Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean tailoring review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m reviewing the fit and craftsmanship of the suit and shirt I commissioned from Tat Bee Tailors.
If you have not yet done so, do read Part 1 of the review here first, whereby I chronicled my experience of experience of having a 2 piece suit and shirt commissioned at Tat Bee Tailors.
Without further ado, let’s see how the fit of the suit turned out!
Tat Bee Tailors – the Fit
I would say that the fit of the garments from Tat Bee Tailors is pretty decent!
The front of the suit looks good. Firstly, the shoulders fit well – they lie neatly, without any visible wrinkling or bunching. This is paramount as the shoulders are almost impossible to alter once crafted. Secondly, one can see slight tapering at the waist, giving the body a welcome slimming effect. Thirdly, the jacket is of the right length as well, ending just past the middle of my crotch – comfortably long enough to not expose the dress shirt underneath (a pet peeve of mine). Lastly, the jacket is of the right tightness too, with little to no visible wrinkles emanating from the jacket button.
The sleeves fits well too! The sleeves are of the correct width, and the sleeve pitch is good as one don’t see much wrinkling throughout. We also don’t see the presence of the dreaded shoulder divots here – one of the cardinal sins of tailoring, in my opinion. The sleeve length is spot on as well, ending at my natural wrist-bone, and short enough to expose about half an inch of the shirt fabric. Elsewhere, the jacket collar fits well too, with it resting on the shirt collar nicely without an unwanted gap in between.
Unfortunately, there’s definitely room for improvement when it comes to the fit of the back. As aforementioned in my previous tailoring reviews, I have a concave back which often results in unsightly wrinkles at the back when not accommodated for properly. The back is supposed to drape cleanly, but that is unfortunately not the case here.
Moving on to the trousers, they are of the correct length – I like my trousers to just touch the tip of my dress shoes, and I’m glad that Tat Bee Tailors was able to accomplish that. They drape decently as well, and one don’t see much wrinkling throughout.
Lastly, I would say that the fit of the shirt is satisfactory. There’s a nice contouring to the waist (though not obvious in the picture above due to the wrinkles – an unfortunate trait of cotton), and the length of the sleeves is good too. It’s also not too snug, as one don’t see wrinkles radiating out from the buttons. However, I would say that the shoulders aren’t perfectly fitted. My shoulders are differently sloped (one is higher than the other), and when this isn’t taken into account sufficiently, wrinkles can often be seen. While the fit of my left shoulder (right side of the photo) is perfect, there’s definitely room for improvement on the fit of my right shoulder (left side of the photo).
Overall, I would say that the fit of the garments of Tat Bee Tailors are pretty decent. I don’t have much major complaints, save the fit of the back on the jacket.
Tat Bee Tailors – Craftsmanship
One of the strengths of the older tailors is the craftsmanship of their garments – these are clothing that will last for quite some time!
Firstly, the mixed wool “house fabric” of Tat Bee Tailors is pretty good! It’s light on the skin, and very breathable. In my experience, I’ve personally found that there’s a significant difference in the quality of the fabric between the more affordable tailors, and mid range tailors such as Tat Bee Tailors. In tailoring, you really get what you pay for. In terms of style, I like the tan colour of the fabric, whilst the red pinstripe pattern gives it an interesting touch. The pinstripe detail is something that others will probably fail to discern until they get up close and personal, and I find its subtlety (a trait usually not associated with the pinstripe) absolutely lovely.
Moving on to the details, all suits from Tat Bee Tailors come with pic stitching alongside the lapel and the edges of the jacket. The pic stitching is hand-stitched, and is a painstaking process. As such, it’s a detail that’s often only found in more expensive tailors. Next, as the suit is half-canvassed, there’s the distinctive lapel roll which separates it from fused suits, though it isn’t as obvious as the lapel roll on full canvassed suits such as the one I got from Perfect Attire. In addition, I think the faux horn button complements the tan suit well. If one wishes, one can opt for genuine horn buttons, though that would be a price add-on. Lastly, I find the ticket pocket to add a touch of sartorial flair to the suit, which is perfect as tan suits are generally more popular in the UK – the homeland of bespoke tailoring.
The devil is in the details, so I was really pleased to see that the buttons on my Tat Bee Tailors’ jacket are shanked. Shanking provides the fabric space to drape in when buttoned, and is a feature more commonly seen in higher priced tailors. It renders the button more durable, which should mean that you don’t have to worry about your button dropping off!
Furthermore, one can see that the collar is hand-set. 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, and is almost always done by hand. To me, the difference between an average suit and a good suit lies in these details – a good suit should have possess these subtle details of artisan craftsmanship, such as shanked buttons and the folded back collar.
As mentioned in Part 1 of the review, I decided to opt for functional buttonholes (a $50 add-on). I also customised the colour of the last buttonhole to a dark golden hue, which I think is a nice subtle contrast to the tan coloured buttonholes of the other buttons.
Personally, I think the orange/golden paisley lining I chose complemented the tan suit well. There’s an unexpected oriental flair to it, reminding me of an Emperor’s robes. I like the juxtaposition – sartorial British on the outside, boldly oriental on the inside! I also opted for a monogram of my name, just to leave no doubt that this is indeed a custom suit. Lastly, I have to highlight the unique looking triangular inner pocket – it’s bold, edgy and sharp, a design that I’ve not seen in the other tailors I’ve visited thus far.
As per usual, I went with side adjusters instead of belt loops. I find side adjusters to present a cleaner look, and it also absolves me of the headache of finding the right belt to pair with my dress shoes. I also think that the shell trouser button turned out great, and acts as an amazing contrast to the tan trousers. It also complements the cream colour of the shirt, which is a nice touch!
I like the cream colour of the shirt – it complements the tan suit nicely, giving the overall look a nice summer vibe. The dark plastic buttons serves a juxtaposition to the light colours of the cream shirt and tan suit as well! Furthermore, the red buttonholes is a subtle detail that matches the red pinstripe pattern of the suit, adding a warmer shade to the outfit.
Last but not least, Mr. Yik made sure to allocate enough room on the left cuff to accommodate my dress watch, an aspect that is paramount for any watch lover!
All in all, I would say that the craftsmanship of Tat Bee Tailors is good (details such as pic stitching, shanked buttons, folded back collar, etc are all present). In addition, the look of the suit turned out well as well – I felt like Luke Cage in his last ever scene on Netflix!
Comparison – Tat Bee Tailors vs HST Tailors
If you have a budget of $600+/$700+, and have a preference for older tailors due to their experience, the most obvious alternative would be HST Tailors.
In terms of the experience, I would say that my experience at HST Tailors definitely impressed me more. There were more customisation options, the shopfront looks more impressive and modern, and the measurement process was more detailed as well – they even used a tailoring protractor to measure the slope of my shoulders! While the shopfront of Tat Bee Tailors is relatively spacious, it does come across as a tad dated, and there aren’t as many customisation options (buttons, linings, etc) available.
In terms of the fit, I would say that HST Tailors edges out Tat Bee Tailors, with the fit of the back slightly better than that on my Tat Bee Tailors suit. However, where Tat Bee Tailors shines is in its value. Comparing apples to apples, you’re able to get a fully canvassed suit + shirt from Tat Bee Tailors for just $750 (with the promo code below), as compared to $850+ for a fully canvassed suit + shirt (also using the WAHSOSHIOK promo code) from HST Tailors. That’s a saving of more than $100!
Ultimately, which tailor is better for you depends on your personal preference. If you’re looking for an affordable Saville Row experience, and love to customise, then HST Tailors is probably better for you. However, if you’re simply hunting for a no-frills suit from a tailor that knows what he’s doing, Tat Bee Tailors will definitely be the more affordable option.
Conclusion – so Tat Bee Tailors “shiok” or not?
I would say so. For the most part, I enjoyed the tan suit I commissioned. Not only does it look dashingly dapper, it was also well crafted, with details such as shanked buttonholes, folded back collar, pic stitching, etc present. If you bought a $299/399 suit from one of the numerous tailors flooding social media with their advertisements, check for the aforementioned areas – those details are likely missing. The fit of the suit is generally decent as well, with the fit of the back the only major spot of bother. If you’re in the Orchard area, I think Tat Bee Tailors is definitely worth checking out!
At Tat Bee Tailors, a 2-piece half canvassed suit starts from $650, with fully canvassed suits starting from $750. In addition, Tat Bee Tailors is kindly offering readers a free shirt with any suit purchase – simply either flash this post or quote “WAHSOSHIOK” when making an appointment to enjoy the complimentary shirt! Instead of buying something off the rack from Suit Supply (which is located across the road in Ion Orchard) or one of the younger tailors popping up in the Orchard area, why not support a veteran of the industry who has honed his craft over decades? Mr. Yik does some good work, and I hope that through this article, I’m able to help him keep Tat Bee Tailors afloat for a few more years to come.
Interested customers are highly recommended to book an appointment with Mr. Yik through SMS/Whatsapp at 96560261.
Read Part 1 of the review here, whereby I chronicled my experience of having a suit and shirt tailored at Tat Bee Tailors!
Tat Bee Tailors’ Location and Hours:
304 Orchard Road #03-09
Lucky Plaza Singapore 238863
Mon-Sat: 10am to 7pm
Sun & Holidays: By appointment only
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!