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Joe Foerster
Works at Kaiser Permanente
Attended Redlands High School
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Joe Foerster
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A week or so ago, HODINKEE, a preeminent resource for modern and vintage wristwatch enthusiasts, published a fantastic article that anyone with more than just time-telling interest in watches should take a look at. It's a bit of a long read, but Sunday's coming and what better to do on Sunday than read long interesting articles on bitchin' stuff over coffee?
In this special HODINKEE feature of Inside The Manufacture, I will recount a four-day experience that completely changed my perspective on the world's most important watch maker – the time that I got to spend inside all four of Rolex's actual production facilities in Switzerland. I had many ideas of what I would see, and while some were accurate, others could not have been further from the truth. Below, you'll hear and see what it is like to go i...
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Joe Foerster

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It won't be too much longer that shows will be delivered via podcast-type streaming subscription. The idea of broadcast "channels" will be as archaic as horse and buggy. 
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Yet still some people cling to it.
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Finally done! I'm still not the best body to model a suit but at least the man who made it made it work on my body better than anyone else could. Notice the impossibly perfect pattern matching in the lapel and the spot-on fit of the shoulder and sleeve head. 

http://www.johnathanbehr.com/#details
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CM Harrington's profile photoAlbert Oliver's profile photoJoe Foerster's profile photoPatrick Smith's profile photo
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very handsome!
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Joe Foerster
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Suits  - 
 
Just had to share a recent CNN article on my new tailor!
"Fifty Shades of Grey" character Christian Grey would never be caught dead in an off the rack suit. Here's the story behind his custom duds.
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Joe Foerster
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Suits  - 
 
My first visit to Mr Johnathan Behr's shop, mid-Wilshire here in L.A., went extremely well for me today I thought. I was impressed with how accessible it was, for starters. Many shops in Los Angeles can be a real pain to get to and, once there, to get good parking without a hassle. Mr. Behr's building has underground parking with handicap access and he validates... which is good because in that neighborhood, parking is $20 for the first 15 minutes! I was there about an hour.

John is very personable and put me right at ease. He was intrigued by me as an IT person wanting to go with high-end bespoke clothing. I know I'm not his typical client and he said he has no other clients in my line but he treated me extremely well and even made very favorable comments on some of my furnishings. I was wearing a suit from my first online made-to-measure company, mostly to show what went wrong in the past for me. When he did the measuring, he took what fit well about that suit into account and suggested changes for the new one that would be much better.  

CM Harrington, here on G+, helped me out with some tips and with deciding on color and fabric. I did indeed go bonkers and got an 8-ish oz. super 150s in a darker blue with pale chalk stripes, wide peak lapels, slant pockets (a first for me), 6-button vest, 1-3/4" trouser cuffs and side tabs instead of belt loops. The rest of the details will be discussed at one of the upcoming fitting sessions. I also asked him to make me a shirt; a fairly simple white twill with semi-spread collar and French cuffs, no pocket. My reasoning is the suit has to work with the shirt and having the same tailor make both should ensure that it all comes together well. You can never have too many white shirts anyway! 

John asks for a 1/3 to 1/2 deposit, not counting tax so I thought it was a good vote of confidence to go 1/2. Do I dare mention prices? His price ranges are listed on his web site and the variable in the price is the cost of the fabric you choose. So I guess it wouldn't be awful to say I'm somewhat in the middle of his $3100-4700 3-piece range. The shirt, being fairly simple, is a bit under his $300-600 shirt range. I had actually allowed for a good bit more so that I would not feel constrained. This is obviously a lot more than any of my online MTM suits, but then all I have to do is look at those: The sleeves that aren't quite the same length. the puckering lapel, the shoulder divots and other issues each of my old suits exhibits in varying degrees. And then there was the hassle of getting corrections made that were never enough... wasted money really.  

At the end of my visit, John walked me into the back workshop to meet some of his staff who will do the actual cutting and stitching. Of course I didn't retain the names and so forth but it's obvious they are used to having clients introduced to them. This is, after all, a major selling point. Everything done in-house and on-site. They all smiled, waved, one shook hands, etc. Neat, clean, organized... and busy! Then John walked me out to the building's parking attendant and got me the exit gate pass, showed me how to use it... bar code up, arrow in first... simple but nice to have this stuff pointed out on the first visit. I felt very well taken care of. The personal attention, the detail, the atmosphere were all just wonderful. I can't wait for the next visit, which should be next week, for the first fitting. I'm totally jazzed up about it. Fingers crossed that the clock doesn't strike midnight and it all turns into a pumpkin. 
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Albert Oliver's profile photoJoe Foerster's profile photo
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+Albert Oliver Thank you Albert! I'm really excited about this. Next Thursday morning is the next appointment. 
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Joe Foerster
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Suits  - 
 
I've got an appointment to see this gentleman next week and wondered if anyone here has experience with a full, ground-up custom suit. I've read about it but have never done it. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Joe Foerster's profile photoCM Harrington's profile photo
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Yes, all of my suits are Mr. Ned. The process was a little overwhelming and yet, also relaxed. There are simply so many options, and he was patient with me and allowed me to take the time I needed. I literally poured over thousands of fabrics, and simply happened upon the charcoal with purple stripe. As it turned out it was a cashmere/silk 130s, which wound up blowing my budget, but totally worth it, even though I don't wear them as often as I once did.

Oh, one extra hint: if they have a bolt, look at the bolt, not just the swatch. Personally, I'm awful at scaling a fine pattern mentally. Seeing the bolt put everything into scale and context in a way the swatch didn't. 
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Joe Foerster
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Well I thought I was safe... until I found this beauty...Master Ultra Thin Moon 39. 

http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/2011/5/20/live-pictures-of-the-jaeger-lecoultre-master-ultra-thin-moon.html
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Beautiful.
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Joe Foerster
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There is a new object of desire that I have been enjoying from the safe distance of a web site for several days now. I think it's safe because as long as I don't actually go to a boutique that stocks one in the only material I can even remotely afford, I am in no real danger of buying. 

The object is a beautiful and amazingly thin Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual automatic watch... which in Stainless Steel, is an astonishingly thin price of US$ 20,800. Of course, the rose gold is so much prettier and would go nicely with my shell cordovan shoes, but the boutique price rises to a still very reasonable US$ 32,800. It is only 9 mm thick and has a 39 mm diameter. 

The dial displays the perpetual day, month, date, year and moon phase, all regulated by only one corrector. Once set, no adjustment is needed until 2100. The length of each month and leap year are all taken into account. And did I mention it's thin? 

The sales tax alone on the Stainless model would be nearly double the price of my existing nice but far lesser ORIS. (Which I love as a daily wear watch in any case.) But just feast your eyes on the rose... 

Fortunately, JL has many, many beautiful watches I would be delighted to wear, many of them considerably less and if one simply must, one can do with an annual instead of perpetual calendar, right? 
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Joe Foerster
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I subscribe to "The Gentleman's Gazette" (http://www.gentlemansgazette.com) because they have a nice site with a lot of information on a variety of topics that gentlemen might be interested in, and they also have a nice shop with high quality items at good prices. There was an email sent around this morning announcing that there will be a Men's Style Con (http://mensstylecon.com) with a few different groups participating and I thought I would pass it along. 

Some participants will be:

Antonio Centeno from Real Men Real Style - a site to provide men the tools to educate themselves and build the wardrobe that best complements their individual style

Brett from Art of Manliness - the largest website related to all things male in the [straight] world

Andrew from Primer Magazine - a guy's post-college guide to growing up

Thomas Mahon - Bespoke Tailor from English Cut who will take apart suits and educate people about true bespoke

Sven Raphael Schneider of Gentleman's Gazette and a bunch of other bloggers, website owners and influencers.

To be honest, of the sites these people are associated with above, the only one I bother with is Gentleman's Gazette because it is the least aimed at straight college-age males. Art of Manliness can be downright scary with a few articles basically telling men that women have ruined the world and they need to take the home and workplace back for the one wearing the trousers... well duh! lol. 

So, just passing it along, I don't expect anyone here is going to want to cough up $197 for a lot of stuff you can get for free on the Internet, but for younger cubs who really want to combine a road trip with some good advice, I can see it. 
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Thanks for the tip
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Joe Foerster
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Suits  - 
 
3rd Johnathan Behr Visit, the second fitting... this time there is a zipper and two of the three fasteners on the trousers. The side tabs are not in yet but the waist is comfortable. Length was just basted in and we agreed to a vey slight break. They made lots of chalk marks and repinings in various areas all over the jacket, mostly around the front of the sleeve openings. He's happy with the jacket length now and the vest's as well. He's going to lower the neckline of the vest though. I'm very pleased with the blue color and the paleness of the stripes. The suit just looks a nice deep blue at a distance and as you get closer the stripes begin to show and add some interest. I think it will work nicely. We talked about how he'll do his pick stitching and he showed me a sample, which is subtle and nicely done, not loud as some I've seen. 

The shirt was all put together and the twill material feels very nice on my skin. It seemed a bit billowy around the torso though so he's going to taper it. Don't want it too snug like one Black Lapel shirt I ordered. My Indochino shirts all seem a bit loose but not enough to have them altered. I guess I'm fussy and it's why I'm going to a tailor to commission perfect clothes. I can fuss all I want and Johnathan is pleased to adjust as I wish, with some good suggestions. It's perfect. He did recommend I try a Winchester shirt as one of my orders in the future. I said I wasn't sure I liked a color/pattern shirt with white cuffs and collar, but he has one example there that's very nice and he said the key is to keep the contrast low. A dark shirt with the white bits are unappealing but with a light pattern, his sample looked very nice. I'll probably try one soon. I like his taste. During the fitting I asked about shirt cleaning and he said just launder, not dry clean and thinks I should use a professional, not do it at home, only for convenience. The cost is minimal and is a lot less work, but either way is fine. Sometimes I feel like ironing but I'm not too happy with the iron I have so...

I mentioned I used Flair cleaners and he says they are reputable, but to avoid dry cleaning the suit unless I get a stain. Even then he suggests the soda water thing to try spot cleaning myself first. The stain on the trousers I recently had cleaned was oil-based, so I didn't even try. 

When I left, John said he'd probably be ready to see me again in two weeks so I assume it will be another fitting and perhaps not the final one. I'm not in a hurry and I'm enjoying my visits with John so this is fine with me. As much as I want to get the final product, I almost don't want this to end... 

Guess I'll have to get another made soon.  :-)
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CM Harrington's profile photoJoe Foerster's profile photo
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+CM Harrington Absolutely. Like you say, he wouldn't think of it. Going to the fittings and seeing the stages come together, the construction is evident. I think you'd be impressed. :-)
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Joe Foerster
owner

Suits  - 
 
My second visit to Mr Johnathan Behr's shop was fun but went very fast! The trousers had no zipper or buttons, so to start he pinned me into them. Everything was just basted and so had to be handled somewhat carefully. A cutter and ? (I forget what the other man's title was) came out and the three of them went over me like crazy, making marks on the cloth, pinning in sections, pulling basting out and pinning in a new spot. They slipped the vest on me and I was thinking to myself it looked a little short in front. Momentarily John came over and asked one of the men to make a mark to add an inch in front and another to take it up in back. I told him I was glad he said that because I was thinking it. The man knows what he's doing. They slipped the jacket on and proceeded with the same adjustments. Shoulders a bit wide, sleeve length good, a tweak or two here and there... Then they were done. It was barely twenty minutes. I'd been expecting something like fourty-five to an hour and was wondering how my back was going to hold up. This was very painless. 

John told me they will now transfer all the stuff they just did to the rough suit over to the paper pattern so they match. Then they will do the actual sewing together of the suit and in about ten days they will be ready for me to come back for the next fitting, which may be the final or may not. John wasn't sure of the timeframe so will email me in a day or two. 

What I can tell about the suit so far is that I am really happy with the material I chose. It's dark blue without being confused with black. The stripes are very quiet. I wanted stripes without being a bold Banker Stripe (http://ep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-134936543048047/vinci-v3rs-9-blue-bold-banker-pin-stripe-vested-men-s-suit-3-button-single-breasted-classic-look-for-2014-and-has-pleated-pants-with-double-side-vented-jacket-available-for-139-99-berganbrotherssuits-com-13.gif) . This is enough to give some interest but not be distracting. If you've ever seen a new car a company is testing in camo wrap, it's intended to hide the shape of the body while they drive it around in public. I think a heavy stripe or pattern does the same to a suit. You can't really appreciate the fit and style with too much stripe because they are so distracting. Aside from the color and pattern, the cloth is very, very soft and just feels wonderful. It's light but doesn't seem to have any problem draping nicely. 

I can't wait to see the next phase with the second fitting session. :-) 
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Joe Foerster

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I've recently discovered I truly hate the word "IMMERSIVE" as overused by software and movie people to describe an experience with their products. Any product that claims to be "immersive" is immediately on my DO NOT BUY list. 
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People
In his circles
208 people
Have him in circles
482 people
Frank Soto's profile photo
Bruce Wiseman's profile photo
Adam Carpet's profile photo
Alessio Mele's profile photo
David Anthony Beard's profile photo
Ernie Freuler's profile photo
Satori Agape's profile photo
James Walker's profile photo
Alex Ptashnik's profile photo
Communities
Education
  • Redlands High School
    1972 - 1975
Links
Story
Tagline
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Introduction
I'm a PC *and* a MAC. Enjoying my life here in SoCal as much as possible. Work in a good place, have a great spouse and a decent home. (At least I think so.)
Bragging rights
Early adopter of the Chevrolet Volt. (2011 #3179), now on my second (a 2014).
Work
Occupation
Information Technology
Employment
  • Kaiser Permanente
    present
  • Rossetti Construction
    Information technology management
Basic Information
Gender
Male
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Married
Other names
Fred, Fredric, Josiah, Joseph, hey You!