Clothes Make The Man  

In the beginning there was the word and then were created the heavens and the earth and the wind and the waters and the birds and the animals. And then, was created what we consider the most perfect of all gods’ creatures’…man.

Since then man has been a slave of the need to cover. He covers his hearth with a roof his head with a hat and his self with clothing. But over time the real reason for protecting himself from the elements has given way to the need to flaunt. Sometimes to flaunt his wealth and sometimes to flaunt his sexuality. The latter need, much like the peacock with his feathers and the rooster with his comb; has more than anything else, been reflected in what he wears.

This has of course been a boon to the designers and manufacturers of clothing since who knows when.

Because of this need has arisen a cornucopia of makers of the various types of physical covers that we see in the form of suits, dresses, robes and the like worn by the people of our world.

To fulfill the demand has arisen massive clothing concerns to serve all the different walks of life. In fact they are so pervasive that they command an enviable share of any nation’s economy.

There are the designers without whose creations the rich and the famous would not considered themselves adorned and there are the tiny hole in the wall establishments catering to a more economically challenged section of society. In between is a gamut of other manufacturers who serve the needs of the middle classes with myriad tastes and requirements. Although, in trying to satisfy the needs and tastes of many, I feel, they are able to satisfy only the few. I must admit, that I do find the ready to wear off the rack productions quite akin to fast food that does serve a need but not a purpose. In this case the purpose being not only to be covered but also to have an individual style and statement, (the need to flaunt), which should also be in step with the circumstances one’s time.

The need to clothe oneself has mutated to the need to clothe oneself according to the times and situations which one faces from day to day. It is considered inappropriate to dress in fatigues or shorts at business meetings and inappropriate to dress in a tuxido when at a backyard barbeque, for example.

This in itself has given rise to a host of sartorial advisers whom people from the top echelons of business and politics to the middle managers and anyone else who likes to be considered well dressed; consult.

The only type of establishment exclusively geared towards creating an individual look and being at the same time appropriate as well as comfortable to wear for each person is the custom tailor.

In times past when it could be easily afforded, such individual service was easily accessible to most of society and in fact is even now accessible in some of the still developing societies of the world. This of course cannot be said for the developed societies where the cost of labour has made it almost unavailable to people in general, who cannot sensibly afford to splash out a sizeable part of their income to be dressed in the most perfect way that the time dictates.

Seville row in the U.K. is considered one of the best places to get this kind of exclusive service and attention….at a price!

In Thailand too it is possible to get a very high level of such a service. Especially since the standard of living being much lower than the developed world, it can be had more easily and affordably.

Next week we will discuss the inner workings of the custom tailor in general and tailors in Thailand in particular. We will also be discussing what one should and what one should not expect when visiting such and establishment.

by Ravi the Tailor




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