B&Tailor: Real bespoke, distinctive style

Monday, February 5th 2024
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When I travelled to Korea back in December, one of the places I was keenest to visit was B&Tailor. Because, like many people, I’d been impressed for years at what I’d seen from Chad Park and his colleagues, but hadn’t had the best experiences in Europe. The agent they worked with here hadn’t worked well, and it had left a good few people with bad associations. 

Yet the work always looked good from afar, and Chad’s style came across well on Instagram - a combination of old-world influences and modern touches that created a genuinely distinctive look (something rare in the world of bespoke tailoring). 

There is also something about following a tailor on the other side of the world that makes you a little unsure what’s going on. Is the work actually that good? Is it all just artful photography? We all know how easy it is to position a suit just so and make the fit look pin-perfect. 

I’d heard good things from friends in New York, where B&Tailor do trunk shows, but there had been nothing in Europe to see in person. Hence my keen interest when I finally arrived at the shop in Gangnam, Seoul. 

Gangnam literally means south of the river in Korean - it’s a very large area, not a neighbourhood. But the word does indicate something culturally, because this area is all essentially new development from the past 30 years. The river Han (above) is huge, and it took a long time for there to enough bridges for the south to be viable. 

B&Tailor relocated five years ago to a new building in Cheongdam, the richest areas of rich Gangnam. The store is set a block back from the highway, which is dotted with sports cars and lined with designer-brand HQs. It’s like Beverly Hills if they started from scratch. And the money men were in charge. 

The B&Tailor shop is quiet and modest by comparison, but still impressive. It has four floors, with the third the tailoring workshop. Chad’s father, Jung yul Park, who started as a tailor back in 1967, runs the operation here and while we had no language in common, he was obviously proud to show off the work. 

In the 20 years since Chad and his brother joined the business - and gave it the style it has today - B&Tailor has expanded into quite a lot of ready-to-wear and made-to-measure. 

I always thought of the RTW as not me, as I’d seen largely the jeans and chinos, which were more Italian in style - not made in the more robust fabrics I prefer. But there is more to it than this, as you can see from the online selection

The tailoring is made to their house block and there is the kind of tailoring-adjacent designs we see from The Anthology and similar brands with their own tailoring: blousons, field jackets, safari jackets, often made in tailoring materials. 

The made to measure is also an interesting option, given this is operated by stores rather than the B&Tailor team, so there is better access. It isn’t made fully by hand like the bespoke, but you get the B&Tailor style and that local connection. I’ve listed the locations and prices for MTM and bespoke at the bottom of this piece.

The bespoke tailoring is quite soft and comfortable, but style-wise is more influenced by Milan than Naples. Chad’s brother studied at Istituto Marangoni and Istituto Carlo Secoli, and that 1930s-50s elegance that influenced them is closer to Milan today than the south. 

You can see this most obviously in the wider shoulders and body shape of the B&Tailor jackets, which have a generous chest and gently suppressed waist. But it’s most expressive in the lapels: wider shapes with larger notches, more horizontal peaks on the double-breasteds. B&Tailor were doing lower gorges before anyone else.

That extends into trousers and other clothing. Generally the trousers are higher waisted and pleated, and the shirts have longer point collars. Although Chad was keen to point out that most of these things can be changed - my mid-rise flat-front trousers would not be a problem, for example. 

This openness and flexibility is key, I think. It’s all very well loving vintage tailoring, but you need to be able to adapt to a modern business customer, to work with their preferences on non-essential things, and to evolve over time. This is where livable style comes from. 

“It’s interesting, you can really see how the customer has evolved in the past 20 years,” says Chad. “People prefer more comfortable clothes, which isn’t a problem, but they also prefer more casual ones, so they want well-cut knitwear and easy trousers alongside the suits and ties.

“Korea is a country that learns quickly - styles have evolved, but so has the craft. The standard of sewing is much better now than it used to be, as are the fabrics.”

I thought the latter point was interesting. It explains a lot about the appeal of Korean bespoke, as is something I’ve observed in the work I’ve seen - yet I don’t think has happened in the same way in similar Asian markets, such as Hong Kong or Singapore. Korea’s growth and luxury-fashion influence, as well as that keenness to learn, seems to have spurred a higher level of tailoring. 

The jackets and coats I saw around the shop backed this up, and influenced my decision to have a double-breasted coat made with Chad. I was after a fairly standard navy DB, but with their style and in a great Fox cloth (CT10). 

Interestingly, Chad used an old-fashioned method of measuring with elastic straps across the chest and waist. I’ve only seen images of this before, but it’s intended to set the position of the chest and waist to measure everything against, as well as to give a visual cue for the balance. 

I’ll review the coat soon. In the meantime, I’m pleased to say that everything I saw at B&Tailor corrected my previous impression and assuaged any concerns. It’s an exciting place for bespoke tailoring to be coming from. 

Bespoke details:

  • Suits start at 4,000,000 KRW (£2360) in Seoul
  • Abroad, prices are set by the partner retailers - in New York (Notice of Appearance), Beijing (Principle M) and Singapore (Last & Lapel). Bespoke suit price in New York is $3800

MTM details:

  • Suits start at 2,800,000 KRW (£1655) in Seoul
  • Abroad, prices are set by the partner retailers, as above.  MTM suit price in New York is $2800


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Lindsay McKee

Another great commission.
Fox CT10 is a beautiful cloth.
It’s great that you managed to visit B & Tailor in Korea and have met the team and commissioned a garment from them.
It must be nearing 60 tailors now, rather than the 55 bespoke tailors you have already had commissions from in the past!!!
Maybe an eventual style breakdown too.
Health to enjoy this coat!


Gangnam style!

Ronnie Pickering

Interesting article. I think what I’d find helpful is a bit of an update of the the big categories of tailoring style – what do you mean when you talk about Neapolitan vs Milan vs English vs American, etc? And what might drive a decision to lean more heavily into one style vs another? I’m sure you’ve done that at some point in the past but the tailoring guide is more focused on individual elements vs the big picture. Given the drift towards a more casual style I think it’d be worth an update/reflection.


Pricing for a bespoke suit seems very reasonable, is all the bespoke work done locally?

Simon Sundin

A very inspiring tailoring company to me, their designs are on point! Hits just the right spot between vintage and modern. I especially like their double breasted that looks very 1930s but still somehow very modern and wearable today. They also really know how to dress a mannequin, the examples in the article and on their instagram looks so good!


“This is wear livable style comes from.”

Small typo above?


That was my first thought as well! Had to re-read a few times to ensure I wasn’t missing something…


Being closer to Milan style-wise, what would you say the differences are between them are both the Milanese Caracenis? Certainly an absolute steal by comparison if they are relatively interchangeable and one wants that look (and can get to Korea….)!


Thank you Simon! The search for a less astronomical Milanese style tailor continues on in that case!

John Lee

I’ve had a few suits made by B&Tailor as well as a double breasted cashmere overcoat about 13 years ago. Back then, they were still a small operation north of the Han river and a suit was relatively affordable (~$1200 for VBC cloth). I was never completely happy with the end products however – the shoulders were always a little off and they couldn’t seem to fix them. I was surprised to see how much they’ve grown, especially since there are better tailors in Seoul. Segi Tailor was my favorite. The shoulders were always perfect, although the price point was higher. If you’re ever back in Seoul, I’d give them a look.

John Lee

Very true. I hope my tone wasn’t too negative. I’m sure there’s a good reason for their recent success.


Hi Simon, are the names and locations for the MTM partners e.g. in NY, Singapore missing?


I’m not sure what to call it, but that sweeping curve that steadily flows through the lapel line, down into the waist and out through the more open skirt is really a beautiful thing. It’s understated but definitely distinctive.


Wonderful read Simon. I think B&Tailor is perhaps the most interesting option given the style/price ratio. I’ve never experienced a better DB 6×1 / 6×2 balance (often one compromises the other). The only concern would be availability for Bespoke/MTM in Europe and the sizing of the RTW (I would need a slightly longer jacket than their standard) but I’m extremely pleased with my two bespoke commissions from 2016, a polo coat and a navy hopsack jacket (both fits me great with just minor alterations done locally. Also glad to hear that your impression of the house has improved and I’m looking forward to the final result.


Beautiful stuff. The roll in the lapels is just right.


Perhaps you misspoke, or a point of clarification: I’m not sure I would call b&tailor’s silhouette Milanese. They’re much softer, with more of a concave lapel, whereas Milanese firms tend to have more belly on their lapels. I think chad park sometimes experiments with other things, but I don’t think I’d characterize their house style as Milanese inspired.
if anything, I see silhouette similarities to Naples, but I think b&tailor would most be appropriately characterized as Korean. In the same way no one would call a Neapolitan jacket English (even though it was inspired by scholte). Perhaps, I can also see a Florentine influence on the lapels as well (their gorge is lower than traditional Neapolitan tailors). But I think, what makes it hard to place b&tailor’s cut is because it’s Korean, as opposed to foreign trained tailors who are bringing back the house cut of a maestro in Naples (e.g. sartoria jun or ciccio).
nonetheless, i think it’s undeniable that b&tailor has modernized their silhouette with the addition of the sons (chad & changjin), and that modernization was influenced by naples and Florence. But, I do think, to another readers question & your answer, if you’re looking for caraceni, you’d be disappointed with b&tailor


Hey Simon,

I think we are talking past each other. IMO, b&tailor has definitely influenced Korean tailoring – Kim min Soo, of Assisi was at b&tailor before starting a year of his own (see Note at end). And it shows, while I’ve seen reports he was trained in Milan, his style is not Milanese – it’s similar to b&tailor – a combination of Florentine, napoletano, & Milanese style.

Regardless, I think the outcome looks nice.


Note on Assisi: I have seen conflicting articles about Assisi, and their training. Let me preface this by saying, it doesn’t matter – their end product and cutting process speaks for itself and is very good. But, both Kim min Soo & dabin, from what I heard, were at b&tailor. Maybe, He did a short (some have said almost nonexistent) stint in Milan. I think someone did a class pattern making at secoli. But imo, it’d be dishonest to call Assisi Milanese (or b&tailor for that matter).