By Salma Awwad
Is a tailored suit better than a readymade? Salma Awwad finds out.
Picture yourself walking along London’s famous Savile Row, surrounded by the world’s top tailors and finest craftsmanship. The ambience of being amongst bespoke designs and their deeply rooted heritage assures you that any suit your heart desires will be made to impeccable standards and fit you like a glove.
This experience, unfortunately, does not exist in Dubai. If you want to get your hands on a perfectly finished and fitted suit you need to know exactly where to go and who to approach. In this case, a readymade suit might seem like a favourable choice to put your mind at ease and assure swift delivery.
But a readymade power suit from the world’s most distinguished brands can cost four to five times the price of its tailored equivalent. And if you are looking at deviating from the cookie cutter sizes and asking for a bespoke piece from these same brands then the price hikes up by an additional 20 percent across the board with significant lead time.
A suit from Brioni (bought from the Dubai Mall store), for example, costs an average of $6831 with an additional 20 percent and two months lead time to produce custom made piece since it is fully crafted in Italy. Zilli’s average price is $5,800 and Tom Ford’s readymade beautiful creations start at $4100. But again, tack on an extra 20 percent for any customisation.
With these price tags and significant lead times to customise, finding the right tailor in the city is definitely worthwhile. Many of the Dubai base sartorial shops can actually render the same quality and results, minus the branded name tag, which – at the end of the day - is why you are paying these hefty prices.
So the key then is finding a trustworthy tailor that delivers consistent, superior and reliable results.
After running around in the market and getting all the information from people in the know, we outline below five of the most recommended tailors you can find in Dubai. There might be a couple more out there, but these ones are guaranteed to make the grade:
Logsdail London (Suits starting at $1100): Located in Al Quoz, this independent British tailor was formerly the youngest tailor to have a workshop on London’s famous Savile Row. Leonard Logsdail creates top-notch menswear using high quality fabrics and the finest craftsmanship. He deals directly with mills in Italy and the UK. Suits are all made in Canada so the lead time is a minimum of six weeks.
Lobo Tailor (Suits starting from $410): One of the city’s longest established and most reputable tailors, Lobo’s clients range from royals who have long put their faith in the quality of the work, to visiting tourists who’ve heard of its reputation for creating sharp suits before even setting foot in Dubai. They are commissioned by Emirates Airlines for all their Cabin Crew uniforms and have a demand that truly speaks volumes of the quality of their finished product. Lobo is located is located in Meena Bazaar, Bur Dubai, Behind York International Hotel.
Whistle & Flute (Suits starting from $460): This tailor offers great value for money. You may need to make a couple of trips to get the fit just right, but the workmanship and end results are superb, and the choice of fabrics is extensive. If you have a suit that already fits perfectly, the staff can also do great copies. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest place to find, tucked in an alleyway that runs through the red brick building next to the Iranian Hospital, it’s a hidden treasure in Satwa for those in the know.
Made 2 Measure Bespoke Fashion Lounge (Suits starting at $500): Located along Jumeirah Beach Road in a smart villa, unisex tailor Made 2 Measure offers good-quality fabric and peace of mind without being overly expensive. If you become a regular here, the staff will make a note of your size and fit, which makes for a more efficient repeat experience.
Bespoke Tailors (Suits starting at $1200): This DIFC tailor is a little more expensive than those you’d find in Satwa or Bur Dubai, but you are ensured a superior quality and a well-cut suit that is fitted to a T.
Bespoke’s key competitive advantage is location, location, location. The only commodity that bankers lack is time, so being conveniently located in DIFC and delivering the best quality tailoring and unlimited choices directly translates into this profitable venture that is opening its second branch in the Emirates Towers.
“You don’t have any options with a readymade suit, what you see is what you get. A custom made suit ensures that you have unlimited choices and we can make anything that you want in terms of fitting, design, internal construction, selecting the lining and buttons, and just everything,” says Anand Panchal, Bespoke’s DIFC Branch Manager.
“Not all the people have the body that fits into readymade suits. You don’t want something so important to constrain your movement and be uncomfortable to wear, it needs to be perfect,” he adds.
Although the suit can cost up to $10,000 (depending on your material choice),the experience of creating your own custom made ensemble from scratch is a luxury in itself.
First Panchal runs you through the stages it will take to create the 100 percent hand-crafted piece, then he walks you through a careful consultation for a clear understanding of what exactly your needs are. The first question he asks you is “what is this suit for?”, then you move to the colour choices and a broad array of over 1000 different fabrics. The finer details of the lapels, pockets, stitching and closure all are decided right before your measurements are taken.
At least two more fittings take place after your initial consultation to make sure that everything is exactly to your liking and the range of movement with your chosen fabric is what you expected.
The end result you receive is well worth the investment you make and the lead time of five to six weeks, and according to Panchal, there is only a single upside a readymade suit over that of Bespoke’s: delivery time.
Also, if you fancy more than one suit. Round Trip ticket to Bangkok. Enjoy great long relax weekend in Thailand. Made to Measure Suits x 3 = $900 US including 3 shirts so cheaper than Dubai and you get a great weekend out of the whole situation.
China is even cheaper than Thailand. In Thailand the tailors are Indian so they have similar attitudes like Dubai (some or good most are bad) One trip to Shanghai (Fabric market is very famous) and they'll make stuff for you in 24 hours. The market has EVERYTHING!! Cashmere for overcoats, silk, cotton....you name it they have it and they will make anything! Quality is acceptable NOT High end. For high end proper BESPOKE at half the cost or cheaper than Dubai with better quality finish go to Tailor Dave in Shanghai (Branch in Beijing as well). Been there done that tried everything.....HongKong and Singapore much more expensive now. Tailor Dave is the best tailor for me in Shanghai. minimum lead time is 3-4 days at least BUT they will courier the suit to you anywhere in China or the world. Good Luck!
@salma god bless you I'm off to Shanghai soon and your post is a wonderful diamond of information as I need some nice new suits.thank you!!! :)))
Guys Thats not true ....
Best suits in Dubai find them in Knotstandard ( Downtown next to the palace hotel ).