature of their clothing – a reflection of Suit Commune’s livelier house style.

Suit Commune has a decent variety of fabrics available, from affordable poly-wool “house fabrics” to premium Italian fabrics such as Paladino. It’s not the most extensive of offerings – prominent mills such as VBC, Drago, etc are unavailable – but there’s enough to do the trick.

In addition, I appreciate Suit Commune’s transparent pricing – the fabric costs are prominently labelled on the fabric books, so customers know exactly how much they will be forking out. This isn’t always the case, especially with the older tailors.

Suit Commune also provide bundle deals. I was particularly drawn to the full-canvassed, full-wool bundles – it’s uncommon for a relatively young tailor like Suit Commune to provide full-canvassed suits. Furthermore, the bundle comes with an additional dress shirt, an upgrade to surgeon cuffs (for the European Fabrics), and genuine horn buttons.

Priscilla first showed me the 100% wool in-house fabrics, with a bundle price of $1199. The fabrics felt nice to the touch, and I was especially drawn to a light green fabric that stood out from the rest of the book.

Priscilla then moved on to the $1399 European fabrics, specifically the Italian mill Paladino. The bright orange Paladino fabric books feature handy style guides, which helped me envision how the fabric would look on me. Once again, I was drawn to a lovely sage fabric. Compared to the “in-house” fabric above, the Paladino fabric has a subtle herringbone weave that I adored. It also felt more premium to the touch, and looked more striking.

During the consultation process, Priscilla shared with me that she has a background in fashion design. Her keen eye for design shone during the fabric selection, as she recommended a lovely cream Paladino fabric for the trousers, as well as an eye-catching striped olive linen shirt. I love how the earth tones of the three fabrics complemented each other, and readily accepted her suggestions.

With the fabrics selected, we moved on to the customisations. Given the striking nature of the fabrics, Priscilla and I decided to opt for more rakish options: a single-button jacket (instead of the usual two buttons), patch pockets, and a more casual 3-button sleeve. I also opted for horn buttons for the trousers (complimentary under the package), as well as bronze side adjusters. Priscilla then suggested that I opt for Gurkha trousers for a debonair flair – how could I say no?

Priscilla also suggested a lovely green button for the striped olive shirt – the perfect choice for the outfit.

The last step of the customisation process lies in choosing the linings. Currently, Suit Commune carries “standard” polyester linings (seen in the black booklet), as well as flashier Flash linings.

Given the jaunty nature of the ensemble, I gravitated towards the Flash linings, and eventually settled upon a lovely floral/paisley print. Note: the Flash lining is a free option for bundles, but a paid upgrade otherwise.

Suit Commune – Measurements

With everything selected, we moved on to the measurements.

As the co-founder of Suit Commune, Priscilla has been measuring and fitting customers for almost four years. Her experience shone through, as she deftly took my measurements with ease.

Don’t be fooled by her young demeanour – it was clear that Priscilla knew her way around the measuring tape. She shared that she learnt the trade from older tailors when she first started, and it showed.

That being said, the measurement process is relatively simple – no fancy elastic bands, shoulder protractors, or 3D scanning involved. It’s just Priscilla with the measuring tape. While not particularly innovative, Suit Commune’s no-frills process gets the trick done.

To wrap up, Priscilla took photos of my body posture from all sides. Several aspects of fit – sleeve pitch, trousers drape, etc – depend on one’s body posture, so the photos will certainly come in handy when crafting the garments.

After a month, I returned to Suit Commune for the basted fitting. Despite being a young tailor, Suit Commune offers all its clients (even those who buy its $349 suits) a basted fitting process.

For those uninitiated with tailoring, a basted fitting process is where the tailor will let you try on a skeleton jacket, held together by temporary white basting stitches. For more information on the basted fitting stage, read this educational article here. To me, a basted fitting stage is essential to a true tailoring experience. To quote a line from the aforementioned article: “It’s the difference between flying first class and flying on a private jet.”

I often receive questions from readers, enquiring how to tell if their “canvassed” jacket is truly canvassed. If there’s a basted fitting process, one should be able to see the horsehair canvassing on a full-canvassed garment – a visual testament to the quality workmanship of the jacket.

While the basted jacket fit decently, Priscilla noted a few areas for adjustment, namely the waist and back. To denote the areas for alterations, Priscilla uses pins and chalk – the quintessential tools of the trade, which she picked up from the older tailors. Often, tailors who are strong in style tend to be weak in the traditional aspects of tailoring (such as measurement and fitting), but Priscilla proved herself adept at both.

After earmarking the necessary areas for alteration, Priscilla wrapped up the fitting session by taking a video of the suit’s fit from all angles. Once again, this provides a clear visual representation of how the garment fits, allowing the alterations to be as accurate as possible.

Conclusion – so the Suit Commune experience “shiok” or not?

Suit Commune sets itself apart by incorporating a basted fitting session for all its clients, regardless of the price. Furthermore, Suit Commune is fashion-forward and fresh – Priscilla has a background in design, and it shows in her styling advice. Despite being relatively new, Suit Commune also has a perfect 5/5 rating on Google, a strong testament to its commitment to design and details. Customisation options are plentiful too, so don’t be afraid to approach Suit Commune for one-piece collar shirts, Gurkha trousers, or double-breasted suits. The only negative is the location – the showroom is located in an industrial building in Tampines, and isn’t the most spacious. Nevertheless, those are small quibbles that doesn’t detract from the raison d’etre of tailoring: delivering a sharp suit.

Suits at Suit Commune start from $349, with bundle deals starting from $799. This particular Paladino suit bundle costs $1399. For my readers, Suit Commune is offering a free Arden Teal polo tee (worth $49) with a minimum spending of $599. Quote “WAHSOSHIOK” while making your appointment to enjoy the offer. Personally, I think the bundle deals provide better value due to their all-inclusive nature – there’s no additional surcharge for surgeon’s cuffs, horn buttons, linings, Gurkha trousers, one-piece collars, etc – especially if you’re looking at full-canvassed options.

Read Part 2 of my Suit Commune review here.

Book an appointment with Suit Commune here.

Location: #02-16 Tampines North Dr. 1, T-Space, Singapore 528559

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P.P.P.P.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.