Why I Invest In a Tailor

Alright, I’m about to get real with you and your potential frustration shopping (people like that exist, right?). Prêt-à-porter, also known as clothes-off-the-rack, aren’t meant to fit your body. No, there’s nothing wrong with you. Ready to wear clothes come in many sizes, most of them approximate, and meant to fit a variety of ‘mediums’. A Medium in one brand is often very different from a medium in another brand, even styles within brands have variances in size. It’s the nature of industrial, mass-produced clothing that there will be slight differences. We can’t all afford haute couture, so stop feeling bad about how wide your shoulders are and how svelte your waist may be in comparison.

My mother—who would literally kill me if she read about me talking about this online—has always had problems shopping due to strong shoulders (thankfully something she passed on to me) and large bosoms (I’m uncomfortable saying ‘breasts’ when I’m talking about my mother to strangers). She’d shop for items that fit the top of her body and swim in the rest of the fabric hanging around her midriff before giving up entirely. Find a nice piece of clothing that fits in the important areas like waist/shoulders, maybe a bit longer than you’d like and have someone take it in where you need that little additional love. My mother, a bank manager, would extoll the extra cost involved in an already stressful process like shopping but having a great and affordable tailor can actually save you money in the long run if you plan it right.

Given your new private army of sewing soldiers, you can really branch out from the regular shops you may visit and take in more vintage or second-hand options.

I’ll be the first to say after purchasing $110 dress shirt I’m not interesting in shelling out another $10-$20 to get it taken in. Those $285 Nudies better effing fit ‘cos I’d rather go for lunch or a coffee then get them hemmed. But when you expand your shop visits to include second-hand or consignment stores, all of a sudden a trench coat that might have cost $1,450 from Burberry is only $29. For another $15 you’ve got a one-of-a-kind, fitted trench for under $50. I just saved you $1,406, go get something nice for yourself but don’t spend it all in one place.

It’s been a long time since I had someone for proper alterations; quantities of items to be altered (they collect over time) and money being factors. Another factor was my previous tailor got really popular. Waiting weeks or months for alterations became absurd. I just recently switched to Anna’s Alterations at 2415 Pandosy Street, but there are at least a dozen places in Kelowna you can go.

Honestly, the main reason I picked Anna’s was superficial; 2415 was the first house I lived in when I moved to Kelowna back in November ’04. I’ve got some history with that place and I’ve always liked the idea of visiting a place you lived in long after you’ve left, just to see how it looks these days. I couldn’t have been more pleased with Anna’s, the turnaround (dropped my suit off last Thursday, got it back Monday), or the quality of work (I can’t even see where she moved the buttons up on the blazer’s sleeves). Finding a tailor can be scary. I always take one test item to judge quality. Something I could potentially live without or write-off if a huge mistake was made. Thankfully Anna’s did a wonderful job. If you’re looking for a recommendation, mine is for Anna’s.

Here’s a list of other alterations places in Kelowna:

  • Ankas European Tailoring – 555 Bernard Ave (been here as well, good quality)
  • Make It Fit Alterations – Suite 1210-2271 Harvey Ave
  • The Sewing Shop – Suite 3-616 K.L.O. Rd
  • Sew Me the Dress – 1161 Cerise Drive
  • Okanagan Tailoring – Suite 38-2070 Harvey Ave
  • Lily’s Tailoring – Suite 106-2121 Ethel St
  • Jenny’s Leather & Alterations – 565 Gramiak Rd
  • The Sewing Shoppe Boutique – 863 Anders Rd
  • Capri Alterations – Suite 146-1835 Gordon Dr

Having hand-tailored items in your closet takes a piece many other people may have and makes it your own. It turns inexpensive, previously-loved clothes into a unique item made for you. When something fits great, you look great. When you look great, you feel great. Assuming your weight doesn’t fluctuate and you’re already passed your mid-twenties, these can be items you invest in for years to come.


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