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To a time-challenged businesswoman, maintaining a working wardrobe can be a daunting task. We all know how important a polished image is. We dress to impress. What we wear tells people who we are. Our self worth and productivity may be affected as well. Companies are changing direction from casual dressing because studies have shown it causes a drop in productivity. So much time and effort is spent shopping, yet most women end up with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.
So where's the problem? It lies in the women's fashion industry! Men have no problem: they have always had their tailor who knows their body and their measurements. They fly into a shop and choose a fabric, and when they come back there is a garment made to their specifications complete with detailing of their choice. And their salesperson has coordinating shirts and ties laid out for their approval. Why do men get all the service? Because they have always been in business. The men's industry is geared to giving them exactly what they need without any wasted time or effort on their part. After all, they are busy and important people!
And what about women? Well, we're still stuck in a previous century when shopping was a recreational activity. The department store was a destination: we would spend the day there. And the designers made clothes for ladies who lunched. They had a vision of "their woman". She was a five foot ten, size six lady who was deemed worthy of their couture creations. Even in this day and age when the average size of North American women is 14, a lot of fashion houses will not accept an order over size 12. It makes no economic sense until you realize the famous fashion houses like Dior and YSL make the big bucks from the mass marketing of their cosmetics and fragrances!
And then there are the trends, which are engineered to make you buy all new outfits every season. Spring and summer of 2002's hot items will be ruffled blouses, Latin skirts, and low waisted pants that allow you to show off your navel ring. (Body piercing is the trend right now!) It's not exactly what the woman in business wants to wear. If you look in any well dressed woman's closet, it will be full of classic styles. But those classics can't be found in the stores right now: retail business is slow in this recession, so stores feel their inventory needs to be unusual to tweak the consumer's interest.
Colour forecasting is of prime importance in women's wear. There is an exact shade of certain colours that are hot for one and only one season, and stores are intimidated into carrying that specific shade because it's what "they're wearing". This is designed to create built-in obsolescence: it will become last season's colour. And you can bet it won't co-ordinate with whatever shades come along next. Plus, a lot of the colours won't suit you, which makes you tire of them quickly.
And if all that doesn't make you buy new outfits every season, they'll just change the hemlines. Okay, so a lot of women aren't wearing skirts now. How does one change hemlines on pants? Ever hear of crop pants? Or capri pants? Can you imagine men allowing themselves to be exploited by their fashion industry? Maybe men's "floods" will be a big trend this summer and they will get all their fine wool pants shortened a couple of inches….yeah, right!
Men demand a good fit. Almost every menswear store has an expert tailor in the back room who will make any garment a perfect fit (and at no extra charge). Few ladies wear stores offer an alteration service. Those that do will pay someone the lowest possible hourly rate to sit at a machine in the back room, assuring a skill level which usually doesn't extend far beyond hemming. Or they will farm alterations out to a local dry cleaner who hasn't even seen the garment on your body and has to interpret someone else's pinning. And for women, buying off the rack is much more difficult than for a man. Men's shoulders are bigger than their hips. So we find a jacket that fits the wider part and we take in the pants. Women are the opposite: small shoulders with wider hips. That means we work from the skirt and pant and alter the jacket to fit (a much more difficult alteration).
Most shops facing tough economic times have replaced seasoned sales help with less costly juniors. What they lack in expertise they replace with enthusiasm: anything you try on looks great on you!
All this makes finding clothes in classic styles in our size and colour, adjusting them to our bodies and making them all mix and match to create our dream wardrobe next to impossible. Today's retail ladies' wear market does not address our needs. Women need to change the fashion industry. How? By voting with our wallets!
The Wardrobe Workshop Inc. is one company that has set out to revolutionize the system by creating custom couture. Our mission is to give women what they need with the minimum expenditure of time and money on their part!
In the initial free consultation, figure and style is analyzed, a personal color palette is developed, and lifestyle is taken into consideration before any recommendations are made. Women are asked to bring in current wardrobe items to determine needs and to facilitate selection of matching fabrics from hundreds of in-house bolts. New additions are carefully planned to be multifunctional and work back with what you already own, achieving the greatest number of looks with the least number of pieces. Your wardrobe will perform beyond your expectations! Although business dressing is the main focus, your daytime wear is designed to dress up for evening and down for weekend, eliminating the need for separate sets of ensembles. All clothing is custom tailored to measure. Styles and fabrics are recorded in the client's file, making it easy to add co-ordinating pieces in later seasons.
Your wardrobe is a valuable asset. Like your other investments, it deserves professional planning. And you deserve the free time you won't need to spend in shopping malls.
Our 5,000 square foot fully equipped factory and spacious showroom (where we manufacture everything from gowns to golfwear!) is located at 1987 Leslie St. (just south of the 401).
Call 416-250-0079