After our go-to tailor stopped tailoring altogether to become a tattoo artist, Nikki and I were on the lookout for new tailoring houses. One of the tailoring houses I reached out to was Brillington & Brothers. Here’s my review of the linen jacket I commissioned.
I. The Brand
Brillington & Brothers started their business in 2010. Until the time of writing, their physical store is located at United Province, a co-op space, together with Archie, a modern classic menswear store, located at Jl. Gunawarman No. 30, South Jakarta 12110, Indonesia.
With almost 10 years in the business, Brillington could still be considered as a relatively young business. But they have certainly built a stellar reputation in the Indonesian tailoring community – such that they were even recognized and covered by a leading sartorial blog, Parisian Gentleman. (check out their article at parisiangentleman.co.uk/2019/02/01/how-to-find-decent-and-affordable-tailoring-in-south-east-asia).
Brillington is fronted by Ronald and his wife, Audrey. Until my jacket was finished, Brillington had two additional supporting staff, Budi and Andrina. Communications and fittings were mostly done with Budi – although, Ronald would occasionally attend and provide his recommendations. We can perhaps discuss and focus more on the brand itself in a separate article.
II. The Service
Brillington's service can be categorized as semi-bespoke; each customer gets a pattern drawn from scratch and basted fittings before receiving the finished garment. Brillington does not claim to be fully bespoke as there is still some machine work that goes into the suits. That said, there is still a lot of handwork that goes into the garment. In fact, all finishing is done by hand while only the main seams are machine-stitched.
For the default construction of the suit, Brillington uses the term “fused-canvassed technic” to describe their half-canvassed construction, whereby the lapel is fused while the chest area is canvassed (to give more body and shape to the front area of the suit). Brillington could construct a full-canvassed suit with a Rp. 3,000,000 (around USD 210) upcharge. Whichever construction you opt for, Brillington could still achieve a very nice lapel roll – which is a hallmark of a well-constructed suit.
I was particularly interested in Brillington because of their Florentine inspired house style. Brillington is probably the only Indonesian tailoring house that offers this very distinctive and easily recognizable house style, as far as I am aware.
The house style offers a very unique lapel cut with slightly lower gorge in three-roll-two configuration (with hard-three configuration option) and no front darts. The absence of front darts may give off a fuller and wider silhouette, which may not be very flattering to most people. But in turn you get a jacket which you could still wear even if you gain extra 5-10 kgs! No front darts is of course optional. You could always opt for a slimmer silhouette with front darts.
Shoulders are either unpadded or softly-padded. Brillington also offers a variety of shoulder styles from natural shoulders, con rollino to the infamous Neapolitan shirt shoulder (spalla camicia).
In terms of pricing, there is no doubt that you could categorize Brillington in the premium range – at least for the market in Indonesia. Starting price for a suit with fabric inclusive is at Rp. 9,500,000 (around USD 660). Tailoring fee for a single-breasted suit starts from Rp. 5,500,000 (around USD 380) if you bring your own fabric. For full pricing details (at the time of writing) you can check this link:
In my case I paid around Rp. 4,800,000 (around USD 350) for the jacket (without trousers) as I brought my own fabric. The fabric I picked was a Chinese cream linen I bought from Alta Moda (a fabric shop at Pacific Place Jakarta) at around Rp. 150,000 (around USD 10) per meter.
As a caveat, this linen jacket was supposed to be my trial suit with Brillington before I was going to commission a similar colored suit for my wedding. The idea was for Brillington and I to work on a base pattern and cut so we could use these to refine the design of my wedding suit.
I must commend Ronald and Budi (who were mostly in charge of my fittings) for their attention to details and frankness. They will actively point out and fix certain details that a layperson would not be able to see. A ‘bespoke’ level attention of detail was particularly given to my sloppier right shoulders. They were happy to alter the pattern slightly to accommodate uneven shoulders such as mine.
III. The Garment
I elected to have my jacket done in their house style with a three-roll-two configuration, notch lapels, double vents spalla camicia, and patch pockets. The patch pockets are curved upward towards the sides, which makes them look sharper.
The texture of the linen further adds the casual look I was going for with this jacket. Linen is without a doubt an acquired taste as most people would not appreciate wrinkled suits. I personally love it, as it gives the suit more personality and character.
I chose linen as I was opting for a more casual jacket that I could wear outdoors. For the color, I wanted to see whether light colors such as cream would work on my skin tone. Given the light color, I find that it's really nice to contrast the jacket with darker trousers, like grey or even denim. I also find that it suits pale blue or striped shirts better than white shirts.
In principle, the jacket turned out great. It fits really well. Armholes were smaller and a little bit of drape was incorporated into the chest for better arm movement.
I also really appreciate Brillington’s knowledge and refined understanding on proportions. We had long discussions during fittings to decide the second button placement. For a shorter guy with extra belly fat as myself, I would usually opt for a very low buttoning stance to achieve a more pronounced ‘V’ shape to hide my belly. Ronald and Budi were happy to oblige but in turn suggested we add more length to the torso so that the proportions were not off.
Their knowledge on proportions is also incorporated to the lapel work, which I think is terrific. I like wide lapels and I cannot lie. If not cut with the right curvature (aka belly) and angle, wide lapels could be off-putting. But I think they were able to achieve just the right amount of width, length and angle. I requested pick stitching along the lapel and a curved breast pocket (a barchetta). The lapel work is probably my favorite part of the suit.
In closing, I have to say that I am very satisfied with Brillington’s services. I always enjoyed the fitting sessions where a relationship was built around consultations, sartorial talks and laughter. Ronald and Budi were very attentive on my requests and needs. But at the same time, they would always provide very helpful recommendations and advice to make sure we worked on something that balances style, aesthetics, comfort and practicality.
I do not have any specific criticisms for Brillington. If you are in the Indonesian market, I understand that their pricing and timing to complete the suit (up to 10 weeks) may be off-putting. As a result, their customers may be niche and segmented. Brillington also actively advocate their sense of style and aesthetics. You may recall that in this blog we put them into “the Sartorial Tailor” category (go check out the article if you have not already: www.patinalog.com/home/how-many-tailors-does-one-need). So they may not be happy if you were to commission a slim and short suit with skinny lapel and trousers. Unless you really know what you are going and paying for, I could understand why some people may have totally different experience as mine.
Best way to contact Brillington:
Phone/WhatsApp: Mrs. Audrey Jessica +62 857 7800 7749
Written by: Jeremiah Purba