“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance”--Confucius.
There is no certification exam for tailors. There is no license required. Consumer Reports does not rate tailors. Consequently, there is much misunderstanding of what it takes to be a “good tailor.” So, let me try to shed some light on the subject.
Tailoring, like any profession, involves expertise in several disciplines:
• Fabric — a tailor must understand the fibers, spinning, dyeing, weaving and finishing that makes one cloth or design different from another.
• Design—a tailor must understand that clothing is a sophisticated form of non-verbal communication and create a design (pattern) for a custom suit appropriate to the client.
• Fit—a tailor must understand human anatomy and know how to adjust his pattern to disguise asymmetrical or disproportionate features of the client.
• Workmanship—a tailor must cut, baste, sew by hand, sew by machine and press so that the custom suit is “clean.”
• Alterations—a tailor must know how to correct his work when the design or cloth make-up has unexpected results or the client’s body changes.
• Communication—a tailor must engage in a meaningful dialogue with his client so that the expectations for the custom suit are clear to both.
• Business—a tailor must be skilled in business so that he qualifies for credit and delivers his products in a timely manner.
This is not a job for one man (or woman)! So what’s the answer?
As in any other profession such as law or medicine-- a team of specialists. You don’t have to meet them all, but the company you buy from should have them all—a fabric buyer, a designer, a master fitter, a coat maker, a vest maker, a trouser maker, a shirt maker, an alterations tailor, a customer service rep and a talented businessperson.
That's what you will find at Saint Laurie Merchant Tailors and it's the reason we've been around for 97 years.