A Cutter Plying his Craft
My tailor (more correctly known as the cutter) is an interesting individual — he’s very quiet and half the time, he doesn’t understand what I’m talking about (probably in large part because I speak too quickly and have an accent, and in general, cutters don’t speak much with clients). But he’s been cutting at famous Savile Row houses (past and present) all his life, and was a head-cutter and director at a couple of prominent firms, and if only I had an opportunity to pick his brains and romanticize about the past, I would. Having dressed politicians and aristocrats, I’m sure he has interesting stories to tell, but it’s sad that, as matter of tradition, it’s not decorous to reveal such intimate details about one’s clients. Tailors on the Row are tight-lipped about whom they’ve dressed.
Here, he is about to cut the mid-grey cloth (a H Lesser 11/12 oz Prince-of-Wales self-check), that will eventually be turned into a double-breasted number. This is my third coat with him, and counting.
Those brown ‘sheets of paper’ are known as a paper pattern, and roughly comprise the constituent parts of a coat, that have been cut to my body measurements. Using this pattern allows for a more consistent and accurate fit, and is, over the course of time, adjusted according to my weight and shape fluctuations. Patterns are usually kept for the duration of the customer’s life, and in the case of more notable individuals, are retained even after.