Bespoke Women's Clothing Guide

If there’s any truth to the tired stereotype that women take longer to shop than men, it’s for good reason, because women’s bespoke clothing is a much trickier issue than clothing designed for men. Women’s clothes come in a much greater variety of special fabrics, styles and fittings and have to be designed for a greater variety of body types, so it’s no wonder that clothes that fit in some shops don’t fit in others. Then you have to consider the insulating properties of one garment vs that of another, whether any of them have pockets (and they often don’t), and whether any of the clothes that work practically are something that you might actually want to wear. It’s a maddening process to go through, but what if you took this problem and looked at it as an opportunity instead?

While women’s clothing may be hard to buy off the peg, the complexity of choosing exactly the right outfit for a woman makes it the perfect candidate for being created in a bespoke fashion by a tailor, who can take all of the many requirements you almost certainly have of the ideal shirt, bespoke skirt or jacket and bring them to life. All of those things that you just can’t find in one off the peg garment because it’s the wrong size, it doesn’t fit your bust, it’s too hot or cold, or it fits perfectly but it’s simply really ugly. If you’re after a ladies Harris Tweed jacket that fits perfectly, or a ladies hunt coat with pockets that will keep you warm while looking stylish – there really is no better way than bespoke tailored ladies clothing. So what are some things to think about when you dream up your ideal garment? Let’s take a look.

women's grey jacket

Getting your measurements

Measuring for women’s clothes can be the hardest part, as any woman frustrated by the fact that the same size can fit differently between two different shops will attest, but there are some important reasons for this. Starting from the top, the bust can be an issue for some women, because generically made clothes in shops make assumptions about your bust size based on hip size and back length which can often be wrong. It’s not uncommon to find a dress that fits everywhere else but has too large a bust if you have fuller than average hips compared with the rest of your body, for example. The bust is measured under your arms around the fullest part, which is tricky, but it allows a tailor to create an outfit that actually matches your real shape, not just some phantom average woman that’s not you.

The same problem applies to the hips and waist, which can often be two very different measurements when they are treated as the same by many off the peg brands. The location and size of a waist or hip varies from woman to woman, so you’ll need to find yours: Your wait is where you naturally bend if you attempt to tilt yourself to one side without moving your legs, while your hips are measured at the fullest part of your bottom. 

Women's blue jacket

Know what to expect

There’s a certain expectation when it comes to tailored womens clothes that tailoring means tight, and that a well tailored garment will fit you like a glove or a second skin. That’s certainly true for some garments, or at least some styles of garment, but it’s definitely not true for everything. The idea behind getting something tailored to fit you is that the garment will work how it was always supposed to work, but perfectly and for you. If the trousers were meant to be baggy then they’ll still be baggy, but in a way that allows you to walk unimpeded. The same is true of something that is meant to be tight, but not uncomfortable. Remember, in years gone by it was common to tailor even shop bought garments after you bought them because they couldn’t possibly fit, and it’s only in recent years that generic sizing has become the norm. 

Your clothes are also supposed to work in harmony with each other, in a way that off the peg clothes simply can’t do. Your trouser hem should be at the perfect height to work with your shoes, your shirt should end neatly to best complement your trousers, and likewise your jacket should be of a matching style and length to your trousers to create a nice aesthetic picture. This is what you’re trying to achieve, and it’s important to remember when you’re chatting through your requirements with your tailor.

Women's clothing guide

Be specific

Now of course you should be specific when you decide what you want from your bespoke ladies clothes, because that’s half the fun! What we mean when we say to be specific in this context is that you should make sure your proposed outfit works for whatever situation you’re envisaging using it, because the cut and the fabric have a big impact on how comfortable you’ll be, and unlike fast fashion your outfit shouldn’t be designed for all seasons. If you’re looking for something light, warm and waterproof to wear outside when you’re walking or hunting, then a great fabric can be something like Harris Tweed – which is naturally breathable as well as being tough and water resistant. Likewise, linen can be a great way to cool off in the summer (as opposed to cotton) because it wicks away sweat and is naturally breathable, whereas cotton tends to trap heat in.

Having these conversations with your tailor is the best way to make sure you get exactly what you need, and here at Barrington Ayre our expert tailoring team are always on hand with some friendly advice and top tips to make sure you get exactly what you need. If you’re on the hunt for exceptionally tailored and high quality bespoke ladies clothing, get in touch with us today. Everything we make is made to measure by our Yorkshire-based team, and can open up a whole new world of clothing made just for you.

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