Luxury is not one size fits all, and men have known this for generations. They understand that when you invest in a custom suit it fits you perfectly, and it is made of the finest cloth which you will have for many years.
But not until recently have women decided to invest wisely in their clothing pieces and stop buying throw-away clothing which just ends up in a landfill site. Not only is a custom or bespoke clothing piece more comfortable to wear, but it is more flattering as it fits perfectly to your unique body type.
A female Tailor is called a ‘Tailoress’ and she would usually take all your measurements so that the garment enhances your body. A seamstress sews clothes, fabrics and apparel items for a living which is an entirely different craft.
Today we have ‘Phoebe Gormley’ who was the first female tailoress to set-up her shop ‘Gormely & Gamble’ on Savile Row in London.
Savile Row is a street in central London that was built in 1731, and is known for traditional men’s bespoke tailoring and is a premier destination for the most exquisite handmade suits in the world.
We also know that tailoring is the secret of the well-dressed woman.
Today women are challenged by the ‘sizing system’ established for clothing in 1885 and then it was abandoned in 1983. The situation has gotten so bad with the arrival of ‘vanity sizing’ in which bigger garments are tagged with smaller numbers to entice you the customer, and then we have a size ‘00’. Are you kidding me, what the heck is a size ‘00’. This just drives me absolutely crazy. Also, do not get sucked into ‘Tag Phobia’ which is just a game that clothing manufacturers play with us. So this is what you need to learn to buy the right garment for your body type.
We start with shopping for the biggest part of your body. Buy a piece of clothing that fits the widest part of your body and take the rest of the garment in. This is how we eliminate buttons pulling on the bustline and muffin-top inducing jeans.
If you have a tiny waist then you buy pants that fit your hips and have the waist altered.
But if your shoulders and arms are larger then get a jacket that fits your shoulders and have the body of the jacket altered.
Height can also be an issue. Really tall women usually find it difficult to find pants that fit them and usually buy a larger pair and then have them entirely altered. While the opposite is true for shorter women who should not wear a maxi garment of any type. Short women look best wearing either a garment to the knee or just below as it balances them out.
Every woman should know what her measurements are because they usually change over the years, and it makes shopping so much more fun. Plus online shopping becomes a breeze when you know your numbers.
To help you with your measurements I have a free PDF on ‘How to Measure your Body Type’ which should help get you started. Just insert your numbers into the form and then save it to your photos on your phone, or you can print it out. If you prefer an APP, you might want to check out ‘Dress Measurement’ which does the same thing.
Now finding a good ‘Tailoress’ is a challenge but you can start by asking a trusted boutique or a dry cleaner in your area for a recommendation.
The most important thing that a Tailoress can do for you, is that she will create your shape and size. The shape of your back, for example, is curved, not straight, so a good Tailoress will fit that beautifully to your body. If a garment is just a little tight your Tailoress will be able to find some room in the zipper or the side seam or by inserting a slit or a vent into the garment to give you more ease.
It is always important if you have wide pants to make sure that you have one pair to wear with heels and another pair to wear with flats. A Tailoress will look at your silhouette differently than you will because they have a trained eye that will notice any imperfections. This could be like closing the pockets in a pair of pants for a more streamlined look to creating a dart under the bust to create a cleaner line. However, if you are still not happy with your altered clothing pieces than maybe it is time to consider a custom-made garment. Most designers offer a consultation service to discuss what it is exactly that you are looking for. They will also give you a breakdown of costs because fabrics and labour will vary depending on your fabric selections and design.
So remember that when you look in the mirror and analyse your outfit, the ‘Well-Dressed Woman’ is always in line with her proportions. Your wardrobe should have pieces that enhance your body type and are in sync with the line, proportion and balance.
When your clothing fits you perfectly, you will wear it more often and not buy throw-away clothing, hence you will save money.
It’s important to know that having fewer clothing pieces that are well designed and constructed is a smarter investment in your wardrobe over time.
Because ladies, your closet is one of the most expensive areas in your home and it doesn’t get any bigger.
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Until next time it’s Linda Ferguson – Helping you discover your inner FASHiONiSTA