I love me a sharp-dressed man. All you have to do is look at a man in a custom-tailored suit to know that when it comes to dressing well, we women don't have a monopoly. In fact, we could even learn a thing or two from our male counterparts.
Recently, when doing some research for a client, I met Tomas Romita, founder (and lead designer) of MADE, a Canadian custom menswear company located in Toronto. We started talking about fit, tailoring and fabric, and it quickly dawned on me that we women could take a few pointers from the bespoke approach to menswear to enhance our off-the-rack experience.
We all know that when it comes to a great looking suit, regardless of whether you're a man or a woman, fit is key, and if you go the route of custom tailoring, perfect fit is pretty much guaranteed. But if custom isn't in your budget or you're not in the market for a suit, you can still benefit from the principles of custom tailoring and strive for great fit.
Knowing what can and can't be altered on a garment is critical when shopping off-the-rack and aiming for a perfect fit. It'll keep you from spending money on clothes that can't be properly adjusted or will never look right.
Find a pair of pants you love but the waistband is too wide? Easy fix. Hem on an incredible skirt slightly too long? No big deal. Shoulders not fitting right on a fabulous blazer that you just have to have? Now you have a problem. You're best to just walk away and keep shopping for one that will make you look polished, not sloppy.
Tips on tailoring and fit aren't the only things we can take from the boys. According to Tomas, fabric selection is another important element in the bespoke process. When creating a custom designed suit or garment, fabric is chosen based on the client's wardrobe needs, the impact they want to have and what they'd like to communicate.
Quite often, when shopping off-the-rack, we women tend to look at style, cut, colour and pattern and then consider fabric, beyond its visual significance, after that. Some women don't even consider it all. Perhaps we should give it greater importance.
First of all, how practical is the choice of fabric? Will it wrinkle or stretch throughout the wear? How comfortable is it or how does it feel against your skin? What does it say about you? What does it communicate about the person you are? How well does it work into your existing wardrobe? How needy is it? Does it mix and match with other pieces or does it require a whole other wardrobe to go with it?
So many things to contemplate! And if fit, tailoring and fabric are just a few things to consider from the men's custom tailoring process, how much more would we learn if we started talking to them about style or fashion? What do they know that we don't when it comes to shopping? How much have we been missing out on?
I think it's time to ask. I think it's time for the men in our lives to share their little secrets. I think it's time for them to reveal all that they've been hiding.
Come on boys, I think it's time to spill.
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