Disclaimer: This was written with a sense of humour and meant to be read with one too.
Flipping through the online pages of Bloomingdale’s had me thinking, ‘I like this dress, this collection, but is there someone who can make me something similar bespoke?’
No. Not in the U.S.A. There are incredible suit makers catering to the men for workwear that can double as everyday wear from London to Hong Kong. However, there is no daily dress maker in the Americas that does not look like one is making plans for a quinceñera or wedding. This is the demand of local businesses. The nature is tacky or too much, because Americans are either extremely casual or extremely confused about dress codes.
Everyday is a celebration, but I do not even don sequins to a party. It is simply not me. Or most of the women I know.
While trend followers (not setters) are interested in the latest off the rack polyester, I am wondering why a majority of Oscar De La Renta is for low tea lunches and high-donation charity dinners. Because the ladies who can afford the styles are not working women.
That is understandable. But what about us working women who are greedy enough to want it all?
Are we supposed to only wear bespoke working suits on our off time? Styled down to be casual? Or stiff dresses made of wool without room to bend over picking up little ones?
No, we are only allowed to have Loro Piana knitwear separates on our off days. There is only gala dressing and extremely casual clothes for women who want to have it all and no in between.
I did not enter a demanding lifestyle to not be draped in ready to wear poly blends.
Department stores barely have selection to begin with. At least not much that is timeless. When there is a trendy style in favour it is cheaply made for the mass churn out, or is well-made, but becomes boring fast.
Opening 89 tabs on my iPad meant sifting through every small business and large corporation offering bespoke, made-to-measure, and even custom options. However, there was no in-between for the ladies in the middle who want to conquer every facet of womanhood. Especially in the Americas.
Two styles are alive and well in most American metropolitan headquarters and small towns, and two styles only. Casual and please help me, I am not certain of the dress code, but I have seen it in movies.
There are those aware of some sort of idea of the event. They copy what they have seen for a split second in film scenes, but are not entirely sure of what details to put together. It looks uninformed and unpolished.
Then, there are hard core nerds who die for knowing too many over the top details. Each individual feature is so exact, the style becomes more of a novelty artefact. The breadth is wide ultimate ends with only empty space in between.
There is either the extremely casual stay at home mom or a $50,000 a plate gala guest socialite married to a billionaire look. The only benchmarks in that spectrum are sparkly sexy prom dress or overly starched workwear. Where is lux mom who wants to ride horses, but also picks-up-the-children-in-a-vicuña-coat-with-something-elegant-underneath-wear? Does this style exist?
I was thinking about a little easy style I could host a ladies afternoon tea in that also gets me around the green house. Something to wear when checking out a commercial property but does not look too ‘aggressive in business deals’ in the city. A bespoke dress that does it all. Not high quality separates that scream, ‘I threw this together at the last minute.’
I like to look as if I put in effort. That is the point of being effortlessly elegant. Some say the opposite, but those people are also dying for compliments and not always getting them. These are the same who want communication but have no clarification or conviction themselves. Nobody wants to look like they do not take care of their skin or wash their clothes. There has to be some effort.
There should not be difficulty in finding good style that is high quality and fits you properly. One can interpret this to be separation of the classes issue or simply a culture’s ability to comprehend everyday formality. It is also possible that the scope of what one tends to wear with daily ease is not created yet. Tailors are everywhere, but not working at their fullest capacity, because of the consumer ideals in the United States.
Finishing school is something that needs to be revived, because adults are not aware of the poor examples they are setting for young impressionable minds. Staying young and casual forever is not exactly attractive when you see a forty year old in basketball shorts or skinny jeans and flip flops. Yikes. There is a time and place for everything.
Mr. Dixon suggested at the next Huntsman Savile Row visit to ask when having another fitting if the tailors and cutters know a dressmaker. Not necessarily for red carpets. Not for bar mitzvahs. One for the everyday woman who can do it all. I am sure they know someone. Once I find out who that genius is, you will be the first to know. If you have a high quality recommendation, please leave their information in the comments below! It is always a thrill to hear from my wonderful readers.
If you loved this post, I would love for you to visit The Uniform. These are my actual outfits and a lookbook to look put together, polished, and never have to think when dressing up. You will always look good in these pieces. It is absolutely a no-brainer. Check them out here.
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