After my go-to tailor stopped tailoring altogether to become a tattoo artist, I was on the look out for a new tailor. After being recommended by a friend and looking at their portfolio on Instagram (@aetailors), I reached out to Adit of A&E Tailors and commissioned a blazer. Here’s my review of my commission.
I. The Service
Adit started A&E Tailors in 2016 and as of the date of writing has no physical store, although he plans on opening one this year. Thus, for the time being Adit is a traveling tailor. While still very new in the tailoring scene, he has shown great potential as you will see in this article.
A&E Tailors's service can be categorised as semi-bespoke; each customer gets a pattern that is drawn from scratch and basted fittings before receiving the finished garment. Adit does not claim to be fully bespoke as there is still some machine work that goes into his suits.
Having said this, there is still a lot of hand work. For instance the sleeves are set by hand, the jacket canvas is hand canvassed, the decorative pick stitching is stitched by hand and part of the lining is also attached by hand.
Adit's position on the definition of his service shows his knowledge of the industry, honesty and modesty (some tailors would claim to be or be mistakenly categorised as fully bespoke without offering basted fittings, for instance).
A&E Tailors' house style leans more towards softer Italian tailoring. Having spent a year in England, he is also a fan of British tailoring, in particular Anderson & Sheppard's style, which shows his preference towards more softer tailoring compared to traditional British tailoring, which is more structured.
But he is open to any style and you can direct him to whichever direction you wish. If you are unsure, you can leave it to his judgment and he will most likely go with something safe. If you look at his Instagram, you will not see Adit go to extremes (either too sharp or too relaxed).
A&E Tailors's services are divided into two price brackets. The first is "the Notch." For Rp.5,250,000 (around USD370) you get a 100% wool half-canvassed suit with one to two fittings and a lead time of four to six weeks. The second is "the Peak", which starts at Rp.7,000,000 (around USD500). For this price, you get a half-canvassed suit with higher quality fabrics (including Holland & Sherry, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Huddersfield Fine Worsteds, Dugdale Bros, Harrisons) with three to four fittings and a lead time of six to eight weeks. He can also make fully canvassed suits with an additional charge of Rp.2,000,000 (around USD140). And if you bring your own fabrics, the tailoring fee is Rp.3,500,000 (around USD250).
I should note that in my case I paid Rp.4,500,000 (around USD320) for the blazer (without trousers). The fabric I picked was a wool hopsack by Vitale Barberis Canonico of Italy. This price, if I remember correctly, was a bit cheaper than usual for this fabric as the fabric I picked was the very last length and there was too little left such that I had to sacrifice some details I wanted (more on this below).
From the numerous fittings sessions, I have to commend Adit for his attention to detail and frankness. He will actively point out and fix certain details that a layperson would not be able to see. This is very comforting especially if you have never commissioned a suit before and do not know what to look for during the fitting sessions. As will be further discussed below, Adit will also actively offer to do any corrections in case of any issues.
II. The Garment
I elected to have my blazer done in a double breasted style to give it a smarter touch and to differentiate it from regular navy blazers, which usually come in a single breasted style. I went for a classic 6x2 configuration. I generally think that it’s a more timeless look than the 6x1 configuration, which carries some 80s vibes. The texture of the hopsack adds a nice visual interest to the fabric and, along with the brass buttons, helps the blazer not be mistaken for an orphaned suit jacket.
In principle, the blazer turned out great. It fits really well. One of the main issues I usually have with off-the-rack jackets is that fabric would bunch on my back because of my square and straight shoulders. Adit made sure that the back was clean. In the picture below you can also see how Adit adds a little bit of drape underneath the armpit for better arm movement.
The lapel I went with is rather wide and helps accentuate my chest. The gorge isn't too high and the lapel ends up kind of straight on the chest. The belly of the lapel (i.e., the curve from the buttoning point to the tip) is quite flat. I requested pick stitching along the lapel and breast pocket and a curved breast pocket (a barchetta). Overall the lapel turned out very well.
The shoulder is slightly structured and has a bit of a roll at the end. Adit can also make more relaxed shoulders, but I think the structured shoulders go well with the overall formality of the blazer.
The armhole is somewhat high, which allows more arm movement without affecting the drape of the torso. Ready-to-wear jackets tend to have lower armholes to accommodate more people, but they allow limited movement as any slight arm movements will pull the torso (imagine having your elbow sown to your torso).
Another small detail I asked was to have working kissing cuff buttons. While it serves no function and is not too uncommon now even in ready-to-wear, it's still a nice detail to have. The button holes are machine stitched, however.
As mentioned above, the fabric I picked was the last length and wasn't long enough to accommodate some details I initially wanted. First, I had to settle with a ventless jacket (I initially wanted a double vent). Second, I had to settle with jetted pockets (I initially wanted flapped pockets with a flapped ticket pocket). Third, this seems even more minor, my blazer ultimately did not come with Vitale Barberis Canonico's woven label. These issues are minor when considered as a whole as structurally and in principle the blazer fits well.
One issue that was not too minor was that for some reason during the third fitting, a gap formed behind the buttoning point. This was curious because the gap was not there during the prior fittings. (Refer to the second picture above and pay attention around the buttoning point)
To Adit's credit, he did offer to have it fixed, but I had to decline for the moment as I was moving abroad and there wasn't enough time left. In the end, I had a local tailor move he buttons a bit, which tremendously helped in reducing the gap, though you can still see it in the final garment. Adit said that I can have it fixed with him when I'm back in Jakarta. So had I not been moving, Adit would have already fixed it by now.
In closing, I have to say that I am very satisfied with Adit's service. So satisfied in fact that I already bought several fabrics here in the UK to give to Adit for future commissions. Thus, I can say that I fully recommend A&E Tailors, whether for your first or seventh suit.
Best way to contact A&E Tailors:
In the pictures I'm wearing:
Jacket: A&E Tailors
Trousers: Nidia Tailors
Shirt: Nidia Tailors
Tie: The Tie Rack
Pocket square: Simonnot Godard
Shoes: Adam by George Cleverley
Watch: Polerouter by Universal Genève
Frames: Lemtosh by Moscot
Written by: Nikki Krisadtyo