THE RIGHT FIT

Ambika Shaligram
Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The tailor is such a prized and rare commodity, that once you find the right one, you don’t want to lose him or her. S/he makes women, young and old, stand out with their unique cuts and shape flattering silhouettes. Says Pallavi Kadle, “I have always been going to a female tailor. I think I was in junior college when I first went to the tailor and then, I kept going to the same person. But, two years ago, I had to change the tailor because my old one moved her shop to another locality. This one is closer home.”

We try to unravel the bond between a lady and her tailor and in the process, learn that the latter are the secret to her good mood!

Festivities are in the air. And, besides rustling up goodies in the kitchen, women are sharing, exchanging notes on their ‘find’ — their tailor. 

The tailor is such a prized and rare commodity, that once you find the right one, you don’t want to lose him or her. S/he makes women, young and old, stand out with their unique cuts and shape flattering silhouettes. Says Pallavi Kadle, “I have always been going to a female tailor. I think I was in junior college when I first went to the tailor and then, I kept going to the same person. But, two years ago, I had to change the tailor because my old one moved her shop to another locality. This one is closer home.”

So what does she look for in a tailor? 
“Confidence,” Kadle is quick to reply. “She must know her job and the trends in the market — which styles, patterns, cuts are in vogue. And, what will suit her clients.”

Darshana Choudhary, a Delhi-based homemaker, also prefers going to female tailors. “We have an intimate conversation with tailors... about our figure, size, deep cuts, low back etc. I feel a woman understands another woman better and the problem areas which we need to camouflage,” says she.

Choudhary has been going to the same tailor for about eight years now. And, just like a barber is to men, the tailor is to women — mother-daughter/niece, sister-in-law prefer going to the same person, and forge close bonds. “My tailor knows I am feeling low, just by looking at my face. It’s a comforting thought that someone looks out for you and understands you. We might not discuss serious family issues, but we end up talking about our children and the school work, their extra-curricular activities etc,” she adds. 

Kadle too shares a similar bond with her tailor. “I am a school teacher, so we talk a lot about which schools, academic boards are good for kids. And, how to get the children to study,” says she.

Kadle’s tailor also helps the 39-year-old in creating her look. “She runs a very classy boutique. And, she has also stocked up trendy jewellery pieces at her store. So you can pair them with your kurta or saree-blouse, or dupattas. She also rents them out, in case anyone is interested to wear it for certain occasions. The only hitch is that she gives about 15 minutes to her clients. If you are late, then you have to take next appointment. Or if you have to discuss some more patterns, designs, then she would ask you to come the next day. That’s very tedious. But she is a good tailor...,” adds Kadle. 

And, yet, if a blouse is ruined, just before the big day, well, the tailor’s head will roll, for sure. With that, begins a new chase for the right tailor. Tired of this, Savita Kharkar-Pillai prefers to stitch her own clothes. “I have been stitching my clothes since I was in school. My mom used to stitch her own blouses and salwar suits, and I learnt by watching her. In school, I used to cut open her sarees, to make fancy dresses to wear for birthday parties. I did stand out!,” she says, smiling proudly.

Now, after her spinal cord operation, Pillai isn’t able to sit for long hours at the sewing machine. So she stitches just her daily wear salwar suits and blouses. “I take about one hour to stitch a complete salwar kameez set. And, in 30 minutes, I stitch my blouse,” adds Pillai.

However, she does approach the tailor with much trepidation when she wants something specially created for weddings and festivals. “If my back hadn’t been operated upon, I would have stitched all my clothes even now. It’s difficult to find a good tailor. He ruins everything. Usually, I give him my old blouse for measurement and ask him to stitch just like it.

But something or the other goes wrong — the shoulders droop, or the neck is too deep, the sides are too tight,” she moans. 
And, so the search for ‘the right fit’ continues.
 

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