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Unpicking the Client Tailor Relationship, by Eric Twardzik

March 26th, 2024

Close ups of tailoring process

If you’re lucky in this life, you’ll experience a relationship with someone who builds up your strengths, soothes your insecurities, and knows every inch of your body. We are referring, of course, to the relationship between you and your tailor.

In days gone by, before fast fashion and online retail, this particular intimacy was something that many men would have experienced. An ongoing relationship with a tailor was simply how men bought their clothes. This has become more of a rarity today, with many men purchasing their garments via the click of the button.

But what’s become lost in this march of progress is the opportunity for a man to consult an expert on their own wardrobe, much as one builds an understanding with their barber or their doctor over years of appointments. And aside from its tangible benefits, the client-tailor relationship also provides an escape from the everyday.

“It’s almost like visiting a shrink—they’re coming to see us to feel better,” says Steve Knorsch, managing director of Cad & The Dandy New York. “It’s a whole experience the moment they set foot here, or in London. They forget what happened outside. They’re here to have a good time, to think about themselves, to work on their self-esteem.”

Interior of Cad & The Dandy New York featuring a large floor to ceiling window behind a series of five mannequins wearing dinner suits. In the foreground is a large circular royal blue sofa underneath an ornate crystal chandelier.

Just stepping into the clubby atmosphere of the tailor’s showroom, where you will be warmly welcomed and might even receive a reinvigorating drink, is enough to provide an escape from the everyday. But what happens next is of the most importance. A proper client-tailor relationship begins with a full accounting of the client’s wardrobe as it stands, and what he wishes to add to it. Additional discussion will factor in the demands of the client’s work environment, the climate where the clothes will be worn, and the client’s own stylistic preferences.

And that’s just the first consultation. As the bespoke process can require up to three fittings for the first commission, the client will meet with the same tailor every step of the way. And just as each fitting will help to perfect the garment’s fit, it will also give the tailor additional insight into the client’s physicality, experience that they can parlay into future commissions.

“If you have that relationship, and clients come back for the second, third and fourth pieces, it only gets better,” says Knorsch. “Because he now knows all of your body measurements—he may know your body almost better than you do.”

But like all truly rewarding relationships, the one between client and tailor must be a two-way street.

“You have to be able to get into the client’s world,” Knorsch says. “You have to be a really good listener and you have to be a little bit of a “man of the world”—to be able to talk about what’s going on, give recommendations for books and movies, bar and restaurant recommendations for when clients come to New York. It’s not some lonely little job up in an attic. You’re in it with both feet—otherwise you never get that relationship with that client.”

And much like the clothing that comes out of it, a good client-tailor relationship is one you’ll want to keep for years.

To start your bespoke journey book an appointment with a member of our expert team in London, New York, Stockholm, or at one of our upcoming trunk shows around the world.