Vic the Tailor

I recently had the honor of being asked to be a groomsman for my friend’s wedding.  I’ve been a groomsman before so I understood what the duties entailed, which if you weren’t the best man, isn’t much.  It basically involves paying for a tuxedo rental, chipping in for the bachelor party, and showing up at the church on time.

Getting fitted for a tuxedo doesn’t usually take too much time but this is probably one of the last times I will be a groomsman, so I wanted to get it done right.  I decided to buy the tuxedo and use a tailor to get the best fit and experience what a true craftsman can do.

The alterations took some time with a few visits to the tailor, but I have to admit the experience was great!  There really is no experience quite like it. The smell of the fabric, the sound of the scissors cutting the garment, and the attention to detail all harkened back to a long lost time of personal service that doesn’t exist anymore.

As I was getting fitted, my tailor, Vicente, started to ask me questions about everything, my life, my friend who was getting married, his future bride, etc.  I thought he was just being friendly, which he was, but it also got me to start talking about the tux.  He wanted to know how I wanted it to fit, what my expectations were, and so on.  I didn’t really know how to answer these questions.  I figured I would show up, he would measure my arms, chest, waist, inseam, and that would be it– I’d have a suit that fit.

Boy, was I wrong. Vic started to talk to me about how a tailor gets the best looking garment for his clients.  He went on to tell me the difference between a machine-stitched suit, a half hand-stitched suit, and a full hand-stitched suit.  As he was explaining the differences, I couldn’t help but realize how similarly he approached his business as to what we do at Cirrascale.

Getting a suit that fits exactly as you want cannot come from a machine-stitched or off-the-rack suit.  Those suits are made in a large scale with varying sizes, with no consideration to the preferences or specific size and shape of the individual wearing it.  He explained to me that a good tailor will explain how certain alterations can affect a garment’s proportions, meaning that if the garment was purchased off the rack, getting it to fit exactly the way I wanted may affect the garment’s proportions and ruin the look entirely.

I told him that’s exactly what we do at my company.  I continued to explain that we compete against companies that sell “off-the-rack” computers to clients that need systems tailored for their needs.  Our engineers, I continued, get into the details of our client’s workflow to fully understand the problem they are trying to resolve, and we work with them to engineer a solution that best suits their individual needs. Kneeling at my feet, working on my hem, he looked up at me and said, “That’s how everyone should run their business.”

I explained to him that when making a major capital expense most companies typically look for the lowest price solution that fits “good enough”.  Vic told me that it’s similar to his business–men go to department stores to find suits for work and it’s good enough.  For weddings or other important occasions, and for the discerning client, visiting the tailor is the only option. “There really is no other option,” he told me.  “If a man wants to look his best he comes to see someone like me”. I agreed whole-heartedly. I felt like a million bucks (after taxes) in that tuxedo.

My experience with Vic, and all the compliments I received at the wedding, made me realize the true value of a great tailored garment.  I got a suit that fits me, better than any other suit I own. It’s tailored to my unique specifications. A well-built suit can last for years, which saves me money in the long run.

What separates the tailored approach that Vic and Cirrascale provide to an off-the-rack product is that the tailored product is created with the client’s specific needs in mind.  It is designed with careful attention to detailed specifications. It is the little things you can’t get from a mass-manufactured product that make all the difference. Next time I need a new suit, Vic will be getting a call.  I made a new friend in Vic, and he has made a customer for a long time to come.

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