Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m covering the style and fit of the vest, shirt and pants I got from Sors Studio.
If you have not yet done so, do read Part 1 of the review here, whereby I chronicled my experience of getting a vest, shirt and pants tailored at Sors Studio.
Before I continue with this review, I would like to shout out Caine over at Bounce Hair by Design for the haircut, wash and styling. As stated in Part 1 of the review, Gary believes that one’s appearance plays a huge part in our initial impressions, with hair being an important component of one’s image. In that regard, Gary sent me over to Caine over at Bounce Hair by Design to give my hair a “makeover” as well. I honestly don’t think many other tailors go to that extent -of recommending hairdressers and hairstyles, personal shopping services, etc- to complete the look of their clients, so kudos to Gary for going the extra mile!
Sors Studio – the Fit
The fit of a vest is every bit as important as a suit. I’m glad to report that the fit of the garments improved drastically from the basted fitting stage!
Let’s start with the front. Firstly, the shoulders sit nice and flat – it didn’t at first due to the uneven slope of my shoulders, but Gary managed to correct the issue during the basted fitting stage. The width is good too – we don’t see much wrinkles (typically caused by strain on fabric), or excess loose fabrics. Lastly, the length of the vest is spot on as well, with the vest being long enough to cover the trouser waistband without revealing the dress shirt underneath.
The fit of the back is decent. As aforementioned in many of my previous tailoring reviews, I’ve a severely concaved back, which often results in the presence of wrinkles on the back of the suit/vest. What Gary did during the basted fitting was to give the arch of my back more “room”, in order to allow the fabric to drape better. It’s not perfect, but it’s clean enough that wrinkles do not mar the star of the back vest panel – the blooming blue flower.
I’m rather pleased with the fit of the pants from Sors Studio! The length is just right, and the pants drape cleanly for the most part.
I really like the fit of the shirt. Firstly, the shoulders rests nice and cleanly, ending at my natural shoulder bone. Secondly, the shirt is of the right tightness too – it’s comfortable, and one does not see any wrinkles surrounding the buttons. Thirdly, the length of the shirt sleeves are spot on as well, ending at my wrist bones. A job well done! There are some visible wrinkles around the elbow, but that’s due to the inherent softness of the Egyptian cotton fabric.
Lastly, Gary made sure that the right shirt cuff is wide enough to accommodate a wristwatch! I decided to wear a vintage Omega Geneve on this occasion, to pair the retro 80s vibe of the overall outfit.
All in all, I would say that the fit from Sors Studio is pretty good! The fit of the final garments are definitely much better than the skeleton ones during the basted fitting stage. As I’ve stated in Part 1 of my review, Gary firmly believes that clothing has to fit good for one to look good – this ethos is definitely espoused in the fit of his clothing!
Sors Studio – Design
While Sors Studio does provide pretty good fit, it’s not -in my opinion- their USP (unique selling point). What Sors Studio does the best at is the eye-catching, unique designs of their garments – they offer a whole host of stunning customisation options. Let’s dive into them.
First, I have to highlight the unique collar styling of the shirt. The striking collar shape is what Gary calls an “epaulette” collar, as it is shaped like a set of shoulder epaulettes, the sort one typically see on military uniform. I think this is really cool, and have personally gotten quite a few compliments on it. It’s also something that I believe you cannot readily find at other tailors! In addition, we also went with a light floral trimming inside the collar.
For the buttons, I elected for understated elegance in the form of classic mother-of-pearl buttons. Personally, I love MOP buttons on a shirt, and horn buttons on suits/vests. We also did a blue button stitching to comment the blue tones of the shirt trimmings. Lastly, I like that the white shirt fabric possesses subtle patterning – white shirts are often described as boring, but that’s certainly not the case here!
My favourite part of the shirt definitely has to be the shirt trimmings. Due to the striking nature of the shirt trimming, flipping the shirt cuffs up gives the shirt a completely different look. I love the white and blue tones of the design, as well as the floral/paisely theme. Unlike other tailors in his price range, Gary doesn’t offer standard trimming fabrics from a book – he actively searches for fabrics and designs that catches his attention, and positions the fabric so that the key elements of the pattern takes center stage. Notice how the paisely pattern adorn the edges of the cuff, with the lavender flowers stealing the spotlight in the middle? This positioning is meticulously done, and actually leads to high wastage of the fabric as only a certain portion is used. The result however, is absolutely stunning, and is the perfect finishing touch to this Soktas Egyptian Cotton shirt.
For the pants, we went with a Gurkha trousers design. As the name suggests, the styling of Gurkha trousers references the trousers worn by Gurkha soldiers of the British Army (some of them remained stationed in Singapore), and features a high, cummerbund style waistband with a buckle 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! I have to thank Gary for pushing me to try out this new styling. For the buckle fastener, I went with a brass one to reflect my love for bronze watches. Brass also patinas over time, and thus gives the trousers a dose of added character.
Sors Studio also offer one the opportunity to have contrasting trimmings for the pants, which is not something every tailor offer. Here, Gary recommended a lavender geometric pattern, which he felt would go well with the pink checks of the pants. Again, I have to give credit to Gary – he has a wonderful eye for colours and patterns.
For the vest, we went with a more retro double breasted 8 button style, with corozo buttons as the perfect adornment. Due to the natural property of corozo, no two buttons are the same – you might realise that the horn buttons above are all of slightly different shades. Set against a grey check fabric, the coffee corozo buttons completes the vest wonderfully.
Last but not least, the star of the show has to be the gorgeous back panel on the back of the vest – it’s a showstopper. Just look at it! Just like the shirt cuffs, Gary searches out unique fabrics that catches his eye, and uses them as the back panel for his vests. There’s no stock catalog book of these designs, and as such most of his creations are one of a kind. In addition, the fabric again needs to be positioned perfectly so that key elements of the design are where they need to be.
For example, Gary positioned this fabric such that the mountain (see picture above) is near the top of the vest back. This creates the imagery of a mountain far away in the distance, near the edges of the horizon.
Additionally, the blue blooming flower is positioned such that it takes center stage on the back of the vest. Gary stated to be that he positioned it such that “it will be the first thing that catches people’s attention” when they look at the back. The details in the design is pretty awe-inspiring, I must admit. It’s simply beautiful. Additionally, the blue floral design of the back complements well with the blue floral design of the shirt cuffs, something that Gary absolutely intended.
At the bottom, there’s the imagery of flowers and grass spouting out of the ground. Honestly, the back panel of the vest blew me away. There’s so much detail in the design, and I can’t even imagine how painstaking it must be to position the fabric so that the best possible cross-section of the design is utilised. It looks, and feels, like something a Chinese or Japanese emperor would wear. I’m certainly blown away.
I must also highlight Gary’s sense of style – the blue floral shirt cuff complements the blue floral design of the vest perfectly. I can’t imagine how many fabrics he must have combed through just to find two that he felt would go well together. Stylistic wise, I don’t know of another tailor that would go half as far as Gary in what he does for his customers!
Overall, I would say that Sors Studio definitely have the strongest sense of style out of all the tailors I’ve visited thus far. Gary has a terrific eye for colour and design, and his resulting creations are simply beautiful. If you’re looking for something that will steal the show, chances are Gary will have the perfect thing for you!
Comparison – Sors Studio vs Este Bartin
The other only tailor (that I’ve personally visited and got a suit from) that actively does more unique prints is Este Bartin. Given that both tailors are at about the same price range, I decided to compare both together!
In terms of build quality, I would say that Sors Studio has the upper hand. All suits from Sors Studio are half-canvassed, while suits from Este Bartin are fused. Thus, the canvassed suits from Sors Studio are likely to be more durable than those from Este Bartin. In addition, I have to say that the quality of the fabric available from Sors Studio possesses a higher wool content, and feels more breathable against the skin.In addition, Sors Studio provides not only more customisation options for you to express yourself, but also features certain unique/uncommon options such as the “epaulette” collar, Gurkha trousers, and jaw-dropping designs for the back of vests and as trimmings on shirt collars and cuffs.
From a fit perspective, I think both tailors did pretty well given that both adopt a basted fitting process. However, as I did not commission a suit from Sors Studio this time around (perhaps next time!), I don’t think it would be fair for me to conclude which tailor has the better fit overall.
Prices at Sors Studio start at $200 for a vest, and $650 for a 2 piece half canvassed suit. In contrast, prices at Este Bartin start at $171 for a vest and $474 for a 2 piece fused suit (after 5% promo code). While the prices are slightly higher at Sors Studio, I think the increase is more than justified. The build quality is better, there are more customisation options available, and the sense of style is stronger in their garments. If you can afford it, I’ll definitely go for Sors Studio, though Este Bartin do offer some eye catching designs as well if you’re more limited in budget.
Conclusion – so Sors Studio “shiok” or not?
Definitely. I really enjoyed my makeover at Sors Studio – Gary really pushed me outside my comfort zone, style-wise. The garments fit great, the unique customisation options (especially the “epaulette” collar and the Gurkha trousers) are immensely refreshing, and the design of the vest back and the shirt cuffs is simply stunning. I must also commend the service of Gary – he really ensures that his customer look the best as they can possibly be, even to the point of recommending hairdressers and shopping for spectacles with them! Gary is definitely one that goes the extra mile for his customers, and it is no surprise that he has cultivated a loyal following after 5 years in the business.
For those interested in commissioning garments from Sors Studio, the price for a half canvassed 2 piece suit starts from $650, while a vest starts from $200. Usual lead time for suits are 4-5 weeks, typically with 2 fittings. Whether you’re someone clueless in style looking for a wardrobe refresh, or simply looking to dress to impress for a special occasion, I highly recommend turning to Gary at Sors Studio!
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
Sors Studio’s Location:
34 Arab Street #02-01 Singapore 199733