This post no longer reflects my current opinion of Rico Ignacio. My thoughts on third world bespoke tailoring are outlined here.

In the dark, dimly lit corridors of the Kamuning Public Market is the shop of tailor & master cutter Rico Ignacio. He is known to be the tailor of powerful businessmen, high-ranking politicians & popular celebrities and proof of this are the photos tacked on the walls of his humble shop. I visited him one Saturday afternoon to have a suit made for a wedding I’m to attend in about three weeks. His suits are made from scratch and his reputation for making great, relatively inexpensive suits has led me to him.

Prior to this I have already listed down what I wanted my suit to be. It will be a two-button, single-breasted, navy blue suit with two vents and peak lapels. I wanted the suit jacket to have peak lapels for a touch of flair. Peak lapels would also improve my form by bringing attention to my broad shoulders thereby giving me a slimmer looking mid section. The suit jacket will have a breast pocket on the right side of the chest and two pockets with flaps on the hips. It will have a functional boutonnière where I should be able to place a flower. The sleeves will have four cuff buttons. I made sure to tell the tailor that I want the suit jacket to be snug and have high arm holes. The trousers would also be sporting a slim fit and sit on my natural waist instead of on my hips. The waistband will be stiff to provide good waist control. The pockets are all slit pockets with no buttons on the rear pockets. They would not have any cuffs and should only slightly cover my shoes. 

Before buying the fabric, I would need to be measured. He measures everything from the chest to the sleeves, the waist and legs.

Taking chest measurements

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Taking sleeve measurements

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Discussing the finer details of my suit

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 After my measurements are taken, he tells me that I would need to buy 3 and ¾ yards of fabric.

My order along with my very handy guide

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I walked out of his shop and started to look for fabric in the many shops in the Kamuning Public Market. I’ve been here quite a few times looking for shirt fabrics but this time I’m looking for a light weight, navy blue wool blend fabric.

Checking out the selection of fabrics in one of the shops

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 It’s tricky to buy fabric as the shops don’t have a standardized price for their wares. A fabric that sells for PHP 1,300 (USD ~30) a yard in one shop is sold for PHP 900 (USD ~20) in another shop. Many of the shops sell exactly the same selection of fabrics so it’s important to look everywhere to get the best deal.

I bought my fabric at Billy’s Textiles

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 I visit all the shops and finally settled on a smooth navy blue wool blend fabric which had a very slight sheen to it. I paid PHP 3,375 (USD ~76) for 3 and ¾ yards of fabric and headed back to my tailor.

Finally chose a fabric

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Showing the fabric

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I show Rico Ignacio the fabric I purchased and he compliments me on my choice which, admittedly, made me feel really good. Before I left I scheduled the two fitting dates when I will be back to make sure the suit is exactly the way I want it. My first fitting is next week and I’m excited to try the unfinished product for the first time.

Second in this series: Commissioning a Suit – Fit and Details

The Kamuning Public Market is located along L. Sianghio St. in Quezon City.