The allure of clothes crafted around your frame, the calm quietness of expert hands, the steady work of a craftsman, we think of these things when we imagine a tailor. The tailor’s shop is something of a fantasy world to us, a relic from a previous age when proper fit was the rule and not the exception, when the idea of quality was a given and not a bonus. We have given up much for our rapid world and the constant wear in garments results in a long term deficit with little to show in a wardrobe versus the upfront expensive of bespoke garments that become heirloom pieces. Tweed from a hundred years ago can still be worn. Polyester blends off the rack from last season are already on their last leg. And nothing fits right. We end up adjusting our body to fit the obtuse dimensions of our clothes rather than the other way around.
The tailor then is an expense, yes, but also a necessity. Not only can a proper tailor make for us a suit measured to our actual bodies, but a seamstress/seamster can make alterations in all of our clothes. A seamstress is more than just a maker of bespoke suits. A tailor is a craftsman of cloth, meeting our needs in maintenance and repair.
Tailors are in short supply but they do exist, and the larger the city the higher the number. From the outset, finding good tailors is a chore, but one that transitions into an adventure considering how good a tailor can make you look. The best place to begin is online. Search engines are your friend for a clothing expert is a business and not a secret society and will be listed.
The real issue in finding a tailor is in determining skill level. It is perfectly permissible to test out a tailor by the hem check. If you take in a pair of slacks and ask for a hem adjustment, you will be able to determine of the individual knows anything or not. A tailor who cannot make a simple adjustment to your hemline, and cannot do so quickly and with a good attitude, is a tailor to avoid. You should never put up with bad skill or bad attitude.
As all business lives or dies on referrals, the best way to feel out a tailor before taking in clothes is to use business review websites like Yelp. On Yelp and similar platforms locations of local tailors can be found along with brief descriptions and client reviews. We depend far more on gut reaction when making purchases than we realize, and so we can put our gut reactions to our advantage through a bit of prep work. So by going online and looking for reviews, we can then make calls, feel out the establishment, test out the skill level by small tailoring projects such as altering a hemline, and then make a decision to invest the next decade in a specific tailor to meet our sartorial needs.