A tailor is a person whose job is to make clothes to fit people. A tailor might make a new piece of clothing, or change an item so that it fits better. They also mend (fix) clothes. A tailor is also called a seamster, or a seamstress for a woman.
As the tailoring profession has evolved, so too have the methods of tailoring. There are a number of distinctive business models which modern tailors may practice. While some may practice many, there are others who will practice only one or two.
Local tailoring is as the name implies. Typically the tailor is met locally and the garment produced locally. This method enables the tailor to take professional measurements, assess posture and body shape to make unique modifications to the garment. Local tailors will typically have a showroom or shopfront allowing clients to choose fabrics from samples or return the garment easily should it require further modification. This is the most traditional form of tailoring. Hong Kong Tailors and London are the most famous for high quality bespoke tailoring, in average it takes about 2 to 3 fittings and about 50 to 70 working hours to handmake one suit.
Distance tailoring involves ordering a garment from an out-of-town tailor enabling cheaper labour to be used. In practice this can now be done on a global scale via e-commerce websites. Unlike local tailoring, customers must take their own measurements, fabric selection must be made from a photo and if further alterations are required the garment must be shipped. Today, the most common platform for distance tailoring is via online tailors.
Online tailors sometimes offer to pay for needed alterations at a local tailor. Another new option is the concept where a free test suit is made to the provided measurements and shipped to the customer first. The test suit can be tried on and worn to see where any adjustments are wanted. The final suit is then tailored to the new specifications provided by the test suit fitting.
Unlike tailors who do distance tailoring, traveling tailors provide a more personal service to their customers and give the customers an opportunity to see the fabric samples and meet the tailor in person. Traveling tailors travel between cities and station in a local luxury hotel for a short period of time to meet and provide the same tailoring services they would provide in their local store. In the hotel, the customer will be able to select the fabric from samples and the tailor will take the measurements himself. The order then will be shipped to the customer within 3–4 weeks time. Unlike local tailoring, if further alterations are required the garment must be shipped. Today, most traveling tailors are from Hong Kong, traveling to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia and Japan.
Images for kids
Vintage tailor's button from Hobart, Tasmania
Tailor Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.