Recently, Anna Wintour commented on her own style to former Condé Nast colleague Tina Brown, at Brown’s annual “Women in the World” summit, that “maybe it’s a little bit boring and time to change. I’ve been thinking a lot about suits recently so… Thank you to the Duchess of Sussex!”
For those of you don’t know, Wintour’s uniform has pretty much always been some variation on a printed shin-length dress. The look has become iconically Anna Wintour. The fact that she’s saying it might be a time for a change – a change to suits, no less – is therefore a pretty big deal.
And it’s not just Anna Wintour who feels that a change is in the air. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you would know that women’s fashion has, for some time now, been trending toward blazers, trousers and pant suit combinations. My inkling is that we are really tired of wearing the same old limited range of jeans every day.
Casting our minds back for a second: It goes without saying that suits – and all things related – are among of the most classic items one can wear. Over the last few decades, though, they have regrettably fallen out of fashion as the workplace has become increasingly casual. It must be said that so called women’s ‘workwear’ – the cheap pant and skirt-suits you can buy off the rack, for example – became increasingly cheap looking in the process. This has to do with a whole range of factors, from the standardization of sizing among the mass market brands, to poor quality fabric and labor. It’s not your fault, in other words, it’s the industry.
Until recently we have been pretty much stuck in this zone of cheaply-made and poor-fitting women’s ‘work’ or ‘formal’ wear. There were not many options for high-quality women’s suits. But we’ve now emerged into a future where women do have options in this regard.
Unfortunately, many of those options are still not great. There are several companies out there specializing in men’s custom suits that have recently decided to do women’s suits as well. This, in my experience, is often problematic. What they tend to do, for one, is take a men’s template and size it down for a woman, without taking into account any of the particular features of a woman’s body – the bust and hips, for example. For women with curvier figures, they might make something that’s oversized to fit over the larger bust. The final result can be quite boxy and/or too tight, instead of what it should be: Flattering. And we haven’t even gotten to the point that men’s tailors don’t tend to understand women’s fashion all that well…
We’ve developed a specific set of women’s template sizes, the proportions and fit of which are completely different from our men’s templates.
For the bustier ladies, we have a special method of measuring the bust cup size in order to incorporate space (molding) into the front chest area of the jacket without losing the curve and shape of the waist.
Our jacket canvassing and bust dart seams are shaped and molded to accommodate for the bust.
We have an extensive collection of fabrics curated for women, and we are always sourcing new and innovative textiles. We have many performance wool’s with natural stretch, and some with up to 2% lycra. We also carry some very high quality synthetics for those women in the market for more casual or performance-based suits.
In terms of pants, we are not restricted to the trouser. We can do multiple styles of pants, with every width of leg and length imaginable. We also do skirts!
Finally, we know women, their bodies, their lifestyles, their preferences, because we are a female-led company.
Most people can’t really say why a piece of clothing doesn’t fit right. They just know it’s wrong somehow, either by the way it feels to wear or the way they look in the piece. When investing in a garment as complexly made as a pant suit, getting one that has been custom fit to your body and styled to your tastes is an absolute must. That’s why you should come to Watson Ellis. Because we can do those two things better than any other custom tailor in NYC.
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