Choosing a tailor is an important step in a man's life, as it marks the beginning of a lifelong relationship. Just like finding a doctor or a lawyer, you want someone who you trust and enjoy working with, who's with you throughout the different stages in your life. Here are the Balani tips for finding the right tailor.
Find out what kind of experience the tailor has. More years (or decades) of experience are normally a direct relationship to the degree of fine-tuned skills a tailor has. A tailor doesn't need to share your exact style, but he should understand what you want to accomplish. Find a shop with a rich history in custom tailoring, as creating a hand-made custom suit requires a great deal of experience and expertise.
Know the difference between "made to measure" and "custom". Made to measure means that the suit is pretty much completed, and the tailor simply makes adjustments to suit your frame. A custom suit, on the other hand, starts completely from scratch, where the tailor helps you choose everything from the fabric to the thread to the style. He then cuts the suit to perfectly fit your frame and preferences.
Research their work. Talk to friends who work with custom tailors and check out online reviews from sources like Yelp. Examine a tailor's custom clothing and review the quality, looking for details like hand stitching. Oftentimes, tailors will be happy to share their techniques and show examples of their work (Peter Balani, founder of Balani Custom, has even offered to cut open a suit to showcase the detailed work).
Make sure the tailor works from a physical, brick and mortar shop. When you visit a tailor, everything should be at your fingertips: fabric swatches, suit style examples, full-length mirrors and space to stretch out and enjoy the experience. After all, it's not just about the clothing, it's about building the relationship. A physical location is crucial to proper service: If they don't have a shop, they're not getting it.