Our alterations department is more than nips and tucks, they can perform full on fashion surgeries. We ask Sudsies Head Tailor, Rafael Santos, about what it’s like behind the seams.
1.  What should one look for in a good tailor?
Like any craftsmen, you need someone who is meticulous. I mean this in two ways. First, good tailors pay attention to the details, for infashion, it’s the detailing that makes a garment so interesting. What makes a good tailor great, however, is when that meticulousness is applied to listening and being able to provide customers exactly what they want. The most beautiful clothing means nothing if the wearer doesn’t feel great in it.
2. What are some of the trends you are seeing today?
Right now, it all about fitted clothes. We get a lot of men who want to taper their suits to match this style. I think this trend stems from today’s focus on healthier lifestyles and celebrating our figures. We’ve had several customers who underwent complete body transformations. Rather than buy completely new wardrobe, we’ve reworked their favorite pieces to fit their new figure.
3. What is the most unusual tailoring job you did for a client?
I’m not sure about the most unusual, but certainly the most tedious was a black & white piece that came in for a cleaning. The contrasting colors threatened to bleed over into the other and ruin its striking effect. So, the dry cleaning team enlisted us to dismantle the garment, piece by piece. Each was cleaned separately and we then sewed it back together. Hey, they never said fashion was easy…
4. Does a tear or hole mean it’s all over for your favorite wardrobe item?
I’m confident we can save it. A lot of times we do a process called reweaving. We handwork threads into the damaged area to recreate the fabric’s original structure stitch by stitch. It requires good eyes and a lot of patience, but once completed, it’s really like there was never any damage to begin with.
5. What are some useful tips for a great fit?
I could go on and on about this. For most garments, sleeves should end right where your palm meets your arm. Shoulder seams should lay at the edge of your shoulder and armholes too high or low look and feel uncomfortable. When it comes to suits jackets and blazers, you want them to be fitted, but watch for the X shape when buttoned, as that’s a sign it’s too tight. With pant length, a single break (the crease at the bottom of the leg where it hits your shoe) is ideal, though more casual pants worn with sockless shoes can get away with no break at all. It’s a matter of preference.
If you are ever going to skimp on anything fashion, don’t forgo the time and extra investment to ensure a great fit. It can make a low-priced item look all the more expensive. Vice versa, a poor fit can cheapen the look of even the priciest of labels.
Visit Rafael and our team of tailors at our boutiques… We assure you the needles won’t hurt a bit.