Words by Tyrus Townsend
Finding a good tailor is often similar to finding the perfect barber. And we know how challenging that can be. This person must be knowledgable of your body type and size, consistent, all while still being able to deconstruct and reassemble your garments like a jigsaw puzzle. But some people even question why one would need a tailor. I can tell you why: it’s the difference between a tapered leg and a narrower sleeve; the difference between a cuff and shorter rise. And lastly, the difference between a tighter shoulder and a perfect lapel.
Rich Freshman can attest to these modifications. The West Coast-based tailor, also known as “The Tatted Tailor,” prides himself on creating bespoke and made-to-measure pieces for a bevy of clients. With a roster ranging from businessmen to athletes and celebrities, he understands the importance of a proper fit.
Whether it’s an expensive Tom Ford suit or a budget friendly H&M overcoat, understand that a comfortable and seamless fit should always be your goal . Here’s what we learned from Rich:
Why He Became A Tailor
Freshman admits he was not always on track to receive the ‘Best Dressed’ superlative in high school. It took time and a secret hobby to win the title. “I was not always the best dressed in school! Around the age of 13, I was one of the worst dressed kids ever. I always had a crush on the cutest girls but they were so out of my league. I was told by a cheerleader, that if I dressed better I would attract girls. Even though I was nice and smart! So from ages 13 to 18, I taught myself how to sew in secret. So by the time I entered high school, I was the best dressed kid.”
The Importance of Tailoring
Tailoring is an art form that very few master. “Tailoring is all about a proper fit. It’s the difference between doing something right verses doing something wrong. It is about fit and number. It is more than sewing clothes, but valuing the way clothes fit you. If you are able to accomplish that, then everything else is secondary. I just left a client who had all these jackets and nothing fit. It goes to show the importance of investing in this art.”
Most Tailored Items
“Mostly men’s jackets and trousers. Most trousers are cut wide (full cut) so you must be able to taper to the model’s body. No one really cares what brand you wear. A good tailor can make any guy look good whether he is 5’6 or 6’8, 150 or 300 lbs,” he says. “If I’m 38 across the chest, then I do not belong in a 40 jacket.”
Tailoring by Body Type
As Rich stated, “you do not go through the process of being tailored to go back not being tailored.” And this is where knowing your body type and which designers are best suited for you come into play:
Small + Short
There is nothing more discouraging than seeing e a small guy in clothes that were clearly made for a larger chap. Instead, one should adopt the cool cropped look. Think Thom Browne, and integrate color and pattern into your wardrobe to add height and dimension. “Make sure your tailor creates the illusion of small in the body and short in the sleeve.” This lessens your chance of looking over compact and short.
No more shopping at your local Big-and-Tall store and being content with a large, shapeless suit. #TallLivesMatter too! That off-the rack purchase may seem lifeless at the moment, but proper alterations, especially in the jacket, make all the difference. “You need to make sure nothing is too tight especially around the waist and thigh areas.” Also, make sure your jacket is not too long, “not hugging in the wrong places,” and should barely cover your butt. Four Words: Path of Least Resistance
“A prime example of a how a tall guy should wear a suit is to study NBA player LeBron James. Here’s a smart guy that takes the time (and money) to employ a good tailor to customize his suiting. If you do not have a proper fit in the shoulders, you need a bigger jacket.” In most pics, you’ll notice his jacket drops exactly at the wrists and elbows and the the torso is slightly tapered? This will give a more streamlined look and allows you to wear the piece in more than one way on more than one occasion.
When Not To Tailor
“There is nothing that does not need tailoring,” he tells us. “Hell, I even tailor t-shirts!”
Get to know Rich Freshman more by visiting his site at www.richfreshman.com.