There is an old saying I read in a history book about Savile Row, that a gentleman confides more in his tailor than anyone else. Right away I identified and aspired to it. Clothing is an intimate reflection of who you are as a person and figuring out exactly what clothing and fit suits a person requires insight into who they are. One of my favourite parts of my job is fittings. It feels so old-timey, to stand there with my pincushion and measuring tape talking to someone about exactly what sleeve length they would like.
Beautiful photo by A Moment Created
It's nostalgic - a bygone era of fretting over small details. But they are important. "I don't know how you get everything to fit so well," said one customer, who lived too far away to come in for fittings. "It all just fits like a glove." I was very proud. We have shortened sleeves five inches, lengthened pants five inches... And all the while realizing the impossibly wide variety of beautiful body shapes that do not fit into traditional sizing charts.
A long time ago, I made a hypothetical connection between clothing styles becoming less fitted, and the drive for big clothing companies to increase profit. Clothing that is less fitted requires less seams, which costs less money. You can have a smaller number of sizes. And so everyone (in Vancouver, at least), is wanting big and flowy and casual. And we're just sort of over in the corner making fitted blazers (Tempi Tunics are our one exception).
But there is a facial expression that I see on many of our customers when they walk out of the change room to look in the mirror. Oh, Hello there, they seem to be saying - to themselves. Seams and fabrics that hug the body, nipping in in all the right places. It's nice to see a woman stare appreciatively at herself in the mirror.