What is a clothier?
Part 1 of 4: Consultation with Clients Provides Intrinsic Value
What is a clothier? It’s a term that’s commonly used in menswear. The textbook definition is “a person who makes or sells clothing.” Although the textbook definition is straightforward, the actual occupation itself is very complex. A professional clothier must be able to do many things at an exceptionally high-level. It involves skills such as design, sales, expert knowledge of construction, ability to tailor, psychology and mathematics. However, the ultimate task of a clothier is to facilitate the process of building a well-tailored wardrobe while providing the client with convenience, quality, expertise and concierge level service. Every detail is meticulously considered in order to give the client everlasting value. Let’s take a comprehensive look at what a clothier does and how they provide value.
We can’t speak for all menswear stores but when it comes to Brothers Tailors there is ONE thing every clothier in our store does. That is, get to know you personally! When you first come in we get to know you and your life style by conducting a simple consultation. We ask questions like what industry are you in? What occasions do you wear suits for? Do you conduct public speaking? How many days a week do you wear a suit? Will you be traveling with this suit? How many suits do you own in your closet currently? Essentially, we try to get an idea of what your lifestyle is like. By understanding who you are as a person and what circumstances you’ll be wearing any particular garment for, we can better service our clients by making recommendations that will give the client a much better clothing experience.
For example, meet Jim, a gentleman that travels a lot for work. Imagine he is a good-looking fella that’s 6’4” and weighs 245. Jim loves nice, luxurious Italian cloth but if we recommended a thin silky cloth for Jim to wear during his travels he would soon regret his purchase. Jim needs a full-bodied cloth to hold up to his figure and lifestyle. We would want to recommend a travel cloth that’s designed for garments to be worn while traversing the country or globe. Additionally, a thin cloth plus a big guy who will put miles on the suit equals a garment that will not have longevity. If the garment doesn’t pass the longevity test then the customer will regret his purchase. As clothiers we consider many aspects before making a garment in order to ensure the highest level of satisfaction. Picking a cloth that will be ideal for a particular gentleman is absolutely crucial. Not only will the client enjoy his suit or shirt while he wears it but he will also get the proper shelf life out of the garment.
Consider the “Cost Per Wear.” You buy a beautiful navy blue suit for $2000 and it lasts you for fifteen years. Lets say you wear it two times a month for meetings and conferences at work. Two times a month for fifteen years is 360 times over the lifespan of the suit. Following this math the client will have spent approximately $5.5 dollars each time he wore the suit or a cool $132 a year.
Then compare that to open price point suits at stores like Zara, Express & Jo’s A. Bank. It’s not uncommon to spend between $200-$300 for a suit (even with their buy 1 get 17 for free deals). You certainly spend less initially, but believe me, as tailors we’ve seen that those suits don’t preform over time. They don’t preform well because the construction, cloth, and cut are very poor. (We’ll take an in-depth look about “The Three C’s” in another blog post.) These suits are only meant to last between nine and twelve months causing you to go back for more season after season. If buying a suit ten times over at $300 bucks, eventually you’ll spend more overtime, plus the alteration costs, the inconvenience, and having the bad experience of ill-fitting garments.
That’s not to say every suit in our store is $2000 (most are between $495- $1000) but it’s important to emphasize that having a professional guide you through the decision making process when buying clothes is tremendously important. This provides intrinsic value that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come. By designing the garment from the beginning, we are able to construct it with details that make it perfect for only you and your lifestyle. Perhaps, more importantly, you will have the confidence of knowing your purchase will stand the test of time while helping your look your absolute best. When you look your best, you feel confident. As well all know a confidant man…. CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING.