A professional clothier or clothing tailor is skilled at making and altering articles of clothing. The work of a clothier varies depending on the role they have in their company. A clothier can consult customers about where fabrics are sourced, how to match colors, and even accessorizing tips. They also source fabric for designs that clients bring to them. Professional clothiers make and alter clothes and accessories and may also design and source fabric for finished items. Many professionals specialize in a specific area, such as custom clothing or alteration of existing garments.
What Does A Professional Clothier Do?
Professional clothier’s responsibilities could include:
1) Making Patterns/ Drafting patterns based on clients’ specifications
2) Ordering fabric
3) Assessing the measurements of a client to provide an accurate pattern
4) Sewing and stitching clothes
5) Offering advice on suitable fabrics and colors.
6) Measuring and marking garments for alterations and repairs
7) Drafting patterns for design work on request
8) Maintaining proper records of all work done
9) Cleaning and maintaining equipment used in work.
A professional clothier may have a background in fashion design, costume making, pattern making, or tailoring. To gain more experience and skills, they can further their education by taking courses at a textile college or a vocational training center for sewing professionals.
Made-to-Measure or MTM
A MTM garment can be made exclusively for one person if desired. This is a service where the customer provides his measurements and some personal preferences in terms of style. It involves more input from the customer into the actual design and fit of the finished garment than do off-the-rack or OTR items.
These garments are usually produced in limited quantities to meet individual customer requirements. MTM fits are generally made by professional clothiers rather than tailors, who typically have custom garments one at a time.
MTM clothing varies from country to country depending on its purpose and the nation’s customs where it is manufactured.
This involves the customer and tailor working together to create a unique garment and unlike anything that can be purchased off-the-rack. The resulting fit, style, and fabric are 100% up to the customer’s request. All measurements must be taken by the hand by an expert clothier to ensure accuracy.
The finished garments made by true custom clothiers are generally produced in smaller quantities and tend to be more expensive than the MTM variety.
Ready-to-Wear or RTW
This is where a garment that has been designed and fitted using the latest fashion trends and styles is available for purchase immediately. This type of clothing does not require as much design or fit to create, so it is generally much less expensive than custom clothing. RTW garments are mass-produced and designed to be easily interchangeable with all the other models in the line.
Ready-to-wear fit does not have to mean low quality or shoddily made items. It’s simply a way of saying that a garment can be purchased without going through the customization process. Ready-to-wear garments are made by machine and created at a factory level where multiple people perform various tasks to complete a single item.
Bespoke garments tend to cost a good deal more than ready-to-wear items. They are also made from higher quality materials, which accounts for the price difference. A bespoke garment can be either RTW or custom in terms of design and fit, depending on the customer’s preferences.
To have a truly bespoke garment, the customer must have at least one fitting before it is finalized.
A tailor takes measurements of the client in person and uses them to create a pattern for an individualized fit garment. It can be made in various fabrics, colors, patterns, or even custom designs if desired.
Custom garments are by far the most expensive option, but they are also the highest quality. They offer an unrivaled level of fit and style that can’t be matched in ready-to-wear or MTM pieces. There aren’t many people who will spend upwards of $5,000 on a custom item when RTW items are available for much less. But if they can afford it, they will be rewarded with a superior garment that is sure to last for years.
How is a Custom Clothier Different from a Personal Stylist?
Personal stylists are not the same as clothiers. They are used to help people develop wardrobes that can be worn in their everyday life. Stylists only consider the trends of particular seasons, so what they suggest may or may not be relevant to a person’s lifestyle depending on if its intended use is for work, casual, or formal wear.
A clothier is a professional who takes the time to get to know their clients as individuals and what aspects of their lifestyle they need help with. They will gather information from the client during an initial consultation about their current wardrobe, likes and dislikes, personal style, occupation, and who they are trying to impress. All of this information is used to design a custom wardrobe that will fit the client’s needs.
Personal stylists may offer one-time consultations, but they are employed by businesses that rely on them to develop their inventory of garments. Clothiers work with individual clients to create quality pieces that are designed for longevity, comfort, and function.
Typically, personal stylists work with store brands and offer no guarantee on their products. Clothiers provide custom-fit pieces made from the finest materials for each client. They listen to their clients’ wants and needs, evaluate their wardrobe, and help them develop a unique wardrobe.
Clothing lines are sometimes offered through professional clothiers, but they are not the primary source of income for these professionals.
Fashion trends, seasonal colors, and artificial fabrics do not influence a clothier’s offerings in any way. Clothiers deal in classic styles and natural textiles like wools, cashmere, and silk, which will only look better with time and wear. They design timeless items, unlike the short-lived garments popularized by some fashion magazines.
How is a Custom Clothier Different from a Professional Tailor?
Tailors are the professionals who make custom pieces, but they do not focus on fit. They can work with clients to alter off-the-rack clothing, but they aren’t concerned about their style or flatter their bodies. Their main concern is getting an accurate measurement and executing it correctly.
This method is often not as exact as it could be due to the many standard sizes and measurements used to create off-the-rack garments.
Also, tailors typically work with lower-quality fabrics than those requested by a professional clothier. This is because tailors do not use the best materials on every item they sew and often don’t have the proper equipment or training to handle quality fabrics.
Tailors can usually alter ready-to-wear clothing, but they aren’t the best choice for the client who wants a handmade garment that will fit better than what can be bought off of the rack. On the other hand, Clothiers design and create custom garments from scratch using fine fabrics, natural fibers, and superior construction.
Since clothiers use the client’s measurements to create their garments, they do not alter ready-to-wear clothing. They will either make suggestions based on what they know about an off-the-rack garment or tell the client if it fits appropriately.
Personal stylists and professional tailors both work with clients to make or alter clothing. Clothiers are the experts who make high-quality handmade garments that fit their client’s individual needs and goals. However, personal stylists don’t make their garments but instead focus on trends and fashion while tailors create custom-fit pieces using lower-quality materials.