Sartorial Meets in Malaysia

Juggling between work and trying to even come up with an entry out of the blues is a hectic task. But this time around, there has been a fair bit going on. There was this really cool BDRMMY2014 competition where you get acknowledged for dressing up well in Malaysia. 

The thing that I really enjoy about “meets” like this is that most of us do not share the same taste in clothing, but all of us generally share one passion in common, which is dressing up well. It was definitely a good experience and the fact that there are actually many men in Malaysia who share the same passion as I do,  I think that is great !


This was round 1 if I recalled correctly. The gun club jacket has always been my favourite jacket of all time. This is simply due to the fact that it so robust, yet extremely soft. Somehow there is this imaginary spring around the jacket. This guy just doesn’t crease.

Then of course there’s the staple Navy suit. This is actually my first ever suit that I commissioned with Ah Loke a few years back. It still wears fantastic, given the fact that it was my first, I could excuse the slightly narrow shoulder sleeves etc. I paired this up with a nice purple label grey knit tie, grey adelaides from Carmina and for nice subtle finish, a kimono pocket square from Vanda. All thanks to the cloth baron’s wardrobe.


I managed to pull some pictures from the finale night (credits to those who own them) as well ! The venue was Capricorn Jalan Kia Peng, and somehow i feel that this place is just cursed. There are at least 3-4 clubs over these couple of years, and I really hope Capricorn is the one that stays. 

10360960_10152572804174405_7142139437473564651_n 10410653_10152963885812975_1690572018228403095_n

So the #BDRMMY2014 story aside. I started to rock up my fresco jacket again. I found out that there is actually quite a collar gap on the jacket, but given its still fabric, which is another great travel sports coat. Goes well with practically anything but I like something bright, so a Navy-Blue-ish pants would be the color of choice. Shirt was an Off the rack via Uniqlo but pants was a Holland&Sherry bespoked by AL. Cant recall where I actually sourced that pocket square but it should come from Vanda. Tie was from Vanda as well, unlined in a fine shade of plum with polka dots.


I never actually thought that a safari jacket is actually also called a SHACKET ! Well naturally it should be since it does look a little bit like a shirt. I sourced this fellow out at Uniqlo during a sale, and got it for a steal ! Even the shirt was a line from Uniqlo. The pants on the other hand was a H.Lesser linen in brown + subtle stripes. No pocket square needed for something like this IMO.


Have you heard of Enzo Bonafe? I have not clearly. But here’s his site .Nabil, the cloth baron is getting married and he had a few pair of shoes that he’d like me to shine, and of course I obliged. How could I say not to a good friend. I love the color of the shoe, the leather is nice and soft and pretty solid for an Italian pair of shoe. Here’s a picture of the shoe, shined and good to be worn by the cloth baron.


The other one is actually a pair of damn sleek looking wholecuts from Carmina. Probably one of the few black dress shoes that I would purchase. 


I’m also starting to look into “sneakers” and rubber soled boots. Alden is definitely one of them but streetwear wise, I am definitely still a novice. Where do I even start….?

Growing the retail business

I have very minimal knowledge on retail business. I see online stores creeping up at an extremely high rate. Most of them sell either clothing source from China or Thailand or even Korea. So this got me thinking for a sec. This post was just merely a short note that id like to make after a conversation with a mid 30s chap who feels that the online business/tailors esepcially is slowly burying the local tailors in KL.
Dressing your best most definitely comes with a price. And today, online retail business is the way to go. Online stores like The Armory and Kent Wang, or even Sam Hober have been in the industry for years. I would like to think that Edwards of Manchester and other similar shoestores have been in the e commerce industry long enough.
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Some prefer blog shops.
Here’s the question. Are blog shops quality come even closer to these online retailers. No. Clothing has to be affordable yet at very minimal expense of losing quality. It is still very possible if you are able to effortlessly pair things up together, a RM50 tie would look like it costed you RM500 and the RM2000 jacket that is ill-fitting would look like you thrifted it off the salvation army joint.
If you really want to thrift…
The other question is, are most of us willing to spend RM700 and above for a pair of shoes and RM2000 for a jacket, or are we just thrifters seeking for the best deal? This is where used/preloved forums like Styleforum ace big time.
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I recently came across a couple of sites offering reasonable bespoke clothing from Thailand but I dare not vouch for it’s reputation or it’s final product quality. I enjoy the B&M retail atmosphere, even tailoring. There has to be that human touch and chemistry with you bespoke tailor. Tailors are like artists, they need to touch and feel you , talk to you, to know you want and need.
I strongly feel the need to preserve good tailors.
A tailored shirt on baseline cost RM260 onwards. Do note that the fabric will be in house but you do have a choice to bring your own cloth for CMT instead. Price would start from RM150 for labor. It is a known fact that the markup comes heavily from the fabric itself hence why tailors often push for their in house fabric.
A good fit is always..good !
Yes, we should support these tailors by using their in house fabric, but there is no reason to opt for CMT because choices can get quite limited sometimes.
Grow your business like this man.
I commissioned a pants a while back with this local tailor called Jeremy Tok. Jeremy does not have a store but he moves from point a – b meeting clients at hotels and getting measurements, doing fittings and consultation at ad hoc locations. Smart but notice that his pants maker and shirt makers are still the traditional ones who are stationed at an undisclosed location.
I would love to meet local shoe makers who are willing to go down the similar route as Jeremy Tok, and I am a firm believer of growing a business but technology sometimes eliminates the human touch hence affecting the final result in bespoke clothing.
I still insist that all B&M retailers should create an online presence. That is a must.

More footwear.

There is always this very strange behavior of men and footwear. Those who invest at least 500USD on a pair of shoes tend to either wear them forever or sell them off after 6 months. I find this common especially among my circle of friends. I was just having a chat with the baron last week and we already have some sort of a plan to buy more shoes. It just blows my mind when you only have a pair of feet, and so little money!

I think Instagram has a very big role in making us spend more money on shoes. Today, I see Maftei, G&G, Meermin and a whole heap of shoe makers having their own official account, which makes purchasing great quality shoes one step simpler.

Check these guys out on IG and they will burn a deep hole in your pocket, but put its all worth the burn chaps. 

I like the approach. Visiting or even Edwards of Manchester isn’t that convenient and customer service can be ridiculously awful sometimes.

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 1.09.14 AMEdwards of Manchester – The only reason I like them, is their SALE period is really something worth waiting for.

Before I usually sell my shoes or the Cloth Baron’s, we usually give them a quick shine so that the buyer gets them at optimal and ready to wear condition. I usually take this opportunity to document them in pictures.

The most recent shoe that is up for sale is the Vass Italian Ankle Boots in the U-Last. This shoe is going up for sale, used at RM1000 which is a damn good deal. The retail of this shoe could go up to 500USD, and this shoe in particular is very well taken care of. The soles have heaps of life and it comes with a pair of Vass branded shoetrees. Drop me a PM if you are interested, or just shoot me a comment.


DSC_8006Lasted shoe trees & they are ready to wear!

There is also the upkeep phase of shoes, or some might just call it plain maintenance. The thing about these sort of shoes, is the climate in Malaysia tends to tax the leather a lot, making the leather lose its suppleness throughout usage. That is where great leather care products come into the picture. I am a big fan of Saphir shoe care products. They come all the way from France, but unfortunately a few dealers who carry them in Malaysia puts an awfully high price tag on them.

10422966_10152285073674405_3048932014121109898_nYou can never go wrong with Saphir, really. Get them on Ebay, they start at RM55 for a tin of wax. 

The key products for shoe care in my opinion would always be the renovateur, renomat (if you have too much layers of wax, strip them with the renomat, but use it sparingly) and a tin of polish. I am not quite a fan of creams, so this isn’t really mandatory. The renovateur does a great job in restoring suppleness, no complains.

I have been having this Crockett & Jones Weymouth Handgrades for the past few years. Handgrades are usually described as the higher –end version of C&J shoes. New Handgrades could reach up to RM2000 per pair. The Weymouth has developed an exceptional patina, which adds to the richness of the leather and its overall aesthetics.

10544788_10152285017189405_4406053329582721655_nThe C&J Weymouth Hangrades

Also tried on the Baron’s unlined Alden suede shoes but unfortunately it was at least one size bigger, so that is a bummer.

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 12.51.00 AMpicture credit to the Cloth Baron 

I have this intention or desire to commission a bespoke, unstructured linen suit, but where do I wear them. They have to be a little bit heavier, and I like them very scratchy….


An essential footwear.

The term essential footwear is very subjective. Some people think one pair of shoe would suffice, and you only purchase another one is when the shoe gets wrecked.

I have always been a fan of investing in quality shoes even at a slightly hectic price tag. Investing in more than one pair of shoes means that they wear off much less, so the principle of volume truly applies, in this case at least.

Shoes are great, they represent character and tells a fair bit about the person who wears them. Earlier this year, I purchased a pair of MTO shoes from Meermin. They cost pretty decent, thanks to the group buy via Mr Cloth Baron (my number 1 source of great clothing and footwear).


There isn’t any different when it comes to the shine process, base coat, and the followup layers were just thin coats of wax. I find that coating the leather with Renovateur helps alot in bringing out the color and suppleness of the leather.


If I recall correctly, the leather is sourced from a different tannery, which makes the color and “softness” slightly unique as compared to the regular ones on Meermin.


Here are some pictures of the shoe and it got featured on the official @MeerminMallorca Instagram too. Thanks guys, all the way from KL to Spain. Gracias !

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Here’s an update on the altered denim shirt that I commissioned via Ah Loke a month back. They are roomier now and it does scream casual a little bit more. 


This was a spontaneous pic. I love the Fox Umbrella and of course, that suede desert boots from C&J never fails to impress

B&W, you can never go wrong with that.

I am actually supposed to try out the Baron’s Alden Navy Suede shoes this week, not too sure if the fit is right, but I’ll keep everyone posted. That would be a damn good pair to own !



That summer..feel

There is absolutely nothing to hide when it comes to our hectic Malaysian weather. Linen is your best friend, in Malaysia or some really porous, airy fresco. I would also think that there are other variants of fabric, which would actually fit our climate *paging Mr Cloth Baron*.

Color plays a very big role as well when it comes to giving the whole outfit a little bit of “kick”. Navy and a fine shade of grey is staple, no doubt. But ideally, you venture out of the norm sometimes, and loosen up a little bit.


You really can rock up those summer colors at a fraction of the unimaginable costs of boutique brands.

There really isn’t much spent on this outfit. I purchased this unlined jacket at a steal from Uniqlo about 12 months ago. They fit reasonably well for the RM50 price tag. The shirt comes from Uniqlo, RM49 to be specific. The pocket square, was a homemade linen, which is a little bit on the small side of things. There is a unique story about the trousers. It was made bespoke by another tailor, Jerome Tok, who is actually a mobile tailor and does most of his fittings in a hotel. I like the feel of his trousers, it is comfortable to walk, sit and still produces that very fine silhouette. The color is also unique, it is that shade of blue which I absolutely fancy.



I like leather jackets, there is that good feeling (not very good at expressing them in words) but somehow rocking up with a t-shirt works just well enough for me. Unfortunately, on the more practical side of things, they aren’t very cooling and it gets you all sweaty and steamy in just a heartbeat. Nevertheless, if you are working indoors in an air-conditioned, well ventilated venue, this would be perfect.

I am swinging by AhLoke this weekend to have a quick fit on my most recent pair of trousers, a good ol’ white one.

That, I am definitely looking forward to.

An unexpected mail

See, the thing with moving jobs, especially from where I used to work is the slight change in outfit. I actually thought it was time for a change too. A few weeks back I spoke to Ah Loke to commission a bespoke denim shirt. First thing he asked me was “Why don’t want to buy Uniqlo”. I responded “RM 179 la, retail, if discount also RM50, that one also don’t know when”. He cackled and then took out his ancient denim swatch book.

A few weeks later, the shirt was ready. My first impression was the the chest area was too tight. Truly, it wasn’t the pectorals, he just tends to make things abit tight, and if you leave him unsupervised, he would just go on and on about why it should be “fitting”.


Bespoke denim shirt from Ah Loke, Uniqlo tan belt (slightly too long) & the good old faithful Ben Sherman chinos

After one wear and a wash, I took it back to him to open up the chest area and loosen up the sleeve, I noticed after the first wash, the material is a little bit stiff, which is expected considering the fact that its just denim.

Denim aside, I was just browsing through my sports coat and I noticed how much I actually miss my fresco jacket. Its sitting in Ah Loke’s fitting room because he is still unable to find the cloth, sad but true. So all I have to do now is wait, which most likely isn’t going to make a difference because finding that little bit of cloth is going to be one heck of a task.

What motivates me to keep on rambling or just talking about my sartorial adventure are emails that I get from readers around the world asking me tips on how to get a decent bespoke suit in KL. Of all people, my technical skills are very little, none in fact. But what I really believe in is that you need to keep terminologies and jargons as minimal as possible. In my opinion, the key to a good suit is that you feel good wearing it, you don’t feel restricted, and you are able to move without having to adjust the sleeve all the time.


So thanks buddy, for the email and I will definitely respond to you soonest.

Look, its been a while since i wore something bespoke, so here goes something. I love my Carlo Barbera jacket, it is nice and soft and fairly robust. It doesn’t crease easily, something that I would definitely take along when travelling, besides the fresco, which is abit small..


Bespoke Carlo Barbera quarter lined jacket, bespoke in-house fabric button down shirt, Vanda Pocket square. Background : Fox Umbrella, a collection of ties from a variety of brands eg; Marinella, Drakes etc. & bespoke and OTR jackets. A hint of my good ol’ Wood & Faulk Carpenter bag

My goal this week is to give all my shoes a nice polish, some of them have been collecting dust because all of them in fact aren’t motorcycle friendly and I would feel really bad if I were to use my spit shine shoes and shift up the gears.


Loake 1880s Tan Brogues, Uniqlo Tan Belt, Porsche Design Aviators, Paul Smith socks & Zepplin Automatic via Red Army Watches


Back to the Ah Loke story, Nick, another buddy of mine who I always look up to for inspiration, especially when it comes to living life and sartorial perspectives decided to get a bespoke suit. His old suit was abit too big, he lost alot of weight and now he seeks to pursue his sartorial desire, with less load.

10382992_10152210083554405_6951337092231117252_nAh Loke taking some vital measurements of Nick. Vitally, sartorial

Nick was looking for something subtle, and versatile at the same time. I would like to visit Ah Loke with Nick again for his fitting session, and oh did I tell you, I commissioned another white bespoke cotton pants, and this time I’m going to make sure that Ah Loke gets it spot on.



Getting a bespoke denim shirt….

I went over to Ah Loke this weekend to pickup the selvedge jeans I got from Uniqlo a while back. I managed to take in the waste and hem the jeans a little. It isn’t the best fitting jeans but it is pretty decent for RM149.

Instead of driving, I took the bike over and swapped the trousers when I got there, I was wearing a bespoke cotton khaki that needs the opened up a little bit at the bottom, too Thom Browne-ish which isn’t my kind of thing.


The thing about going to Ah Loke is that most of the time you tend to at least commission something before you leave. I will now boldly put the blame on stores like Uniqlo and H&M that only sell slim-skinny, low fit trousers. Very minimal consideration to those who appreciate the traditional way of putting on trousers, at the belly button.

So what did I commission?

I love the shade of blue, so I decided to get one pair of cotton trousers in it. Check out the swatch book, very basic stuff but somehow it always works.

I realised that my wardrobe does not have a denim shirt, I went to Uniqlo, to hunt one down but they cost about RM100, and for a shirt that is made, most likely in  sweatshop somewhere in the little provinces of China, I don’t think it is worth the dollar. I picked the 2nd from top, the first one is a tad too light. Initially, I wanted to go for pockets, but then, after much contemplation, making it nice and clean is the better way to go. I would love to try, Denim-On-Denim.


Managed to also spend some time at Marble-8 last Wednesday for Esquire’s 3rd Anniversary. Congrats lad, decent job so far !


Fantastic view of the Twin Towers via Marble 8

Bumped into Joyce Wong of course, I don’t think she ages at all ! What sorcery is this ! 


Also met Gabrienna who used to work in DNP, she actually sponsored a couple of Ben Sherman clothing, and I still use them till today. In fact, the chambray shirt is great !

10171620_10152137617164405_3389464502755965171_nGabrienna, myself and her damn good looking friend

I went to Marble-8 with the cloth baron, and of course, he with his baller windowpane suit, killer bespoke material !

1969408_10152139110359405_2227812688120851818_nMyself and the cloth baron. You do not wanna know how much that pocket square of his cost. 

I decided to go with denim that night, threw in a little bit of colour with my bespoke button down shirt and cleaned it all up with a simple navy knit tie. This is probably one of my most frequently used tie. Knit somehow works very well when it comes to dress down casually.


Knit tie, raw denim jacket, bespoke red stripe shirt, I like it ! 

 The cloth baron was having a little chat with me about getting the Solaro Cotton for some bespoke work, but I’m still..considering it…really..

The hiatus, again.

I have not been blogging for ages. I think the main reason behind this was, plain slacking. I’ve just recently moved to another day job and things are just about to pick up.

And I forgot my username and password. And I finally got it back.

I’ve recently found a solution to the traffic jam, the motorcycle. After months and months of contemplation, being the very fickle minded person that I naturally am, I finally decided on getting the 795.


I had a few options, the Aprillia Shiver, The Hypermortard, The er6-N, XJ6, and the Duke 690. I think the main selling point of the 795 was the seating position and how it just feels right. Despite the price being on the higher side, it was a pretty damn good value for money, considering the add-ons that I get; a slip on Termignoni exhaust, ECU, and a performance AirFilter, AND a Corse body kit, totalled to about RM10k++ in value.


I got a pretty good helmet to sort of compliment the bike too. The idea of getting a helmet, when it comes to color is to make sure that it is damn visible, especially at night.

10174925_10152125349254405_8467730997982924256_nI was actually expecting the aesthetics to look a little bit more off, but it does look damn good !

I was also dreading to carry stuff on my back, and decided to invest in this decent Bagster Spider tail bag. The bag is pretty damn good for how much I got it for (RM350). It converts into a bagpack once you arrive at your destination. The only drawback is the setup, but I would think that you should be able to get aftermarket bungee cords that are easier to clip on.

I have not been commissioning much clothing lately. The reason is because I ride a bike to work and wearing anything bespoke would either be too expensive, or too fragile. Unless it is a denim Kevlar jacket, then I’ll stick to bike gear.


I currently use this and it isn’t that bad at all. Not up to Italy’s Dainese, but the Japanese have been doing a decent job with their bike gear lately

I went to Ah Loke recently to checkout some of his shirting materials. There was a Soktas swatchbook and I am actually quite keen to get some shirts done, and a couple of pants. Not too sure on how much the pricing goes but they should be fairly affordable.

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Here are some pictures of the swatchbooks. Some of them were not from the Soktas Swatch tho.

10155586_10152113565714405_8315380149039079023_nLinen would be the best option in our hectic-humid climate. 


I managed to also get a pair of very decently priced selvedge jeans from Uniqlo. The “Kaihara” Denim – the world’s best & highest quality denim material, and that’s the real deal. For RM149, this was an absolute steal !

1911783_10152306953855935_2015409720360371071_nPicture thanks to Nick Gomez, one of my sartorial buddies who always have the eye for the finer things in life.

I’m quoting him “Now it’s no longer for rich people, but for ANYONE who wants to enjoy vintage-loom manufactured Kaihara denim with selvedge” -Nick”

I spoke to Ah Loke about how I am actually going to reduce my spending on bespoke clothing a little bit this year, and he responded “That’s ok, I can make motorcycle clothes for you too…”

Funny old man, but I still like him.

I also created a new category, motorcycle, and might change the blog layout when I have the time.

A Shoe Project

Recently, I’ve been trying to work on my shoe-shine skills. I get very fascinated with very well shined shoes particulary those that I follow on Instagram. See, the thing is, I don’t exactly have very good shoes, they are better than those you see in the shopping malls but nothing handmade etc.

Thankfully, the cloth baron trusts me with my very limited gears and skills, to shine his shoes.


This is all that I have…really…

This is the Vass in the U-last. Sleek as ever but it was too light in color. So I attempted a non conventional way of darkening up the shoe, with a renovateur, wax, toothbrush, and an old tee shirt.

photo 1

This was the initial shade of the shoe, it was fairly light and the baron wanted it abit darker.

And…the final results…check out the pics below.

photo 4 photo 2 photo 3

They aren’t that perfect but I enjoy the scuffs, creates a little bit more of an antique feel to the shoe.

Perhaps it is time to upgrade the shoe care kit. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @shahzeeq because I do post updates on shoes etc.


Career Growth

Growth in wardrobe is ultimately measured by the quality of your clothing, how the fit improves over time, the type of clothes you keep, and how you start to packup that sweatpants for charity.

Career growth is totally a different ball game. Let’s face it; the working industry out there is not as colourful as how we think. Most often, fresh grads that leave Uni often have that misinterpretation of the working life. I think most of us are often clouded by TV series like Suits, who portrays a high flyer lifestyle of a lawyer. Well I wouldn’t say you can never reach that point but it surely as hell is not going to happen within the next 6 months of your employment.

Once you get that part checked, time to get a real job. So what is  your desired occupation? Are you an aspiring Dr House, Harvey Specter, or Mark Cho from The Armoury?

There is one thing that our country has; heaps of good talent! So how do you optimize good talent? This is way beyond a chicken and egg question. The key word here is strategy and sustainability.

“The success of our Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) depends on having the right quantity and quality of talent…..” – CEO of TalentCorp,

Back in university, I studied Human Resource as a minor on top of my Human Movement Science degree and we did a lot of work on talent retention, development etc. I guess it all makes sense when you come to think about it. Talent is hard to come by, but when you have them in abundance, keep them.

Tough call huh? Well, over the years, new initiatives have been kicked off to make sure that you seek and secure the job that you desire, the job that you see yourself working in till you retire, and most importantly the job that you enjoy doing.


Well recently, there was this really interesting career fair gig by Talent Corp, Sector Focused Career Fair – Career Awareness. This was in fact a joint effort between TalentCorp, Graduan, MDeC and UiTM, focusing mainly on the Shared Services and Outsourcing (SSO).

These guys have been hammering heaps of such gigs just to make sure that we all end up working at places/jobs we really want to be in.


The key message here is to educate and activate. This gig was actually held at UiTM Shah Alam itself, so students didn’t really have to travel back and forth to be part of this Career Fair.


There were talks, Q&A session with the giants of every single industry, all consolidated in one venue. I think this is what any other Talent fairs should have; talks on career progression, choosing the right career etc.

If you think that SFCF is a pretty small gig, think again. There are approximately 30 companies that are heavily involved and these are the big names of every industry. A few to name AIG, DHL, Electrolux, Frost & Sullivan, GlaxoSmithKline,HP, IBM, LaFarge, Sime Darby and PwC.

So what is Talent Corp all about? I managed to pull something out from their site:-

TalentCorp was established on 1 January 2011 under the Prime Minister’s Department to formulate and facilitate initiatives to address the availability of talent in line with the needs of the country’s economic transformation. Collaborating closely with relevant Government agencies and employers in priority economic sectors, TalentCorp develops demand-driven initiatives focused on three strategic thrusts, specifically (1) Optimise Malaysian talent, (2) attract and Facilitate Global Talent and (3) Build Networks of Top Talent.

For more information regarding TalentCorp and SFCF, swing by their site at or

Remember, you want to end up with a career, not a job. All the best !