PK: I have been following your blog for some time and this is my first message. I am spending some days in Hong Kong on my way to Australia and would like to have a couple of suits made and some shirts. I am toying with the idea of trying Edward Tam whom you recommended. May I ask a couple of questions:
• have you tried him since you had the suit made?
• have you heard of any other success/disaster stories about him?
• how many fittings did you have?
• how much did you pay for it?
It seems strange to me that I have only referred to Edward Tam once or twice, as I have been using him exclusively as my tailor for over two years now. In that time he has made for me:
• A double-breasted flannel suit with spare pair of trousers
• A collared waistcoat in the same material to be worn without jacket (The Logical Waistcoat Theory in practice)
• A three-piece worsted suit with a double-breasted waistcoat
• A cashmere blazer (the Norfolk Blazer)
• A pair of cotton trousers
• Five shirts, in two instalments
I have been very impressed with the fit of all these clothes, particularly the jackets. The most impressive thing has always been the shoulders, which not only look good as they follow the line of my (sloping) shoulders but also fit much more comfortably through their fit. The second most impressive thing is the trousers, which are heavily darted to deal with my rather large bottom and small waist. No ready-to-wear trousers have fit so well for this reason.
I deliberately don’t have belt loops on any of the suit trousers. But I regret the fact that I did not have a strap-and-buckle style of side fasteners on them. I have lost weight since the first suit and they are now too big (though the heavy darting helps to keep them in place). Edward has offered to add side fasteners the next time I am in Hong Kong, though, at no cost.
The quality of the wool has always impressed me, though it is one of Edward’s cheaper ranges. He also has Ermenegildo Zegna and Loro Piana, which are around twice the price for a suit.
The only thing that lets down the quality is some of the buttons – a few have come off the shirts and one off a pair of trousers. As long as nothing else goes wrong, sewing these back on is a small price to pay I think.
The price of my suits has been around 3000 to 3500 Hong Kong dollars. The price of shirts is around 350 HK dollars. Cotton trousers and waistcoats were around 600.
I had one measurement session (the first time I visited), then a fitting with the part-made suit, then a final fitting of the complete suit – where I requested one or two small changes. So the first time you go expect four visits, and at least five working days.
Four friends that I know of have visited Edward and I have heard no criticisms (the only one is probably that he speaks very fast and it’s hard to get a word in edgeways!). I plan to use him again in March.
[PK also requested some images of the suits. I will endeavour to do this in the near future. My old Norfolk Jacket post also has some images.]
Sorry Matt! But sure, will do
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I can relate to the line about the fit of clothes. I have a weird body type, slender waste but broad shoulders so jackets fit me funny, especially the shoulders region. So I can appreciate how jackets that are tailored correctly can make it worth posting.
Comment by Romey — February 16, 2009 #
I also go to Mr Tam shop and so far (1 suit, 2 pants, 5 shirts) I’m happy with the result and planning to do more.
Many thanks for this – very helpful
I was wondering about the suit jacket construction by Mr. Tam. Did he use canvas? full or half? If he did use, was the canvas fused or floating? Thanks.
Mr Tam usually uses a full floating canvas for heavier materials (flannel, cashmere etc) and fused for lighter worsteds.
He will be happy to do a floating canvas for you if you would prefer, however.
Thanks Simon for your quick reply.
What is Mr. Tam’s Contact info? I.e. address, phone, website. Also, how long does it take to make a suit? shirt?
– Edward Tam, E.Italian
– Shop No. 117 1/F, Regal Kowloon Hotel, 71 Mody Road
– +852 2367 2782
– [email protected]
I’d allow about 4 days to have a suit made, at a minimum.
Four days to make a bespoke suit! Surly you jest, good sir.
Nope, some of the guys in Hong Kong can do it that fast if they need to. I can attest to the handwork throughout and to the paper patterns used.
Even Savile Row tailors can do two fittings in a week if they really want to. The work doesn’t take that long – it’s just a question of subordinating everything else in the queue
well as one that used to work for berluti i agree with most of the points and you can not deny that Olga’s style is impeccable- however due to the growth of the company the construction and skins used is not always of the highest standard (this is rare though) the hand finishing is really what makes it for this brand though and the attention the staff afford the customer- i am a fan of Lodger footear however, impeccable design beautiful skins and quality craftsmanship! gfo Lodger
Thanks Empress, always interesting to get a view from the inside.
Not sure why you included views on Berluti on this post though?!?
Wanted to give an update, I went to Edward Tam for a suit and plan to buy more. Unlike other tailor shops that I go into in Hong Kong, I don’t feel pressure from the tailor to buy something….he’s very straight forward and I plan to buy more from him.
Simon, have you ever used Peter Lee of Lee Baron? I’ve made a suit and two pairs of trousers with him so far and am fairly pleased but I’d like to try Edward Tam next for the sake of comparison.
I’m afraid not. I’ve only tried three in Hong Kong, out of a few hundred!
Just another update on Mr Tam. Went last week and visited, and am quite pleased with the results. I had a few shirts and some trousers made, as I don’t often need to wear a suit and already have two for when I do need to. Trousers fit perfectly and have already worn very comfortably, which is never the case with off-the-rack due to me being quite tall (6’3″) and more than a bit, as mentioned in one of your previous posts, on the “chubby and tubby” side. Mr Tam was confident and the trousers look fantastic–very flattering. The prices weren’t brilliant, and he was in no mood for haggling on the prices, but they were certainly fair for HK and compared to the UK quite reasonable.
Thanks, Simon, for the recommendation!
Hi Simon and other readers, I expect to be in HK for around a week prior to the end of the year and would like to have a suit, odd trousers, shirts and potentially some jackets made (appreciate this might be a lot for a first visit). I wondered if there were any more recent updates on Edward Tam, or indeed other tailors in HK offering the same level of quality? Many thanks.
This seems very interesting to me, as I had originally looked into Sam’s Tailors but am left a little unsure as to his credibility. Like Andrew Chapman, I would be curious to know more about Edward Tam if anyone has any information, and indeed, whether he is still operational. Thanks!
Had 3 shirts and a waistcoat made by Edward this summer. Quality was superior to the work my colleagues had done at other HK shops at similar price points during our stay. This included Sam’s. I am 6’5″ and 270 lbs so shopping for shirts at home is both frustrating and expensive. Best shirts for fit and feel I have owned. Edward applies zero pressure and is open to any design ideas you might have. Will return for suits next time I need to travel to Hong Kong.
I thought someone interested in Edward Tam might want to know this.
I have commissioned a full canvas vbc suit from him before. Months after getting the suit, I asked him for the specific fabric number that he used for my suit, I did not say why at first, and he refused to give me the info. I later revealed that I wanted to make another pair of trouser, but I wanted make a some changes and I did not have enough time to get a pair from him, so I would get it later from someone in my home city. Still he refused, and said it’s the rule in this trade to not disclose that info. However, he said he could sell me the fabric, for about 500hkd, or I could get the trouser from him for 1k. He did speak politely though.
On the suit he made the label says the fabric is in the vbc perennial super 110 bunch. I can’t help but suspect taht he did not use authentic material. Or maybe there really is such rule in the trade?
As for the suit itself, I was reasonably pleased at first but my expectation have since raised, and if I could improve the trouser it’s still something I would wear. Side note, the trouser he made at the first fitting was unacceptable so I let him copy my suitsupply trouser. He charged 6k hkd which I was OK with, but I suspect if you are savvy enough you could pay less for the same somewhere else in hk.