Tailor talk: Why to befriend a tailor in 2019

By Aaron – 2/4/19

What makes a tailor important to you?

As a tailor, it’s difficult to explain what motivates me most. One topic I’d like to discuss today is why you should find a good tailor and stick with them. I’ll open today by talking about an issue that seems to plague every person I’ve ever known.

What in the world was I wearing?

If you’re like me, you tend to hide old photos of yourself. “Why did I wear that ugly _____?!” tends to be my reaction when looking more than 8 years into my past social media accounts and printed photographs. I’ll even wager that, like me, you’ve hidden your school yearbooks from your significant others, too!

Why hire a tailor?

My old haircuts are a bit of a scary thing, but my number one reason for embarrassment is always what I used to wear! Being 36 years old, I remember the 80’s windbreaker craze like it was yesterday. Even as effective as they were, they weren’t really worn for anything other than style. Fanny packs, anyone? It’s obvious that no matter who you are, your clothing directly affects how people view you.

To gain a deeper understanding of why joining forces with a tailor should be your goal, we have to define what a tailor is. Merriam Webster’s first definition of a tailor is this:

  1. a person whose occupation is making or altering garments (such as suits, jackets, and dresses) typically to fit a particular person

Now let’s go deeper into why 2019 should be the year you befriend a tailor!

Fashion trends matter

Decade lasting style trends are what make fashion so wonderful to study. But as they evolve, you need someone with you to give you a little nudge to look your best. A tailor not only fits your clothing, but helps you stay style relevant. Let’s take a closer look at the shifting styles in fashion over the decades.

  • 1950 Business casual suits
  • 1960 Space wear was all the rage
  • 1970 Bell bottoms and fat ties were “far out”
  • 1990 Grunge took control (my personal decade of choice)
  • 2000 Von Dutch trucker hats and popped collar polos
  • 2010 Combat boots and Varsity style clothing

Can you see these decades in your head being defined by each respective style? I can!

Oddly enough, we’re slowly shifting back into the 1940’s / 50’s for men’s fashion, which is a trend I’m fully behind! Bespoke is the new marketing buzzword, with men and women having inexpensive access to form fitting suits and shirts due to mass manufacturing.

What fuels a tailor’s fire?

Like any business, a tailor is doing what they do to provide for the people they care about. Professional tailoring may be a for-profit business, but it doesn’t make it any less important than being friends with your barista. What sets good tailors apart from the bad is how they treat the people that entrust them with their garments. To me, friendship is defined as a relationship that brings happiness. I believe that the friendship between a tailor and their client is is precious.

Every day at my tailoring shop in Nashville we have people coming in to get things fitted to flatter and conform to their bodies in a way they like. More often than not we’re happy to fit a garment to someone, but there are those odd times when someone comes in with something that just won’t fit properly. As a tailor, it’s our job to tell them. By doing so we may lose income, but we gain trust. To me that’s more important than ushering someone out the door while saying “Oh, you look great!” after collecting their payment.

Quite simply, my business is run with ethicality at the forefront of its operation. When interviewing a tailor or looking at their reviews, their ethics should be near equal to the skills they and their clients say they have.

How to say “Hello”

Simply by walking into a tailoring shop and speaking with the people there will go a long way. We’re generally pleasant people, with good and bad days like everyone else. We love interacting with everyone that walks in our door. Some people email us questions about our bespoke and custom suits and shirts, while others ask if we can do certain types of patches or alterations.

By interacting with us, it gives insight into what drives you, and how we can use our skills to make you even better at what you do. If you’re not thinking about what you’re wearing, you’re doing it right. You stay so busy throughout the day and you deserve not to deal with things unnecessarily. We don’t want your clothing being a speed bump on your road to success.

The importance of speaking your mind

I spent some time over the weekend speaking about tailoring on the podcast, “Share Your Buzz”. Being a Nashville based podcast, Tony and his co-host Chris speak to local musicians, business owners and random influential people about life in their field and how it impacts the world around them. You’ll be able to hear us this coming Friday, Feb 8th.

He’s one of many reasons why building a relationship with a tailor is so important. We’ve worked together for years, and consider each other friends. Because of that, his show received some really cool insight into my world, and I got to learn more about what he does. One thing we’ve done that has helped us stick together is always being honest with one another. I’ll never let him walk out my door looking bad, but I also won’t disregard his very important input.

The end result

When you befriend a tailor — a true tailor, you gain the knowledge and skill of a master craftsperson. Also, the ability to move into the current year and upcoming decade of style knowing wholeheartedly that you look good no matter what. You gain a person in your corner that will advise you honestly and with care.

One of the most common things I say to people when they first come in is this: “I won’t lie to you, and I expect you not to lie to me.” Out of context it sounds harsh, but in context it’s a beautiful relationship in the making. I won’t tell you that you look great if I truly think that you don’t, and you won’t tell me things that I’ve worked on look great if you don’t think that they do. That’s one of the many benefits of befriending a tailor.

Why should you befriend a tailor in 2019? Because you want to look your best, and it’s our job to make sure that you do.