To give you an idea of costs, Exclusive Tailor has indicated the following starting prices:
Suit: $200 – $400
Blazer: $150 – $350
Trousers: $80 – $150
Waistcoat: $100 – $150
Shirt: $80 – $100
The above prices are an indication and may change depending on the fabrics that you choose. All garments in this price range are lined and include a minimum of two fittings.
Similarly, a bespoke suit in this price range features a horsehair half-canvas construction, which is Exclusive Tailor’s standard. If you wish for a full canvas suit, it may cost roughly twice as much and require extra time given the significant amount of additional labour required.
In 1988, Johnny founded Exclusive Tailor with just a small rental space. At the time, Phuket still wasn’t fully developed and he was just the 6th tailor shop in the region. Over thirty years later, there are now more than 600 tailors in the area!
Johnny grew up learning the craft from his parents and their passion quickly became his, too. He decided to specifically branch out into tailoring and undertook a management course in order to launch his business.
Johnny’s wife, Nitu, joined the business in 1994 and oversees the sales department. There’s a strong chance that it’ll be Nitu who greets you when you arrive at the shop as she takes care of clients while managing the salespersons.
Meanwhile, Johnny focuses on managing the store and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. As his business has grown, he has entrusted the measuring and craftmanship to a team of experienced and professional tailors.
You may have noticed that Exclusive Tailor no longer runs from a cramped rental space! Indeed, his work was quickly recognised by hotel managers who started to recommend him to their clients.
As this support resulted in a growing European clientele, Exclusive Tailor started being noticed by prominent travel agencies and eventually Trip Advisor, too. Nevertheless, Johnny believes that word of mouth has been by far the most valuable and rewarding publicity.
Exclusive Tailor Trunk Shows
For the last twenty years or so, Johnny has regularly travelled to Europe and Australia for trunk shows. With the end of the Covid-19 pandemic in sight, he will not only be resuming his travels but he will also be visiting the USA.
Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to go to Thailand in order to enjoy the luxury of his suits. Head to Exclusive Tailor’s website to see the latest updates of his upcoming travels.
Custom Suit Review From Exclusive Tailor
In 2017, Bespoke Unit had the opportunity to try Exclusive Tailor’s service and garments during a visit to Patong. What follows is a detailed review of our experience, which resulted in Exclusive Tailor earning the first place in our guide to the best custom suits in Phuket.
Day 1: Fabric Selection & Measurements
Located just off the famed Bangla Road, Exclusive Tailor will not be far for anyone staying in Patong Beach as the main downtown area of Patong is quite small. The shop is located in the heart of it all, but on a side street so it’s not overwhelmingly busy.
Although the storefront has had a slight cosmetic facelift since our visit, it was still impressive and modern then. Today, its facade is lively yet elegant with colourful details without bordering on ostentatious.
Meanwhile, the interior is clean and stylishly decorated. Thanks to its spacious arrangement, you can happily browse and explore its rich variety of fabrics with multiple surfaces to closely compare them.
We had the pleasure of meeting Johnny during our first visit and have since stayed in contact with him. He’s a generous and characteristic man with both a keen eye for detail and in-depth knowledge of his trade.
Initial Suit Measurements
It goes without saying that you need to be measured whenever you buy a custom garment. Even if you’ve measured yourself or by another tailor, every artisan has their own process so it usually needs to be done again.
Measuring took no more than 10 minutes in total and the tailor took great care that we felt comfortable during the process. Afterwards, we proceeded to design the suit with the tailor’s help who offered his suggestions and feedback along the way.
Fabric Selection & Suit Design
As with any custom garment, it’s a good practice to think ahead in order to have an idea of what you want before going to the shop. Nevertheless, if you’re still uncertain, Johnny, Nitu, and their staff will be happy to provide you with ideas and inspiration.
Similarly, try to stick to your plan but don’t be so rigid that you won’t consider new ideas. For instance, you might discover new customisation options that you hadn’t expected or anticipated.
As you can see from the photos above, there is a bewildering range of fabrics that you can choose, which doesn’t even include the custom options!
Fortunately, Trevor was quite sensible and knew that he needed a navy suit so he stuck to his plan. As a result, the process was quite smooth and didn’t take long, but he still sought something that had a unique touch.
There, with a little guidance, he opted for a colourful floral lining given that it was a concealed detail to accompany his blue herringbone wool suit. This choice of lining was a great way to be expressive even when in a conservative setting.
If you’re not overly comfortable with expressing yourself, opting for wilder linings are a reassuring gateway towards trying more eccentric designs, colours, and fabrics in the future.
Don’t be too shy or embarrassed to ask for advice if you’re uncertain about what to get. Nitu and Johnny’s staff are very knowledgeable and won’t steer you in the wrong direction.
When in doubt, though, we suggest that your stick to more classic options rather than anything too fancy, especially if it’s one of your first suits.
Day 2: First Fitting
Incredibly, the first fitting took place just the following day. Indeed, bespoke suits clients in the UK or USA may usually wait several weeks. However, Exclusive Tailor is mindful that its clients are often visiting on vacation so their stays are very short.
Consequently, everything is done quickly without sacrificing the quality of the craftsmanship. After all, this is the rhythm that they have chosen to work at.
However, bear in mind that if you choose something that’s complex to make such as a suit with a full canvas construction, it may take longer. In our case, we opted for the standard horsehair half-canvas, which is more affordable since it’s quicker but still offers great quality.
Since Exclusive Tailor’s artisans are very skilled, the jacket fit relatively well on the first try. A few minor tweaks were required on the jacket, but these would be corrected the following day.
Day 3: Second Fitting
The second fitting checked the corrections that had been made the previous day but also evaluated the new components that had been made.
In this case, we had opted for functional cuffs or “surgeon’s cuffs” since the buttons were original for doctors to roll up their sleeves. These were checked for their quality and how well they fitted around the wrists and forearms.
As can be seen in the photos above, the second fitting was excellent and complemented Trevor’s sleek silhouette. Since he has a large drop between his chest and waist sizes, it’s quite challenging for a tailor, especially in such a short period of time.
Similarly, he has a somewhat larger seat (read end), which makes it even more difficult. Of course, everybody has physical imperfections and it’s the tailor’s job to work with them to emphasise their qualities.
The final result is a testament to their workmanship given that they were able to highlight his muscular physique without highlighting anything he didn’t want showing.
Day 4: Final Fitting & Collecting Suit
Once the suit was completed finished, we were invited for a final fitting to check that nothing was amiss. If you have to leave Thailand before it’s available, bear in mind that Exclusive Tailor can send you the finished garment.
However, if it’s your first suit, we recommend that you attend one last fitting. Not only will it ensure that it’s perfect but the tailors will register your final measurements and any remarks on a master template.
As a result, you’ll be able to order more suits in the future without any fittings. In short, you’ll be a permanent member on their client list and can buy suits from them by telephone or email.
Not all tailors will offer a final fitting and when they do, it’s usually a sign that they’re both confident in their work and want to make absolutely sure the client is happy with the result.
Overall Thoughts Of Exclusive Tailor
While Exclusive Tailor might be a little pricier than some lesser-known artisans in the area, the small additional investment is worth every penny. The quality of the service and the garments were unbeatable and we were delighted with the results.
After all, it’s the fit that’s most important and Exclusive Tailor mastered it perfectly while also providing excellent quality craftsmanship. The overall process took just under 5 days in total, which is perfect for short week-long holidays.
Meanwhile, the fabrics offered were carefully curated and of great quality. The cheaper fabrics included in the starting price are perfect but there are also more premium choices if you’re willing to stretch your budget.
As for Johnny, Nitu, and their staff, they were all friendly, helpful and always sought to go that extra mile.
Therefore, if you’re happy to pay a little more than some other tailors, you’ll find that Exclusive Tailor will easily exceed all expectations. Nevertheless, bear in mind that while they’re pricier than some of their peers, their garments will still be cheaper than a department store off-the-rack suit!
"Impeccable quality and service that is reminiscent of tailors in both New York and Savile Row!"
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★
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Paul Anthony is the founder and creative director at Bespoke Unit. He has had a life long affair with design, watches, fragrance and clothing. Originally from England, he now lives in the USA splitting time between NYC & Philly. Favoring "British Style", but has an overall eclectic taste.