12 November 2008

Arguing with the Tailor

I've used a few different tailors over the years. Each one has had his particular strengths and weaknesses. But they all have one bothersome thing in common: I invariably have to argue with them over the length of my pants.

I like a 29" inseam, just touching my shoe and covering my sock with only the slightest suggestion of a 'break'. They always want to go much longer. When I've deferred to them, I've ended up with pants a mile too long, or wearing my pants up to my armpits to make the length right. What's odd is the fact that this seems to be typical of almost every tailor I've used. I often have to say something along the lines of 'I'm the customer and they're my pants, so just do what I ask.', which diminishes the whole experience of having a tailor, in my opinion. I always want this to be something to look forward to, not a chore or an errend. Now I'm sure these guys are used to dealing with a lot of people who have no idea how clothes should properly fit. You would think they would be glad to get a customer who knows clothes and knows exactly what he wants. Or maybe they find it a bit odd, since most men today tend to like their pants to fit like a set of window drapes.

My wife has a sewing machine. I think I'll just learn to do it myself. My grandfather was a tailor, so maybe it's in my blood.

7 comments:

SthrnGent said...

Second post of the day. I completely here you - similarly I have a 29" inseam and want my pants to break just as you mentioned. But what is more annoying than the pant length (which can easily be done by the dry cleaner who won't argue with me) is the sleeve length of my sport coats and my desire to see exactly 1/4" of sleeve. Tailor's always seem to argue with me, regardless of my desire and the numerous pictures/clippings and catalouges I parade into their shop as evidence with. Go figure.

initials CG said...

I hear you...

I've had to insist with tailors, but they cave in eventually. It's about creating a regular relationship with them. Then they soften up.

Treat em' carefully because the good ones are on the endangered species list.

Turling said...

Ha! I have the same problem with sleeves. They always argue that I'm making them too short. I've been to three in two years, and each one argued the same point. Begrudgingly, they have alway given in to what I want. I haven't had the same issue with the trousers.

Toad said...

Jacket sleeve length is my problem. Local tailors always want them too long.

Giuseppe said...

Years ago, when I worked in a men's shop, every suit we sold got altered on site. Nobody just bought clothes and took them home the same day.

I still remember the way we fitted the hems of the pants. The customer would stand on the platform, and we would place a 12 inch ruler against the back of each leg, and make a chalkk mark 12 inches off the floor. The tailors would then measure 10 3/4 inches down from that mark. Worked every time.

To this day I have never seen this done anywhere else.

Plawrence said...

I remember going with my father to get my first real suit at about age 13. I bought it from a local menswear shop and they did in-house alterations. Right then and there I had an argument with the salesman about pants. I didn't want pleats and I didn't like the length he suggested. At 13, my arguments carried little weight and I left with pleated pants that were an inch longer than I wanted.

Matt said...

Oh, it is so difficult to find the perfect tailor for oneself. It may be harder than finding the perfect bride!

Once you have fond him, never left him go! Be sure to give him as nice a Christmas gift as you can afford -- even if he hasn't done any work for you in a while.

My tailor loves bourbon, and he gets my best bottle. My priest gets my second best bottle. My barber gets my third best bottle. I get the only the fourth!