In Part 1, I detailed my experience of getting a suit and shirt done with ethan men. In Part 2, I’ll be showing you guys how my customisation choices turned out, and if a made-to-measure fit is actually significantly better.
ethan men – The Look
It’s one thing to see the customisation options on an Ipad slideshow, but another ball-game altogether to see them in reality. Let’s now see how well they’ve turned out!
Firstly, the suit fabric. I chose this blue-ish grey wool-blend fabric, and it actually turned out looking rather good! As seen in the photos, I think it suits me and my skin tone nicely. It’s a shade lighter than the regular charcoal grey, and looks more contemporary and vibrant. Nevertheless, it still portrays a formal appearance and serves my needs for a business suit. In terms of quality, the wool-blend is definitely a cut above full polyester/rayon suits (like the ones you get at G2000) as it’s softer on the skin and more breathable. With the suit being of half-canvassed construction, the upper portion of the jacket remains flexible enough so that I don’t feel like I have an ILBV on. Again, this is better in quality compared to off the rack alternatives like Benjamin Barker, where the jackets are mainly fused. I wrote a bit on the constructions of suits in my previous article here, which you can read to understand the hallmarks of a quality suit.
Next, we have the pink pick stitching. This is something I like to do – to have a custom color stitching to showcase a bit of personality. In this case, I went with pink to complement the pink dress shirt I had made with ethan men. Again, I really like the look of it! Pick stitching here (as it is in most credible tailors) is done by hand, so I like the element of human craftsmanship that’s present as well. In case you’re wondering, this option comes without a surcharge. Unlike off-the-rack outlets, with made-to-measure tailors like ethan men you can show off little dashes of your personality in your suit!
To be honest, I was initially unsure on how the buttons would look on the jacket, but I feel it actually turned out rather well! In my opinion, the colors and textures complement each other nicely. Furthermore, I like the versatility of the flap pockets – you get a choice of either having the flap out (left pocket in picture above), or tucking it in (right pocket in picture above). This provides an option for me to change up the look of the suit when the need arises.
The same buttons adorn the jacket sleeves as well. For this suit, the cuffs are non-functional, meaning that they cannot be unbuttoned and rolled up. There is a $12.90 surcharge for surgeon (functional) cuffs, which I feel is not really worth it as surgeon cuffs have little practicality in the everyday world anyway. For the same $12.90, you could get a handmade 100% silk tie from ethan men, which obviously offers much more in practicality. My advice is this: If given a choice, always go for surgeon cuffs. However, if there is a significant surcharge, save that money – it’s not worth it.
For better or worse, I have a butt that protrudes out. As such, I went with the double-vented jacket as opposed to a single vent down the middle. Furthermore, I like the look of the double-vented back more (as opposed to the single vent). A double-vent requires more fabric and labour to create, and as such you are more likely to see it on made-to-measure or more expensive off-the-rack suits.
The inner lining that I chose is nothing flashy, but I felt the color and pattern match the jacket well. I like the symbolic look – cool, calm, collected on the inside! There’s also an inner pocket (for you to put your cards in, very useful in presentations/emceeing), and extra buttons in case any fall off.
I love the slanted pockets of the trousers – it’s a more contemporary styling as compared to the traditional straight pockets.
I chose the cut-away collar for its bold look. When paired with a tie, it looks really good doesn’t it? In a good suit, the tip of the collars should end right where the jacket lapels are. When executed correctly, the end result (see full-body photo below) is a crisp and sharp look.
I went with this red floral lining to complement the pink dress shirt. Again, I think the colors complement each other well, and help to create an auspicious ensemble!
As mentioned in Part 1, the turnback cuff was made famous by James Bond. When paired with a shirt lining, it looks really good and dapper. No wonder it’s Agent 007’s cuff of choice!
I always have a soft-spot for wood buttons. Even though these are made of plastic, they get the looks done. Due to the contrast in color and texture, I feel that they pair well with the pink shirt too!
All in all, I’m happy with how my customisations turned out. Let’s now move on to what makes or breaks a suit – the fit.
ethan men – The Fit
This is most important part. We’ll take a look at 10 key areas, and see how the fit from ethan men stack up against their off the rack counterparts.
The shoulders are arguably the most important element for the fit. Have a jacket with the shoulders too big or too small, and it’s incredibly tough and expensive to get it altered. In a well fitting suit, the shoulder pads of the jacket should correspond naturally where your shoulders end. A well fitted shoulder should lie flat (like in the picture above), without any ripples or loose fabric visible. Fit rating: Shiok!
After the shoulders, the next area you should look at is the waist. A good-fitting suit should be tapered inwards at your waistline, giving you a form-fitting look. Again, this is one of the key differences that separates a made-to-measure suit from an off the rack one. An off the rack suit rarely taper inwards at the waistline, instead having a “boxy” or “robot” like shape. This is because off the rack suits are manufactured to fit as many body widths as possible – the slim, the stocky, the plump. The waistline will always be one size fits all, and will never conform to your body like a made-to-measure suit would. As you can see above, the tailors at ethan men tapered the waistline of the suit to fit my body shape, giving me a slimmer look. Fit rating: Shiok!
One of the tell-tale signs of an ill-fitting suit is the dreaded “X” radiating out from the jacket button. This refers to wrinkled lines extending out of the jacket button due to the fit being too tight. On a good-fitting suit, the button should close without strain, and there should be no such wrinkles visible. The jacket from ethan men passes this test with flying colors – it’s snug, but not so tight that the cross and wrinkles can be seen. Fit: Shiok!
Generally, you would want to show around 1/4 to 3/4 inches of shirt cuff (like in the photo above). Again, this is something that only made-to-measure tailors like ethan men can provide – some of us (well, me at least) have arms of different lengths, so such considerations have to be taken into account by the tailor. Furthermore, tailors often base the jacket sleeve length on the existing sleeve length of your dress shirt. Obviously, this is something that cannot be accommodated by off the rack establishments. Fit rating: Shiok!
This is related to the fit of the shoulders. If the shoulders are too large, there will be excess cloth which causes wrinkles to appear on the upper arm. It’s unsightly, and a sign of bad fit. Glad that isn’t the case here! Fit rating: Shiok!
It’s easy to spot a well-fitting collar. The jacket collar should rest nicely on the shirt collar, which in turn should be resting nicely on the neck. If the collar is too loose, there will be a significant gap in between the jacket and shirt collar. Conversely, a tight collar will bunch up at the back, with a bunch of wrinkles visible. I can’t actually see this as it’s at the back, but judging from the photo the fit looks good! Fit rating: Shiok!
Next, we have the jacket length. As a general rule of thumb, the hem of the jacket should just hit the middle of the hand, or around where the fingers meet the palm. In terms of fit, this is one of the only areas where I feel ethan men fell short slightly (literally). I don’t like that the trouser pockets are visible from the side, and feel that a bit too much of my behind is exposed. To me, the jacket needs an inch or two more in length. Fit rating: Can be improved.
As a professional look was what I was gunning for, I went for a half-break with the trousers, What this means is that a single horizontal fold dips across the front of my ankles (as pictured above). Pants length is also an area where most off-the-rack options fail fit-wise. Off the rack options tend to run too long, as if we were all built like Goliath. I suspect the reason why pants from outlets like G2000 run long is because they are manufactured for an American market (which are on average taller than us Asians). A good fitting half-break hem should rest lightly on the top of the shoe in front and cover the back of the shoe leather at the back. In this scenario, ethan men nailed it. Fit rating: Shiok!
Aside from the length, good-fitting trousers should also drape over your rear end snugly. Too loose, and you will see excess and sagging fabrics. Too tight, and there will be wrinkles forming under the buttocks, looking like the seam is going to split apart at any given second. As seen above, the fit is good – I’m actually pretty impressed by how the trousers turned out. Fit rating: Shiok!
Let’s move on to the shirt. In terms of sleeve length, the shirt cuff should end approximately where your wristbone is. Off the rack shirts tend to run long in terms of length. It’s something that’s relatively simple to alter, but why spend money and time altering an off the rack shirt when you could just purchase a made-to-measure shirt from a tailor like ethan men instead? For my fellow watch-lovers out there, a good tailor will also widen the sleeve in order to accommodate your watch. This depends on the thickness of the watch that you usually wear, as well as which hand you typically wear the watch on. Due to the variables involved, only made-to-measure tailors would be able to factor this into consideration. No off the rack brand is going to manufacture shirts where one side is wider than another! Overall, I’m impressed by the quality of the shirt as well. The 100% cotton shirt feels great on the skin, and is highly comfortable. Fit rating: Shiok!
If the details above were too technical for you, it all boils down to this – do you think I look good in the suit? Let me be clear – I’m not good looking. In terms of looks and body build, I’m distinctively average in almost every department. I’m not one of those jacked models you see on A&F or G2000 ads – those dudes would look good in anything (but probably the best in nothing). My point is this: good fit can make someone of average build (like me) punch above their weight. Instead of me telling you whether the fit is shiok or not, I’ll leave it to you guys to form your own opinions. If you think I look absolutely ravishing in the suit, that says more about the quality of the fitting done at ethan men than all the above details combined.
Shootout: ethan men vs Benjamin Barker
With the promo code (found at the end of the article), you will be able to get a made-to-measure 2 piece suit AND shirt from ethan men for $398. Similarly, Benjamin Barker currently has a promotion package of a 2 piece suit, shirt, and tie for $399. Seeing as they are both very much in the same price range, I want to use the example of Benjamin Barker to illustrate why I feel made-to-measure options like ethan men are clearly a cut above their competition.
Firstly, I need to point out that construction wise, Benjamin Barker is already inferior to ethan men. The jackets at Benjamin Barker are fused, in contrast to the half-canvassed jackets of ethan men. This means that the Benjamin Barker jacket will feel stiffer and more restrictive. They will also be less durable and more prone to bubbling. In terms of fit, you can see that the shoulder pads are too big for me. You see the presence of shoulder divots, which confirms that the shoulder pads are too big. The waistline is also not tapered, which makes the suit look boxy and in turn makes me look fat. Because my arms are of differing lengths, you can further see that the shirt cuff shows on one side, but not on the other. The pants are also way too long, resulting in the bunch of excess fabric that’s visible at the bottom.
From the back, you can see rumples in the shoulders, again proving that the shoulders are too big. The jacket collar also sits awkwardly, showing off way too much shirt collar. Furthermore, the trouser seat is too loose, as evident from the sagging of excess fabric at the back of the thigh. Again, you can see that the pants are way too long, resulting in this huge clump of fabric at the bottom. This is no longer a half-break, or even a full break – there are more breaks here than in ICT! Of course, Benjamin Barker do offer alteration services, but (in my opinion) at an exorbitant price. To alter the jacket, every aspect cost $30 EACH! For pants, a slightly less unreasonable $8. The waiting time? 2-3 weeks. In comparison, ethan men offer free alterations, with a lead time of only a week. Seeing that both ethan men and Benjamin Barker operate in the same price range, I hope I’ve successfully shown that made-to-measure tailors like ethan men are far superior to off the rack options like Benjamin Barker. So please, stop getting your suits off the rack!!!
I must clarify: I’m in no way singling out Benjamin Barker. (So if someone from Benjamin Barker corporate is reading this, please don’t sue me) I’m criticizing the off the rack industry as a whole. Ultimately, you cannot classify human body shapes and types into simply a number. Just because I’m a 46 (that’s my size for Benjamin Barker) doesn’t mean that my arms, waist, shoulders, legs, chest, etc will be the same length as another person who’s a 46. The human physique (like our psyche) is nuanced, and only made-to-measure tailors like ethan men can take into account all the eccentricities of an individual’s body.
In terms of fit, build quality, and value, ethan men trumps Benjamin Barker hands down. Sorry BB.
Conclusion – so the ethan men suit “shiok” or not?
Definitely. For a mere $398 (with the promo code below), you get a 2 piece suit and a shirt, all made-to-measure. As I’ve hopefully shown, the suit from ethan men trumps off the racks counterparts like Benjamin Barker. In addition, their garments are all easy iron and wrinkle resistant – perfect for the increasingly hectic lifestyles that we lead. In terms of value, I truly believe that what they are offering is near-unbeatable.
If you liked what you’ve read, and are currently considering getting a suit or shirt done at ethan men, all you have to do is to quote “wahsoshiok” for 15% off! Simply SMS them at 87780079 to book an appointment, and include #wahsoshiok in the message (valid till 30 April). With the promo code, a made-to-measure 2 piece suit and a shirt from them would only set you back $398! Whether you’re a student looking for a suit for presentations/interview/prom, or a working professional looking for a low-maintenance, durable everyday office wear, ethan men ticks a lot of boxes. The build quality is decent, the fit is good, and the price point superb. If you’re looking for a tailor in Singapore, you can do much worse than ethan men at this price point.
P.S If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, and on Instagram here! Also, we’ll now be doing monthly strap giveaways – all you have to do is enter your email to be eligible! No spam, I promise. Winners will be announced at the end of every month on my social media channels.
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ethan men’s location (in case you missed it earlier or don’t know how to google):
10 Anson Road, International Plaza, #02-96, S079903
Open Mon-Fri, 11am-8.30pm
Nigel Gomes, @the_lone_cadre