On being an original

I was driving home yesterday listening to NPR when I heard an interesting story on Marketplace.  It was about young Wall Street bankers and the custom tailors they’re patronizing in an attempt to make the banker’s uniform of blue or grey wool suit + white shirt + quiet tie work for them.

The point of the story is that everyone wants to wear something a little bit special, but that in the banking world in particular standing out too much can get you sent home.  The tailors who cater to bankers understand the necessity to fit in, but allow their patrons to customize everything down to the color of the lining and the thread on the buttonholes, as well as adding details few but the customer will ever see, like monograms or quotes embroidered over the inside pocket.  (Apparently “Money Never Sleeps” and quotes from The Wolf of Wall Street are popular.)

As I was listening to the story a lot of points resonated with me.  I sew because I like having things that are different from what everyone else has.  I made my prom dresses in high school, and while they weren’t perfect, I didn’t have to wonder if someone else would show up in the same dress.  I also made my wedding dress, and my “something blue” was a pleated ruffle of blue ribbon along the lining that no one knew about except for me (until I showed it to pretty much every single person at the wedding, but still…).

I love that the art of custom-made clothing is still alive and well and that the younger generation of Wall Street-types appreciate it and are helping to keep the tradition going, too.  There’s nothing like wearing something that no one else has.

Full story here


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