Tailor Made

Our son was the Best Man in a wedding last September. Instead of renting tuxedos, the Groom and all the Groomsmen had matching suits sewn by a Vietnamese tailor company that specializes in doing precise measurements virtually. Son just happened to be going through Kansas City where the headquarters is, so he got measured in person. Everyone else was measured via Zoom or something. The suits were of such good quality and fit so well (as well as being affordable) that he ordered a sports coat, some dress shirts, and five pairs of chinos from the company. He got them last week and they all fit beautifully. They are of very good quality.

Whan Husband and I married in the early 1980’s, we opted for a tailor made suit for him, too, instead of renting a tuxedo. Winnipeg at the time had many tailor shops, most run by tailors who had immigrated from Italy in the 1960’s. All the conversations between the workers were in Italian. It was fun for Husband to meet the guys who made his suit. We still have it, although it doesn’t fit anymore and is sadly out of style.

What are your experiences with tailors or seamstresses? What clothing have you rented? What are your memories of wedding clothes? What are Baboon experiences as tailors?

52 thoughts on “Tailor Made”

    1. Waves enthusiastically!

      I am taking this blog entry as a sign.

      One of my hoped for “pandemic projects” (I have yet to have the time for such, but live in hope) was to do some tailoring again. It’s been years, but I love it.

      I’ve hauled out the books and started rooting through the “stash” of fabric and notions, so…

      And now there is YouTube! (oh how I love YouTube for making and fixing)

      Liked by 4 people

  1. When the ex and I were getting married, there was a stressful discussion (as they usually were) about clothes. I let her express all of her concerns and worries about her mom, her bridesmaids, my groomsmen, the costs, the uselessness of special dresses, etc. When she was finished, I asked if I could propose a solution (her Aspberger’s usually didn’t like it when I did that). I said, “Tell everyone to wear blue.” She looked horrified. I said, “Everyone has something dressy that’s blue…and, if not, it’s something that’s easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and can be worn for other occasions. If everyone wears a different shade of blue, we’ll all become a ‘symphony of blue’ in the photos. Everyone is on the same theme but is able to express themselves individually.” My logic was, thankfully, irrefutable. Our wedding photos were great, everyone had a great time, and no one had to buy anything special that they didn’t want and would never wear again. I got the idea from watching Peter Falk’s interview on Inside the Actor’s Studio. James Lipton asked him how he came up with Columbo’s trademark outfit. Falk replied, “I wanted him to be a symphony of brown.” I thought that was brilliant.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. We, too, told our one groomsman to wear any old blue suit he wanted. I had one attendant, and she is an accomplished seamstress and we found a nice pattern for a tea length dress she could wear on other occasions. My dress was also tea length. (I haven’t worn it for any other occasions! ) I kept it in a floor length zippered garment bag that could hold a number of garments, and I found to my chagrin that our cats had got into the bags several years ago and climbed up the dress, snagging it all over with their claws.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Daughter’s arm was casted last summer when she had to be in a wedding. She got a removable cast just before the wedding so her cast wasn’t in the wedding pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My brothers are identical twins and have always had a great relationship. When my one brother was getting married, the twin was to be the best man. The week before, the best man got into an accident with his motorcycle. He had a separated shoulder, cracked ribs, fractured collarbone, and some other things he wouldn’t tell us about. He managed to do the wedding without slings or casts. But when the bridesmaid gently took his arm, he nearly blacked out from the pain. Mom almost killed him when she found out…

      Liked by 7 people

  3. My favorite uncle, Børge, was a tailor by trade. He owned and operated a one-man shop in Nykøbing (where I went to boarding school) until he retired. Even long after he retired and had moved back to Stubbekøbing, people would bring him clothes that needed altering. When I was sixteen he made a blazer for me out of an old mail carrier’s jacket. It was bright red, and I wore that jacket till it literally disintegrated.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Damn! I screwed up and had one letter right, though in the in wrong place, in today’s Wordle.
    Wordle 228 3/6*


    Liked by 3 people

        1. I can’t imagine ever getting it right on the first guess. That would have to be extraordinary luck considering how many five-letter words there are in English. But I am very happy because I got it on my second guess today. I’m pretty squarely in the four-guess realm most of the time

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I read somewhere that, out of the thousands of possible five letter words, the creators of the game chose 2500 that are in common use, recognizing that if the final word were something you had never heard, you would feel cheated. I operate on the theory that those 2500 words don’t include plural words formed by adding an s and probably not adverbs ending in ly and past tense ending in ed. That narrows the options considerably. So far, I haven’t been contradicted.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. I always use the letters s, t, and r, plus two vowels— stair, stare, rates, riots, store, etc. for my first word. Those, I find, are valuable letters to confirm or exclude. My second guess naturally depends on the results of the first. If I still don’t have any vowels confirmed, my second guess includes two more, plus c, l, n, or p, if I can contrive it.

          Liked by 3 people

  5. I have no tailoring experiences. I rarely have need for anything formal. I do have a good friend who sews a lot and does very ornate costumes. Her grandson works in the Renaissance Festivals in Colorado and Minnesota. He has needed various costumes for his roles and Pam has been more than willing to dress him. They’ve gone to a number of Festivals together dressed appropriately in costumes she created. She and I went together once and she was looking at some of the dresses in one of the shops. I saw multiple complex seams and a bodice, with lace panels. She was looking at construction. She said she could easily make it. I gaped at her and told her to look at the price. It was over $700. She said she would just make it for someone and never charge anything because she loves to sew.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Krista, you and I could probably play 6 Degrees of Separation with costumers instead of Kevin Bacon! I’m sure your friend would know people I know, or used to know.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Thanks for joggling my memory that the s&h’s girlfriend enjoys the Chicago Ren Fest (they went last summer) and I really should get after some basic garb for him. I’d love to so something super fancy, but even a pirate shirt would be a start (and would take a day if I just shut everything else out and committed to doing it).

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Oh I know he would. Maybe not anything super elaborate, but a pirate shirt to go with whatever frock she might have? Sure.

          His childhood is the story of the shoemaker’s children going barefoot.

          His Halloween costumes were almost always pounded out at the last minute. I remember putting reflective tape on his raincoat laid out on the hood of the chair in front of daycare one year.

          But the best ever (and we still laugh about it), was the chunk of berber fleece I whacked a neck opening into and maybe dagged the edges, put a thick belt around the waist and called it a Robin Hood tunic. That got a lot of use over the years- I think he once did a school presentation on the Visigoths wearing it. There was a hat that was a partial circle with one seam up the back and a feather stuck in it to go with it too.

          So fancy we are. Years of last minute “hey, we need a _____” stood me in good stead all those years.

          Liked by 4 people

  6. I have never rented clothing of any sort. The very idea of it makes my skin crawl.

    Growing up, most of my sister’s and my clothing was hand made. Not by my mother, who never learned to sew or knit, but by a couple of seamstresses and hand knitters in our little town. For some reason mom wanted us to dress the same. Randi and I are two years and three months apart, and we both resented having to wear identical dresses. That said, I still recall several of those dresses, and they were beautiful. It’s funny to think that the best dressed years of my childhood were when I was too young to care or appreciate it. Once I hit my teens and became pretty self-conscious about what I wore, it was pretty much hand-me downs from who knows where.

    In high school I learned to sew, and I made most of my own clothes until I was my late twenties. I haven’t sewn in years, now.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Formal clothing is almost completely foreign to me. I have a suit I bought at a department store in 2006 when my father died. The last time I remember wearing it was for a funeral in 2015. I have a sport coat in my closet too but I don’t remember where it came from. They’re probably out of fashion ( or maybe back in fashion—who knows?) but it doesn’t matter since they never leave my closet.

    When we were married, back in 1970, in an outdoor wedding, I wore white pants and a yellow shirt and Robin wore a green dress she had made for herself. The only time I’ve worn a tuxedo was a rented one for my daughter’s wedding. Like all formal and semiformal wear, it felt like a costume to me and unnatural.

    Back in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, Robin and I were part of a group of living history re-enactors, our reenactment period being the mid nineteenth century. We would hang out with this group at various historic sites in period-appropriate clothing doing period-appropriate things, mostly as additional color for the site. For this activity, I made my own clothing. One could obtain patterns drafted from original garments and, although the fabrics available were not precisely equivalent, we could find reasonable substitutes. For my wardrobe during that time, I made myself perhaps a half dozen frock coats, a sack coat or two, and many shirts, trousers and waistcoats (vests). I made myself an overcoat with a capelet out of black coating wool from a pattern for a Civil War officer’s coat and a warm winter hat from salvaged Persian lamb. The frock coats were semi-tailored, in that I had preceded the final coat with a muslin that I could adjust for fit and I pad stitched the infrastructure with hair canvas as would have been proper for the period. Robin also made herself many marvelous dresses and bonnets and accessories. She still has some of her clothes. I donated mine, when we left the group, to the group’s clothing lending closet and to a friend who supplied costumes for films.

    A little later, Robin and I were involved in costuming for our daughter’s high school’s theatrical productions. For a production of “The Pirates of Penzance”, I used my experience to make a flamboyant tail coat with epaulets for the modern major general. Later, for a production of “Guys and Dolls”, we made a variety of suit coats out of loud upholstery fabrics. As costumes, these were minimally tailored, with iron-on interfacing for structure and only half lined.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oooh, a re-enactor, cool! I was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism for a year or so while I was in college. I dropped out because I couldn’t find anyone who wanted an apprentice in any of the arts or crafts, and I wasn’t interested in either participating in or watching fighter training, which was the only regular open event.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. After a while I came to realize that what I really enjoyed was the research and making the clothing. I started to dread the actual reenactments.

        Speaking of the SCA, at some of the events in which we participated, there was also a group of quasi-celtic re-enactors that called themselves Clan Tartan. The historical basis of their costuming and their accompaniments and their presence at all was so questionable we used to refer to them as Clan Cartoon.

        Liked by 4 people

  8. The man’s father died while he was out of the country and was unable to return for a funeral.
    He telephoned instructions to the funeral home director, “I want the very best for Dad. Spare no expense.”
    The arrangements were made and the man paid the bill.
    A month later he received a bill for $100. Went ahead and paid.
    Next month a bill for $100. “Oh, well” Paid.
    Third month another bill for $100. Called.
    “What’s up with these $100 expenses?!”
    “You wanted the very best for your Dad so I rented him a tux”

    Liked by 7 people

  9. When I graduated from high school my mother gave me a brand new sewing machine and sewing lessons. I think there were four of them total. Over the years I have made some of my own clothing and a few things for YA when she was a toddler but these days I only use the sewing machine for crafting or repair. I’m not much for fashion.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Sorry I missed the discussion yesterday! I got my ID renewed and then we went to United Noodles (took us a while to get there, as we’d taken the 7 from downtown and had to backtrack to catch the 9 instead) and ended up buying way more Pusheen plushies than actual food.

    Anyway, my only experiences have been with costumers. One, a friend of mine at the time, was a master costumer. She recreated a card from the Tarot of the Cat People, and I won a presentation prize at a Masquerade (costume contest) for wearing it onstage. These days, I’ve heard, she’s working with the woman who once made me a Gothic Lolita costume in a trade–that costume was very well done, but it came with a waist-cincher (her specialty being corsets) and I decided I didn’t really enjoy getting into or wearing corsetry. I did make a point of wearing it at a very anti-costume literary convention, so that was fun. The last costumer was actually the first one I every dealt with, about 30 years ago now. She made uniforms for a group of us in a local branch of the Starfleet fan club–the red ones from the 2nd Star Trek movie–and there was something wrong with the hem of my jacket so it never quite hung right. I didn’t wear it often so I didn’t bother going back to try to get it fixed, and after a few years I drifted out of media fandom into literary fandom (in other words, I started hanging out with the local writers) and gave the jacket away. Wow, I hadn’t thought about any of that for ages!

    Liked by 6 people

  11. my tailor in hongkong is at the marco polo hotel on the water
    back in the day you used to have to fly into hong kong then take the train or a flight into china
    i would order a couple suits and shirts and i would pick them up on my way out
    after the rules changed it was usually shenzhen i flew into but i didn’t wear suits as often so maybe a topcoat or something for my wife and now the trick is that i flew in yesterday and i’m leaving for a week tomorrow
    make me one jacket and 3 shirts for my travels and i’ll be back in a week to pick up the rest
    but it is amazing that you can pick really beautiful material and create really ugly clothing i tried linen for me and got a really ugly coat and a suit for deb that was horrible
    it looks so good in my brain and when it’s handed to me it fits the parameters that i gave to have it made but instead of being beautiful it looks like really bad walmart fashion
    i do hems on pant legs and last week i sewed up the outer shell on my full length down filled top coat which tore a little a year or two back but the tear had become armpit to mid shin. i was impressed with the way it turned out
    nice to have when it’s so cold
    i would love to find an easy way to do buttons both shirt buttons and particularly coat buttons
    i repair hats with stitches and glue
    shoes with glue and silicone
    if i find an article of clothing that is possible to fix by tailoring i factor that into the buy
    goodwill makes it possible to justify but today i have so many clothes i don’t need any more but occasionally i see something that calls out to me

    Liked by 6 people

  12. My first off the farm job, while still in High school was for Mestads Formal Wear pressing suit coats, pants, and vests. I’ve told the story before I know. It only lasted about 2 months, through the June wedding rush, but it was kind of a fun job. Very hot back in the press rooms with all the humidity.
    I always loved the different tuxedo coats and styles. Picked out one from the basement to have my senior photo taken in, complete with big ruffles and huge black bow tie!

    Mom sewed really well and taught all of us how to sew to a point. She made drapes and I was just thinking last night how we used to help her fold them and tie them up.
    i bought a couple suits before Before our son got married and they were sort of tailored, to a point. Paid way too much money for the first one; got a second cheaper, and I need to wear them a whole lot more to get my moneys worth.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Glad I finally got to the computer (was a 4-meeting day)… look how many baboon tailors we have!

    Most complicated thing I made was a lined sport coat for Wasband in 1975 – was a lovely burgundy corduroy plaid. : )
    I made some of my own clothing in high school and early 20, including a gorgeous wool coat dress. I did make several costumes for Joel and even Husband.

    Liked by 2 people

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