How to Choose a Custom Clothier

March 25, 2015

As the economy tightens and Menswear stores with large overhead—including high rent—find it tougher and tougher to make it work, Direct Sellers are becoming more popular. The concept of a travelling tailor that comes to your home or office is an old one that is quickly becoming popular once again. England has embraced this concept over the last 10 years; Direct Sellers and Direct Selling companies in the US are also growing rapidly.

Here in Canada the number of Direct Selling Custom Clothiers is growing as well.  The convenience of working in the comfort of your home or office as well as the benefit of pricing that doesn’t include expensive overhead makes the Direct Selling Custom Clothier a very attractive concept. With so many options to choose from and at a variety of price points, how does one choose a Custom Clothier?

Finding the right clothier can be a challenge. In many of the high end boutique stores and high profile Clothiers there is an attitude amongst the staff that they know best, and that you should let them do what they do. This arrogance among many of the staff in these boutique stores compromises your choice: they will make you a garment that reflects what the latest fad is – whether or not it best flatters your particular form. Other custom clothiers rely simply on measurements and general specifics – mathematical formulas based on generic patterns. Measurements alone will not produce a well-fitting garment. Posture, body shape, and other unique characteristics must be taken into account: this is where the “art” of the process takes place.

A true clothier will take your body’s measurements, look at your current garments to help determine your preferences, and consider the current trends that flatter your particular shape. A true clothier will ask questions. You may or may not know the answers, but either way the clothier will know how to proceed based on your level of knowledge, past experiences, specific requirements, individual measurements, body shape, and your reactions/feedback to his/her suggestions. In this instance experience counts. Simply put, as with any business, the Clothier must know his/her trade.

Another major consideration is the fabric used to create your garments. Quality and suitability are important factors. Better Clothiers will order and use fabric from specific Branded Mills. They will not simply use whatever “stock” fabric a factory has to offer. If your Clothier comes to you with 40 to 100 swatches to choose from, you can be sure that these are stock fabrics from a specific factory. A true Clothier will have thousands of fabrics to choose from, as they will be working with many Fabric Mills.

Then there is the question of suitability. A Clothier will match fabric choices to your specific needs. Considerations like fabric weight, texture, breathability, crease resistance, and drape are all important factors in fabric selection. A gentleman that is particularly hard on this clothes should be steered away from light weight luxury fabrics. Certain fabric like “high twist” wools resist creasing, while other “cool wools” breath better for warm climates and seasons. Many fabrics are more suited to Sport Jackets, while others make better pants. A true Clothier will steer you through this process to ensure your new garments perform to your lifestyle requirements.

Lastly, anyone that comes and takes your measurements, then mails or couriers you your finished garments is not a true Clothier. A second fitting, maybe a third, is imperative for a well-fitting garment. Our bodies are all different. Individual fabrics fall differently. A final touch-up is essential to ensure a well-fitting garment. A common problem that Clothiers must deal with is getting the client to relax during the fitting. We have tendency to “pose” when being measured. This can drastically affect the posture calls and fitting solutions used by the Clothier. Having an experienced Clothier lead you through the process of making all these choices will ensure not only that your orders fit perfectly and look great, but that the entire process is a relaxing and comfortable experience. We absolutely need to see the finished product to fine-tune the details. After all, aren’t “details” what it is all about when purchasing Custom Clothing?