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3 things you should ask your tailor

Hong Kong is world-famous for tailor-made clothing. The city is home to a number of excellent tailors, and everyone from celebs to royalty to leading businesspeople have had bespoke suits and clothing made. If you’re new to the experience, what should you look for? We asked three of the city’s top tailors to share their tips.

Make sure you do your research when getting a bespoke suit from a tailor
Make sure you do your research when getting a bespoke suit from a tailor

#1 What colour and fabric should my first suit be?

You’ll want something classic and durable for your first suit, as you start to build up your wardrobe of tailor-made pieces. Andy Mahtani, managing and creative director of Maxwell’s Clothiers, says a good choice for a first suit is polished blue steel, with an assortment of four shirts to match. He says Maxwell’s can give more detailed advice based on a customer’s age, build and lifestyle.

The Maxwell’s team has extensive knowledge of what best suits a person, as well as being abreast of style trends, and offers bespoke suit tailoring for all professions with utmost attention to detail, Andy says. A part of Hong Kong’s fashion scene since 1961, they see clients in their workshop in Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, as well as regularly travelling overseas to visit clients. There is a loyal Maxwell’s customer base in Canada, North America, the UK and Australia, where the company holds regular trunk shows, covering more than 50 cities. They also have a mail order and online service.

Maxwell’s exclusive bespoke shirts are individually hand-cut and tailored in single needle tailoring in luxurious premium cotton fabrics. And with more than 3,000 fabric choices for suits and shirts, you’re sure to find your perfect choice. They also offer custom shirts and suits for women.

Maxwell’s Clothiers

Maxwell Centre, 13/F, 39-41 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

2366 6658, 2366 6705 |

Don't be afraid to ask your tailor about the process and construction of your custom-made garment
Don’t be afraid to ask your tailor about the process and construction of your custom-made garment

#2 How does the tailoring process work, and what are the methods used to create the suit?

If you’re new to the experience of having a bespoke suit made, make sure you’re clear about the process your tailor will use – how they take your measurements, for example, and the number of fittings that may be required. You should also ask about the inner construction of your garment, too, such as whether the suit will be lined.

Manhattan Custom Tailors, owned by Michael Lalwani and Roger Shaikh, has been producing hand-cut and hand-made clothes since 1996. Roger explains that clients first select the fabrics depending on budget and taste and have measurements taken. Their master tailors then hand-stitch canvas that will form the foundation of the suit. Once the suit is in what’s known as the “baste” stage, the client is called in for fittings, and modifications are made at the client’s request. The finished garment is then delivered.

Urgent orders can be completed in as little as 24 hours, but a typical order takes two to four days with one to two fittings. Overseas orders can be filled in two to three weeks for stitching and delivery.

Manhattan Custom Tailors

Shop E, G/F, Mercantile House, 186 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

2302 0728 |[email protected]

Make sure you ask your tailor how to care for your tailor-made garment
Make sure you ask your tailor how to care for your tailor-made garment

#3 How do I best care for, clean and store my suit?

This question is particularly pertinent in Hong Kong where humidity can cause rapid deterioration of clothing if not properly stored. Don’t put clothes away damp and make sure you hang them in a well-ventilated area.

L & K Custom Tailors also advises you to limit dry-cleaning of suits as this can be quite hard on the fabrics. Established in 1990 by Michael Lalwani and Kenny Mirpuri, L & K Custom Tailors hand-pick their fabrics, which are imported direct from the finest mills in England, France and Italy. Their fabric selection ranges from cottons and linens to superfine wools, worsted wools and cashmere blends. Through a focus on the craftsmanship in their hand-cut and hand-sewn suits, the company has built a loyal clientele – they’re based in Hong Kong, but around three-quarters of their customers are in the US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia, where they travel to regularly.

The typical timeframe to create a garment is two to three days with one to two fittings, but they can provide 24-hour service as well.

L & K Custom Tailors, Hong Kong

2 Carnarvon Road (corner of 66-70 Nathan Road), Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

2369 72782369 7277 |[email protected]

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