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The most accomplished tailors in the world take great pleasure from their craft. They look forward to going to work and creating the best custom made suits possible. They view their profession as a calling, a way of creating beauty and helping customers enjoy the special moments in their lives.

But how are custom clothes actually produced? What are the trade’s major secrets? The answers may surprise and intrigue you. At the very least, they might make you crave some new pants.

The Process

To learn how the tailoring process works, you could look to Sal Lauretta for Men as an example. This menswear store consistently produces some of New Jersey’s best custom made suits and other items.

Its procedure involves four stages. It begins when you go into the shop and a tailor takes an extensive series of measurements.

Next, you choose the materials that each part of your garment will be made of. Your tailor can answer your questions and assist you in figuring out which of Sal Lauretta’s thousands of fabrics would fit your budget and match your style preferences. How often and where you’ll wear the clothes will also influence the selection of fabrics.

The third step is drafting a design. To do so, your tailor will find out exactly what you’re seeking. For extra precision, you might show him or her photos of friends or celebrities whose clothes you admire.

Finally, your tailor will get busy. Employing labor-intensive and time-honored European techniques, this artisan can create a garment that fits every inch of your body perfectly and adheres to each of your specifications. The article of clothing you’ve always wanted will get out of your dreams and into your closet.

The Secrets

Aside from the clothes-making process itself, many tailors harbor fascinating professional secrets. Here are two of the most common.

1. It’s All in the Family

Many superior tailors have parents and grandparents who were tailors. Sal Lauretta, the grandfather of the shop’s current owner, studied tailoring in his native Sicily and fell in love with fine fabrics and fabulous fits. In 1962, Sal and his father, Raffaele, moved to New Jersey and opened their menswear store. Needless to say, the business continues to thrive.

Why are many great tailors descended from great tailors? Maybe tailoring is just in the blood. Perhaps people who are exposed to tailoring at a young age are more likely to fall in love with the trade. After all, children often see the world as a magical place. If tailoring is part of their world, they may acquire a burning desire to master the profession.

Family history can also give a person a strong sense of tradition and purpose. Tailors pride themselves in measuring up (pun definitely intended) to the work of their forebears.

2. Building Community

When it’s done right, a tailor’s job is a social one. Tailoring isn’t just about needles and threads; it’s about allowing customers to fully express themselves and boosting their personal brands. It’s about increasing people’s confidence levels.

To accomplish these goals, tailors must be excellent communicators. They have to be open to suggestions, and they need to engage in dialogues and earn the trust of consumers. They have to show respect and treat every client with dignity. When tailors are successful in these areas, they win repeat customers. In time, they have a community of regulars, a group of people who may seem like a family.

When you go to a tailor who knows you well, it can lead to better and faster results. That professional will already have your measurements and will know which looks and fabrics are your favorites. Likewise, he or she will know what you’ve purchased from the store in the past. Therefore, the two of you can focus on developing clothes that are slightly or entirely different from what you already own.

For tailors, building a community can also mean being active and involved in their hometowns. By taking an interest in the people and businesses around them and by participating in civic events, they can see which fashions are popular locally and which exciting style trends haven’t yet emerged in the area. This knowledge can aid them when they’re providing clients with tips and advice.

Giving back to the community is also a way that tailors can show appreciation for all the business they’ve received from neighborhood residents. Sal Lauretta for Men, for instance, supports regional schools as well as charities like the Bergen County Community Action Partnership.

Naturally, all master tailors feel a rich and powerful sense of history; their ancestry dates back centuries. So many historic events — including every meeting between royals, military generals, prime ministers and presidents — required tailors for the best custom made suits. Their processes and their secrets will endure far into the future.


men's fashion advice

Ralph Lauretta

Ralph is a co-owner of Sal Lauretta for Men. His areas of expertise include custom clothing as well as being the primary clothing buyer for the store. When not at work you can find him hanging out with his family, reorganizing his garage or watching a Denver Broncos game.