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Question for the male customer (and the tailors)


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#1 Schneidergott

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 03:23 AM

OK, some background information first:

Our MTM lacks a bit of success, so some masterminds decided to redecorate it with a few new features and skip some of the older ones.

Long story short, when we sell trousers we are usually asking the customer how many rear pockets he wants to have.
In about 90% (maybe more) the answer is :"1 pocket on the right side", and also usually with a loop and a button.

Back to the masterminds :Big Grin: :

They have decided to change that set-up to allow a single pocket only when chosen without the loop and button (which used to be in the 0,1% range). Should a customer request such a feature he would have to pick 2 pockets.

Before we get to the question a quick distinction between the ways men and women shop.

We men shop on purpose. Should we need trousers, we look for trousers first, and if we do not find the right stuff in that shop, we just leave. We do not walk into the shoe department in case there might be a bargain, we do not look for anything else but trousers if we need trousers only. :spiteful:
(Which is why we get so bored when you ladies force us to go shopping with you... :He He: )

Because the masterminds made a mistake and the order sheets have been printed we tailors are now forced to tell the customer that he'll always get 2 pockets with a loop and button, along with the argumentation that it provides the "superior" symmetry.

So my question is: Would you gladly accept to get 2 pockets if you need (and therefore want) only 1 pocket?

Edit (since I forgot about the tailor part): Would you tailors gladly force a customer to have 2 pockets if he initially opted for only one (assuming that you forgot to put the one pocket option in your order sheet)?

Even though we pass off our suits as bespoke and you'd find lines like "according to your wishes and ideas", should a customer really do express his wishes and ideas we would have to tell him: "I'm sorry, it's not in the list (which is a very short one, anyway)!

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.


#2 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:12 AM

Seems they keep digging themselves in deeper and deeper with each new "improvement" to try and drum up more business.

I'm of the feeling if the customer wants one pocket with loop they should get one pocket with loop. When you try and "force" something on a customer, the air gets tense immediately, as you are right, we men have a purpose and know what we want. If we want two pockets we will ask for two pockets. I know for myself now that I am taking in small commissions, I will go over the options with the customer and when he chimes in I'll leave it at that. Unless he wants a soft tailored DB coat and then I'll show him the door :spiteful: j/k

I think you have every right to question them on this, hell go over their heads if you have to. This is what happens when designers and or marketers are put in charge of a trade they know nothing about and do not seem to want to learn. I blame Dupont, the sewing machine, designers and marketers for the decline of bespoke tailoring and they should all be hung, drawn and quartered! :diablo:

Edited by J. Maclochlainn, 22 January 2011 - 04:13 AM.

Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#3 jcsprowls

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:41 AM

If you're cutting to order, then make what the customer wants. Otherwise, have stock made up from a cheaper factory and alter the garment to fit.

The problem with this company you work for is that I have yet to hear of anyone who knows how to build a business (and, revenue) model that supports a market strategy.

From an operating perspective, they're making life difficult for the operators. It sounds to me like no one can develop any competence because the rug is constantly pulled out from under them with this rapid change.

Somebody needs to pick a market and stick to it.
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#4 carpu65

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:17 AM

2 pockets with a loop and button..... provides the "superior" symmetry.

So my question is: Would you gladly accept to get 2 pockets if you need (and therefore want) only 1 pocket?



No,never!

#5 Noble Savage

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:20 AM

Here is a philosophical question: why do the two pockets usually have different kinds of closures?

Edited by Noble Savage, 22 January 2011 - 05:21 AM.


#6 Schneidergott

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 06:20 AM

1: They (the company I work for) picked a market/ target group and they are doing great.
2: Same used to be with the MTM, since it was designed around that target group (golden agers, the average customer is 66, or in MTM around 75 years old).
3: For decades the tailors (who also did the sales) were left out when decisions were made regarding cloths and the basic cut of the suits). This was and still is ruled by accountants and marketers.
4: They now try to expand their market share by attracting younger customers. Sadly this will demand an image change, too. For our MTM that means that we are now offering business suits in the range of Super 120's to Super 150's (like all our competitors), rather than a decent collection of cloths more suitable to match the older customers needs.
5: Despite claiming to offer "Maßkleidung" (bespoke), the options have been extremely cut down. For some it does make sense, for others it doesn't.

For decades the mostly sold rear pocket version was the single pocket with a loop and button closure, in some cases they even had a flap (another option that got killed about 6 years ago).

I do understand that because of the decline and lack of profit they have to make cuts in the budgets, but they are doing them in the wrong places.
I'm afraid that in the planning process a few things got lost, and the pocket incident is just the tip of the iceberg. Thing is that most of the people involved have the "I'm infallible" attitude, so admitting a mistake and reversing it is a hard step to take.

Here is a philosophical question: why do the two pockets usually have different kinds of closures?


Well, in real bespoke the choice of closure is no big deal, unless you want the pocket or the flap with a special shape. In MTM you usually only have a few options, depending on what the maker/ factory has in it's program and what version is sold most.

To avoid misunderstandings: It makes sense that you either have one or two pockets, but forcing a customer to order two because he otherwise won't get a button to close them is plain silly.

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.


#7 Sator

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:42 AM

The other thing is that you really have to market yourself as a luxury goods producer, like a Rolex watch. The Chinese could easily make something like a Rolex but they would only be able to sell it at a fraction of the price, just because it is Chinese. The end result is that it isn't as profitable to make this sort of thing in China, so instead they concentrate on something more readily produced in larger quantities.

Likewise, if you make a cheaper, lower end product in Germany, you are just committing suicide by going into in competition with the Chinese. You are better off making a bespoke garment (and offer a MTO garment for those who can't afford it) that is marketed as Deutsche Wertartbeit aimed at the top end of the market, and then charging Mercedes/BMW/A. Länge & Söhne type of prices.

I've seen this mistake made once too often.

#8 JMB

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:57 AM

Plain silly to me are back pockets altogether. If two onseam pockets aren't sufficient for your needs, take a tip from Oxxford Clothes which champions the idea of a spacious pocket hidden behind the waistband of the trousers. It's big enough to conceal a passport or a gang of credit cards. No need to fear theft from pickpockets, and no unsightly bulges on your backside. Trousers with smooth backs are more aesthetically pleasing than their pocketed counterparts.

JMB

#9 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 08:11 AM

I'm with JMB on this as well. I personally do not carry a wallet, at best a money clip so I would have no use for a back pocket other than to collect lint. Is this an option with the company SG?
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#10 greger

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:21 PM

Schneidergott, you need to start advertising your work so customers come to you, so you can get out from underneath that lousy company.

#11 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:30 PM

+1 He's got talent! His flowery toiles are better than a lot of tailor's completed garments.
  • Hedges likes this
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#12 Noble Savage

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:39 PM

Plain silly to me are back pockets altogether. If two onseam pockets aren't sufficient for your needs, take a tip from Oxxford Clothes which champions the idea of a spacious pocket hidden behind the waistband of the trousers. It's big enough to conceal a passport or a gang of credit cards. No need to fear theft from pickpockets, and no unsightly bulges on your backside. Trousers with smooth backs are more aesthetically pleasing than their pocketed counterparts.

JMB


Spot on. Back pockets are indeed frivolous.

#13 amateursarto

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 01:19 PM

i never like it when a company takes the "you'll get nothing and you'll like it" philosophy and tries to force it on the consumer. So, I'd have to say a resounding, "NO!"
AMATEURSARTO

#14 Schneidergott

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:29 PM

I'm with JMB on this as well. I personally do not carry a wallet, at best a money clip so I would have no use for a back pocket other than to collect lint. Is this an option with the company SG?



Yes, having no pockets is an option, but most German men carry their wallets in their rear pant pockets, despite the disgust of their wives regarding that habit.

Our suits are not produced in Germany but in a place close to the home country of ZokiTzar. Our partner is a German company, but that is all.

When I first heard about a "re-launch" of our MTM I still had hopes for the better, including a younger and fresher basic pattern/ style.
Instead we keep the same old boring, boxy cut we had for at least 20 to 30 years and which makes it hard to satisfy the needs and wishes of a much younger clientèle (which is what they want to attract).

How do you attract younger customers if you offer something that looks like this:

Posted Image

(Note the name of that particular model)

When you see something like this in fashion magazines?

Posted Image

For the tailors some technical details: I measured the basic size 50 (100cm chest) pattern I possess and compared it to the size 50 RTW trial coats we are using now. The back depth of the RTW coat is about 5 to 6cm deeper than in the RS pattern, which is already known for being a little deep.

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.


#15 Jake K

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:36 PM

So my question is: Would you gladly accept to get 2 pockets if you need (and therefore want) only 1 pocket?

Edit (since I forgot about the tailor part): Would you tailors gladly force a customer to have 2 pockets if he initially opted for only one (assuming that you forgot to put the one pocket option in your order sheet)?

Even though we pass off our suits as bespoke and you'd find lines like "according to your wishes and ideas", should a customer really do express his wishes and ideas we would have to tell him: "I'm sorry, it's not in the list (which is a very short one, anyway)!


I always ask how many back pockets the customer would like, and I then tell them the left back pocket typically has a loop and button, is this what they would like?

Most customers, more than 90%, end up getting the default, 2 pocket, button-through left on their trousers.

The ones who want their back pockets another way typically REALLY want it that way, but since it's a small minority, you may be able to get away with it. Since men don't see the back of their trousers while wearing them, and our butts are not usually subject to intense scrutiny, it's not on most men's radar, I've found.

As to what the handling of this says about the management of your shop, well, that's a separate issue.

Edited by Jake K, 22 January 2011 - 04:37 PM.

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#16 Jake K

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:45 PM

One other thing regarding trouser pockets. There are two common reasons a customer usually requests unusual pocket treatment: large hands, or the desire to make "Hollywood" styled trousers. Customers usually tell you about these issues unbidden and early on, sometimes breathlessly, so it does not typically get lost in the garment option selection process.

Making sure production sees and follows the note during cutting and construction is your happy fun time.

Edited by Jake K, 22 January 2011 - 04:52 PM.

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http://jacobkozinn.com

#17 jukes

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:49 PM

Re brand the trousers as the "Golf range" and they will fly out the door, us golfers like our back pockets.Posted Image

#18 Schneidergott

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 07:41 PM

Making sure production sees and follows the note during cutting and construction is your happy fun time.


I know that feeling. :Big Grin:

I can happily live without the pockets that don't have any closure at all. As soon as you put more than a handkerchief in them they will gape.
So I would have understood deleting them from the order sheet.
It just doesn't make sense to take away the most popular option (single pocket with button and loop closure) and replace it with the two pocket option only.
The pockets all have a standard size (around 14cm, give or take a few millimetres) and depth and I do think that making only 1 pocket could be easily integrated into the production process. It's just skipping one step in the making of the left rear trouser. No big deal (and has been done for about 20 to 30 years)

It's not that our partner is unable or unwilling to make only 1 pocket, it's the folks in our company that refuse to alter it back to the former status.

I should also note that most of those folks hardly ever had any direct customer contact, so they do not know about the difficulties one is facing during sales talk.
There is much more involved than just going through the options.

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

http://www.dressedwell.net/ It's snarky, but fun.





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