Thursday, November 8, 2012
Rules of Engagement: 10 DON’Ts
Rules of Engagement: 10 DON’Ts
There are 10 DON'Ts in engaging with your tailor. Know this well and it will aid you in good stead for the rest of your tailoring life.
#1: Golden rule – Don’t think your tailor is a mind reader
It is ALWAYS better to bring a sample of a fitting shirt/pants on your first visit. Tailoring is an art, not a science. Even the most experienced tailor can't read your mind on the exact fit you like.
#2: Choosing a tailor – Don’t be a scrooge
Advice, in my view, is something worth paying a premium for. You don’t want to save a few bucks but end up with a fugly shirt that you won’t wear. It doesn't mean you have to pay S$150 to get good advice. But if you don’t pay, you won’t be getting any. Value for money is key.
#3: Expectations of tailor – Don’t accept mediocrity
A top-notch tailor should be able to entertain the bulk of your requests and also explain why it isn't a good idea for you, in my view. If you are paying, your requests should be entertained, as long as it is do-able (not everything is) and reasonable.
#4: Expectations of you – Don’t be an ***hole
You have to play your part too - be nice and not nit-pick to the nth degree! Tailors are skilled professionals, after having clocked countless hours picking up the trade, and they deserve respect for their work.
#5: Customization – Don’t believe in free lunches
Common sense dictates that the more customization you add (e.g. contrast collar), the harder it is to do and the more it would cost. There's no free lunch in the world. If it doesn't cost more, that means the tailor may be short-changing you in other areas to make up for the higher cost.
#6: Placing orders – Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
The safest strategy is to start with one item, so as to try out the quality without spending too much. Don’t tailor all your shirts from 1 shop right from the get-go if it is your first interaction with them.
#6: Delivery time – Don't rush the job
Give your tailor more time. Some tailors might promise you a 24 - 72hr turnaround time. Though doable, the problem is that quality might be compromised. Delivery time of 2 - 3 weeks is the norm.
#8: Price negotiation – Don’t think bulk purchase = group purchase
If you order in bulk (e.g. 5 items), you will typically be eligible for a bulk discount. But group buying - e.g. 5 people buying 1 piece each - would not typically get you any as it doesn't make the tailor's work easier. However, if you are purchasing in group of >30, a lower price should be negotiable.
#9: Getting measured – Don’t be unnatural
When getting measured, stand at ease. Do not deliberately puff your chest out or hold your breath. That is unless you can stand wearing clothes based on those sets of measurement for the whole day.
#10: Alteration – Don’t accept a lousy product
If it is not what you want, ask for it to be altered. It is your right. If they don’t, you can choose to walk away. You may have to forgo your deposit, though you should always try to get it back.