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Old 11th October 2013, 23:39   #1
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Default Wardrobe Rejig: Importing Clothes?

I'm on sort of a wardrobe rejig, and was thinking of getting myself clothes that are a little better than the usual Van Heusens and Arrows.
I've sort of grown to like the Brirish look. I find that entry level Jermyn Street shirt retailers like T M Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt offer 4 shirts for 100 pound deals and decent half-canvassed suits for 200-odd pounds; seem good value and look much classier than OTR stuff we find in India in that price range.
Was thinking I'd purchase online from them. It'd be very helpful if someone here could throw some light on the actual quality of these shirts and the finer details like the time they'd take to ship, charges/ hassles at customs, etc.
Thank you!
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Old 12th October 2013, 00:16   #2
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I'm on sort of a wardrobe rejig, and was thinking of getting myself clothes that are a little better than the usual Van Heusens and Arrows. I've sort of grown to like the Brirish look. I find that entry level Jermyn Street shirt retailers like T M Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt offer 4 shirts for 100 pound deals and decent half-canvassed suits for 200-odd pounds; seem good value and look much classier than the other stuff we find in India in that price range. Was thinking I'd purchase online from them. It'd be very helpful if someone here could throw some light on the actual quality of these shirts and the finer details like the time they'd take to ship, charges/ hassles at customs, etc. Thank you!
Ahh! A man after my own heart. The Jermyn Street Bespoke shirtmakers are truly lovely. Thomas Pink, Hilditch & Key etc are on the slightly more exclusive and hence more expensive side. However, the more accessible T M Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt shirts are really superb. For one thing they are very generously cut in terms of fabric unlike the standard Indian branded shirt. The fabric used is lovely two ply cotton which feels extremely luxurious when worn. I also love the removable collar-bones which help keep the collar tips in shape! They come in variable sleeve lengths and glory be! I get the required sleeve length of 36/36.5! Even the half sleeved shirts from these brands are delicious! They typify the quintessential understated British elegance of design and colour.

One can well imagine a bloke like Pierce Brosnan or Colin Firth or Ewan MacGregor or someone of that stature attired in these lovely shirts (even though in the Bond films he was kitted out by Brioni.) Incidentally Pierce old chap is now the face of Hackett of London. Perfect brand and brand ambassador match, in my opinion...but I digress... Even shirts from Louis Philippe and Van Heusen and Arrow, Raymond etc seem to be skimping terribly on the cloth used, the cut and the shirt length these days! Wear one of these brands, tuck the shirt into your trousers and then lift your arms and you will see that the shirt will come out where you tucked it in! This is because they seem to have messed up the whole arm hole measurements completely and/ or are trying to cater to super slim model type people, whose build type, I personally certainly do not conform to! I believe that the shirt should fit the man and not the other way around, so I do both figuratively and literally thumb my nose to the foolishness of these Indian brands in catering almost exclusively to the super slim person!

I shall take myself and my wallet elsewhere where people of my portly girth, long arms and large build type are rather better welcomed! These dress shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt and T M Lewin are meant to be worn under suits. They fit beautifully and hide all one's inherent bodily imperfections very well indeed! Make you feel quite flattered, peering at yourself in the mirror! They are built for the typical UK and Caucasian body type and hence, even their 'slim fits' are generously cut. I love these shirts and prefer to buy them from abroad whenever I get to go. A nice place to buy these from is Changi Airport, where there is a nice T M Lewin shop next to O Leary's Bar. You will invariably get a deal on these if you buy two or three at a time. The full price in the city of Singapore is normally around 109-140 Singapore Dollars per shirt but when you buy three at a time at the Changi store, you also get the Duty Free benefit plus the bundled offer benefit and you pay only around 46-50 SGD per Shirt!

For such great quality Yes! It is amazingly worth it! Considering that a typical known brand shirt in India costs around Rs 2500-3000 these days for ill fitting, poor and ungenerous rubbish! You might also wish to try the shirts from a company called The Thin Red Line. These are available on e commerce off the net and are delivered peacefully in India and are priced very well too. I have not bought TM Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt off the net from the UK because I am not sure of their safe arrival, the duties that the blighters in the Indian government may decide to charge me and importantly, the irritation of paying using the paypal service for payment (which I absolutely hate) and the other worry that they may not actually be able to ship to India. If in the UK these lovely shirts can be bought at a place called Bicester Village near Oxford which is a high quality strip mall with a lot of 'Factory' Outlets in it, selling things at super prices. Of course both T M Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt have great high street and mall level distribution in the UK. Else, Changi airport beckons! The other places to buy these are at any of their shops in HongKong where they are popular, KL, Melbourne and Sydney.

Last edited by GTO : 12th October 2013 at 16:38. Reason: Adding paragraph spacing for easier readability. Thanks
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Old 12th October 2013, 00:37   #3
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Default Re: Wardrobe Rejig: Importing Clothes?

I usually order my shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt and love them, when in Bangalore i get it stitched at our tailor in 4th block Jayanagar. In case you have someone who can order the shirts from CT, suggest that they use this link to get free shipping http://www.ctshirts.com/Default.aspx?q=fa78|||||||||||||||

Last edited by mazda4life : 12th October 2013 at 00:38.
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Old 12th October 2013, 03:53   #4
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Thanks for the link mazda4life
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Originally Posted by mazda4life
I usually order my shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt and love them
They have a nice offer going on shirts @$39.00 e.a. Picked up a couple c/w alteration to sleeve length. Was wary of getting them shipped in via ordinary mail as advertised, so had them sent to a stateside address.
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Old 12th October 2013, 19:46   #5
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Default Re: Wardrobe Rejig: Importing Clothes?

How do you guys buy clothes (and shoes) without trying them on? I have a weird body and have to try out each shirt and pant even from the same maker because different models made by the same maker are cut differently. Relying on size is meaningless. Mostly, Louis Phillipe (expensive!) fits me the best, but even with their stuff, each shirt fits differently but within acceptable range. I'd be terrified to buy clothes and shoes online.
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Old 12th October 2013, 20:00   #6
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How do you guys buy clothes (and shoes) without trying them on? I have a weird body and have to try out each shirt and pant even from the same maker because different models made by the same maker are cut differently. Relying on size is meaningless. Mostly, Louis Phillipe (expensive!) fits me the best, but even with their stuff, each shirt fits differently but within acceptable range. I'd be terrified to buy clothes and shoes online.
Im lucky I conform to some large standard size spec of some brands which I have been using for a long time and have gotten comfortable with, so can buy them sight unseen. But yes, I understand the hesitation. Indeed it is true that each brand has its own definition of size and there is absolutely no 'standardization' which one can give credence to, to speak of!

The brand, Thin Red Line - bespoke Brit Shirts...they are apparently opening a shop in Brookefields Coimbatore as per what I saw on their facebook page. Their shirts are good because they are generously cut and fit large blokes, unlike the products from our well known Indian brands, all of whom, apparently, wish to only serve the super slim ones amongst us!

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Old 12th October 2013, 20:03   #7
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Default Re: Wardrobe Rejig: Importing Clothes?

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Ahh! A man after my own heart. The Jermyn Street Bespoke shirtmakers are truly lovely. Thomas Pink, Hilditch & Key etc are on the slightly more exclusive and hence more expensive side. However, the more accessible T M Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt shirts are really superb.

If you like T M Lewin, probably you should check the brand Raoul. Slightly more expensive than T M, but the quality and finish is just awesome.
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Old 12th October 2013, 20:09   #8
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If you like T M Lewin, probably you should check the brand Raoul. Slightly more expensive than T M, but the quality and finish is just awesome.
Thanks. Where is their shop in Singapore? I m guessing SIN is probably the closest accessible point of availability for a resident of BLR India...
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Old 12th October 2013, 20:24   #9
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Default Re: Wardrobe Rejig: Importing Clothes?

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Thanks. Where is their shop in Singapore? I m guessing SIN is probably the closest accessible point of availability for a resident of BLR India...
I believe that there is an outlet even in the airport. However, if you're heading to Singapore, I recommend going completely bespoke. You'll get completely custom-made shirts in Italian 2-ply cotton at the prices you mention. Please PM me in case you want an introduction to the tailor
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Old 12th October 2013, 20:25   #10
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Thanks. Where is their shop in Singapore? I m guessing SIN is probably the closest accessible point of availability for a resident of BLR India...
Sorry, I should've mentioned that in my earlier post. They have two outlets here in Singapore, one in Marina Bay Sands and the other one is in Paragon, Orchard Road. Not sure if there is an outlet in the airport.

Last edited by vb-san : 12th October 2013 at 20:27.
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Old 12th October 2013, 21:04   #11
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I believe that there is an outlet even in the airport. However, if you're heading to Singapore, I recommend going completely bespoke. You'll get completely custom-made shirts in Italian 2-ply cotton at the prices you mention. Please PM me in case you want an introduction to the tailor
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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Sorry, I should've mentioned that in my earlier post. They have two outlets here in Singapore, one in Marina Bay Sands and the other one is in Paragon, Orchard Road. Not sure if there is an outlet in the airport.

Will check Raoul out next time Im that side.
But frankly I really like the T M Lewin shirts...however inviting the bespoke thought process might be. Indeed there are a number of those tailors blundering about on Orchard Road who offer good cloth but I do not know about their Tailoring per se. Whatever said and done, nothing I am sure will quite match the generosity of the shirt tails at T M Lewin or Charles Tyrwhitt, especially for belly power candidates like self!
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Old 12th October 2013, 21:22   #12
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Will check Raoul out next time Im that side.
But frankly I really like the T M Lewin shirts...however inviting the bespoke thought process might be. Indeed there are a number of those tailors blundering about on Orchard Road who offer good cloth but I do not know about their Tailoring per se. Whatever said and done, nothing I am sure will quite match the generosity of the shirt tails at T M Lewin or Charles Tyrwhitt, especially for belly power candidates like self!
I know what you mean about blundering tailors. However, I can certify that the good ones are really good and in great demand. They even hold roadshows in the UK where their cheaper bespoke creations are much sought after. I can vouch for a couple from my stints in both Singapore and London.

The good think about bespoke is that the shirts are truly custom-made, accounting for belly power and all
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Old 12th October 2013, 23:00   #13
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LOL, I can appreciate your dilemma. I need my trousers to be tailored but shirts are not a problem. Early on in my career I had the opportunity to travel to the US and found to my joy that all of their domestic brands would fit me and then I discovered shoes in 5EEE width. While I no longer travel to the US on a biannual basis as I used to earlier, internet has been a saviour. So buying online is now matter of fact and though it is my first time trying out the brand being discussed here I am not worried on the fit thanks to their size reference tables and to standardisation.

Having said that, there is no denying that physical shopping has it's own charm and now thanks to the information being shared on this thread it seems that one can conveniently partake that pleasure over a long weekend.

The various brands in our markets have always catered to the super slim clientele with the obvious skimping on the cut etc as already posted above and you are correct that relying on sizes across these makes is indeed meaningless. The only domestic clothier that had offerings per international sizes for the ahem! well endowed amongst us was Zodiac. They offered not only the classic fit shirts with good quality cloth and stitching etc. but complete line of high quality accessories too. However, about 8 odd years ago they followed the Van Husen and Louis Philipe strategy of catering to the Zero sized guys and that was that.




Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTeacher View Post
How do you guys buy clothes (and shoes) without trying them on? ...
Relying on size is meaningless. Mostly, Louis Phillipe (expensive!) fits me the best, but even with their stuff, each shirt fits differently but within acceptable range. I'd be terrified to buy clothes and shoes online.

I am loving this thread for the richness of it's humour quotient

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Indeed there are a number of those tailors blundering about on Orchard Road who offer good cloth but I do not know about their Tailoring per se. Whatever said and done, nothing I am sure will quite match the generosity of the shirt tails at T M Lewin or Charles Tyrwhitt, especially for belly power candidates like self!

Last edited by khoj : 12th October 2013 at 23:14.
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Old 12th October 2013, 23:15   #14
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I have been exclusively buying all my pants from US online stores (amazon.com), for a decade now. Until couple years back, my colleague from US used to carry it to India for me. But now I get it delivered via international shipping.

Never had any issues with fitting. I started doing this after store bought pants from India barely used to work for me. Bad fit mostly.
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Old 13th October 2013, 10:51   #15
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Hey! I completely forgot.

A good friend of mine who works with one of the big International Brand Consolidation/ Franchising/ Licensing companies here in India mentioned a short while ago that T M Lewin has signed up to come in to India reasonably soon, by the first half of 2014.

Personally, I am extremely pleased. I hope Charles Tyrwhitt follows!

Some time ago I bought a few top quality suits from some super International brands, which were on deep discount of course... Ted Baker, Aquascutum etc. they fit so very very well that one simply does not want to go back to all the other brands that one has been using all these years!

I also recently purchased an odd jacket from Blackberry in their max size. Thankfully they originated in Delhi and always catered to large people, the Northern blokes being larger built than the average Southern Indian blokes. Their jacket fits me like a glove.

And then, the Raymond shop in Indira Nagar did a super job of a Navy blazer for me, completely custom-built. Wonderful feel. Superb superfine wool and the best thing is that the 'lining' is completely soft-shelled and sits like a feather on my shoulders. Excellent job done there!

The famous P N Rao are also very capable tailors as were Zenart in Madras and Syed Bawkher etc. However, since the 1990's the latter two went off and priced themselves really very high indeed. Quite out of reach, I may say.

Recently I also came across the Thin Red Line which I mentioned in an earlier post. Good shirts and good prices. TailorMan is also supposed to be very good indeed. The ideology and intent is certainly excellent and I believe their execution is tops, though I have not experienced it for myself yet.

In general, we in India, are really lucky to have access to first class cloth and first class tailoring at extremely affordable prices, unlike abroad! Frankly, the last thing that I want is for some bloodthirsty butcher or ham-handed candle stick maker to be meddling about with my bespoke tailoring needs and hence, I am understandably wary about which tailors I go to.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 13th October 2013 at 10:57.
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