How Much Has Tailoring Changed in a Century?

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A hundred years ago, visiting the tailor was an experienced shared by a far wider number of gentlemen. Though off the peg suits were available, most gentlemen still preferred to invest in bespoke tailoring, if it was at all possible. 

Interestingly, though the rest of the fashion world has changed a great deal in this time, bespoke tailoring hasn’t. While the ready to wear industry has brought in new machine technologies such as adhesive fusing, bespoke tailors have continued to work in much the same high quality way as they were doing at the start of the 20th century.

Though admittedly you’d definitely find more modern sewing machines and overlockers in today’s tailoring workrooms than you would in 1918, the basic premise of what your tailor is creating for you is very similar.

A good bespoke tailor will have an initial meeting with you to take a thorough set of measurements and talk to you about what kind of garments you’d like. They’ll then help you to select fabrics, style and little details in order to create your bespoke item.

Once the measuring and selection process has been completed, your tailor will then get to work on creating your suit. Just as a tailor would’ve done in 1918, they’ll cut the pattern pieces from the fabric by hand and begin to loosely stitch them together. 

Once this first version has been completed, you’ll be invited in for a fitting session. Here your tailor will be able to ensure the fit is right, the details are correct, and that the suit is exactly as you wanted it. 

Finally, your tailor will carefully sew your garments together, ensuring that all finishes are perfect. At the end of the process you will be presented with a garment that is completely bespoke and unique to you,  just as you would’ve been in 1918.

Are you interested in reading more about the history of tailoring? Here’s our take on the history of overcoats, sunhats, scarves, wedding fashion and waistcoats.