Some days ago I had the pleasant opportunity to have a conversation with an older man, who has dedicated his entire life to the ancient profession of tailoring. I wanted to write a post about it, because I was impressed with the way he talked about his work, with passion and desire, which still today motivate him to continue working.
Unfortunately, the tailor profession is probably going to disappear with time, it seems to have seen its best days. In fact, the tailor told me how until a few years ago cities were full of dressmakers and tailors, which were even struggling to keep the pace with orders of suits, shirts and other clothing, while today most tailors make their living only thanks to repair work.
To my question: “What do you think about fashion?” the tailor replied without hesitation: “I have never followed fashion and never will. I only trust elegance.” He clarifies that for him, fashion is nothing else but an imposition of styles by the designers. The tailor continues: “They produce clothing for an imaginary customer, but we are all different.” He explains that from a tailor, you will receive a made to measure suit, that you have co-designed with the tailor, so that it fits perfectly your size, style and personality. In addition, at a tailor’s boutique you have the possibility to choose every detail of the suit, from fabrics to the fit and from pockets to buttons. All this makes the suit unique, and this is the key of elegance according to the tailor.
To make his point, he tells me how, for example, a director of a bank, could distinguish himself from the employees with a tailored suit, this allows him to show and emphasize his elegance and his power. “In the past,” the tailor said, “a director of a bank, would never buy his clothes at the same place as his employees, just to prove his superiority even in the clothing.“
Recently, fewer and fewer people decide to order a tailored suit, both because of the cost and the changed attitude caused by a wide range of ready to wear clothing availabe. Only in the past few years, there has been a sort of a reestablishment of handmade items and clothing, but unfortunately the reality is that, in a few years the profession of a tailor is likely to be only a memory.
Nowadays many people pay more interest to famous brands, rather than to handmade, although they are both two different ways of showing and comprising elegance and style. It’s true that we could consider this as a natural evolution, in fact, with the profusion of shops and stores and the wide range of high quality clothing, ready to be worn, the clients no longer feel the need to have a suit sewed perfectly to measure.
“It may take months, to finish a tailor-made suit. But why should I wait for so long, when I can find it already available in a shop? – An elegant man never asks this question.” Quote, tailor.
What do you think? Is this a phrase from the past or is still true today?