Choosing a tailor can be a very personal decision to make. Oftentimes, consumers are too intimidated to ask the right questions, or to take the time to properly qualify a prospective tailor.
On the surface, a tailor may only be making simple changes to garments you own. He or she may be repairing a pocket, replacing a zipper, or stitching a tear. But in reality, your tailor is so much more important to you how you look, feel, and present yourself.
This is especially true when it comes to making more significant repairs or alterations, especially those that will completely change the appearance or functionality of a garment.
The items in your wardrobe say a lot about who you are and what you do. In many respects, they represent the first snapshot the rest of the world gets of who you are. For example, if you are choosing a tailor to alter some of your best suits, you do not want to trust the job to just anyone.
In this short article, our mission is to give you some food for thought when it comes to choosing a tailor.
Think of the Bigger Picture
The best advice we can give to anyone who has found an excellent tailor is to continue working with him or her. Just about anyone can operate a sewing machine, but very few tailors can consistently deliver the level of care and expertise you require.
That said, if you are considering finding a new local tailor, think of the bigger picture. You ideally want to find someone you can trust to handle every aspect of tailoring. After all, you may only require a simple hemming of your pants today, but next week or next month you may find yourself requiring something more intricate or extravagant. So unless you want to start the process of choosing a tailor all over again, you may as well choose wisely the first time.
In reality, you may end up spending thousands of dollars with your tailor over the next several years. And if choosing a tailor is a process deliberated carefully, he or she may also be able to save you thousands of dollars.
Further, as described above, you will be investing a lot of trust into the tailor you select. If you find one you trust to consistently deliver high quality work, your professional relationship is likely to continue for years – decades, even.
So why take the process of choosing a tailor lightly?
Spend a few days doing your research before making your selection, such that the tailor you work with will meet your needs in the long run.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Tailors are busy people. And as the profession itself becomes decreasingly popular, the demand for a talented tailor only increases.
It comes as no surprise that many consumers find the experience of choosing a tailor to be intimidating. If you were to walk into a tailor shop, find that the tailor and any available seamstresses were unavailable, would you leave?
If so, you might be walking away from the best tailor in town.
Wait patiently, ask to speak to the tailor directly, and do not be afraid to ask difficult questions.
There is no need to be rude, but it is perfectly reasonable to ask the tailor questions like:
- How much experience do you have with __?
- How long have you been a tailor?
- What kind of tailoring and alterations can you do?
- How quickly can you complete __?
- What type of guarantee do you put on your work?
- Are there any jobs you are unable to complete onsite?
- What sorts of materials do you use?
The second question, regarding duration of tailoring, is especially relevant.
Given that you are choosing a tailor to work with for the next several years, you want to select an individual with a proven track record and a thriving business. If you walk into a tailor shop to find it completely empty and without the ambiance of running sewing machines, you may wish to consider shopping elsewhere.
Most importantly, consider the answer to question six.
If a tailor has to outsource the completion of a particular job, it is not a good sign. You want to pick an individual that has both the ability and time to do any sort of tailoring.
Have It Your Way
Most experienced tailors consider themselves to be artists of sorts.
Directors work with movies, painters work with palettes, and tailors work with garments.
On the one hand, this is a very good thing. You want to a tailor that takes pride in his or her work. If a tailor would be comfortable attaching his or her name to sub-par work, that is not someone you want to consider.
A tailor who takes pride in his or her work can also make professional recommendations when you are getting a job done.
At the same time, you want to make sure that you are the boss. At the end of the day, it is you who not only has to pay for the work to be completed, but you need to wear the tailored garments when the work is finished.
When choosing a tailor, you want to find a healthy mix between an individual who can take direction, but who also has the professional knowledge to make recommendations and carry out the job expertly.
Some savvy consumers will test a tailor by trusting him or her with a few small alterations to begin on garments of less value. For instance, consider having the sleeves altered on a shirt you seldom wear, or the shape of a skirt altered based on stylistic preferences.
This will be your opportunity to test your tailor.
- Was he or she able to offer some expert advice?
- Did he or she ultimately do what you asked to have done?
If the answer to both of those questions is yes, you may be choosing a tailor that is worth working with.
Trust Your Gut
Commercials, blogs, magazines, and other forms of media are designed to sway your opinion in one direction or another.
To be clear, the purpose of this post is not to give you a numbered list of checkpoints to consider when choosing a tailor.
The advice is intended to be helpful, but ultimately you are the final decision maker. You are the consumer who will have to work with the tailor you choose, pay for the alterations, and live happily with the results.
That is why the final tip we have for you is to simply trust your gut.
As mentioned at the onset, choosing a tailor is a very personal decision. It is not as simple as just as identifying a good tailor versus a bad one. Skills and experience must be considered, but the most important factor when choosing a tailor is to listen to your gut.
- Do you like this tailor?
- Does he or she seem knowledgeable?
- Do you believe he or she charges a fair price?
- Are you comfortable entrusting your garments to him or her?
You may have a completely different set of priorities from the next consumer.
Our best advice is to speak with an assortment of tailors in your area, and decide how you feel about each one individually. Most of the time your gut will be a strong factor in your decision, even if you cannot pinpoint why you feel the way you do.
Tailoring is a very personal experience, and it would be foolish to override your gut feeling about an individual.
Begin Your Search
If you live in the Toronto area, you may wish to begin choosing a tailor with a visit to Love Your Tailor at 41 Advance Road. You are also welcome to call ahead at 416-538-2326.
Love Your Tailor has a 100% money back guarantee, to ensure your satisfaction.
Love Your Tailor has more than 25 years of experience in professional tailoring and strictly uses cutting edge technology.
The professional in-house tailors of Love Your Tailor are available to offer their unparalleled expertise in a 10,000 square foot facility.
As this post made clear, you are welcome to shop anywhere you like while choosing a tailor; however, you need to begin your search somewhere, so it may as well be with a team of professionals that strive to set new standards in the tailoring world.