Are you looking at your warm weather clothing options?
Look in almost any clothing store and you’ll usually see many items of summer clothing that can be described as “fast fashion.” This is the sort that you wear for a brief period, then are likely to discard.
We get the temptation. Fast fashion tends to be cheap. It’s often styled from looks you have seen in recent catalogues. It’s accessible and a quick solution to “what to wear.”
Now, of course it’s our profession, but we believe a visit to your tailor is a much better solution for several reasons. Let’s take a closer look:
Characteristics of fast fashion
Fast fashion can be characterized as cheaply made clothing, which often borrows ideas from current fashion trends. It tends to have been made quickly to capitalize on those trends, but not made well.
You can find “fast fashion” in any department store or over the internet. For some chains, their entire business model is fast fashion, with pieces being quickly made, usually in a country where labor is cheap. These stores rely on getting clothing that is inspired by the latest trends onto their racks quickly, at prices the average consumer can afford, so there are often corners cut in order to do that.
Impacts of fast fashion
The first and perhaps most obvious corner “cut” is the overall quality of the garments. Most are not put together with any sort of durability in mind. They’re sewn quickly using mostly cheap, synthetic fabrics. These rapidly look worn and the clothing itself often starts to unravel or generally look unkempt after just a few wears.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” holds true here. When was the last time a twenty-dollar shirt lasted you more than a few months with regular wear? At the very least, these items tend to quickly look shabby and lose their appeal. If it’s a piece that is very “trend” related, that particular fashion may quickly be over too.
What happens then? Of course people throw that clothing out. EPA figures show that landfills in the US received 10.5 million tons of textiles in 2015, while 3.1 million tons were combusted. Many of the “fast fashion” pieces we throw out simply aren’t worth donating because of the state they’re in. While a certain amount gets recycled, these figures show there is still a huge amount going completely to waste.
The second concern is also environmental. Constant demand for quickly consumed fast fashion means constant need for production of the materials that make up the clothing. Research shows that the fashion industry is second only to the oil industry in terms of global carbon emissions. The habit of purchasing fast-fashion may seem like a quick fix to an immediate want or need, but it’s a long-term hazard.
Thirdly, there is also much concern about where the fast fashion pieces are sourced from. We mentioned that they’re often produced in countries with cheap labor; the “sweatshop” issue has been one highlighted in the fashion industry. Many people raise concerns that anything they consume is ethically sourced, and of course poor wages and miserable working conditions are the opposite of this.
This third issue obviously depends upon the particular moral persuasion of who you talk to about it, but most people can agree that exploitative conditions in the name of fast profits are not okay. Many companies, including some that sell fast fashion, have made pledges to only work with factories that meet certain conditions for their workforce, however not all have. Most consumers won’t know what is behind that shirt they pick up off the rack, whether standards were met or not.
What you get from your tailor
Thinking of seasonal clothing and warmer weather again, summer generally has a more relaxed dress code than what would be appropriate in the fall. This doesn’t mean you should relax your standards for quality clothing – for reasons we have already listed, it pays to steer clear of fast fashion.
Better quality and comfort
One of the first benefits you’re going to see from going to a tailor instead is that your overall look is better. Your clothes are made to fit, they suit your body shape and they give you an air of polish. Whether you’re in the office or headed to an outdoor gathering, you can stand out for your sense of style.
Your own comfort in the clothes is also likely to be much better. No one enjoys button holes that pull, sleeves that are too short or hastily made items that are just not constructed for comfort. We suggest men and women instead invest this summer in quality pants, shirts and jackets that are tailored to fit. These will stand up to hot weather and help you look cool and comfortable instead of wrinkled, ill-fitting and disposable at the end of one season.
When you visit a tailor, you’re seeing a professional that knows the little details that add up to make good-quality clothing. Items are made with precision and care, not in a hasty assembly line. Even the off-the-rack items we source are held to high standards and we suspect other tailors do too. Our reputations depend on being able to back the quality of our wares so no “fast fashion” is going to pass muster.
Besides the way your garments are made, your tailor can advise on the best styles to suit your needs and body type. When you buy “fast fashion,” you are at the mercy of whatever sizing they have opted to use. Often, this is arbitrary and isn’t a great match for common, standard sizing either. Besides that, many of the trends copied from the catwalk don’t come across so well in mass-produced clothing. Corner-cutting can ruin the original intent of the catwalk design.
In our article on “fashion vs. style” we talked about the key differences and how style is more enduring and personal. By working with a knowledgeable sales associate and tailor, you can get pieces that denote your own sense of style and are made to last. A good jacket in a timeless style that has been tailored to suit you will be worn season after season.
Your tailor can also talk to you about appropriate fabric choices for the seasonal weather. There are several (mostly synthetic) fabrics that are best avoided because they don’t absorb moisture. In hot weather, this can mean you end up drenched in sweat which is never the best look! Most fast fashion choices you come across will be made up of a large proportion of synthetic fabrics – another reason you won’t want to wear it for long!
How you source your clothing is of course, a personal choice. However, if you’re looking for better quality, better comfort and garments that are made to last, your tailor is always going to be a better choice than fast fashion.
There are a number of issues associated with fast fashion that you’ll find on the racks of most department stores, including quality, environmental and ethical issues. Putting aside any moral issues, they’re simply not well-made.
Throwaway fashion is about chasing trends, but you’re unlikely to achieve a polished look. Visit a reputable store and their tailor for timeless elegance, no matter the weather.
A relaxed dress code sounds easy. You think about weekend-wear and comfort, or “smart casual” for the office.
The reality is that a relaxed dress code is far from no-effort, not if you want to keep making a great impression. It involves putting some thought into your overall appearance, even if the final result looks “easy.”
We’ve seen a shift in dress codes for men over recent years with a trend for more relaxed formality, often including some of the most formal situations. This may be good or bad, depending on your point of view, but it doesn’t mean you should let your appearance go.
“Clothes make the man,” said Mark Twain. Even earlier than Twain, the priest and theologian Erasmus said “vestis virum facit,” (literally “clothes makes the man”). It doesn’t matter if the dress code is relaxed, it’s still worth paying attention to a few rules for pulling it off well:
In a world where fewer people now have to wear a full suit for work, don’t miss the chance to stand out for the care you take with your appearance. Relaxed formality should NEVER mean sloppy or unkempt. In fact, a coordinated, well-appointed ensemble matters now more than ever.
You may not have to wear a suit (although every gentleman should own at least one tailored suit!), but you can still coordinate a polished look. A sport coat, slacks and an open-neck shirt give a more relaxed impression, but also a look of being effortlessly stylish.
With the rapid change in accepted dress codes for men, remember the maxim that putting on a coordinated ensemble can elevate the spirit, extol your sense of self and help define you as a man to whom details matter. Looking good automatically makes you lift your head up and exude more confidence.
So make sure your outfits work well together. Choose trousers and shirts that you can mix and match with a sports coat for a signature look.
Pay attention to the details
Including accessories in your outfit can convey something about your personality and show that you pay attention to detail. We take a “less is more” approach – choose the two or three accessories that complement rather than overpower the outfit.
Consider jewelry such as rings or watches to go with your business casual or more relaxed outfit. A nice leather belt is always a good complement to your trousers.
You probably don’t need the formality of pocket squares, ties or cufflinks, but adding one of these is a quick way to spruce up a more casual outfit. You might need to rapidly go from your regular relaxed setting to a more formal one (such as with business meetings), so think about how you might quickly change to fit in with the new environment.
“The details” should also include your feet. Wear nice, clean shoes! People look at your shoes more often than you might think. Dirt, scuff marks and the general condition of your footwear will be noticed. It doesn’t matter if your dress code calls for a pair of Oxfords or is casual enough to allow burnished leather sneakers – keep your shoes tidy.
While you’re at it, wear socks if you want to make a good impression. There has been a trend for going without socks and it has attracted a lot of debate. In our view, going sockless, especially with your good leather shoes is sloppy. You also have to be very careful with hygiene – going sockless can lead to smelly feet and shoes.
“Dressing well is a form of good manners,” says Tom Ford. There is definitely a case to be made here!
Pay attention to fit
How well your clothes fit will make or break your outfit. Too big or too small both come off looking sloppy, no matter what you are wearing. For this reason, it’s worth having some of your key pieces tailored. Think shirts, sport coats and trousers.
Fit doesn’t always mean looking perfectly tailored – some pieces naturally call for a more boxy fit. One thing to consider here is fit for body shape; not all styles suit all people so it’s important to figure out what will flatter your own shape.
If you tend to prefer to wear clothing that will have some longevity in terms of fashion sense, the traditionalist approach suggests that clothing with a slimmer fit or more tailored appearance will last the distance.
Keep it simple
While bold logos have been making an appearance in fashion collections, this is not the sort of trend that is bound to last. One thing that never tends to go out of fashion is simplicity.
We’re talking clothing that isn’t “fussy.” Pieces that you’d be comfortable wearing to almost any occasion. They tend to have clean lines and fit well. Think of outfits such as a plain t-shirt paired with chinos, a leather belt and a pair of loafers.
Paired-back clothing is never uncool. We can look back to icons such as James Dean who managed to pull off a timeless look that is often repeated today. Being understated in clothes that are simple, yet fit well will always keep you looking good.
If you’d like, you can give a nod to fashion trends without being overtaken by them. For example, you might include one “trend” item with an outfit that is otherwise made up of classic pieces. This way you don’t end up with a wardrobe full of clothing that will never see daylight again.
It can be about comfort too. Fashion trends come and go but you often have your own favorite “look.” It’s much easier to make a good impression when you’re comfortable and confident in what you are wearing.
“Looking good isn’t self-importance, it’s self-respect.” – Charles Hix
Stick to basic colors and patterns
One reason why many people open their closets and declare they have nothing to wear is because they have a whole lot of items that are mismatched. If you have clothing colors all over the spectrum and patterns that will clash if put together, you don’t have a workable closet.
A benefit of a more relaxed dress code is its potential for simplicity, as we’ve already indicated. You can make putting an outfit together much more effortless if you coordinate your basics.
For example, start out by considering a few base colors for your key pieces. This might be black, navy, grey or neutrals for trousers, coats, jackets and shirts. You can always mix and match from complementary colors, then add splashes of other colors (such as with a scarf or a pair of socks).
A more relaxed dress code doesn’t mean the absence of thought going into your outfits. In fact, getting dressed should involve the purposeful selection of an outfit because clothes mean something.
What you wear communicates so much about you without you saying a word. You can meet a relaxed dress code, but still look well put together. You can exude confidence and competence simply because you are dressed well.
On the other hand, let’s not allow “relaxed” to go too far, especially in a work setting. If you look sloppy or unkempt, what kind of messages are you sending? It’s not that you have to be a slave to fashion or spend a long time getting dressed, but investing in a few basics that work well together will make all the difference.
Being well-dressed for any weather or occasion is about more than just the style of clothing you are wearing.
Have you ever dressed in an outfit to look good for an occasion, only to find yourself too hot or too cold? Perhaps the fabric stuck or didn’t seem to breathe very well. Fabric choice can play a big role in how comfortable you feel and how neat your appearance is.
If you live in an area that experiences the fluctuations of the seasons, then you’re going to need a mix of clothing in different fabrics to dress for the weather. In any case, it’s a good idea to understand which fabrics hold up better under different conditions.
Here is our guide to fabric choices for the seasons:
Summer fabrics: Some do’s and don’ts
When you’re heading into warmer weather, it’s time to think about fabrics that will keep you cool and comfortable. The “hot and bothered” look is never a good one in a professional setting! You don’t want to be sweating or risking that your choice of clothing contributes to body odor.
The best summer fabrics are breathable, here are some to consider:
Linen garments have been popular in Europe for years, but have been slow to catch on here in the U.S. Many people here have avoided it due to its tendency to crease and wrinkle, but the fabric’s properties make it one of the most comfortable to wear in hot weather. In fact, while at first, linen fibers are stiff and wrinkle easily, they become smoother with handling and use.
Linen is a loosely woven fabric that is laboriously made from the flax plant. It is known to be one of the strongest natural fibers in the world. In fact, US currency among others uses a blend of linen and cotton for more robust bank notes.
The linen fibers are thicker than cotton and longer, which contributes to its strength. You can expect a well-made linen garment to last a long time. In terms of comfort, linen has strong moisture-wicking properties and dries a lot faster than cotton does. It also has a natural ability to prevent bacterial growth, which helps when you don’t want to end up with body odor on shirts.
Linen is also known for being a comfortable option for those with skin allergies or conditions. The properties of the fibers can make it a good option for all seasons, keeping you cool in summer and layered for warmth in winter.
Cotton is another natural fiber that allows air to circulate when you wear it. Here in the U.S., cotton is a very popular choice for warm weather clothing. The fibers aren’t as strong as linen, although strength is achieved by spinning multiple fibers into the yarn.
Good-quality lightweight cottons will also help to absorb moisture and keep you cool. In fact, cotton absorbs around 25% of its weight in water. This means it can become heavy and wet if exposed to a lot of moisture.
In terms of handling, cotton is usually soft and smooth from when you purchase it. Cotton does have a tendency to wrinkle, so many people choose to wear a blend with polyester, especially for travel.
Chambray and Seersucker
Chambray is often confused with denim, but it is actually a more lightweight cotton fabric with a plain weave. It has a finish like linen with a mottled texture.
Chambray shirts tend to be a basic item that transcends the seasons. The plain weave helps it to stay cool in the heat and it absorbs moisture well.
Seersucker is another fabric from the cotton family and is known for being thin and lightweight. You’ll often find boating attire or summer dresses made from this fabric, usually in striped or checkered patterns.
Fabrics to avoid in hot weather
If we were to sum up the fabrics to avoid when you need to feel cool, it would be any fabric that repels moisture. You want summer fabrics to absorb moisture, otherwise areas of dampness are more likely to show on what you’re wearing.
This puts synthetic fabrics among the worst choices for summer wear. Most of them do not absorb moisture at all, meaning you can end up bathing in sweat. Fabrics to avoid include:
- Nylon – This fabric repels water and will tend to trap heat and sweat against your skin.
- Acrylic – The fabric will feel hot and abrasive against your skin.
- Rayon – This synthetic will repel water also.
- Polyester – While this is often used in travel-wear, a high percentage of polyester means that it too will repel rather than absorb moisture.
- Faux leather or vinyl – You’ll end up feeling like you’ve been wrapped in plastic wrap…
- Denim – While made from cotton, the sturdy, heavy weave makes it smothering to wear in the heat.
Winter fabrics: Some do’s and don’ts
The advice for winter fabrics very much depends on where you are wearing the clothes and how cold it is. If you’re heading up into the mountains on a ski trip, you need to pay particular attention to fabrics that will not only keep you warm, but dry at the same time. If you’re in the office, you still want something breathable.
Here are some fabrics to look at:
Yes, cotton is a good, breathable choice for all seasons. In the colder weather look for thicker weaves for some extra warmth. Of course, you’re probably layering a blazer or jacket over the top anyway.
However, if you’re heading somewhere cold for outdoor activities, cotton is a poor fabric choice. In fact, wearing it can lead to hypothermia under the right conditions. Cotton is hydrophilic, which means that it won’t wick moisture away from your skin. It absorbs the moisture and can end up feeling wet and cold.
Wet cotton may wick heat away from your body up to 25 times faster than when the fabric is dry. If say, you’re wearing a cotton undershirt up on the mountain and sweating with exertion, it will quickly soak up the sweat and have you feeling as cold as though you fell into some water.
Leather or Faux leather
This is a fabric choice which can carry you through spring and fall as well. Leather tends to get better with age and form to your body shape, making it a flattering choice. It is tough and versatile, with a history as a popular choice for body armor.
Leather is good as a wind-breaker against the biting chill and is naturally water-resistant. Water will get through wool or denim much faster than leather.
Wool is a natural fiber that is very breathable, but also retains a lot of warmth. It wicks moisture away from your skin, trapping it to keep you warm.
Wool creates a natural insulation due to the air pockets among its properties. Even if wool gets wet, you will stay warm due to its natural water resistance. The fabric is also known for being odor-resistant – outdoor trekkers may wear the same piece of clothing for several days without it smelling.
A good-quality wool garment can last you for years. It is easy to care for and retains its shape if looked after well. There are different types of wool to look out for, with Merino being one of the finest knits. You’ll find wool garment choices from casual to formal-wear.
Your fabric choice for the season should have you looking good and feeling comfortable. Remember a couple of general rules:
- In hot weather, you want fabric that absorbs moisture
- In cold weather (particularly when outdoors), you want moisture-wicking fabric.
Some of the natural fibers such as wool will take you through all seasons, but fabrics like cotton and linen should be avoided in situations such as ski trips. Remember that the synthetics tend to be less breathable and uncomfortable in summer, but may work just fine in winter.
The father of the bride has an important role to play in the wedding party.
You may have prepared a witty speech, practiced walking down the aisle or any other jobs related to the specifics of the wedding. One thing that is common to most weddings is that there will be photographs, possibly even a video.
Not only do you want to look your best for these keepsakes which people will reminisce over for years to come, but you want to feel good about how you look on the day. It’s no fun if you spend the day in discomfort in an ill-fitting suit or clothing that is not suitable for the weather.
So, how do we dress Dad for comfort and style? Here are a few “father of the bride” dressing tips:
#1. Follow the wedding dress code
The number one tip for any fathers of the bride or groom is to find out what the dress code is for the wedding and follow it. Talk to the bride and groom about what their plans are for attire and colors, bearing in mind that you will be in the photos too!
As an integral part of the wedding, parents of the bride and groom help to set the tone for it that other guests will follow. The possibilities for dress code are endless, often depending on the venue, season, theme, time of day and preferences of the bride and groom.
Here are some basics of wedding dress codes:
- Black tie – Wear a tuxedo or formal dinner outfit.
- White tie – This is even more formal than black tie. It generally involves wearing a tuxedo with tails, a formal white shirt, white vest, bow tie, white gloves and formal footwear.
- Semi-formal – Wear a suit in a color appropriate to the time of day.
- Casual – Usually for outdoor or beach weddings with a more laid-back vibe. Dress pants or khakis and a collared shirt are generally appropriate. You can add a tie and sports coat, but they aren’t usually essential.
- Nighttime wedding or winter – The colors considered to be appropriate are usually black, charcoal or navy.
- Daytime wedding or summer – Appropriate colors tend to be brown, beige and navy. If it is not black tie, then a sport coat, tailored trousers and a shirt with a tie are generally good choices.
- Color themes – Sometimes the bride and groom will state a preference for a color theme – red and white is common for Valentine’s Day weddings.
#2. Style can match the groom
There is hot debate over whether the father of the bride (or groom) should match their outfit with what the groom and groomsmen are wearing. This same debate is carried through to the mothers and the bridesmaids.
As a general rule, the style of what the fathers wear should fit in with the groom. For example, if the groom and groomsmen are wearing tuxedos, then the fathers should too. The same goes for wearing suits. The important part is to match the level of formality. You wouldn’t want to go without a tie when everyone else is in a tuxedo.
When it comes to “exact match” of the outfit, this may not be necessary. Instead, you could coordinate with the groom or groomsmen without being identical. For example, you could wear a tie that matches the color of their vests or wear something in similar colors but with a different cut or accents. This can make for great coordination in photos – you don’t want to wear colors that will clash with the bridal party!
#3. It’s not the same as office wear
Another rule of thumb is that if you look as you would heading off for a day at the office, you’ve probably done it wrong. Wedding attire should look special and distinguishable from just another day at the office.
Your suit should always be tailored to fit to ensure you are presented well. You should be wearing a color that is appropriate for the time of day, although for formal attire, you usually can’t go wrong with black.
If you’re ever in doubt, it’s better to overdress rather than under-dress for the big day. A tailored suit and accessories will always look good.
#4. Consider your accessories
Accessories may well be part of the stated dress code, or they may be left up to you. Sometimes the bride or groom will be very specific about how they’d like their parents to dress with photos in mind – in which case, that’s the way to go.
Accessories can be a great way to add your own stamp to an outfit – just don’t go overboard! “Less is more” is a good rule of thumb. There are multiple accessory options depending on the wedding venue and color scheme. Here are a few to consider:
- A boutonnière – the floral decoration worn on the lapel of a suit or tuxedo jacket. This may be chosen for you when the flowers for the wedding are arranged, otherwise, a nice touch can be to match the bride’s bouquet.
- Cummerbund – A broad waist sash, usually pleated, worn with a tuxedo.
- Pocket square – A handkerchief styled in the pocket of your jacket.
- Cufflinks – Any tasteful pair of cufflinks that you desire to wear.
- Cravat – A neckband that was the forerunner to the modern necktie. Stylish fathers might choose to wear this to a more casual daytime wedding.
- Vest – Choose a vest that blends in with the colors chosen for the bridal party.
- Shoes – Always pay attention to your shoes! A smart pair is a must. Black is safe to wear with most suit colors, although it is better to wear brown with brown. Choose a style appropriate to the occasion, for example, loafers, Oxfords, Derbys or Monks.
#5. It’s all about fit
There’s an old stereotype of the father at the wedding – fidgeting and uncomfortable in formal attire that hardly ever sees the exterior of a closet. Don’t let this be you! There’s no need for wedding attire to cause discomfort.
The whole idea is that you barely notice you’re wearing anything different while everyone around you can see you looking dapper. Shirt collars, shirt size and pants should never be too tight or too loose. The same goes for your jacket.
The best solution is to get your suit tailored. Whether you have it made from scratch or tailored from an off-the-rack choice, you will notice the difference wearing something that is made to fit you and so will everyone else. Those wedding photos will show you at your best and become a precious memento.
Your tailor can help with style and fabric choices to suit the dress code and can also advise on accessories to have you looking sharp. This is something that we at Family Britches enjoy helping with on a regular basis.
If we were to give one overall tip for any parents of the bride or groom, it’s to talk with them about what they would like in terms of dress code for their special day. Clear communication is the best way to ensure that the day (and the photos) come out as they envision.
Follow the dress code and match the formality of the bridal party. You don’t have to be in exactly the same clothes, but it’s nice to coordinate colors.
Finally, make sure your clothes fit well. You will appreciate having a tailored suit and looking good for the occasion, rather than feeling uncomfortable.
It takes experienced hands to provide the best possible custom tailoring.
Here at Family Britches, our tailors Munzer Ezeizat and Albert Tedesco bring many years of skill in bespoke outfitting. Both were apprenticed at very young ages where they were rigorously taught the techniques of a master tailor.
Reaching a level where an apprentice is considered to have learned the craft, takes years. The best bespoke tailors are very well-studied and have spent years honing their craft – and receive a diploma certifying completion of their apprenticeship.
Meet our old world custom tailors – Munzer and Albert:
Munzer was apprenticed at 10 years old to a tailoring school in Jerusalem. There he spent three years following the master tailor’s instructions, learning the mathematics and intricacies of becoming a tailor.
Over his time as an apprentice, Munzer learned a wide range of skills: “We learned to make clothing for men and women from scratch and how to fit, stitch and sew according to the old world standards,” he says.
Following his three-year apprenticeship in Jerusalem, Munzer returned home to where he continued to hone his trade. He worked with other tailors, assisting customers with their clothing needs.
Part of his early training also involved spending time working in a number of clothing factories. “As the foreman, I was responsible for cutting, preparing the day’s work and also working with clients,” he says.
Munzer’s preferred method for working with a customer is to take the necessary measurements, while spending time interacting with the client. That conversation is important – Munzer learns about their preferences for colors and patterns. He finds out where customers are going to wear the clothes.
“I find out anything that will help me advise them on fabric and fit preferences for their selections,” he says. “Do they travel a lot? Are they hard on their clothing?” A tailor needs to be skilled at engaging with customers and finding out the small details – these often matter for the fabric selection, pattern and details of their final product.
“Like a barber, an accountant or any professional with whom you have a relationship, a tailor satisfies the customer by understanding what their requirements might be and based on my experience and expertise, completing the finished alterations.”
“I started my apprenticeship at the age of twelve in Carolei, Italy,” Albert says. “By sixteen I was able to construct a suit from scratch.” He moved to the U.S. in October of 1967 and took a job in a small tailor shop in the Bronx, NY.
Albert has been with Family Britches since 2001. “I believe communication between the client and tailor is essential. My advice for finding a “perfect fit” is to shop in a quality men’s specialty store with a trained and experienced sales staff and a tailor who listens!”
Traits of top tailors
Munzer and Albert highlight a few traits of top tailors that are worth looking for. Impeccable hand tailoring is not something you find on the internet, nor is it easy to come by in a store.
It takes years of training to reach a high level of knowledge and skill. Learning to sew correctly and with dexterity takes around five years, while cutting is a skill that takes about three years to learn well. Both of those skills are developed further over time.
For this reason, talented old world custom tailors like ours, provide customers with a product and experience that can’t be easily replicated elsewhere. A skilled tailor has passion for quality fabrics and achieving the right look for the customer. They have a knowledge of textiles which can only be learned through careful study and working with different fabrics.
Top tailors are problem solvers. For example, there might be any of a few different issues affecting the balance of a coat – the tailor knows where to look and how to get to the bottom of the issue. They’re detail-oriented and take pride in precision.
Tailoring is a skill set that allows the customer and his tailor to develop a special relationship – and become close friends. Customers tend to come back season after season to see their tailor and get new outfits. It’s important for top tailors to have great customer relationship skills to do their job well.
A tailor soon learns that no two people are alike. Even among identical twins you will get subtle differences in the fit of clothing. The skilled tailor knows how to fit people so that they look impeccable and so that the style is appropriate for their needs. Whether you select from hanging stock or want to purchase a garment from scratch, an expert tailor will give you the best fit you have ever enjoyed.
You’re in great hands at Family Britches with the skill and experience of Munzer and Albert to custom-tailor any outfit. It’s less common to find true old world custom tailors these days – the training alone takes a lot of time before someone has reached a high level of skill.
In a world where there is so much emphasis on “fast”, sometimes it pays to slow down a little. You will never get the fit of a bespoke suit by ordering off the internet. You won’t get the relationship with a tailor who truly understands you and your needs either. Come to our store and enjoy the fit of clothes that have been truly made for you.
The role clothing plays in our modern lifestyles continues to evolve. Regardless of whether they are worn for traveling, business or leisure time activities, the updated vibe is communicated by the lines of chinos, cotton and denim.
Come in and let us introduce you to our Brax collection of pants for work and leisure time. We will coordinate your ensembles from the bottom up.
Where do you go when you need to select quality clothing for your wardrobe?
Modern technology has provided us with more options than ever before for our shopping. We can access all sorts of stores online, or we can locate stores nearby using our mobile phones.
Technology makes things quite convenient, but how does it impact the overall experience? How does shopping in-store compare to shopping online?
Shopping for clothing online
Online shopping is a huge convenience for many people, which tends to form the basis of its appeal. The stores are never closed – you can be shopping at any time, day or night and you don’t have to make a special effort with your own appearance. Additionally, it’s easy to compare prices, you don’t have to wait in any queues and you have access to a wide range of products.
You can often find great deals online as compared to in-store, but if you’re shopping for quality clothing, this is where the benefits usually end. Is that cheap price really a great deal, or is it because you are getting last season’s styles?
One of the major disadvantages of shopping for clothing online is that you can’t try the pieces on. You can’t touch the fabric or examine the clothing for quality. It’s difficult to get a perfect fit because it’s never a tailor that measures you for any ordered pieces.
In fact, quality and the overall process of “fast fashion” that has appeared online has become a real issue. Let’s say you’re looking for a nice dress to wear or a pair of dress trousers. You come across a website while searching online and the clothing they display certainly looks good. Of course, they’re using high-quality images and models to show the clothing, but this is often where the real experience ends.
Your package arrives in a couple of weeks and you discover that the picture you saw was deceiving. The fabric is a cheap synthetic and the garment is overall very poorly made. Do you have recourse? Can you send it back? Sometimes, but often you have no real idea of exactly where it came from. There are many examples of overseas factories selling directly online – they churn out cheap product and their offshore customers find that they can’t return poorly made purchases.
What is your next step? A lot of people simply donate or throw out the offending garments. This is becoming a real problem with a described “throwaway culture” and the implications this has for the environment. People purchase fast fashion, they don’t spend much and they’re not very excited by the pieces anyway, so they find it easy to simply throw them away.
This is not to say that you won’t find any quality clothing online – you can, but it’s often a gamble as to whether it will fit you as you’d like or appear as expected. It’s very difficult to judge just by looking at a picture. If your preference is still to buy online, we would look for a reputable business that is based within your own country. This usually gives you options to return clothing or have it adjusted to suit.
Shopping for clothing in-store
For us, the in-store experience of shopping for quality clothing is the ultimate. When we say “quality”, we’re talking about the kind of garments that are made well, fit well and are sewn to last.
Let’s take a step back for a minute though – are there any disadvantages to shopping in-store? Firstly, you can’t show up whenever you’d like. Secondly, you might have to wait – it’s possible there will be people ahead of you being served. Lastly, it’s definitely more difficult to compare products and prices as you’re in a physical location. In our view though, the positives outweigh these disadvantages.
We can paint a picture for you; when you enter a high-end clothing store or tailor’s shop, you are greeted by a knowledgeable professional. That person asks you the right questions to understand what you need and what your preferences are. They measure you properly so that you can have tailor-made garments and they help you to choose the right fabrics, styles and cuts.
While in-store, the fitter can point out the nuances of a fabric and its wearability. They can show you what quality means and where any vendors might have compromised on quality in order to achieve a certain retail price. One of the things tailors know very well is how fashion items have come to be made cheaply – they will always be able to tell you about the overall quality of an item.
Importantly, a tailor provides a “white glove” experience that is all about you. If you’ve shopped online, you know that any outfit is likely to look different on you than it does in a picture. An experienced sales team can assist in determining what color, fit, style and coordination will best suit your individual style and wardrobe needs.
An additional benefit is that a sales expert is very knowledgeable about “inside” industry news. They can tell you about designer or ownership changes within a company that you like and how that may have affected the merchandise. It’s the difference between shopping with a professional or shopping with a basic retailer.
The chances are you are shopping for quality clothing because your appearance is important. You need to exude a professional image or a highly polished look for special occasions. The difference you get in visiting a tailor really seals the deal on the in-store experience. A properly tailored outfit makes all the difference in your overall appearance. It shows you have taken care and helps convey those polished and professional images. If the sleeves are too long, the pant too full, the dress too loose or the make too “cheap” looking, you just don’t make the right impression. Our “old world tailors” at Family Britches can make sure you look your best with ensembles made for you.
Where should you shop for clothing, online or in-store? Perhaps it depends upon how you value your time and what you want your wardrobe to say about you.
With an emphasis on quality, durability and personalization, the in-store experience with a good tailor can’t be beaten. Any sort of “investment piece” like a good suit or a tailored dress is worth going into a store, where you are a valued customer with whom we want to develop a relationship.
As a general rule, those tailored pieces are made to last and can even be with you for a number of years. By comparison, looking for quality-made clothing online can be a real gamble. What you receive rarely looks like it does in the pictures on you, and you might find that the quality is not what you expected.
It’s always disappointing when what you receive online doesn’t meet expectations, but this is associated with another problem too – “throwaway” fashion. If it’s important to you not to contribute to this issue, then in-store is the best way to avoid it.
The “fashion vs. style” debate has gone on for decades.
Many people take them to be synonyms, but we can see some very clear differences. Where fashions tend to be cyclical and seasonal, or mass trends adopted by many, style is more unique and personal.
As Yves Saint Laurent famously said; “fashion fades, style is eternal.”
What would you prefer to harness when creating your own look?
Fashion vs. style
Many people can look back upon their teenage years and remember certain items that were “must haves” among those who coveted fashion. The 1990s tended to be all about wearing name-brands and ensuring that the branding was obviously displayed.
Like most things fashion, that trend was short-lived. These days you can probably remember some of those things and cringe. Nevertheless, that’s how couture was looked upon, at least among young people. If you did happen to be a teenager in the 90s, you probably now see personalized, well-made items from quality materials as the height of luxury. This is a step away from “fashion” and more toward style.
Consider some of the famous style icons of recent decades; Coco Chanel and her pantsuits, Audrey Hepburn and the little black dress, and Karl Lagerfeld with his black suits, dark glasses and tied-back white hair. Their clothing was simple and understated, but it communicated something about them, an indication of persona and a recognizable look.
Style doesn’t necessarily include anything considered “high fashion,” but often tends to be more timeless. Your individual style might not be a Hepburn or a Chanel – perhaps you go for a look that is all about comfort or function. Style is overall impacted by much longer-lasting factors than fashion, for example; weather, culture, profession, upbringing, beliefs, body type and religion.
We can point to a few common influences upon modern style. For example, concerns about the environment, human work conditions and clothing waste have lead to many preferring quality and tailoring over “fast” fashion. Minimalism is also an influence – these people look to own fewer clothing items, but ensure that they are of high-quality and easy to mix and match.
Street style is also a heavy influence. While people used to turn more to the catwalk or what celebrities were wearing, the power of social media and blogs for sharing the style of everyday people has changed the industry. We now see more magazines and style websites that devote sections to street style.
Styles come in many categories, but here are just a few to ponder – do any of these sound like you?
- Vintage (classic 1920s – 1970s styles)
- Bohemian (an arty, hippy style)
- Chic (tailored, elegant and sleek)
- Casual (combining elegance with comfort)
- Preppy (“college” look – A-line skirts, polo shirts, blazers and blouses)
How to define your own style
“At its essence, style is a complicated, endlessly fascinating human capacity. It is our spirit and what we think, our creativity, our individual way of being, and our intention for our clothes. To nurture a meaningful relationship with fashion, our task is to understand style, to hone it, to carefully craft it and make it our own.” — Nadine Farag
One of the best places to start with any discussion about your personal style is to review what you wear on a regular basis. Everyone has a personal style, whether they’ve thought about it consciously or not. Sometimes people just find that style difficult to define – perhaps they have a wardrobe full of clothing they don’t really enjoy.
Pull out your “go to” pieces – what sort of style are they? Don’t worry if you can’t name a particular fashion style, many people don’t fit neatly into one box. The person who loves chic workwear may prefer Bohemian style on weekends, for example.
Find style inspiration
This is a sort of “data-gathering” exercise. There are a number of ways to look for inspiration, for example, a popular method is to find looks you like and pin them to a board on Pinterest. You might also gather inspiration from magazines, movies, your friends, the street – really anywhere that style is to be found.
Start to look for any patterns in your preferences – do you favor certain looks, styles, cuts or colors? Conversely, is there anything you strongly dislike that you’d never want to wear? For some people this might be things like certain colors, or a preference for not wearing revealing clothing.
Think about your lifestyle
Do you have a lot of things in your wardrobe that you never wear? Perhaps you’ve bought pretty, delicate dresses that still have the tags on, or other items that seemed like a good idea at the time, but never come out of the closet.
Sometimes it’s just that while you really liked those pieces, your lifestyle doesn’t give you the opportunity to wear them. They’re not practical for the situations that you commonly have to dress for.
A fact that the fashion industry rarely acknowledges is that we can’t own or wear everything that catches our eye. You might appreciate that dress, but realistically you have no occasion to wear it. Advocates of “slow fashion” take this approach – admire the clothing, but only purchase the things you honestly will wear.
Try clothing on
With some idea of your style preferences and how they might relate to your lifestyle, try clothing on. Look for fits, fabric and colors that you enjoy, as well as any that you would like to avoid. The only way to know if a particular cut suits you is to try it. Sometimes items that look like they’ll be amazing fail to impress, while other cuts may surprise you.
Seeking the help of a professional stylist or tailor can also help you to discover looks that you’ll want to wear repeatedly. Wardrobe consultations are part of our services at Family Britches, which we’re looking at next.
Book a wardrobe consultation
When we conduct a wardrobe consultation with clients, we always look at what they often wear, so that we can determine what might be suitable as foundation pieces for them. You get clothing that you enjoy wearing, also ensuring that it is up-to-date for current trends.
Booking a wardrobe consultation is a great way to simplify your style journey. You can even have one via Skype if you can’t make it to a physical location. The key to success is to share your color and style preferences, as well as isolate any problems you encounter when preparing wardrobe ensembles for daily attire, weekend and special events.
Here are some steps you go through with us:
- Help us understand your workplace, weekend and special events dressing requirements.
- Share your personal fit and style preferences with our staff.
- Review your closet to help determine what you still want to keep in your wardrobe and eliminate items you no longer wear.
- We will suggest options for your reaction and explain what we can suggest to compliment your body type and coloring.
The result will be a successful consultation and a wardrobe that you love to wear, fit for any occasion. It’s a great way to harness your own style and ensure you have a few beloved and up-to-date staples to rely on. You can book a consultation here.
A modern fashion trend that includes eye-catching details.
Unbutton the top button or two and style your outfit with a pocket square to add a pop of colour.