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Notes from a Tailor - Tuesday 15th September

01 October 2015

The sales chief, the HR chief, and the boss of a company are on their way to lunch when they find an old brass container.

A genie emerges from a pillar of smoke offering 1 wish each.

The HR chief, “I want to be living on a beautiful beach in Jamaica with a sailboat and enough money to make me happy for the rest of my life.”

Poof! She disappears.

The sales chief, “I want to be happily married to a wealthy supermodel with penthouses in New York, Paris, and Hong Kong.”

Presto! He vanishes.

“And how about you?” asks the Genie, looking at the boss.

“I want both those idiots back in the office by 2 PM.”

Moral of the Story: Always let your boss speak first.

A suit made for many will only fit a few. We’re all a little unbalanced …one way or another. I myself am a little lopsided. Marginally curved and slightly stooped. Sure, it’s not something you could see from across the street, but it’s something. It hasn’t always been this way though. I used to be flawless. There was a time before tailoring when I was a picture of Vitruvian perfection. Then the curtain slipped. Ceremoniously pulled away by my tailor, the grand unveiling of my flawed form.

“… I fit off the peg pretty well, I have a fairly average body shape.”

Today I’m with a first timer. Our chap is a Managing Director at a financial firm in the city and found my name through a colleague happy to refer our service. We mull over the idea of a navy twill 3 piece, a staple in any gentlemen’s wardrobe. Opting for an 11oz, super 150s cloth, our aim is to revamp the look he’s sporting today, what he calls his ‘alright suit’. We want to create a more streamlined and sleeker animal for his wardrobe.We want presence, we want air of authority, but first and foremost, we want shoulders…

There’s a fair bit of creasing on the back right of our chaps jacket. Often with a new client accustomed to off the peg garments, I’ll explain the importance of balance in coat making. I ask if the gentleman likes so much room in his jacket? Would he be happy to take the shoulders in slightly? Whether he’d prefer buttons and button holes that lined up? No. Yes. Yes.

Good to hear chief… now lets get under the bonnet.

I hang his jacket away and get Sir in front of the mirror. Stand up nice and straight old bean, look right ahead and relax, this won’t hurt a bit. I explain the reason for the creasing in his jacket is his drop right shoulder. He has 2 questions. “It’s on the back right of your jacket and it means your right shoulder is lower than your left” I explain. To create a perfectly balanced suit for a perfectly unbalanced gentleman we’ll create an individual pattern, allowing tolerance for a drop right shoulder. He accepts with a nod of approval.

Sure enough, elegance is not a flower that grows in everyones garden. But walking through the swathes some days, you can chance upon a gentleman of such refined style that you can’t help but reflect on your own plot. Cultivate a little character and captivate the crowd. Oh, and peacock. Because what’s a garden without peacocks?

HR

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