Leng Ngo Bespoke 3 Piece Suit – Part 4 – Third Fitting

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A fortnight after the second fitting  I was back in to see Leng and Gennaro for the third fitting of the three piece suit, made from Dormeuil’s Ice Flannel bunch, comprised of a mixture of flannel, cashmere and mohair.

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By the third fitting a suit should be almost all the way to complete, with perhaps a few minor changes to be made before the finishing details are completed (things like buttons and button holes etc, if they haven’t been completed already). In this instance, as you’ll see from the images, there is still a long way to go with the jacket, namely the shoulders, sleeve and back.

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At the end of the second fitting, it was decided that the pad used in the shoulder had to be replaced. The pad Leng had chosen, designed to give some structure and formality to the shoulder, was proving troublesome for him, adding too much bulk and throwing out the balance of what is supposed to be a slim fitting jacket.

Clean through the chest. The shoulder should fall cleanly, with no creases.

Fairly clean through the chest, although it would benefit from a little more suppression at the waist and the removal of the extra body in the chest. With my arms by my sides, the chest bulges somewhat, requiring cloth to be taken in via the arm hole. Again, as the request was for a slim fitting jacket, this extra bulk makes for a heavier look. The shoulder should fall cleanly, with no creases and as you can see it scoops in and the cloth is twisted, fighting the natural angle of my arm.

I felt for Leng, as it’s a big job to remove the existing pad and replace it.. Plenty of other tailors would have said it’s too late and just tried to make the best of it, but it would never have looked right. That said, a tailor who would refuse to make the changes would have customers refusing to pay for the finished product.

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We ended up using a much lighter and thinner shoulder pad, which is probably the right solution for this jacket, offering a stronger line to the shoulder, but not being at all bulky. If we had kept the original shoulder pad, it would be expected that in this fitting the shoulder would now be very clean, but with the change of the pad, there was a good chance it would throw off the fit where the shoulder meets the sleeve. This did happen and you’ll see in the images that the shoulder needs to be cut back away from the sleeve, allowing the intersection of shoulder and sleeve to ensure the sleeve falls naturally down to my arm, rather than extending beyond my shoulder and creating a scoop where the sleeve dips back in. It all results in a lot more work for what might seem like a small detail, but getting the shoulders right has a significant impact on the finished look of any jacket.

The back of the jacket also still had issues to be worked through and I’ve used the images below to describe that in better detail.

Troublesome back. The pull marks just below the collar indicate the cloth is too tight. The lower back will be cleaned up also. Additionally, the creasing through the sleeve needs to be addressed, in this instance, the lining is pulling at the cloth and creating the creases. Finally, you can see the scoop of the shoulder where it collapses at the sleeve head.

The pull marks just below the collar indicate the cloth is too tight. The lower back will be cleaned up also. Additionally, the creasing through the sleeve needs to be addressed, in this instance, the lining is pulling at the cloth and creating the creases. Finally, you can see the scoop of the shoulder where it collapses at the sleeve head.

The waistcoat has come together reasonably well, with it being taken in at the last fitting. The only remaining change was to now take in the lower back so that it would more closely follow the shape of my silhouette. Button positions were now marked and made ready to be sent off for finishing.

All of the buttonholes are being done by Bijan’s buttonmaker, as I felt that the quality of Leng’s buttonholes was not at the level I’d expect for a suit of this price, so I’ve arranged for the button holes to be done externally and paid for it myself. It’s a rare request, I admit, but I felt it necessary.

The waistcoat requires a little cleaning up to smooth out the fit at my sides

The waistcoat requires cleaning up to smooth out the fit at my sides

As for the trousers, there wasn’t a lot of work left to do, the fit has been fairly good since the first fitting and only minor adjustments have been required along the way. The rear bias was raised again (it should really have been fixed by this point as it was adjusted at the last fitting) to allow the trousers to fall cleanly to my heels without any creases or breaks and the hem was taken up slightly, once again, to allow for a single break onto my shoe laces.

Lining has come up nicely

Lining has come up nicely

At this point, it’s concerning that a number of issues with the fit, particularly the jacket, are unresolved (in some instances worse than the first fitting) but hopefully they’ll be rectified quickly and the suit will be complete.

Andrew is an Australian born writer, covering the world's leading bespoke tailors and craftspeople in menswear, with a focus on authentic quality, over branding. He spends most of his days running his successful (god knows how) consulting company and travels frequently to Europe for work and writing. He's a passionate cyclist, former trainee professional golfer and lover of all things Cocker Spaniel. He's married to his best friend and significantly better half, Mehri.

4 Comments

  • Reply October 21, 2015

    Peter

    Andrew, did you go for the low button point on the one button jacket specifically to show the waistcoat? I ask because it looks about 5 cms lower than Bijan’s coat. Did you think about cutting away the front edge a touch more? That’s a tricky ensemble for a first time client.

    • Reply October 21, 2015

      Andrew Doyle

      Hi Peter,

      The buttoning point sits a little lower than my jacket from Bijan. I’d guess around 2-3cm. The waistcoat poking out from above the jacket makes the button look a little lower.
      You’re right about the cutaway though, I would have much preferred that this was more pronounced, but I didn’t pick it up until it was too late and I didn’t want to ask Leng to make such a big change so late in the piece. There are hallmarks of the “Cutler” style cut through the suit and this is one of them.
      I’d prefer a much more fitted cut in general.

  • Reply October 21, 2015

    Peter

    Have you thought about adding second button? Funnily enough, it was Bijan himself who first pointed this out to me when looking at a coat of mine. He told me it was cut as a one button jacket but with an extra button sewn on.

    • Reply October 26, 2015

      Andrew Doyle

      I wouldn’t rule it out, if it ended up not looking right with the single button. It would be a disappointing concession, though.
      Bijan has a great eye for these things.

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