How do you fit style, taste and comfort into one garment or ensemble? Is fitting all three elements into one garment or ensemble possible? You can combine the elements together in casual and formal wear, if you understand the impact of the right fit.
There are dozens of style names to choose from: Boho, Casual, Formal, Chic, Gothic, Futuristic, Dramatic, Surfer, Western, Vintage, Sporty, Sophisticated, Classic - you get the Style comes from your personality. It's what you feel attracted to and "at home" with.
This is the easiest element to understand. Comfort fits well, if not loose. It feels soft, lacy, delicate, or bulky and warm. It feels loose and absorbent when it's hot outside. Comfort is what you feel best in; for most, this is our weekend wear but that's not acceptable to formal events.
This element is difficult, no matter what size or shape you are. As a tailor, I have made clothes for all sizes and shapes of people and the one complaint I hear the most is, "Nothing ever fits right". Each person feels they are too tall, short, skinny, round, frumpy, too much rear, not enough chest, etc. What I see as being a good fit, the wearer may feel uncomfortable in, not like the style and feel it does not fit well. It's all subjective; however, there are dozens of fashion traditions (all subjective) which would label the dress below poor fitting and in bad taste.
There is an argument with this point of what is a good fit. Is it a subjective view or is it best to go with conventional in fit. Is fit defined by the wearer?
Style is defined by the wearer, as is comfort. The bride in the picture to the left - is she comfortable? Is this her style and fit in her view? I would venture to say yes, as she is wearing a dress that apparently is pleasing to her (judging by her smile and posture). "Yes" is her opinion. The poor fit is the viewer's opinion. Who decides what is a poor fit or style?
Fitting It All In
In the end, you can fit all three elements in one garment if you choose to. Whether you follow convention or your own choice of elements in apparel, it's for you to decide. Personally, I follow the conventional route when fitting dresses, suits and other apparel. I like to see suits that fit so well the wearer can be a model in GQ. I like to see wedding dresses and women's suits that enhance their figures and personalities. I am appreciative of all the genres of style except for the more revealing formal wear, especially in Prom dresses. There hasn't been one revealing dress I have altered to fit that was truly comfortable to the wearer nor was I comfortable with the outcome.
Again, is fit subjective knowing both the wearer and tailor are not comfortable?
Take your time when looking for the right dress or garment for work, weddings or other occasions. Consider your personal style, your personality and your build. Will you be comfortable? Is it right for you? Are you following your preference or the norm?
With that, I leave you with my wish for success and inspiration in all you do, today and always!
I have a top (3,4,5, etc) list of the most embarrassing moments or situations. Of course, I won't post them here, but there is #3 - the split, torn or open seam. It becomes worse when you are not aware of it and someone else is. Hopefully the viewer will be kind enough to tell you discretely you have a split seam.
Hand Sewing is foreign to many people these days. It's not difficult to learn; I believe it's easier for busy people to have their clothing sent out for repair, so it's not a commonly thought of skill.
Practice makes perfect, so I'm sharing with you two solid techniques in sewing that are easy to learn and will prevent Embarrassing Moment #3 (most times!). If you want to practice the techniques while you are viewing, gather:
The Ladder Stitch is excellent for pulling seams together or large angled tears. To begin, cut about 10" of thread. Push thread through the needle eye and tie a knot in a single strand at the end. Fold the scrap fabric in half to make a mock seam (you will sew the edges, not the fold). If this is a bit confusing, take your time. Try and picture you are making a ladder (hence the name).
1. Begin with right sides out and the seam you are sewing folded in about 1/8” to 1/4”. Insert the needle and thread so the knot will be on the inside of your starting point.
2. Re-insert your needle at A, close to the fold of the seam. Push through to B, keeping the thread below the folds.
3. Guide the needle in the fold a short distance (as above) and push through at C.
4. Repeat this method until the seam is closed.
5. Run thread through fabric away from the seam, pull up remainder and cut excess. This prevents a knot from showing at the end of the sewing.
The Running Stitch is another excellent stitch to practice and use in fashion emergencies. If you learn no other stitch, learn this one. It is the easiest and will also be good practice for sewing on a button. It's simply a motion of inserting the needle at one point - call this A - and push up through the fabric. Next push the needle down at point B, just about 1/8th" from point A. Continue this until the stitches pull the tear together. It should look like a dashed line.
Now that you are armed with the skill to prevent embarrassing life moment #3, hopefully you will be able to avoid the dreaded split seam or help someone else.
Wishing you success and inspiration in all you do, today and always!
Understanding several facts about online size charts will help with your sizing and maybe save you money. First, review the site and look for the size guide(s). Sometimes there are several - pants, shirts, dress, etc. Choose the guide that is right for your garment.
Second, look for the measurements you have taken and recorded. If the size guide has your sizes in two different columns, select the larger of the two (it costs less take in than let out).
Third, don't be alarmed or thrown off if the size guide says you need to order a 14 (and you wear a 12 in jeans). This size is accurate for the garments purchased from their manufacturer. Most manufacturers are within an inch of one another in their clothing size, which explains why in one pair of jeans you wear a 12 and another you had to purchase a 14.
One final word to the ladies - you need to have an accurate bra size. Click HERE for an easy to read and usable guide to fitting your bra and cup size. Again, bras are clothing and sizes from manufacturers will vary by style and fabric.
Armed with the knowledge of knowing your size, you can order successfully online. Just remember to look for and review the size guides before you buy.
Wishing you success and inspiration in all you do, today and always,
Everyone likes a little boost in their ego now and then, right? I can't tell you how many times I've been told, "You are a life saver! I don't know what I'd do if you were (not around)...", etc. I smile, thank the person with true humility and claim to not be a genius or a life saver; just doin' my job - Tailoring Dreams One Stitch At A Time.
I've had many customers come to me with Fashion Emergencies. One of my favorite rescues was a Bride's Maid just a few hours before the wedding. She was in the middle of finals and discovered too late her dress was too long. With no time for her Mother to sew a hem the ladies called me for help. I knew right away what I would do for the quick fix.
What if I had not been available? Perhaps if they had a basic Fashion ER Kit on hand, they could have been just as creative with their fix.
Basic Fashion ER Kit
Let's get your kit together. It's not pricey and certainly most of the items you have on hand already (either at home or in the office). Start with what you will use to carry your ER items in. I find pencil bags work great.