updated 24 Dec 2010, 03:41
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Thu, Sep 16, 2010
China Daily
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Tailor tackles sloppy dressers
by Alexandra Leyton Espinoza

Successful men need to look the part and it is hard to beat the impression that a well-tailored suit makes. They are an essential item for the well-dressed man.

However, the fast-growing population of office-suit-wearers is reducing the impact such attire once had and dressing to impress is becoming more of a challenge.

Fashion-conscious executives are now asking, just how do you stand out in a sea of off-the-peg suits?

Enter Markus Boer from the Netherlands.

Boer arrived in Beijing two years ago to work for a study program. He quickly fell in love and since he had previously been employed at a high-end tailors in his home country, Boer decided to set up his own luxury brand, MB-ID.

"I tailored my first suit when I was 19 years old," he said. "I have always been passionate about tailoring and, when I saw Beijingers dressed in non-tailored suits, I wanted to help."

Boer, who makes all the clothes he wears, right down to his socks, said there are two kinds of tailored-suit customers in Beijing - the first shops for high-end quality suits and is influenced by brand names, while the second opts for a tailor who can make a suit in a day.

"I am not saying that a brand-name suit isn't good, but if you buy a suit off the peg, no matter the quality, you often miss out on that tailored look," he said. "Just because a suit looks good on a model doesn't mean it will look good on you."

Boer estimates there are 1,000 tailors in Beijing but says many so-called "tailored suits" are actually mass-produced and altered a little for the customer - something that is known as "semi-bespoke".

"I think it's important to create a close relationship between client and tailor," he said.

Boer said that he wants to make the whole bespoke process fun for his customers and has introduced such things as an inspection of their wardrobes to check out what they already wear.

"We go through fabrics, styles and how often they plan to wear the suit and I ask questions like 'will it be for daily use or for special occasions?'" Boer said.

With a thriving middle class, money, for most, is not a major issue.

Boer's suits start from 3,500 yuan (S$695). The least expensive are made of fabric - often wool or cashmere - that originates in China but more expensive ones are made of materials imported from Italy or the UK.

"Beijing men are not as fashion-conscious as those from other places, they actually prefer simplicity," he said.

It takes Boer between seven and 10 days to make a suit. He says anyone who says they can make a suit faster than that will not be able to do a good job.

With a portfolio of work that includes tailoring clothing for bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as automobile exhibitions, Boer firmly believes that many Beijingers are underdressed.

"I don't like it when executives wear jeans to work. I think they should dress for success and I am here to help with that. The younger generation want new styles and are influenced by the latest fashion from Europe. It is very interesting to compare them with older executives."

To get an impression of Boer's suits, head down to QiQi Fashion Shop in Sanlitun to see examples of his formal menswear and shoes.

Alternatively, check out for more information and contact details.


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