Gown Services Services Locations My Shores App About Us Contact Us

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Can You Make a Ready To Wear Suit Fit Like A Custom Made Suit?

When it comes to a proper fit, one size does not fit all.  I know that we all want our clothing to bring out the best of our natural attributes, and in a perfect world, this would be the case.  There would be no need to visit a high-end clothier for a custom fitting.  You could simply stroll into Macy’s, grab any suit off the rack, and viola; you’re a walking Ralph Lauren advertisement.   The problem is that there is no one cut that looks great on all of us, and if your appearance is important to you, chances are you’re spending a lot more time searching for that perfect fit.  Having the desire to purchase the right suit that accentuates your best features is one thing, but having the wallet to absorb the costs involved is another.

Custom fashion is considered by most a luxury.  The same could be said about high quality dry-cleaning.  It is not for everybody.  At our Shores Fine Dry Cleaning plants in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point, we work hand-in-hand with many local fine clothiers.  They deliver an exceptional product, hand-crafted at a premium price.  The price part is why many guys turn to ready-to-wear (RTW) garments.  RTW suit pricing is significantly less, around 50-75% less, than custom made attire.  This is primarily due to the manufacturing methods employed to produce them.

Other than the way they’re manufactured, what differences are there between a custom suit and RTW’s?  In a nutshell, custom clothing is usually made with the highest quality fabrics and designed to your body measurements ultimately creating a one of a kind look.  While RTW attire isn’t made with the most expensive fabrics, you can still give RTW garments a more custom fit through professional alterations.

Professional seamstress and tailors are up on the latest fashion trends and know the proper way a garment should drape.  They can also offer suggestions on how alterations can make your garments look better on you.

In our next blog post, we will share with you everything you need to know to make a RTW suit look like a custom suit.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Man’s Dress Shirt versus a Woman’s Blouse

We are asked, fairly regularly, why cleaning a woman’s blouse is more expensive than cleaning a man’s dress shirt. The answer is this: the cost solely depends on the process used to clean and finish the shirt.

The majority of men’s dress shirts are laundered and machine ironed on automated equipment. It can be done because men’s dress shirts have varied little in style and fabric for a number of years. This has allowed equipment manufacturers to design and build automated shirt presses that will fit most men’s dress shirts. Operating these automated shirt presses takes a whole lot less time and labor to properly finish a man’s dress shirt.

For several reasons, a woman’s blouse typically cannot be finished on automated equipment. First, they are made of a larger variety of fabrics like silk and spandex, which cannot be put on the automated equipment because the heat from the plates could damage the fabric. Second, where men’s dress shirts are fairly standard in style, women’s blouses include details like ruffles, pleats, darting, special buttons, and trim. These details could be crushed or damaged if finished on automated equipment. Finally, women’s blouses vary in cut – and those variations change regularly as styles come and go. That makes it difficult to finish them on a piece of standardized equipment. So to properly finish women’s blouses, they need to be completely hand ironed. Simply, that translates into more time and labor.

There could be an occasional exception to the rule. For instance, a woman’s blouse that is made of 100% cotton or a cotton/poly blend that can fit on an automated press will cost the same as a man’s dress shirt finished in the same manner. And likewise, if a man’s dress shirt is out of the size range for the automated equipment or is made of a more delicate fabric and must be hand ironed, it will cost the hand finished price. But if you are ever in doubt, please ask. We are here to help.