HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT TAILOR
March 10, 2014 Comments Off on HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT TAILOR
Mike Maroney’s recent article for “life, tailored”, featuring thoughts and photographs from David Reeves:
Men’s clothing should not be ill fitting, plain and simple. Baggy clothes are for children to grow into, not men who have already grown. If you are reading this odds are you aren’t a child anymore and it’s time to learn how to find a tailor. But we don’t want to send you in the wrong direction, we don’t want to leave you feeling that any old guy with a pair of scissors and a sewing kit is going to be a great choice. We are here to help you find the right tailor for you, so you can walk away knowing you look nothing short of dapper.
The Bespoke Suit
There are more to tailors than quick alterations and hems. The one thing every self-respecting adult male needs is one good, and we mean really good suit. To do this, you want to skip the lines at Bloomingdales and head somewhere you can get that personal touch. You want something that is going to be built just for you, and you want it done by someone who knows what they’re doing. We’re talking about getting a bespoke suit.
To find out what to really look for when you’re ready for your first bespoke suit we talked with modern English tailor and NYC bespoke suit maker, David Reeves.
Check Out The Shop…
According to Reeves, the first thing you want to look for when deciding on the right man for the job is the quality of what they produce. This seems so simple, but it is incredibly important. Check out what they are wearing, go to their shop and see what they are working on, check out their online presence.
Something this small and easy can be a great window into the world of a tailor and can give you an excellent depiction of what their final product looks like. If the tailor’s personal clothes look outdated or poorly done, David points out you really have to ask yourself “why?”, these men should be the forefront of personal style and fit. If they don’t care enough to dress themselves well, that can be a sign of lack of care, and at the very least, not paying attention to detail.
Reeves also points out a good tailor should have work on the rails in the shop. They should be showcasing things and be able to show you what they are currently working on, if they can’t do this it’s a huge red flag.
Likewise, if they are only working on alterations, and have very few or no suits they can show you then the odds are they don’t make many. Find someone who builds their business around constructing bespoke suits, not simply making alterations.
The Importance of The Internet…
As we know here at Life, Tailored, the internet is becoming more and more important by the day. This is no different in the sartorial world. Someone without an online presence should scare you away. Of course they don’t have to be a tech guru (personally, I’d prefer they know a lot more about clothing than the IT world) but they should be regularly showing work and you should be able to find reviews.
Reeves admitted he may not be the best on building websites and all that comes with it, but he points out that you can see reviews on yelp (to which they are all perfect, click here and read them for yourself.) And he is posting on Instagram everyday so you can check out the pieces he’s working on. Click here to check out David’s Instagram.
Precision of the hands and work aside, you also want to find someone who knows how to run a proper business. How quickly will they respond to your emails? Will they refund you if something goes wrong? Are they willing to work at something to correct it if you are unhappy?
These are things you should do your best to know before you start the process with the tailor. Good judgement can go a long way, and having someone you trust and is willing to work with you can save you huge headaches in the long run.
When It’s Time To Let Them Do Their Jobs…
My biggest question for David was “How much detail should you give a tailor when instructing what you want?”… I learned a few things.
David’s suggestion: “Just because you can do whatever you like, doesn’t mean you necessarily should.”
Wise words from a wise man.
Don’t be a micromanaging client, it can ruin a great experience for everyone. If you trust your tailor (which if you took our suggestions you should) then know that he is probably on the same page as you. If you really trust him, sit back and let him work his magic. Reeves said the clients who are the most fun and end up the happiest with the experience are the ones who take this approach, and trust in his decision making.
Of course this is typically a two-way street. Tell them what you want without being overbearing, as David pointed out to me, a professional should be able to take you through the process in an easy an efficient manner and will prompt you and ask questions to ensure they make the best garment they can for you.
Want a bespoke suit from David Reeves? Check out David’s work by clicking here, and head over to his showroom at:
41 Union Square West
New York, NY